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

September 8, 2009

Marbella Golf and Country Club

Filed under: Costa del Sol,Spain — Tags: , , , — needahand @ 1:55 pm

If you are a golf fan and you are heading for Marbella this year then you should certainly consider a trip to the Marbella Golf and Country Club situated about five kilometres to the east of Marbella town centre on the Costa del Sol, Spain. The superb golf course which was designed by Robert Trent Jones Senior, is set in rolling countryside offering spectacular views of the Mediterranean, and featuring lakes, ravines and gulleys and plenty of well placed bunkers, making it a challenging par 72 course of some 6,000 metres. When you have finished your round you can enjoy a drink in the comfortable bar or perhaps partake of a meal in the fine restaurant which is part of the complex, later you can head into Marbella and enjoy all the benefits of this wonderful resort.

San Pedro de Alcantara Spain

Filed under: Costa del Sol,Spain — Tags: , , , , — needahand @ 12:33 pm

One of the most unspoilt towns on the Costa del Sol coastline of Spain, San Pedro de Alcantara is situated about ten kilometres west of the glitz and glamour of Marbella. A world away from its upmarket neighbour, San Pedro de Alcantara is a quiet and peaceful coastal town with some excellent beaches, it has a population of 26,500 and is surrounded by the rugged hills of the Sierra Blanca, Sierra del Real and the Sierra Bermeja. San Pedro de Alcantara is well known as the location of the final summer fair to be held in Andalucia, an event which features a bull fight held in the ancient Iberian style. The town is ideal for peaceful family style holidays and is perfect for golfers, having numerous fine courses in its environs, among these are the 3 courses of the Guadalmina Golf Resort, the Atalaya Golf and Country Club and the El Paraiso Golf Club. San Pedro de Alcanatara is near to Puerto Banus and can be reached via the N-340 coast road. San Pedro de Alcantara Map.

Calpe Costa Blanca

Filed under: Costa Blanca,History,Spain — Tags: , , — needahand @ 11:41 am
Penon de Ifach Calpe

Penon de Ifach Calpe

One of the northern Costa Blanca’s major holiday destinations, Calpe is located north of the massive resort of Benidorm and south of the more laid back resort of Moraira. Calpe boasts one of the Costa Blanca’s best known landmarks in the form of the Penon de Ifach rock formation, now a protected Natural Park. Calpe was formerly just a small fishing village and was originally the site of Iberian settlements, the Romans arrived there during their conquest of the Iberian Peninsular and founded a fish salting factory near the present day beach, remains of which still exist in the form of the Queen’s Baths. The Penon de Ifach was always important for the town as a watchtower and was also the location of the town of Ifach which was later destroyed during the War of the Two Pedros. Calpe itself grew after this and developed as a walled town often attacked by pirates. During the mid-twentieth century a small tourism industry developed and this grew into a major earner for the town by the 1970’s. Attracting those seeking a slightly more laid back atmosphere than its neighbour Benidorm which is one of the world’s major seaside resorts, Calpe is still more developed than many of the areas other towns and has a good range of facilties. Map of Calpe.

Estepona Andalucia

Filed under: Costa del Sol,Spain,Travel — Tags: , , — needahand @ 9:41 am

Until the 20th century just a small fishing village in Andalucia, Estepona has now grown into a sizeable resort popular with holidaymakers, especially the Spanish themselves. Attracted by the fine climate, excellent beaches and pretty harbour, tourists arrive in their thousands in July and August, but also throughout the year as the town experiences a unique micro-climate giving Estepona some of the best weather in the region or in fact the whole of Spain. The old town still retains much of its traditional charm and it is a pleasure to stroll through the narrow cobbled streets and shaded squares. For a welcome breeze and a relaxed coffee, head for Estepona harbour where luxury yachts sit beside traditional fishing boats, try one of the harbourside restaurants for fresh fish dishes and local delicacies. For beach lovers there are miles of beaches around the town (some 21 km in all), with water sports on offer and the usual facilities. There is plenty of golf to be had around Estepona with 4 excellent courses to the south-west of the town. Map of Estepona.

