Vacation on Tenerife in January

Vacation on Tenerife in January

Vacation on Tenerife in January!

A volcano, black beaches and great canyons. And all this on one island? Our first holiday destination in 2018 should take us back to the Canary Islands. After Gran Canaria last April and Fuerteventura three years ago, Tenerife was our goal in January! Due to the winter in Germany we have been very excited about our vacation on Tenerife in January. We were curious about the island, which is said to be island of eternal spring. This time we went directly from Bremen to Tenerife with a low-cost airline. After almost 5 hours in a felt sardine box we were also happy when we could get off at Reina Sofía airport in the south of Tenerife. The welcome was very sunny and promised a great start to a wonderful vacation on Tenerife. If you are planning a vacation on Tenerife in January, you should consider whether you would like to stay in the south or north of the island. We have experienced both parts and will tell you about it.

Highlights on Tenerife

  • Visit of the volcano Teide 
  • Hike through the Masca canyon
  • Sunbathing on the black beach of Puerto de la Cruz
  • Visit of a very large aquapark “Siam-Park” and the zoo “Loro-Parque”.

Holidays in the north or south of Tenerife?

Our hotel was in the north of the island in the city of Puerto de la Cruz. If you want to go on holiday in Tenerife in January, you should keep in mind that the north is the rainy part of the island. The main destinations of the island are located in the south in Los Cristianos or Las Americas. Unfortunately, the hotels in both areas have been raised rather ruthlessly, so that one sees quite a lot of very functional but ugly buildings.

During a visit to Las Americas we were able to get our own impression. Finally, I was happy that our hotel was in Puerto de la Cruz. The north is also much greener than the south. Tenerife is “divided” by the volcano Teide, which with its 3718 metres is also the highest mountain in Spain. You can either go very sporty with a hike on a volcano or simply and comfortably take the cable car.  More about this later and back to the actual question.

Gaby would prefer the south with a future visit because of the better weather. I’d go back up north again. In any case, however, we would take a rental car directly at the airport for another holiday and we would do without the transfer. Why? We sat in the bus for about 2.5 – 3 hours until all guests were distributed and collected on the way back. I’m sure it depends on the hotel, but it’s already taken a lot of nerves. On Google Maps we saw in Puerto de la Cruz how we were driven around the hotel in big loops….

If you drive by car, you will be in the north in less than an hour from the south, regardless of whether you drive on the motorway in the east or on the mountain road in the west. Tenerife is not a very big island: in less than 2.5 hours you have driven once around the whole island. All roads are in very good condition.

If you like to swim in the sea, please note that when you go on holiday in Tenerife in January, the surf is usually too strong to swim in the north. In the south, on the other hand, the sea is also so calm in January that you can go swimming. Point for the south!

 

Tenerife – Transport and Traffic

We have experienced Tenerife with the rental car as a very compact island. The price for a rental car for one week (Polo, 2nd driver) was acceptable at € 125 and of course gave us the flexibility we might not have gotten with a bus. Refueling is with 0.91 € / litre for E10 pleasingly favorable. We’d like to have drained ourselves of a few liters for home.

If you don’t want to use the car, you can also take the buses from titsa (the public bus company) to get to the island easily and cheaply. We have met many pensioners who have been raving about the good connections. Most of them had a so-called bonus card, similar to a prepaid card, with which they could travel at even better rates. Even the Teide seems to have good connections.

In the villages themselves you can also take a cheap taxi. Especially in Puerto de la Cruz we used it several times and drove from the centre to our hotel (just under 1.5 km uphill) for just 3.50 €.

What to do on your vacation on Tenerife in January?

Even in winter you can do a lot of things on Tenerife. The weather is very mild and ideal for almost any kind of activity. Most things you can decide spontaneously for yourself. Many of the tours offered by the hotel’s tour operators were later considered more amused than money-cutting. In the ten days we have made a lot of great excursions, which we also recommend to you.

 

Teide – Spain’s highest mountain and an absolute must for a vaacation on Tenerife

As the world’s third largest island volcano (just under 7500 metres from the seabed) the Teide is already the defining landmark of the island. In good weather you can actually see the peak of Teide from almost every free place in Tenerife. Through many reports of other tourists we were full of energy to go to the Teide. For us it was one of the highlights on the island. The last eruption of the volcano occurred in November 1908.

If you want to go / drive on the Teide, you should consider in good time whether you want to go all the way to the summit. If you are planning to do this (which we recommend), then you must obtain a permit from the national park administration in good time (link to the webpage of the national park). Don’t panic; approval is fortunately free of charge. Just a limited number of tourists are allowed to reach the top of the mountain every day. We took this option too late and missed the last 160 meters to the summit due to the lack of permission. A good reason to come back to Tenerife!

Thin air and great views on the Teide

The view from the top station of the cable car is also impressive and literally breathtaking. The air at an altitude of 3555 meters is already relatively thin and an experience in itself. At the top you have one hour time to breathe the thin air and take great photos. You will probably need to acclimatize a little bit after leaving the cable car. We also needed a moment to get used to the air. It’s not the North German Plain you walk through! In any case, we had good luck with the weather and were able to see a great volcanic landscape and Tenerife in general with a clear view towards the south and lots of sunshine.

 

The mountain is calling.

Have a good look at a weather forecast before visiting Teide. There is always the risk that in case of bad weather, the cable car will be stopped and you will drive to the mountain for nothing. During our visit we had about 20 degrees Celsius at the hotel and on top of the mountain it was only 6 degrees Celsius. You should definitely wear suitable clothes. It may also be possible that roads are completely closed due to the weather.

What we also recommend to you is the online reservation or purchase of the cable car ticket in advance. Due to our spontaneous visit in the late morning we could only get tickets (per person up and down 27 € total) for the trip in the late afternoon. As one of the main attractions, many tourists visit Teide. The cable car runs from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm (departure). Click here to visit the website of the Teide cable car. The parking space situation at the valley station is limited. Early arrival secures a place.

