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

February 19, 2014

Local Town Centre Maps

Filed under: England,Scotland,Spain,Travel,United Kingdom — Tags: , , , , — needahand @ 2:28 pm

To continue with our maps theme, we have recently added some new subdomains to the main website, featuring town centre maps for the UK and various other places such as Spain and the Republic of Ireland. The UK has been split into its relevant countries with maps from England, Wales and Northern Ireland added to the Scotland section  which was done previously. So if maybe you are planning a visit to Swansea in Wales, you can get a city centre map. If you are planning a trip to Belfast in Northern Ireland, you can get a city centre map, and if you are holidaying in Torrevieja, Spain, you can get a map for here as well.

August 20, 2009

Benalmadena Costa del Sol

Filed under: Costa del Sol,Spain — Tags: , , , , , — needahand @ 6:47 pm

One of the finest holiday resorts on the Costa del Sol coastline of southern Spain, Benalmadena has a variety of tourist attractions including the Sealife Aquarium, the Selwo Marina and the famous Tivoli World Amusement Park at Arroyo de la Miel. Benalmadena has a history going back to the Arab occupation of Spain, and the name is thought to be derived from the Arabic “Ben-al-Madina” (“Children of the Mines”), referring to the iron ore mines which used to be important in the area. The coastal area of the town, known as Benalmadena Costa is the home of the marina, a popular area with visitors and the location of a variety of shops, bars and restaurants. The inland section is known as Benalmadena Pueblo, an attractive village with pretty white walled houses. Sit and watch the world go by in the charming Plaza de Espana, or visit the picturesque church of Santo Domingo. Benalmadena and this entire stretch of coast enjoys a wonderful climate (Costa del Sol means “Sun Coast”) and the weather in Benalmadena is perfect for family holidays at any time of year. Benalmadena is located between the popular resorts of Torremolinos and Fuengirola and can be accessed from the railway station at Arroyo de la Miel or by road from Malaga airport. If you are not driving you may need to book a Malaga airport transfer, to get you to your destination in Benalmadena, though if you are booking through a tour operator, this will probably already be laid on for you.

Benalmadena Street Map.

View guide to Benalmadena here: http://www.benalmadena.spain-and-spanish.co.uk/

Towns of Alicante Province – Torrevieja and La Mata

Filed under: Costa Blanca,Spain — Tags: , , , , , — needahand @ 4:15 pm

Located to the south of Alicante on the southern Costa Blanca, surrounded by 2 huge salt lakes, the coastal towns of Torrevieja and La Mata are growing resorts with a huge range of facilities and some fabulous sandy beaches. Torrevieja has had some bad press in recent years but much of it has been an exaggeration and the town has continued to flourish despite this criticism. There has been an enormous amount of development in recent years and Torrevieja has grown from a small fishing village to a huge resort. It has been a popular location along with La Mata and the Orihuela Costa, for the purchasing of second holiday homes and a large number of Brits and other North European nationalities have chosen to buy holiday homes there, a large majority choosing to plump for a Torrevieja apartment as these are at the cheaper end of the market. La Mata is a very Spanish resort and attracts a huge number of Spanish tourists during the summer season. Again many Brits have chosen to buy property here and there is a growing ex-pat community. The beaches at La Mata are amongst the finest in the region.The wonderful weather is one of the main reasons for its popularity and Torrevieja and La Mata enjoy a unique micro-climate with over 300 days of sunshine every year. Torrevieja also has some fine beaches, especially to the south of the town and these can get very packed during the summer season. Golfers head to this area in large numbers, as there are some excellent golf courses within easy driving distance of both Torrevieja and La Mata, the closest are the 3 golf courses of the Orihuela Costa, and also nearby are La Finca and La Marquesa golf courses. Torrevieja has some excellent facilities including the water park Aquopolis, a bowling alley, a fine marina and an excellent new shopping centre. Behind both Torrevieja and La Mata lie the enormous salt lakes which have been important for the economy of both towns over the centuries, they now form part of a protected Natural Park which is important for wildlife.

August 19, 2009

Begur Costa Brava

Filed under: Costa Brava,Spain — Tags: , , , , , — needahand @ 1:48 pm

Begur Costa Brava – One of the prettiest towns on the Costa Brava, the historic Begur is overlooked by its sixteenth century castle which was built to warn of pirate attacks. The narrow cobbled streets of the old town are lined with charming fishermen’s cottages, making this a desirable place to visit.

Within the province of Girona, Begur has a population of 3,986, although this of course rises considerably during the busy summer months when large numbers of visitors arrive, in particular from the city of Barcelona. Tourists are attracted by the ancient charm of the old town and the superb nearby beaches, which are amongst the best in the region, they also visit to enjoy the fine climate experienced during the summer with Begur weather being mostly warm and sunny from May to October, though somewhat cooler during the winter months.

The main form of accommodation in Begur is privately owned holiday villas, which is a fantastic way to spend your holiday in the resort. There are some wonderful detached villas, most with private pools and sea views.

Begur is located on the GI-653 and is situated between the better known resorts of Calella and Estartit. Begur Street Map.

You can view some holiday villas in and around Begur here: Costa Brava Rentals.

Overview – Balearic Islands

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

A popular holiday destination in the Mediterranean Sea, the Spanish Balearic Islands have something to offer visitors of all tastes. The four main islands of the group are Mallorca (Majorca), Ibiza, Menorca (Minorca) and Formentera, the largest of the group is Mallorca. People have been living on the Balearic Islands since about 5,000 BC, possibly coming originally from mainland Spain, although the islands history are shrouded in myth and legend, some going back to the times of the ancient Greeks. Modern day visitors come from all over the world to enjoy the club scene of lively Ibiza, the family resorts of Mallorca, the quiet of Menorca and the charm of unspoilt Formentera.

