Archive | Travel Spain

Alcudia’s magic in Mallorca

Car hire

Every now and then you come across a place full of contradiction and charm in equal measure, a place where you are never sure what will be encountered around the next corner, or the following day.

Alcúdia is one of those places. Located in the north of Mallorca, it is a resort popular with families and other holidaymakers. Dominated by the nine mile long stretch of beach from Port d’Alcúdia and Platja d’Alcúdia to Can Picafort, this is where you can find most of the hotels, bars and cafes. Here Alcúdia offers visitors all the fun, excitement and entertainment of the best Spanish beach resorts.

The family friendly, relaxed atmosphere means that it is suitable for various types of tourists, including those with young children as well as couples and singles, and the emphasis is very much on providing a quality experience, suitable for those seeking relaxation and active pursuits.

However, the town also has other sides. If bar hopping and clubbing are your thing, you may well not be disappointed in Alcúdia. Arguments abound for Alcúdia not representing the true, authentic Mallorca, and this may certainly be true of the nightlife district, but it is undeniable that the town does not offer visitors an excellent choice when it comes to bars and clubs. However, the atmosphere at Alcúdia is not quite as raucous as some of its counterparts and there really is something here for everyone, so dive in and have fun.

The most popular spots for nightlife include the Banana Discos complex and Bells Disco. Sabor Latino is the place to head for salsa, while Goodfellas serves up exquisite cocktails. Other options include a range of Irish bars and upscale restaurants around the marina, and Mar y Mar Beach Club is a great spot for chilling out.

Those in search of history and culture do not have far to go. The town of Alcúdia has a turbulent past, replete with invasions and pirate attacks, and evidence for this can be found throughout the Old Town. Just outside the walls are the remains of a Roman town, the town of Pollentia. The walls themselves date from the 14th century, following Moorish invasions. The Old Town is a typical place of alleyways, plazas and medieval architecture, and there are many bustling cafes and restaurants, along with several boutique hotels, to be found within its walls. Sights include the Church of St. Jaume and the Roman theatre, and there are also markets on Sundays and Tuesdays.

Pirate attacks were especially frequent during the 16th century, and during this time the population gradually dwindled, as people chose to desert the village – for it was only a small community at this time – rather than risk their lives and livelihoods. There became a real possibility that Alcúdia would become a ghost town, consigned to the history books, before it was decided to protect the city by building a harbour.

The city itself, fascinating as it is, should not be the extent of any visit to Alcúdia. Not when the surrounding area is so scenically rewarding. Around the town are numerous coves and beaches, where you can swim and snorkel, while the natural park of S’Albufera is a great spot for bird watchers and other nature enthusiasts. Car hire Mallorca is the best way to get out of the city and explore the nearby landscapes.

Alcúdia, then, is a place of contrasts and contradictions, a place where the old intermingles with the new and the natural world sits around the border of various historical Spanish settlements. If you are happy to embrace and explore the many aspects of this intriguing and magical city, then you will be richly rewarded.

Photo Credit: Ventura Carmona

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What is the Cost of Moving to Spain?

moving to spain

Spain is a very popular destination for Britons relocating and is it any wonder why? A 2012 study by The Guardian found that nearly 400,000 UK citizens live in the country for its sun, sea and sand as well as its wealth of job opportunities.

Have you ever considered moving there to experience a new lease of life and to indulge in its rich art, culture and history? How much will it cost? Obviously there are expenses which need to be spent such as shipping and flight tickets but here is an expert guide to help you arrange your finances.

Personal Income Tax

Spain has a Personal Income Tax which is levied on an individual’s income. You will become accountable for income tax liability or the income that you get in the country. So any money that you earn from business in Spain, on a Spanish property, or from money deposited in a Spanish bank account, will have tax that needs to be paid.

Just as the UK has a taxman (HM Revenue & Customs) that is in charge of tax regulation, so does Spain. The Spanish Tax Agency will penalise you; so if you earn more than €22,000.00 a year, you must file an income tax return.

Economy

Many countries are suffering tough economic times at the moment and Spain is no different. It does have the 14th largest economy in the world but it is undergoing some hardship similar to Britain. Its unemployment rate is at 20.8% and the labour force is 23.13 million. However, wherever you relocate there will be some sort of financial trouble so research your job industry and find out how it is doing.

Shipping

The most cost-effective transportation method to move to Spain is sea freight. Obviously you can still transport your belongings by land or air but sea freight is the cheapest option. When planning your budget consider the packing materials, the hired removal company, shipping insurance, and storage costs.

As a guide, a shared service for an average 2 – 3 bed family property £2,500 – £3,700 + VAT. Direct services for similar are between £4,000 – £7,500 + VAT.

