Young Travelers in Majorca

The island of Majorca, also known as Mallorca, is part of the Balearic Islands and flies the Spanish flag. Located in the Mediterranean Sea, the island is a wonderful spot to visit year-round and is a haven for wind surfers, bicyclists, and most importantly, those looking to have a good time.

Gorgeous views around MajorcaGorgeous views around Majorca

Majorca is becoming increasingly popular with the younger crowd, especially during the summer months. It is during this time of the year temperatures climb to an average high between 27°C and 30°C (81°-86°F) and rain is virtually nonexistent – perfect for days spent sunbathing by the pool. Additionally, water temperatures during the same time period are between 21°-26°C (70°-79°F) allowing vacationers to surf, scuba and snorkel with ease.

Of course, many people want to hit the beach and that is entirely possible on this island. Majorca is home to numerous great spots to catch some rays or enjoy the watersports offered throughout the region. Playa del Arena is one of the more popular beaches. It is ideal for swimming, but part of the water is also reserved for those who want to surf. Beachgoers can also enjoy the nearby yacht club and numerous nearby restaurants. Visitors may also rent umbrellas and water sport equipment. With days in the summer months getting 12 to 13 hours of sunshine each day, there is plenty of time to hit the beach.

Kite Surfer In MajorcaKite Surfer In Majorca

Another great spot to get some rays and enjoy scuba diving is Cala Pi Beach. Thanks to its crystal clear waters, divers will get to enjoy the diversity of animal life below the surface. This region is also great for golfers and sailors. This particular area is also one of the most picturesque on the island if a bit of appreciation of the region’s natural beauty is also on your agenda.

There are also plenty of other activities for the more adventurous to participate in. Companies such as Experience Mallorca offer numerous tours for those who are not of the faint of heart. Visitors can choose from such action packed adventures such as caving, canoeing, climbing, adventure trekking, cliff diving and more. No experience is required and these trips will make a vacation to remember.

For those who are traveling on a budget, there is no shortage of great hotels to book a room without breaking the bank. BQ Apolo Hotel was completely renovated in 2013 and is located in a prime location just 150 meters away from Can Pastilla Beach. The hotel has a total of 144 rooms that include a terrace or balcony, air conditioning and heating, bathroom, telephone and Wi-Fi.

TRH Jardin del Mar is a three-star hotel that offers guests plenty of amenities for a good price. The hotel features a swimming pool, restaurant, bar café, breakfast buffet, gym and more. This hotel gives guests a five-star experience without the five-star price.

Of course, younger travelers often want to have a good time once the sun goes down and the good news is that there is a plethora of nighttime activities on the island! One of the best place to be for nightlife is in the capital city of Palma and one of the best spots in the city and island is Pascha. This world famous nightspot is built into the side of a cliff allowing guests fantastic views while dancing the night away.

Tito’s is another happening nightclub that draws an international crowd. Complete with panoramic views of the sea, Tito’s features dancers, DJs, live music and even circus acts. Those looking for an all-night party can’t go wrong with either of these choices. Of course, Magaluf is perhaps one of the most obvious spots for the 18-35 crowd to get cheap drinks and dance the night away along the strip! BCM is the biggest club located on the island and stays open until the early hours of the morning, pumping music, dancers, drinks and occasionally foam parties!

Before visitors head out for a night on the town, it is important to get a good meal to eat. Luckily, the region has plenty of great, budget friendly spots to fill up anyone’s stomach. The Room Palma serves three course lunches for a small price that also includes a drink. Located just around the corner is Bunker. Open only for dinner, diners can enjoy high-class fare for only a few Euros. The open concept also allows guests to watch the cooks in the kitchen preparing the meals.

Americans looking for a little touch of home will enjoy Diner Palma. Complete with red vinyl booths and vintage signs, this restaurant offers some of the best hamburgers on the island. A favorite of local and tourists, this is one spot to fill up before or after a great night out.

And while the region is typically very safe, it always pays to be aware while on holiday. Visitors should be certain to keep cash in more than one location in case of emergency and to keep the address of their hotel on them at all times. Finally, during the hot daytime weather always wear sun-lotion, take breaks in the shade and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

With a little common sense though, anyone can have a wonderful vacation on Majorca. There are tons of activities on land and on the water to satisfy even the most adventurous spirit. Thanks to plenty of budget friendly hotels and restaurants, as well as lively bars and nightclubs, a vacation to the area can be the trip of a lifetime without needing to break the bank!

Malta Day Trips

Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, just southeast of Italy, the island of Malta may be hard to get to, but the effort is certainly worth it. This tiny island nation is full of sites that date back thousands of years. Additionally, the island is home to world-class beaches and resorts making it a truly magical place to visit.

Blue lagoon in Malta on the island of Comino

The weather on the island is heavily influenced by the sea with the largest threat of rain coming in the winter months. The summers are generally rain-free and warm with temperatures above 28°C regularly and plenty of sunshine. While temperatures never get close to freezing, visitors might want a jacket during the winter season when average overnight lows are around 13°C-15°C (55°-59°F) and highs are between 16°C-18°C (61°F-64°F).

Beautiful view from upper Barrakka Gardens of saluting battery and Grand Harbor of Valletta, Malta

While visiting the island, the best way to see its impressive history and heritage is by taking several day trips. Malta is known for being easily accessible by public transport and its small size means you can get a taste for all the different attractions of the island during one trip.

One of the most popular trips is an outing to Valletta. The city lays claim to the title of the first planned city in all of Europe and is a Unesco World Heritage listing thanks to the sheer number of historical monuments located there. Built on a narrow peninsula in the 17th century, the architecture is virtually untouched. Some of the must-see sites include St. John’s Co-Cathedral and the National Museum of Archeology.

The spring months with afternoon high temperatures averaging between 18° (64°F) in March to 24°C (75°F) in May, are some of the best times to visit Malta. This can be especially true for those looking to avoid a crush of tourists over the summer months. As a result, now is the time to book a tour of the ancient Hal Saflieni Hypogeum. Located in Paola, these subterranean caves were carved out of the rock some 5,000 years ago. A tour of this amazing site needs to be booked several months before a trip to the region.

Visitors will continue to step back in history with a visit to Mdina and Rabat. Mdina is located along a hilltop and encircled by great golden-stoned walls. The city itself has both an Arabic feeling to it as well as being home to an excavated Roman villa and array of catacombs. One of the best times to visit is during summer when rainfall amounts are only 5mm in June, none for July and 6mm in August. Compare the dry summer to rainfall amounts over 100mm in both November and December and it is easy to see why so many people visit during the driest time of the year.

