Undiscovered Tenerife

UNDISCOVERED TENERIFE

 

It goes without saying that Tenerife is a destination for sun, sea and sand.

With amazing resorts and lively bars, beachfront restaurants and sunsets to die for, it makes for a pretty special holiday. That’s what we know Tenerife for best, so we’re here to tell you more about undiscovered Tenerife. Its beautiful scenery, friendly culture, high levels of sustainability and its exciting gastronomy scene has a lot to boast about and shouldn’t go unmissed. So, if you fancy doing something a little different on your next holiday, Tenerife could be your answer…

EXPLORE AND ADVENTURE

When it comes to exploring, you’re spoilt for choice on a Tenerife holiday. Get off-the-beaten-track and you’re in for a real treat, as there’s a whole array of hikes and treks on offer. There’s so many to choose from, but we’ve selected a couple of our favourite routes that will offer mighty views!

There are lots of easy walking trails in Tenerife that’ll show you forests, ravines, volcanic landscapes and the beautiful coastline. One of our favourites is the Santiago del Teide to Masca hike in the Teno Mountains, which is perfect for those looking to spend a morning or afternoon appreciating the lush and rugged landscapes of the island. Classed as ‘easy’, this point-to-point trail showcases the magnificent Teno Mountains – a walking route that some revisit again and again. Highlights include the unbeatable views through the mountains to the small town of Masca and Mirador de Cruz de Hilda lookout point and its panoramic views of the surrounding area plus gorgeous palm trees and shrubbery. There’s a café here too, so you can take some time to sit back and enjoy the impressive views.

Or perhaps you’re an avid hiker and looking for a real challenge?

If so, then Route 040 could be the trek for you. This is a landmark hike starting and ending on ground level at the sandy shores of Socorro beach, taking you through to the highest point in Spain – peaking at 3,718 meters high! At the top, you’ll be amazed as you look down onto the clouds. Whilst this isn’t a trek for the faint hearted, the beauty of the trail will reward you for those hard-earned steps (and of course, the fact that you completed it is a reward in itself)!

It’s the beauty of this challenging trail that attracts so many to give it a go each year – don’t miss the protected landscape of Los Campeches, Tigaiga and Ruiz in Los Realejos and the Natural Park of Corona Forestal as you go – the perfect places for a pit stop!

Oh, and when we say it’s not the faint hearted, we mean it! The whole trek covers a total of 27.7 kilometres, meaning that average completion time is around 12 hours. If you’re feeling super brave and fancy running the route, then it’ll take you around 4 to 6 hours.

 

SUSTAINABLE TENERIFE

This is a destination where sustainability comes high on the list of priorities. From a dedicated walking festival demonstrating the variety and richness of the landscapes and nature, and initiatives to release turtles back to the sea to ‘Respect the Mountains’ – conservation for natural spaces including path cleaning and removing debris from the surface of the sea.

Tenerife is also one of the few destinations in the world to certify the boats who offer whale watching carry the “Blue Boat” flag. This symbol certifies their professional authorisation to carry out the activity and ensures that the staff on board know all about these lovely mammals and can help visitors to understand their behaviour.

Lots of effort goes in to make sure that Tenerife is a destination that does its bit for the planet.

So much so, that Tenerife has recently been recognised as a Biosphere Sustainable Destination for its efforts and contribution to sustainability and has joined 32 other destinations in achieving a Biosphere Certification, as well as a Whale Heritage Destination for its sustainable whale watching operations and protection of the oceans and marine life. Well done, Tenerife!

On a holiday here, there’s plenty of sustainable activities on offer, including those mentioned above, and much more, so you can help with the great cause.

 

TENERIFE’S FOOD SCENE

It goes without saying that we all enjoy eating out on holiday, right? Well, you’ll be in for a real treat in Tenerife, as it’s not short of a restaurant or two. Whether you head to the well-known hot spots or prefer to discover somewhere off the tourist trail, there’s a couple of things that you just have to try!

