Gibraltar

The Best Things to Do in Gibraltar. 

Nestled at the southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula, Gibraltar is a gem that offers a captivating blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. This tiny British Overseas Territory is renowned for its iconic Rock of Gibraltar. And stunning landscapes, and unique experiences. If you’re planning a visit, here are the best things to do in Gibraltar that will leave you mesmerized and yearning for more.

Best things to do in Gibraltar. 

Here’s what you need to do when you take a trip to Gibraltar. 

1. Conquer the Rock: 

Embark on an exhilarating journey to the top of the Rock of Gibraltar. Take a cable car ride to the summit and be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea. The Spanish coast, and the vibrant city below. Don’t forget to meet the resident Barbary macaques, Europe’s only wild monkeys, who call the Rock their home.

2. Stroll through Main Street: 

Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of Main Street, Gibraltar’s bustling shopping district. Indulge in retail therapy as you browse through a myriad of shops offering duty-free goods.

Such as jewelry, clothes, and souvenirs. Stop by the charming cafés and restaurants along the way to savor local delicacies and soak up the vibrant street ambiance.

3. Visit the Great Siege Tunnels: 

Delve into Gibraltar’s military history by exploring the Great Siege Tunnels. These remarkable tunnels were constructed during the 18th century and played a crucial role in defending the Rock. Marvel at the ingenuity of the engineers as you wander through the labyrinth of tunnels, admiring the cannons and exhibits that bring the past to life.

4. Discover St. Michael’s Cave: 

Prepare to be enchanted by the ethereal beauty of St. Michael’s Cave. Step into a world of stunning stalactite and stalagmite formations, illuminated by mesmerizing lights. The cave’s immense chambers have been used for various events and concerts, adding a touch of magic to this natural wonder.

5. Dive into the Underwater World at Gibraltar

Dive enthusiasts can’t miss the opportunity to explore Gibraltar’s vibrant marine ecosystem. The waters surrounding the Rock are teeming with marine life, making it an ideal destination for snorkeling and scuba diving. Discover colorful coral reefs, encounter curious fish, and immerse yourself in an underwater paradise.

6. Step into the past at the Moorish Castle: 

Uncover Gibraltar’s Moorish heritage at the iconic Moorish Castle. This medieval fortress offers a captivating glimpse into the territory’s rich history. Explore the tower and battlements, and absorb the panoramic views of Gibraltar and the surrounding coastline.

7. Explore the Nature Reserves: 

Gibraltar boasts two impressive nature reserves, the Upper Rock Nature Reserve and the Europa Point Nature Reserve. Take a leisurely hike through these protected areas, surrounded by lush vegetation and diverse wildlife. Keep an eye out for migratory birds and enjoy the tranquility of nature.

8. Experience Dolphin Watching: 

Embark on an unforgettable dolphin-watching tour in the sparkling waters of the Bay of Gibraltar. Marvel at these graceful creatures as they swim alongside the boat, showcasing their playful nature. It’s an awe-inspiring experience that will create memories to last a lifetime.

9. Taste the Culinary Delights: 

Gibraltar’s multiculturalism is reflected in its vibrant food scene. Sample a fusion of British, Mediterranean, and Moroccan flavors as you dine at local restaurants. From fresh seafood delicacies to hearty pub fare, Gibraltar offers a delectable array of culinary delights to satisfy every palate.

10. Enjoy the Beaches: 

Bask in the Mediterranean sun and unwind on Gibraltar’s beautiful beaches. Whether it’s the popular Eastern Beach or the secluded Catalan Bay, the golden sands and crystal-clear waters provide the perfect backdrop for relaxation and rejuvenation.

How to plan your trip to Gibraltar?

Gibraltar, with its rich history, stunning landscapes, and unique experiences, is a destination that should be on every traveler’s list. To ensure you make the most of your visit, here’s a comprehensive guide to help you plan your perfect trip to Gibraltar.

1. Determine the Best Time to Visit: 

Gibraltar enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and hot summers. The best time to visit is during spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the temperatures are pleasant, and the tourist crowds are smaller. Summers can be quite hot, so if you prefer milder weather, plan your trip accordingly.

