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Spain, Everything Under the Sun – Ibiza

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And here I am in Spain, continuing another adventure in Europe. What attracts me to this place is its adoration as a summer holiday destination. Spain receives most of its tourists from British Isles, France, the Scandinavian region, and Central Europe. In 2007, Spain experienced the biggest boom in their tourism industry, as more and more people from around the world came here to make their Spanish holidays, making Spain the second most visited country in the world, after France.

My Journey is focused on two major attractions of Spain, Barcelona and Ibiza. I will be starting my journey from the capital, Madrid, heading towards Ibiza via the port town of Denia and then ferrying to Barcelona. Denia is a port town situated nearly 446 KM east of Madrid. Being a port town and due its proximity to the Balearic Islands, it is a major journey break point for those who are travelling to Ibiza. 

 madrid to ibiza to barcelona journey map
Journey Plan, courtesy Google Maps

Starting at 10 AM, I planned to cover this six hours and twenty minutes adventurous journey by car with my university friends from Spain. The journey time could have been smaller but I preferred to halt at three different places on the way.

Ucles
Ucles, Photo taken by Alberto P. Veiga

Our first stop was a small historical town of Uclés, in the province of Cuenca. It had a powerful and famous castle, located on top of a hill, whose watchtower can still be seen. It is a stretch of wall and two towers, including a gateway to the fortified enclosure, the Arco de la Fuente.

The urban set is still organized around the Plaza Mayorand despite the negative developments in the last two centuries. It still consists of several fine examples of architecture, including the City Hall with porticoed facade. But the ultimate landmark of Uclés is the parish house of the Order of Santiago, the monastery.

Heading a little further there is the town of Saelices (Cuenca). It is one of the most significant archaeological sites in the Iberian Peninsula . Its origins date back to the Iron Age, although its time of greatest glory belongs to the Roman period, highlighting the theater and amphitheater of Flavian period.

Saelices
Saelices, photo taken by mmarftrejo

Throughout the first and second centuries AD, in the city continued apace new construction, with the building of the theater, amphitheater, basilica, porticos, baths, etc. All this made this place a great city centre. Much of this work was financed by private contribution. The same is true for the great public baths in the city, built in the late first century or early AD.

My third stop was the town of Alarcón, in the province of Cuenca, sandwiched between the steep gorges of the river Júcar. The villa is maintained almost entirely in a walled enclosure, which surrounds much of the town. It also has a castle which was the centre of important historical events in the time of the reconquest, and is now a Parador.

On reaching Denia, we parked our car at one of our friend’s place who lives in the city. A small relaxing and freshening up session we had at her place and then we headed towards the port to book a ferry to Ibiza.

Denia
Denia, photo taken by palazio
It takes roughly two hours on a fast ferry to reach the island, slow ferry can take four hours but is cheaper than the faster ones.

Birthplace of the rave, Ibiza is home to some of Spain’s most (in) famous clubs. The outrageous summer scene is complemented by a diverse collection of bars. Not only bars and clubs, it also has an absolutely beautiful coastline with dozens of tiny coves to discover, not to mention some of the most stylish hotels in the Mediterranean.

Arriving in Ibiza by boat, the first thing I noticed was the castle above the town. It seems every Mediterranean port has a castle. Below the castle there are the residences and, of course, the bars which make this place famous. And all around the island are pristine beaches. Whether you are here for the nightlife or relaxation, you will find something to do.

Ibiza
Ibiza, photo taken by Miguel Tavares Cardoso
 

One of the most memorable things I did in Ibiza was the trip to Forementera Island. It was one of the most amazing boat trip I have ever experienced on a holiday and I would recommened it to anyone. Not sure how much I paid but I remember it was well worth it. The boat was called the ‘capitan Nemo’ and was a glass bottomed catamaran. The trip to Formentera lasted approx 3 hours there and 3 back, we had about 2 hours on the amazing beach which was long enough as literally it is just a bit of sand in the middle of the sea.

