Sardinia vacation, the Caribbean of Europe. Endless beaches

Sardinia vacation, the Caribbean of Europe. Endless beaches

Sardinia Vacation in the Caribbean of Europe

Sardinia Vacation in the north or better in the south of the island? We could not decide on this question either and have therefore decided to make a direct comparison. So we split our holiday into a week “Sardinia’s South” and a week “Sardinia’s North”. After two weeks we can successfully say that both regions have their great charms. The south of the island (especially the southwest) is much quieter than the north. If you are looking for a region that is more developed and offers more opportunities, the north of the island is the better destination for you.

Sardinia vacation – the north rocks!

A little south of Olbia lies the small village of Budoni, which became our starting point. Of course, you can also spend the night in a much more sophisticated way. In Porto Cervo on the world-famous Costa Smeralda you are in the jet set and can pop the corks or take your yacht for a few cruises.

From Budoni you can also reach all the important points on the north coast by car. When planning your trip you should keep in mind that the routes on Sardinia take a bit more time than comparable routes in Germany. Vacation on Sardinia means in any case also in the north much beaches and still more sea!

Our “house beach” during our vacation in Sardinia

There are a large number of holiday apartments, houses and camping sites in Budoni and its surroundings. Through the usual online portals you will surely find a great accommodation according to your requirements. Our house was only 100 meters away from the beach – what a luxury. By the way, in September you travel already in the low season, so that you will have a lot of space on the beach. Also at the Cala di Budoni it goes fortunately very gently into the water.

Surroundings of Budoni

Just twenty minutes from Budoni is the town of Ottili, where you will also find a small harbour. In the ice cream parlour directly at the harbour you can also sit and enjoy a delicious gelato.

In the evening you should definitely go to St. Teodoro again. In the small village the city centre is closed for cars. You can walk through the streets of the city and look at the many small shops and boutiques or dine in one of the many restaurants. At the end of the evening we recommend a nightcap on the terrace of the bar directly at the market. By the way, you can also find the tourist information of the region at the market. The staff are very helpful and will certainly give you good tips for your Sardinia holiday.

The North of Sardinia

On your Sardinia vacation, the chances of bad weather are really low. What is great for the tourists brings many problems for the locals. One day we had also just rain. What do you do on your Sardinia vacation in bad weather? It remains Olbia in the north, where you can move through the shopping centres. Alternatively, and especially if you also have a rental car, we recommend you to go to Alghero. The journey time of almost two hours is definitely worthwhile and the chance of better weather on the west coast is high.

Alghero in the north-west of Sardinia

After our “escape” from the rain we experienced Alghero and were very impressed. You’ll probably have to do a few turns for the parking lot. Italian city centres are not exactly designed for larger quantities of cars. Tip: Take the coastal road out of town, where it is quicker to find a parking space. You can enjoy the sea on the way along the protection wall towards the old town of Alghero and take some great photos of the old town including the defence tower. After the first snapshots we go directly behind the tower into the old town of Alghero with its many small alleys and squares. If you are a fan of Italian old towns, then you will love Alghero. Let yourself be enchanted by the life on site or enjoy the bustle with a delicious espresso in one of the cafes in Alghero’s squares. If you have had enough of the old town, you can also simply walk on the city wall, which separates the old town from the sea and on which you have a wonderful view of the sea, the harbour and also the old town. On the city wall can also take a wonderful break and recover again.

Alghero and surroundings – the Grotta di Nettuno

There is still a sporty challenge for you on the west coast just north of Alghero with the Grotta di Nettuno. A stalactite cave awaits you, to which the access leads over a path with many stairs along the steep coast. The views are spectacular! If you prefer the comfortable way, you can also take a boat directly to the cave. The way over the stairs is definitely interesting. At the bottom of the cave you can buy a ticket for a guided tour. The cave is relatively large and has stalactite columns, some 12 metres high. You learn how fast stalactites and stalagmites grow and especially in which direction they have to grow. Make sure you take something to drink with you when the sun shines. You can only buy tickets at the cave but no drinks 😉 ! A visit to the cave is a good combination for a day trip in connection with a visit to Alghero!

