Things to do in Carmona, Spain

Guest Post By: Maria Papadopoulou

Situated in the Guadalquivir Valley of Spain and surrounded by fields of wheat and cotton, there is Carmona, a  magnificent place that I instantly fell in love with when I first visited it a few years ago. There are so many things to do over there, that you won’t be bored, not even for a minute.

Alcazar de la Puerta de Sevilla

One of the most famous historical buildings in Carmona, Alcazar de la Puerta de Sevilla, is a must see for every tourist. Although remodeled and refurbished, it helps tourists understand the origins of Carmona’s fortifications, as well as the town’s history. The view from the top is simply breathtaking, I spent several minutes looking at it, totally mesmerized.

Puerta de Cordoba, Carmona, SpainRoman Necropolis

For those who love digging in the past in an attempt to understand the present and are not afraid of what they may find, Roman Necropolis, the ancient cemetery, is a place they should not miss. At the entrance, there is Tumba del Elefante, a huge elephant figure that will make every heart beat fast for a few seconds. The cemetery is very well preserved and it allows visitors to learn a lot about burial tombs at different stages of restoration. The second time I visited that particular cemetery, which as of 1992 is considered an archaeological site, I was given a free tour by the Director and learnt many more details about the place. Free tours are scheduled every once in a while, so visitors should take advantage of that if they want to delve deeper into the Necropolis history.

Iglesia de Santa Maria de la Asuncion

Located at the plaza del Marques de las Torres, is the beautiful church of Santa Maria, built in 1424, in gothic style. The serenity and peace of the place have such a calming effect; tourists will certainly feel as if they are talking a walk in the fields of Heaven.

The principal altarpiece features the work of Nufro de Ortega and Juan Vasquez.  There is a cute little chapel dedicated to San Jose, as well as an altarpiece dedicated to Pedro de Campana. I loved the famous sculpture of Christ on the cross, called the Desamparados (the homeless), as well as the painting of the 12 Apostles. They are truly masterpieces that once you see, you will never be able to forget.

Carmona has so many interesting places to visit and learn about. If you want to broaden your horizons, this is where you should go.

Maria Papadopoulou  is a freelance writer at as well as a translator and a proofreader.


Barcelona Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas




Barcelona, Spain is a huge city, with a population of around 1.6 million and five million people live in the metropolitan area of Barcelona. The city is definitely worthy of three days or more to visit the main sights. I only had part of a day here in a recent cruise port stop, so I opted to take the Barcelona City Tour by way of a hop-on hop-off bus.

This turned out to be a very effective and economical way for me to get a glimpse of the city's highlights and learn a little about it at the same time. I definitely plan to return one day when I can spend at least several days here.Casa Batllo Barcelona


The Barcelona City Tour is one of the most practical things to do in Barcelona. You can pre-book online and the price listed is 21.60 euros, but I bought the ticket on the bus and it was 19 euros. Actually I got a discount on top of that since i had saved my ticket from a bus tour in another city. The company gives you a 10 percent discount up to a year if you keep the ticket so it is a good deal.

At any rate I rode the bus for the entire route, then got home and back on another bus for the other route. The whole tour lasted over four hours, which is not a bad deal at all.

The routes have a few overlapping stops, where you are able to switch to the other route if you like. Since Barcelona is so big there are quite a few buses which stop every ten to twenty minutes, making it easy to travel to different locations in the city. You can get off at one stop and get back on at any stop as often as you like within a 24 hour period.Beach in Barcelona Spain


On the west route stops include all the famous landmarks in Barcelona beginning with Placa Catalunya, the hub of the city and the beginning of the pedestrian walkway, La Rambla. The next stop is in the Gothic district, followed by Paseo Colon, the large avenue connecting the city to the sea. The bus heads toward the World Trade Center at the port and then to beautiful Miramar Gardens with a panorama view of the coastline.

Olympic Stadium in Barcelona SpainThere are 18 stops on this route including the Olympic Stadium, the MNAC, former World's Fair Pavilion, Plaza Espana, the Barcelona train station, the soccer stadium, shopping areas, and the famous Gaudi  buildings, Casa Mila, and Casa Battlo.