Papas Arrugadas (otherwise known as Wrinkled Potatoes) is popular with the locals. Boiled in lots of sea salt water for around 30 minutes, they’re then roasted so that the skin wrinkles and creates a crusting of salt. Although simple, spuds grown in Tenerife are packed full of flavour thanks to the rich volcanic soil. You’ll find these tasty morsels in many restaurants in Tenerife – so be sure to give them a try.

Fish is a staple on most small islands, and Tenerife is no exception. Fishermen deliver all-manner of fresh fish to restaurants on a daily basis, including sardine, pollock, grouper and many more so you’ll have the latest catch that evening. If you’re looking for something super authentic, give Atún en adobo (marinated tuna) a try – it’s marinated with herbs and spices overnight before frying – and is delicious!

You’ll not struggle to find wonderful fish in Tenerife’s restaurants, from seafront spots with a relaxing atmosphere to those centred in the hustle and bustle of it all, you’ll not be disappointed.

And not forgetting the wines! Some may say that Tenerife’s best kept secret is its wine. There are a few wonderful wineries to choose from, including Bodegas Monje and Bodega Reveron, where you can try some of the island’s gorgeous dry and acidic whites and smooth reds.

Tenerife Vinyard

 

 

ALL YEAR-ROUND SUN

And finally, what we love about Tenerife is its mild winters and hot summers. So, whether you’re looking to escape the dark winter months or prefer to get away in the summer, the weather will be kind to you in Tenerife!

 

CONTACT US TO FIND OUT MORE

We’re on hand to package together the perfect Tenerife holiday – so whether you would like to find out more, get some expert advice, or you’re ready to book your next holiday, get in touch with us by email, calling or booking an appointment, and we’ll do all of the hard work for you.

Rendezvous in Rio!

RioI recently headed out from London Heathrow with Latin Routes to explore the cosmopolitan South American city of Rio De Janeiro!  Wow! What an experience!

We arrived in the evening, and as we passed the world-famous Ipanema and Copacabana beaches I firmly had Barry Manilow’s ‘Copacabana’ and ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ etched in my mind and would have for the entire trip!

We were given the most fabulous welcome by the Pestana Hotel – with Caipirinha’s cocktail and the most fabulous roof top views. From the distance we could see Christ The Redeemer appearing and then disappearing again amongst the clouds. It was most eerie.

The first two days I spent lots of time learning everything about this incredible continent, meeting representatives from all over South America.

Faye in RioWe were treated to an evening at Rio’s most photogenic night-spot, Rio Scenarium. The atmosphere was electric – with Samba beats. It is a quirky place, unlike anywhere I have been before. On each of the three floors there is an eclectic mix of antiques from the opulent to the unexpected (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs outside the ladies toilets!). A visit is a must.

On our final evening it was certainly dress to impress, to spend an evening at the luxurious Copacabana Palace. We danced the night away, and I couldn’t help but think how lucky I was to be there!

The team at Latin Routes really did, for me, save the best until last. Our final day arrived and first up was a visit up in the cable cars to Sugar Loaf Mountain – from here the views overlooking the city and it’s gorgeous beaches was a sight to behold.

Then came the big one…. Corcovado, home to Christ the Redeemer. I believe in life, you occasionally witness something truly majestic that leaves you overcome with emotion. For me, this was it! As you approach him you can not help but be wowed by his sheer height and how his commanding position looks over the entire city, protecting it. Then clouds would appear and just has he had done on that first night, he disappeared and then would re-appear. Almost like magic, a rainbow appeared and this memory will last forever.

If you would like information on visiting anywhere in South America, call us to make an appointment – 01706 250006.

Written by Faye Blackburn, Chic Boutique Travel

beach

Best beach holiday destinations in Spain and Portugal

If summers on the coast, golden beaches, blue waters, friendly hospitality combined with amazing food appeals to you, Portugal and Spain are sure to have exactly what you seek for your next summer holiday. Short flights from home, affordable prices, suitable destinations for families, couples, nature-lovers, and culture enthusiasts alike, these countries have always been two of the favourites for a perfect beach holiday in Europe.