Sardinia vacation means beach vacation

You will find many great beaches in Budoni and its surroundings. As a special recommendation we recommend you to visit the beaches in the National Park Oasi Biderosa. In the high season it makes sense to reserve one of the few tickets in advance, in fact only a limited number of cars and visitors are admitted. In the low season your chances are higher to get a ticket spontaneously on the spot. The guide at the park’s entrance will be happy to recommend a suitable section for the weather. You will have a great day on an almost lonely beach where time will certainly pass far too quickly.

Bay of Orosei

A little further south is the Gulf of Orosei, of which you will have already seen fantastic pictures on the Internet. You can even rent inflatable boats at the harbours and see the coast from the sea. Unfortunately, the weather has skipped our plans, so we have saved this point for our next visit. Our alternative program was at least as attractive:

La Maddalena – the Caribbean of Europe in front of Sardinia

In the north of Sardinia you will find many small islands with beautiful bays, crystal clear waters and beaches “just like in the movies” with the archipelago around La Maddalena. In the port of Palau there are a really large number of providers who make trips to the island world every day. Have a look at some reviews on the popular portals. Most tours start at about 10.00 am. We recommend you to be in Palau in time. The route to the village is not very far, as with the other tours, but it can take some time due to the route. If you are there in time, you can also get a personal impression of the providers. You are spoilt for choice and can choose from a variety of ships depending on your budget. Our choice was due to our late arrival a sailboat. At the end of the day we were unknowingly lucky because the skipper was much more flexible with his boat than the big excursion boats. Like everything in life, it had its price. On the big boats you can go for about 40 €; with the sailors you will be there with about 80 €. For the price you will be driven through the incredibly beautiful island world and can refresh yourself on the many bathing stops in the Mediterranean. In any case we were glad at the end of the day that we didn’t go on the big boats. Our skipper and his wife showed us great beaches and also took care of our physical well-being with pasta and vino during the day. A completely successful day with an excursion, which we really like to recommend!

The hinterland of Sardinia – Monti, Budduso, Bitti

In September you may not always get a direct hit with the weather. One of the less sunny days we still used to look at the mountainous hinterland of Sardinia. Our tour took us from Budoni to Monti, where we can recommend a stopover at the “Cantina Sociale del Vermentino” – provided you like white wine. The Cantina is a winegrowers’ cooperative, from which you can also purchase directly. Interestingly, the term fuel station has a completely new character there. In the far hinterland you drive through forests of cork oaks and can also take pictures of the plain around Olbia.

You should make a stopover on the way through the mountainous route in any case also in Buddusò at one of the nuraghi temples or places of worship. Nuragic culture was a culture that developed in Sardinia around 1600 B.C. (and which even then built very durable buildings). The tour continues to Orune, where you can see the mystical fountain Su Tempiesu. When you set off on this tour you should definitely be interested in archaeological sites! In the south direction Nuoro we used the connection to the motorway direction Budoni again, in order to drive after the round trip again to our beautiful holiday house.

Conclusion of the Sardinia vacation

We can definitely recommend a vacation on Sardinia. The island is not as crowded as other islands (Balearic Islands, Gran Canaria, Tenerife). Depending on your interests you have to consider whether you want to have more hustle and bustle around you or whether the much quieter south suits you better. We will definitely go back to Sardinia again!

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.

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.

 

Andalusia with Marbella, Málaga and Alhambra

Andalusia with Marbella, Málaga and Alhambra

Málaga, Alhambra and also Marbella

Málaga, Alhambra and also Marbella were the declared destinations in Andalusia for the second week of our vacation after starting at the Algarve. And so, well rested we started early on Saturday in Albufeira. Get on the A22 and head east. After just after 80 kilometres on the motorway, we went via the Puente Internacional del Guadiana to Spain. Our goal that day at 38 °C was Torrox on the Costa del Sol near Malaga.

