Take a trip to Formentera, a Spanish Paradise

yacht charter formentera hopyachtsMany people that search for chilled out beaches to spend their summer vacation have fallen in love with Formentera over the years. It’s not by chance this island’s called “the last Mediterranean paradise”. If you want to find a special yet relaxing place with wonderful weather, you should try this tiny island.

You can only access Formentera from another well-known island, Ibiza. But while Ibiza has discos and parties almost every day in summer, Formentera has its virgin nature and its quiet beaches as a claim. Not in vain it’s been a favorite place for hippy culture in the sixties, and nowadays you can find traces of this in its leisurely way of life. You can also find samples of its ancient inhabitants: villages, archaeological pieces, Roman and Moorish remains… Formentera is a great place to discover and learn a lot about Mediterranean history and traditions.

Traveling by regular boat is a cheap mean to access Formentera; remember you can only get to the island this way. But there are other choices: for instance, you can spend a delicious time navigating your way around the island thanks to agencies like yacht charter formentera hopyachts. Don’t hesitate to give this agency a chance; you’ll find an excellent way of enjoying Formentera from another point of view. There are yachts available for any needs, whether you’re looking for a relaxing trip or a luxury one. Just take a look at its online catalog and simply choose the one that suits you best.

suncat-0

We suggest for instance Sun Cat. It’s a 22m long cruising catamaran. The four members of the crew will help you to have the best experience possible by attending all your requests. Sun Cat has room for 100 passengers, including the crew, and has other services like DJ, catering and even a massage salon.

Do you really want to enjoy your trip to Formentera? Don’t forget to visit its incomparable green zones and take a look at the depths of its past. And when the time to relax arrives, think of being cradled by the waves on one of these yachts.

What to do in Central Park

When New Yorkers want to relax and escape the confines of the city they head to Central Park. It is the perfect place for a picnic, to exercise, to meet with friends the choice of activities on offer are endless. Let’s take a closer look at some of the activities, lesser visited places and must do things in Central Park.

snow leopard central park zooCentral Park Zoo- Home to over 130 species of wild animals the zoo is the perfect place to while away the time. See the endangered snow leopard in a recreation of their central Asian habitat. Penguins, sea lions, bears and a wide range of reptiles are also on display. There is a petting zoo where children can get up close and personal with 30 different species of animals including cows, goats and sheep.

central_park_picnic Pack a Picnic- Central Park is blessed with numerous picnic spots from the secluded to the over popular. If you are looking for a quiet picnic head to the East Green if you are with the family there is a playground nearby and you are just across the way from the Zoo. If you are looking for a romantic picnic spot then Cherry Hill, overlooking the lake, is the perfect place to spread out the blanket and enjoy the sunshine. Join the hoards on Sheep Meadow if people watching, kite flying and ball throwing are your favourite pre and post picnic activities.

 Conservatory Garden- Wander through the history of European gardening taking in French, English and Italian style gardens. Flowers, fountains and statues line the paths as they weave their way through the gardens. Entrance is free.

running central parkGet Fit- Central Park is the perfect place to get fit, join the locals as they run around the park, cool down with a free yoga session on Great Hill, or explore all the hidden nooks and crannies of Central Park on a bicycle.  There are also lots of team sports on offer like softball and kickball and if you are an adrenalin junkie you can do some bouldering in one of three spots in the park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salou’s night festival

salou-magical-nightsSalou is a city located in the southern part of the Spanish region of Catalonia. It is known for its beautiful beaches of golden sand and because of its touristic appeal.  However, although the days are beautiful there, nights are also a great attraction.

During the month of August Salou celebrates Les nits Daurades, Catalan for The Golden Nights. This is an intense and popular festive event with the objective of taking advantage of the beautiful and warm Mediterranean nights that Salou has to offer its visitors.

During this festivity traditional activities merge with modern ones. So in one same day you might be able to see the traditional Tarragonian fishing technique in the afternoon and then enjoy a concert at night. At the same time there are always many bars open in the evenings and throughout the night where one can taste wonderful Mediterranean dishes.

