Steve's World Blog Information and articles on cities, towns and villages around the world.

August 31, 2009

Cartagena Costa Calida

Filed under: Costa Calida,History,Spain — Tags: , , — needahand @ 6:56 pm

The ancient Spanish city of Cartagena is located in the province of Murcia in the south-east of the country and is a coastal city on the section known as the Costa Calida. Cartagena has a history going back to the times of the ancients when it was founded by the Carthaginian general Hasdrubel in around 227 BC. After Hasdrubel died he was replaced by the famous general Hannibal who made Cartagena into his very own Iberian capital. When the Romans arrived after the Punic Wars they made Cartagena into a major trading centre, making use of its strategic natural harbour and its extensive mineral deposits located in the neighbouring mountains. There are a wealth of Roman monuments still remaining in Cartagena today and they form part of the city’s rich heritage. Visitors today can see the remains of the Punic Ramparts and also the Augusteum both of which are impressive locations. The port of Cartagena has always been important for Spain and its navy and it became the headquarters of the Spanish Navy’s Maritime Department of the Mediterranean during the 18th Century, it is still a major naval port today. One of the exhibits on show at the port of Cartagena is the first submarine, built by a Cartagena citizen called Isaac Peral in around 1884, this submarine can be viewed at the quayside. Cartagena lies a little south of the Mar Menor, the largest salt lake in Europe. The Mar Menor boasts some of the finest seaside resorts in the region including the renowned golf and sports resort of La Manga. Cartagena is currently undergoing some major refurbishments and the increase in property development in and around Cartagena is bringing increased wealth and interest to the area. Cartagena property is much in demand as is property along the neighbouring Mar Menor. If you are visiting southern Spain in the near future and are in the area of Cartagena be sure to take time to visit this ancient city and enjoy some of its many attractions. Cartagena Map.

Callosa de Segura Costa Blanca

Filed under: Costa Blanca,Spain — Tags: , , — needahand @ 6:46 pm

The traditional Spanish town of Callosa de Segura lays at the foot of the Sierra de Callosa just back from the Costa Blanca coastline of south-eastern Spain. Having a population of around 17,000 it is a medium sized town with an interesting history. Above the town stands the Sant Roque Hermitage and way above that the ruins of an ancient castle in a seemingly inaccessible place, the hermitage is built on the spot where Saint Roque supposedy appeared. Amongst surrounding buildings but easy to spot from the hermitage is the large Saint Martin’s church, built between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries and containing some significant gold pieces by Miguel de Vera. Other interesting places to visit include the Archaeological Museum, the Hemp and Agricultural Museum, the Holy Week Museum and the Fiesta Museum. Callosa de Segura can be accessed from the AP-7 motorway junction 733.

Calahonda Andalucia Spain

Filed under: Costa del Sol,Spain — Tags: , , , , — needahand @ 6:37 pm

Located on the Costa del Sol coastline between Fuengirola and Marbella, the custom built urbanization of Siteo Calahonda is a low-rise development which is so large that it has become a town in its own right. Renowned for the high build quality, Calahonda is regarded as a prime real estate area, and properties here are in great demand. Running gently up undulating hills from the coast, Calahonda was formerly the site of a fort-house, built to defend local citizens from assaults by Barbary pirates, the fort was in two colours, for the purpose of camouflage. Calahonda was developed from the 1960’s as a blend of rural and coastal life, there are plenty of green areas planted with pines and other trees. This stretch of the Spanish coast benefits from a lovely climate and Calahonda weather is perfect for holidays throughout the year. Calahonda is located about 35 kilometres from Malaga airport. Calahonda Map.

