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Tigrest Travel Blog

This is a blog about destinations, food and travel tips

Tag: Spain travel

Top 5 things to do in Tenerife

Tenerife is truly unique island, perfect for a short (or longer) visit at almost any time of the year. Average annual temperature here is around +25C, so winter is particularly great time to visit. Thanks to numerous low cost carriers flying to Canary Islands, coming here won’t blow your budget. In fact, if planned correctly, you can have a pretty inexpensive holiday and lot’s of great memories!

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Tenerife holidays – your affordable alternative!

Why Tenerife holidays? Here are the best reasons why this island will be an ideal choice! Short Flight time. For most European cities 3-4 hours of flight time, easy to get around with daily bus operations to and from South Airport  to your Tenerife holidays hotel. Many low cost carriers like RyanAir, Norwegian Air or EasyJet fly there nowadays.


Affordable accommodation. Assuming you are booking well in advance, there are plenty of options. Particularly popular are apartments and studios with fully equipped kitchen. It is easy to find grocery stores around the corner and the food is inexpensive. Everything you need for a perfect Tenerife holidays!

Exciting tours. Have a look around in Playa de Las Americas – you may find numerous private companies who will take you on a tour around the island. Prices vary depending on the operator, but generally are rather low for guided tours.

Easy to explore on your own. It is easy to rent a car if you are over 24 and have had a valid license for at least 2 years. The roads are in perfect condition and the traffic is not too tight.

Located just a few hours from Europe, right next to the west coast of Northern Africa



Tenerife holidays

tips

El Duque Beach

Tenerife holidays

The Beach

The island is full of surprises and you will notice how different the life pace is. Start your Tenerife holidays in the morning with a nice refreshing swim in the ocean (yes, it is warm). The beaches have dark volcanic sand and the water is clear blue. Same picture is everywhere so if you are looking for golden sands, Playa del Duque is a place to go. Surrounded with luxury properties, this little paradise can offer a nice view, comfortable sun beds and lots of additional services for your amazing Tenerife holidays. For those who like it more extreme way there is a possibility to do some cliff diving. Beware of coastal guard though, they might get mad at you.

For those who like water sports – there all kinds of options: paragliding, banana boats, jet skis and many more. Prices are reasonable, for example paragliding will cost you somewhere between 30 and 50 Euro depending on number of participants.

Tenerife holidays

banana-garden-tenerife Tenerife holidays
Address: avenida rafael puig, nº4 C/C palm beach,, local nº 2,3 Playa las Américas., 38660 Playa las Américas, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain Phone:+34 922 79 03 65

The Culture

Spanish culture is truly unique. Famous mañana attitude can be found all around Spain and Tenerife is no exception. To fully discover the true Spanish flavor one should go eat out. So where is the right place to go? Well, in case you are looking for some entertainment additionally to the meal in a nice atmosphere, take a look at Banana Garden.
This cozy little place is beautifully decorated and offers delicious Mexican food. Every other night there is Flamenco show. In case you were planning on visiting Piramide de Arona – famous flamenco theater, Banana Garden can offer you a free sneak peek. The best part is that you really don’t need to order full course – just mention to the waiter that you would only like to have a cocktail and you will be seated at the bar with best view of the stage.


spanish flamenco Tenerife holidays

Car Rental for your Tenerife holidays

Renting a car was made easy for tourists – usually the companies will only need your credit card details and you are free to go and explore. It is an incredible experience to climb up the Teide Mountain in your own vehicle – the views are just breath-taking! The cost will vary on the company and how early you book. Renting on the spot would cost you around 70-90€/3 days for A class car (Fiat Panda or similar). However, it is highly recommended to go for higher class, as you will need this extra power on the slopes. Class C – Opel Corsa or similar – will cost you around 120€/3 days and that is a fair price. For motorcycle fans there is a selection of rental options as well. However, price are higher compared to cars. 125CC road bike will cost you around 40€/day.

The motorways in Tenerife are in perfect conditions with maximum speed limit of 120 km/h. Most drivers ride much slower, especially those with rented cars. Luckily, there are mostly 2-3 lanes, so everybody can choose their own pace. Mountain road are well serviced and speed limits are reasonable.

Tenerife

El Teide Mountain

Tenerife

National parks

El Teide national park is centred on 3718m Mount Teide, the highest mountain of Spain and the islands of the Atlantic (it is the third largest volcano in the world from its base on the ocean floor). The terrain is completely different from shore side and so is the temperature. Driving up to the national park is an interesting experience; from the sunny south coast you drive up towards a town called Vilaflor with its alpine-like scenery. As you travel higher still above the clouds, the terrain changes dramatically and suddenly becomes an amazing lunar landscape. It’s a great way to enrich your Tenerife holidays!