2. Entry Requirements: 

As a British Overseas Territory, Gibraltar has specific entry requirements. Ensure you have a valid passport and check visa requirements based on your nationality. Non-EU citizens may need a Schengen visa if they plan to visit Spain during their trip. It’s always advisable to check with the relevant authorities well in advance.

3. Getting There: 

Gibraltar is well-connected by air, land, and sea. The Gibraltar International Airport receives direct flights from several UK cities, and it’s also possible to fly into Malaga Airport in Spain and take a transfer to Gibraltar. Alternatively, you can travel by car from Spain or take a ferry from Algeciras or Tangier in Morocco.

4. Accommodation: 

Gibraltar offers a range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses. Stay in the heart of the action near Main Street or choose a hotel with stunning sea views. It’s recommended to book your accommodations in advance, especially during peak travel seasons.

5. Duration of Stay: 

Depending on your interests, plan to spend at least two to three days in Gibraltar to experience the highlights. This will give you ample time to explore the Rock, visit the main attractions, and immerse yourself in the local culture. If you have more time, consider extending your stay to fully appreciate the natural beauty and take day trips to nearby destinations.

6. Must-See Attractions: 

The Rock of Gibraltar is undoubtedly the star attraction. Set aside a day to explore the various sites within the Upper Rock Nature Reserve, including the Great Siege Tunnels, St. Michael’s Cave, and the Ape’s Den, where you can encounter the Barbary macaques. Don’t miss Main Street for shopping, the Moorish Castle, and Europa Point for stunning views.

7. Local Transportation: 

Gibraltar is a compact territory, making it easy to explore on foot. However, if you prefer, there are public buses and taxis available for transportation within the city. The cable car is a convenient option to reach the top of the Rock, and rental cars are available if you plan to explore beyond Gibraltar’s borders.

8. Currency and Language: 

The currency in Gibraltar is the Gibraltar Pound (GIP), but British Pounds (GBP) are widely accepted. English is the official language, making communication easy for English-speaking travelers.

9. Safety and Security: 

Gibraltar is considered a safe destination for travelers. However, as with any trip, it’s important to exercise caution and follow general safety guidelines. Take care of your belongings and be mindful of your surroundings, especially in crowded tourist areas.

10. Local Cuisine: 

Gibraltar’s culinary scene reflects its diverse heritage. Don’t miss trying traditional dishes such as “Calentita” (a chickpea flour pancake) and “Rosto” (a local beef stew). Indulge in fresh seafood, sample tapas at local restaurants, and enjoy the fusion of Mediterranean and British flavors.

11. Day Trips: 

Gibraltar’s strategic location makes it an excellent base for day trips to neighboring destinations. Consider visiting nearby towns and cities in Spain, such as Marbella. But you can also stroll around the city and enjoy some free time.

Takeaway

If you’re planning to go to Gibraltar, this guide will save you from getting bored to death there. For more such blogs, visit our website.

beach

How to pack for a beach vacation in the Mediterranean.

Summer is right around the corner, and what better way to spend it than by packing your bags and heading out to the stunning Mediterranean coast and enjoy the beach? With its warm, crystal-clear waters, beautiful beaches, and rich culture, the Mediterranean has long been a favorite destination for vacationers around the world.

But with so many beaches to choose from and different activities to enjoy, packing for a beach vacation in the Mediterranean can be daunting. Fear not, as this interactive post will guide you through the essentials you need to pack for a memorable beach vacation.

Must do for a beach getaway.

In case you are planning to relax on a beach, here’s what you need to do – to be prepared.


1. Preparing for the heat – pack light, breathable clothes and swimwear for the beach

It’s time to get ready for the heat. One of the most important things to remember when packing is light, breathable clothes; pack accordingly so you don’t overheat in the sun. If you’re planning a trip to the beach, make sure to bring your swimwear and a few towels too. Beaches can get very hot on sunny days. This is why, you need to make sure to always keep hydrated and take regular breaks in the shade. Take umbrellas and wind breaks to provide shade in the absence of trees or other shelter. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy every bit of warmth!

2. Sunscreen is a must! Stock up on sun protection to keep your skin safe.

Summertime is definitely the time to stock up on sun protection. And, sunscreen is a must, so grab your favorite brand of sunblock and get ready for some summer fun in the sun. Chances are you want to look and feel your best while still protecting yourself from potentially dangerous rays.

