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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.

Travel

7 Travel Safety Tips You Should Know

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aircraft flight travel packing

Travelling can be enthralling, but have you ever asked yourself what if you get robbed? What if you get kidnapped? Or you get lost? 

Leaving the comfort of your home to explore a foreign country can be an exciting experience. However, several worst-case scenarios can make you anxious when travelling overseas. From losing precious items and getting injured to theft or kidnapping, a lot can happen abroad. 

The first step is to acknowledge that bad things can happen, which is part of the adventure. With these safety tips below, you can protect yourself as a traveller and have peace of mind.

 Conduct Sufficient Research 

Research and gather a lot of information. Travel safety starts even before you board that plane. Google about your destination and know the common risks and prevalent scams in that country. Get to know the safe and unsafe neighbourhoods. 

Ensure you read reviews in the places you’ll visit or the hotel you’ll be staying in. Check if your rent property is in a safe environment. Read blogs from travel bloggers to find if there is anything written about your destination. You can watch videos on YouTube to learn a few things. You can listen to the accent, see attraction sites, and what the landscape looks like.  

TripAdvisor is also a great platform where you can search your destination before travelling. It’s great for hotels, restaurants, local attractions, and tour companies. Read reviews to get valuable information from previous clients. 

Doing research helps you feel confident and comfortable when travelling. 

Buy Travel Insurance 

A vacation isn’t a vast investment, like buying a car or house, but you still need a lot of money. Buying airfare, paying for tour guides, and accommodation needs tons of cash. The travel insurance cover protects you from lost or damaged items. 

It can be expensive to replace items like electronic devices, clothes, and medication. You might also get hurt or sick while in a foreign country. If you get hurt or sick before travelling, you’ll have to cancel your trip. With this, you’ll lose the full cost. In such a scenario, the travel insurance will reimburse the amount used. 

You may also need to get evacuated from a danger zone, and using helicopter transport can cost you a fortune. This is where travel insurance comes in. Early returns or losing a family or friend are other incidents that should motivate you to get insurance cover. 

However, ensure you get a comprehensive cover that will cater to almost every bill you might incur. Choose a reliable insurance provider to give direction and offer the necessary help. Check the reputation of the said company, their insurance packages, and don’t forget to read reviews. 

Share Information with a Reliable Friend or a Close Relative

Travelling is marred with uncertainties. Anything can happen when in a foreign land. That’s why you should let those close to you know about your whereabouts. 

In case of an emergency, you might not manage to communicate specific details. The insurance may require you to call before going to the hospital. They can help you find a reliable hospital nearby. 

It is always advisable to scan and print important documents and upload a digital cover of the insurance package.

Keep Your Money in Various Places

Never travel with all of your money in the same place. Stash emergency money throughout the luggage just in case you lose some. You can also place cash on your body but in different pockets. 

You may wear a money belt beneath your clothes or have a handy bra pocket to keep your credit cards and cash. Invest in an excellent zippered passport pocket that can hold a phone and a passport. This way, even if you get robbed, you’ll still have some cash and cards tucked away. 

More so, be mindful of purses and pockets when in a crowded place. It’s too easy to get pickpocketed in a crowded subway or bus. Criminals know their target pretty well, but you can give them a hard time trying to rob you. 

If you get into a crowded place, keep your hands-on any pocket that has your valuables. If possible, tuck the purse underneath your arm to ensure it opens towards your body and hard to access. Ensure the purse can be zipped, covered, or fastened. 

Avoid keeping stuff in your back pocket as it’s an easy target. Also, it’s recommended to ditch the purse and wallet altogether. 

Lock Your Bags

Locking your luggage can deter thieves. Zip your wallet and purse and lock your bags as well. A determined thief goes for easier targets. They know travellers carry tons of valuable items, and that’s why locking your luggage during transit is a great security measure. 

You can use non-TAS travel locks as they’re hard to break, unlike the universal TSA lock. However, you may use a TSA-approved travel lock for added security and peace of mind. 

Don’t Bring with You Your Precious Items

It’s easy to have items disappear while in transit. It could be a scarf you left in a park or sunglasses fell in the water as you were surfing. When packing for air travel, leave anything that will break your heart if it gets stolen or lost. 

For instance, leave your precious jewellery at home. Carrying education or property documents is risky. Bring cheap items like a travel-friendly necklace or wedding ring, an older smartphone, or inexpensive clothes. 

Watch Your Drinks 

When in a foreign country, you become an easy prey. No matter the circumstances, ensure you watch over your drinks. Make sure you see what’s being poured so someone doesn’t spike your drink

It would also be best to avoid getting drunk. If you usually take six drinks, reduce to two. If you didn’t travel with a buddy, go everywhere with your drink, even to the washroom.

Every day there is news of travellers who have fallen victim to several crimes while travelling. This should be your huge concern in taking the necessary measures. Don’t be too naïve or optimistic to think it can never happen to you. 

But don’t allow anything to stop you from having an enthralling vacation. Follow these travel safety tips, and you’ll enjoy a peaceful trip. 

