A quick guide to Malaga

Year-round sun brings millions of visitors to Costa del Sol each year, and flights to Malaga are the easiest way to get there. As a result, this thriving port city is often seen as a place to pass by on the way to other coastal hotspots. Stop and give it a chance, however, and you’ll find a city rich with Andalucian culture and experiences you don’t want to miss. If you’re considering a trip to Malaga, use our quick guide to help you decide what to do:

Sights to see
In the historic heart of the city, you’ll find Malaga Cathedral, a stunning example of Spanish architecture dating from the 16th century. The first thing you’ll notice is that the cathedral is unfinished – it only has one tower instead of the intended two. This has led to locals calling it La Manquita, or ‘the one-armed lady.’

Another landmark in the city is La Alcabaza, the imposing fortress that overlooks the city. It is a well preserved meeting place of cultures and time periods – Roman, Arab, Renaissance – and boasts a rich history. Nearby, you can also visit Malaga’s Roman Theatre, which was built during the Emperor Augustus’s rule.

Malaga

What to do
There is plenty to do in this bustling city, but no trip to Malaga is complete without visiting its many museums. Malaga was Picasso’s birthplace, so art fanatics will want to visit the Picasso Museum to enjoy an extensive display of his work. Carmen Thyssen is another gallery exhibiting 19th century Spanish artwork. The newest museum in Malaga is the Pompidou Centre, sister to the Parisian museum of the same name. The striking glass cube entrance will grasp your attention, and inside, it houses a range of 20th and 21st century art exhibits.

Where to eat
Malaga is brimming with superb restaurants. For Michelin starred local cuisine, visit José Carlos Garcia, a modern restaurant with views over the port. If you’re looking for something more traditional, we’d recommend El Chinitas in the city centre.

Where to go out
There is a bar, club, or pub to suit every taste in Malaga. Wine drinkers should visit Antigua Casa Guardia, one of the city’s oldest bars, where locally produced wine is dispensed from barrels. For a chic clubbing experience, plan a night out at Sala Gold, one of the city’s more stylish nightclubs.

Beaches to visit
You can’t go to Malaga without spending a day at the beach. Playa de la Malagueta is a popular choice – a short walk from the city centre, you can lounge on the sand and sip drinks in seaside bars. If you fancy something a little less crowded, try the picturesque Peñon del Cuervo. Many of Malaga’s beaches offer activities and space for beach sports, but if you’re interested in surfing, Playa de la Misericordia has the best waves along this coastal stretch. Go there in the evening for the best surfing conditions.

3460797074_05416ccb39_z

What will you do on your trip to Malaga? Tell us in the comments below!

Images by niall62 and audi_inseperation, used under the Creative Commons Licence.

Love,

Wander-Lust

The Valencia Guide 2019!

With no time for preparations and any planning we flew over to the Spanish coastal city. May/June is the perfect period to visit Valencia because the temperatures are close to perfection.

Valencia is not a overcrowded city and you will enjoy the peaceful alleys around town. It’s perfect for friends or couples and families. It’s all about eating out, shopping, chatting on the lively town squares or getting your tan on. When you arrive at the airport, it’s fairly easy to get to the city centre and we advice you to take the metro. Taxi’s from the airport are always pricier and the Metro will only cost you €4.90,- plus it get’s you right into town within 30 min.

Valencia Guide 2019

Roads of Valencia

Things to do in Valencia

  • Check the Centre Cultural La Nau for several expositions. 
  • Hire yourself a bicycle for 1-2 days. This is our tip for every city you’ll go. You will see the city in a different perspective and you get there in your own time. We hired our bicycles at solution bikes for 10-15 euro’s per 24h.
  • Walk around and check out the Street Art in Valencia. We were amazed about the talent you will find around every corner, especially in old town. 
  • Find out where Valencia’s Hidden Gems are!