Los Delfines Cala n Blanes and Cala n Forcat

Filed under: Balearic Islands,Holidays,Spain — Tags: , , , , , — needahand @ 6:31 pm

Situated to the north-east of the town of Ciutadella in northern Menorca, a large built for tourism development, takes in 3 or 4 separate resorts which have become popular since their growth from the 1980’s onwards. Known by most as Los Delfines, this complex also includes the resorts of Cala n Blanes and Cala n Forcat, plus the area known as Torre del Ram. Situated in an area of rocky coastline, these resorts are not well known for their beaches, and for beach lovers would not be ideal, although there is a decent (though often crowded) beach at Cala n Blanes. There are a couple of hotels here, but most of the accommodation is self-catering, and there are a good range of amenities between the various resorts and some reasonable nightlife and entertainment to enjoy. The area provides a good base for touring the north of Menorca and for visiting historic Ciutadella. Cala n Blanes Map.

Cambrils Costa Dorada

Filed under: Costa Dorada,Spain,Travel — Tags: , , — needahand @ 6:21 pm

Located at the southern end of the Costa Dorada, Spain, the pretty town of Cambrils is a rare example of a holiday destination that has not yet been spoiled by tourism. Boasting wonderful sandy beaches and some of the best seafood restaurants in the region, Cambrils is certainly a place to consider if you are visiting the area. The site of a significant Roman settlement over 2,000 years ago, there are still remnants from the Roman period, for instance the remains of a villa at La Llosa. Todays villas are more for holiday renters as they seek a paradise in the sun and during the summer, there is plenty of sunshine as Cambrils weather is just right for that super summer holiday, hot sunny days are tempered by soothing sea breezes making it pleasant and enjoyable. Cambrils Map.

Cala Llonga Ibiza

Filed under: Balearic Islands,Holidays,Spain — Tags: , , — needahand @ 6:15 pm

Around ten kilometres north of Ibiza Town on the coastal road to Santa Eulalia, the quiet and secluded seaside resort of Cala Llonga is situated in a tiny bay, circled by hills covered in pine trees. A favoured haunt of smugglers for many years, Cala Llonga was established as a holiday resort during the early 1970’s by a group of British entrepeneurs who spotted the potential of this beautiful place, their confidence was well founded and Cala Llonga is now extremely popular with couples and families, looking for a quieter beach oriented holiday, away from the noisy traditional resorts of Ibiza. Accommodation in Cala Llonga is mostly self-catering and a good choice for your stay might be the El Pinar Cala Llonga Apartments, located just 10 metres from the delightful sandy beach and handy for the resort centre. The beach is safe and clean and is one of the main reasons to visit, along with the quiet and the terrific Cala Llonga weather which is just pefect for a beach holiday or even a quiet winter break. Cala Llonga lies just off the PM-V-810-1 coast road between Ibiza Town and Santa Eulalia.

Cala Llonga Map.

Carvoeiro Portugal

Filed under: Algarve,Holidays,Portugal — Tags: , , — needahand @ 11:17 am

If you are looking for a decent family resort for visiting the Algarve region of Portugal, you could do little better than the former fishing village of Carvoeiro, situated between Portimao and Albufeira. A charming little town with an emphasis on self-catering apartments, Carvoeiro has a friendly feel and boasts a fine sandy beach, attractive coastline and some decent facilities. A good base for touring some of the historic towns in this section of the Algarve, the town enjoys a super climate with Carvoeiro weather, sunny and warm throughout the summer months, and mild during the winter. One of the highlights of a trip to Carvoeiro is a boat trip to Algar Seco, a local beauty spot where cliffs have been moulded by the sea into stone arches, grottoes and fascinating shapes. Carvoeiro Map.

Mallorca Resorts Cala d Or

Filed under: Balearic Islands,Holidays,Spain — Tags: , , — needahand @ 9:22 am

The chic seaside resort of Cala D’Or lies on the east coast of Mallorca in the Spanish Balearic Islands. Popular with ‘package holiday’ tourists it also has a beautiful marina where countless fine yachts are moored. A super resort for water sports, Cala D’Or has facilities for diving, sailing and windsurfing, it has numerous small beaches and coves along its 4 km of coastline. Holiday makers come to relax and enjoy the superb Cala D’Or weather and dine in the many waterfront restaurants. Cala D’Or Map.

