Lanzarote Is magic
Lanzarote is a spectacular place, almost magical with its volcanic landscapes that look like other planets, its quiet white sand clear watered beaches, small coves and palm oasis. Declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO for its protection and conservation of nature and the environment, it has natural areas of great beauty and interest, such as the Timanfaya National Park, the Natural Park of the Volcanoes or the Guinate Tropical Park.
An interesting option is to go visit the Graciosa, from which you can take excursions to the islands that belong to the Marine Reserve and their wonderful underwater world. You can also tour the island by bicycle and cross paths that will lead us to the most extraordinary places.
With 21 degrees Celsius on average and 4,800 hours of sunlight every 365 days! That is why Lanzarote has pleasant temperatures for most of the year that invite you to enjoy the sea and practice numerous water sports like surfing and windsurfing. You will also find out about its hospitable people -formerly called conejeros due to the large number of rabbits that were in the island- and their ingrained habits.
César Manrique, international artist, has taken advantage of the charms of the island to make them artworks. His work has been recognized as it should in Lanzarote, and he has the César Manrique Foundation which is in Taro de Tahiche. It is the former home of the artist – he designed it himself – were we can see, as well as representative works of César Manrique’s path, his private collection that brings together authors of the importance of Pablo Picasso, Miró, Chillida or Klee.
Do not forget your food! If you visit Lanzarote you have to try, apart from its delicious cheeses and wines, some of the traditional dishes like Sancocho – with fish, wrinkled potatoes, fish fritters or the bienmesabe-traditional dessert made with almonds, biscuits, egg, sugar and lemon-.
Download here the map of Lanzarote and start planning your trip to this magical island.
A place well worth discovering! Check out our flights here.
Picture By Pedro cabamore info
Text by Michele Moricci
It is easy to become lost in Firenze’s small streets. They are so full of history! The great churches and the elegant, city centre, buildings are surrounded by venerable nooks and crannies. The restaurants overlooking the streets are sure to captivate you while your sense of smell will be drawn to the scent of typical Ribollita or Lampredotto. As you stroll around, you are likely to have the feeling of being in the biggest open air museum that one could imagine.
What with the shops and old-fashioned Botteghe, you just won’t be able to resist the pleasure of popping in. And once in town, there is a special place you should not miss. A few steps away from Ponte Vecchio, on Lungarno Acciaiuoli and overlooking the Arno, there is Botique Nadine: a small boutique in the heart of the (old) city which is run by a Florentine couple with a complete fascination for fashion, their passion. To the sound of some jazz music, between precious vintage pieces and a cozy retro atmosphere, you will find the perfect combination of the best Firme d’Epoca (vintage labels) together with the refreshing creative craftsmanship of modern vintage style. The ideal place to track down unique pieces or to get hold of the inimitable style of such big names such as Balenciaga, Chanel, Pierre Cardin, Pucci, Valentino, Ferragamo or Gucci.
And if this wasn’t enough, as you leave the Basilica of Santa Croce in Via De’Benci, there’s Modern Boutique Nadine store. Between old trunks, silk clothes and a warm parquet you can choose papers, sumptuous pins and emerging designer clothing with retro influences for men and women.
Of course, a long shopping spree deserves to be brought to a close with a good Tuscan wine and a tasty Panini, stay tuned and take note while planning your trip to the city. Dive into a unique and sophisticated experience. Rediscover the pleasure of rural craftsmanship surrounded by the vibrant and lively Firenze lifestyle.
Text by Michele Moricci
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Hunting For the Best Oysters in France
Just 50 kilometres from one of France’s most widely visited landmarks, Mont Saint-Michel, and very near another de rigueur tourist resort, Saint-Malo, lies Cancale, which guards a very special culinary secret. This small town in Brittany boasts what are considered to be the best oysters in France. Some even dare to claim they are the best in the world. Whatever their actual rating, the oysters of Cancale are clearly world famous and it is worth making a stopover just to try them.
The Romans are said to have been the first to discover the fine quality of the oysters here, while centuries later, Louis XIV and Napoleon counted them among their favourites, and no wonder! Just as wine is a reflection of the earth that nurtures the grapes it is made from, the quality of this prized mollusc is determined by the place where it is found. It transpires that this stretch of coastline in Brittany is endowed with excellent nutrients, which would account for their special flavour.
Cancale, where fishing has been the major source of income for centuries, has now been given over to oyster cultivation. Your visit will take you to see the oyster rafts and, even more impressively, the ritual of harvesting. A word of warning, though – the success of this display will depend on the state of the tides, so take this into account when planning your trip. Should this not be enough for you, and assuming you would like to gain expertise in the matter, be sure to visit the Ferme Marine de Cancale, an exhibition area where you can boost your knowledge of these prized molluscs and learn about the “Gardeners of the Sea”.
However, Cancale is not only a place to learn about oyster culture, but to taste their exquisite huîtres (oysters), too. In the harbour, next to the Pointe des Crolles lighthouse, you will find a number of stalls where you can get your hands on a good helping of these small delicacies and savour them right there on the beach. There are many prices and types – flat oysters are the most highly valued – and, optionally, you can also squeeze lemon juice on them and ask for them to opened.
If you prefer to eat the oysters or other sea delights more comfortably seated, there are several restaurants along the esplanade where you can indulge in this pleasure, and a generous helping of seafood is reasonably priced. A classic to order is mussels and chips, a traditional dish in the area.