By ensuring you intake the right amount of sunscreen before any outdoor activities, you’ll be able to enjoy the season without worrying about skin damage. Don’t forget to re-apply every few hours for maximum sun protection. Because that’s how to truly enjoy healthy and beautiful summer skin! Go for ocean safe sunscreen if you can.

3. Don’t forget to bring a beach towel and sandals or flip-flops.

When heading to the beach, it is crucial to remember two key items: a beach towel and some sandals or flip-flops. Not only will your feet thank you for the extra layer of cushioning that sandals provide, but they are also much more comfortable than walking on hot sand barefoot.

Plus, having a nice big towel to sit on keeps you out of the sand, and it’s perfect when taking a dip in the ocean – great protection from all the weird creatures living there. Also don’t forget your essentials and enjoy the beach however, you’d like.

4. Pack a beach bag with snacks and water – they will come in handy while you’re out exploring.

Pack a beach bag with snacks and water for a day of exploration at the beach. With infinite possibilities for exploration and summer vibes, it’s great to have some quick and tasty snacks in your beach bag and water that will stay cold throughout your journey.

Snacks like dried fruit, granola bars, or trail mix have long shelf lives, are easy to transport. And they give you the energy you need to explore the nooks and crannies of the shoreline. Staying hydrated helps with mental clarity when seeking out hidden coves – so don’t forget to pour yourself a refreshing glass after finding one!

5. An umbrella might be a good idea if you plan to spend time away from the beach during the day.

If you’re visiting a beach during the summer, an umbrella comes in handy. Even if it’s cloudy when you first arrive in the morning. That doesn’t mean the sun won’t appear later. It always pays to be prepared, and carrying around an umbrella. regardless of whether you end up using it or not.

It is because an umbrella can help keep your plans from being disrupted by a sudden downpour. It’s also great to have somewhere to retreat as soon as the sun’s no longer bearable, so if you’re going to explore nearby attractions away from the beach, bringing along such a necessary item can be a total lifesaver!

6. Take local currency change/coins

Many of the bars on beaches don’t accept debit or credit card payments. For that quick or impromptu refreshment, make sure you take local change with you for the day. Snacks and drinks may be cheaper from the local beach huts. But you will need the cash to pay for them. Remember alcohol dehydrates, so for every alcoholic drink – take a glass of water too!

7. Beachfront accommodation

Beachfront accommodation is the holy grail of Med travel! Research your intended area and look for the best access to the beach from you hotel or apartment. We found many discounted properties via the travel club we use – many at up to 80% off retail prices and some even for free with membership. For more information visit: http://www.thetravelclub.info

Takeaway

Summer is an amazing season to get out and explore our stunning beaches. Taking the time to prepare for the heat from the beginning can make your beach days even more memorable. Pack light, breathable clothing and swimwear. Don’t forget about sun protection, such as sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. Bring a beach towel and some sandals or flip-flops, prepare a beach bag full of snacks and water, and consider taking an umbrella for those days of activities away from the beach.

Enjoy your sunny adventures! For more travel tips like this, read our blogs to make the most of your summer excursions. Let’s take advantage of the beautiful sunshine while we can!

budget travel

How to travel on a tight budget?

Are you ready for a thrilling adventure but find yourself caught between wanderlust and a limited budget? Fear not, intrepid traveler! We’re here to reveal the secrets of shortlisting the ultimate city for your dream tour—one that promises an unforgettable experience without breaking the bank. Get ready to embark on a journey that will satisfy your wanderlust and keep your wallet happy!

Here’s how to travel on a budget.

The perfect recipe for when you want to travel on a budget.

Define Your Priorities

Every traveler has unique preferences and interests. Are you captivated by historical tales, tantalized by local cuisine, or enchanted by the beauty of nature? Take a moment to reflect on what truly sparks your curiosity and ignites your passion for exploration. By identifying your priorities, you’ll be able to narrow down the search and focus on cities that offer the experiences you crave the most.

Research Like a Pro

In this digital age, information is at our fingertips, waiting to be discovered. Dive into the world of travel blogs, online forums, and websites dedicated to budget-friendly adventures. Unearth cities that offer an abundance of free or affordable attractions. Seek out hidden gems with discounted entry fees to museums, sprawling public parks begging to be explored, and bustling street markets offering tantalizing delights for a fraction of the price.