Waiting times for the cable car can also be easily used  with a hike in the volcanic area of Teide, as we have done. From the Parador station, there are a wide variety of different and varyingly demanding and long tours through the spectacular volcanic landscape of the Teide. You can get an overview of the different tours here: Hiking map of the Teide National Park

Plan a whole day for your visit to Teide. We were glad that we didn’t take a guided tour and recommend you to organize the visit yourself. During our next visit we will surely visit Teide in the evening hours to see the night sky of Tenerife.

By the way, after your visit you can put a check mark on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites you have visited. The Teide National Park has been one of them since 2007!

 

Hike through the Masca Canyon

Another great activity on Tenerife is the walk through the Masca canyon. This hike on Tenerife is certainly one of the most spectacular walks on the Canary Islands. We did the tour on our last days in Tenerife and had a great day.

On the way you walk a distance of just under five kilometres and over 600 metres in altitude through a very impressive canyon. On the way, the rock faces are up to 600 metres high and the canyon is less than 30 metres wide at the narrowest points. As a special challenge you have to climb a bit in some places (not much). You will be shown 54 landmarks to the sea. The typical option starts in the village of Masca and leads you along the path to the Atlantic Ocean, where you can take a boat trip to the village of Los Gigantes or take the direct way back. You can buy a boat ticket in the village or directly by the sea (January 2018 € 10, – / person). From Los Gigantes taxis will take you back to Masca for about 26-28 €.

Before the hike we recommend you to have a cup of coffee before the hike. In the restaurant behind the entrance you can also buy your boat tickets and can get tips about the hike. Be sure to be there early. Masca is an incredibly small village with very few parking spaces. We were there at 9:00 a. m. and we still had the free choice of parking space. If you arrive later or don’t want to drive to Santiago del Teide on some of the narrow serpentines, you better park your car in Santiago del Teide and drive to the village for relatively little money.

It depends on the equipment.

The hike itself is classified as difficult to very difficult on various websites. We then approached the matter with due respect. It is not a “Sunday walk”, but it is also not infinitely difficult. In any case, you must be sure-footed and (somehow) athletic. On some passages the path is narrow and on others you have to climb a little bit. You should definitely wear the right shoes. High heels and flip-flops are the worst possible choice. Have a look at the weather forecast here.

You can organize the tour through the canyon without any worries for yourself, even if there are providers at every corner for this tour. In principle, the canyon itself dictates the path. If you start in time enough, you will have the canyon or the path almost to yourself. On our way to the sea we hardly met more than 20 other hikers. In addition to the rush hour, the situation should look completely different according to the reports of other holidaymakers, which surely clouds the joy.

In any case, take enough water and if necessary some food for the way. We arrived with a relaxed walk (and many photo stops) after about 3 hours (and two liters of water and three bananas) happy and satisfied at the sea. The onion tactics in the choice of clothing certainly helped us. At the beginning we started off with a light drizzle and a rain jacket. At the end of the day it was as warm and sunny as you would imagine a nice day on holiday. If the weather is fine and you have your swimsuit with you, you can jump into the Atlantic Ocean from the jetty. In addition to the many great impressions, you may also take a nice sore muscle as a souvenir from the hike, which will remind you of your experiences the next day.

 

Waterparks – also ideal for a holiday on Tenerife in January

There are two larger theme parks on Tenerife for all water rats and water slide junkies. We visited the Siam Park, the world’s best rated water park according to TripAdvisor. If you are planning your holiday on Tenerife in January, it is certainly a good time for the Aquapark. If possible, visit the park on a Saturday (“bed change day”) and you will hardly have any waiting time at the many great slides. Read more in our separate report about the Siam Park. It was definitely a great visit!

Zoos in Tenerife

You can visit two zoos in Tenerife. During our holiday in Tenerife in January we visited the Loro-Parque, which is advertised all over the island. You have to decide for yourself how you like zoos and especially animal shows in zoos. We visited the Loro-Parque to get our own impression. The park is very spacious. There are shows with orcas, dolphins, sea lions and a bird show that are repeated several times a day. If you visit the park, we recommend you to be there early. If you go the regular way, it will soon fill up. We recommend that you turn left immediately after the entrance and go against the main stream. If you walk in a clockwise direction, you will experience the park relatively “alone” during an early visit. More about our visit to Loro-Parque in the following article.

 

Santa Cruz

Tenerife’s capital and hub of the island. We visited Santa Cruz twice. You can go shopping downtown. We recommend that you park your car at the “Nuestra Señora de Africa” market in the multi-storey car park and then go directly to the “Nuestra Señora de Africa” market hall. During your visit you should definitely visit the lower part of the market with the fish market. From the market it’s only a five minute walk to the pedestrian zone, where you can shop until your credit card (or wallet) glows. If you are interested in architecture, then the Auditorio de Tenerife is definitely a good destination for you.

Shopping in Tenerife

You’re Shopaholic? Tenerife has a large number of shopping centres. In the south you can shop directly in Las Americas and Siam Mall. If you are like us in the north, then the shopping mall La Villa is a great alternative to the bingo evening in the hotel. The shopping centre is open until 1.30 am (shops until 10 pm).

Puerto de la Cruz

The tourist centre in the north is the town of Puerto de la Cruz, built on the slopes of the Atlantic Ocean. Our hotel was near the Park Parque de La Sortija. In Puerto Cruz we recommend a walk through the old town. As a special highlight in the old town of Puerto de la Cruz there are 13 large streetart murals! Here you will find an overview of all 13 murals, which you can view on a detailed tour through the city centre. Link to the flyer of Puerto Streetart

Beaches in and around Puerto de la Cruz

If you are more of a beach fan, then you should definitely visit the city beach Playa Jardin. The beach has black sand, which you won’t find everywhere. In January on Tenerife it is still only quite crowded, so you should not have any problems finding a beach chair. By the way, the beach chair costs you only 3 €/day, which is a bargain compared to many other holiday destinations.