The peak can be reached with a cable car which costs 34€/adult. Once at the top, you can walk around and take in the amazing sights. For those who are interested in getting all the way up, permission from the national park’s office in Orotava needs to be acquired beforehand. Alternatively, guided walks up the volcano are available, but please remember that you will need a fairly high level of fitness to endure the climb, which takes around six hours. Also, it is worth bearing in mind to bring along warmer clothes and appropriate footwear.

Masca Gorge walk is another fantastic place to visit. All trekking lovers will enjoy it!

El Teide by car

Shopping in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is the capital and the biggest town in Tenerife. If you are coming by rental car – good place to shop and park the car for the day is Meridiano commercial centre. The parking is on several floors underneath the centre and it is free. Meridiano itself has many stores, including world known brands like C&A, Primark and Carrefour. Combine your Tenerife holidays with nice shopping!

If you keep walking towards the old town, make sure to pay a visit to the local open air market. You will find coffees, sauces, oils and the like; but the real stars of this market are the produce, seafood, and meats. Also some handicraft products and local pottery can be found here.

Where to go in Tenerife?

Must go
Price
Weather
El Duque Beach
free
sunny
Banana Garden flamenco show
7 €/coctail
any
Loro Parque
36€/adult
any
Santa Cruz market
free
sunny
El Teide park
tours from 15€/adult
sunny
Garachico village
tours from 15€/adult
sunny
Masca village
tours from 15€/adult
sunny
Icod de los Vinos & Dragon Tree
tours from 15€/adult
sunny
Must go & must see for first time travelers
This article is now available on GPSMyCity – travel app with GPS navigation feature. You can download it here – Affordable holiday destination Tenerife

Barcelona getaway

Salou holidays near Barcelona

It is spring now and time to start thinking of the next holiday spot. This time it is going to be Barcelona getaway in Spain due to very affordable tickets (Helsinki-Barcelona return ticket 100 EUR with Norwegian Air). Low cost carriers also fly there, but Ryan Air is landing in Girona which is 100km north of Barcelona. The area offers great sea resorts with affordable price range hotels. It is especially popular with families. Therefore, for city breakers it might get boring. Welcome to our Best beach resorts near Barcelona – Salou holidays post!


 

Salou holidays Parc Guell in Barcelona

Parc Guell in Barcelona – magic place. Source: pixabay.com




Salou holidays near Barcelona – Getting there

Most airlines land in El Prat airport south of Barcelona city. Many airlines have deals with rental companies, so a low-end rental car will cost you around 80 EUR for 5 days (Opel Corsa type). Considering the amount of attractions to visit it is a bargain! However, if you are not into driving in hectic Spanish traffic, there is a fantastic public transport system in place. For example, Bus Plana is organizing both guided tours and regular airport transfers to most nearby resorts. Return but ticket from El Prat airport to Salou resort costs 27 EUR and the buses run every hour, almost 24h a day. For more information visit their website.

Barcelona has numerous museums

Barcelona has numerous museums. Source: pixabay.com

Where to stay?

That’s a tough question and really come to what you are looking for in your trip? Are you interested in sightseeing and culture? Or are you travelling to recharge your batteries and need some sun & beach type of holiday? Either way there is a huge amount of properties to suit any needs. For best cultural experience staying in Barcelona itself would be the best. It is huge and vibrant city and has a lot to offer for a whole week. On a plus side – you won’t need to travel anywhere far – even the beach is there for you. Metro will take you anywhere you need and avoid heavy traffic. This big has a certain charm to it.

Toll collection on motorways.

Toll collection on motorways. Source: pixabay.com




Moving around with rental car

In case you are eager to drive and experience the freedom of superb Spanish motorways – be prepared to pay a fee for using them. Exact route costs (both gasoline and road fees) can be calculated on viamichelin.com. Not all roads are to be paid for – mostly those around Barcelona are. Although public transport is great in many ways and offers easy, carefree holiday experience, you are still stuck with timetables and other people in the bus. So if travelling with a larger party it might pay off to rent a car and split the costs.

Salou beach.