Follow the Path Less Traveled

While famous tourist destinations have their allure, they often come with a hefty price tag. Dare to venture off the beaten path and discover lesser-known cities that hide captivating secrets. These hidden gems not only offer a chance to save money but also provide a more intimate and authentic experience. Immerse yourself in the local culture, forge connections with friendly locals, and witness the untold stories that make each city unique.

Crunch the Numbers

Creating a realistic budget is essential to ensure your adventure stays within your financial limits. Consider the costs of transportation, accommodation, meals, and activities. Look for cities that boast a lower cost of living and a favorable exchange rate if you’re traveling abroad. Be flexible with your travel dates, as off-peak seasons often come with more affordable flights and accommodations. With careful planning, you can explore the world without burning a hole in your pocket.

Seek Out Travel Hacks

The world of travel is a treasure trove of ingenious tips and tricks to help you stretch your budget even further. Unveil the secrets of house-sitting or Couchsurfing, where free accommodation awaits you.

Moving on, you need to embrace the local way of getting around, opting for public transportation instead of expensive taxis or rental cars. Savor the flavors of the city at affordable street food stalls and neighborhood eateries. And don’t forget the art of haggling at local markets. This is where you can snag incredible deals on souvenirs while engaging in a lively cultural exchange.

How to save money for travel

Traveling the world may seem like a distant dream when you’re pinching pennies. However, there is np need to fear. In this article, we will unveil the secrets to saving money and turning your wanderlust into a reality. Get ready to embark on a budget-conscious adventure that will not only fuel your passion for exploration. But also empower you to make the most of your hard-earned cash.

Define Your Travel Goals


Start by setting clear travel goals. Determine the destinations you want to visit, the duration of your trip, and the experiences you crave. Having a specific goal in mind will help you create a targeted savings plan and stay motivated throughout the process.

Create a Travel Budget


Craft a detailed travel budget outlining all your potential expenses. This can include accommodation, transportation, meals, activities, and miscellaneous costs. Research thoroughly to get accurate estimates and be realistic about your spending habits.

Cut Unnecessary Expenses


Trimming unnecessary expenses from your daily life is the key to saving more for travel. Evaluate your monthly expenses and identify areas where you can cut back. Consider brewing your own coffee instead of buying it daily, reducing dining out, canceling unused subscriptions, or downgrading your cable package. Redirect these savings directly into your travel fund.

Automate Your Savings


Make saving a priority by automating your savings. Set up a separate travel savings account and schedule automatic transfers from your paycheck or checking account. Treat it as a non-negotiable bill that you must pay each month. Watching your travel fund grow will serve as a powerful motivator.

Embrace Frugal Living


Embracing a frugal lifestyle doesn’t mean sacrificing happiness; it means making mindful choices. Look for free or low-cost entertainment options, and shop for discounts and deals. And embrace DIY projects. Cook at home instead of eating out, explore local parks, and borrow books from the library. Small changes can lead to significant savings.

Optimize Your Travel Expenses


When it comes to booking flights and accommodations, be flexible with your travel dates and destinations. Use price comparison websites, and sign up for airline newsletters to catch promotions. And consider alternative accommodations like hostels, homestays, or vacation rentals. Research local transportation options and explore public transit or walkable areas to save on transportation costs.

Earn Extra Income


Boost your travel fund by exploring additional income streams. Consider freelancing, taking up a part-time job, selling unwanted items, or monetizing your skills online. Channel the extra income directly into your travel savings, and watch your dreams inch closer.

Travel Off-Season


Traveling during off-peak seasons not only saves you money but also allows you to experience destinations without crowds. Flight and accommodation prices tend to be lower, and you can often negotiate better deals. Plus, you’ll have the added benefit of a more authentic and immersive travel experience.

Takeaway

It all boils down to this – let your dreams take flight without worrying about financial limitations. By defining your priorities, conducting thorough research, exploring the road less traveled, crunching the numbers, and embracing travel hacks, you can unlock a world of affordable adventure. So pack your bags, open your heart to new experiences, and get ready to embark on a journey that will leave you with memories to cherish, all while keeping your budget intact. The world is waiting—go forth and conquer it, one thrifty step at a time!

European cities.