Read our experts’ pick of the top destinations in Spain and Portugal that are sure to be exactly what you seek for your next beach break.

A selection of the best places to go for a beach holiday in Spain

Europe’s sunniest country, with dry summers and warm winters, Spain is an obvious choice for beach vacations. The Mediterranean Sea will never disappoint you, and Majorca, Lanzarote and Ibiza are among the three favourite destinations to visit in Spain.

If you are looking for long days at the beach, attractions on your doorstep and a range of bars and clubs that are open until sunrise, destinations like Marbella, Barcelona and Ibiza are ideal for you.

Being the largest and most developed of the Canary Islands, Tenerife has always been a selected destination for those seeking both nightlife and some tranquillity. Home to one of the most important harbours in the Atlantic Ocean, Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the bustling capital of the island. Spending a summer holiday here gives you the opportunity to not only enjoy a perfect beach holiday, but also spend days exploring quirky shops, museums, attractive architecture, botanical gardens and excellent restaurants, and unspoiled palm-lined beaches dotted with an expanse of golden sand.

The majority of the beaches in Spain are packed with tourists, but if you prefer to escape to secluded havens, usually only known by the locals, there are still places to get away from the crowds, that should be part of any avid travellers’ bucket list. Only a few miles away from Malaga, Nerja is one of the best kept secrets of the Costa del Sol. The water is exceptionally clean and teemed with fish, ideal for snorkelling, with a natural landscape of cliffs and hills characterising this beach, this is the ideal setting to spending a relaxed day enjoying the sun.

A good alternative to crowded Majorca is Cala Llombards, a stunning beach destination, surrounded by pine trees and bushes, where the water is clear and shallow, making it suitable for younger visitors, with plenty of water sports opportunities.

Located in the north-east coast of Menorca, Es Grau is a charming fishing village set within a protected nature reserve rich in marine life, with a beautiful unspoilt natural beach, perfect for those looking for a hidden gem, and ideal for families with children.

Llafranc is a more exclusive part of the Costa Brava and relatively unknown by tourists, which makes this the perfect destination to catch some peace and quiet, outside some of the more chaotic Spanish beaches. This beach is part of a larger urban area which means that you will have many facilities available including hotels, bars and restaurants to choose from.

Spain Offer

Where to go in Portugal for a beach holiday

Recognised for its rich marine heritage, cultural monuments, expansive sandy beaches, stunning views along the coast, charming villages, historic buildings and friendly hospitality, Portugal is an incredibly fascinating country.

With its popular resorts and the lowest prices in Europe, Algarve is one of the favourite beach location for holiday-makers. The beautiful coastline, golden beaches, modern hotels, and the range of restaurants and bars available make this a perfect choice for anyone who wants to enjoy a lovely chilled break, only a 3-hour flight from the UK. Portimao, Albufeira and Vilamoura offer a full range of facilities and attractions that have always been popular amongst tourists.

In the eastern coast of the Algarve you can find impressive islands such as Tavira and Armona, with many miles of sand, the perfect option if you are looking for a holiday in the sun tucked away from the crowds. Both islands can only be reached by boat, and are surrounded by glorious beaches with warm waters, providing amazing options for your next summer holiday.

The western Algarve, stretching from Lagos to Sagres is excellent for nature lovers and remains one of the least spoiled parts of the Algarve. Dramatic cliffs, breathtaking sea views and caves are the main characteristics of this area that will leave you amazed. Sagres is a truly tranquil fishing village with glorious beaches protected by high cliffs, a picturesque harbour at Baleeira, impressive hotels and a favourite destination for surfing, walking and cycling. This area of Algarve is cooler than the east side, providing a refreshing break from the summer heat.

