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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.

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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Have everything ready for your next trip

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aircraft flight travel packing

If there is one thing everyone loves is to travel. Whether we do it for business reasons or simply for pleasure, traveling brings us the opportunity of experiencing new alternatives and discover new places we would not be able to enjoy on a daily basis. But a lot of planning needs to be put into any travel in order for it to run out smoothly. Down bellow, you will be able to find some tips that could come out handy during your next journey. 

Moving around in a rented car

Renting a car is always an amazing option when it comes to moving around  a new and unfamiliar area. It gives us the option to move around freely, without the constraints or the language barriers that could be associated with public transportation.

A good example of this could be seen if you plan to visit the touristic island of Maui. This beautiful island has a lot of hidden gems that can not be reached using public transport. Rent a car Maui is an amazing affordable option to make sure you do not miss out anything on this marvelous island. They offer a big variety of rental cars, all with one of the best customer services in the island. 

Because we do not have why to miss out anything when we travel. 

Starting a new life in a new country

Sometimes, when we travel to a different country, it is not something temporal, but a permanent change. Starting a new life in a different country can seem like a scary experience at first, but with the right preparations, it should be a smooth transition.

A popular destination that people are choosing to move to permanently over the last decades has been Spain. But you may be wondering, how to move to Spain

Moving to Spain is a relatively easy process, but there is a series of steps you need to take in order to do so

  1. Check out the different types of resident permits and Visas and choose the one that better suits you.
  2. Check the requirements for said permit.
  3. Find out if you can submit the paperwork before moving to Spain or you need to do so once you arrive to Spain as a tourist.
  4. Prepare all the documentation needed for the paperwork.
  5. Get your Visa and start enjoying your new life in Spain.

Choose an option for your stay according to your needs

One of the key aspects of every travel is to decide where we are going to be spending our stay in our destination. Nowadays, there is a wide variety of resorts available on the main tourist destinations, so spending time to decide on which one would be a better fit for us is always a good idea.

Take for example the beautiful city of Cancun. Cancun is one of the most visited cities in the world. There are a lot of luxury resorts in this city, but if you are looking for an original and exciting experience, we can not stop recommending Temptation Cancun Resort

Temptation Cancun Resort is an exclusive resort that only admits adults +21 on their installations. They have recently reopened their doors with a timetable full of fun and sexy events you can not miss out. Because life is too short to spend it on traditional family destinations, try something original like Temptation Cancun Resort and live an once in a lifetime experience. 

Save money by using public transport

Public transportation is an affordable option available wherever we decide to travel. A fast and safe way to travel around any country has traditionally been the train. Thanks to websites like Trenes.com you can check the schedules of all the trains available, buy your ticket online and get amazing discounts on the final price. This makes moving around a different country easier than ever.

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6 Things you can do in Tijuana

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tijuana mexico

Tijuana is one of the largest cities in Mexico. Located in the northern part of the country, its proximity to the US border has make it a popular tourist destination among American citizens looking to experience all the recreational activities this beautiful city have to offer. If you are planning to visit Tijuana, we have a list of our six favorite spots in the city, so make sure you do not miss them.

1- The Caliente Xoloitzcuintles Stadium

Soccer, simply known as football in Mexico, is the country’s favorite sport. And there is no football team with more devoted fans than Los Xolos. It does not matter if you like football or not, visiting the Caliente Xoloitzcuintles Stadium while you are in Tijuana is a must . On the days there is a football match scheduled, you definitely need to go to the stadium a few hours early, since there is a big party going on on the parking lots of this stadium. People park on the parking lots and eat roasted meat while drinking beer with their friends. Then you can head to watch the football match. Los Xolos enthusiasts are known to be among the most friendly football fans out there, and will make sure you feel welcome and have an experience you will never forget.

If you want to stay close to  the Caliente Xoloitzcuintles Stadium, we recommend you check out in a nearby hotel like Tijuana Marriott Hotel since its proximity make it pretty convenient.

2- Morelos Park

Morelos Park is one of the best destinations in Tijuana if you are traveling with kids. This park is the biggest in the city and features a lot of green areas, a huge artificial lake where you will be able to see ducks and fish, and even a small zoo featuring native animals like iguanas or jaguars. 

There is a small train that will take you for a ride around the lake. On this lake you can also find a small dock with small boats for rent. 

On weekends, you will also be able to enjoy public performances especially created for children, like clowns shows or puppet theatres.

3- Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Cathedral

The cathedral Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is also known as Tijuana’s Cathedral due to it being the most important one in the city. Although this cathedral dates back only to 1909, its beautiness immediately made it one of the most visited tourist spots in the city. This building design used as inspiration Mexico’s traditional temples, which made the local authorities give it the accreditation of historical monument.  

This monument is located just a few minutes away from the city centre, so if you are looking for accommodation in the heart of Tijuana, we recommend you check out Hotels like Fairfield Inn & Suites Tijuana due to its convenient location.

4- Wax Museum

Tijuana’s Wax Museum is one of its most original buildings. Across 10 different halls, you will be able to enjoy many wax figures, all divided according to different themes like Mexico’s historical figures or Mexico’s legends. One of the most curious things about this museum is that it has a Horror hall, where you will be able to enjoy the scary figures of Dracula or Frankenstein, although we do not recommend this if you are weak of heart. 

5- Tijuana’s Cultural Centre

Its modern sphere design has make this building one of the most visited locations in Tijuana. This Cultural Centre was created to try and promote art and culture in the area. On the different rooms of the building we will be able to find an art exhibition, an aquarium, an event room and a film library. 

6- El Trompo Museum

This amazing museum is the perfect mixture of science and fun, helping us to introduce our kids to new knowledge by using games and interactive activities. The museum also includes a 3D cinema and a concert room.

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