As an alternative to the city beach we recommend the natural beach Playa de Bollullo, which is just outside of Puerto de la Cruz and is one of the most beautiful natural beaches in the north of Tenerife. The beach is also popular with locals, so it is better to plan your visit during the week. Above the beach there are very few parking spaces.

 

 

As with Playa Jardin, you should take the flagging on the beaches seriously. The currents at the beaches should not be underestimated.

By the way, you can swim more quietly in the seawater in the waterscape Lago Martianez. This pool landscape was designed by the artist and architect César Manrique and shapes the promenade of Puerto de la Cruz. Admission is relatively cheap with 5,50 €.

What else we can recommend for your vacation on Tenerife in January.

For a visit to the north of the island, we recommend a visit to the Sunset290 Bar near Puerto de la Cruz. From the bar you can enjoy a delicious cocktail in your hand over the bay of Puerto de la Cruz and watch the sunset on the coastline.

Speaking of sunset – here we recommend the pass and viewpoint Mirador De Cherfe on the way to Masca canyon, which is one of the highest and most westerly points of the island. The sunset is great to watch from up there. We would be happy to give you the recommendation of a taxi driver who has pointed out to us that it is better to lock the rental car even with short photo stops.

Traumhafter Sonnenuntergang vom Mirador de Cherfe auf Teneriffa

Wonderful sunset from the Mirador de Cherfe on Tenerife

It is also interesting to note that there is a relatively short period of twilight after sunset. After less than 20 minutes it is already very dark. You will surely notice this during your holiday on Tenerife.

January is otherwise an ideal time for a vacation on Tenerife. There aren’t that many tourists on the island yet. With little effort you can plan your holiday on Tenerife so individually that you can enjoy your holiday to the fullest. Although the island is relatively small, it offers many possibilities for a great vacation. Our original plan with a day trip to Gomera was quickly rejected by our first vacation on Tenerife. We will certainly return to Tenerife at some point. We liked it very much!

If you want to read more about the Canary Islands, we recommend our report about Gran Canaria, which you can also experience outside of mass tourism. If you prefer safe swimming conditions, we recommend a holiday in Sardinia south west or Sardinias north or Sicily.

Update March 2020: we visited also Lanzarote, which is the Canarian island with a complete and most absctract vulcanic landscape. Just follow this link.

Have you ever been to Tenerife in January or at another time of the year? What were your experiences?

The following travel guides have also done a good job offline. We also recommend you to think about a USB adapter, which helped us very well in our hotel (with only one single socket in the room!).

You support our hobby with a purchase via the following affiliate links. The price at Amazon is not affected by this.

 

Hanover Events and Sightseeing

Hanover Events and Sightseeing

Hanover Events- Party on at the Maschseefest and in Linden

Hanover and events? If you think of Hannover, you will probably spontaneously come up with terms like business shows, Cebit,  airport Langenhagen, Hanover 96 or even zoo. If you think back a little, you will still throw in the world exhibition “Expo 2000”, which Hanover was the first German city to host. Politically interested people still call the state capital of Lower Saxony. For those who like to party, the Maschseefest is still there. There are many possibilities for companies in Hanover. However, many people think of Hanover as the “most boring city in Germany”, which is also the result of a quick search on Google. Gaby and I also had little relation to Hanover, despite the close distance to Bremen.

It was therefore a great pleasure for us that Anja from Travelontoast.de and Janett von from Teilzeitreisender. de organized another great travelblogger meeting together with Hanover Tourismus and the hotel Crowne Plaza. After the weekend we can say that Hanover is a great destination and has a lot to offer for different activities! If you come from Bremen, you will be in the middle of Hanover in less than an hour if you have a free highway! More about our activities in Hanover now! Party on Hanover!

Discover Hanover.

After the check-in at Crown Plaza we had enough time to discover Hanover until we got to know the other travel loggers. Fortunately, the hotel’s location behind the main station is very central and ideal as base in Hannover. After about ten minutes of walking, we were already standing in the pedestrian zone at the “Kröpcke”. The Kröpcke-Platz is one of the central meeting points in Hanover. With the “Kröpcke-Uhr” you can also photograph one of Hannover’s landmarks. The pedestrian precinct (Georgstraße) of Hanover is one of the five most visited shopping streets after Frankfurt (Zeil), Munich (Kaufinger Straße), Düsseldorf (Flinger Straße) and Cologne (Schildergasse), acc. to Statista.

The weather was also good, so that we were able to explore the city centre in the sun. In addition to the typical retail chains that are now to be found in all major cities, there are also plenty of nice cafés in Hanover.

On our way back to the hotel we passed the Opera House of Hannover, which offers another great photo motif in the city. The inner city itself is unfortunately characterized by many functional buildings. So the next day our tour guide was able to report that the inner city was destroyed in World War II by about 90 %. If you want to see the old architecture of Hannover, you can still experience this in the outer city districts such as Linden.

Get to know other travelblogger

Anja and Janett had invited about 40 travelbloggers from all over Germany to the meeting. So it was exciting to meet other bloggers in the hotel’s own restaurant Schweizer Hof. For example, with Alexa and Daniel from “Hey Hannover” and Anna from “Anna Immer Unterwegs” and Max from  “Hostelmax” ,locals were also present. It was also exciting to exchange with other bloggers like Barbara from “Barbaralicious” or Oliver from “Woandersein.com” or to talk with Nina from “Gottundbratkartoffeln” about God and fried potatoes (translated name of her travelblog) and to get to know other bloggers from Bremen with Sarah and Stefan from “Küstenrausch.de”. Peter and Svenja of “Work-Travel-Balance” came from Düsseldorf. It was also nice to meet Tanja from Wellness-Bummler and Eva from “Burgdame” again or to chat with Jasmin from “Onmyjourney”. Unfortunately, the time was far too short to talk to all participants.