Salou beach. Source: pixabay.com

Salou resort holiday

Now, if you are looking for some Riviera romance, consider staying at one of nearby resorts. One of the most popular is certainly Sitges – a fancy, high-end beach destination with a lot of party and open-minded scene. If party is not so much you thing, have a look a little further south. Right next to Tarragona is a resort called Salou – one of Europe’s best resorts. Especially popular with families due to amusement park Port Aventura, Salou has a lot to offer for almost any traveller. Our choice for September is exactly this resort, and this is why:

public parking

Parking during your Salou holidays could be a challenge in summer months. As many hotels are not offering any parking options, private parking lots and houses can be used. Here is a nice option (should cost around 5 EUR per day).

Salou holidays

Trips from Salou

Even though Barcelona alone has a lot to offer, it’s not limited to the city alone. Here are some must-visits around the city:

  • Great beach and nice warm sea (among the best in Europe)
  • Affordable accommodation, managed to book 4* hotel with half board for as low as 50 EUR per room per night. (Amazing!)
  • Easy to reach Barcelona via motorway
  • Lively and has its charm.
Montserrat

Source: pixabay.com

Mount Montserrat

  • Mount Montserrat. This breath-taking trip will take you through the mountains to an old monastery. The trip can be made both by rental car and with an organized group (Busplana is offering this trip for 29 EUR from Salou). During the visit, you can taste 4 flavours of liqueurs produced by monks, visit the cave, enjoy Europe’s oldest choir and take some pictures of panoramic view.
Port Aventura amusement park in Salou holidays

Port Aventura amusement park in Salou is attracting thousands of tourists every year

  • Andorra. Even though Andorra is a shopping paradise – world’s famous brands can be found here at affordable prices – it’s worth a visit due to its unique architecture, cosine and breath-taking views.
Dali museum in Figures

Dali museum in Figures

  • Figueres and Dali Museum. This charming little town a birthplace of artist Salvador Dali. The Dali theatre and Museum are worth a visit for anyone, not just art lovers due to its unique and original setup.

Must see in Barcelona

Back to Barcelona, if you are just looking for a sun and beach and weren’t going to enter the city, there is one place you should visit anyway – the famous Magic Fountain. Operating during evening hours, this magical show with light and sound effects will provide you with great memories of your visit. Beware, however, that parking a car in Barcelona city centre is no easy task – take a train or one of Busplana’s trips – it will only cost you 19 EUR per person but will save you a lot of trouble and nerves. As a nice bonus – taking one of their trips will allow you 4 hours in Barcelona city centre before enjoying the show and coming back to hotel safely. The bus ride will be accompanied by tour guide who will recommend thing to see and places to visit during these 4 hours. Considering that taking a train will cost you almost just as much, it seems like a much better option!

Here is a 3 day Barcelona itinerary in case you’d like to stay a little longer!

Magic fountain with sound and light show in Barcelona

Magic fountain with sound and light show in Barcelona

Last night before the flight

As our flight is early in the morning, we decided to book last night in Sitges. This way we can enjoy our beach holiday part, leave hotel one day before flight, travel closer to Barcelona (from Sitges it is just 20 minute ride), stay our last night in a beach hostel and enjoy the party atmosphere of this nice town. As we were going to hop by this town anyway, it is a perfect opportunity to do that on the way back.

Sitges

Romantic and beautiful Sitges. Source: pixabay.com

 

Looking for more ideas for holiday in Spain? Have a look at this fantastic 5 UNFORGETTABLE THINGS TO DO IN CORDOBA, SPAIN guide by Sher She Goes

Mallorca

Majorca in April and things to do on a budget

Mallorca

Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Where is Mallorca?

Mallorca, or Majorca is a Spanish island on the Mediterranean Sea and it belongs to the Balearic Islands family (along with Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera). It’s really compact and has a lot to offer to its guests. Easy Spanish pace will charm anyone who comes down here for a visit –whether it’s a party holiday, family vacation or just a weekend getaway. Unlike Canary Island Tenerife, where summer is all year round, Mallorca has it’s own seasons. Here are our best things to do in Majorca in April on a budget!




Majorca in April - Palma promenade

Pedestrian walkway spans from Palma all the way to nearby beach resorts. Photo by Tigrest

 

Things to do in Majorca in April on a budget – Best time to visit

I’ve been to Mallorca three times and each time it is a new discovery. If you are looking to explore the island and enjoy the local atmosphere, try to avoid summer season when it is overcrowded with young party seekers. Majorca in April is a true gem! April is a good month to travel there, especially during Easter time. The city of Palma arranges feat with parade and traditional activities. The old town is filled with spectators who came to have a glance at the parade. It’s truly magical and absolutely worth a visit!