Whilst the Algarve is very busy is summer months, a few miles along the coast is Costa Vicentina, an emerging affordable beach destination. The small towns of Zambujeira do Mar, Aljezur, Vila Nova de Milfontes and Porto Covo are coastal towns, that boast an overwhelming array of beaches, lovely seaside villages with traditional atmosphere and white picturesque buildings. Perfect to gateway to some incredible walks along the cost, enjoy breathtaking views, or just chill and unwind on one of the many hidden beaches. You may want to take the opportunity to visit Alentejo, an area sometimes compared with Tuscany, it is Portugal’s finest wine and food producing region with unspoilt villages, the perfect destination for wine and food lovers.

Going north, just a few miles from Lisbon, lies the Serra da Arrábida Natural Park, an area that boats stunning coastal scenery and secluded havens like Portinho da Arrábida and Galapos beaches, both still hidden secrets for many tourists.

Further down in the south with deserted sand dunes and magnificent views is Comporta beach. A holiday destination preferred by the wealthy Portuguese families, and famous names like Monica Belluci, Christian Louboutin and Madonna who have long been seduced by the charms of Portugal.

And you if you’re not content with just sitting back and relaxing, there’s plenty to do and see in Portugal too as it´s easy to combine a relaxing beach holiday with a cultural activity. Visit the capital Lisbon with its impressive monuments, cuisine and cultural activities, and dipping your toes in the nearest charming village of Cascais, a coastal town with sea front hotels, bustling beaches, impressive historic forts and variety of restaurants. A visit to this destination has to be high on any travellers list.

Special offer

If these beach holiday destinations inspire you and want to know more, speak with our travel experts to help choose your perfect holiday in the sun.

In the meantime, to give you a helping hand, we’ve picked out some of the best deals not to be missed in Portugal and Spain, from Advantage Holidays. With flexibility of duration, peace of mind that someone is always available to offer support if anything goes wrong, the ability to find low cost flights with a range of quality hotels from 3 to 5 stars, all of these reasons and more will make your holiday very special and give you peace of mind. Plus, you can book your holiday now with as little as £50 deposit, which means that you will be able to spread the cost of your holiday.

Parga Harbour

Faye’s holiday to Parga – Mainland Greece

My absolute favourite place in the World is Parga – but when I tell people this the first thing they say is, where is that?!

Flying into the tiny airport of Preveza, the stunning Parga is around a one hour drive away. Situated on mainland Greece – once you arrive in resort, you very much feel like you are on one of the Islands.

This time we stayed at the small, family run Alfa Hotel. The staff here are so friendly and welcoming, nothing is too much trouble. It takes about 10 minutes to walk to the sea front from here, although it can take longer, when stopping to chat to workers who remember us from last time!

The waterfront in Parga is without doubt, the most stunning I have seen. An array of different coloured shop fronts – selling everything from “I love Parga” souvenirs to delicious Greek cuisine. The old town is worth exploring, too. The higgledy piggledy cobbled streets will take you to hidden little hotels and even an Olive Oil factory. As you begin the incline towards the Citadel, it would be rude not to stop off for a refreshing drink in one of the cool bars, offering the most romantic and pretty views.

When you reach the Citadel, the views are simply spectacular. It is there that you can truly appreciate the effort that has gone in to keeping the waterfront the jewel in Parga’s crown.

If you want to explore – there are the most incredible, if a little strenuous, walks to be done. If relaxation is for you, then the quirky little resort train will take you up to Ali Pasha’s castle – with a stop off in one of the nearby villages, en-route.

Due to it’s location – there are plenty of boat trips that you can take to the neighbouring Islands of Corfu or Paxos. If you want to see something majestic, I would highly recommend a coach trip to Meteora. The monasteries built on the top of these rock formations is a sight to be seen and something you will never forget!

If you like you night life low key, Parga is for you. There are so many delicious restaurants to choose from – you will simply have to return just so you can sample them all. Ending the night with a night-cap, some slow-beat music and a view out to sea is my idea of heaven – and here I get to experience my ‘heaven’ every night.