Hotel Crowne Plaza – a good city hotel in central location of Hannover

The hotel Crowne Plaza in Hannover is one of three German Crowne Plaza hotels and belongs to the IHG hotel group. It is rated with four stars in Hanover. The hotel is currently being completely renovated. On our floor all the work was happily completed. The room was modern and functional. It is important to note that there are possibilities to prepare coffee/tea in the room. How nice it would be if this were a standard in every hotel! Another highlight (for business travellers) is the iron, which also belongs to the standard equipment of the room. The hotel is otherwise predominantly a business hotel. Due to its location, it also offers normal tourists a good starting point for activities during a short holiday or city trip to Hanover on the weekend. If you arrive by car, you can park directly in the parking garage of the hotel. It’s a bit cheaper to park in the parking garage of the Labor Court, one street further on.

Eating at the Schweizer Hof – Crowne Plaza Hannover

The Crowne Plaza used the “get-to-know” evening and spoiled the guests with a very tasty meal under the motto “Little Kitchen Party”. Starting with smoked tofu, veal tartare or marinated original tomato, we went on to the “1-hour organic egg”, the suckling pig shoulder “BBQ Style” and the poached salmon. All in all very tasty and a nice start into a great weekend!

Hanover national drink and regional speciality – Lüttje Lage

The highlight was the dessert of the chocolate cake and the Fourme d’ Ambert. Sandra from Hannover Marketing didn’t miss to show us all the “Lüttje Lage”. “Lüttje Lage” is a high-percentage Hanoverian speciality consisting of a glass of grain and a small glass of beer, which is drunk together. The special challenge is to hold the two glasses in such a way that the grain runs into the beer glass and then into the mouth with the beer. It is of course a local experience that goes with it. Despite the fun, it was not really our thing…. Tastes are just different. More tasty was the Guinness in the English pub “Jack The Ripper’s” in a rustic vaulted cellar directly at the Kröpcke, which we visited at the end of the evening with some other bloggers.

Deep sleep and breakfast

We would also like to mention that the beds were super comfortable. The Crowne Plaza advertises with a “feeling of absolute relaxation” and a special sleep program that also includes aromatherapy. We could no longer determine whether the feeling of absolute relaxation came from the mattress, aromatherapy or simply the “Lüttje situation”. We both slept soundly. And so the next morning we went to the breakfast buffet in a relaxed atmosphere.

The breakfast buffet in Crowne Plaza is definitely one of the better buffets we have seen in hotels so far. Everything is available, what your heart desires in the morning and what you need for a good start into the day. The waitresses were in a good mood and very courteous.

Well strengthened on the way with #rbhannover!

Well strengthened it went then to the actual blogger meeting, which you can follow also with the hashtag #rbhannover with Twitter, Instagram or also Facebook .

Cumberlandsche Galerie – Instagram lecture by Anja

Together they went to the Cumberlandsche Galerie in the rear part of the Schauspielhaus as the first stop on our tour in Hanover. In the monument protected, large staircase, characterized by the wide stairs and cast-iron supports and railings, small plays are otherwise performed. The stage belongs to the four stages of the Staatsschauspiele Hannover. Our “performance” in the “most beautiful staircase of Hanover” consisted of the presentations of Hannover Tourismus and the Crown Plaza.

Finally, Anja gave a very exciting lecture on better use of Instagram (here a link to our account 🙂). The staircase gives an idea of how pompous the building around it must have been in those days. Unfortunately, with the exception of the staircase, it has been completely destroyed. If you want to take a look inside, we recommend to visit a play there or to test the Calamarimoon-Bar every Friday.

From the centre to Linden – City tour Hannover

Time to discover Hanover. Our goal was the district of Linden, which is now one of the hip areas of Hannover. If you like to party, the “Bermuda Triangle” is a good place to be, and you can move from one disco to the next and take some corner bars along the way. Our actual tour started at the Glocksee Zentrum, where we could admire a lot of street art. From the Glocksee-Zentrum you can see the Ihme Zentrum, which in the’ 60s was conceived as a “city in the city”.

Ihme Zentrum Hannover - ein besonderer Ort - Hannover Unternehmung

Due to many changes of ownership and lack of investment, the huge building complex is decaying. Behind the complex, you will pass the lively district of Linden, which was originally an old working class district.

Hannover Linden Streetart Bettfedernfabrik

Linden – a popular district

Today Linden is a popular neighbourhood for students, workers and all former students, which makes house prices soar. After a stop in the “living room” of Lindens, the bar “Centrum” at the market place of Linden, we could then still look at great old houses at the quiet Lichtenbergplatz. Afterwards we went via Limmerstraße to the ferryman festival at the old bedspring factory. Today the bedspring factory another cultural centre in Hanover. Did you know that people in Hanover speak of “limmern” when you go from one corner pub to the next in that area? It’s going particularly well on the Limmerstraße on a mild summer evening.

Thinks to do in Linden and on the way there

  • View Glocksee Center
  • Walk through the Ihme Centre
  • View streetart in Linden
  • “Limmern” on the Limmerstreet
  • Don’t get lost in the Bermuda triangle between clubs
  • Going out on Thursday evening at the Lindener Marktplatz at the “Centrum” to celebrate – instead of free beer for men, there is free prosecco for women.
  • Look at the beautiful old houses.

Der Lichtenbergplatz in Hannover mit den tollen alten Häusern

We liked Linden. It is a very lively district of Hannover (even if Linden was once a city in its own right) where you can surely live great. If you want to know more about lime trees, just have a look here – district tips or directly the district map (both from Hannover Tourismus).

The Maschsee Festival in Hanover – a culinary world tour

The travelblogger meeting in Hanover ended in the evening together at the Maschseefest. Our starting point was the Robinson pavilion, where we started the evening with some delicious cocktails with best weather.

So if you are planning a visit to Hannover, you should keep an eye on the Maschseefest. Hanover proves here once again that it is not the “most boring city in Germany”. In 2017 the festival at Maschsee went from 02.08. – 20.08.2017.