On the way to Torrox we had a short break in Seville at the best time of the day. Except for a few tourists, who were also on their way or had no sensible sense of temperature, there were hardly any people on the streets. The 38°C were in fact a good challenge and really not an invitation to longer explorations of the city. Thus, we have limited ourselves to giving our car directly in the center of the parking garage above the famous Torro del Oro in Av. Paseo de Cristina and only take a short trip to the centre.

From the Av. Paseo Cristina you can also quickly reach the Plaza de Espana, which we still visited. The cathedral, the bullfighting arena, the palace, theater, university etc. etc. are also in the immediate vicinity. With our short stopover, the city has already impressed in the centre. Unfortunately, the big (but to be expected) realisation was that Seville is not the best destination on a 20 August in bright sunshine. And so we drove straight on towards Málaga and Torrox. Fortunately, the motorways have also been very empty in Spain.

Plaza de Espana, Sevilla, Andalusien

Andalusia, there’s much to see…

The next adventure should not be long in coming. Arriving in Torrox we were greeted by the friendly property manager who showed us the way up into the mountains near Torrox to our house. After five kilometres or initially 20 minutes driving time with an interesting road we arrived at our holiday home, the “Villa Vista“.

Lonely at the mountain and surprisingly equipped with electricity and running water! It was to be a very relaxing week in the house; only the trip to the bakery had to be cancelled in the morning.

With a breathtaking view over Torrox Costa, we were well compensated for the lack of fresh bread in the morning. The house really had everything to offer to recover very well for one week. Beside the pool there was also a great roof terrace where you could grill and chill out on a wonderful barbecue. Next to the house there was a small vineyard and the fruits of the trees from the garden could have been eaten.

A well-considered shopping list was also the prerequisite for the great recovery, because the coffee milk forgotten in the supermarket was already very annoying due to the longer driveway to the house. The next bigger shops were about 30 minutes away.

And so we always used the excursions to the valley for a day’s shopping.

 

Speaking about day trips: Torrox and Torrox Costa are located east of Málaga . After a first quick look at the map also a good program on the list: the Alhambra, Gibraltar, Málaga , Seville (was already ticked off), Marbella, Nerja and an aquapark in the region. Enough for seven days with a few days of rest at the pool.

The plan was set! Said, done and off we went. We had forgotten in the plan the sun of Andalusia, which made some changes. In the end, however, we have seen so much that we were able to gain at least a first impression of this great region.

Andalusia in August is especially suitable for one thing: relaxing by the pool. Or the beach.

Culture, and even more culture

If you are looking for culture, Andalusia is a great destination. Clearly Cordoba and Ronda west of Málaga were missing on our list. All in all, of course, a huge area that requires more than a week’s holiday. We’ll be back.

We started according to our plan with Marbella and Málaga. Known as the favourite place of the rich and beautiful, Marbella also attracts ordinary mortals to see what you can do with too much money.

The beautiful Marbella can be seen at the small harbour, which is also adjacent to the old town. The decadent Marbella can be seen at the marina about 5 km away, where the superyachts of the super-rich line up like a pearl necklace. It’s easy to see who has the money and who just wants to be there with the little cutter.

And it not worth to mention that this marina is the perfect place for super-rapid sailing. A little hint – you can also rent the cars for a stylish visit. At the end of the street Conjuta Banabola you only have to decide whether to turn right towards Cartier (approx. 110 m) or turn left past the restaurants. I recommend turning to the left. The distance is at least 170 m long and you can drive along the parallel road behind the houses always beautifully in a circle and thus also create routes. If only the tourists wouldn’t stand in the way!