Best European Cities to Visit in December

December is a magical time in Europe, with the cities decked out in twinkling lights, Christmas markets bustling with activity, and the crisp winter air adding to the festive atmosphere. Whether you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the holiday season or immerse yourself in the festive cheer, there are plenty of European cities to visit in December that offers something for everyone.

Cities that are a must to visit in December.

Here are the cities that you NEED to add to your travel list.

Vienna, Austria: A Festive Wonderland for your European holiday.

Vienna is a city that truly comes alive during the holiday season. With dozens of Christmas markets scattered throughout the city, you can sip on hot chocolate and mulled wine, sample traditional Austrian treats, and pick up unique handmade gifts for your loved ones. Don’t miss the impressive ice skating rink at the Vienna City Hall, which is transformed into a winter wonderland during the holidays. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a BIG budget – it all boils down to how you plan your travel. For example, if you are going to Vienna on a weekend getaway. Try to go on Saturday morning so you can save up on the hotel rent for the night.

And similarly, you will come back on Sunday evening. So, you will be able to see the city, grab some food and still save some money.

Copenhagen, Denmark: Cozy and Charming

Next up is Copenhagen, a city that is known for its cozy, hygge-filled atmosphere. Stroll through the colorful streets of Nyhavn, marvel at the world-famous Tivoli Gardens, and indulge in traditional Danish pastries and hot cocoa. The highlight of the city during December is the Christmas markets, where you can find everything from handmade crafts to delicious Nordic delicacies.

Rovaniemi, Finland: Home of Santa Claus

For those who want a truly unique holiday experience, head to Rovaniemi, the official hometown of Santa Claus himself. Take a husky or reindeer ride through the snowy landscape, visit Santa’s village and post office, and watch the Northern Lights dance across the sky. And of course, no visit to Rovaniemi is complete without a visit to the Santa Claus Village.

Prague, Czech Republic: A Winter Fairytale

If you’re looking for a city with a rich history and culture, then Prague is the place to be. The city’s stunning Gothic architecture and cobblestone streets are transformed into a winter wonderland during the holidays, with the smell of gingerbread and roasted chestnuts wafting through the air. Don’t miss the famous Christmas markets in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, where you can try traditional Czech dishes and pick up handmade gifts.

Berlin, Germany: Christmas Markets Galore

Does this ring any bells? well, do we have any money heist fans here? even if you are not, berlin is going to make you a fan!

Last but certainly not least is Berlin, which boasts over 60 Christmas markets scattered throughout the city. From the famous markets at Charlottenburg Palace and Alexanderplatz to the lesser-known but equally charming markets in neighborhoods like Neukölln and Kreuzberg, there’s no shortage of festive cheer in Berlin. Don’t miss the stunning light installations at the Christmas Garden Berlin, which transforms the Berlin Botanical Garden into a winter wonderland.

Conclusion

There are plenty of European cities to visit in December that offer something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to indulge in traditional holiday treats, pick up unique gifts, or simply soak in the festive atmosphere, these cities are sure to leave you with unforgettable memories. So pack your warmest coat and head to one of these magical cities for a holiday experience like no other. Need more travel tips? Read our blogs!

beach

Spending time on the beach can make you happier and healthier.

If you’re looking for a way to relax, unwind, and improve your overall health and well-being, look no further than the beach. Whether you prefer a quiet, secluded cove or a bustling boardwalk packed with people, the beach has something for everyone. In fact, spending time on the beach can have a number of mental and physical benefits, from reducing stress and anxiety to improving your cardiovascular health.

Why beach time is good for you.

Here are just a few of the ways that spending time on the beach can benefit your mental and physical health:

1. Reduces stress and anxiety

One of the most obvious benefits of spending time on the beach is the sense of calm and relaxation it can provide. The sound of the waves, the feel of the sand between your toes, and the warm sun on your skin can all help to soothe your mind and ease your worries. Research has shown that spending time in natural environments, like the beach, can have a positive impact on our mental health, reducing stress and anxiety and improving our mood.

2. Boosts Vitamin D

Another benefit of spending time on the beach is the opportunity to soak up some much-needed Vitamin D. Sunlight is the primary source of Vitamin D, a nutrient that helps the body absorb calcium and maintain strong bones. But Vitamin D also plays a role in regulating the immune system and improving overall health. Just be sure to protect your skin with sunscreen and limit your exposure to the sun to avoid burning.