On the eastern route the 16 stops include Placa Cataluña, the Gothic Cathedral, Port Vell and the Sea Palace, the maritime district and the beaches, the Olympic Village, Ciutadella Park, the modern glass building of the National Theatre, some of the more modern architectural sights and the technological district, the hospital, Garden City, Tibidabo, and of course the very famous unfinished work of Gaudi, the Sagrada Familia.

I would recommend the sightseeing bus as an overview for a first-time visitor to Barcelona and then you have an idea of what you would like to see in more detail. Have fun.

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

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Activities To Try During Holidays In Cala Millor


The popular resort of Cala Millor is situated on the scenic north eastern coastline of Majorca. Here you will find a beautiful blue flag beach and a variety of pleasant countryside paths, perfect for exploring. You will also discover various Calla Millor holiday companies offering special tours and excursions to the fascinating local sites. Some even offer the opportunity to try out some of the activities highlighted in this article.

Turquoise water of Mediterranean Sea and Cala Millor resort town center, Majorca island, Spain


Strap your walking boots on for a jaunt to the historically significant watchtower of Castell de n'Amer. Along the way you might be lucky enough to spot native wildlife species such as the spotted Hoopoe bird and Hummingbird Hawk Moth.

Horse Riding

If you are eager to explore the surrounding area of Cala Millor then why not hire some horses from the stables of Rancho Willy? Anybody planning wintertime Directline holidays to Cala Millor may book a couple of days on horseback, which could incorporate a visit the Parque Natural Cala Mondrego or a gallop through the pretty area of Ca'an Picafort.


You might like to imagine yourself in the role of Spanish drivers such as Fernando Alonso or Pedro de la Rosa and attack the Calla Millor go-karting track. Cruise around the corners and go flat out on the straights to take the racing title.


Keen golfers on holidays to Cala Millor are invited to tee off at the top quality course of Pula. You may even see the enthusiastic Spanish king out for a round with his caddy in toe.

Glass Bottom Boating

There are plenty of ways in which you can enjoy the ocean environment of Cala Millor. However, the most relaxing option is to take a glass bottom boating tour. Trust in the navigational abilities of the captain and watch as the colourful fish swim below you're in the clear Mediterranean sea.


5 Incredible Beaches of Menorca, Spain!

Thinking of heading to the Belearic Islands of Spain, and you are wondering where would be a good place to lay your towel and catch some sun?
Well take a look at these 5 beaches on the island of Menorca.
Macarella, Balearic Islands, Spain 1.) Macarella
If you want to experience one of the most amazing beaches in Menorca, Spain, check out the Macarella Beach. This is one of the most popular beaches in the area and easily accessible by car. Macarella also has a restaurant just a short walk from the beach and there is plenty of parking close to the beach. Lifeguards are also on duty at the beach to assist you.
Cala Pregonda Menorca, Balearic Islands 2.) Pregonda
With incredible golden colored sand and crystal blue waters, Pregonda Beach in Menorca is a great place to relax and just enjoy the warmth of the ocean environment. Pregonda is surrounded by fields of waving grass with dunes flanking the beach. Pregonda is a very natural environment, undisturbed by buildings or development. There is a small snack bar where you can get a drink or a quick snack, but other than that, it is just you and the elements.
Els Canutells, Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain 3.) Els Canutells
When you want a bit more luxury while traveling in Menorca to go with an incredible beach environment, then check out the Els Canutells. The beach includes hotels and condos that offer a very comfortable place to stay while being just a few steps from the beach. You can also rent bungalows closer to the beach that offer you a number of amenities for you to enjoy while you are staying in Menorca.
Santo Thomas Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain 4.) Sant Tomás
Experience sandy beaches and pristine waters when you visit Sant Tomas on Menorca. Sant Tomas offers a resort community with many convenient amenities just a few steps from the beach. The resorts provide a clean and comfortable location to relax while you are here enjoying the Spanish coast. Sant Tomas also includes several cafes and nightclubs where you can get something to eat as well as enjoying great entertainment and nightlife. There are also a number of specialty and gift shops that can provide you with an enjoyable shopping adventure.
Cala Galdana, Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain 5.) Cala Galdana
Located on Menorca's South Coast, Cala Galdana is one of the best loved beaches on the island. The horseshoe beach offers a secluded cove that gives an incredible coastal environment while also offering exciting activities like scuba diving, boating, swimming and more. Cala Galdana includes several resorts where you can find luxury rooms close to the beaches as well as restaurants and other entertainment venues. When you just want to relax in the Mediterranean Sun, Cala Galdana provides a very scenic and soothing place to unwind.




