Top 10 Spanish Foods to try

Posted on: July 29th, 2016 by admin No Comments

Each region offers unique cuisine that is worth exploring. Learning is a continuous process, so if you would like to advance your culinary skills, it is advisable to borrow from different communities. The Spanish communities have some of the best recipes that you can learn from to improve your culinary skills. Below are ten Spanish foods you can easily learn how to prepare with simple ingredients.

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1. Pulpo a la Gallega
Also referred to as the Galician octopus, Pulpo a la Gallega is a signature dish in the Spanish culture that dates back to 125 years during a time when Spain had many cattle fairs. The food is made from steaming octopus meat and is cooked with olive oil mixed with paprika. The Pulpo a la Gallega is a typical dish and is among top dishes that the Spanish people identify with, not forgetting it holds historical significance.

2. Gazpacho
The Gazpacho is a famous soup prepared in various colours. Traditionally, the soup was prepared during the summer season and has since become a great delicacy especially among visitors, who find it refreshing and delicious. The soup is prepared using tomatoes, cucumber, olive oil, stale bread, garlic pepper, onion and salt. All the ingredients are mixed together and fried in moderate fire before preparing the thick delicious soup.

3. Croquettes
Almost every restaurant in Spain offers Croquettes. The Croquettes are made unique and the taste depends on the specifications of individual hotel, so you will find them different from one hotel to another. Generally, the food is tasty and there are not many variations from one restaurant to another because they share the main ingredients.

4. Jamon
You can also enjoy some pieces of Jamon from any bar in Spain. The Spanish jamon is prepared using traditional techniques and the ham is labelled depending on the breed of the pig it was sourced from. The ham is dried and cured then prepared to offer tasty pieces.

5. Spanish ratatouille
Vegetarians will also have something to pick from the Spanish people. The Spanish ratatouille is made from tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and eggs. The flavour availed by this delicious combinations are unique and something you can try at home if you have the ingredients.

6. Bean stew
Spain is home to different beans and legumes species. Different regions produce different kinds of beans, so you can have a taste of what each place you visit has to offer. The beans varieties available in Spain are unique and the preparation is also perfectly executed.

7. Paella
The rice based dish is recognized internationally and is available in many variations that are worth exploring. The traditional version of Paella is prepared from a mixture of chicken or rabbit meat – sometimes both – greens beans and some vegetables.

8. Fried milk
This is not a common dish, but you may easily find it in major restaurants. It’s one of the unique dishes that will make you like everything about the Spanish people.

9. Robo de Toro
This is an Andalusian stew that originated in the 16th century Cordoba. It is made from bull/ox tail and other sophisticated ingredients to make it delicious.

10. Arroz Negro
This is one of the best prepared rice dishes in Spain. Most visitors would barely notice any of the ingredients used and this explains the reason it is among top choices among those who have been to Spain before.

THE 5 BEST BEACHES FOR SNORKELING IN MAJORCA

Posted on: July 18th, 2016 by admin No Comments

Majorca has 262 beaches with a total length of 25 miles. Its beautiful coastline offers the finest beach activities such as surfing and scuba diving. To enjoy all that Majorca has to offer, take a look at these top 5 beaches for snorkelling and other recreational activities.

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Cala Varques
This beach is easily reachable by boat or foot and offers many water activities to adults and children. Cala Varques is in fact one of the most unspoilt beaches in Spain. It is the perfect snorkelling spot that provides a clear view of the Mediterranean. Perhaps the best time of the year for snorkelling here is early autumn when the water is calmer and there are fewer people about.

Puerto Pollensa
On the north-east of Majorca Island lies Puerto Pollensa, known as one of the most picturesque beaches. It is located in the curving bay of Tramunta and is ideal for families who love underwater activities. As this beach enjoys calm and clear waters, it is perfect for those who wish to learn how to snorkel. With stunning scenery, this is the place to visit with your family.

Cala Agulla
Cala Agulla is close to many major hotels and one of the most popular beaches for diving. The crystal clear waters offer divers diverse opportunities for exploring Aqua life. This beach is surrounded by tall pine trees and local mountains, but it can get overcrowded during the summer months.

Arenal Playa de Palma
Arenal Playa de Palma is a white sandy beach with shallow waters. It’s a wonderful resort for underwater exploring and is known for offering all-year-round diving opportunities. Taking a plunge into the deep blue waters is even more fun than before thanks to the brand new diving platform in place.

