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

March 31, 2010

Wendover Buckinghamshire

Wendover Clock TowerAn interesting little town which is well worth a visit if you are in the Buckinghamshire area is Wendover, located four and a half miles to the south-east of Aylesbury. A historic market town which has Celtic roots was named in the Domesday Book as Wendovre and its name derives from the Celtic ‘white waters’. The parish church of Wendover dates from the 12th century though little of the original structure remains, also at around this time it was home to the chronicler Roger of Wendover. Worth a look is the old clock tower, now the tourist information centre, the row of cottages known locally as Ann Boleyn’s Cottages, as it is reputed that Henry VIII gave them to her as a wedding gift, and the Red Lion Hotel which dates from the 16th century. Wendover has a number of traditional pubs, though some have closed down in recent years. Nearby villages include Weston Turville, Stoke Mandeville, Halton, Aston Clinton, Great Missenden, Terrick and Butlers Cross.

Wendover Street Map.

Read a guide to Wendover here:

March 29, 2010

Palma Nova Majorca

Filed under: Balearic Islands,Holidays,Spain — Tags: , , , , — needahand @ 2:00 pm

One of Majorca’s earliest package holiday destinations, Palma Nova is situated just 12 kilometres from the city of Palma de Mallorca and is also close to the famous resort of Magaluf. Somewhat quieter than neighbouring Magaluf, Palma Nova is more of a family resort with all the facilities that you would expect for this type of destination. Its wonderful sandy beach, shelves gently to the sea, with plenty of space to laze and enjoy the sun. The main beach of Palma Nova is sixty metres wide and almost half a mile long so you should be able to find your own spot. There are sunbeds and parasols for hire and there are also water sports facilities to enjoy, lifeguards are on duty during the busiest times and warning flags should be observed by swimmers, though Palma Nova beach is mostly safe even for young children. Palma Nova weather is of course one of its main attractions, being sunny and dry most of the time during the normal holiday period. The nightlife is pretty good though for real clubbing head for Magaluf. All in all a great resort on a popular holiday island.

Oviedo Asturias

Filed under: Spain,Travel — Tags: , — needahand @ 1:39 pm

One of the cleanest cities in Spain, Oviedo is the capital of the Asturias region, located in the north of the country. The old part of the city is a maze of narrow streets and alleyways which look much as they have for centuries. The main historic monument in Oviedo is the cathedral built during the 14th to 16th centuries and dedicated to San Salvador, it was erected on the site of an earlier basilica ordered by Alfonso II. Oviedo was also the site of Alfonso’s royal court, which remained there until moved to Leon. Oviedo these days is a busy commercial city and the location of a University. Oviedo Map.

March 28, 2010

Boscastle Cornwall

Filed under: England,Travel,United Kingdom — Tags: , , — needahand @ 6:00 pm

The charming village of Boscastle lies north-east of Tintagel in the county of Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. Part of the parish of Forrabury and Minster, Boscastle has a population of just 888 and developed mostly due to its small harbour, which though tricky for incoming vessels, is the only navigable harbour for at least 20 miles. Standing at the point where the River Jordan and River Valency meet the sea, Boscastle was the scene of a dreadful flood in 2004, which caused much damage to the village. Worth a look in Boscastle is the Museum of Witchcraft, which has the biggest collection of witchcraft artefacts in the world. Boscastle can be reached from the A39 via the B3263. Boscastle Map.

Tossa de Mar Costa Brava

Filed under: Costa Brava,Holidays,Spain — Tags: , , — needahand @ 10:27 am

Renowned for its rugged coastline Spain’s Costa Brava has some splendid coastal resorts which are very popular with holidaymakers. One of the most attractive of these seaside resorts is Tossa de Mar, a historic town which still has remnants of its ancient walled village (Vila Vella) and was originally a Roman town called Turissa some 2,000 years ago. Tossa de Mar was one of the pioneers of the Costa Brava tourist industry attracting such early visitors as painter Marc Chagall, who stayed there in the summer of 1934, he named Tossa his “blue paradise” and the town still proudly displays (in the Municipal Museum) the only Chagall painting known to exist in Spain. Renowned for its seafood, Tossa de Mar is a great place to taste some local dishes such as simitoba (fish in garlic sauce), the town has some top quality restaurants. While Tossa de Mar will attract its fair share of culture seekers, due to its long history, it is most popular with those seeking a traditional beach style holiday and its beaches, 2 having blue flag status, are perfect for this type of holiday, and also ideal for water sports enthusiasts with scuba diving and snorkelling being especially popular. Tossa de Mar has a decent choice of hotels including the Golden Bahia de Tossa, the San Eloy Tossa de Mar and the Hotel Diana. Tossa de Mar is situated on the GI-682 about 41 kilometres from Girona and its airport.

Tossa de Mar Map.