3. Provides a workout

If you’re looking to get some exercise, the beach is a great place to do it. Walking or running on the sand can provide a challenging workout for your legs and core, while swimming or surfing can work your entire body. Plus, the beautiful scenery and fresh sea air can make your workout feel less like a chore and more like a fun activity.

4. Promotes relaxation

Spending time on the beach can also promote relaxation and reduce tension in your muscles. The sound of the waves can have a hypnotic effect, lulling you into a state of calm and tranquility. And if you’re looking for an even more relaxing experience, try booking a beachside massage or yoga class.

5. Improves cardiovascular health

Finally, spending time on the beach can have a positive impact on your cardiovascular health. Swimming or wading in the water can help to improve circulation and strengthen your heart, while walking or running on the sand can provide a challenging cardio workout.

So the next time you’re feeling stressed or run-down, consider heading to the beach for some much-needed rest and relaxation. With its stunning scenery, soothing sounds, and countless health benefits, the beach truly is the ultimate destination for both mental and physical rejuvenation. Read our blogs for more information on your next beach visit.

south of france

Tips to combine the south of France and Catalonia

Stunning beaches and the luxurious lifestyle are just some things that people first notice when they visit the South of France. The area is a terrific spot to explore diverse cultures while basking in the Mediterranean sun. 

Another gem that is located by the Mediterranean Sea is the Catalonia region. And apart from the city of Barcelona – which is a must-see when visiting this region; your trip to Catalonia shouldn’t end there.

Here are the tips that you need to Visit the South of France

But how can you combine these regions in France and Spain and have a fantastic experience on a single trip? Here is the perfect point at which our tips come in handy:

Hiking to south of france

When you visit the South of France, go to the French village near the Cerbere border. There you will find regional railroad tracks, and if you hike across the border, you will find a town called Portbou. 

There are two paths that you can take, one is 45 minutes, and the other one is 1h30m. If you’d like to see some incredible seaside views, take the longer one! When you reach the top of the hill you will find yourself crossing the border with Spain. Amazing, right? The rest of the hike consists of going down the hill and arriving in the town of Portbou – which is one of the best places in the South of France.

Train

Spain has one of the best rail systems in Europe, with many routes, nice trains, and affordable fares (by European standards). There is a wide variety of services, including the fast AVE railway, city networks at the local level, and the adorable small trains that travel along Spain’s northern shore. 

There is a 1078 km train trip that takes roughly 7 hours and 48 minutes, and it connects Catalonia and France. That is perfect because you will not only visit Catalonia but also travel to the South of France in just one ride! This includes a roughly one-and-a-half-hour layover on average.

The Catalonia to France train departs from the Paseo De Gracia in Barcelona (one of the best places to see in Catalonia); and arrives at the Hôtel de Ville in Paris, France. Each week, around eight scheduled train lines drive this route. But since the timetable during weekends and holiday frequently changes, make sure to check it before departure.

Bus

We only want to travel as fast as possible if you only want to get from point A to point B. But there are other instances, like this visit to the South of France and Catalonia, where you want to receive the whole travel package-experience wise. 

This is when the bus comes into the picture as a means of transport. Bus tickets start from as low as 5 euros, which makes this type of transportation an excellent choice for travelers on a tight budget. And although you might not receive a first-class service, you will still get to visit Catalonia and France for a much lower price.  

Final Words

If you want to go to Catalonia, then you have to spare a day and visit the South of France as well! Use these tips we provided and get the most out of your trip! And if you want to read more travel content, please check some of our other blogs.

provence

How to plan your visit to Provence. 

Provence is a stunning region in the South of France, known for its delicious food, world-class wine, and summertime lavender fields. Spending 3 to 10 days touring the countryside and the Provence wine region is the best way to experience this amazing destination fully. Depending on how much time between 3 to 10 days you have spared for your trip, we have prepared a guide of things to do and places to go to make your stay memorable and very enjoyable!

A guide for when you visit the Provence.

provence

Are you going to Provence? Here’s some advice for you.

A Quick Provence Tour – 3 Days!

No matter how brief, getting a taste of the local culture is well worth it. Consider it a research trip for your upcoming endeavors, where you will have more time to spend. You should definitely spend some time in the Luberon region of Provence, a breathtaking setting of orchards, vineyards, and perched hilltop towns that date back at least 1000 years.