Cala Barca
This pretty but small beach is on the edge of Mondrago Park in Majorca. It is only 25 metres deep with golden sands and amazing scenery. Although the beach itself is small, it can still get overcrowded in peak season. Every year, thousands of snorkellers come to Cala Barca for a spot of underwater exploration. If you are an experienced diver, this is the beach for you, but as there is no lifeguard service, you should exercise caution. Unlike some of the other bays in the area, Cala Barca is developed for tourists and offers a scuba diving centre.

Recommended Restaurants In Majorca

Posted on: July 4th, 2016 by admin No Comments

The largest of the autonomous Balearic Islands has long been a favourite with tourists, and as such plays host to a number of remarkable eateries worthy of even the most discerning palate. Here we run down just a small selection of some of the best restaurants the island of Majorca has to offer.

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Simply Fosh

Hotel Convent de la Missió, La Missió 7

Based in the upscale Hotel Convent de la Missió, this restaurant – home of acclaimed British chef Marc Fosh – was awarded a Michelin star in 2014. The seasonal menu offers Mediterranean cuisine crafted from the finest locally-sourced ingredients. The set lunch menu is incredibly light on the wallet and is the perfect tantalising glimpse of what to expect from the dinner service. Reservations are essential.

Es Molí d’en Bou

Protur Sa Coma Hotel, Calle Liles, Sa Coma

Although the rural charm of its original windmill setting has been lost, the decision by Tomeu Caldentey – another Michelin-starred chef – to move his restaurant to more refined surroundings is in keeping with the calibre of food on offer. Renowned for a highly creative approach to Majorcan cuisine notable for its innovative combinations of taste and texture, this one is definitely worth a visit. Once again, reservations are essential.

Lua

Calle Santa Caterina d’Alexandría 1, Puerto de Sóller

Whilst the food at Lua is obviously of a very high standard, of particular attraction here is the restaurant’s location. Positioned as it is in Port de Sóller, diners are afforded views of the picturesque harbour which contribute to an incredibly pleasant eating experience. With a menu comprising grilled locally-caught fish paired with a variety of exciting sauces, reservations are strongly advised to guarantee a place on that scenic terrace.

El Celler

Calle Hospital 46, Petra

Although this list primarily references fine dining restaurants, it would be remiss not to acknowledge that an equally enjoyable meal – and all-round dining experience, really – can also be had at one of the island’s many exceptionalceller restaurants. These establishments, popular in the island’s smaller towns and villages, are housed in converted wine or oil cellars with menus built around highlighting traditional Majorcan dishes, and El Celler is amongst the best of them. There are no reservations, and weekends tend to be busy with locals.

Buen Provecho!

Beaches you should be visiting this Summer

Posted on: June 22nd, 2016 by admin No Comments

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Mallorca is a perfect holiday destination and the wide variety of available beaches makes it easy to find a favourite beach close to holiday accommodations, whether you prefer sandy beaches, pebbles or rocks. Check out our listings of some of the best Mallorca beaches before you head off on holiday:

1. Es Trenc

The Es Trenc beach is one of the most popular in Mallorca, offering an expanse of shimmering white sand that’s perfect for play and relaxation. Es Trenc is located a short drive from the village of Campos in the south of the island.

2. Platja de Muro

The Blue Flag beach of Platja de Muro is situated between Alcudia and C’an Picafort and is a perfect beach for kids to play in the sand or sea, as its shallow waters stretch quite a way, due to the sandy shelving.

3. Port d’Alcudia

The beach of Port d’Alcudia was nominated as one of the world’s best beaches in 2012 and features expanses of clean sand and a gentle tidal current, making it ideal for families, swimmers and divers.

4. Cala Mesquida

The beach at Cala Mesquida is popular for surfing as waves are much bigger in this location. The beach is surrounded by sand dunes and situated in the north-east of the island.

5. Puerto Pollensa

The Puerto Pollensa beach is around 6km distance from the town of the same name and immensely popular with holidaymakers and tourists. The scenic mountains surrounding the beach and azure waters of the ocean give it a fairytale appearance that’s sure to be a hit with anybody.

6. Cala Formentor

The playa at Cala Formentor is over 1km in length, however, it’s only about 8m in width, so there’s not a good deal of room for lounging at the height of the season. The crystal clear sea water in this area makes it a wonderful place for swimming and snorkelling.

