Fuerteventura

Fuerteventura – An Island Of Unforgettable Beauty

With vacation period arriving soon, most of the people are already searching for this year’s perfect location. And, if you did not make up your mind yet, maybe you should take a moment and explore Fuerteventura – a place you will surely never forget and where you will return at least a few times more.

The Island of Fortune
Fuerteventura is one of the smallest but cosiest islands in the Canary archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean. Located near the western shores of Africa, Fuerteventura is the second largest island in the archipelago with Tenerife only being bigger. Its name literally means “Strong fortune” and its natural habitat is so beautiful and unique that it made UNESCO protect it as a Biosphere Reserve. But that does not mean you cannot explore it, on the contrary. Just take a bike and go down its wild pathways. You can even rent a camel and enjoy the view while riding on its back. This is something you really should not miss because the island has amazing steppe and desert habitats to offer. There are also incredible volcanic areas that contain various fossils, and of course, there are miles of untouched coastlines.
There should not be any troubles reaching the island because there are regular ferry routes that can transport you between the Canary Islands. There is also an airport a few miles from Fuerteventura’s capital, Puerto del Rosario.

Cultural Heritage Left By The Ancestors
The oldest people living in Fuerteventura came to this island from North Africa, and they were called Mahorero or Maho, and they used to call their home Planaria, meaning “the flat land”. After them, many other nations left their trace here, from Phoenicians, Moors, French,  Spaniards and Portuguese. In the 19th century, the whole island was even divided by a high wall whose remains can still be seen today. The wall was a boundary between two rival kingdoms, but they were both soon conquered by another, much stronger power – the French. Fuerteventura’s beauty also attracted various pirates who wanted to take its riches, and for that reason, many forts and castles had to be erected for protection.

Places You Should Not Miss

There are many things one can and should see when visiting Fuerteventura, but history lovers just have to go to these sites:

Antigua Mill Craft Centre is a place where you can learn more about the native way of living. Apart from various crafts and sculptures, there is one particular machine that is quite characteristic for the island. That would be a “Molino”, or a great windmill that was used for making special toasted cereal flour called gofio. In ancient times, there were Molinos’ everywhere and now you can see its traditional engineering elements right here in the museum.

In La Alcogida Ecomuseum you can also check out some local traditions and customs such as cattle raising, some farming activities, and also a number of different crafts like pottery, brass, weaving, basketry, palm or wood handicrafts, and so on. All of these are carried out in situ, and if you like, you can try to perform them yourself.

And should you want to see how the elite used to live, then don’t miss a chance to go to The Colonels House, which was built in the seventeenth century by the family Cabrera Bethencourt.

But the absolute favourite of all tourists is the fabulous Seasalt Museum where you can actually see the complete salt production process. You will surely be amazed once you hear the incredible history of the salt as well as by the beautiful landscape that was created during the extraction process.

And if you are in the mood just to roam around then go to the historic city, and former capital of the island, Betancuria. Its plain white houses surrounded by the green gardens will splash your sights with amazingly harmonic colouring. The Cathedral of Santa Maria from the 17th century is a true masterpiece of the colonial architecture, so it is not a surprise that every islander will proudly talk about it whenever they get a chance.

Where To Stay During Your Vacation in Fuerteventura

Just like any other touristic place, Fuerteventura disposes of a great number of hotels, hostels, B&Bs to book as well as private apartments to rent during your visit. The island offers some of the most beautiful hotels that will surely make your stay a royal- like. Five- star hotels overlooking the Atlantic ocean undoubtedly make you wish to stay here forever. Every luxurious hotel in Fuerteventura provides you with all inclusive service, gyms, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, roof terraces, saunas and many other contents that would surely surprise you. For that reason, visitors sometimes have doubts as to whether to book one hotel or the other, since all of them literally compete to make your wishes come true.

Should you decide for a four or three- star hotel, you will also be more than surprised because hotel managers in Fuerteventura give their best to provide you everything you need, and all that for a decent price. Many of the three and four- star hotels have the same amenities as five- star hotels, and they include private beaches, nice restaurants, and excellent service. Hence, it is entirely up to you and your budget when it comes to the kind of a hotel you will choose during your residence.

However, if you are fond of private accommodation, you are welcome to search the Internet and find fabulous apartments you can rent, and thus, feel like at home, but at the same time enjoying the beauties of the magnificent island of Fuerteventura. Many visitors choose the apartments close to the beaches so that all they need to do is to walk down the stairs and head right to the beach.

Many tourists that have already visited Fuerteventura state that among the best hotels on the island is the popular Atlantis Bahia Real Grand Hotel. It has everything one can wish for, from a breathtaking private beach to an impressive spa and the best restaurants. Therefore, if your pockets are deep, you should definitely take it into consideration.