One of the best day trips is to the nearby island of Gozo. Complete with some of the most dazzling views, cliffs, scenery and restaurants, it is easy to get to with regular ferries. The area is perfect for bike rides and swimming in hidden coves. Visitors should make sure to see the rock formations that make up Dwejra and the prehistoric temples of Ggantija.

In the summer months water temperatures climb to averages between 22°-27°C (72°-81°F) meaning this is the best time to hit the beach and take a trip to Comino and the Blue Lagoon. This area of the sea is a fierce aquamarine color and is the perfect place for travelers to enjoy swimming or snorkeling. Located near the undeveloped island of Comino, it is also the ideal spot for some rest and relaxation. The area is easy to reach thanks to the plethora of tours and water taxis. Additionally, average afternoon highs for the season are between 29°C-32°C (84°F-90°F) with an average of 13-14 hours of sunshine per day.

During summer visitors also take advantage of the warm conditions at night and during the day to enjoy the pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants of St. Julian’s. This area is all about having a good time and there are plenty of places to enjoy a cocktail and party the night away.  One of the best restaurants in the region is Truffle and Truffles. This bistro style restaurant offers hearty food in large portions. The menu is varied with both meats and fish and, of course, there is a wide selection of cocktails to also choose from.

Vacationers will enjoy one of the local favorites at Bobbyland located near the Dingli Cliffs. This wonderful restaurant offers rabbit stew and gives travelers a chance to mingle with the locals. After enjoying a traditional lunch, visitors can explore the nearby prehistoric scores in the limestone pavement that look like ancient cart ruts.

Of course, visitors will want a nice place to stay that is centrally located in order to get to all of these wonderful attractions. One of the best hotels on the island is the Radisson Blu Resort and Spa, Malta Golden Sands. The recipient of the Traveler’s Choice Award in 2014, this hotel is nothing short of spectacular and not only offers guests a stunning view, but also impeccable service.

For those considering a holiday on Malta, there is a little something for everyone. Visitors can step back in history and see building and features created hundreds and thousands of years ago. The adventurous types can rent jet-skis and take advantage of numerous areas to snorkel and scuba dive. Finally, there are also plenty of places to just relax and take in the scenery and enjoy this little slice of paradise, perhaps with a cold drink in hand. Day trips are certainly the way forward when visiting Malta!

Costa del Sol: The Strange & Unusual

The southernmost region of Spain is home to Costa del Sol, the pride and joy of the region of Andalucía. Tucked between the lesser known Costa de la Luz and Costa Tropical, it stretches over 300km of coastline. Famed for its golden sandy beaches sprinkled with fabulous holiday resorts such as Malaga, Marbella and the beautiful Benalmadena this area is flattered by a mild Mediterranean climate, with four somewhat distinct seasons throughout the year.

The sandy Marbella beach

Spring lasts through March, April and May, summer spreads over June, July and August, autumn gracefully occupies September, October and November, and winter graces the coastline with its presence throughout December, January and February. The average temperatures rarely drop below 12°C on the colder days, while the hotter days often exceed the 27°C mark, particularly during the summer.

However, there are significant temperature differences between the year’s extreme seasons, and summer is clearly the top choice for tourists to visit this beautiful slice of Spanish coastline. The monthly average rainfall varies substantially as well, with July being the driest month at 3mm and November being the wettest with an average of 115mm of precipitation expected. Winter days are shorter, experiencing up to just 5 hours of sunshine per day, while the summer days are gloriously bright and long with up to 11 hours of sunshine per day. The sea is surprisingly cool outside the summer season; sometimes dropping below 16°C, but it then gradually reaches 23°C throughout the month of August. Overall, Costa Del Sol is blessed with over 325 days of sunshine per year and a comfortably hot holiday season for people to enjoy – it lives up to its name and it welcomes hundreds of thousands of tourists each year.

Playa De La Caletilla

Resorts like Malaga, Benalmadena and Marbella experience daytime averages ranging between 23°C and 26°C during the hot season, and are often the top choices for vacationers worldwide. Frequently chosen for their superb beaches and calm, shallow waters, these resorts have plenty of other amazing things to offer. If you are planning a trip to Costa del Sol anytime soon, be prepared for some spontaneous adventures – sure, feel free to go there for the smooth strips of fine sands and sunshine galore, but do not be surprised if you end up in some of the area’s most beautiful and fascinating corners without even planning it. The tour guides will certainly enjoy surprising you with some unique takes on the local cuisine, swift immersions into the local culture and exciting trips through nature resorts and swirling hiking trails hidden beneath lush forests and wavy hills.

You can set yourself up with a stylish suite at the Petit Palace Plaza Malaga, or the splendid Vincci Seleccion Posada del Patio, both excellent accommodation options in beautiful Malaga. You can have loads of drinks and decadent fun at posh clubs such as Sala Gold or Passion.

Alternatively, you can go for a sumptuous suite at Marriott’s Marbella Beach Resort or the stunning Puente Romano Beach Resort & Spa in Marbella, and enjoy late night cocktails at lush spots like Olivia Valere – Discoteca y Restaurante or Suite Discoteca. You can even get cosy in a beachfront location like Luxury Rentals Puerto Marina or the exceptional Vincci Seleccion Aleysa – Hotel Boutique & Spa in beautiful and sunny Benalmadena, leaving it up to its stunning marina to show you a thing or two about nightlife and entertainment. Whichever resort you choose, remember that there is so much more to it than what meets the eye!

For example, one thing Spain is most famous for is its fiery spirit and passionate sentiments, both concentrated in the flamenco dance. Kelipe Centro de Arte Flamenco is located just outside the beautiful resort of Malaga, where the best dancers of the coast gather to perform, away from the regular washed-down shows usually found in the cities. This is not something that tourists are acquainted with, so chances are you will get a full taste of the local spirit and truly immerse yourself into the undisputable raw beauty, passion and elegance of authentic flamenco dances – just the way it should be!

You might want to find yourself lost in Almeria on a sunny afternoon. Around a street corner, begins the breath-taking and fascinating Cabo de Gata, a nature park filled with the most wondrous sights and a superb biodiversity. It rolls into a wide bay area, framed by sharp volcanic rocks, and its home to majestic flamingos and other feathered wonders. It was once a little hidden fishing village, and now it is a sanctuary for many protected species of animals, as well as an endless resort of stunning views and unique landscapes. An hour spent here is worth the daytrip from anywhere on Costa del Sol!