For 2018 you can schedule August 1st-19th and for 2019 you can enter the period from July 31st to August 18th. Unconsciously, the Maschseefest is also an ideal meeting place for travelbloggers. There are so many different international dishes! Feelings can feed around the world and remember (or plan a trip) for sure.

What else can you experience at the Maschseefest?

Besides the many different dining booths there are also several stages. Eating, dancing and partying by the lake are the secret recipe for a great evening. During our visit we were able to admire the torchlight swimming, which already provided a great atmosphere in the evening light. On our next visit to the Maschseefest we planned to visit the north, east and south shore as well as the western shore. Practically speaking, it is also possible to sail with the ships of the Maschsee fleet, so that you can comfortably travel from one shore to another. The week starts at 14.00 hrs and on Sunday already at 11.00 hrs.

As a digital helper for the Maschseefest program, you can download the Maschseefest app here

(iOs or Android).

Finally, a few general facts about Hannover:

  • 13th largest city in Germany
  • Capital of Lower Saxony
  • Location of the Cebit and the “Hannover Messe” as the world’s largest industrial trade fair (called the Fischbrötchen-Messe curiously enough in the first years after the Second World War)
  • Has a great park with the Herrenhäuser Gardens and impressive shows in the gardens with the international fireworks competition (here you can watch the streams from the past fireworks, recorded by NDR)
  • offers with the adventure zoo a great destination for excursions
  • has with Hannover 96 a first-class soccer team
  • Venue of the world’s largest “shooting festival” – 2018 from 29.06. – 08.07. – 2018
  • Location of a total of nine different universities and colleges
  • Well-known music groups like Scorpions, Fury in the Slaughterhouse, Lena Meyer-Landrut or Scooter come from Hannover or had their beginnings there.

We really liked the meeting and got to know Hanover as a very lively city.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Crowne Plaza Schweizer Hof Hotel and Hanover Tourism for the great organisation.

One weekend is of course too short to see everything in Hanover. We would be happy to come back again!

If you want to read more about Hanover, we recommend the overview of Hanover, where all reports of the participants should be listed:

https://www.hannover.de/Tourismus/Lifestyle-Nightlife/Hannover-Living-Stadtteiltipps/Bloggers-welcome/Reiseblogger-Treffen-Hannover

The travelblogger meeting even made it into the local newspaper, which reported directly about the meeting!

Newspaper “Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung” Article Travelblogger

 

Disclosure: The overnight stay at the Hotel Crowne Plaza was made possible in cooperation with Hannover Tourismus. The journey was at your own expense.

You kind of want to go to the beach? Just have a look at our report about Gran Canaria or the report of our first travelblogger meeting at the Baltic Sea in Travemünde.

New York A City That Never Sleeps

New York A City That Never Sleeps

New York – A City That Never Sleeps!

After 2004 and 2008 I visited New York again in summer 2013. I can say that the city is really great and exciting at any time of the year.

During my last vacation in New York, I booked a private accommodation via AirBnB (affiliate link) centrally in Manhattan – only 5 minutes walk from Times Square.

The journey was relaxed – the car was parked in the suburb of Secaucus and then we took the train directly to Manhattan to the Pennstation.

And so a great weekend should start.

  • Broadway and Times Square with the giant illuminated panels
  • Where Darth Vader meets Mickey Mouse and Buzz Lighting
  • How about riding a bike through New York?
  • Where to find a glass elevator
  • Recreation in the City Library
  • Walking around the Highline Park
  • Once at the command post of an aircraft carrier,

I quickly met my landlord and he showed me my accommodation – his apartment. In the evening I took the opportunity to visit Times Square again. A visit to the Times Squares is of course obligatory during the day with the many shops, but even more so in the evening when everything is brightly lit.

Broadway and Time Square

Near the Time Square is also Broadway with its many musicals and theatres (Broadway Tickets). It is advisable to check what you are playing before you go on holiday. Directly at Times Square you can also find many more or few famous comic figures, who can use the time between cartoons for a small tip and take photos with them. As I noticed, even Darth Vader had at least found a small job after the launch of his beloved Death Star in New York.

Eating in New York

On the recommendation of my host, I have certainly eaten the most delicious burger of recent years at the small chain 5napkinburger (www.5napkinburger.com). Reservation is recommended. On the firm plan I also had the visit of the sushi chain Todais, who unfortunately had closed their restaurant in New York at that time. Today there is a similar restaurant concept with the restaurant Ichiumi.

And so day one came to an end with a beer with my host. It was interesting to learn that he almost had to rent the apartment via AirBnb because of the horrendous rental prices in order to be able to live there at all. But how else can you stay more authentic in Manhattan, if not in a “real” appartment?

The next two days I explored New York by bike. It may sound weird at first, but New York is much more bike-friendly than many other cities. And with the dense, slow traffic, you can make even better progress.

Cycling in New York – CityBike

I can only recommend CityBike New York for this. Definitely a great experience. In the truest sense of the word. You drive through the city with a rental bike and can return it to about 100 places and pick it up. The costs are about 10, – Dollar per day (with Mastercard. no visas, one card / person for identification) very affordable. You start paying after 30 minutes driving time. Since the stations are very densely packed, it is easy to get through the city. Usually you don’t need more than 30 minutes from point of interest to point of interest. https://www.citibikenyc.com/

During my last visit I visited the Intrepid, an old aircraft carrier that has been converted into an aircraft museum. The Intrepid is located on the east side of Manhattan. In addition to many fighter jets you can now also see a space shuttle. Storm Sandy had damaged the shuttle during my visit. http://www.intrepidmuseum.org/ Here you can also print a quartet here.

Of course you can shop everywhere in New York. If the choice of shops is not enough, you can really get off to the second largest mall in America near New York – only about 1 hour drive from NY. Mall of America The visit to the mall would be to much for one weekend.