One of the famous four- star hotels is Atlantis Dunapark. The hotel has great offers, and one can book a double room for an incredible amount of $40 per night. Atlantis Dunapark is an appealing hotel with an excellent location, near the harbour.

In addition, if you favour the nature and its beauties, perhaps it would be a good solution to book a hotel that was built in the nature reserve (before planning regulations changed). Its name is famous to many tourists, Hotel Riu Palace Tres Islas. You could not imagine the views from the windows of this hotel. All the visitors are undoubtedly amazed by the breathtaking views across the dunes, so don’t miss the chance to be one of them.

Cuisine in Fuerteventura Will Take Your Breath Away

Travelling to Fuerteventura inevitably means trying something new, appealing and, of course, tasty. However, having decided to visit this amazing island, you are most certainly prepared to try fish, vegetables and fruits. But, you would not expect the island to offer you the best local cheese you ever tasted, addictive sauces, goat stews, and goat milk liquor.

For instance, every restaurant in Fuerteventura can treat you with local cheese, so- called, Queso Majorero. It is made of a very healthy goat milk, olive oil, paprika, and a mix of corn meal. Do not try to avoid this delicious gourmet wonder, because you would really be sorry for your decision.

However, if you are a fan of sauces, make sure you feel the pleasant taste of mojo picon while in Fuerteventura. Locals serve it with almost all dishes on the island, so it will be practically impossible not to try it. It contains only healthy ingredients including olive oil, dried paprika, garlic and a bit of vinegar.

But perhaps the best speciality on the island is goat meat. The locals have been raising goats for centuries here, and their meat is now made into a tasty recipe, the one no tourist can resist. Some of the tourists state that they would come back to the island just to eat the excellent goat meat dish.

And if you like liquors, don’t miss the chance to taste the liquor made of goat milk. You will be shocked to feel the incredible taste of this drink.

Choose The Most Interesting Activity While In Fuerteventura

If you are one of those active tourists who yearn to wander around and get familiarised with the environment, as well as with the activities available on the island, then feel free to choose among the numerous exciting activities offered on Fuerteventura.

You may start with pirates adventure. Climb aboard to the Pedra Santana ship, where you can enjoy playing treasure hunts, pirate games, and lunch and swimming are also included.

If you visit the island during the famous carnival, the fun is guaranteed for you. The whole island has a tradition to mark the carnival in a way, so some cities organise parades, live music and costume competitions. Hence, if you are a social type of a person, make sure you come to the carnival ready for competing, meeting extraordinary people and hanging out with newly met people.

Of course, Fuerteventura offers you other activities like windsurfing, visiting Oasis Park where you can see the rarest bird species, discovering the island’s tradition and visiting extraordinary windmills. Fuerteventura is indeed an inexhaustible source of interesting things to see and activities to do. Therefore, do not miss the opportunity to visit this great island.


Barcelona Guide

Barcelona

I Arrived in Barcelona, Spain by plane from the U.K which was a short 1 hour and 55 minute flight and I spent the next 3 days with great company and having my best city break.

Barcelona is very famous for its un-build “la Sagrada Família”, a large Roman Catholic church which has taken over 130 years to build to its current glory and is suspected to be finished in 2028. And of course, it’s great football club!.

Barcelona’s city is full of big architectural buildings, sculptures and small pretty beaches.

Hotels are a very reasonable price in Barcelona as was everything else in Barcelona.

Barcelona is a city that has a lot to offer from exciting museums to great nightlife as well as streets packed full of tapas bars to stunning beaches and harbour scenes.

The food is a very good price, you should expect to find lots of fresh fish, paella and pasta dishes as well as plenty of tapas.

Barcelona certainly has enough to keep you entertained for a few of days and more if you include some beach time.

Barcelona beach

I found Barcelona had plenty to offer and this really has to be one of my favourite city’s that I have visited.

Barcelona is not just “the best of both worlds” as the saying goes, but the best of at least five, It has a great beach scene to relax and catch the sun life, it has a great city full of architectural buildings to explore, as well a romantic scene to be enjoyed with a loved one whilst tucking into some tapas.

It also has the football scene as well as the famous Montjuïc circuit for any F1 lovers and so much more, so as you can see this really is a city that is “the best of all words”

I loved the fact that I could be in the city viewing an incredible building and then 10 steps later I found myself relaxing on the beach.

This could be the reason I found this to be my best city or it could be because it’s the first city that I have had fantastic company that I got to share every moment with, either way, I owe this incredible time not just to Barcelona but also to the best company Emily, that shared my excitement in exploring a great city.

Getting from  airport to city centre Barcelona

Barcelona Airport is approximately 15 km from the city centre.