There are also several absolutely unmissable and incredible nature parks on the southern coast of Andalucía, of which one is the Selwo Adventure Park – one of the best safari parks in all of Europe. Its home to well over 2,000 animals, many of which are protected species and part of important breeding programs. Selwo is approximately 100 hectares’ worth of jungles and savannahs, and it includes the Ravine of the Bears, the stunning Tiger Gorge and the Lion Hill. You can tell by their names what they are about, right?

Another insanely fun place to try out is Tivoli World, in Benalmadena. It has been a raging success since the 1970s and it holds a wide variety of fairground rides, outdoor theatres with live shows and themed restaurants for the entire family to enjoy. The Sea Life Centre of Benalmadena is another must-see, with an underwater walkway that offers a unique view of the elusive and beautiful marine creatures – nothing makes your blood pump faster than staring a shark in the face or feeding a stingray, for sure.

The Nerja Caves should also be on your unofficial checklist. Located two miles away from town, they were only discovered recently in 1957. They hold the world’s largest stalactite formation, along with ancient cave paintings of snakes, turtles and even shellfish dating back as far as 15,000 years. According to a recent study, it turns out that these caves were once a pit stop for Neanderthals and their slightly more advanced successors. So yes, do put the beach away for one day and go see these incredible caves – a true slice of history.

Malaga was once the home of Pablo Picasso, so it’s no wonder that the King and Queen decided to inaugurate a museum dedicated to this titanic artist, the creator of an entire new art style and an influencer for his generation and those that followed. Museo Picasso holds an impressive amount and interchanging series of the celebrated artist’s paintings, drawings, sculptures and even ceramics. You cannot lie in the sun on Costa del Sol and not get a whiff of the local art, particularly when the local art here was generated by such a grand name of the modern world.

Not many of you might be accustomed with the regional cuisine of Andalucía – a good chunk of it consists of seafood, but it is cooked in a particular way, incredibly tasty but also incredibly different from what you would normally get out of a continental European restaurant. A good example is Pepe Seafood Restaurant in Marbella; it overlooks the beautiful blue sea and it specializes in a variety of lobster, crayfish, prawn and clam dishes that are simply out of this world! The Indian City Restaurant in Benalmadena brings the authentic taste of Asia to the sunny coast of Spain – expect the most unusual and spicy recipes, with special breads and mind-numbing sauces.

Finally, the Cielito Lindo Restaurant in Nerjo serves amazing Mexican food – again, the recipes were brought all the way over from Central America, and many of them were given a Spanish touch. If this does not rattle your senses while vacationing in Costa del Sol, we do not know what else will.

Ultimately, most people come to this part of Andalucía for the abundance of sun and splendid beaches, calling for relaxation, spa treatments and pampering massages. However, there is this hidden face of Costa del Sol that simply cannot be missed – the impressive array of hidden and unusual gems described above is only a taste of what the area can surprise you with. More often than not, the local guides might be able to take you even deeper, and further enchant you with new and authentic experiences.

Algarve Uncovered

There is a reason why the Algarve is one of the most popular vacation spots in the world. With visitors from throughout Portugal, Europe and overseas, there is something for everyone in this little slice of Heaven right here on Earth.

Praia da Rocha in Portimao, Algarve
Praia da Rocha in Portimao, Algarve

Located along the southern coast of the country, the Algarve is made up of 16 municipalities and home to several hundred thousand people. With most of the cities lining the coast, there are plenty of luxurious accommodations as well as attractions that are perfect for the honeymooning couple or the family with children.

One of the best reasons to visit the region is because of the weather. With over 3,000 hours of sunshine each year as well as mild temperatures, there is a lot to like about the Algarve. The best time of the year to visit is during the summer months, but be prepared to share that same thought with several thousand other vacationers. During this season, temperatures range from 28°C (82°F) in June for highs to a warm 32°C (90°F) in August. Summer also sees the most sunshine with an average of 12 hours of sun per day. The coolest month is January with an average afternoon high of 16°C (61°F) and a low of 6°C (43°F).  Rainfall is almost nonexistent in the summer months, while December is the wettest with an average of 117mm over a 12-day period spread across the region.

Sunset along the beaches of Quarteira, AlgarveSunset along the beaches of Quarteira, Algarve

Of course, another great reason to visit is because of the beautiful beaches. While the beaches can be enjoyed year round (maybe with a jacket in the winter months), the water is only warm enough to enjoy in the summer. The warmest water is felt in August and September when sea temperatures average 21°C (70°F). However, when it does warm up, the beaches are filled with tourists enjoying the white sand, clear water and, in some cases, large waves.

The beaches in the Algarve are actually some of the prettiest in the world. Many contain amazing rock formations in addition to gorgeous views of sunrises and sunsets. One of the best beaches is Praia de Marinha. A favorite of scuba divers and snorkelers, this particular beach is also one of the regions most photographed thanks to a unique double rock formation just off shore.

Snorkelers and scuba divers will also want to take advantage of one of the world’s largest underwater artificial reefs. Opened just a few years ago, this reef located just off Portimao is a great place for divers to explore two decommissioned ships that have been sunk to provide a habitat for local fish and other creatures of the sea.

Of course, there is also plenty to do on land. One of the biggest festivals takes place in the month of August and is the Silves Medieval Festival. Lasting for several days, the narrow cobbled streets of the city of Algarve come alive with knights, mistrals and more. For those who love to see history come alive, this is an event that is not to be missed.

Another great activity is one that can’t be found anywhere else in Europe. Algarve is the only place on the continent where visitors can swim and play with dolphins. At Zoomarine Theme Park, visitors get to hop in the water and make memories that will last a lifetime.

Of course, vacationers will need to eat and drink while on holiday and the area has no shortage of some of the best restaurants in the region as well as a plethora of beach bars to enjoy while listening to music and enjoying a beverage or two. On the Rocks, Canico Bar and Restaurant and the No Solo Agua Beach Club are all some of the area’s best places to get a drink. All sit close to the beach and offer views that go on for miles. Thanks to a laidback vibe, there is no need to hurry while enjoying the atmosphere.  Additionally, many bars take advantage of the nearby sea and offer patrons some of the best fresh seafood there is the area. One of the best restaurants in the region is Solar do Farelo. With a daily menu customers always know they are getting the freshest food possible.

There is also no shortage of high-end hotels and resorts that are sure to please even the toughest costumer. Vila Vita Parc Resort and Spa, Conrad Algarve and Bella Vista Hotel and Spa are all five-star resorts that offer a wide range of activities and amenities for adults and children. Thanks to the region being a fairly young tourist destination, many of the hotels are new and modern with all the luxuries that guests will find in their own homes.