Cool street art

The Beach of Valencia

When a city has a beach, we’re happy campers because this gives you the ultimate holiday feeling. As soon as we arrived in our hotel, we took the local bus to the beach and ate some tapas. Like Barcelona, this beach has a strip with beach restaurants. In and around the beach there are a few places we thought you should know about:
» Fabrica de heilo, for a nice beer, wine or combinados (mix drink) you should visit the old ice factory on Calle de Pavia 37. Located right across the beach but if you don’t know it, you might miss it. It’s a place where the locals meet up and where they play music a few times a week. 
» La Mas Bonita, Yes, it’s a popular place and even though we like to discover new places, we couldn’t help ourselves and booked a lunch table. Enjoy healthy salads, sandwiches, fruit smoothies and the most delicious cakes. You need to make a reservation. You can do it on spot and wait at the beach where you can relax at their bar. Super nice bohemian garden with beautiful flowers. Tip » Try the cold chai tea with a shot of baileys and the Aubergine and tomato millefeville with goat cheese and pesto! www.lamasbonita.es/en

Costes in Valencia
Sarah wearing Costes Maxi Print Dress.

Hotspot Valencia
Locals only at Fabrica de heilo

Tapas at the beach
Our first meal at the beach: Tapas!

Where to Eat

Besides Tapas and Pinchos* there are so many other food options in Valencia. You will find that this city offers a wide variety of cuisines. These are our faves:
» Dulce de Leche for breakfast or lunch. Great coffee, sandwiches and a-ma-zing cakes! 
» Mercado Colón, a big food court in the middle traffic that doesn’t feel too crowded. 10 restaurants and a few cafe’s make this a cool place to sit.
» Tintofino, Great Spanish and Italian dishes, wines and cheese, Make a reservation! Calle Corregeria, 38
» Copenhagen, this amazing veggie and vegan restaurant is so good that meat lovers choose this over burgers.
» Sagardi, one of the most popular Pincho places in Valencia! €1,95 per Pincho. 
» Naturalia for the best fresh fruit cocktails!
» Zumm Salads, fresh soup, soy latte’s and a salad bar. The interior design looks like something that belongs in Amsterdam.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The best place for breakfast!

Food in Valencia
Clockwise: Zumma Salads, Pincho’s, La Mas Bonita, Mercado Colón

Where to Shop

» Simple, cool Concept Store where you could shop forever.
» Hippocampus, another great concept store which offers fashion and waffels.
» Grabador Optica
, for the most unique sun glasses. Calle Grabador Esteve, 26

» Triggo, Home interoir stuff. We wished to take it all home with us.
» Grondwana surf shop, trendy surf clothes for him and her. 
» E Complements, cool sneakers store. Plaza Rodrigo Botet, 3
» Bimba & lola – super nice boutique where you will find the best and exclusive summer outfit. 

Where to sleep

» SH Ingles, this is the hotel we stayed. Rooms are simple but clean and the hotel has a bar, restaurant plus outside terras right across the old palace. From here, we could walk straight into town or take the bus to the beach. Book here
» Caro boutique hotel. This rather chique looking boutique hotel caught our eye when we walked around town. It’s in the perfect location and the rooms are even equipped with a free mini bar! Perfect for a romantic getaway. Book here.

SH Ingles Hotel Valencia

Valencia Pro’s

» Transport, food and drinks are cheap
» City & beach in one (major pro)
» crazy delicious food
» Vegan and veggies options
» Great for shopping

Valencia Cons

» Can be busy and hot during summer (from June- Aug)
» If you don’t speak a bit of Spanish you might have some difficulties asking for directions. Most people in Valencia speak poor English. We advise you to learn a few sentences.

Exploring Valencia
Exploring the colorful streets of Valencia. 

Watch our Valencia Video below!

Love,

Wander-Lust

Curious about Valencia’s Hidden Gems?

Valencia Hidden gems

European Hidden Gems | Spain, France and the Netherlands

Whilst it can be all too easy for us to focus on the attractions of our capital cities, there’s plenty of lesser-known European travel destinations out there to satisfy your wanderlust. 

So here’s some European hidden gems in Spain, France and the Netherlands along with some tips!

Spain’s secrets

Ronda_La_Ciudad2004
Source

Most Dutch travelers to Spain have a tendency to hit the south coast. But the northern coast of Spain also hosts many wonderful locations with the port city of Santander offering a tantalising blend of Gothic cathedrals and windswept beaches like the Playa de la Magdalena that even features a small zoo and locomotive train.

If you find yourself on the Costa del Sol, then book a hire car and head up into the mountains to discover the wonderfully atmospheric mountain towns of Jimena de la Frontera and Ubrique that offer a wonderful taste of Andalucian life. Plus the amazing gorge and bull rings at Ronda complete the picture for a charming glimpse of old-school Spain.