The Golden Nights include activities for both adults and children, so they are a perfect environment for families. In fact, one of the main attractions in the fireworks spectacle, which amazes the youngest and the oldest in a mix of color, magic and joy.

So if you are looking to spend a splendid vacation in the Costa Dorada, you might want to consider renting an apartment in Salou and having the chance of enjoying a beautiful summer festival near the sea.

 

Taormina: the most beautiful city in Sicily

sicilia_taorminaDefinitively, if you go on a cruise, you will stop in one of the most beautiful islands of the  Mediterranean Sea: Sicily. Normally you can stop in Palermo, the capital, or  if you are coming from Naples in the port of Messina. Well, a good plan if you are going to spend some time in here, after visiting Messina which is quite small, is to book a private shore excursion to Taormina and Siracusa. Why do we suggest these two cities? Because if you want to know all the characteristics of the Italian island, you must go to those cities as their features are unique and really emblematic.

Taormina was a Greek settlement. Later, it was conquered by Romans, Arabs and many others. Today it is a charming town, well known for its famous international resorts; a place with an endless style and some luxury: actually there are refined shops and interesting galleries. If you like ancient history and archeological settlements, you should visit the Taormina amphiteatre, one of the most important ruins in Sicily, with its breathtaking views over the coast. On the other hand, if you prefer nature and landscapes, there is tons of unspoiled natural beauty to enjoy. You can also take the “funicular”. From the top to the shore and see, from above, all the many gorgeous beaches, the caves, and the coast on the eastern side of this wonderful island. Book your private shore excursion to Taormina with Papillon Service, easily and online, and get to see some of the best natural scenery of the Italian peninsula.

Another option is to go to Siracusa. Like Taormina and all the South of Italy, it was first Greek and then Roman, Arab and Norman. Each one of these populations left its own architectonic and cultural mark; today, these different features are the main characteristics of the Sicilian cities, and you can enjoy this historical mix while walking or in the gastronomy too, as the flavor of many dishes can be similar to the Greek or the Moroccan ones. Siracusa was the homeland of one of the most famous mathematicians of all history, Archimedes. If you book a private shore excursion to Siracusa you can go and see not only to this beautiful city, that is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites, but also to the Necropolis of Pantalica, in which archeologists have found approximately 5,000 tombs dating from the 13th to the 7th centuries BC, most of them cut in the rock. So, don’t waste your time looking for the best option for your tours while you’re on the land. Book your private shore excursion to Siracusa and enjoy all the beauty of Sicily. You can customize your tour and the English speaking drivers will explain you everything you want to know about all the points of interest. They will take you wherever you want, stopping when necessary and giving you the time to enjoy the landscape, the food or the relaxing moment during your trip.

Free open-air concerts and films in New York

If you’re travelling to New York this summer, you’ll probably want to see the main sights of the city more than anything. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy some of the free activities that are on offer in the open air during this period, as well; many of which offer an equally valid cultural experience. Here, we look in particular at free outdoor concerts and films that are available in New York this summer.

Free open-air concerts in New York

CPF-summer-stage Jazz, punk, indie, rock, classical, opera… as things start to hot up, music will be taking over the streets in the form of various festivals. The star festival is the CPF Summer Stage, which since 1986 has been offering free concerts in the open air in the parks of New York.

Its stages in Central Park, Prospect Park in Brooklyn and Tappen Park in Staten Island have played home to many a star. The line-up is genuinely excellent, and includes underground artists as much as well-known musicians. IT starts on the 6th of June and is open throughout the summer.

Although the strong point of Summerstage, New York, are the concerts, it also includes theatre, sporting activities and shows for children.

You can check out the programme on the official website.

Open-air cinema

river-flicks Music is not everything. The big screen also plays a big part in the New York summers. There are several festivals which allow you to enjoy free outdoor cinema. Among all those festivals dedicated to the seventh art, we recommend the HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival, which runs every Monday, from the 18th of June to the 20th of August; and River Flicks in Hudson River Park, from the 11th of July to the 24th of August, which has events for adults and children.