Property

The property market is in limbo at the moment like the economy, so make sure you look around and bargain with property owners to get the best deal. The fall in property prices gives scope for negotiations. Please note it is ideal to rent temporary accommodation just until you settle before buying a property.

Benefits

You will become eligible to receive retirement, maternity and unemployment benefits as the benefits system is similar to the UK in terms of health, social and security.

Conclusion…

Now you know the kind of costs that are involved with moving to Spain, the only thing left to do is to get a quote!

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A Great Place for a Holiday No Matter Who You’re With

Sometimes it’s hard to find a holiday destination that suits everyone who’s going with you. One of the best places that has something to offer people of all ages is the sunny Spanish island of Tenerife and the resort that perhaps has the most to offer visitors is Playa de las Americas. Read the full story

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Travel Spain: Chris from MidwesternerAbroad.com

travel Spain - Chris Ciolli

Hello lovely travellers. I know a large amount of you might be shuddering and sniffling away your existences in the winter climes of the western hemisphere but I (Will) am living it up in the Cambodian heat right now and just wanted to rub that in all your faces. Talking about rubbing good stuff in your faces, today we talk to the lovely Chris from MidwesternerAbroad.com, who I had the pleasure of sharing a coffee with in Barcelona recently. Talking about everything travel in Spain, let Chris be your guide to my a place I’m lucky enough to call my former home and start planning your own summer escape! Read the full story

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Travel Spain: Paddy from The Artichoke Adventures

Paddy Waller and Guided Tours in Spain by The Spanish Thyme Traveller

Today we potter back to Spain and the region of Valencia to talk travel and tours with Paddy Waller, the man behind The Artichoke Adventures and the tour business The Spanish Thyme Traveller. Paddy is definitely the man to go to when searching for Spanish travel tips and has more Spain-related facts in his head than a highly esteemed professor (in fact I think he should be one). Anyway, less about my (Will’s) opinion, let’s see what he has to say about Spain. Read the full story

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Travel Spain: Matthew in Gran Canaria

travel Spain Matthew Hirtes - Going for Gold

They might not be doing too well in the Olympics but Spain is still top of the charts in terms of tourism. Head south of the mainland however and closer to the coast of Africa and you’ll find that the tourist hordes get even bigger and brighter. That’s right, Gran Canaria, home to travel writing stalwart Matthew Hirtes, is the real gold medallist this summer. But has it (and the greater country it belongs to) taken performance enhancing drugs to get there or did its organic beauty win over? Let’s see what Matthew has to say about Spain, and more interestingly, his life spent travelling around it. Read the full story

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Travel Spain: Liz en España

travel Spain - Liz en Espana

TraveLinkSites loves Spain and couldn’t resist another interview from it’s sunny climbs. Today we have the fabulous Liz of Liz en España.  She packed her life in the US up and now lives in Spain writing a blog we love. Think jamón serrano and the beautiful Basque Country – a killer combo.

Over to you Liz…

Read the full story

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Travel Spain: Lauren Aloise from Spanish Sabores

Travel Spain - Lauren Spanish Sabores

Here’s Lauren from Spanish Sabores, isn’t she lovely?

TraveLinkSites talks today with Lauren of the expat blog Spanish Sabores.  She’s a food lover (which we like a lot) and here, she tells us all about her extensive travels through beautiful Spain.

1. Could you briefly introduce yourself, your site and your experience travelling in Spain?

I’m Lauren Aloise, a 20-something expat trying to make a life for myself in sunny Spain. I’ve been teaching English for the past few years, but I’m truly passionate about food and wine (especially Spanish!) and often write about gastronomy on my website Spanish Sabores.I also give Spanish speakers a more realistic view of American cuisine on my site Recetas Americanas.

I first moved to Spain as a teacher’s assistant and requested to be placed in Andalusia after previously studying in Granada, where I loved the sunny weather, gorgeous landscapes and delicious food and wine. I was placed in Seville and spent the next two years getting to know that gorgeous city and its surrounding provinces such as Cádiz, Málaga, and Córdoba. I now live in Madrid, but often find myself missing the South!

Apart from Andalusia, I’ve traveled extensively throughout the rest of the country, exploring places like Cataluña, Valencia, Extremadura, and Castilla y León. This summer I hope to take on the North of Spain and visit País Vasco, Galicia, and Asturias. A tourist will never run out of places to see in Spain!

Travel Spain - Lauren Spanish Sabores

Lauren’s pic of Flamenco dancers having a stroll

2. How does Spain compare to the rest of Europe in terms of things to see and do, its food and its culture? Is it very similar to other countries or very different?