French gems

Vence, Alpes-Maritimes, France
Source

The French Riviera is also something of a tourist magnet with many visitors showing themselves to be endlessly in thrall to the casinos of Monte Carlo. But a short drive into the hills reveals a succession of quaint towns like Vence that offer commanding views of the Bay of Angels, and some fantastic boutique shopping opportunities too. Also, check out some alternative city trips in France.

Heading up into the mountains means that you can also take advantage of the many vineyards in the area with the likes of Vins De Bandol hosting regular wine festivals that provide the perfect excuse to fire up on your smartphone and pretend you’re in Monte Carlo with the site’s great access to a range of authentic casino games of roulette, poker and blackjack.

Dutch charms

1280px-Oudemannenhuis_toegangspoort_(Haarlem)
Source

Less than half an hour away from the tourist trap of Amsterdam, lies the pretty town of Haarlem. This town offers many charming cobbled streets and gabled houses to serve the more discerning tourist. Of particular note is the Franz Hals Museum that’s delivers the perfect introduction to the Golden Age of Dutch painting.

And to the south-east, the city of Nijmegen has recently blossomed thanks to a laid-back fun-loving atmosphere that led to the institution of many great pop-up concert events. Also the acclaimed Volkhof art museum and the Velorama – unbelievably the only bicycle museum in the whole of the Netherlands!

So when you visit these countries, be sure to check out these European hidden gems!

Love,

Wander-Lust

Hacienda Na Xamena » Paradise in Ibiza

Instagram heaven is right here – Hacienda Na Xamena in Ibiza.

Hacienda 1
I am not exaggerating right?

Planning to go to Ibiza next year?

I visited this magical place in the North of Ibiza » It’s a hotel, restaurant & spa that is perched on a cliff edge 180 meters above the sea, surrounded by an idyllic Mediterranean pine forest where I’ve spent the first day of my holiday.

Na Xamena Hotel Hacienda has the best view in Ibiza.

Hidden on the North side of the island in a nature reserve and a 10 minutes drive from Sant Miquel, you will find this five star hotel from the seventies that is built by the Belgian architect Daniel Lipszyc. I was invited by La Posidonia, the SPA- named after the protected seaweed that grows around Ibiza – of Hacienda where they offer a wide range of body and facial treatments and spa rituals. I received a private tour where they showed me the package deal for their guests. Needless to say I was very impressed by the sun terrace, restaurant, swimming pools and sunbeds. The perfect place to recharge your batteries, but it comes with a price – from 400 euro per night. *This is without any treatments of the SPA.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Spa

After my tour I took my first treatment –  Silky Skin (body scrub with sea salt and aromatic oils).
I recommend everyone to scrub your body before your holidays to prepare your skin for tanning. It’s as important as protecting it when exposing yourself to the sunAfter that I experienced the “Cascadas Suspendidas – a 45 min hydrotherapy treatment in 8 heated pools at different temperatures that give hydro-jet massages whilst enjoying the view. The Cascadas Suspendas – 45 min access to the 8 pools, including some snacks – will costs you 55 euro.

Hacienda 2
Pool 7 and 8 are the best since you will have this breathtaking view when enjoying this warm bath.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The drink & snack you will receive after the Cascadas Suspendas with Pica Pica treatment

TIP » Watch the sunset from the roof deck when enjoying a good glass of champagne or a cocktail.

It’s definitely worth visiting, but I prefer to dive into the pool, have a cocktail on the beautiful terrace with the perfect view rather then enjoy the spa for 45 minutes. Unfortunately this is only possible when you are a Hotel guest. That saying, it was an amazing experience!
So keep an eye on the rates to find the best prices for next season!

Hacienda

Hacienda Na Xamena
s/n, Carrer na Xamena
07815 San Miguel, Ibiza
Website

Enjoy!

Sarah

 For more inside tips about Ibiza, check my last post about Ibiza’s best beaches and my top 5 places to eat.

Top 5 » Best Food Hotspots in Ibiza

It’s no secret that I’m a big food lover. I might be a little picky when it comes to food, but that’s because I know what I like.
I’m always looking forward to find the best restaurants whilst I travel. I can easily wander for hours to find the perfect place where they serve top notch food with a great ambiance. I’m only interested in good quality food and preferred not to expensive, but I can also easily order champagne with oysters in a star restaurant.

