Mike

Lanzarote

Lanzarote is the third largest Canary Island, and is closest to Africa, just 64 nautical miles away. The island was shaped by massive volcanic eruptions in the 17th and 18th centuries, and has a stark, almost lunar landscape. The island is known for it’s spectacular all year round weather, with less than 3 inches of rain per year, and daytime temperatures rarely dropping below 20 degrees, even in mid winter. Artist and architect Cesar Manrique was instrumental in defining Lanzarote’s…

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Naviera Armas Ferry – Arrecife to Las Palmas

We were planning a trip to Gran Canaria from our home in Lanzarote, and our first thought was to fly there and hire a car. But I decided to look at the comparative costs of using the ferry service, and I was surprised to find that they were broadly similar, so we elected for the ferry, on the grounds that we could take our own, convertible, car and enjoy cruising around Gran Canaria. It turned out to be a classic…

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Tenerife Trip Planning

So we’re all organised for our trip to Tenerife. As always, the aim is to try a few excellent hotels and to discover what makes the island “tick.” That means spending some time travelling to all parts of the island, and seeing both the tourist hot spots, and the hidden gems we always seem to discover on our travels. We’re flying Binter again on one of their little island hoppers – did you know all passengers get a 20KG luggage…

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Bohemia Suites & Spa, Playa del Inglés

We were on holiday in Crete when we met Alex, who is a hotel promoter. When we told him we lived in The Canary Islands, he said: “You MUST go and stay at Bohemia Suites & Spa in Gran Canaria – you’ll love it!” We rarely pass up strong personal recommendations, so we booked a two night stay at the hotel almost as soon as we returned from Crete. Alex had told us that there had been a huge investment…

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Capsis Crystal Energy, Agia Pelagia

We flew into Crete from London, arriving quite late at the quirky little Heraklion airport. We’d arranged a transfer as part of the booking, and we were pleased to find it was a very comfortable, well air conditioned, leather seated Mercedes Minibus – these things are important to me! First Impressions The transfer was only 25km and we arrived at what we knew to be a private peninsular – indeed the gates were firmly shut! The peninsular is adjacent to…

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Iberostar Grand Hotel Mencey, Santa Cruz

We flew into Tenerife North Airport from Lanzarote, and wanted a base in the capital for a short stay. We selected the 5 star Iberostar Grand Hotel Mencey because it’s probably the best known hotel on the island, having been there since the 1950’s and only recently taken over by the Iberostar group. First Impressions The hotel is reasonably easy to find – it’s just off the Ramblas, which are a kind of central ring round in the city. The…

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Hotel Botanico And Oriental Spa Garden, Puerto de la Cruz

We travelled to The Botanico from South Tenerife, and drove all through the incredible Teide region to get there. The hotel is located in Puerto de la Cruz, a little way up the hill from the main beaches, but close enough to town. We had read that the hotel is one of the “leading hotels of the world” group, so we had high expectations. First Impressions You drive up a tree lined avenue to the hotel entrance, and staff are…

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Samsara Fusion Restaurant, Maspalomas

Oh my goodness! This was an absolute cracker! We were recommended to Samsara by Alex Bramwell, who runs Gran Canaria Info and what a recommendation it turned out to be! Samsara describes itself as an “Asian fusion” restaurant. It’s located in Maspalomas, which is the slightly more upmarket resort next to Playa del Inglés in Gran Canaria. It’s very large, but despite that booking is essential. The whole place is a feast for the eyes from the moment you arrive.…

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Mike’s Thoughts On Morocco

Every guide book to every destination on the planet seems to fall back on the oldest cliche of all – “It’s a country / city / town of contrasts.” But in the case of Morocco, I have finally found a place worthy of that hackneyed phrase. On the one hand, I have never witnessed such abject poverty at close quarters, and on the other, I have seen more Maseratis during my week here, than I have in my previous 54…

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Our Travels

Last trip: Scottish Islands Cruise

Next Trip: Tenerife

Fave Trip so far:

Julie: Cape Town

Mike: Hong Kong

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