Will I be visiting again soon? ….. I don’t need to answer that!

Milan - Duomo family photo

Bergamo, Italy – Perfect Family Short Break

We departed from Manchester T3 with Ryanair bound for the Beautiful Bergamo situated in the north of Italy, the flight is just 2 hours and a 15 minute transfer from the airport makes it a great option for a family short break of 4 nights.

We were staying in Citta Alta which is elevated over the new town of Bergamo so offering amazing views over the City.

Bergamo is a delightful town offering cobbled streets with endless little shops and restaurants where you can purchase cakes, home-made Pizza’s and plenty of other delicious local cuisine. The town’s main square Piazza Vecchia is where the Palazzo della Ragione dominates. My Husband and eldest daughter Lauren went up the narrow staircase and all of the 231 steps to the top of the Bell Tower, Torre Civica, which is 52 metres high. This experience cost just 5.00 euros each and is well worth the climb as the views are spectacular.

The next day we took the train from Bergamo to Verenna Lake Como with just one change in Lecco .The journey is approximately 1hour 40 minutes and cost 37.00 euros return for the four of us. At Verenna we took the short ferry crossing to Bellagio, which is such a beautiful town with it’s winding cobbled streets lined with shops bars and restaurants with stunning mountainous views from Bellagio across the Lake, we stayed for the sunset which did not disappoint.

The next day again we took the 48 minute direct train from Bergamo to the city of Milan, a short ride on the metro to the Piazzo del Duomo and as we came up the steps the Cathedral was breath taking. The bustling square and amazing shopping area of Milan was a complete contrast to Bergamo.

I would highly recommend this area of Italy to visit and it has definitely given me the incentive to see other areas of Italy…….watch this space….

Norway Mountain View

Lisa’s Amazing Trip to Norway

Norway, home to the Midnight Sun in summer and the Northern Lights in Winter, is an absolutely stunning destination at any time of year.

Being married to a Norwegian, I have visited the country many times and was lucky enough to go again this summer for my nieces wedding.

Our first few nights we were staying just outside the coastal city of Stavanger. The city itself is a lovely port town with a 12th Century Cathedral, which we enjoyed a guided tour of. There is a lovely historic part of town with quaint traditional buildings.

When we were there, there were two enormous cruise ships in port, dwarfing all the traditional houses, as this is one of the first stopping off points for the cruise ships sailing up the coast of Norway. Cruising is an excellent way of seeing Norway as you get to enjoy the magnificent scenery of the fjords as you sail up and down the coast.
Being a University city, Stavanger has a lively atmosphere and a varied assortment of shopping and dining opportunities.

Within the Stavanger region there are many scenic attractions, one of the main one being the world famous Preikestolen or Pulpit Rock, located 604m above sea level. We walked to this famous landmark, which took a couple of hours each way from the car park. However, for the less active, you can take a scenic ferry ride up the Lysefjord and view it from below.

After a few days in Stavanger, we flew up above the Arctic Circle to the city of Tromso. In the winter months Tromso is a great viewing point for the colourful Northern Lights which sometimes light up the night sky. Obviously, we didn’t get to experience that wonderful natural phenomenon as we were there in summer.

Although we were just slightly too late in the year for the midnight sun, it still didn’t really go dark and was a strange experience still sitting up at 11pm in the evening, still in broad daylight.

The scenery in the North of Norway is absolutely stunning, with snow-capped mountains all year round. It is extremely popular these days with many tourists driving the Northern Lights Route in campervans and caravans!

We enjoyed a walk up to mountain glacier one day, which was quite exciting. You can walk on the glaciers but you must go on an organised walk where you are roped together for security.

Another fantastic experience was walking up a mountain through quite thick mountain fog but then rising above the fog to experience fantastic views of the mountain tops, blue sky behind them and the whole valley below just thick sea of cloud.