August 30, 2009

The Volcanic Islands of Santorini Greece

Filed under: Greece,History,Holidays,Travel — Tags: , , , — needahand @ 11:16 am

Also known as Thira, Santorini comprises a small group of islands situated in the southern Aegean Sea, Greece. Santorini is volcanic in nature and has a total area of 28 square miles, it was formed by one of the biggest volcanic eruptions that have ever been recorded, an event which happened some three thousand six hundred years ago. These days Santorini is a popular holiday destination, boasting some beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters and peaceful atmosphere making it a perfect holiday environment. Santorini weather is typical for the region, being dry and hot in summer, and mild though somewhat wet in winter, the wettest months generally being January and February. Santorini can be accessed from most international airports via Athens, the flying time from Athens being about forty minutes, it can also be reached by ferry from various destinations. Santorini resorts include Pyrgos, Thira, Kamari, Perissa, Imerovigli, Oia, and Perivolos. Santorini Map.

August 28, 2009

Taunton Bridgewater and Wellington Somerset

Filed under: England,History,Travel,United Kingdom — Tags: , , , , — needahand @ 4:08 pm

While visiting the county town of Taunton in Somerset, England, you might also want to consider dropping in at a couple of the nearby towns such as Bridgewater or Wellington, both are historic towns and both have their own stories to tell. In Taunton itself, there is plenty to see and do, with a history going back to Saxon times and beyond there are lots of interesting places to visit. The River Tone cuts through the town centre and it was this river that gave Taunton its name, the important strategic situation of the town led to Taunton Castle being built as long ago as the 7th century. Taunton is a pretty town and has some nice parks such as Vivery Park and Victoria Park, lovely green areas where local people can enjoy peace and quiet. Rebuilt by the Normans, parts of the castle remain and now house the Somerset County Museum. To the north of Taunton, Bridgewater, another town on a river (this time the River Parrett), was a trading centre of significance way before the Normans invaded Britain, its mention in the 9th century Anglo Saxon Chronicles give evidence of this. Bridgewater even later acted as a port, receiving coal from Wales. Wellington, of course, gave is name to the Duke of Wellington (Sir Arthur Wellesley), and during the Industrial Revolution was an important wool making town. Among places to visit in Wellington are the Cothay Manor Gardens. A lesser known town which might also attract your attention is Wiveliscombe (or Wivey as the locals call it), settled in Pre Roman times, it was later another town to prosper from the wool trade. Wiveliscombe is also well known for its brewery built by the Hancock family in 1807.

See a map of Taunton here:

Honiton Seaton and Ottery St Mary

Filed under: England,United Kingdom — Tags: , , , , — needahand @ 12:42 pm

When travelling around the East Devon region of England in the United Kingdom, you will find some interesting little towns which are well worth a visit, among the more desirable are Honiton, Seaton and Ottery St Mary. Honiton and Ottery St Mary are both inland towns, and both side next to the lovely River Otter which cuts its way through this part of Devon, whilst Seaton is a seaside town and popular retirement location. Honiton is most famous for its lace, a trade which has been practised since Elizabethan times, it is also well known for pottery production. Ottery St Mary’s claim to fame is its best known son Samuel Taylor Coleridge who was born there on 21st October 1772, his father a well respected vicar of the parish. Worth a visit in Ottery St Mary is the parish church which resembles a mini Exeter Cathedral. Changing rivers to the River Axe and heading for the coast will find you at the seaside resort of Seaton, a popular town for retirement but also a well known family holiday destination since Victorian times. Be sure to visit the pretty harbour which was a significant port for many centuries until the estuary was  mostly blocked by heavy storms during the fourteenth century. Though made of pebbles Seaton beach is still an attraction for the town.

Majorca Resorts Cala Bona

Filed under: Balearic Islands,Holidays,Spain,Travel — Tags: , , , — needahand @ 12:37 pm

If travelling to the east coast of Majorca for your holidays this year, you may want to consider staying at the pretty little resort of Cala Bona (which means “Good Bay”). Less well known than its bigger neighbour Cala Millor, Cala Bona has an attractive harbour and its original network of narrow streets and alleys from its former days as a small fishing village. Lacking a real sandy beach , Cala Bona may not suit all holidaymakers, and if it is a beach holiday that you prefer you may be better advised to head for Cala Millor or one of Majorca’s other big coastal resorts. Cala Bona still has some small beaches, located in little rocky bays and inlets along the coast and it is a good base for exploring the east coast of Majorca and its many attractions. Cala Bona Map.