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Travel

A unique perspective of Jamaica

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Over the last years, Jamaica has become one of the most visited destinations by tourists in the entire world. This beautiful Caribbean island with its stunning beaches, rich nature and delicious gastronomy has everything you could wish for in a holiday destination. However, if you want to experience Jamaican culture in a unique way while interacting with nature hand in hand, there is a place you can not miss during your trip: Yaaman Adventure Park.

The most original holidays

Jamaica is famous as a beach holidays destination. And who can really blame those that choose to visit the country because of this? Its white sand beaches with crystal clear waters and jungle right next to the shores make out for some breathtaking views. However, Jamaica has so much more to bring into the table. A good example of this can be found in the famous tours in Ocho Rios offered by Yaaman Adventure Park.

Ocho Rios is known as the most touristic area on the entire island. And in an area with such a wide catalogue of activities focused towards tourists, we can find Yaaman Adventure Park. Formerly known as Prospect Plantation, Yaaman Adventure Park original placement used to be an 18th Century agricultural property with a lot of history and cultural points. Yaaman Adventure Park offers its visitors the opportunity to interact hand in hand with nature in a lot of adrenaline filled adventures that will make out for unforgettable experiences. 

Do not limit yourself to simply laying on the beach, discover the beautiful island of Jamaica and its culture in a fun and original way. 

The perfect activities for everyone in the family

There are as many types of holidays as there are types of people in the world. Yaaman Adventure Park is aware of this, and that is why they offer a wide catalogue of activities in Ocho Rios that will adapt to everyone’s needs. Your age does not matter, there is the perfect activity waiting for you at Yaaman Adventure Park. Yaaman Adventure Park has a lot of fun activities that will allow you to interact with nature, as well as some more relaxing ones that will help you understand Jamaican culture better. Some of their most renown activities include:

Bird aviary tour

An activity that everyone in the family will surely love! In this aviary, you will be able to interact with exotic and local birds while they freely fly around you. The aviary is a tropical heaven for the birds that live there, and will make you feel like you have been transported to a fairytale world.

Swim with dolphins

Dolphins are some of the most beloved sea animals in the world. And in Yaaman Adventure Park you will be able to swim with dolphins in their unique shore excursions in Ocho Rios. These loving creatures are very smart and love interacting with the visitors. During these excursions, you will be able to swim with them and even hug and kiss the lovely dolphins. 

Cook genuine Jamaican recipes

Jamaica has one of the most delicious cuisines in the world. Their traditional colourful dishes are full of unique flavours that will not disappoint your palate. On the cooking tour offered by Yaaman Adventure Park, you will learn how to prepare the traditional “Jamaican Fare”. The famous chef Irie will teach you all the secrets of this dish consisting of festival, Steamed Callaloo and chicken. All of this while you enjoy some breathtaking views 1100 feet above sea level.

But these are only some of the activities you will be able to enjoy at Yaaman Adventure Park. From Mud buggies tours to tours across near stunning rivers, rides on the back of camels or a jitney ride, the possibilities at this park seem endless. So if you are looking for a fun and original alternative for your next holidays, then look no further, Yaaman Adventure Park is the perfect place to go.

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Europe

How much money do you need to live comfortably in Spain?

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malaga andalusia spain

There are plenty of reasons why you may be thinking about living in Spain: its population is friendly and kind; its climate, especially in the coastal areas, is enviable; its gastronomy is incredible… but, what about its prices? What is the most affordable way to live in Spain?

Perhaps the most important question if you decided to go: would it be better to buy instead of renting a property in Spain. Or yet living in a Spanish residence?

Spanish cities where to live cheap and well

In the geographical variety that Spain presents, we can find many differences in average salaries and the standard of living that reside there would require. The areas of Galicia, Extremadura, Castilla y León, together with Almería and the south of Alicante usually have a lower price of euros/square meter in their homes. The quality of life is really appreciable, but you should know that there are fewer possibilities for business and transports.

The autonomous community of the Basque Country, Catalonia, and Madrid, which have higher than average incomes (normally more than 24,000 euros per year), also have higher prices. However, Madrid has such a wide range of rents that it sometimes makes them cheaper than other countries. 

In addition, and taking into account the tourist seasons, the areas of Valencia and Andalusia are normally a preference when it comes to living in Spain for a while or even spending your retirement. Although day-to-day life can be more expensive than in other areas of Spain, the mild climate and variety of leisure options are often worth it in the long run. 

Whatever your option is when moving to another country, especially if you don’t know its legal system, can be very tiresome. That’s why our advice is to try to contact local agencies (that speak English) to give you fair and fruitful advice. For example, to move to Andalusia, we usually recommend Tejada solicitors

I have already decided on the place. Now what?

Well, if you have already fully immersed yourself in the streets of a beautiful city that we have talked about, what should be your first step?

Decide what kind of stay you want to be in (since your future economic situation will also depend on this: taxes, permits…). You may have already chosen, for example, property conveyancing in Marbella, but it is recommended that you also think about renting a property, because it can be very profitable while you are in your other place of residence.

To sum up, before moving to a Spanish city, decide if you want to spend a little more money per month in exchange for the exceptional conditions that their precious land can give you; secondly, contact a reliable agency that will help you make the best investment and even more, apply for a Spanish residency if you are decided to stay for a long time.

And remember: a move is always a new beginning.

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