September 7, 2009

Gran Alacant Costa Blanca

Filed under: Costa Blanca,Spain — Tags: , , , , — needahand @ 7:30 pm

Located between Alicante and Santa Pola on the Costa Blanca, Spain, the new development and resort of Gran Alacant is ideally situated for holidays and holiday homes. If you are thinking of resettling in the area then Gran Alacant may be just the place for you. Overlooking the azure blue Mediterranean Sea it is located beside the sand dunes of Santa Pola and Los Arenales del Sol and is just 4 km from the airport at Alicante. Great as a base for touring the Costa Blanca, as it located centrally and you can soon be in the mountainous area to the north where you can visit such picturesque places as Guadalest and the Fuentes de Algar waterfall, or head south for the flat plains of the Vega Baja and some interesting towns such as Torrevieja and Orihuela.

Guatiza Lanzarote

Filed under: Canary Islands,Spain — Tags: , , , — needahand @ 5:37 pm

A northeastern Canarian community in the Teguise municipality of Lanzarote, Guatiza has a population of around 800 and is well known for its cactus garden and cactus plantations. The cactus garden is located in an old volcanic hollow and was designed by Lanzarote architect César Manrique, it contains over 1,500 species of cactus. The large cactus plantations are grown to attract the cochineal beetle which lives on the prickly pear cactus, and the resulting cochineal has been an important product for the village for many centuries. The old village of Guatiza was sacked several times by the Moors and was moved to a safer location. Guatiza is situated 2 kilometres from the coast about nine kilometres north of Costa Teguise and Tahiche.

Guadalest Costa Blanca

Filed under: Costa Blanca,History,Spain — Tags: , — needahand @ 5:30 pm
Guadalest Castle

Guadalest Castle

One of the most visited locations on the Costa Blanca, Castell de Guadalest is an amazing place with a long history. Overlooked by its 12th century castle, built by the Moors in an inaccessible location atop a steep mountain, Guadalest is a picture postcard village with a resident population of just a couple of hundred. The upper town and castle can only be reached by entering a 15 metre long tunnel, carved from solid rock, and the streets below and above are lined with tiny souvenir shops selling mementos and local products. From the village square at the top there is a spectacular view of the Embalse de Guadalest reservoir, way below in the valley. The castle of Guadalest gave refuge to the Moors in their struggle for control of the area when besieged by the reconquering Christians, and held out here long after much of Spain had fallen, a picture of the castle can be seen above, showing how inaccessible this place is.

Catral Spain

Filed under: Costa Blanca,History,Spain — Tags: , , , — needahand @ 11:35 am

One of the many Vega Baja villages of the Alicante province of Spain, Catral is spread over a wide area with numerous detached villas on large plots of land, suggesting that maybe this is a new place. Far from it however as the village existed way back in Moorish times when it was known as Al-Quatrullat. The surrounding area became important for agriculture during the 18th century when the nearby marshes were drained for this purpose, Catral thus became more prosperous and it gained its independence from Orihuela in 1741. Life in Catral these days revolves around the village square, where you will find the ubiquitous church and of course the Town Hall (Ayuntamiento), from here a maze of quaint streets wind into shopping then residencial areas. One of the biggest days of the year in Catral takes place on June 24th, when the village celebrates its patron saint San Juan, an event which attracts visitors from far and wide as well as local residents of the village.

View a property for sale in Catral here: Catral Property

See a villa for sale in Catral here: Catral Villa

Get a location map here: Map of Catral.

September 6, 2009

Gandia Spain

Filed under: Costa Blanca,Costa del Azahar,History,Spain — needahand @ 4:25 pm

The northernmost town on the Costa Blanca or the southernmost on the Costa del Azahar (depending on your allegiance) is the industrial town of Gandia, I am calling it a town but it is generally regarded as a city. With a population of around 77,000, Gandia sits on the River Serpis about 65 kilometres south of Valencia, and has two separate areas – the town and the beach. Not so well known to International tourists, the wonderful sandy beaches of Gandia have long been popular with the Spanish who flock there in their thousands each year. The town itself does not have much appeal as a holiday destination, being more of a working town, but it does have an interesting history and a number of fascinating places to visit, the best known being the Palau Ducal former home of the Borja family. Gandia was originally settled by Iberians and later by Romans and Moors and was later a university town, becoming an important cultural and commercial centre in the 15th and 16th centuries. One of Gandia’s famous residents was Ausiàs March born in 1397 and considered by many the finest Valencian poet. The port of Gandia was founded in 1886, the railway line to Alcoy in 1893. These days Gandia is a bustling, modern city surrounded by orange groves and still sporting a considerable fishing fleet. Gandia Map.