7. Cala Mondrago

The snorkelling fraternity in Mallorca appreciate all the benefits of swimming from the rocks at popular Cala Mondrago beach. There is a sandy beach for relaxing and playing, too. So this beach offers everything for a perfect day out. It’s located close to Cala d’or and can be accessed by train, bus or car.

8. Cala Agulla

The golden sands of Cala Agulla beach make it a perfect spot for relaxation and play. The beach is located in the north-east of the island, close to Capdepera.

Guide to Sailing in Majorca

Posted on: June 15th, 2016 by admin No Comments

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Mallorca is a beautiful place to go sailing at almost any time of year. Benefiting from the warm climate of the Balearic Islands, which also provides superb sailing winds, Mallorca possesses dramatic coastlines, secluded coves and excellent harbour facilities for sailors.While the ideal time to sail around Mallorca is May to October, when the warm summer sun and light breezes offer prefect conditions. This does, however, mean that the seas can be crowded at this time of year. Those visitors who prefer a less populated ocean may well prefer to visit during the winter or spring. The weather is still good for sailing during the winter months, and the Mediterranean region remains relatively warm, though it is necessary to take more notice of weather conditions and react accordingly at this time of year.

Many of the island’s bays and coves are well protected from harsher weather, providing an excellent environment for new sailors to learn in, and practice their skills. Due to the island’s geography, and the direction of prevailing winds, dangerous swells are rarely experienced by sailors who keep in relatively close to the shoreline.

Mallorca has 544km shoreline to explore, and there are many fine bays and harbours in which to anchor. Porto Cristo provides sailors with a very large marina and an easy anchorage in a sandy seafloor. The water is beautifully clear and perfect for swimming. If a visitor wants to spend some time soaking up the sun on a sandy beach while ashore, then anchoring at Colonia Sant Jordi is a good idea. Here, amidst the calm waters of the south east corner of the island, are located some of Mallorca’s finest beaches, in the shape of Ets Estanys, Es Trenc, Es Dolc and Es Carbo.

Of course, people do not just go on holiday for the sailing, and Port d’Andratx, on the island’s south western corner, has some fine bars and restaurants overlooking its marina. Just up the coast from there is the resort of Sant Elm, which, as well as its nightlife, is a gateway to the Natural Park of Sa Dragonera.

Overall, Mallorca is a superb choice of destination for the seasoned or novice sailor. Its gentle climate, beautiful coastline and excellent waters, as well as its onshore hospitality, make it one of the jewels of the Balearics.

10 Interesting Facts about Mallorca

Posted on: June 6th, 2016 by admin No Comments

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Well known for its glorious weather, fabulous beaches, vibrant night life and varied history, Mallorca is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. However, there are many intriguing facts about Mallorca that many people are unaware of.

1.) Mallorca is the largest island in Spain, so it comes as no surprise that its original name derived from the Latin term ‘insula maior’, which translates to ‘larger island’. Over the years the name has gradually changed to Mallorca, incorporating the Castellano ‘ll’ pronunciation.

2.) Mallorca’s history is fascinating. The first recorded settlement dates back to 3000 BC, but ancient burial sites have been unearthed that date back to 6000 BC. The island was invaded by the Romans in 123 BC and was subsequently conquered by the Byzantines, the Moors and King James I of Aragon. Because of this varied history, the architecture and ancient ruins found on the island are very diverse.

3.) Although Mallorca has a population of around 900,000 inhabitants, almost half of these people live in the capital city of Palma.

4.) Mallorca has two large mountain ranges: Serra de Tramuntana and Serres de Llevant. Serra de Tramuntana has recently been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status and its highest mountain, Puig Major, is the highest mountain in the entire Balearic region.

5.) It is estimated that over 6,000,000 visitors travel to Mallorca each year. However, it isn’t just holiday-makers who travel to this stunning island. Boasting a varied terrain and over 400km of hiking trails, hikers and cyclists visit Mallorca in vast numbers. In fact, recent figures suggested that over 35,000 cyclists visit Mallorca each year, including both professional and recreational cyclists.

6.) The island’s most spectacular and most visited tourist attraction is La Seu, a huge cathedral that dates back to 1230. A great deal of restoration has been completed over the centuries and recent additions have been created by famous architect Antoni Gaudi.

7.) Mallorca boasts a wonderful collection of cave systems, including Coves del Drach which can be found on the east side of the island. Visitors travel from all over to see the impressive underground lakes, stalagmites and stalactites.

8.) With a glorious Mediterranean climate and average temperatures of 21°c, Mallorca boasts over 300 days of sunshine each year, making it a year-round destination for holiday-makers seeking sun, sea and sand.