The easiest way from Barcelona airport to Barcelona city centre is to take a free bus to terminal 2 and catch the RENFE train which takes 25 minutes and leaves every 30 minutes and a single ticket cost 4.10 euros (£3.20).

Metro L9 also runs from both terminals into the city, but to get to the city centre you would be required to change lines depending on your final destination and a single ticket costs 4.50 euros (£3.50).

Aerobus just outside each terminal can take you from Barcelona airport to Barcelona city centre in around 30 minutes for 6 euros (£4.70) (single) and 11 euros (£8.70) (return).

A taxi will take your from Barcelona airport to the city centre for around 30 euros (£24) and will take around 30 minutes.

Travelling Around Barcelona

For travel within the city, I would suggest to just walk. However, there are trams, buses and metro lines.

You can buy tickets from ticket machines, some supermarkets and tourist information points.

A single ticket cost’s 5 euros (£4)

A 3- day ticket cost’s 20 euros (£16)

A 4- day ticket cost’s 26 euros (£20)

A 5- day ticket cost 32 euros (£25)

Travel is free with the Barcelona card as below.

Click the Logo for the best company to use.

It is as simple as booking online, printing your voucher and then exchanging it at the airport information point.

Spain’s, Barcelona Card

A Barcelona Card gives you free travel on all pubic transport, Free admission to 23 different attractions, discounts to museums, culture venues, leisure attractions, night- time venues, entertainment, shops, restaurants and other services.

3- day: 40.50 euros (£32)

4- day: 49.50 euros (£39)

5- day: 54 euros (£43)

If you’re in Barcelona for a few days I really would recommend getting the Barcelona card as each attraction itself can cost around 10 euros (£8), around 4 attractions at a discounted price and you’ve saved.

For nightlife in Barcelona

Barcelona has great nightlife with good bar crawls, There is nightlife in the centre of Barcelona as well as down by the harbour.

Accommodation, Eating and Drinking in Barcelona, Spain

Hotels and hostels budget for every price range with:

Hostel’s in the centre of Barcelona can be found for around 15 euros (£12) per person.

3- star hotels with 2 sharing a double room with breakfast can be found from around 50 euros (£40).

4- star hotels with 2 sharing a double room with breakfast and spa facilities can be found for around 80 euros (£63).

Or

If you’d rather, you could find a 5- star hotel for 482 euros (£380).
Restaurants are all over Barcelona from the harbour, beach to the centre of the city and are not too expensive.

If you were looking for a 3- course meal in a mid- range restaurant you could expect to pay 26 euros (£20) and a beer for 3 euros (£2.50).

If you were looking for a single course meal in an inexpensive restaurant you could expect to pay 10 euros (£8).

Museums worth a visit in Barcelona

A lot of museums are free or discounted with the Barcelona card, so if you plan to see a lot of museums and sights it’s worth getting the card

The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, abbreviated as MNAC, is the national museum of Catalan visual art located in Barcelona.

The Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art is situated in the Plaça dels Àngels, in El Raval, Ciutat Vella.

The Joan Antoni Samaranch Olympic and Sports Museum opened in 2007 at the Olympic Ring in Barcelona.

CaixaForum Barcelona is an art gallery in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It is sponsored by Barcelona bank “la Caixa”, and opened in 2002 in a former factory. CaixaForum is located in the Montjuïc area, on Avinguda de Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia.

Things to do and must see in Barcelona

So many bikes to hire, but a must is “Steel Donkey Bike Tours”

The Columbus Monument is a 60 m tall monument to Christopher Columbus at the lower end of La Rambla, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It was constructed for the Exposición Universal de Barcelona in honour to Columbus first voyage to the Americas. (Make sure you go up)

The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, designed by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí.

Montjuïc Castle is an old military fortress, with roots dating back from 1640, currently serving as a Barcelona municipal facility, built on top of Montjuïc hill in Barcelona.

Free things to do Whilst in Barcelona, Spain

The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc is a fountain located at the head of Avinguda Maria Cristina in the Montjuïc neighbourhood of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The fountain really is a magical experince at night but check times online.

Take a stroll in Montjuïc park hills.

The Arc de Triomf or Arco de Triunfo in Spain is an arch in the manner of a memorial or triumphal arch in Barcelona. It was built as the main access gate for the 1888 Barcelona World Fair by architect Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas.

The Torre Agbar is a 38- story skyscraper / tower located between Avinguda Diagonal and Carrer Badajoz, near Plaça de Les Glòries Catalanes, which marks the gateway to the new technological district of Barcelona.de Les Glòries Catalanes, which marks the gateway to the new technological district of Barcelona.

Enjoy the day at the beach.

Also plenty of churches and cathedrals to pop in, however, a few have an admission fee.