Europe is extremely diverse so it is difficult to compare, but I will say that Spain in itself is like a group of unique mini countries. Each region is quite different– from its landscape to the languages and dialects spoken, and of course the food; each Spanish community really has its own special character and traditions. This makes it amazing to live here because it’s so easy to experience different sub cultures without going too far. A day trip can transport you to the past, and a weekend can take you to a peaceful island… what more could you ask for?

I also think many regions in Spain haven’t been as affected by mainstream global culture as perhaps some of the cities in other countries around Europe.

3. How much money can someone travel around Spain for? What are the greatest expenses? What things are relatively cheap?

One can travel around Spain on the cheap for sure. Hostels prices range, but you can generally find inexpensive rooms in all tourist destinations. The problem comes when you go off the beaten path to lesser-known destinations– usually there may only be hotels available, which can be a bit expensive if you are a solo traveler. However, if you are traveling with at least one other person, you won’t pay too much more for a hotel than hostel prices.

Other options that are popular around Spain include CouchSurfing and renting apartments. Food is also really inexpensive and in any city where tapas are the norm you will be surprised at the quantity and quality you can get for your euro!

Travel Spain - Lauren Spanish Sabores

sex on a plate

Transportation around Spain also varies– bus is usually the cheapest option but often the longest travel time too. Trains are quick and comfortable, but can be pricey. Car rental prices vary but companies often offer some good deals. Cheap flights also exist between many Spanish cities and to the islands.

 4. What are your favourite destinations in Spain and why?

This is a difficult question, as I’ve liked almost anywhere I’ve been in Spain and I still have so much more to see! But I guess I’d have to say that I love Andalusia; it will always hold a special place in my heart.

My top destination is Granada, followed by Cadiz and Seville. Ronda and the Sierra de Cadiz is a beautiful escape as well, and Valencia is a really cool city, especially to visit with children! With flights to Malaga being so cheap at the moment it would be a shame not to visit this underrated city too.

 5. What cultural activities and events would you suggest everyone seeing or taking part in while travelling in Spain and why?

It really depends on your interests because Spain has it all– art, architecture, cuisine, cities, countryside, monuments… I would personally recommend taking part in a culinary tour of your destination (whether with a tour guide or self-lead after doing your research!), partaking in a wine tasting at one of the many bodegas throughout Spain is also a gorgeous way to spend the day. The Prado museum in Madrid is really lovely, as is seeing an authentic Flamenco show in Granada or Seville. For a true cultural experience try a festival such as Las Fallas in Valencia, Semana Santa in Seville, or Feria in Jerez.

Travel Spain - Lauren Spanish Sabores

pretty gorgeous huh?

6. What is your favourite thing about travelling this country? What is your least favourite thing?

I love looking out the window and always seeing something beautiful. Horses in their pasture, sweeping hills and mountains, or bright yellow sunflower fields are some of the sights I’ve taken in on my way from one place to another. I don’t like all of the roundabouts– it’s a silly thing but they make me dizzy!

7. What things do you focus on most when you blog about this country? Why do you choose these things?

I currently blog a lot about the ups and downs of expat life because I know that a lot of people can relate to the good and the bad that comes when living in a country that is not your own! I also love writing about food and travel, as they are my biggest passions and the things that have been motivating me as long as I can recall.

Travel Spain - Lauren Spanish Sabores

ok, stop it now, we’re hungry

8. What’s one thing you can’t travel around Spain without?

I need my camera! Ever since buying a DSLR I can’t go anywhere without it. Spain is full of perfect shots– and I’m still learning how to capture them. It’s a challenge, but one worth taking on as the results can be stunning!

Travel Spain - Lauren Spanish Sabores

cool shot from Lauren

9. If you could live anywhere else in the country where would it be and why?

Again, this is a tough one, but I would probably want to live in sunny Andalusia, not too far from the beach. My husband’s family has a lovely home in El Puerto de Santa María, a five-minute walk from the beach and a national park, and I love spending time there. I also feel really attracted to the beauty of the mountains in Andalusia, but perhaps I’d get a bit bored living there!

Travel Spain - Lauren Spanish Sabores

Lauren hanging out with some rocks

10. If you could think of one thing you wished someone told you before you started travelling in Spain what would it be?

Travel in Spain! I remember when I first studied abroad in Granada I was always searching for a cheap flight to Italy or Portugal to spend the weekend and I didn’t realize that Spain itself was well worth exploring and even cheaper! I wish I had started exploring Spain earlier because I feel like I have so much left to see and there are lots of places I also want to return to!

Thanks Lauren. Great interview! Check Lauren out at Spanish Sabores and follow her on Twitter here.

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TraveLinkSites.com is dedicated to profiling and highlighting travel bloggers from all over the world. Through in-depth interviews and great link recommendations, globe-trotters share their own unique experiences and expertise on a range of topics and subjects related to around the world travel 365 days a year.

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