View on Manhattan

Back to Manhattan and up high. If you want to get an overview of the Manhattan, I can recommend the Empir

Bibo in Central Park

Bibo in Central Park

e-State-Building, which offers a magnificent panoramic view over Manhattan. Alternatively, the Rockefeller Center with the “Top of the Rock” is not less spectacular.  In my opinion, the visit is still worthwhile in the evenings, because you look at the whole of Manhattan to the south (no panoramic view). The elevator is already very interesting with the lighting in the elevator shaft upwards.

MOMA and Guggenheim Museum

Art lovers can of course visit the Guggenheim Museum or MOMA. In many places I lacked the necessary understanding of art (at a

previous visit already determined) and so I rather made a detour with my city bike to the Central Park for a wonderful ice cream and talked to Bibo.

 

Back on the way through Manhattan in southern direction you can also pass the Grand Central Station and the City Library. Both buildings are absolutely worth seeing and especially the reading rooms of the library have a very special atmosphere. They are already venerable halls.

In addition to the many street food stalls in New York, there is also a wide range of food halls to choose from (Here is a selection of Food Halls).

South of Manhattan

The newer Highline Park in southern Manhattan is also highly recommended. This park has been superbly converted from an old elevated railway into a park. You go for a walk between the skyscrapers. There are several points of entry into the Highline Park. (Highline Park). I liked the park very much and it really seemed like an oasis in the big city to me.

Arriving in the south of Manhattan I visited the Ground Zero memorial site. It is an oppressive place and as a monument very well done. One can only hope that the monument will lead to the right thoughts. Directly next door with the “One World Center” has already been created a further big building!

Not far away is Wall Street and the southern end of Manhattan with Battery Park. From there the ferries go to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I had already visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island on previous visits. If you have more than one weekend, I recommend it. Even if it’s a bit of a digression – whoever comes from Northern Germany should take the time beforehand and visit the museum “Das Auswandererhaus” (Emmigrant house) in Bremerhaven. With the visit to Ellis Island, the “emigration” becomes complete.

The way back to my apartment I drove in style with the CityBike bikes at the long bike path on the west side of Manhattan.

Brooklyn Bridge

Alternatively, of course, the eastern side is also a good place to get to the famous Brooklyn Bridge.

A few kilometres further north, you can also cross the East River by cable car.

All in all, of course, a weekend is far too short for one of the world’s liveliest cities. I think New York is great! I was able to experience different things with every visit – and I was certainly not there for the last time. Maybe the Trump Tower will be one of the most visited destinations in the city in the future? I wasn’t so convinced by the building… maybe it’s so good that the UNO is pretty close to Donald.

What do you associate with New York and what are your greatest memories of the city?

Here you can have a look at the private accommodations at AirBnB (Affiliate Link). Staying more authentic in the city is not possible.

After the good AirBnB experience I started to rent vacation apartments privately (e. g. on an old estate in Sicily overlooking Etna or Villa Vista in Torrox near Alhambra) instead of spending my holidays exclusively in hotels or traveling “all-inclusive”, which can of course also be comfortable (e. g. the four days in Kusadasi in Turkey or just recently on Gran Canaria with the luxury hotel Lopesan Villa Conde).

Travemünde Atlantic Grand Hotel

Travemünde Atlantic Grand Hotel

History meets modernity at the Baltic Sea in Travemünde!

It complements another in the Atlantic Grand Hotel Travemünde on the Baltic Sea in a wonderful way. We had the opportunity to use the hotel during the travelblogger meeting.

Travemünde itself is a district of the Hanseatic city of Lübeck and is located in the southern part of the river Trave and eastern part directly on the Baltic Sea with the Brodtener steep bank.

Just four months before the famous Travemünde Week, one of the world’s biggest sailing regattas, almost 30 bloggers followed the friendly invitation of Janett von Teilzeitreisender.de and Anja from TravelonToast.de as well as of course the Atlantic Grand Hotel Travemünde and arrived on Friday at the hotel between Kaiserallee and the beach promenade.

The Hotel Atlantic Grand Hotel

The Atlantic Grand Hotel Travemünde describes itself as a 5 star superior hotel and lives up to this reputation. After a short journey of only two hours from Bremen, we first tested the Wellness & SPA area after checking in. With a view of a (photographed) Baltic Sea panorama we enjoyed the 27°C warm pool, which with a length of 20 meters can also be used for swimming. Directly connected are the fitness room (unfortunately there was no time to test it, but it made a very good impression) and the sauna area, which can convince with a steam bath and further aroma steam bath as well as sanarium and Finnish sauna. Recreation is provided throughout the entire wellness area.

In the evening we went directly to the bar Seven C’s, where we got to know the other travelbloggers of the meeting. With a few (very) tasty cocktails there was already a great and lively exchange between the participants in the evening, which should go into the early morning hours. Thanks again to Tanja von Spaness.de and Wolfgang von Wolfgangs-Reiseblog.de for the tips on Friday evening.

The hotel kitchen has also provided a great buffet with a delicious view of your possibilities. In the hotels restaurant “Holstein’s”, the focus is on regional northern German cuisine. With so many culinary delights, it is not surprising that the hotel is also an ideal place for corporate events or large celebrations. A special highlight of the hotel for the right festive ambience is the big ballroom – it is not difficult to imagine which exciting festivities can be celebrated there.

The hotel itself is located in a listed building, which has its own special charm. Straight from the beach promenade it shows itself from the most beautiful side, what we were allowed to experience on Saturday. More about this later.

The rooms

The hotel has 72 rooms. Our apartment was on the third floor and was in the Junior Suite category. Correspondingly, the room was divided into a separate bedroom and living area. The bathroom with double washbasin, very large shower and the bathtub with whirlpool function does not miss its effect either, so that you can have your own personal SPA area right in the room. Recovery is thus ensured all along the line. Safe, air conditioning and mini-bar in the rooms are of course included as well as the complete W-LAN coverage in the whole hotel. The theme of “generosity” can thus be found throughout the hotel.

