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

February 22, 2010

Salou and Cambrils Costa Dorada

Filed under: Costa Dorada,Holidays,Spain — Tags: , , , , , , — needahand @ 4:10 pm
Salou Costa Dorada

Salou Costa Dorada

Two of the best loved resorts on the Costa Dorada coastline of Catalonia, Spain, Cambrils and Salou could not be more different. Salou, the typical Spanish holiday resort, aimed at package holidays and especially British tourists, Cambrils the traditional Spanish fishing town, retaining much of its old charm and attracting a larger number of Spanish nationals rather than International tourists. Cambrils has plenty of sand for the traditional beach style holiday, but is especially renowned for its seafood restaurants which are supplied by local fishermen who land their daily catch in the harbour much as they have done for many centuries. Cambrils has a long history, but has hung on to its traditions and not been spoilt by over-development, the old town still has narrow cobbled streets and the air of a Catalonian fishing village. Despite its modern look and feel, Salou too has a long history and was actually first settled by the Greeks over 2,000 years ago, it was also a Roman settlement as the Romans set out from nearby Tarragona to conquer the Iberian Peninsular, it grew as a tourist resort during the 1960’s and expanded with little regard to aesthetics, becoming a sprawling mess of apartment blocks and high-rise hotels. Salou is still popular however, with those seeking a particular style of holidays and being provided with everything they need in that regard – lots of entertainment, plenty of sandy beaches, amusements and sports activities, in fact there is so much to do that obtaining a car hire vehicle is advisable to get the most from your visit. Salou is the location of the large Port Aventura theme park, one of the largest of its kind in Europe. Both resorts enjoy a wonderful climate which is of course one of the major draws for tourists, the weather in Salou and Cambrils is generally warm and sunny in the summer months and mild during the winter.

February 20, 2010

Vilamoura Algarve Portugal

Filed under: Algarve,Holidays,Portugal — Tags: , , — needahand @ 6:41 pm

One of Europe’s largest beach resorts, Vilamoura on the Algarve, Portugal, is a built for tourism complex some 14 miles west of Faro. Covering an area of around 20 square kilometres, Vilamoura is built around its huge marina, where there are moorings for over 1,000 boats and numerous large luxury hotels for accommodation in the resort. The development of Vilamoura began in the 1970’s, with an emphasis on sports facilities, very popular with golfers, there are 6 golf courses in the immediate area. Water sports too, are a big attraction with sailing, scuba diving, windsurfing, water-skiing, fishing and parasailing all well catered for. The wonderful Vilamoura weather is of course one of the main attractions of the resort, as is the fine sandy beach which extends for some three kilometres, those looking for a bit of culture may want to head north of Vilamoura beach, where some Roman remains remind visitors of the areas rich history. Vilamoura Map.

Villajoyosa Benidorm Costa Blanca

Filed under: Costa Blanca,Spain — Tags: , , , , — needahand @ 4:56 pm

Well worth a visit if you are travelling around the northern Costa Blanca in Spain, the town of Villajoyosa, located a few kilometres south of  the huge holiday resort of Benidorm, is one of the prettiest in the region. Well known for its multi-coloured houses, Villajoyosa is an old fishing village, turned holiday resort, it has several fine beaches and a charming fishing harbour, where you can watch the locally caught fish, landed and auctioned off. Whilst in Villajoyosa be sure to visit the chocolate factory and the chocolate museum, for this is one of Spain’s major chocolate producing towns, its turron and chocolate delicacies well known throughout Europe. If you can pick your time to visit, try to coincide with a local fiesta, so that you can join in with local customs, the Fiesta de San Isidore is held in May, and in September, a fiesta in honour of the Archangel Michael takes place. If you are visiting between May and October you can expect the Villajoyosa weather to be sunny and dry, as the town experiences over 300 sunny days each year. The nearest airport for Villajoyosa is at Alicante, if you are hiring a car and need a road map you will find a useful one here: Alicante Airport Map.

Get a dedicated guide to Villajoyosa here:

Newquay Cornwall

Filed under: England,Travel,United Kingdom — Tags: , , , , , — needahand @ 4:18 pm

The premier coastal resort of north Cornwall, Newquay is noted for its wonderful beaches, spectacular scenery and superb choice of facilities. While there are a number of fine surfing beaches and resorts along this stretch of Cornwall’s coast, Newquay remains the prime spot for this increasingly popular sport. Tourism began in Newquay with the arrival of the railway back in 1875, the town has grown in popularity ever since, its size and population increasing with it. Originally an Iron Age settlement, Newquay relied for many centuries on pilchard fishing for its economic survival, later of course tin mining became important, as for much of Cornwall, along with the export of china clay from the pits of St Austell. Modern day Newquay attracts both surfers and holidaymakers, who all enjoy the golden sandy beaches, the splendid Newquay weather and the excellent facilities of the town. Nearby places to visit include Perranporth, with its 3 mile long beach and attractive coastline (Perranporth also attracts its fair share of surfers), Padstow, with its ancient harbour, 12 miles to the north of Newquay, and St Agnes, and St Agnes, a charming little village to the south of Perranporth and Newquay (look out for Stippy-Stappy, a steep row of slate-roofed cottages at Town Hill). Newquay can be reached via the A3058 from St Austell.