Whilst in Tromso, there was one of the Hurtigruten ships in port, which sail up and down the coast of Norway 365 days a year. They are working ships but you are able to book a coastal cruise for all or part of the journey. This is an excellent way of seeing Norway as the ships stop at many ports en-route for you to get off and explore this fascinating country. In the winter, it is a great way to see the Northern Lights as there is little or no light pollution from the ship. As we sell Hurtigruten I asked if it was possible to have a tour of the ship and they were happy to oblige. On board it reminded me of the traditional cruise ships of the past with wood panelling, relaxing lounges and piano bars and, of course, excellent food. It is a far cry from the large cruise ships with on board night clubs, west end style shows etc!

Norwegian food is wonderful, with lots of fresh fish and seafood. We managed to catch our tea one day, whilst out on a fishing trip. We also sampled Reindeer, cooked in a lovely sauce. They also enjoy lots of fresh baked cakes and puddings so it is a good job we did so much walking!

Norway is a very long country and there is so much to experience. On this trip we only did 2 parts of the country but there is so much more to see, with its capital city Oslo and other major towns such as Trondheim, Bergen, Lillehammer and Alesund to name but a few. Then there are the wonderful mountain ranges to hike or drive across, such as the Jotunheimen National Park and many, many fjords to sail on. We have experienced a lot of these places on previous visits and I am sure we will be returning again in the future to visit many more. My husband is already planning his next walking routes!

By Lisa Mousley, Chic Boutique Travel

Mini cruise to Bruges

Nicola – Mini cruise to Bruges

We were greeted by the friendly staff at Hull as we boarded the Pride of Bruges, P&O ferry on the overnight sailing to Zeebrugge. The check in process was very quick, we were given our cabins keys, whilst the children were given balloons by a Pirate entertainer.

We stayed in an inside cabin with pull down bunk beds, there is an option to upgrade to outside cabin which gives you a little more space and sea view.

There are two options to eat on board – The Kitchen ,a buffet style restaurant or The Brasserie, a la carte restaurant. We opted for the The Brasserie for our evening meal, we were really impressed with the food and service. The prices were reasonable a starter costs around £5 , main courses around £15 and a desert for £4.50. The Children’s menu was also really good value. After dinner we headed to the bar area to watch the Children’s entertainment show which was followed by live music.

After a comfortable night’s sleep, we disembarked in Zeebrugge where a coach was waiting to take us into Bruges for the day. The journey only takes about 30 minutes.

One of the best ways to see Bruges is from the water, so we hopped on board the canal boat tour of the city. We really enjoyed the half hour tour, the guide was very informative and there was lots of beautiful architecture to admire. Bruges has most of its medieval architecture intact, making it one of the most well-preserved medieval towns in Europe.

We headed down the cobbled streets lined with little chocolate shops, bars and cafes to the Choco Story, Chocolate Museum – a must for Chocolate Lovers.

Tickets were very reasonable, we paid 8 Euros per child and 13 Euros per adult for a combined ticket with entrance to the Friet Museum included. The aroma of chocolate fills the air as you walk around the museum. The children were given a fun quiz to complete on the way round with a chocolate prize at the end. The Museum has alot of information on the history of chocolate and also includes a chocolate making demonstration with lots of free samples of the famous Belgian chocolate to try!

The Friet Museum is the first and only museum dedicated to potato fries, I was surprised to find out that they actually originate from Belgium! The children really enjoyed it, there are lots of fun quizzes for them to take part in and we also got to sample the famous French fries in the cafe!

We stopped for a drink, of course to sample the famous Belgian beer, and ice-cream at a lovely cafe on Markt Square (Market Square).

The Square is surrounded by the most striking buildings which includes what is perhaps the most beautiful building in Bruges, the Gothic Town Hall or Stadhuis, dating from 1376, also the Belfry of Bruges a medieval bell tower in the centre. I was not daring enough to climb the 366 steps to the top, but I can imagine the views from the top would be amazing. There are lots of horse drawn carts in the square ready to take you on a tour around the city, they cost around 50 Euros for a 30 minute tour. Bruges has so many art galleries and museums we did not have enough time in the one day to see them all!