High Speed Ferry Service From Barcelona To Palma De Mallorca

It used to take seven hours to get from Barcelona Spain to Palma De Mallorca. Most people would jump aboard the night ferry and sleep until they arrived in the morning. But today travelers staying in Barcelona apartments can take a high speed catamaran that will get you to Palma De Mallorca in a little less than four hours, leaving you more time to enjoy your day or weekend trip to the island.

During the summer season travelers will find 2 high speed catamarans and super ferry making the journey between Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca.High Speed Ferry Barcelona, Spain Photo by D-A-O

Even if you have been to Mallorca before, there are always plenty of activities for you to enjoy. If you are on a weekend or day trip, and do not have the pleasure of spending the night, it is important to pack as much into one day as you possibly can. Hiring a personal guide is a great way to see the entire island. You can contact them directly, or have them arrange additional day trips outside of the city. If you would rather head out on your own, you can take a walking tour and rent an Ipod shuffle that is preloaded with everything you need to know. Another great way to take in the city is to jump on an open-top tour bus. Lasting 24 hours you can hop on or off when you like. Take a tour of one of the museums in Palma De Mallorca, or spend your time at the Bellver Castle. Just 3 kilometers from the center of town is was built in the 14th century and continues to be one of the most popular tourist destinations on the island and is home to the Municipal Museum. Climb to the top of the tower and enjoy spectacular views of the bay. Of course if you feel like relaxing you can spend your day at the beach. You can go windsurfing, or grab your fins and snorkel and explore the deep blue sea. You can hire a boat at some of the beaches, or try your hand at kite surfing.

If you decide to do nothing but relax and drink in the wonderful climate on the island, you cannot leave without enjoying a couple of the fantastic restaurants in Palma De Mallorca. Start the morning off with an authentic breakfast. Make sure you save some room, because you will want to have tapas for lunch washed down with a white wine Sangria. Before you head back to your apartments in Barcelona and board  the high speed ferry, you have to try a seafood dinner as the jumbo prawns, muscles, angler and monkfish are absolutely delicious.


Beaches of Malaga,Spain

 Malaga is a beach town on the Andalusia coast of Spain. It is the fifth largest city in Spain and is a popular tourist destination due to its prime location in the Mediterranean. Malaga has a comfortable subtropical climate, which is perfect for lounging and relaxing on the beach. There are several beaches to choose from in Malaga.

Playa Palo  Malaga, SpainPlaya Palo is a popular beach that is located to a marina called El Candado. It is perfect for travelers that enjoy sailing, fishing and diving. It is also popular for its amenities, which includes parking lots, beach bars, restaurants, life guards and a promenade. The sand here is soft, pristine and ta.

Playa Huellin is a local beach that is often overlooked by tourists. Here you will find a more relaxing and authentic beach experience. It is located near the Banderas promenade, which is named after the popular Spanish actor Anotonio Banderas. It has a laid-back atmosphere with several common beach amenities. This beach is perfect for those who enjoy less crowded beaches.

Playa Las Acacias is a popular beach that is often crowded with tourists and locals. This beach stretches a mile long that is divided by several comfortable coves. It is popular among the younger crowd because of its lively promenade. This beach has very fine sand and a variety of amenties.

If you are looking for a more tempting beach, consider Playa Almayate Bajamar. It is a nudist beach that stretches three miles long. Although it is a nudist beach, it has a laid-back atmosphere and is often far from being crowded. A new promenade is in the works, which may give the beach a tourist vibe and attract more international travelers.