If you like it, you can eat a nice ice cream at the harbour after an extensive round. Price per scoop in a cup costs 3,5 Euro. For the sake of fairness, there is a quantity discount from the second scoop onwards.

Nowhere in Andalusia is the density of superlatives higher than at the marina of Marbella and it resembles a zoo visit in the figurative sense. On the one hand, the supposedly proud yacht owners boasting of the largest yacht and on the other hand, the normal tourist. Whoever looks at whom more may be left standing. But here too, as in the zoo: Don’t grab and feed through the bars!

From Marbella to Málaga in Andalusia

On the way back to Marbella, we reached Málaga , another destination on our way.

In the centre of Málaga is a very beautiful city with an infinite number of tapas bars and restaurants, all of which are very inviting. With a friendly greeting from the sun (“the pool calls!”) we drove back to Torrox after a short walk through the city centre.

Kathedrala Malaga
malaga-innenstadt

Even if the stop was short and compact – we would come back again for a visit. At that time, we had already took Gibraltar from the list because of its distance, our pool and the sun.

The highlight of the week for me was a visit to the legendary Alhambra near Granada, which is also a World Heritage Site.

The Alhambra near Granada is one of the most visited destinations in Europe and so it is advisable to order your tickets in advance on the internet (www.alhambra-tickets.es / only Spanish / English). With the ordered tickets you have a guaranteed entrance to the Nasrid palace in the centre of the wide complex. It is important to keep the time window, which is determined by the order: outside of these times you can “only” look at the gardens.

The tickets are available in different versions. The ticket with full access to the Nasrid palaces and the Generalife costs just under 14, – Euro / adult.

We had ordered the tickets for the morning visit, which is also recommended for summer visits. After we printed the online tickets directly at the ticket printers next to the souvenir shop in front of the main entrance, we were ready to go.

There is a signposted tour of the Alhambra, which you can easily follow (external link: Alhambra map for iOS / Android). You should at least book an audio guide on site. Unfortunately, we missed this opportunity. In the gardens the crowds of people get very lost. Only in the Nasrid palace it gets a little bit fuller.

I’m sure you can write a lot of pages about the Alhambra. I want to be brief at this point. The visit is definitely worthwhile and surely belongs to the obligatory program during a holiday in Andalusia.

If the temperatures are cooler, a stroll through the old town of Granada is recommended before or after visiting the Alhambra.

After a long stay in the Alhambra we decided to go back to the pool. And so we made a detour through the Sierra Nevada parallel to the highway back towards Torrox.

Near Torrox Costa is also Nerja, which is clearly the most beautiful place to visit on the Costa del Sol. Nerja with the Balcon de Europa (a viewpoint on the pedestrian precinct) offers just about everything you would expect from a holiday resort. The beauty of Nerja is that the inner city area was hardly disfigured with functional buildings. The variety of restaurants and bars offer a wide choice. If you don’t have a great holiday home on an unpaved road in the mountains, Nerja would be an alternative destination for a holiday.

Frigiliana II
Nerja Balcon de Europa
Nerja Strand
Frigiliana

At the end of this beautiful and very relaxing week we spent in Frigiliana at a city festival (XI Festival Frigiliana 3 Culturas). On the tapas route you can walk from one restaurant to the next and try many different tapas. And wine. And beer. With Spanish music in the background and the music groups on the main stage, it’s great to celebrate!

To evaluate the holiday in Andalusia with the few but meaningful words of a typical Ebay rating, we say,”Everything good!”

Our tour started in Portugal.. you missed it? Take me back: Algarve, Portugal!

What have you done in Andalusia? Where should we have been in any case? Are you interested in Italy or the Canary Islands? Then just read about our experiences at Etna or how we got through the serpentines of Gran Canaria.

 

And here we could always have a good look with an empty battery:

With this app, you are also offline on the right track.

Simply download the right country package to your mobile phone before you travel.

Here 1 x Here for Android and here 1x Here for iOS

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.