5 things to do for free in London

Fancy visiting the British capital on the cheap? There’s plenty of events and activities that you can do to help you travel for free in London – or at least, on a very small budget. Here, we provide a list of five of the best.

  1. Visit a museum.

science-museum London is one of the only cities in the world where the main museums are all completely free of charge. Our personal top tip is the Victoria and Albert Museum of Art and Design, followed by the surprisingly entertaining Science Museum.

  1. Have a picnic in the parkHyde-Park

If the famous British weather permits, the City has some fantastic green spaces.  Hyde Park in particular is a real oasis of peace and quiet, and those with a little more cash to splash can even rent a boat on the Serpentine Lake.

  1. Go for a Chinese in Camden

camden-market-londno Ok, it’s not exactly free. But the stalls selling Chinese food in Camden are, to excuse the pun, cheap as chips, and will provide you with a nourishing and tasty (or at least, one of the two) meal. Head to the area around Camden Lock Market for a low-cost feast.

 

  1. Potter through Portobello market

The produce obviously isn’t given away for nothing, but Portobello market is also a great place just to wander and soak up the typical English vibe. You can also find many bargain trinkets on sale, including affordable antique jewellery, cupcakes and tea towels.

  1. See a comedy show

Many comedy shows in London don’t charge for entry, meaning you can benefit from a barrel of laughs for the price of a pint. Here, Time Out magazine has a list of the best.

portobello-clothes-market

5 holidays with a twist

It’s great to go for a break, but you can often come home from your dream location with the feeling that all that’s left of your 2 weeks away is a soggy towel, half a tube of suncream and a novelty cocktail umbrella.

Working tirelessly as ever, we’ve come up with an inspired solution to this problem: why not try learning a skill while on holiday abroad? Short courses from a day to 2 weeks are available in various countries. From flamenco in Spain to Bartending in New York, we’ve found some of the best.

Wine Tasting in Paris

wine-tasting-parisÔ Chateau offers an appealing selection of wine-tasting options for hardcore  grape juice lovers, from the basic “Paris Pass Tasting” to “Le Grand Big Day” (wine and cheese lunch and champagne cruise). They also offer day trips out of Paris. With all presentations in English, and selling themselves as “casual and relaxed”, you’re bound to feel comfortable – especially after a few glasses of grands crus

Short-rental apartments in Paris

Flamenco and Spanish in Madrid

flamenco-madrid¡Óle! Learn to walk the walk and talk  the talk with this language/dance course in Madrid. With 20 Spanish lessons/week and 8 dance lessons, the course is available for all levels. Students must stay for at least a week. Classes are small, and you are taught by professionals, meaning you’ll be tapping and chatting away in no time.

Accommodation in Madrid

Cooking in Rome

cooking-course-rome Is your carbonara more of a ‘can’t-bonara’? This one-day cooking class, which includes a market visit, will ensure that you’re soon flipping and frying with the best of them. The class includes early morning pick-up and all supplies and ingredients needed.

Housing in Rome

Bartending in New York

bartending-course-new-york Learn to mix a Mojito and shake up a Singapore Sling with this mixology course in the New York School of Bartending. With a real professional focus, this course is also a great way to meet genuine New-Yorkers. The course is 40 hours in total, which can be completed over 1 or 2 weeks in the morning or evening.

Somewhere to stay in New York

Photography in Berlin

Berlin’s avant-garde aesthetic and funky appeal has for some time now made it photopgraphy-berlinthe ideal destination for up-and-coming photographers. Get happy snappy with the 2 tours offered by Viator: the Historic Berlin tour and the East meets West tour. Imformative and fun, you’ll be taught about things like lighting conditions and composition as well as just seeing the city.

Flats in Berlin

Holy Week in Seville 2012

Holy-Week-Seville

Holy Week is a very important time in Seville and is marked with an abundance of celebrations comprising the most elaborate and famous in Spain. This year Holy Week falls on the 1st to the 8th of April and the Andalusian capital will be marking these special dates with the habitual religious festivities.

There are processions passing through the streets of Seville, featuring elaborate floats, the entire week and what’s more each district presents their own meaning that as many as 60 can be scheduled. Different scenes of the events of the Passion are represented on the floats which are often gold plated and contain precious sculptures usually kept in churches during the year.