Newquay Road Map.

Cala Millor Majorca

Filed under: Balearic Islands,Holidays,Spain — Tags: , , , — needahand @ 4:05 pm

Located to the north of Porto Cristo on the east coast of Majorca, the beach resort of Cala Millor is one of the most popular holiday destinations on the island. Boasting superb beaches (the main beach is over a mile long), and a good range of facilities, Cala Millor is a great choice for a family holiday, of course another factor which is a major attraction is the wonderful Cala Millor weather, which is very reliable during the months May to October. Tourism began in Cala Millor as far back as the 1930’s, though the main boom did not gain pace until the 1970’s and 80’s. Worth a visit whilst in Cala Millor is the wildlife park, Safari Zoo, located about a mile to the south of the resort centre. Cala Millor Map.

February 18, 2010

St Agnes Cornwall

Filed under: England,Travel,United Kingdom — Tags: , , , , — needahand @ 5:52 pm

A small village on Cornwall’s northern coast, St Agnes has a population of around 2,000 and a history stretching back to Roman times and beyond. Traditionally relying on fishing and agriculture for its economic survival, it was also heavily reliant on the mining of tin up to the beginning of the twentieth century. Modern day St Agnes is a renowned Cornwall holiday destination, popular for cottage style holidays, and a great area for hiking and walking, with miles of beautiful coastline surrounding the village. Places of interest in and around St Agnes include St Agnes Beacon (623 foot high landmark owned by the National Trust), St Agnes Parish Museum, Bolster and Chapel Porth (earthen bulwark), and the Wheal Coates ancient mining buildings. Other places worth a visit are Porthtowan which has an excellent beach popular with surfers, Mounte Hawke with its fabulous skateboard park, Newquay, the biggest resort in the region and again renowned for its surfing beaches, and Redruth, a historic market town to the south of St Agnes. St Agnes can be reached via the B3277. St Agnes Map.

February 14, 2010

The Algarve Region of Portugal

Filed under: Algarve,Portugal,Travel — Tags: , , , , — needahand @ 12:26 pm

The beautiful region of Algarve in southern Portugal is one of Europe’s most popular holiday destinations and rightly so as it a stunning area of coastline with some fine resorts. The capital of the Algarve region is Faro, and it is here that you will find the main airport for the region, once a fishing port and trading centre called Ossonoba. If you are arriving for your visit to the area by air, you will no doubt be arriving at Faro Airport and this is the best place to pick up a car hire vehicle for your stay. To the west of Faro is the resort town of Albufeira, dating from Roman times it still has some remains from these ancient times, in recent years it has grown considerably and is now one of the regions most visited resorts. Another resort experiencing rapid growth is Quarteria, formerly a small fishing village, it is now a bustling resort with a fine beach and a very long promenade. While prices in the area have risen with its popularity it is still possible to pick up some bargains and suitable products are leather goods, pottery and decorated tiles. The Algarve experiences a splendid climate with some of the best weather in Portugal, summers are hot and winters mild, rainfall is mostly experienced during the winter months. Other places that you might choose to visit whilst in the region include Portimao, Lagos, Sagres, Praia da Rocha, Carvoeiro, Tavira and Luz. You can view a map of the country here, the Algarve region is in the far south. Portugal Map.

February 12, 2010

Golf del Sur and Amarilla Golf Tenerife

Located in southern Tenerife, in the district of San Miguel de Abona are two superb golf complexes known as Golf del Sur and the Amarilla Golf and Country Club. Running along the southern coastline the Amarilla Golf Resort has a superb 18 hole course enjoying panoramic views of the coastline, the San Miguel marina and the spectacular Pico del Teide volcano. Right beside Amarilla Golf you will find the 27 hole Golf del Sur with emerald fairways dotted with palms, cacti and tropical flora and bunkers made from black volcanic sand. The Amarilla Golf Resort also has a pitch and putt course for those less able golfers and for practise purposes. In Golf del Sur you will find the San Blas centre which boasts a great range of facilities including shops, bars and restaurants, a supermarket, chemist, bank and hairdressers. These two Tenerife golf courses enable visitors to enjoy a round of golf all year round, with the pleasant Tenerife weather providing ideal playing conditions even during the winter months. The south and south-west coast of Tenerife has some of the best known resorts on the island including Los Cristianos, Playa de las Americas, Las Galletas, Costa del Silencio and Chayofa, all are within easy reach of these golf complexes and also handy for Tenerife south airport. Tenerife Map.