The music on the boat was amazing and a couple of glasses of wine was provided. The journey there went really quickly looking at celeb boats and houses and feeding mini cheddars to the seagulls. On the way back, the captain stopped the boat to allow the perfect photographic opportunities near the ‘horses mouth’ and it was timed perfectly that we were at sunset strip in time to watch the sun settling down and were provided with champers.

If you are interested in spending your time partying on the beaches then read on. Playa d’en Bossa is the longest stretch of beach on Ibiza. The sea floor is soft and sandy, so you don’t have to worry about any hard surfaces while you’re wading around.Playa d’en Bossa is probably the loudest and most crowded beach on Ibiza. So if you are looking for a lower key retreat then this beach may not be for you. The beach is dotted with cafes, restaurants and bars and most of them are playing their music loud so people laying on the beach will have something to listen to. It’s more of a party atmosphere, but you should be expecting that; you are, after all, in Ibiza.There are beach chairs that can lounge or lay flat. They are set up under the large umbrella tents on the beach. Laying on one of these chairs will cost you a small cover, (i think a few euros) but it is definitely worth it if you feel like laying around on the beach. Another benefit of using the chairs is that the waitresses that service the restaurant that provided the chairs will also come serve you. It’s nice to have Sangria brought out to you while you lounge around on the beach.

A great alternative is, Talamanca bay. It is one of the closest beaches to Ibiza town. If you’re staying in Talamanca, Jesus or Ibiza town, this is an option specially for those of you who want a beach life. The beach is fairly quiet compared to other beaches in Ibiza resorts, and if you do not like loud music and excessive partying crowd, this is the place for you. Talamanca is still fairly undeveloped being so close to the action of Ibiza town. There are a few hotels concentrated at the southern and northern end of Talamanca bay. One of the largest hotels in Talamanca closed down in 2008, leaving the beach nearly deserted.

There are sunbeds and umbrellas for rent at the southern end of the beach, which is where the beach is at its widest. There are a few popular restaurants/bars in the bay as well. The informal Bar Flotante, which is popular with the locals, Talamanca Club – a restaurant serving great pizzas where you dine directly at the beach, in the sand (Very popular place) and the Amnesia restaurant ‘La Barraca’. There is a shop at the beach which is unfortunatly closed from 1 pm – 4 pm, but there’s a supermarket (SPAR) right behind the hotels at the southern end of the beach.

The water is very warm in Talamanca! It must have been 28 degrees. My only complain is that the sand is muddy and the area is kind of a swamp which is creating a rotten smell. There is also quite a lot of seaweed at times. To get here from Ibiza town you can either walk (30-40 min), take a taxi or the ferry (Ibiza town-Marina at Talamanca, 2 euros).

And here I conclude my journey to the island of Ibiza, keep watching for this space, or subscribe to TWR Travels as I continue my journey to Barcelona.

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Ibiza: not only a destination for young people but also a natural paradise with dream beaches, exclusive locations, and luxury villas

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Ibiza spain travel

Ibiza is one of the most beautiful islands in the world. This stunning island is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its paradisiac beaches and historical monuments. Traditionally, Ibiza has been associated with party tourism, which means that young people would visit the island due to its famous nightclubs or electronic music scene. However, since 2015 the government has stepped in to try and make Ibiza a more family friendly place to visit. With so many beautiful landscapes to discover and luxurious family friendly villas to stay in, Ibiza is without a doubt, one of the best options for your next summer vacations.

The best places to stay in Ibiza

The first and most important you need to decide when planning any trip is where you are going to spend your stay during the travel. Traditionally,when we travel to a foreign country we tend to look for our lodging at hotels. However, in places as touristic as Ibiza, you will often find hotels overcrowded during the summer season. Thankfully, there is a more private alternative for your stay: luxury villas. You can find numerous luxury villas available for rental spreaded across the island, but the ones which users recommend the most are the ones offered by IKH – Ibiza Luxury Villa Rentals. IKH villas offer everything you may need for a luxurious vacation. They are located near some of the most beautiful beaches and villages in the island, such as Es Cubells, Sant Josep, Talamanca, Cala Jondal, Rocallisa, as well as in Ibiza Town, the main city in the island. These villas are family friendly, and most of them either include sea views or are located at a very short distance from it. IKH villas are often equipped with everything you may need for your holidays, such as a fully functioning kitchen, internet and TV service, air conditioner to survive the Spanish heat, etc. 