But how do you find these quality food treasures? That’s easy, just ask the locals where they love to eat! That’s exactly what I did in Ibiza.
I asked the owner of my villa to share some of her best tips with me – and these are one million dollar tips I tell you!

Read more

Top 5 » most beautiful beaches of Ibiza

The first time I visited Ibiza was 2 years ago. I fell in love straight away. Ibiza is known for it’s clubs and famous DJ’s from all over the world, but it seriously has  a lot more to offer!
Ibiza has everything you need for the perfect summer holiday; Sunshine, palm trees, white sandy beaches, breathtaking sunsets, great food, terrific views and very friendly people – and don’t forget the sexy language:). Exactly what I needed after some very busy working months. I booked my ticket and found some very nice spots that are worth sharing with you!

Purpose: Chill, relax, soak up vitamins, tanning and eat & drink as much as possible!

Read more

Top 5 reasons why you should live in Barcelona

Europe has a lot of amazing cities but Barcelona seems to attract a lot of foreigners that try to build a life over here. And we can’t argue with them. It’s one of the cities I could live. Why?
I give you 5 reasons why you should live in Barcelona.

1.  Helloooo, there’s a beach! 

barceloneta

Beachlife. There’s a sweet word that everybody loves.
Barcelona has a long stretched version of 4km and it’s a good one. There are plenty of beachbars, people walking around to give you drinks or massages and it’s so near the city that you can easily tan for a few hours after work or during your lunch break. This way you kind of feel like you’re on a holiday even though you’re working. Love it!

2. Free bicycle rides


Viu Bicing bicycles lined up, waiting for a ride

When I stayed in Barcelona 2 weeks ago, I stayed in an Airbnb and the host gave me their bicycle card for the period of my stay. This card gave me access to all the Viu Bicing bicycles in town.
How does it work? In order to use this card, you are in need of a membership. For this you need a home address. (This is why you never see tourist on these bikes -except for me of course ;-))
Swipe the card at one of the many Bicing stations and it unlocks one of the bikes ready for use. You get up to 5 min to test the bike to see if it works alright for you. After that you can cycle up to 30 minutes for free with 0,70 cents per 30 minutes after that. With so many docking stations around the city, it’s not hard to find another station to lock it again. Swipe your card on the station and you’re done.
This way you help to eliminate climate pollution, traffic noise and traffic congestion. Awesome!

3. Catalans have awesome celebrations

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Incredible. The decorated streets of Gracia

They have carnival in February, 
Festival de Sant Medir de Gràcia in March and San Jordi in March but the month June is the cherry on the cake when it comes to festivals.

Apart from Sonar Music Festival (I’ve been there twice!) they celebrate Corpus Christi. will be held in June with parades of giant and carnival figures with big heads.
Then they also have the Festival Grec. The series begins in June, reaches its peak in July and goes on into August. The Grec offers a wide range of cultural events, from theatre of dance music and cinema events under the open sky. The one I would love to see is Holy Sant Joan, which is celebrated with campfires and fireworks and fire-crackers in all streets.
In August they also have Festa Major de Gràcia. I was lucky enough to be in Barcelona during this period and I enjoyed the beautiful decorated street in the area Gracia.
hundreds of people go on the street to enjoy concerts, food and open bars until 4 in the morning. This festival last 6 days.

4. The food


I can get used to this system!

If you know Barcelona, you know that there’s good food. Tapas heaven.

And the fact that you can eat different spanish bites for only €1,50 per item makes it even better!
They are called Pinchos. The main difference to tapas is that the bread and other ingredients are held together by small skewers, which is actually what pincho means in English. You grab a plate, pick what you want and save the sticks. After you’ve finished, the waiter counts your skewers and calculates your price. I never had such a wonderful dinner for only 10 euro’s (including a drink!) at Blai Tonight.
The best area to eat Pinchos is Poble Sec.

5. Culture & History

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset
Awesome Street Art in Barcelona

Barcelona has a unique historic culture and you can find it all over the city. Beautiful churches, landmarks and museums full of it.
Take a day to explore. The city offers a feast of sculptures, paintings, mosaics, impressive architecture and fashion. Museums dedicated to Picasso, Miro, Tapies and Dali.  And let’s also not forget about Gaudí.

Are you convinced yet? 

Love,

Elke