9.) There are more than 3,000 restaurants on the island of Mallorca so visitors can indulge themselves on traditional Spanish cuisine, freshly caught seafood and international dishes from all over the world.

10.) Mallorca’s largest nightclub, BCM, boasts the biggest foam machine in the world and is a great place to go to dance the night away and enjoy water, foam and popcorn parties.

Historic Buildings of Palma de Majorca

Posted on: May 28th, 2016 by admin No Comments

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Historic Buildings of Palma de Majorca

The beautiful capital city of Majorca, Palma de Majorca, overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and is home to a wonderful collection of spectacular buildings that boast some of the most astounding architecture in Europe.The city’s landmark is the magnificent La Seu, a Gothic cathedral located in the old quarter. The foundation stone was laid in 1230 by King James I of Aragon and work continued for the next 400 years. Following an earthquake, work was resumed in 1851 and as a result, the building has features from many different periods of history. In 1909, a wrought-iron candelabra, designed by the famous architect Gaudi, was erected over the main altar. It is also home to one of the world’s largest stained glass windows that was made from 1,236 pieces of glass and measures an impressive 12m across. Dedicated to San Sebastian, Palma’s patron saint, this masterpiece is a sight not to be missed.

Opposite the cathedral stands the immense Almudaina Palace. Built in the thirteenth-century, it was originally an Arab fortress and housed members of the Spanish Royal Family throughout the fourteenth-century. Elements of Islamic architecture can still be found with its Moorish arches, but it was later converted to demonstrate Gothic architecture. Surrounded by the stunning S’Hort des Rei gardens, exploring the grounds is a great way to spend a sunny afternoon.

Built in 1309, Bellver Castle is situated on top of a hill and offers some of the most outstanding panoramic views of the city below. The unique structure is entirely circular and features both Moorish and Romanesque features. For many centuries it was used as a prison, but now houses the city’s History Museum where Roman, Spanish and Arab artefacts can be found.

The Arab Baths, located in the mediaeval quarter, is all that remains of the Moorish city of Medina Mayurqa, which was what Palma was once known as. Dating back to the tenth-century, this ancient building features a domed room that was once used for relaxation purposes. Spend an afternoon exploring the grounds and be sure to visit the courtyard for a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of hectic city life.

For more modern architecture, visit the old Gran Hotel. Opened in 1903, this breathtaking building is now home to the city’s most popular art gallery and many different exhibitions can be found here throughout the year. The sculptured façade, the intricate tiling, the ornate iron railings and the huge stone carvings make this building a wonder to behold.

Fishing Holiday to Majorca

Posted on: May 16th, 2016 by admin No Comments

 

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Fishing Holiday to Majorca

Even though the Balearic Islands are hugely popular with holidaymakers who enjoy beach and sun, fishing is an activity that has been attracting enthusiast from the UK and other countries for many years, and for good reason. The region has a rocky bottom that has an abundance of fauna which creates an ideal environment for a wide variety of marine life. Majorca has a terrific coastline, and here, there is the archipelago of Cabrera, which is a national park. The seabed in this area has been unaltered by the rigours of the modern world and in the water can be found scorpion fish, morays and congers along with sea bass and lots of other species. The south-east of the island is particularly amenable for fishing, as, in less than 20 minutes, a boat can take you out onto the high seas, which is only about a six-mile journey.
Deep sea fishing activity and trolling have a season, which begins in May. This is the time when there are enormous amounts of fish that can be caught in these waters. Fish like, the bluefin tuna, swordfish, albacore, and dolphin-fish. The bluefin tuna swim off the coast of Ibiza, pass through the Gulf of Valencia and spawn off the coastal waters of the Balearic Islands.
Between the months of May and August, the south side of the island sees an abundance of albacore that are prevalent in the famous region “Ses Mamelles.” At the end of July, these fish have moved off and can be fished for off the beautiful coast of Menorca.
The summer months are perfect for fishing in the sea off Majorca, and the weather is ideal, to ensure that every day can be spent on the water. The months of August and September are perfect for catching swordfish and the giant blue tuna, with swordfish catches being as big as 300kg. Chumming for the big fish has in the past been very successful in zones such as Cabo Formentera, Porto Cristo and east of Porto Colom.
Autumn makes it possible to do some spinning and trolling with the main catch being small tuna and the dolphin-fish. Dolphin –fish can grow up to 10 kg, but an average size is around five kg.
In this part of the world, there is fishing all of the year around, and anglers can practice their bottom and jigging fishing in the winter. With bottom fishing, it’s possible to catch, red scorpion and scorpion fish.