Playa de la Malagueta is a pristine beach with beautiful black sand. It stretches one mile and is located near the Paseo Pablo Picasso, a busy town center that has shopping, restaurants and bars. It is accessible by bus and includes several life guards on duty. Although this beach is most popular among locals, tourists are finding out about this gem and visit more often, especially during the summer time.

Comfortable weather and plenty of sun has made Malaga a featured destination for many Europeans, with many cheap flights to Malaga it is no wonder that many travelers have made this a popular resort town on the Mediterranean.


Barcelona Wine and Cava Day Trips

Black red grape for wine production in Spain The wine region of Penedes lies south of Barcelona. The area has a world-renown reputation for producing Spanish champagne, known as cava, and superior white wines. Good quality reds also emerge from the region. Its close proximity to the Barcelona apartments and hotels makes Penedes the ideal spot for a wine and cava connoisseur to tour on a day trip.

Cava Winery Cordorniu

The Cava Winery Cordorniu sits in the village of Sant Sadurni D'Noia. The winery dates back to the 16th century. The winery's cellars were built by the architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch. The imposing structure has eyecatching architecture and has been declared a National Monument of Historic and Artistic Interest. Tours to the winery usually take approximately eight hours and include a visit to Sitges, which overlooks the sea. Sitges features a picturesque white medieval quarter with winding cobbled streets. Most tours allow an hour or so of personal time to explore Sitges. The full day tours provide lunch at one of the area restaurants.

Torres Winery in Pacs

The Torres Winery in Pacs is a delightful day trip that offers visitors the chance to view the winemaking process up close. The tour of the Torres Winery usually lasts one hour, but the entire trip will take approximately eight hours. Visitors will learn about the wine making process in great detail. The tour will cover the process from vine to bottle. Visitors will also be able to tour the winery's massive cellars. After the tour at the winery, visitors are welcome to sample wine at the special tasting centre.

Wine Barrels - Spanish Bodega - SpainJean Leon Estate

The Jean Leon estate was one of the first wineries to create white wines in oak casks. Visitors can learn about the history of the estate and its winemaking process. They can also visit the large visitors centre. Wine tasting is included in the tour. Following the wine tour, most tour companies wrap up the day by visiting the historic town of Sitges.

Wine and cava day trips from Barcelona usually take eight hours to complete, but can run up to nine hours or more. Most tour companies allow two to six people per trip. The tours run year round from January to December. Rates vary, depending on the tour company. Pickups from area hotels or apartments in Barcelona are available. Advance reservations are strongly suggested. Some tour companies require that the day trip must be booked at least seven days in advance.


Travel Photo Of The Day-The Castle of Lloret de Mar, Costa Brava, Spain

The Castle of Lloret de Mar, Costa Brava, Spain

Photo By Travelpeter

The Castle of Lloret de Mar, Costa Brava, Spain

Lloret de Mar is a small resort town located in the northeastern part of Spain on the coast. It is one of the most popular destinations in Costa Brava and is 75 km from Barcelona.

For more information and destinations in Spain check out Beachcomber Pete Travel Adventures Spain


Madrid Museums, Spain

Madrid, the capital and largest city in Spain is definitely one of the most popular cities to visit. Known for its fascinating history, Madrid boasts over 45 museums–many of them art museums–but all promise cultural experiences that should not be overlooked. When staying in a city for a extended period of time whether it be a hotel or an Apartment in Madrid, one gets to take in the city at a slower pace. One gets to enjoy all the city has to offer, from fine dining, the architecture to the history of the city and quite often this can be brought together in the many museums Madrid has to offer.

Madrid Museo del Prado with Velazquez statue, Madrid, SpainThe Golden Triangle of Art is made up of three museums including the Museo del Prado, Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Each one of these museums has its own appeal. The most famous art museum by far is the Prado. This museum, which opened almost 200 years ago is housed in an 18th century building and contains works by European masters such as Raphael, Velazquez, Rubens, Bosch, Goya and many more. With over 4,800 paintings by Spanish artists and large collections by the Italian and Flemish, and over 900 works of sculpture, it is easy to see why this museum is known the world over.