The luxury features of these stunning villas and the amazing reviews from its customers make IKH villas an option you should definitely consider for your next Ibiza holidays.

The most stunningly beautiful beaches

The main attractive of Ibiza is, without any doubt, its gorgeous beaches. Blessed with pristine waters and white sand, these beaches make out for an otherworldly seaview. The whole island is surrounded in beauty, but if you are looking for some stunning views, we can not stop recommending you check the following beaches during your travel:

  • Es Cubells: this beautiful beach is surrounded by nature. Located near the mountains, it offers the perfect mixture between civilization and untouched nature. This beach is located beyond a cliff, which makes it harder to access. However, this can work as an advantage for us, since with a little more of effort we will have access to a stunning beach away from the main crows, which makes up for the recipe for a perfect beach day.
  • Sant Josep: this place groups some of the most stunning beaches in Ibiza, such as Ses Salines, D’Hort Cove, Compte Cove or Vedella Cove. It is near the international Ibiza airport and the natural reserves of Ses Salines, which means that this zone has an easy access. The beaches in this zone have turquoise waters and fine sand, which makes them some of the favorites among tourists
  • Talamanca: thanks to its easy access and calm waters, this beach is one of the favorites for families with kids. If you do not have access to a rental car, this beach is one of the easier to reach by bus. 
  • Cala Jondal:  a stunning beach of turquoise waters which shore has pebbles instead of sand. This makes up for a stunning beach view. This beach is located near some luxurious clubs, where you will be able to relax and have fun while watching the sea. 
  • Llonga Cove: this cove is located near the luxurious urbanization of Roca LLisa. Its calm waters make it a favorite among families and young people looking to practice water sports
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Dolphin Discovery is the only park with the AZA accreditation in Punta Cana

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The Dominican Republic is a country that has one of the richest biodiversities in the world. This biodiversity manifest itself in Punta Cana, the main tourist area in the country. Most tourists visiting this country do so in order to enjoy its otherworldly beaches with crystalline waters and white sand. But if you want to discover the country’s biodiversity, we invite you to swim with dolphins in Dolphin Discovery, the only dolphin park with the AZA accreditation for the ethical treatment of the animals in Punta Cana.

The importance of the AZA accreditation

The acronym AZA stands for Association of Zoos and Aquariums. This association stands up for animals welfare and demands the higher standards of quality in institutions that work with them. Institutions all around the globe try every year to get their AZA accreditation, but the requirements are so high that only a low percent of the applicants pass the cut. 

In order to get this accreditation, Dolphin Discovery first had to fill an application that would place them on the list of institutions with a pending visit from the AZA expert team. 

During the AZA team visitation, every aspect of Dolphin Discovery Punta Cana was carefully examined in order to determine if they were keeping their quality standards high enough to ensure that the dolphin’s were treated ethically and in the best possible conditions. The AZA experts checked, among others, the following aspects:

  • The safety of the guests that visit these installations
  • The wellbeing of the dolphins, ensuring that they were being taken proper care of
  • The conservation efforts in order to prevent any damage to the biosphere
  • The educational programs to raise awareness about the living conditions of the animals to the visitors
  • The veterinary medicine programs in order to make sure that the animals are healthy and can receive the proper medical care as soon as they may feel ill
  • The organization financial stability, since a lack of resources would affect the dolphins welfare directly.

It is worth to mention that even if Dolphin Discovery earned this accreditation, its validity lasts only for 5 years, so in the future they would have to prove again to be among the best on their field. 

If you are planning to visit any recreational park that works with dolphins during your travel to the Dominican Republic, Dolphin Discovery is definitely the best option since it is the only company in the whole country that received an AZA accreditation. After all, when we visit a foreign country, it is important to be responsible and look out for the local fauna and flora. 