Breakfast with view of the Baltic Sea

After a far too short night (self-made sorrow) we started with breakfast on Saturday. All tables in the breakfast area are set up so that almost everyone can start the day with a wonderful view of the Baltic Sea. The sumptuous breakfast buffet also contributes to this, of course.

From the blogger universe

After the extensive breakfast, the programme was then full of energy, and Matthias Golze as hotel director had the full attention of all participants and reported on the history and orientation of the hotel. Afterwards, the lecture of Anja from TravelonToast to Pinterest was followed with great excitement. Thanks again for the great lectures!

“A digital scavenger hunt, please!”

After the lectures and a tasty lunch, we went on with our packed lunch. Johannes von VarioEvent had invited to the “iChallenge“, what will be the place of the well-known paper chase in the digital age. Each of the four groups was equipped with an iPad. On a specially prepared online game plan from the vicinity of the hotel there were various location-based tasks (such as “Take a photo of a woman with a dog with a daily newspaper in a beach chair” or quiz questions on local topics) to be fulfilled. A time limit of 90 minutes and the staggered points distribution made the game even more exciting. Despite the short time it was still a good opportunity to get an impression of Travemünde’s beach promenade and the surrounding area. Due to the own programming of VarioVent, the scavenger hunt 2.0 can also be adapted to other regions. We’d try it again. Our two teams have unfortunately only reached the places of honour 2 + 3…

Our team members on the iChallenge have been in Gabys team Millos (Trendlupe.de), who prepared also a great clip about the hotel (Have a look here), Svemirka (Reise-Zeit), Anja (Das fliegende Klassenzimmer), Simon (Reise2PunktNull) , Antje (Weltenkundler), Bastian (MadLovelyWorld) and Stephanie (Reiselife). In my team were Laura (Fundorte), Theresa (Atlantic Grand Hotel), Sabine (Fratuschi) as well as Daniela (Sinne und Reisen) and Saskia (MadLovelyWorld) plus Claudia (Weltreize).

Sports in Travemünde

Important for us on holiday is actually also the sport, which came this weekend too short. Those who go to the sea naturally focus on water. And that’s right on the doorstep of the Atlantic Grand Hotel with its wide beach and the Baltic Sea. In March, the water test (7 °C) was not yet feasible… but it will definitely be done in summer.

If you are enthusiastic about sailing, Travemünde is the perfect place to find your Eldorado. Even for landlubbers there are still plenty of opportunities, such as extensive bicycle tours along the coast or a high ropes course.

Conclusion

It was a great first blogger meeting in a very nice hotel. If you are looking for a place to relax, the Altantic Grand Hotel is definitely a very good address. We’ll check in again!

The beach is very inviting, even if we like the beaches in the south of Portugal, Sicily or the Atlantic Ocean more.

Disclosure: The hotel has taken over the overnight stay. The opinion about the hotel is not affected by this.

Kusadasi Turkey Aegean Sea

Kusadasi Turkey Aegean Sea

Kusadasi, Aegean Sea, Turkey – Experience and Tips

We decided to book a quick holiday in Turkey over the long weekend – the main reason was the visit of a Turkish wedding from our friends near Kusadasi. We booked online a good hotel on the Aegean Sea near the city of Kusadasi.

The flight from Hanover to Izmir was unspectacular as expected and due to the late departure at 22.50 it was good for a first break. Arrived in Izmir the bus transfer to the hotel went smoothly. Thank goodness the driver was much more awake than we were and drove us through the night for almost two hours.

Around 4.30 am we arrived at the Hotel SunConnect Atlantique, where a friendly staff member greeted us. During the night journey we were just looking for the bed and fell asleep contentedly.

The first day at the Aegean Sea in autumn

On Friday morning, the sun woke us up on Friday morning. The thermometer showed still a temperature of just under 30°C at the beginning of October. So we should experience four nice sunny days.

We then prepared the breakfast buffet in a good mood. The selection was really good and varied. Surprisingly, there were very few guests in the hotel. This may be due to the low season on the one hand, but also to the political situation on the other. Anyway, we had a free choice at the pool as well as on the beach and in the adjacent Aquapark!

The entire SunConnect system is kept very clean. You can choose between a large family pool and a separate large pool for adults only as a “relaxation zone”. Practically, one of the two hotel bars was also at the relax pool. The bars were open until 23.00 hr from breakfast. After that you could change to the beach disco, where the all-inclusive offer was not valid anymore

Classic all-inclusive holiday in an empty hotel in Kusadasi

The biggest challenge in the four days was just reading the plan to find out where you’d get some food next. It was just the classic all-inclusive holiday!

A special highlight of the hotel is the Tortuga Aquapark, which can be used free of charge as a hotel guest. Other guests can also use the park for a fee. Please note that the all-inclusive offer is not valid in the Aquapark and that you can buy food and drinks via a credit card.

In the complete hotel (with Aquapark and beach) there is a good to very good Wifi coverage, which is very practical especially with the roaming charges in Turkey and certainly saves one or the other Euro.

For the four days we did not exchange money. You can pay everything in Euro. This starts with the Dolmus, the many minibuses that take you can take to go to Kusadasi (approx. EUR 1.5)or also in the restaurants in the old town and ends with the many traders in the old town area. If we had stayed for a longer period of time, we would certainly have changed money as well.

Shopping in Kusadasi – the Old Town.

Due to the few tourists in the city centre of Kusadasi, the dealers also had much more time and attention for our short visit on Saturday morning! It is impressive how many shops sell the same “original” branded products (watches made in Switzerland, bags from Paris, sportswear and jerseys from all over the world) in such a small space. A higher density of premium shops certainly does not even have the KÖ (premium shopping street) in Düsseldorf…

The ambitions of the dealers naturally aroused our ambition to get the very best price for the very best quality. You have to bring along a certain sporty impulse for the negotiations, for which my friend with her shopping experiences had the much better talent.