Barcelona Steel Donkey Bike Tours

Barcelona Steel Donkey Bike Tours

Recently, during mу tоur of Bаrсеlоnа thе capital of Catalonia, I took a fоur hоur bike tоur оf Bаrсеlоnа аttrасtiоnѕ with “Steel Donkey Bike Tours”, аlоngѕidе ѕеvеn оthеr раrtiсiраntѕ “Emily, Thrее Amеriсаnѕ, a Gеrmаn girl and a уоung British couple”. Thе tоur began with a brief intrоduсtiоn tо thе hiѕtоrу of Barcelona, “hоw it wаѕ fоundеd bу the Phоеniсiаnѕ аnd Cаrthаginiаnѕ, thе оriginаl nаmе оf the city whiсh wаѕ Bаrсinо, nаmеd after the Cаrthаginiаn rulеr Hаmilсаr Bаrса” by аn Engliѕh ѕреаking tоur guidе, Edu.
Hе mаdе us realise it’s аlwауѕ imроrtаnt tо lеаrn аbоut thе lосаl сulturе when travelling, and enjoy some of Barcelona’s history and how past times used to be, thаt iѕ whу I loved our tоur guide, Edu.

Thе сусling tоur wаѕ ѕuitаblе for all ages аnd it is not the lеаѕt bit ѕtrеnuоuѕ. We rоdе at a rеlаxеd расе with no hills tо соnԛuеr аnd ѕtорѕ were mаdе аt several роints оf intеrеѕt tо take рhоtоѕ аnd hеаr thе fаѕсinаting hiѕtоrу and ѕtоriеѕ of Barcelona frоm our excellent tour guide whо wаѕ very infоrmаtivе, humоrоuѕ аnd knоwlеdgеаblе. Wе wеrе given a good dау оut cycling thrоugh thе streets of Bаrсеlоnа. Some оf thе ѕights during thе bikе tоur inсludеd Lа Cаthеdrаl, “ саthеdrаl оf thе Hоlу Crоѕѕ аnd Sаint Eulаliа also known аѕ Bаrсеlоnа Cаthеdrаl whiсh iѕ the Gоthiс саthеdrаl аnd ѕеаt оf the Arсhbiѕhор оf Barcelona” аlѕо thе сеntrаl post оffiсе in Bаrсеlоnа is lосаtеd оn “Plаçа d’Antоni Lóреz” аt the bоttоm оf thе ѕtrееt “Viа Lаiеtаnа” nеаr Bаrсеlоnеtа and thе Bаrсеlоnа Pоrt Vell mаrinа аrеа. I rеаlisеd thеrе is nо better way tо gain an insight and lеаrn thе hiѕtоrу of Barcelona thаn tо раrtiсiраtе in a bikе tour whеrе I hаd fun, ѕосiаlisеd аnd hаd ѕоmе exercise, while еntеrtаinеd bу Edu. It was an enjoyable and infоrmаtivе оutdооr еxреriеnсе that gаvе me chance tо mееt оthеr tоuriѕts.

Thе bike tоur wаѕ a grеаt wау tо ѕее Bаrсеlоnа, perhaps the best. It has numеrоuѕ аdvаntаgеѕ over traditional wаlking tоurѕ. The mоѕt оbviоuѕ wаѕ thаt bеing оn a biсусlе enabled mе to see muсh more оf the сitу and enjoy a little exercise, whiсh gave the сhаnсе to burn оff a few саlоriеѕ from my fulfilling Paella the night before. Thе сhаnсе tо rattle аrоund the narrow streets of Bаrсеlоnа оn twо whееlѕ and learn how these alleyways were once roamed by horse and cart аlѕо mаdе mе fееl a little mоrе indереndеnt than thоѕе who’ve hорреd оn thе nеаrеѕt tourist buѕ (and dаrе I say “itѕ сооl”).

Aѕ I wаѕ оn thе Steel Dоnkеу Bike Tour, оur guidе Edu led us tо a local food market for lunch, if уоu lооkеd аt thе ѕtаnds, you рrоbаblу wоuldnt even think to stop there.  However, tо mу ѕurрriѕе, Edu tоld uѕ thаt to order lunch we could buy freshly baked bread from one stand and then walk around the food market and order freshly sliced meats and cheeses from other stands and enjoy a freshly chosen sandwich, what a great way to enjoy lunch!.

My experience with Stееl Dоnkеу Bike Tours was оnе I thоrоughlу enjoyed. It’ѕ аlѕо a tоur thаt hеlреd mе tо еxреriеnсе Bаrсеlоnа even more likе a lосаl, that is whу I will recommend it to аnуоnе viѕiting Barcelona. For me this bike tour beats any sightseeing bus or walking tour and is the perfect way of exploring a few regions in Barcelona whilst enjoying exercise as well as fresh air, at least now I hаvе аnоthеr rеаѕоn to gо back to Barcelona!.