For those seeking quite another gastronomic experience and who have a sizeable current account, this is the land of the acclaimed chef, Olivier Roellinger. Very near Cancale, the Château Richeux houses Le Coquillage, a magnificent restaurant which bears out, day after day, just why it was awarded three Michelin stars – which Roellinger turned down, incidentally – and why his cuisine continues to be exquisite. And – you guessed it – the splendid oysters of Cancale are on the menu.
So, now that you have scoped the spot where the best oysters in France (and the world) are said to be cultivated, it’s time to book your Vueling to Rennes – less than an hour’s drive from Cancale – and treat yourself to that exquisite delicacy.
Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS
Ten Must-Sees in Jerusalem
Realising that you are walking in one of the oldest cities on earth is awe-inspiring. Here are ten pointers to understanding and enjoying this fascinating yet complex city, bearing in mind that biblical, epic and historical landmarks are a constant in this metropolis, where religion has pulsated since time immemorial.
1. To get a feel for the size and layout of Jerusalem, we shall start our tour on the Mount of Olives, affording one of the best panoramic views of the city – the old city, the new city, the walls, tombs… thousands of years of history at a simple glance.
2. On the way down, stop off at Gethsemane and stroll through the groves of millennial olive trees. Then, visit the Church of All Nations, built on the rock where Jesus prayed before being arrested.
3. To come to grips with Jerusalem, it is essential to understand it is “thrice-holy”; that is, sacred to the three great monotheistic religions. Judaism, Christianity and Islam have part of their roots in these backstreets. The Wailing Wall, the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Holy Sepulchre are three landmarks you should not fail to visit, whatever your beliefs. Let’s start with the Wailing Wall or Western Wall, the only remaining vestige of Jerusalem’s Second Temple, the holiest of Jewish places, which was destroyed by the Romans in AD 70. You have to pass through several security checks on the way in. Once inside, men on one side and women on the other. Men must also cover their heads with a Jewish kippah or skullcap.
You are met by a unique, striking setting – hundreds of people facing the wall and rocking to and fro as they pray. If you look up, you see the Esplanade of the Mosques, another privileged vantage point with Jerusalem at your feet. Here, the two striking landmarks are the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, the latter built on the spot where it is believed that Muhammad rose into paradise. Its crowning gold dome has become a veritable symbol. The esplanade is also a reference point for both Jews and Christians as it was here that Abraham was about to sacrifice his son, Isaac. For Christians the holiest place is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Built on Mount Golgotha (Calvary), this is the spot where Jesus died on the Cross. It is also the site of his sepulchre or burial place, where he was resurrected on the third day. Also preserved is the Stone of Anointing, where Christ’s lifeless body rested. Many landmarks and endless queues; you need to be patient.
4. But, not everything is religion. Jerusalem also features examples of the avant-garde and some upmarket shopping precincts. If you walk along Mamilla Mall, judging by the brands on display there, you could easily be in London or Paris. Access to the mall is via the Jaffa Gate – have your visa ready!
5. The Mamilla is also Jerusalem’s first designer hotel, and a sanctuary for sybarites who relish sleeping against the backdrop of the old city walls and David’s Tower. Mamilla Hotel is a blend of the eternal and the avant-garde – millennial stone walls and metal headboards and, as a plus, a miraculous spa and a gourmet restaurant with privileged views.
6. Those with classical taste will perhaps prefer the King David, the epitome of a grand hotel. Once the headquarters of the British Mandate, the hotel now excels as a luxury establishment which has seen such illustrious overnighters as King Felipe and Queen Letizia, the Prince of Wales, Barack Obama, Nicolas Sarkozy and Margaret Thatcher and, from the world of celebrity fame, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Richard Gere and Madonna. The sober exterior of the hotel contrasts with the elegant, modern interior and the comfortable rooms. Prices are in keeping with the standing of its prestigious customers.
7. We head back to the old city to tour the Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Armenian quarters. In all these precincts the shops are well-stocked – food, a variety of souvenirs, perfumes, confectionery, religious objects, T-shirts and antiquities worth thousands of euros, including Roman coins, vessels from Christ’s time… If you can’t afford them, that shouldn’t put you off soaking up the charm of these alleyways and their people from all religions, races and cultures. Jerusalem’s old city is a melting pot thronging with Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews, Arabs, Christians, Westerners, Asians… Where bells chime and muezzins call to prayer.
8. A colourful and more affordable alternative is the local Mahane Yehuda market but, be warned – don’t go there on Shabbat (the Sabbath) as it is the Jewish holy day. The city comes to a standstill at sunset on Friday until sunset on Saturday, an important detail to remember when planning your trip.
9. Before leaving Jerusalem, make sure you visit at least two of its museums. Yad Vashem is the Holocaust memorial, a world centre of documentation, research, education and commemoration, while the Israel Museum is where the Dead Sea Scrolls are on display, the oldest biblical manuscript in the world, as is an amazing mock-up of historical Jerusalem, which will help you understand the city.
10. To round off your trip, make your farewell from Mount Scopus where, in addition to viewing the skyline of the old city, you will also see the waters of the Dead Sea, another of those places worth visiting at least once in a lifetime.
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Text and images by Nani Arenasmore info