At the end of a busy sightseeing day , we made our way back the coach to be taken back to Zeebrugge port to board the ferry for the overnight sailing back to Hull.

There is still so much more to see in Bruges that we couldn’t fit into one day, we would definitely like to return maybe at Christmas time to enjoy the famous Christmas Markets Bruges has to offer!

View from hotel

Dubai Fam Trip

7-11 May 2017

Day 1
We departed from Manchester at 10.00 am onboard flight EK22 my first flight onboard the fabulous Emirates A380 for a 7 hour flight in Economy class to Dubai.
Upon arrival we were transferred to the Brand New Hotel, ‘The Address Boulevard Dubai Hotel’ for our 2 night stay, in Downtown Dubai and opposite the tallest building the ‘Burj Khalifa’.

Day 2
The next day after a lovely breakfast we walked from the hotel to the Dubai Shopping Mall which is linked directly from the hotel which takes about 10/15 minutes to the entrance of the Burj Khalifa. We proceeded to the 124th floor by a high-speed vertical elevator travelling 10 metres per second, ‘At the Top’, there are floor to ceiling glass walls which gives you a breathtaking unobstructed 360 degree view of the City, desert and Ocean.
We were then transferred to the amazing ‘Atlantis, the Palm Hotel and after a site inspection and hosted lunch we spent the rest of the afternoon at the ‘Aquaventure Waterpark’.

Day 3
We checked out of the ‘The Address Boulevard Hotel Dubai’ and an hour’s drive out of Dubai to Ras Al Khaimah to the beautiful hotel ‘Waldorf Astoria Hotel’, this beautiful hotel is located on a lovely sandy beach.
This resort is mainly attracted to families and in the resort there is the ‘Iceland Waterpark’ and two shopping Malls.
After a hosted lunch we then transferred to the brand new hotel ‘Fairmount Fujairah Beach Resort’ in Fujairah for our one night stay.

Day4
After breakfast we checked out of the ‘Fairmount Fujairah Beach Resort Hotel’ and made our 20 minute journey to the ‘Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort hotel in Fujairah, this family hotel offers great facilities for families and is located on the lovely sandy Al Aqah Beach.
After a lovely hosted meal in the Italian Restaurant we made our way to the brand new Luxury hotel ‘The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah’ in Ajman for our final night.
This hotel is only a 25 minute drive from Dubai Airport and is a great alternative to Dubai.

Day5
After enjoying a hosted breakfast we check out of the ‘The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah and make our way to Dubai Airport for our 7.5hour flight back to Manchester with Emirates on the EK19.

Sandals Hotel

Shine bright like a diamond – My week in Barbados !!!

Flying from Manchester, we treated ourselves to the Escape VIP lounge which is definitely great value and a really relaxing way to start your holiday.

Very impressed with the Thomas Cook service – the newly renovated aircraft feature more legroom then the short haul service and all seats feature seat back TV’s. There is an option to upgrade to Premium economy if you prefer or you can upgrade your in flight entertainment package to offer you more movie choices.

On arrival we were greeted by Edward, our driver – a friendly young man who took us to our hotel in no time in order for us to hit St Lawrence gap. We quickly found a great little bar, My Friends Place – we arrived just at the right time because it was happy hour. Great atmosphere and welcoming staff.

Faye in St Lawrence Gap

If you want to experience true Bajan hospitality I would recommend a meal at Daddy’s – delicious food cooked off the grill – yummy! This is where my husband discovered the Islands hot pepper sauce that he had with everything from then on!
If you want a delicious lunch at a great price then Happy Days cafe is the place to go. Smashing service with perfect quick lunch bites.