Tenerife Hotels – Bahia Principe Resort

Located at the southern end of Playa Paraiso (“Paradise Beach”) the popular Bahia Principe Tenerife Resort stands on a cliff overlooking the bay and enjoying spectacular views over the sea to the island of La Gomera. Situated on Tenerife’s renowned south-west coast close to the huge resort of Playa de las Americas the Principe Tenerife attracts thousands of visitors each year. The resort covers some 8,000 square metres and includes a number of swimming pools, gym, shopping and leisure centre, barbers and beauty salon, restaurants, snack bar, tennis court, squash court, Jacuzzi and much, much more. The Bahia Principe Tenerife has 220 well appointed luxury rooms with private bathroom and balcony. The region experiences a wonderful climate and Playa Paraiso weather is perfect for holidays throughout the year, being especially pleasant during the winter months.

Andalucian Towns – Ayamonte

Filed under: Algarve,Portugal,Spain — Tags: , , , , , — needahand @ 1:25 pm

Standing on the Guadiana River on the border between Spain and Portugal, the charming little town of Ayamonte has an attractive fishing harbour and an atmospheric ‘old quarter’. Not as important as it once was, since the building of a new suspension bridge to the north, Ayamonte still attracts plenty of tourists and still has a ferry link with the town of Vila Real de San Antonio, on the other side of the Guadiana River in Portugal’s Algarve region. Ayamonte itself has some interesting attractions including the Iglesia de San Francisco (16th century) and the Iglesia de San Salvador (15th century). Those seeking a more traditional beach holiday will head for nearby Isla Canela, with many kilometres of wonderful sandy beaches and an excellent golf course, Golf Isla Canela, visitors can enjoy a fine climate with Ayamonte weather being comparable to the nearby Algarve. Isla Canela is accessed by way of a causeway from Ayamonte as it is actually an island separated from the mainland. Surrounding wetland areas are great for birdwatching and they are now a protected nature reserve. Ayamonte Map.

August 18, 2009

Antequera Andalucia

Filed under: Costa del Sol,Spain,Travel — Tags: , , , , — needahand @ 12:39 pm

If you wish to get away from the busy Costa del Sol coastline whilst holidaying in the region you might try heading to one of the inland cities of Andalucia and one which may interest you is Antequera, located about 47 km north of Malaga. Best known for its large Bronze Age dolmens (burial mounds) which date from the third century BC, it also has many historic remains from the Moorish occupation including city walls and an ancient castle. Often called “the heart of Andalucia”, Antequera now has over 40,000 inhabitants and is the largest municipality in the Malaga province, industry includes furniture, olives, wool, grain and of course tourism. Places to visit include the Palace of Najera, the Real Colegiata de Santa Maria la Mayor, the bullring, the Fuente de Piedra salt lagoon, the Torcal nature reserve and “Lover’s Rock”, subject of an interesting legend. The Bronze Age dolmens extend underground for sixty five feet. The weather in Antequera is predominantly dry and sunny, with rainfall among the lowest in the region. Antequera Map.

Arrecife Lanzarote

Filed under: Canary Islands,Holidays,Spain,Travel — Tags: , , , — needahand @ 11:23 am

One of the largest cities in the Canary Islands, Arrecife became the capital of Lanzarote in 1852 and today has a population of 127,000, though this can increase considerably during the busy season, as Arrecife is a prime destination for tourists to this popular island. Arrecife is the location of Lanzarote’s International Airport, which I situated about 3 kilometres from the city centre in an area known locally as Guacimeta. Arrecife has a number of interesting places to visit and we shall start with El Charco (often called ‘The Puddle’), a lagoon near the centre of the city, which is a popular place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. Some narrow little streets run from El Charco and from here you can reach the San Gines church sitting in an attractive square, which is also the site of many a fiesta and celebration, nearby is the fish market. Arrecife boasts 2 castles, constructed during the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries to defend the city against attacks by Barbary pirates, the Castillo de San Jose is now an art museum and the older Castillo San Gabriel also houses a small museum. The main shopping area is centred around the Calle Leon y Castillo precinct, located to the north of El Charco. Arrecife’s beach is known as Playa del Reducto and the promenade behind the beach can now be followed all the way to the busy resort of Puerto del Carmen. Arrecife enjoys a wonderful all year round climate, with the most pleasant weather experienced during the UK’s winter months. Arrecife Map.

Andratx Mallorca

The charming old Mallorca town of Andratx sits in the shadow of the 3,366 foot Puig de Galatzo mountain at the south-western end of the island, overlooked by medieval watchtowers, built to warn of raids by pirates and renegades in centuries past. The fortress like Santa Maria church is well worth a visit if you are in the town. Completely separate from the old town is the equally old port and harbour area, previously just a tiny fishing village, it has been transformed into a popular and exclusive resort, visited by the rich and famous who moor their luxury yachts in the new marina. Andratx has some famous residents including the likes of Tom Cruise and Claudia Schiffer who both own homes there. Andratx and the whole of Mallorca is blessed with a fantastic climate and Andratx weather is particularly pleasant during the summer months, but also quite agreeable during the winter months. Andratx can be accessed from the MA-1 from Palma de Mallorca, you can see a map here: Andratx Map.

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