Easter celebrations in Palma

Majorca in April - Eastern celebrations

photo by Tigrest

Where to stay

Palma is a good option if you don’t mind a city pace. It is indeed a place where people live and work, it’s not a resort town. So if you are looking for an easy and slow beach holiday, consider staying at some of the nearby resorts. The one I particularly recommend is called S’Arenal – it’s a wonderful resort off season, just before it gets crowded. The beach line is stretched for 4 km and the promenade is perfect for slow evening strolls or morning jogs. The resort has a variety of restaurants, most of the visitors are from Germany and Holland (Brits prefer the other side of Palma).




Even hostels are acceptable quality and the price is great – you can get a room for as low as 40€ per night breakfast included. Make sure to monitor prices and book early.

S’Arenal beach line

Majorca in April S'Arenal beach

Over 4 km of sandy beach with crystal clear water. Photo by Tigrest

The Beach

The beach is sandy and clean, taken care of properly. The water is rather salty and could be cold is April. So for all beach lovers – September/October is probably a better time to visit the island, as the sea temperature might still be high enough to swim. If swimming is not your thing, consider taking a yacht trip. There are countless little agencies offering day trips with lunch. These trips are very relaxing, especially if the weather is nice.

S’Arenal beach

Mallorca off season - Arenal beach

photo by Tigrest

Food

Truing out delicious food is a must in Spain, no matter where you go. Spanish people love food and know how to value it. The dinner usually starts late when friends or families gather together. You will see locals having dinners with friends. Make sure to try traditional Spanish dishes, although they might be hard to find in the resorts (in S’Arenal there are mostly German restaurants). Taking a trip to Palma might be a good idea.




Here are some recommendations with the best places to eat Tapas.

Tapas Club – Carrer del Vicari Joaquim Fuster, 6707006 Palma

La Taberna de la Bóveda – Passeig de Sagrera, 307012 Palma

Bodega Bellver – Carrer de Can Serinyà, 207003 Palma

Ca’n Joan De S’aigo – Carrer Can Sanç, 1007001 Palma de Mallorca

Palma old town

palma de mallorca old town

photo by Tigrest

Cuevas del Drach – Dragon caves

Located in Porto Christo, these caves are certainly worth a visit for everyone. Total length is 1200 meters, there is an underground lake at the bottom! They can be easily reached with local transport from Palma. The ticket includes a short movie followed by a bit of live music played from the boat on the lake. If you are lucky, you might even have a chance to sail the same boat. During summer season tours start every hour between 10am and 5pm.

Entry prices: 14,50€ /adult, 7,50€/child.

www.cuevasdeldrach.com

Dragon caves

Cuevas de Drach Mallorca

Cuevas de Drach in Porto Christo. Photo by Tigrest

Train to Soller

If train journeys are of interest, Mallorca has one particularly interesting trip to offer – a trip to a town called Soller with an over 100 year old train. The length of the journey is 27km and the price is 15€ one way. During the trip you will be passing olive plantations, orange tree gardens as well as valleys and tunnels. There will be a photo stop on the edge of one valley – prepare your camera! Beware that Soller is not a located on the sea, so if you are looking to spend a day in a fishing village, take a tram to Port de Soller. This little town is located in a very picturesque environment and the restaurants are preparing delicious seafood.

Roundtrip ticket (including tram) will only cost you 30€.

www.trendesoller.com

Train to Soller

train to soller Mallorca

Photo stop on the way. By Tigrest

On the way to Soller

orange trees mallorca

large orange tree garden. Photo by Tigrest

Moving around

Mallorca offers great public transport: buses are connecting Palma with all nearby resorts and run every 30 minutes. Direct bus connection from the Airport to S’Arenal is available. If you feel you fit enough – don’t hesitate and get a bike. Riding from S’Arenal to Palma is a wonderful experience and takes approximately 1 hour. Renting a bike will cost 10€ per day. Scooters are also popular and easy to ride, however, the price is higher – approx. 40€ per day. You don’t need a license to ride 50cc scooter but make sure you know what you are doing.

Sea trip from S’Arenal

mallorca cruise

Must see for all bird lovers. Photo by Tigrest

Sightseeing bus

Another way to experience Mallorca is to go on a Hop On/Hop Off bus ride – it’s fun, easy and inexpensive. For the fee of 17€ you will have a chance to see the town and its surroundings and get out on the points you are interested in. One of the most interesting stops is Castell de Bellver – a castle built in 14th century that was formerly used as a military prison. The price is 4€ and it is open Mondays 8.30am to 1pm, Tue-Sat from 8.30am to 8pm. Guided tours are available at extra cost.

Palma de Mallorca

palma de mallorca panorama

Panorama from the Castell de Bellver. Photo by Tigrest

Palma old town

palma malorca old town

 

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