Swimming with dolphins

Dolphins are really fascinating animals. Their high intelligence and natural elegance make them some of the most loved animals in the world. If you want to make memories that will last forever during your visit to The Dominican Republic, we recommend that you try and  Swim with dolphins Punta Cana. On Dolphin Discovery you will be able to find different programs that involve swimming with these majestic creatures. These programs are designed always keeping the needs of the visitors in mind, so you can find the program that will fit you perfectly. Among the most popular visitor programs you will be able to find the following ones:

  • Dolphin Encounter Program: this program is perfect for families with kids, since it was especially designed for all ages. This program includes a small platform for people who can not swim properly, and during the session you will be able to hug and handshake the dolphins.
  • Dolphin Royal Swim Program: during your session you will be able to enjoy the dolphins acrobatic maneuvers, but what really makes this program so special is that the dolphins are trained to do you a foot push, lifting you out of the water. This will make up for a really fun experience you will not be able to forget.
  • Dolphin Swim Adventure Program: on this program you will be able to hug the dolphins, give them a handshake and then swim with them. You will be allowed to hold to the dolphin as he carries you around the beautiful Punta Cana waters.
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Azul Talavera Hotel: the perfect place for your next holidays in Puebla

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Puebla mexico hotel

Puebla is a beautiful and charming city you should check out for your next holidays. 

Located in the heart of Mexico, Puebla is the most visited coastless city in the country, and there is no wonder why. This city has a very rich history and a lot of monuments for visitors to discover. People wanting to visit this city can count themselves lucky, for there is an hotel with professional staff and an idyllic location: Azul Talavera Hotel. 

An hotel with a lot of history

Azul Talavera Hotel originally opened its doors as Rosewood Puebla Hotel back in 2017, and since then, it has earned its rightful spot as one of the best hotels in Puebla Mexico. The hotel went under this name transition back at 2019, but it was ran smoothly and without causing any inconvenience to the customers. On Azul Talavera Hotel, customers are always the staff priority. Because of that, during the transition the hotel kept its doors open, without affecting in any way at all the previously scheduled bookings or events. The hotel also kept the same staff team, which means that this transition did not affect the quality of the services provided.

But what really makes this hotel a historical place is its building. Azul Talavera Hotel was built  on 3 historical buildings placed in the charming neighborhood of San Francisco. This neighborhood is located right at the city’s historical center and it has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage site since 1987. 

History is key in Azul Talavera Hotel. The hotel is proud of its history and the country’s traditions. Because of that, you can find decorations with traditional mexican themes all across the hotel, and the suites include items of local craftsmanship to reflect Puebla’s traditional market. 

Enjoying the best Mexican cuisine

One of the perks of choosing Azul Talavera Hotel as your place to stay during your holidays, is that you will be able to enjoy one of the best gourmet restaurants in Mexico. The hotel’s restaurant is named Pasquinel Bistrot and it is the perfect place for you to enjoy the best Mexican food. This luxurious restaurant serves original dishes you will not be able to find anywhere else, since the food here mixes local ingredients with European cooking inspirations. 

Let your wedding be handled only by the best professionals 

Puebla has become a popular wedding destination over the last decade. Getting married on a beautiful city abroad is something that each day becomes more and more appealing for many future brides and grooms. In Azul Talavera Hotel they are aware of that, and they have made their best effort to become a referent on Puebla weddings

Azul Talavera Hotel has four different wedding venues to fit the wedding of your dreams: Trinitarias Garden, Patio Azul, Patio Rosa and Patio Verde. All these venues mix traditional mexican elements with modern architecture, all hand in hand with nature. The hotel includes everything you may need to exchange your bows, from a glamorous ballroom to an antique courtyard that features a 300 year old private chapel.

But Azul Talavera Hotel is more than beautiful wedding venues. What makes this place really stand out is its team of professional wedding planners. The hotel’s staff will manage every detail needed in order for your wedding to be perfect. Their catering team will make sure you and your guests enjoy the most delicious food, while their wedding planners will guide you on every step of the process. Azul Talavera Hotel has also a partnership with professionals all across Puebla, from photographers to decorators or entertainers.

This will take a lot of stress away from the future bride and groom, which means that they will have more time to relax at the hotel Spa. It is named Cobalto Spa and it includes beauty and wellness treatments for the bride, groom and the whole bridal party.

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