Galicia North Western Spain

Filed under: Spain,Travel — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — needahand @ 4:17 pm

Spain’s most north-westerly region, Galicia is also its greenest, experiencing considerably more rainfall, and cooler temperatures than most of Spain. Galicia is still a poor region and most of its inhabitants are involved in either agriculture or fishing, with 3 of its 4 provinces having an Atlantic coastline. Visiting Galicia is like stepping back in time and many of its farm are too small for tractors, still using horses to pull ploughs and work the land. Its coastline is indented with fjord-like “rias” the best known example being the Rias Baixas (Lower Rias) in the south-west bordering Portugal. Galicia’s best known city is the holy city of Santiago de Compostela, built on the reputed site of the burial place of Saint James the Apostle, Santiago de Compostela is Europe’s second most important place of pilgrimage after Saint Peter’s Rome. The fishing industry is of very important for the region and the port and city of Vigo is the main supplier to Spain’s fish trade. Galicia weather is different from much of Spain with cooler summers and wetter winters, the coastal resorts are popular and the region has some excellent beaches. Galicia comprises 4 provinces, Ourense, A Coruña, Lugo and Pontevedra. Galicia Map.

Other interesting towns in Galicia include Betanzos, Mondonedo and Pontevedra.

Fortuna Murcia Spain

Filed under: Costa Blanca,Costa Calida,History,Spain — Tags: , , , — needahand @ 1:51 pm

Located in the province of Murcia in south-eastern Spain, the spa town of Fortuna is one of Spain’s natural wonders, boasting an abundance of hot springs that were originally developed by the Romans over 2,000 years ago. The small town of Fortuna has a population of just over 6,000 and is around 18 kilometres from the city of Murcia, about 45 kilometres from the coastlines of the Costa Calida and the Costa Blanca. The history of the town goes back to the times of the Iberians, when settlements were founded in such places as Castillejo, Capres and Cortao de las Peñas. Later the Romans appreciated the abundance of water in an area prone to drought, and quickly built a spa there, as they did in similar locations all over Europe. After the collapse of the Roman Empire the Moors took over in Fortuna, and their influence is still visible in the town by way of the Moorish Castle (Castillico de los Moros). The spa’s today take advantage of the thermal waters bubbling up at 126 degrees F and people come from miles around to enjoy the healing properties of the waters, renowned for the treatment of rheumatic arthritis, osteoporosis and asthma. Fortuna is located north of the city of Murcia near to the town of Abanilla. Fortuna Map.

Formentera Balearic Islands

Filed under: Balearic Islands,Spain,Travel — Tags: , , , , , — needahand @ 1:43 pm

Smallest of the main Balearic Islands, with a resident population of less than 5,000, Formentera is also the quietest and least spoilt of the islands. With an area of only 82km2, this is a tiny island, its big brother, Ibiza is only 4 kilometres to the north and its lack of an airport is no doubt the reason for its unspoilt nature. Formentera is being discovered by more and more people each year and at the moment is mostly chosen by those wanting to escape the overcrowded destinations such as Ibiza and Mallorca. Part of the Pitiusas group of islands along with Ibiza and a number of islets, Formentera was discovered by the Greeks, occupied by the Romans and later by the Moors, and fortified by the Christians after the reconquest. The main attractions apart from the tranquillity are the splendid beaches and the crystal clear water, Formentera has some of the best beaches in the Balearics and also the least crowded, at times you would think you were on an isolated tropical island. The lack of an airport means you will have to arrive by ferry, your landing point will be La Savina and you will most probably be coming from Ibiza Town or Denia on the Spanish mainland. The climate is much the same as Ibiza, a temperate Mediterranean one, with Formentera weather being suitable for holidays throughout the year. While the traditional beach holiday is popular and emerging resorts such as Es Pujols are growing, walking and cycling holidays are also desirable as is scuba diving. To see the main architectural heritage of the island you may want to head for the capital Sant Francesc where you will find a fortified 18th century church and the interesting Ethnological Museum with a variety of tools and implements on show. If you fancy a holiday with a difference why not try the peaceful island of Formentera. Formentera Map.

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