There are numerous reasons to visit the Algarve. A wonderful place to get married, there are any number of breathtaking backdrops and activities for a young couple. Families will also enjoy the fact that there are fun places to take children as well as numerous beaches to explore and outdoor adventures to be had. It is only a 3 hour flight from the UK to Faro and with such gorgeous scenery and equally perfect weather, a visit to the Algarve is not to be missed!

Gran Canaria – Luxury versus Budget Trip

The third largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, Gran Canaria is one of the “islands of eternal spring” and a gem amongst holiday resorts. The enviable climate and year-round summer-like weather make it a top destination for vacationers worldwide. It is located on the far south side of Spain, surrounded by the Central Atlantic Ocean and in close proximity of the west coast of Northern Africa. Given that it sits on the same latitude as the Sahara, Gran Canaria is much hotter than mainland Spain even in winter, but it is also blessed with a cool Canary current and some northeast trade winds.

Amadores aqua beach in Gran Canaria

This mountainous island of volcanic origin has a cluster of high central mountains that are responsible for a diversity of microclimates that compliment Gran Canaria’s generally hot and mild weather. Summer lasts from May until November, with a high average temperature known to reach 26°C during the second half of the season. Its nights are reasonably warm at 20°C on average, and the winds maintain excellent and comfortable temperatures – there are occasional spikes due to the occurrence of the dry sirocco wind, but the coastal breeze tends to compensate for the heat. The ocean temperature is always a perfect 23°C, perfect for swimming.

Winter is gentle and lasts from December until April, pleasant with cool nights. The average high temperature holds around 22°C on average, and rainfall is generally very low, but the occasional showers or damp weather can still surprise you, particularly in months like December and January. The ocean temperature is still friendly at an average of 19°C, but snow can be seen up in the mountains, where Pico de la Nieve stands tall and proud. The days are relatively shorter in winter, with up to 6 hours of sunshine.

Overall then, Gran Canaria is a little slice of heaven – its varied geography and fascinating biodiversity make it a top destination not only because of the stunning beaches, but also because of its breath-taking natural beauty, marine parks and exciting range of island activities. There is something for everyone in Gran Canaria, from deserts to tropical forests, lush palm groves and green meadows up on the mountain slopes. You will find ocean-side resorts, a buzzing nightlife, secluded and superb beaches, relaxing spas and golf courses, coral reefs to explore and a myriad of trails for hikers and climbers to enjoy. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is one of the unmissable destinations on the island, with its superb Parque de Santa Catalina, as are El Puertito, Puerto Rico, Puerto de las Nieves and Maspalomas. People from around the world come to this island for its natural beauty and diversity, and for its ability to provide both thrills and relaxation – from underwater adventures and hiking trips to laidback beach sessions with cocktails and massages.

The question that many people face when looking at this destination is what shall we go for – a luxury retreat or a budget holiday? Whichever way you go, you will get the best out of the island, and that is a fact – but there are perks and benefits to both budget scenarios.

Many vacationers prefer a luxury weekend escape in Gran Canaria, particularly on key dates like anniversaries, honeymoons or Valentine’s Day. There are plenty of 5-star hotels and mega-resorts that are always ready to accommodate those who wish to pamper themselves. The Radisson Blu Resort Gran Canaria is always a top choice, boasting splendid rooms with large balconies and stunning ocean views, outdoor swimming pools, a spa with Jacuzzi and saunas, a rooftop restaurant and poolside bar alongside a lounge, gym and tennis courts, as well as excellent golf courses nearby!

The Seaside Palm Beach in Maspalomas offers a lagoon-style swimming pool, a spa and lush tropical gardens, as well as yoga, tennis and the Maspalomas Golf Course just a short drive away. The beautiful H10 Playa Meloneras Palace features three swimming pools and a fascinating design by Antonio Gaudi, with tiled floors and a Mediterranean décor to compliment the easy access to tennis courts and the popular Playa Del Ingles. Hotel Santa Catalina found in Las Palmas is another darling of the luxury chains in Gran Canaria, offering outdoor swimming pools, stylish rooms with ocean views, a wellness centre with Jacuzzi and Turkish baths, as well as paddle tennis courts, pool bar and just a minute’s drive from popular golf courses. If you are looking for a high-end holiday, you can easily plan one in Gran Canaria – it does not lack luxury resorts and facilities, with prices ranging from £89 to £198 per night during the peak season.

There are also several amazing restaurants to try for a romantic dinner for two – the island has long been a gastronomic haven for talented chefs. Casa Montesdeoca will dazzle you with its menu, its intimate terrace and Basque flavours. La Marinera sits at the end of Las Canteras Beach and is most likely to serve the best seafood on the entire island. Restaurante Tehran is a hidden gem, bringing incredible oriental flavours to the island of Gran Canaria. In addition, for an authentic taste of Japan in an upscale and glassy atmosphere in the “Big Apple” of the island, you can always take your significant other to Kuoh 101 for fresh sushi and other far-eastern treats. A 3-course meal at either of these fine restaurants will take you north of £60 per person on average.

However, even if you are planning a trip on a tighter budget, there are plenty of excellent accommodation options. Apartamentos Catalina Park offers beautiful and comfortable self-serviced apartments for roughly £35 per night during the high season, complete with fully equipped kitchens and lounge areas. Bungalows Cordial Green Golf in Maspalomas is also a very popular choice, offering comfortable and stylish bungalows around two swimming pools and an on-site supermarket, for just £76 per night during the summer. Apartamentos Cordial Mogan Valle is located in the quaint little fishing area known as Little Venice, and sports self-catering apartments from £66 per night, including access to a splendid pool and restaurant.

Saving money by opting for a self-serviced apartment will obviously get you more in terms of activities and nightlife entertainment, if you are on a tight budget. The benefits of cooking your own meals are there, if you can live without the luxury of room service and spa pampering sessions. Beaches are all within walking distance from any accommodation option, including the stunning Playa Del Ingles, so whichever you pick, you are in for a cheap but wonderful treat – spend less by forfeiting the high end pampering, but enjoy the free access to beautiful beaches and their many little restaurants and seafood terraces. Your money will also be better spent on entrances to nature parks and marine sanctuaries, offering a chance to admire the incredible biodiversity of this island.

In fact, the island is home to many beaches and fascinating places to see. By far a favourite among both locals and tourists is Arguineguin, known for its stunning sandy beaches, bustling markets and shopping amenities, as well as its choppy waters, perfect for spirited surfers. Rogue Nublo is an interesting rock formation as tall as 80m, and a landmark of the island. Pico de las Nieves offers numerous hiking and trekking opportunities, as well as relaxing outdoor activities including walking tours of its slopes and meadows. Whatever it is you are looking for, Gran Canaria has it!