Sidmouth, Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton

Filed under: England,Holidays,United Kingdom — Tags: , , , — needahand @ 10:19 am

Close to the estuary of the River Exe in Devon are some popular seaside towns which you might consider visiting if you are in the area. One of the best known is Sidmouth, which has also become a desirable town in which to retire (similar to Eastbourne in that respect). An ancient settlement, Sidmouth was mentioned in the Domesday Book and spent most of its life as a small fishing village until is became a well known holiday destination during Georgian and Victorian times. Between Sidmouth and Exmouth lies the residencial town of Budleigh Salterton, a quiet town with around 5,000 inhabitants. Budleigh Salterton lies beside the estuary of the River Otter, an important conservation area and haven for migratory birds, it also attracts holidaymakers during the summertime and like Sidmouth has a pebble beach. Right at the mouth of the River Exe, Exmouth is another historic settlement which became popular as a holiday destination, in fact it is claimed to be the oldest holiday resort in Devon, attracting many visitors during the 18th century, who came to enjoy the healing salt waters and the beautiful coastline. Map of Devon.

Terra Mitica Aqualandia Mundomar Benidorm

Filed under: Costa Blanca,Holidays,Spain — Tags: , , , , , — needahand @ 7:45 am

The undisputed holiday capital of Spain is without doubt the resort of Benidorm, located in the Costa Blanca region about 30 minutes drive from Alicante airport. What makes Benidorm so special? Is it the wonderful beaches, Benidorm has two main beaches Playa Poinente and Playa Levante, and these stretch for many kilometres of unbroken sand? Is it the vibrant and exciting night life, Benidorm has hundreds of bars, restaurants, clubs and discos? Is it the wonderful climate, everybody enjoys the weather Benidorm has to offer with over 300 days of sunshine each year? Or is it the great range of theme parks, Benidorm is second to none with the famous Terra Mitica with its unique civilization zones and great rides, the exciting Aqualandia with its super slides, wave machine and range of pools, the fascinating Mundomar Marina and Exotic Animal Park, the inspiring Terra Natura Safari Park? Who knows exactly what it is that attracts visitors to Benidorm, but attract them it does and in fine style with over 4 million visitors per year.

August 27, 2009

The Ancient City of Cadiz

Filed under: History,Spain — Tags: , , , — needahand @ 6:41 pm

Virtually surrounded by water on the Costa de la Luz coastline of southern Spain, the ancient city and port of Cadiz is claimed to be the oldest inhabited city in Europe. Founded by the Phoenicians as a trading centre in around 1100 BC it now has a population of 130,000 and has been the base of the Spanish Navy since the Spanish Bourbons ascended the throne during the 18th century. Known to the Greeks as Gádeira, in myth it was founded by Hercules, after he had completed his tenth labour. Later controlled by Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths and Moors, before being returned to Christian hands by Alphonso X in 1262. Cadiz waved off Christopher Columbus on 2 of his famous voyages, and benefited from the huge wealth that subsequently arrived from the Americas during Spain’s Golden Age. The wealth attracted the attention of pirates and Sir Francis Drake occupied the harbour in “The Singeing of the King of Spain’s Beard” incident, which delayed the Armada and possibly led to its eventual failure. Cadiz today has some important historic monuments, its best known perhaps the cathedral which was originally built in the 12th century, burned down in the 16th century and eventually rebuilt in the 18th century with rococo and neoclassical elements. The Cadiz area is also popular with holidaymakers as its coastline has some of the best beaches in Spain, and the Costa de la Luz (Coast of Light) benefits from a splendid climate with Cadiz weather being pleasant for most of the year and especially warm from May to September. Cadiz is just 40 km from the airport at Jerez, the spectacular city of Seville is around 125 kilometres away. Cadiz Map.

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