Visit the largest gothic palace in history, the Palais des Papes, which is listed by UNESCO and offers tours of the private apartments of the popes with their magnificent frescoes along the Rhone River. As you meander through oak forests, olive groves, fruit orchards, and gentle hills; turn east towards the Luberon villages. It is also worthwhile to visit the nearby Sénanque Abbey. It was established in 1148 by Cistercian monks and is situated downhill from Gordes.

Moving on, the Fontaine de Vaucluse, where France’s largest natural spring is located, is also close by. The medieval Lourmarin, with its winding streets, charming patio cafés, and 16th-century castle – is another village to add to your list.

If you wish to make your stay longer, here’s what you can explore:

Provence Tour – 7 days

Provence Tour – 10 days

For the best experience, set as many days as you can spare to visit the Provence region! We hope you enjoyed reading about Provence, which, as mentioned, is famous for sunny weather, tradition, wine, and colorful countryside! If you want to read more, head over to our travel blog and enjoy an 80% discount on offers!

Is A Coruña, Spain worth a visit?

If you’re looking for a new travel destination, A Coruña, in Spain worth a visit. This city is located in the northwest corner of the country, and it has a lot to offer visitors. From its stunning architecture to its delicious food, A Coruña is definitely worth exploring! So, if you’re looking for a new place to travel to, be sure to add A Coruña, Spain to your list!

Have you ever been to A Coruña, Spain? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below.

Spain worth a visit.

Is A Coruña, Spain worth a visit?

We arrived in A Coruña on 1 August 2022 after a 3 day sail from Salcombe, UK across the Bay of Biscay. We had some options for the first stop, one of which was Viveiro. After a few issues causing us to need some remedial work to our engine, we continued on to A Coruña to Marina Coruña, run by Chuny (Roberto Bermúdez de Castro Muñoz) the MD of the Coruna and Viveiro group of marinas. We cannot recommend these guys enough. Chuny and his team were ready, able and willing to assist us with our repair requirements and all other questions and queries we might have, including how best to avoid the Orcas currently residing in the Galacian waters and causing damage to yachts. The friendliness and welcoming approach of the staff at Marina Coruña was second to none!

We stayed 10 days in A Coruña and spent most evenings venturing in to the old town for dinner. There is a varied selection of restaurants (mainly seafood) in the small quaint streets. You really are spoiled for choice. Some meals with a couple of beers each (for 2) cost around 50-60 Euros, with others as low as 16-20 Euros – so take your pick, and don’t forget the ice cream shops afterwards. The are plenty of pharmacies, nicknack shops, tabacs and clothing stores. There is one main Gadis supermarket in the old town (0900-2130hrs Monday to Saturday) with a couple more further on the outskirts on the town. 10 minute taxi rides cost between 6 – 8 Euros.

Most restaurants open for food at around 1230hrs for lunch, and in the evening from 1930hrs with a siesta closure in the afternoon between 1430h/1500hrs. Our favourite was Casa del Vella – easily located – lovely staff and consistently lovely food (Address: Rúa Galera, 15, 15003 A Coruña – Phone: 881 89 53 26)

In some restaurants, we did find receiving what we had ordered a little hit and miss. You might order 2 of something as a main each, but receive just one or a flat refusal from your server to bring two on the basis that one is enough for two persons. Often when it turned up, it was a small tapas dish and clearly not sufficient for one person so you would need to order something more. That aside, almost everything we ordered was superb food with good service to match. Octopus is a local speciality – so be prepared to see this on menus prepared in various ways.

A Coruña has a relaxed, friendly vibe and warm, comfortable climate. There’s always something happening with events planned in the Maria Pitas square or the castle over-looking the harbour. While we were there we saw Texas play live for 1 hour 30 mins for free in the square. Earlier in the week various other artists including James Blunt performed.

All in all, A Coruña is, in our view, a great place to visit for a week or so. There’s plenty to do an see and if you come in the summer, the weather will undoubtedly be as warm or warmer than the UK (however, we did visit during the UK heatwave so London was 10 degrees hotter!)

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The Amazing Hamble Adventure Begins. Let’s Go!