Ultimately, whether you go for the luxury holiday and pamper yourself with spa treatments and fine dining, or settle for a family hotel and home-cooked meal in favour of roaming the coastal clubs and bars at night, and beaches and nature resorts during the day, Gran Canaria is yours to enjoy. It’s probably its versatility which sets this destination apart from many other resorts around the world.

Why Visit Malta

While it may seem too difficult to get to, visiting the island nation of Malta will leave most visitors in awe of its beauty and offerings. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, the island measures a compact 27km by 14km, but packs a lot into a very small space. With a history that dates back thousands of years, the island has been influenced by a number of different cultures and civilizations that have each left a distinctive mark. Thanks to the area’s long history, there are no shortage of activities, sites and adventures to be had on the island.

Stunning view over Malta

One feature that visitors will notice immediately is the friendly nature of the locals. With a safe environment for children and adults, visitors are quick to realize that the island natives are warm, kind-hearted and always willing to lend a hand. With most locals speaking English, there are no barriers to being understood and visitors will also quickly find out that there are plenty of people willing to offer advice on where to go and what to do.

Even though Malta is a year-round destination, the most popular time to visit is during the summer months. From June to August, there is hardly any precipitation with only 5mm expected in June, no rainfall in July and just 6mm in August. On the flip side, the wettest time of the year is November and December with over 100mm of precipitation expected in both these months. Summer is also a great time to visit thanks to afternoon high temperatures averaging between 29°C-32°C (84°-90°F) and overnight lows only between 24°-27°C (75°-82°F).

In the winter, visitors will need a light jacket even though temperatures never dip below freezing. January is the coldest month with an average overnight low of 13°C (55°F) and a high of 16°C (61°F). Sunshine is always plentiful on the island any time of the year with between 7 and 14 hours of sunshine on any day. Of course, there are more sunshine hours in the summer giving more people the opportunity to catch some rays and enjoy an average water temperatures of 22°-27°C (72°-81°F).

Those traveling to Malta will have no shortage of resorts to choose from. The island is home to numerous five-star resorts including the Radisson Blu Resort and Spa, Malta Golden Sands. The hotel consists of 329 rooms, most of which offer breathtaking views of the nearby sea. Additionally, guests can enjoy multiple on-site restaurants, private beach access, free internet and much more. Corinthia Palace Hotel and Spa also offers visitors a secluded oasis of tranquility and only the best in service and care. Located within minutes of some of the island’s most popular sites, this resort will help make yours a vacation to remember.

Of course, being surrounded by water means Malta is home to beautiful beaches. The best beaches are located along the northern and western part of the island and offer guests a chance to relax or try snorkeling, scuba diving or other water sports. Mellieha Bay is the largest and most popular beach on the island. With its shallow water, it is also the perfect spot for families with young children. It’s a haven for those with an adventurous streak as there are plenty of activities such as kite surfing, windsurfing and jet skis. Other popular beaches include Golden Bay known for its snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities as well as Blue Lagoon with its white sand and crystal clear blue waters. This particular beach is popular with tourists and locals and it is advised to get a spot early in the day, especially in the summer months.

There are plenty of other sites to see in addition to those near and under the water. Thanks to a long and illustrious history, the island of Malta is dotted with sites nearly everywhere a visitor looks. Some of the most popular spots include the ancient Hal Saflieni Hypgeum. These caverns were carved out nearly 5,000 years ago. The Tarxien Temples are another prehistoric site that is not to be missed and the National Museum of Archeology is a great choice to get an overview of the history of the island and its influences. One of the nice factors about the island is that due to its compact nature, visitors don’t waste a lot of time traveling from one site to another. Many of the more popular spots make for an exciting day trip with visitors being able to return to their hotel by evening.

Despite its small size, Malta is home to some wonderful restaurants including the Mad Hatter Bar and Grill. The American food is combined with slight Asian and Caribbean flavors and offers music during the week in addition to a fun and relaxing atmosphere. For those who want some nightlife, St. Julian’s is the place to be. Full of bars, clubs, restaurants and pubs, there is always a party going on. One of the more popular spots is the Footloose Fun Bar. Patrons can dance the night away with music from the DJ and plenty of alcohol to keep the party going.

The island of Malta is one that is steeped in history, but that doesn’t get in the way of allowing visitors to have a good time. With numerous high-end restaurants and hotels, there is plenty of luxury on the island as well as good times. With much to see on land and in the ocean, a trip to Malta should be on everyone’s list!

Algarve Beaches

Making up the southernmost region in Portugal is the Algarve. Known for its beautiful beaches, lush landscapes and tropical weather, this region sees its population swell during the height of the tourist season as visitors flock to the area. In total, about 10 million people visit the region each year. However, it was not known as a popular tourist destination until the 1960’s. In the time since, the area has been completely modernized and visitors will find all the luxuries of home.

With its temperate climate, the region experiences beautiful weather throughout much of the year.  However, for those looking to experience the nearby ocean waters, it is best to visit during the summer months when sea surface temperatures have finally warmed to averages between 19°C (66°F) in June to 21°C (70°F) in both August and September. On land, temperatures never fall below the freezing mark, although January is the coolest month with average lows of 6°C (43°F) and highs of 16°C (61°F). In comparison the peak months experience temperatures between 24°C and 30°C with 12 glorious hours of sunshine per day!

Summer is also a great time to visit because the chance of rain is virtually nonexistent. January and December are the two wettest months with over 100mm of precipitation expected in the region during the last month of the year.

Stunning beaches along the Algarve

The beaches of the Algarve are one of the biggest reasons why so many people visit the region year after year. Visitors have their choice between peaceful, unspoiled coves or beaches lined with shops, restaurants and bars. Overall, there is a beach for everyone’s individual tastes.

Vacationers who are looking for a little bit of everything in a beach will enjoy Meia Praia. Located near Lagos, this is the perfect beach for families with children of all ages. While the younger children will enjoy playing in the sand, the older ones will want to try and “hang ten” on the surf that pounds just off shore. With an easy slope, the beach is also perfect for those who want to take a stroll and just enjoy the view. Good parking and numerous nearby restaurants help to complete the overall experience.

For those who are very interested in surfing, the most popular beach is Praia do Amado. Located in the western Algarve, the waves here are not to be taken lightly thanks to high surf and strong currents. However, the area is becoming more and more popular with those who aren’t looking to catch a wave. This particular beach is wild and unspoiled and an excellent spot to enjoy nature at is finest as well as search for the many colored stones that dot the beach.