March 27, 2010

St Just Cornwall Tourist Attractions

Filed under: England,Travel,United Kingdom — Tags: , , , , — needahand @ 10:59 am

If you are visiting St Just in Cornwall this year, you may be interested to learn about some of the attractions that can found in this area. Britain’s most westerly town, St Just was formerly an important area for mining (tin and copper), though the industry has long since declined and its mines closed. One which is still open (though not for mining) is the Geevor Mine, located to the south of Pendeen on the road to St Just. The Geevor Tin Mine was the last working mine in the area, closing in 1990, and it is now a fascinating museum dedicated to the Cornwall mining industry. Nearby you can visit the Levant Beam Engine, fully restored and part of an exhibition. Those who enjoy spectacular scenery should head for Cape Cornwall, at one time considered to be Britain’s most westerly point (now known to be Land’s End). In St Just itself you can see one of Cornwall’s last remaining “playing places”, the Plain-an-Gwarry, formerly a venue for Cornish mystery plays, and still a popular spot for local events. St Just is located west of Penzance on the B3306.

Map of St Just Cornwall

View a guide to St Just here:

Pedreguer Ondara and Els Poblets

Filed under: Costa Blanca,Spain — Tags: , , , — needahand @ 10:41 am

Three small towns located on the northern Costa Blanca, Spain, all worth a visit if you are in the area are Pedreguer, Ondara, and Els Poblets. All near to the renowned coastal resort of Denia the 3 towns of  all hold some interest. Ondara a stronghold of the Arabs during their occupation of the Iberian Penisular, has among its a attractions a bullring dating from the nineteenth century, mostly destroyed during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), the bullring was later rebuilt, also of interest in Ondara is the Clock Tower, built in the Arabic style and the Assut dam, dating from the Moorish occupation. Els Poblets, formerly comprised of three small villages is now a popular tourist location with some exclusive villas, this area has some of the most expensive properties in the Costa Blanca region. Els Poblets has some remains of an ancient Roman villa, showing evidence of its early settlement in the 1st century BC. The pretty town of Pedreguer is surrounded by vineyards and orange groves, and is close to the delightful Jalon Valley, worth is visit is the old town where you will find the 16th century parish church of Santa Cruz. These three towns should keep you occupied for at least a whole day, if you have some spare time, head into Denia and head for one of the seafront restaurants where you can perhaps try one of the local fish dishes.

See a guide to Ondara here:

March 26, 2010

Cala Galdana Menorca

Filed under: Balearic Islands,Holidays,Spain — Tags: , , , — needahand @ 11:31 am
Cala Galdana Bay

Cala Galdana Bay

One of the most popular and attractive coastal resorts on the island of Menorca, Cala Galdana is situated on the south coast in the municipal district of Ferreries. Standing around a beautiful horseshoe shaped bay Cala Galdana is probably the most photographed location on the island offering the chance for some delightful shots, worthy of a holiday brochure. With little history to speak of, Cala Galdana has mostly come to prominence with the growth of the tourism industry in Menorca, attracting those visitors who prefer a more laid back holiday away from the hustle and bustle of neighbouring Ibiza and Majorca. The beach is the place to head for in Cala Galdana and most visitors do just this, relaxing in the splendid weather conditions that the resort enjoys, particularly between the months of May and September. The beach is backed by an attractive promenade, a popular place for a stroll and also the location of a little craft market during the busy season, the beach has a good range of facilities and there are opportunities to try out some water sports. The main accommodation in Cala Galdana is hotels and aparthotels and the resort is listed with many of the major tour operators, the best known and only significant hotel is the Sol Gavilanes which overlooks the bay in a great location, if you book through a tour operator like Thomsons, this is no doubt where you will be staying, but you need not worry as this is an excellent hotel with all the facilities that you are likely to need for a great family holiday. Cala Galdana is around forty kilometres from Menorca’s airport at Mahon.

Cala Galdana Majorca Map.

Read all about Cala Galdana here:

Mojacar Almeria

Filed under: History,Spain — Tags: , , — needahand @ 11:12 am

Standing on a towering crag overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the Costa Almeria town of Mojacar is a spectacular sight. Tracing its history back to the times of the Moors, it was actually occupied much earlier with evidence of settlement some 4,000 years ago. During the Arab occupation the town (or village as it was then) was overseen by the Caliphate of Damascus, under his rule it grew in wealth and prosperity. Later joining the Narine sultanate, it became a strategic frontier town facing invading Christian forces from the east. Constant attacks by Christians led to the surrender of the town in 1488, though Moors, Christians and Jews continued to live and trade together. Mojacar fell into decline in the 19th century due to periods of severe drought, returning to prominence in the late 20th century with the arrival of tourism. Visitors attracted by the beauty and charm of this unique place ensure the future of Mojacar as a thriving town, the fine weather conditions make its coastal area, Mojacar Playa, popular as a holiday destination, many have also chosen to purchase holiday homes in Mojacar and there is a good choice of property to pick from if you are thinking of buying in this upcoming area.