We’re a bit late, I know. We were due to set off on our ‘big adventure’ for hamble in May 2021, but with Lockdown and various other things which sprung a surprise, here we are a year late but underway.

The extra time has given up the opportunity to carry out quite a few upgrades to the boat (a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 52.2 sailing yacht- 1999 Bruce Farr design), vinyl wrapping the whole interior in a much lighter, brighter colour wood finish, complete re-wiring, install a new radar, various major electrical system upgrades, a new oven, new fridges, new spray-hood, upgraded chart-plotter, a new anchor and chain, mounting a smart-monitor on the bulk head, complete a generator overhaul – and so the list goes on. All in all, it has been time well spent.

The story would not be complete without letting you know that we did go through a period earlier this year (April 2022) of wanting to sell the boat. This was pre-many of these upgrades and with a view to swapping out the boat for a motorhome.

We fell in love with the Hymer 890 – a brand new, very well kitted-out long-distance motorhome. With the artic pack and all available system upgrades we planned to drive our way around Europe – chasing the sun for the summer and spending the winter months up a mountain somewhere, skiing. Alas, that was not to be. We were given (what I now know to be) well intended but false hope of selling our boat “very quickly” and “at the full asking price”.

The market for used both boats and motorhomes was extremely buoyant during the end of 2021 and early 2022 following lockdown and the era of the staycation. However, when it came to selling ours (after we had virtually ordered the new Hymer), we came to learn, as did others we spoke to, that the market has flattened off with the return of new boats to the market brought back too much choice. What was a sellers market turned in to a series of ups-and-downs and disappointment for us.

That said, during the last potential purchaser viewing of our boat, we both found ourselves feeling rather down about the likelihood of an offer being made and the ultimate decision to sell our boat, ‘Great Escape’. We felt, although the benefits of a motorhome were many (and we may revisit this option again in the future), we would find ourselves parked up in a motorhome along a sunny European coastline staring at the boats and wishing we were on one of them. Suffice to say, Great Escape did not sell – so we happily decided that the ‘right thing’ for us had shown itself. We were keeping her – and we started to make final plans do what we had intended in the first place.

First stop – Salcombe.

It’s fair to say, we wouldn’t be quite were we are without someone very special to both of us. During the first lockdown we go to know a man working at the marina for one of the resident charter companies – Andy. Andy became a very good friend and will always remain so. He sailed Great Escape with us from Hamble to Chatham in 2020. After just over a year in Chatham, we moved her back to Hamble for her annual lift-out and the above upgrades. It’s been so good to have Andy’s company again for a further 9 months. Had we not gone through the process of attempting to sell Great Escape (delaying our departure from May 2022 to July 2022), Andy would be with us for the first part of our journey – Hamble – Falmouth – A’Coruna (if not more).

We left Hamble at around 1145hrs, Wednesday 28 July 2022. Our send off was Andy speeding out to us as we entered the main Solent channel out of the Hamble River accompanied by Lee, Steph, Brad and fog-horn! It was sad to see him go back as we ploughed on through the waves – but he is most likely to the first to come join us for another adventure on Great Escape down in the Med.

There’s not much to tell you about long passages sailing. There are various types and sizes of waves, variable states of tide and wind, and often a requirement to motor instead of just sail as a result. The darkness during the overnight sectors can be strange and a little daunting until day-break. We laid cushions on the cockpit floor and took turns getting some rest, but we found, in the end, when the sea state isn’t relatively calm, it can be very difficult to get comfortable without sliding across the floor. Neither of us got much sleep during the first 14 hours – more like a doze here and there. Suffice to say, when we arrived in Salcombe, we both needed a good sleep.

We arrived in Salcombe at around 0900hrs, Thursday 29 July 2022. We found a peaceful and calm anchorage, dropped the hook and set about taking a shower, making breakfast and getting ready for a sleep. We were adjacent to a quiet beach at Sunny Cove with only 2 other yachts anchored. Of course, being the summer in the UK, it wasn’t long before the ribs started arriving, the beach filled up and other boats attempting to anchor (some being asked to move on as too close to others). Although it was busy by midday, it was still quite quiet so we had a lovely afternoon just relaxing and doing little else. We were in bed by 1900hrs for a good sleep ahead of our departure for A’Coruna, crossing the English Channel and the Bay of Biscay.