On the opposite side of the Algarve is Praia Tres Irmaos. This is a lovely spot for a little bit of exploring at low tides. At that point, visitors can explore numerous beach coves and can take advantage of the scenery as well as miles of white sand. This sheltered spot is one that will provide plenty of photo opportunities to show those back home.

Snorkelers and scuba divers will want to pay a visit to Praia de Marinha. Located between Carvoeiro and Albufeira, the area is home to one of the most photographed spots in the region as well as a crystal clear sea making it easy to view the life underwater.  One of the best ways to enjoy this beach is by taking a boat trip along the coast.

Those looking for a great swimming location will appreciate Ilha de Tavira. With warm waters and uninterrupted sea views, this beach is perfect for couples or for families looking to spend some time in the water. The beach also sits across from Ria Formasa Natural Park and is accessible by ferry.

In contrast, Faro Island is accessible by a narrow bridge and offers two distinct beach experiences. Visitors are able to enjoy miles of white sand on the Atlantic side and marine packed, calmer waters on the other side.

Gale Beach is a very popular spot for families during the summer months. It is during this time that parents often take their children out to the numerous rock formations just off shore for a chance for a little exploration.  Whereas windsurfers will want to take advantage of the windy conditions at Martinhal to practice the sport. This beach is also home to great restaurants and elegant resorts like the luxury Martinhal Sagres Beach Family Hotel.

The beauty of Praia do Vau is something that all vacationers to the region should enjoy. This popular beach is usually crowded with tourists who are busy covering themselves with the area’s yellow mud that is said to be good for arthritis and a number of skin conditions.

Vacationers who just want to relax and enjoy a stroll along the beach will enjoy Praia de Falesia. With a large amount of golden sands as well as a backdrop of dramatic cliffs, this is the perfect spot to take in a romantic sunset with that special someone.

With such a lot of sunshine and warm weather available, a trip to the Algarve is clearly a good idea this summer – and if you’re a beach lover, this is definitely the place for you! The variety of beautiful beaches means you will definitely find the perfect spot for you, regardless of whether you want to swim, snorkel, surf, sunbathe or just watch the world go by sat with a cold beer in the beachside bar!

What’s the Deal with Lanzarote?

With the likes of Tenerife and Gran Canaria being the most developed and touristic of the Canary Islands strongly backed by travel agents for years, Lanzarote used to get pushed to one side when it came to top holiday destinations – but all that is changing. Thanks to its picture-perfect golden beaches more beautiful than anything the other islands have to offer, unique natural attractions you won’t see anywhere else and unparalleled water sport opportunities, Lanzarote is slowly but surely rising up through the popularity ranks and becoming one of Europe’s biggest and best holiday hotspots.

Lanzarote is the northernmost and – along with Fuerteventura – the easternmost island of the Canaries. It has a largely contrasting landscape which covers everything from arid volcanic lunar landscapes dotted with small craters and soft, sandy beaches lapped by turquoise waters to cosmopolitan cities complete with huge shopping malls and white-washed fishing villages unchanged for decades.

Despite being the least mountainous of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote has a long history of eruptions which led to most of the island being covered with lava fields. These eruptions also resulted in several remarkable lava tubes hidden underground, some of which are open to the public. Because of the dry climate and the strong, eroding winds the island’s lava fields are devoid of almost all vegetation – with the exception of several vineyards where hardy grape vines are used to produce amazing sweet white wine.

Weather

Due to its close proximity to Africa (it’s the easternmost island of the Canaries) Lanzarote is generally drier and warmer than the rest of the Canary Islands. This makes it your best call if you want clear blue skies and sunshine guaranteed for your next break. In the summer – which spans a lengthy five months in Lanzarote, from May until September – the average temperature is a balmy 24°C, with temperatures often peeking into the early 30s during August and September. With temperatures this high, it’s very important that you regularly slap on the suntan lotion, especially when the sun shines for an average of ten hours a day during summer!

Even though Lanzarote enjoys a sub-tropical climate, it only gets a tiny percentage of the rain you usually associate with such climates. Summer is the driest season of the year, so dry in fact that between June and August, the island is subject to an average of 0mm of precipitation. That’s right – not a single drop of rain falls at this time of year! As well as being the driest season, summer is also the time of year when the sea is warmest. Between June and October, the average sea temperature is 21.5°C – the perfect temperature for taking a dip.

All this weather information is in regards to Lanzarote as a whole but, like most of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote can be divided into several smaller microclimates. As is usually the case in the Canaries, the northern half of the island is cloudier and windier than the south, with an increase in rainfall which results in a greener landscape with more plants, flowers and grass. Because of the windier conditions, the north – La Santa and Famara in particular – is perfect for wind-based water-sports, such as windsurfing and kitesurfing, as well as ordinary surfing.

Southern Lanzarote is generally drier and hotter than the north, with a more reliable and stable climate. This drier, hotter climate results in a more arid and barren landscape, with significantly less greenery. Playa Blanca is the southernmost resort on the island, which – at an average of 10.5 hours each day in summer, enjoys more sunshine than anywhere else on the island. Although the winds are at their strongest in the north of Lanzarote, the consistent trade winds across the whole island mean that you can also enjoy wind-based water-sports and surfing in the south and central parts of the island, such as in Costa Teguise and Tías.

What to Do

For Families

Lanzarote is the ideal holiday destination for families because there is so much to see and do for visitors of all ages! Rancho Texas in Puerto Del Carmen provides hours upon hours of fun, with countless animal enclosures home to all kinds of exotic creatures and amazing animal shows you won’t want to miss, plus a splash zone with a mini waterpark for the kids and swimming pool for cooling off if it gets too hot. But that’s not all – there’s also a huge section of the park dedicated to the Wild West, with lively cowboy shows, themed restaurants and even pony rides for the little ones.

A few hours at the beach is always a great way to spend the day as a family and with so many stunning beaches island-wide, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Lanzarote. Playa de Papagayo is widely believed to be the best and most beautiful beach on the island and we certainly aren’t going to argue! Located just outside Playa Blanca, this small beach is made up of a crescent-shaped cove of soft golden sand naturally protected by two large rocky cliffs which flank either side. It’s thanks to these cliffs that the sea is always really calm, so you can happily let the kids play and splash about in the sea, knowing they’re totally safe.

