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No-one could tire of Spain and the Balearic Islands; they offer golden beaches, dramatic landscapes, fascinating heritage and 21st century amenities. In fact, everything under the sun.
The largest of the Balearic islands, Mallorca offers holidays of stunning contrasts. In the south and east are the main beach resorts whilst in the north and west you’ll find a dramatic wooded coastline and hilltop villages beneath the island’s highest mountains: Sierra de Tramuntana.
Villages of character
Quaint Puerto Pollenca on Mallorca’s northern coast was originally a fishing village, and is now a delightful modern resort with a marina fringed by pavement cafes. The fragrant Pine Walk beyond the marina is popular on warm evenings.
Further along the coast is Puerto de Soller, again with a picturesque marina and noted for its vintage tram service. Just beyond are the hilltop villages of Deia and Valldemossa, each boasting cultural roots. The home of the writer Robert Graves is in Deia (and open to the public) and Chopin once lived in the ancient monastery at Valldemossa. Now it houses an exhibition celebrating his life and work.
Mallorca is famous for excellent hill walking. The Massanella mountain is highly recommended and with very little climbing will give you the island’s best view from its summit at 1,352m. Tips and routes can be found at www.therucksack.net/massanella.
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From Cadiz in the west to the golfing resort of Mojacar in the east, Andalucia is one of Europe’s favourite holiday destinations. Your Andalucian experience starts at http://www.cottages4you.co.uk, where you’ll find your ideal Spanish property and from there you’re ready to plan a wonderful holiday, bathed in sunshine.
The world famous Costa resorts are packed with facilities (shopping, restaurants and entertainment) and many travellers like to explore the region’s Moorish heritage too. Granada is a must. The huge pink-stoned Alhambra Palace dominates the city and faces the ancient, bustling El Albaicín Moorish quarter.
Andalucia’s dramatic scenery is everywhere you look. The rocky landscape of the Sierra Nevada is the backdrop to the Costa Almeria whereas the Costa del Sol is close to the Rock of Gibraltar. Gibraltar has a long maritime history and there’s more to see here than you might think. Visit http://www.gibnet.com/tourist/general to plan your day trip.
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The vibrant fiestas of Spain capture its fun-loving character like nothing else. There’s a fiesta taking place somewhere in Spain almost every day but they tend to revolve around major religious festivals. April is a big fiesta month with colourful Easter celebrations in Cordoba, Granada and Malaga.
June is when the Spanish mark the Summer Solstice with bonfires and fireworks popular in the south. Meanwhile, the fabulous International Festival of Music and Dance in Granada takes place this year from 26th June to 14th July.
Mallorca hosts two spectacular festivals in June, each with Christian origins: the Sant Joan Pelos at Felanitx (24th) and Romeria de Sant Marçal at Santa Cabeneta (30th).
A fiesta is one of the best ways to taste the real Spain. Visit one if you get the chance.