With filled bags and an empty wallet we drove back to the hotel with the dolmus. The only interesting thing about the return trip was that we were put in the right dolmus without any questions. Probably our all-inclusive ribbon has helped enormously here, what seems to work like a dog tag. In any case, you don’t get lost with this tag.

After the shopping experience we used the remaining days to let the sunshine shine on our bellies – at the beach, at the pool, at the beach, at the aquapark!

The Aquapark in the hotel for us alone…

The Aquapark was at least as empty as the hotel. For hardcore fans of water slides, this is of course the hit, because you don’t have to wait long for the water slides. The disadvantage of course is that you climb a lot more stairs in less time than you would otherwise do. There are seven larger slides in the park, a Wibit-Aqua course, a children’s pool with small slides, smaller children’s slides and a large pool for normal swimming.

I found the Wibit Aqua course particularly interesting. After 2-3 laps my body showed me in the evening in the form of a wonderfully violent muscle soreness my current deficits. It was definitely worth the fun.Two of the larger slides are tube slides (also with double tubes). Here a slide is to be emphasized, which is designed as a “U” and yet requires a little more effort. In other parks this type of slide is often referred to as a kamikaze. There was also a funnel slide, an open chute for 3 people. Two Twister slides and a “free fall” slide were also accessible via the slide tower. The last three slides were completely dark.

For the visitors there was a small water channel on which you could drift with the tires, but there was no real fun….

In the park there were many pool attendants who took good care of the few guests. You can’t blame them for wanting to see more business.

The beach at the hotel.

A good change to the aquapark was in the afternoon the beach, which was also guarded. The water of the Aegean Sea was still pleasantly warm in October. At the hotel beach there were enough loungers (with cushions). As a further service, the hotel also offered pool towels, which could be changed several times a day. Such an empty aquapark is of course indescribably much better than e. g. the full Etnaland in Sicily.

Because of the short time we only used the vacation to relax, which we succeeded with the exception of the sore muscles. If you want to do more, you can visit the very impressive excavations of Ephesus, which I can only recommend. As a great tour guide I can recommend the company Ephesus Deluxe, which offers really individual tours at a good price (even tested on a cruise).

After four days from Friday to Monday we were picked up at the hotel on Monday evening and taken to Izmir to the airport.

Conclusion

It is also worthwhile to spend a long weekend in Turkey. The flight times to the Aegean Sea from Hanover are only slightly longer than to the Balearic Islands and the transfer is also manageable. With the “night flights” you can get almost full days off your holiday. In the off-season, the merchants may be ready for another great price and the hotels are not so crowded.

Have you been in Turkeye also for holidays? What was your experience?

You are more interest in holidays in Spain or Italy? Check our our post about the Alhambra, Gran Canaria, Tenerife or Sardinia, which we visited in the southern and northern area.

Usedom Poland Świnoujście wide beaches

Usedom Poland Świnoujście wide beaches

Świnoujście Usedom

Usedom offers with Świnoujście on the Polish side of the island a not quite as decadent destination as you can find in Ahlbeck, Heringsdorf or Bansin. If you are looking for nice and chic, you will surely stay on the German side.

But also the Polish village has its own charm and is a beautiful holiday destination. The endlessly wide beach lures with fine sand.
We have experienced the following things:

  • shopping in Świnoujście
  • where you can eat delicious food in Świnoujście
  • what sightseeing spots the city has to offer
  • whether the market in Świnoujście is really worth to visit

The activity in the restaurants and beach snack bars is more lively during the day and also in the evening and offers a variety of delicious dishes for significantly cheaper prices than in the finer towns.

We recommend the Pizzeria i Smalzania (right side) or the Restaurant Dune at the end of the promenade.

A direct promenade on the beach invites you to take a walk and offers fantastic views over the Baltic Sea. On the main promenade itself, the shops, parks and restaurants are lined up over a good kilometre.

The main promenade is partly already modernized – old times are still to be seen on other pieces and today almost make up a certain charm. At all times, street musicians play and give the promenade its own flair.

To the west, there is a crossborder cycle path that connects all seaside resorts from Swinemünde to Bansin. The route is heavily frequented during the day – above all, cyclists commute between the villages. In the evening, the trail is not much used and is therefore ideal for inline skating (parking on the Polish side).

Świnoujście – a place with two faces.

In the so-called “spa area” many things have already been renovated and refurbished. In the actual village, the wind of bygone times still blows in large part, and the prefabricated buildings at the entrance of the village bear witness to the past.
We would go back to Świnoujście. By the way, May is a good month to visit Świnoujście. But as always, the holiday depends on the weather. The main attraction as well as the other seaside resorts is the beach.

There are still a few old fortresses that today serve as military museums. If you like it more active, you are in a better position in the high ropes course directly in the park behind the spa area. On the compulsory program is of course also a cycling tour on the Europaweg through the seaside resorts.

Bargain hunters will find their prey directly on the border road towards Ahlbeck on the “Polenmarkt”. In a jumble of “markets”, just about everything you can imagine is offered. From low-cost cigarettes,”brands” clothing, sweets, food, perfumes, CDs, DVDs and bags to fishing gear, you can buy everything you need. It is no comparison to Mediterranean markets, as the shops are housed in functional and ugly huts made of corrugated iron.

The next time we choose accommodation, we would rather see 1-2 stars more at the hotel than this year. Our accommodation had 2-3 stars and promised more than it kept. Although there are many delicious restaurants along the promenade, the hotels tend to cook in the level of old youth hostels. For our next holiday on Usedom, it will therefore only amount to overnight stay/breakfast in the hotel.

In the near surroundings on the Polish side, Misdroy and Rewal are still recommended. In case of bad weather, Szczecin is a good address with its outlets.

Our next vacation to Usedom was then our tour in the Algarve and through the south of Spain with a visit to the Alhambra.