When it comes to a family-friendly excursion with a difference, it’s tough to beat Submarine Safaris. This excursion company organises underwater trips from the marina at Puerto Calero on a high-tech submarine, with one large viewing window for every two guests. Each trip takes around one hour, during which you’ll explore the underwater volcanic landscape of Lanzarote for the chance to spy sunken shipwrecks, watch string rays being handfed just outside the submarine and admire the tropical colourful fish which live amongst the unusual geological formations.

For Thrill Seekers

If you’re not visiting Lanzarote as a family and you’re looking for some action-packed thrills, you’ll be glad to know that this island is one of the best in the Canaries for adrenaline-pumping water-sports. El Quemao on the north western coast of the island across from La Santa offers incredible surfing opportunities, with perfect tube breaks and powerful waves on days with groundswell. At this surfing hotspot, there is a series of deep fast tubes, making it perfect for expert surfers up for a tough challenge. Here the vertical descent gives way to a deep take off and, even though the beach is best known for its left wave, El Quemao also breaks to the right, creating fast hollow waves, too.

Playa de Famara on the northern coast is the best place in Lanzarote for windsurfing – so much so that the Spanish national kitesurfing championships are held there every year! You’ll find several kitesurfing schools based in small huts at this blustery beach where you can sign up for lessons, regardless of whether you’re a total beginner or if you know your way around a board. The consistent windy conditions at this beach are very reliable, so no matter when you visit, you’re guaranteed to be able to ride the waves.

For Nature Lovers

Timanfaya National Park is the most popular attraction in Lanzarote – and for good reason, too! This UNESCO World Heritage Site covers the southwestern part of the island and is made up of huge volcanoes and expanses of lava fields which blanket the land. Free demonstrations are held throughout the day during which experienced locals show you just how hot the ground is by burying hay just a metre or so underground and waiting for it to catch fire. There are several vineyards located within the national park which offer tasting sessions for visitors or, for something a bit more hands on, you can climb on the back of a camel and explore the volcanic landscape in a more relaxed way.

If small spaces don’t bother you and you’re up for an adventure, check out Cueva de Los Verdes. Located within Haria, this natural attraction is one of the most extensive and interesting lava tunnels on the planet, formed by the Corona Volcano. The complete tunnel is more than 6km long and features over 16 openings with access to various caves, two of which house the most important art, culture and tourism centres on the island – Cueva de Los Verdes and Jameos de Agua. The 1km part of the tunnel open to visitors is a truly spectacular thing to see, with a kaleidoscopic colour range adorning the walls created by natural oxidisation reactions and light reflections.

Developed by César Manrique – one of the most famous artists of Lanzarote – Jardín de Cactus is a wonderful place to enjoy a leisurely stroll. This huge cactus park covers 5,000m2 of land in Guatiza and is home to over 7,200 examples of more than 1,100 species of cactus collected from the Canary Islands, Morocco, Madagascar, Tanzania, Kenya, the US, Chile, Mexico and Peru. All the cacti are beautifully laid out, with stone paths winding throughout all the open-air exhibitions.

Where to Go

Arrecife

To see the more cosmopolitan side of Lanzarote, head for Arrecife – the island’s capital. Found in the central eastern part of the island, this city began life as a small fishing village in the 15th century, but today is has taken on a much more modern and vibrant atmosphere. Arrecife is by far the best place in Lanzarote for shopping, with the pedestrian street called Calle Léon y Castillo being full to the brim with high street stores. But that’s not all the capital has to offer. There’s also the Centro Insular de Cultura El Almacén – an art gallery, Playa del Reducto – a golden sandy beach and Castillo de San Gabriel – an ancient castle.

Puerto Del Carmen

Puerto Del Carmen, in the southern central part of Lanzarote, is the most popular holiday resort on the island, packed full of everything you could ever need for an amazing holiday. From fantastic hotels – the four-star Los Jameos Playa rates very highly on TripAdvisor – and an incredible nightlife scene – make sure you stop for cocktails at La Delicatezza Cocktail Bar – to golden sandy beaches offering all kinds of water sports and shopping centre selling it all, Puerto del Carmen is the place to go if you want to have everything within arm’s reach.

Charco Del Palo

You can take nude sunbathing to a whole new level by spending some time at Charco Del Palo, a naturist resort located in the north eastern side of the island. With the exception of inside restaurants, naturism is permitted throughout the whole of the resort, so it’s not uncommon to see naked visitors sunbathing, rambling or even shopping in the local supermarket! Although there is no sandy beach in this resort, the rocks around the coast provide the ideal conditions for tropical fish and other captivating marine life to thrive, making it a popular spot for snorkelling and scuba diving.

So what is the deal with Lanzarote? It’s one of the few holiday destinations that really does have it all! With warm and sunny spring-like weather all-year-round, an eclectic offering of attractions and activities to suit all ages, small local villages just begging to be explored and stylish resorts bursting with modern amenities – this island leaves no stone unturned and provides something for everyone, all year-round!

Summer 2016 in Tenerife

After a long, dreary and cold UK winter and spring, look forward to a warm and sunny holiday away on the island Tenerife. Part of the Canary Islands, which belong to Spain, Tenerife sits off the coast of North Africa and experiences the northeast trade winds and Canary Current. The inland portions of the island are mountainous with glorious scenery and the coasts are famous for their white or black sand beaches and cooling breezes.

During the summer months, visitors experience extremely pleasant temperatures with an average daily high of 25°C to 28°C (about 77°F to 82°F), the hottest temperatures the island ever gets. In June, July and August, the lows only drop down at night to 18°C to 20°C (around 64°F to 68°F), still very mild and a welcome respite from the hot sun during the day.

Along with amazing temperatures, guests visiting Tenerife can expect dry days with lots of sunshine, averaging 9 hours of sunshine each day. Usual rainfall during the summer is only 2 to 4 mm with only 1 day of rain per month on average. July is the both the driest and sunniest month of the year, with a mere 2 mm of rain falling over 1 day.

The summer is also a great time to test out your hand at watersports or just splash around in the crystal blue waters. The average sea temperature during the summer falls between 22°C to 23°C (about 72°F to 73°F), plenty warm enough to enjoy the water – but sea temperatures actually peak in September at 24°C.

It’s easy to get to Tenerife too, with daily flights out of London’s Gatwick and Luton airports. You typically fly into Santa Cruz de Tenerife’s two main airports, Sur Reina Sofia and Norte Los Rodeos. You can find flights to fit nearly every budget thanks to low-cost airlines like Monarch, EasyJet and Ryanair. Flights are also available on major carriers such as British Airways and Norwegian Air.