For contemporary art the Reina Sofia is the perfect choice. This museum, which is housed in an 18th century hospital, offers four floors of both permanent and temporary exhibits, with collections by Picasso, Miro, Dali Salano and other famous artists. A complement to the Prado and the Reina Sofia, the Thyssen-Bornemisza offers an important private art collection with everything from ancient to modern pop art.

The Museo de America exhibits archeological findings, textiles and clothing from North, South, and Central America. This impressive museum's 25,000 artifacts exhibit the myths, beliefs and ways of life of different societies, and languages of indigenous cultures. The most fascinating exhibits are the Aztec Tudela Codex from the 1500's, and a Paracas mummy from the first century BC.

For a trip back in time to Spain's golden age, the former home of the "Shakespeare of Spanish literature", now the Lope de Vega Museum, is a delightful experience. A two-story brick house, this museum offers rooms with furniture from the 17th century and a beautiful garden with fruit trees that were described in Lope de Vega's journal.

With 24 rooms of artifacts reflecting the history of the Spanish Navy, El Museo Naval is one of the most significant naval museums the world over. The rooms go in chronological order with exhibits from the 15th century to the cutting-edge technology of today. One of the most interesting exhibits is the Peral Submarine, invented in 1884, which many call the first U-boat.

There are a number of other important museums in Madrid such as the Archaeological Museum, the Caixa Forum, the Goya Museum and many more. For those who are planning a trip to Spain, visits to any of these museums offer rare experiences that will be remembered for a lifetime.

 Head back to your apartment in Madrid, take your time and soak up the city, enjoy a bottle of wine at your new favorite restaurant and plan your next visit to one of the many museums throughout Madrid.


Day trip to Badajoz, Spain

City Hall, Statue of Luis de Morales, Badajoz, SpainAdventures and history buffs looking for something different will find Badajoz, Spain is one of the places to visit on a day trip from Seville. Badajoz is 200 kilometers (124 miles) northwest of Seville. It takes about two and half hours to drive from Seville to Badajoz. With the closeness of Badajoz, those staying in Seville apartments can make a easy day trip or a romantic weekend getaway.

Visitors to Badajoz can see historic sites dating back hundreds of years, visit museums and sample local cuisine in the restaurants.

The Badajoz Cathedral from the 13th century is one of the city’s historic buildings. A portal and window decorations were added when the building was remodeled during the Renaissance. Choir stalls in the cathedral date back to the 16th century.

Visitors who want to see an older historic site can walk past the Espantaperros Tower. This watchtower was built in the 12th century. It is part of the Alcazaba Fortress from the ninth century.

The Archaelogy Museum is one of the city’s historic buildings. The Palacio de la Roca was built in the 16th century. The museum has over 20,000 pieces in its collection. Some items date back to Roman times.

Painting and sculptures from the 18th through the 20th centuries are displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts. Visitors can also see engravings by Dali and Picasso here.

Exhibits at the Bullfighting Museum include photographs, posters and bullfighters’ costumes. Some of the items here date back to the 16th century.

Visitors can see religious art at the Cathedral Museum. Choir books from the 15th century with miniature paintings are some of the items displayed here. Sculptures, panels, tapestries and paintings are part of the museum’s collection.

History lovers will enjoy visiting the Museum of the City. Exhibits here focus on the history of Badajoz dating back to prehistoric times. Visitors will learn about Arabic and Muslim influences on the city and what city life was like during medieval times. Some displays provide information about life in Badajoz during wars.
Badajoz Theme Artwork, Plaza de Espana, Sevilla, Spain
 Before returning to your apartments in Seville,visitors who are hungry after sightseeing will find several restaurants serving local cuisine. Items on the menu at Azcona include squid in ink, lamb stew and vegetable stew. Diners at Miajon can order Iberian pork. Iberian pork loin and gazpacho are served at The Abaceria.

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