February 10, 2010

Marrakech Morocco

Filed under: History,Travel — Tags: , — needahand @ 4:35 pm

Magical, mysterious, marvellous Marrakech, Morocco’s third largest city is a travellers paradise, where pavement snake charmers perform alongside potion peddlers, dancers and acrobats. Often called the “Red City”, Marrakech gets its name from the Berber words mur n akush meaning “Land of God”, and it had been a constant cause of fighting between various Berber tribes for many centuries after being founded by the Berber Amoravids in the 11th century. Marrakech has the biggest traditional market (souk) in Morocco and its Old Town – the Medina is the historic centre of the city with a maze of winding alleys, artisans workshops and saints shrines, the Jemaa el Fna is its celebrated square, a hive of activity both day and night. Popular as a tourist destination Marrakech experiences some wonderful weather right through the year. Marrakech has a population of just over one million.

February 4, 2010

Lloret de Mar Costa Brava

Filed under: Costa Brava,History,Spain — Tags: , , , — needahand @ 5:52 pm

The history of Lloret de Mar is forever linked to the sea, the Iberians settled in the areas of Montbarat and Puig de Castellet and established trade with the Greeks and Romans, and the Romans themselves founded a trading post in what is now Lloret. The name Lloret lo Redo first appears in 966 AD deriving from Lauretum (place of laurels). At the beginning of the 16th century a new church was built in Catalan Gothic style and completed in 1522, the church served as a refuge from pirate attacks. With the discovery of the New World, many of Lloret’s sailors went to the Americas, resulting in a growing import and export trade with the colonies. After the collapse of Spain’s Empire, Lloret de Mar went into a period of decline and it was not until the increase in tourist activity in the 20th century that the town recovered and became what it is today, a popular seaside resort along the Costa Brava coastline of Spain. Though the towns population is only around 30,000, this rises to over 200,000 during the busy summer season, when the weather is excellent, as many holidaymakers arrive to stay in the many hotels such as the Lloret de Mar Oasis and the Costa Encantada Aparthotel. Lloret de Mar has a vibrant nightlife scene and attracts the younger set especially Germans, Dutch and Belgians. Also attractive to visitors is the fine beach and excellent range of facilities. Map.

February 2, 2010

Benicassim Costa del Azahar

Filed under: Costa del Azahar,Spain — Tags: , , , — needahand @ 5:02 pm

A popular coastal resort on the Costa del Azahar, Valencia, Spain, Benicassim is also the location of the annual “International Festival of Rock Music” which is held during July/August each year, attracting thousands of visitors to the town from far and wide. Some bands have already been confirmed for the 2010 festival which this year takes place on 15th-18th July, and these include The Prodigy, The Specials, Ian Brown, Dizzee Rascal, PiL and Kasabian. Benicassim is situated in the province of Castellon between Orpesa and Castellon de la Plana, and is a busy holiday resort in the summer months, it has some excellent sandy beaches and a good choice of amenities. Benicassim has a history going back to Roman times and beyond (possibly Iron Age), its ruined castle was built in the 10th century by the occupying Moors, it became one of El Cid’s connquests during the late 11th century, and was overun by Jaime I in the 13th century. Benicassim can be accessed from the A-7 motorway.

February 1, 2010

Vinaros Costa del Azahar

Filed under: Costa del Azahar,Spain,Travel — Tags: , , , , — needahand @ 7:42 pm

An ancient fishing port in the Castellon province of eastern Spain, Vinaros was originally just a small hamlet founded by the Moors near to the coast. Developed as a port after the Christian reconquest, Vinaros survived largely through fishing and later vine growing. Its municipality includes some 12 kilometres of Costa del Azahar coastline, beginning at the River Senia and ending at Aiguadoliva, it includes numerous small coves and some excellent beaches, which are of course attractive to modern day tourists, who now provide an alternative income for the town. Renowned for its seafood and in particular its king prawns, Vinaros is a great place to try out some traditional Valencian dishes, in an attractive setting. Vinaros enjoys some wondeful weather, especially during the months May to October. Along the main promenade visitors will find plenty of bars, restaurants and hotels, further afield there are lots of attractive walks to enjoy, a visit to the harbour, is of course a must and here you can watch the fishermen arrive with their daily catch. Vinaros Map.

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