Holy-Week-Seville1

Throughout the celebrations, areas in Seville are sectioned off and people can pay to get seats there for a front row view. The processions usually begin at the home churches of the various districts and then eventually make their way to the city centre, Avenida de la Constitución. Furthermore, they are typically lead by a guiding cross and the participants, reaching as many as 3000, dress in habit with the characteristic pointed hoods, as well as bear a long white candle. Finally, the floats, which can weigh over a metric tonne, are carried by around 55 men on their backs and shoulders as an act of penance.

Mantilla-Good-Friday-Seville

The most impressive and stunning processions take place late on Holy Thursday. They feature the most beautiful floats lit up with candles and accompanied by haunting music. They set out to arrive at Seville Cathedral on Friday morning when many in the city dress in black. Women especially wear the mantilla (mantle hairpiece), very typical of the region.

People flock from all over the country and abroad to bear witness to the Holy Week celebrations in Seville, so if you have plans to go make sure you organise your stay in advance.

Chocolate Festival in London 2011

londonchocolatefestival1The Chocolate Festival 2011 will be returning to the London Southbank Centre this December the 9th to the 11th much to the delight of chocolate lovers everywhere. The Chocolate Festival comprises a celebration of all things chocolate and provides a meeting place for chocolate enthusiasts where they can freely indulge their sweet tooth.

The event will feature creations from the world’s finest chocolatiers, from Britain and abroad, including top names such as William Curley, Bill McCarrick, Damian Allsop, Paul Wayne, Gregory and Great British Bake Off winner Edd Kimber.

chocolatefestivallondon

Visitors to the event will be able to sample chocolate, chat to the Britain’s best artisan chocolate producers and select delicious chocolate gifts for their friends and family, as well as savour an array of sweet and savoury chocolate dishes and cocktails and learn about the many benefits of chocolate.

Those goodies on display to try include hot chocolate to chocolate cakes, chocolate churros and chocolate pretzels, as well as chocolate savoury food and chocolate cocktails.

londonchocolatefestival

Finally, indulgence is good for you, didn’t you know! Here at the London Chocolate Festival you will learn about the goodness of real chocolate, get the opportunity to participate in some tutored taste testing sessions, learn how to make your own chocolate and drop in on a Master Cookery Class where you can grab some scrumptious recipes to wow your dinner guests.

Check out their amazing recipes available online, win delicious prizes, join their chocolate club, meet the master chocolatiers and get all the latest chocolate news. Other than that, I’ll see you there!

Where: London Southbank Centre (Belvedere Road, London). When: Friday the 9th to Sunday the 11th of December. Price: FREE!

Chicago the musical in Barcelona

Chicago-Barcelona

Chicago is without a doubt one of the most popular musicals of all times and one of the all-year-round successes on Broadway which has been showing non-stop for three consecutive years now. The show, which was originally a film, has won, amongst others, six Tony Awards and a Grammy.

Soon, and after having been very well received by other Spanish cities such as Madrid and Bilbao, Chicago will be coming to Barcelona. You will be able to watch it in the Tívoli Theatre from the 22nd of September but for six weeks only.

Dibujo2

The show is a mixture of black comedy, sensuality and prison drama set in decadent 20’s Chicago. It tells the story of Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, two women locked up for crimes of passion, and their lawyer Billy Flynn, who manipulates the sensationalist press so as to launch them to fame and get them out of prison.

Murder, corruption, fortune, jazz, greed, betrayal, fame, dance….some of the main ingredients that make up this successful musical with impeccable choreography.

chicago1

The version that you will be able to enjoy in Barcelona stars Marta Ribera, María Blanco and Manuel Rodríguez, all top artists who have participated in productions such as Spamalot, les Miserables and Jesus Christ Superstar. They will be accompanied on stage by a cast of actors, dancers and musicians performing the 22 songs included in the show.

The production and decorators have also taken great care to maintain the look and original spirit of the musical. To conclude, a thrilling, intelligent and entertaining show that you are guaranteed to enjoy.