Sandals Barbados, well what can I say? From the moment we walked into the lounge area we knew we would not want to leave. Beautiful, manicured gardens, lovingly looked after by Markson – a endearing gentleman of great character with lots of funny anecdotes. The rooms are stunning with lots of dark wood – and the Crystal Lagoon swim-up one bedroom butler suite with patio soaking tub for two is just the ultimate in luxury. The little touches such as the tub for two in the bathroom and on the patio are perfect for honeymooners and lovers in love!

Faye Sandals Barbados

Every food taste is catered for – and when we just wanted to chill by the pool we could grab a hot dog from the cute little ‘doggies’ stand or a Pizza from Dinos. Sandals is great for real ‘foodies’ – 11 unique dining experiences in total.

Faye - Almond ResortWe moved up the coast on our 4th Day and stayed at the Almond Beach Resort. When we were welcomed with a rum punch on arrival we knew we were in for a good time! The staff here really are the reason behind the success of the Almond. Nothing is too much trouble and your favourite drink is already poured for you before you have to ask for it. Our room had a gorgeous view of the Caribbean sea – where we could watch the most glorious sunset and sunrise. The jewel in the crown for the dining options here is ‘Enid’s’ restaurant. I would definitely recommend making dinner reservations for here as soon as you can, it is so popular, which is no surprise, the food served is exquisite. Chicken Roti and the trio of fishcakes a particular favourite.

We have made some very happy memories from our time spent in Barbados…try for yourself and make memories that will last a life time!

Caribbean Sea

LGBT Holidays in the Caribbean

The Caribbean is THE place to go for couples in love. There is such a wide array of activities to experience as well as gorgeous beaches, amazing hotels, friendly people, not to mention the food and music.

Islands vary considerably and although there has been an amount of homophobia on some islands in the past, gay couples can now generally visit most Caribbean Islands without any worries.

Islands vary considerably and although there has been an amount of homophobia on some islands in the past, gay couples can now generally visit most Caribbean Islands without any worries.

The most gay- friendly islands are said to be the Dutch and French Islands such as Aruba, Curacao, Saba and Bonaire. Dutch St Maarten and French St Martin have long had a gay-friendly reputation and there are many beaches and bars where gay and straight couples coexist peacefully.

The exclusive French Island of St Barts has been called one of the most gay-friendly islands in the Caribbean with its gorgeous beaches and high end dining.

The island of Curacao has been very public in its embrace of gay travellers with its many gay friendly hotels and attractions. It “encourages gay and lesbian travellers to visit its island and experience its “live and let live” atmosphere for themselves” say the Curacao Tourist Board. They have a dedicated website – www.gaycuracao.com which lists gay-friendly weekend hot spots.

The US Virgin Islands offer a friendly and tolerant attitude throughout the islands. St Croix, in particular, has become a mecca for gay travellers.

Cancun in Mexico has earned its reputation as an LGBT party hotspot particularly during the Cancun International Gay Festival held each May. Playa Del Carmen is also just a 45 minute drive away with its gay friendly beach clubs, bars and shopping malls. Mexico’s hottest gay resort, however, is Puerto Vallarta, a charming town with excellent facilities and beautiful beaches, known as the gay capital of Mexico!

Although there aren’t many places in the Caribbean where same-sex couples can legally marry, there are many destinations where you can hold symbolic ceremonies. In particular, the Secrets resorts in Mexico are more than happy to arrange same-sex symbolic ceremonies as well as The Hard Rock Hotels in Mexico and the soon to open Hard Rock Hotel In Aruba.

Occidental Hotels & Resorts offers same-sex wedding ceremonies at its resorts in Mexico, Costa Rica and Aruba.

Wedding packages are available at all Allegro, Occidental Grand and Royal Hideaway properties and can be customized to suit the couple’s requirements.

So if you are thinking of a holiday for any reason in the Caribbean and want some expert advice give us a call 0845 313 3101 and ask for Lisa, your Caribbean expert.

http://www.caribbean-boutique.co.uk/