 

The Most Beautiful Places in the Balearic Islands

Posted on: May 5th, 2016 by admin No Comments

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The most beautiful places in the Balearic Islands

The Balearic Islands are a glorious Mediterranean archipelago nestled in the Balearic Sea, off the coast of eastern Spain. If you want to avoid the usual tourist haunts and see some jaw-droppingly beautiful places, you are going to be spoiled for choice!Mallorca
Pretty villages include Sóller, nestled within a lush green valley and majestic mountains, and Fornalutx with steep winding street, both perfect for hiking. For artistic inspiration, visit the charming village of Valldemossa where crumbling houses, a palace and a monastery are surrounded by romantic forests. Bellver Castle is a 14th century gothic castle on the outskirts of Palma. If hidden coves are more your thing, head to Sa Calobra beach for a lovely trek through a shaded gorge, underground tunnels and Torrent de Pareis (‘twin streams’). You can catch a boat across an underground lake in the Caves of Drach and admire stalactites and stalagmites in the Caves of Artà. For panoramic views, head to Cape Formentor which has a peak 384 metres above sea level and unspoilt, picture postcard beaches. Another beautiful beach can be found at Playa de Es Trenc; a two mile stretch of golden sand where the local speciality is freshly caught red shrimp.Menorca
One of the most photographed places in Menorca is Cala Turqueta, a beautiful cove with crystal clear waters. For history enthusiasts, Naveta des Tudons is a majestic Bronze Age monument best viewed at dusk. Favaritx Lighthouse, in the S’Albufera des Grau Natural Park offers a charming perspective for wildlife watching.

Ibiza
Nestled in the hills of Ibiza’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site in Dalt Vila with medieval battlements, white washed buildings and a stunning cathedral. Just ten minutes away is Las Salinas Beach, a park of outstanding natural beauty with salt lakes and a wildlife conservation area. For lovely views of a nearby uninhabited island head to Cala d’Hort and relax by the towering white cliffs.

Formentera
Regularly making it onto ‘best beaches in the world’ listicles, Playa de Ses Illetes is the perfect place to get away from it all. For one of the most stunning sunset views on the island, head to Barbaria Lighthouse – if you climb to the top you can see Ibiza. You could also take a boat trip around the tiny island of Espalmador, just 50 metres offshore and paddle in the sea off Playa S’Alga.

The History of Spanish Tapas

Posted on: April 28th, 2016 by admin No Comments

Spanish Cuisine. Assorted tapas on ceramic plates.

The History of Spanish Tapas

One of the big trending culinary delights of the modern age is the Spanish tapas menu. You don’t have to go to Madrid or Malaga to experience the idea of ordering small plates of a variety of delicacies and sharing with friends and family. We are all familiar with tapas, but how many of us know where the idea came from? It’s not as easy as you think to pick up the origins, but here are some of the ideas about how it happened.

Myths and legends that surround tapas

If you delve into tapas history the name is associated with Spanish royalty. The idea of which king it was is rather obscure, but one of the stories is that following a long trip, ‘a king’ visited a restaurant in Andalusia and was served wine and cheese. The cheese was put over the glass of wine to protect it from either insects or dust. The word ‘tapadera’ means cover, and from then on the king always asked for tapas whenever he drank wine.
Another story claims the origins of tapas relate to a sick Spanish King, who could only eat small amounts of wine and food to recover. When he was well again, he ordered that all of the restaurants and bars in Castile would serve food in this way.
One legend that didn’t involve Kings relates to peasants in the countryside. To maintain their energy levels, they would eat small snacks regularly with wine while they were working.

Tapas today

In the current modern society, tapas is just known as a Spanish version of enjoying a range of small dishes with wine. For anybody that is visiting Spain, this is one of the great gastronomic delights and every region around the country will have their own version. The classic tapas menu involves fish, meat, eggs, vegetable, and wine. It is served lots of different ways depending where you are eating it.

The importance of tapas

When you think of Spain, tapas is one of the images conjured up and in truth, this has become a part of the country’s national identity. Cities in Spain combat with each other to become known as the best place to eat tapas, but of course, it all comes down to personal choice. The beauty of eating in this way is that no matter what your taste in food, there is always something on the menu that you will like, whether you are eating in Spain or anywhere else in the world.