Peniscola Castle Costa del Azahar

Filed under: Costa del Azahar,History,Spain — Tags: , , — needahand @ 9:38 am

The town of Peniscola, located on the Costa del Azahar, Valencia, Spain, is dominated by its charismatic castle, in fact the old part of the town is within the castle walls, where it would have been safe from pirate attacks, way back in more dangerous times. Often called the Castle of Papa Luna, Peniscola castle dates from the times of the Moors and was later conquered by Jaime I and ceded to the Knights Templar who changed and improved the fortification. The castle subsequently came under the control of the Order of Montesa, who gave it to Pope Luna (Benedict XIII) and it became his home for many years. The castle of Peniscola saw action in many conflicts including the War of Succession. The castle took on a different role in the 20th century and was the location for some of the scenes in the famous film ‘El Cid’, directed by Anthony Mann. The castle today is well preserved and worth a visit if you are in the Costa del Azahar area.

March 25, 2010

Costa Blanca Beaches Albir

Filed under: Costa Blanca,Holidays,Spain — Tags: , , — needahand @ 1:28 pm

A superb Blue Flag beach serving the resort of Albir on the northern Costa Blanca, Playa Raco de L’Abir is mostly composed of small pebbles though not to the point of being a discomfort, being mostly smooth and easy on the feet. An extremely popular beach especially during the busy summer months, Albir beach has some fine facilities, much as you would expect from a busy tourist resort. For those who forget to bring, or don’t have sun loungers and umbrellas, there are a good selection available for hire on the beach at reasonable rates, and these are well worth investing in. For the kids there are pedalos for hire, and for the more energetic there are also water sports facilties, including water skiing, para-sailing and windsurfing, you can also have a go on the banana boat or the doughnut. Most visitors will prefer to simply bask in the sunny weather and top up their tans. For the safety of swimmers there is generally a lifeguard on duty during the busiest hours and swimmers should watch out for the flags which inform of the latest conditions, do not swim if a red flag is flying. All in all a great beach, in a lovely resort which is located just off the N-332 only six kilometres from the busy resort of Benidorm and three kilometres from Altea. Albir Map.

March 24, 2010

Cabo Roig Orihuela Costa

Cabo Roig Bay and Marina

Cabo Roig Bay and Marina

One of the most popular holiday destinations along Spain’s southern Costa Blanca coastline, Cabo Roig is a beautiful and desirable resort. Renowned for its clean sandy beaches, its lovely marina and its excellent strip of bars, shops and restaurants, Cabo Roig offers everything you would want for a great family holiday. Though it is very busy during the summer months it is actually a superb location for a holiday any time of the year. Easy to reach from both Alicante and Murcia airports, Cabo Roig is handily placed for visiting other attractions along the Costa Blanca and Costa Calida.

The eye-catching 16th century watchtower, around which Cabo Roig originally grew, is now part of a restaurant complex which overlooks the recently modernised marina. An estimated 2 million euros was spent on the refurbishment of what is now one of the Costa Blanca’s most desirable mooring spots.

There are a number of excellent beaches to visit whilst on a trip to Cabo Roig. The main beaches are Cala Caleta and Cala Capitan both very popular with holidaymakers. Also within easy reach are the beaches at Campoamor, La Zenia and Playa Flamenca. All of these beaches are kept very clean and are usually raked every day, they are also safe for children.

Cabo Roig, along with the entire Costa Blanca region, has a wonderful climate and the sun shines on over three hundred days per year, the mean temperature being about 20 degrees C. You can usually expect to see little rainfall between May and October and the days are generally long and sunny. When rain does fall it is usually during the winter months, November and February being the most common months for rain. December and January are usually sunny and pleasant but with cold nights.

There is plenty to do in and around Cabo Roig, why not start with a trip into the nearby town of Torrevieja, with it’s wonderful promenade and marina and it’s many fine beaches? If you are visiting during the summer months, don’t forget the Aqua Splash park with its gigantic slides, refreshing pools and excellent picnic area. If you feel a little more adventurous you may wish to try out the go-karts at Punta Prima, here you can drive the full size karts or the kids can have a go on the mini karts or even the mini quads. In the summer the circus comes to town and this is a great attraction for the children and adults alike, being an old style circus, it has plenty of animals performing tricks to amaze and entertain. The younger at heart may prefer a trip to the busy resort of Benidorm, a journey of around an hour and a half (a coach picks up in Cabo Roig a couple of times a week), Benidorm has some wonderful facilities including Aqualandia, Terra Mitica and the Mundomar Marine Animal Park. Sporting enthusiasts may partake of the golfing, the water sports (the water sport resort of La Manga is only a 40 minute trip), or the fishing – there are angling safaris available for those preferring fresh water angling.

If you are looking to buy a property on the Costa Blanca, then Cabo Roig would be an ideal location, with plenty of variety ranging from 1 bedroom apartments to beautiful detached villas on the seafront.

Cabo Roig is easily reached by way of the N-332 coastal road (Cartagena to Alicante) or from the AP-7 motorway junctions 768 or 763. The closest airport is Murcia (San Javier) which is approximately 20 minutes drive away. Benidorm is located further north but can also be easily accessed from the N332.

Cabo Roig Map.

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