Autumn in Europe equals low temperatures, grey skies and rainy days. But not at the Spanish Canary Islands! So I escaped the cold and the rain to enjoy a week in the sun in Gran Canaria. During this week the Maspalomas Winterpride took place as well. During the days I spend most of my time on the beaches of Playa del Ingles and Maspalomas (next to the famous Maspalomas dunes). On saturday I joined the Pride Walk. And in the evenings I partied at the Yumbo centre, where every night performances were done by o.a. 2Unlimited, Tara McDonald, Berget Lewis and several DJ's.
Since I enjoyed the beautiful beach on Mallorca in 2018, I decided to visit another Balearic island this year. I took a direct flight from Eindhoven to Ibiza (Eivissa). From the airport it was just a short bus ride to my apartment on Playa Figueretes in Ibiza Town.
Although Ibiza is famous as a party-island, I spend most of my time in the Old Town (Dalt Vila) or at one of the beaches on the southern tip of the island (behind the salt flats and the National Park of "Ses Salines") and on the neighbouring island of Formentera.
Ibiza Dalt Vila is a huge walled fortress on a hilltop surrounding a cobbled street town. From the city walls there is an amazing view on the harbour (with its yachts and jet set) on the one side and the bay of Playa Figueretes and PLaya d'en Bossa on the other side.
Just 7 kilometres south of Ibiza lies Formentera, the smallest of the Balearic Islands. The island is 19 kilometres long, has no airport and a population of under 10.000 people living there. In the peak season (July-August) the island is overwhelmed by Italian tourists.
When staying in Ibiza town I took a boat that got me in the Formentera harbour within an hour. Because the island is flat and sandy I discovered the northern part of the island by foot. Here are some unspoilt almost Caribbean beaches with clean sand and transparent water. Real paradise!
In search of some late October sunshine, I booked a ticket to Malaga, a city on the Spanish Costa del Sol. Although it is supposed to be sunny here 300 days a year, during my stay half of the time the sky was covered by clouds. Still the temperature was perfect to wander around the streets of Malaga.
The size of Malaga is best seen from the Gibralfaro hill. On the foot of this hill lies the Alcabaza castle and the Roman Theatre. From here the old historic centre, the harbour and the city-beach Malagueta are all within a short walking distance away.
As usual I wanted to work on my tan as well. So when the sun was out, I spend my time in the infinity pool on the rooftop of my hotel in the resort town of Torremolinos or at one of the beaches just outside Malaga.
European summer is in full swing and I decided to put my towel on a Mediterranean beach for a week. Since I had never been to the Spanish Balearic island, I chose Mallorca as a destination.
I expected Mallorca to be very touristy and when I arrived on the Palma de Mallorca airport my prejudice was directly confirmed by the amount of incoming flights from all over Europe. My hotel was situated in C'an Picafort on the Northern Bay of Alcudia. This resort town is popular among the Germans, resulting in being spoken to in German in supermarkets and restaurants. Thanks to the internet I found some less-touristy restaurants for my evening diners.
The beach in front of C'an Picafort was crowded by families. Though after 45 minutes walking along the beach I found a more relaxing area in from of the natural reserve of S'Albufera on the Es Comú beach. This virgin stretch of more than five kilometers of white sand is bordered by dunes and pines. The crystal blue waters had shallow slopes and the northern breeze brought some refreshing air during the "baking and book-reading days" on the beach.
When in need of “Vitamin Sea” I love to find a Spanish beach to lay my towel. To be sure to have perfect weather conditions I booked a week of holiday in the resort town of Torremolinos. Once a fishing village, Torremolinos is nowadays one of the most popular resorts on Spain’s Costa del Sol. The town is easy to reach since it is next to the airport of the neighbouring city of Malaga.
I stayed in a very nice hotel with an infinity pool on the rooftop. Standing in the pool I enjoyed the views on the coastline that has sandy beaches for as far as I could see. Since the low-season had started, I could easily find a more quiet stretch of beach to read a book and work on the tan without being bothered by mass-tourism.
Every night I found a nice restaurant for diner before continuing the night in the bars of the Nogalera district. Last couple of nights I really enjoyed the company from group of Spanish and Brazilians. I was happy to find out my Spanish speaking skills were good enough to have some nice conversations with these guys.
Too bad the holiday already came to an end after six full days in the sun. Although I was reloaded with sunshine I wished I could have stayed a bit longer. Maybe I should just return another year.... :-)
Barcelona is like the perfect city for me. It has beaches, culture, history and it is easy to get around by metro. I almost never return to places I visited before but Barcelona is a place I loved to return to.
Wandering the streets and squares is never boring in this place. From the central Plaza de Catalunya taking the touristic Ramblas to the harbour and the beach, there is always something going on here. I spend my afternoons on the beaches before hitting the bars and clubs in Eixample neighbourhood at night.
When I was on my flight back to Eindhoven I knew this was not the last time I visited Barcelona!
While staying in Barcelona I thought it would be interesting to visit nearby coastal town of Sitges for a few days. Sitges is situated 35 kilometers from Barcelona and that's just a 45 minutes train-ride along the coast.
Sitges has always been a place which has enchanted artists and visitors from all over the world. Many painters, sculptors and writers settled here at the end of the 19th century. Nowadays Sitges is a beachtown that is packed with resorts and hotels and a popular place for families and the LGBT-community.
Although I loved to spend some time on the beach in Sitges, I prefer the city of Barcelona which has more beaches, more nightlife and a more authentic vibe.