The most popular resort areas in Tenerife include Los Cristianos, Playa de las Americas and Costa Adeje, all located on the southwest corner of the island. Consistently one of the top hotels in Los Cristianos, the H10 Big Sur hotel offers a boutique atmosphere with the same amenities as large resorts. Guests are also treated to several restaurants and bars, an eighth-floor terrace with sweeping ocean views, outdoor pool area with Jacuzzi, and beauty spa and salon – so if you want to treat yourself, this may be the accommodation to consider.

In Playas de las Americans, visitors will find a slew of British restaurants, pubs and hotels, as it’s a very popular holiday spot with tourists from Great Britain. One of the most popular restaurants in the area, the Empire Modern British Restaurant and Steakhouse, serves up all the classic British dishes like fish and chips, beef wellington, steak and ale pie, and bangers and mash. At the Surfers Bar, patrons not only enjoy an amazing view of the beach and the ocean, they can also indulge in a traditional full English, Scottish or Boxers’ breakfast.

Aside from eating and sleeping, it is likely you’ll spend much of the warm summer weather in Tenerife splashing around in the gorgeous Atlantic. The Costa Adeje resort area has several diving companies to help you explore the clear blue waters surrounding the island. Blue Bottom Diving offers diving classes for beginners to advance divers to hone their skills before setting out to one of the many diving sites Costa Adeje is famous for. Diving sites include wrecked ships, walls, caves, cliffs and volcanic formations. Divers can see various underwater species including turtles, sting rays, moray eels, octopus, sharks and starfish.

Visitors who prefer to keep their heads above the water can still enjoy the warm sea temperatures while trying out water sports like jet skiing, parasailing, fly-boarding and stand-up paddle-boarding. Water Sports Tenerife rents the equipment necessary to try different water sports and also provides training for beginners and novices. The company has locations all across the island including on Playa el Duque Beach, Fañabe Beach and Las Americas Beach.

Summer is also the perfect time to get out and visit Tenerife’s best beaches. Near the town of Puerto de la Cruz, Playa Jardin combines man-made beauty with nature’s splendor. Canarian artist César Manrique was the brainchild behind the beach, which features botanical gardens and palm trees planted alongside the volcanic sand. The calm waters are ideal for swimming with children so families will love this beach and the soft sand is good for laying out and soaking up the sun. Thanks to its location near town, there are plenty of restaurants, bars and retail stores in the area to grab a bite to eat or shop, making for the perfect day-trip.

It is easy to understand then why Tenerife is so popular with families, couples and young travelers alike, but with popularity comes the need to think about booking in advance. It’s never too early to start planning a summer-sun trip to escape wintery climes – so plan ahead and let yourself daydream about the trip of a lifetime: ‘Tenerife 2016’!

Maspalomas Pride May 2016

Taking place every year in Maspalomas, the Gay Pride fiesta is now legendary amongst LGBT communities worldwide. Many couples come from all over the world for a romantic holiday and a chance to be a part of one of the most colourful, most beautiful and most inspiring parades of the contemporary world.

Maspalomas Pride is celebrating its 15th year in 2016, reason for which it has been extended to 15 days, from the 1st until the 15th of May. It’s dedicated to the LGBT community, and same-sex couples as well as supporters of marriage-equality and LGBT civil rights gather to be a part of a spectacular and flamboyant parade, modelled after the original Gay Pride Parade. The first week of the festival covers numerous fascinating cultural events, while the second week is dedicated to sheer debauchery, with live music and variety shows, open-air parties and daytime raves.

The Yumbo Centrum in Playa Del Ingles will be hosting live shows, and it’s Europe’s largest gay centre – it only made sense for them to have the honour after all! There will be exotic pool parties, such as the popular T-Dance or the Sexy Men’s Pool Party, and last year’s raging success with Wet & White might happen again due to popular demand. The Lesbian Pool Party will be another highlight of this year’s affair, and more events will be announced soon – just keep an eye on their website. For those of you who love the ocean and its deep blue waters, boat excursions and luxury cruises will be available. And last but certainly not least, the main attraction of Pride will, of course, be the main Parade, with well over 100,000 participants expected this year.

Maspalomas Pride is Europe’s biggest gay event, and it’s built itself up with every successful year, catering to LGBT communities with a selection of fun parties and cultural affairs to truly remember and celebrate their freedom and sexuality.

There are many hotels and bungalows in Maspalomas which are close to the festival’s location. Many of them are “Adults Only” and some cater exclusively to gay couples. Bohemia Suites and Spa is a 4-star resort with a breath-taking ambiance and stylish décor, offering intimate and gorgeous suites for £171 per night for couples who prefer the deluxe treatment. It features a spa with Jacuzzi and sauna, as well as two swimming pools and a fitness centre. The design is defined by terracotta and olive wood finishing, giving the impression of a genuine Thai haven of pampering and utmost luxury.

Axel Beach Maspalomas – Beach & Lounge Club sports a very modern and daring design, predominantly white with bright coloured geometric patterns in the form of tile accents. It’s less than a mile away from the sand dunes of Maspalomas and offers superb self-catering apartments from £70 per night. This semi-luxury accommodation features a stylish décor, fully equipped kitchenette and a plush lounge area to enjoy. Bungalows Artemisa Gay Men Only offers splendid and exclusive little corners of heaven for just £63 per night for couples in particular. It’s a beautiful resort – a cluster of quiet and intimate bungalows nestled around lush gardens and an outdoor pool, and it also features a pool-bar and a restaurant with both buffet and a la carte dining options.

You can obviously expect Maspalomas to come to life during the first half of May in terms of entertainment. Outside the Pride festival weeks, this is actually a quiet and relaxed resort, dedicated to intimacy and pampering rather than raunchy raving and long nights out. The 19th Hole in Meloneras is certainly a hot spot, though, a beautiful change of scenery and an absolute favourite of both locals and tourists – this is THE place to be, particularly during the summer. Paddy’s Bar and Sahara Beach Bar are two other great choices – the staff are very friendly, the prices are good, the drinks keep flowing and the atmosphere is laidback and casual, perfect for a Friday night out. No one will look at you funny if you decide to shake a leg, though!

As far as the weather is concerned, May is one of the best months to visit Gran Canaria and Maspalomas in particular. Its position on the southern coast of the island makes it a darling of cool breezes and trade winds. The sirocco is yet to be felt and the temperatures are going higher and higher into summer territory. The average temperature in May is a splendid 20°C, with nights cool at 18°C. The hotter days are expected to reach 24°C on average, and the days are quite long, with up to 11 hours of sunshine.

Chances of sun are gloriously up at 60% on average – there’s still the off-chance of showers, but rainfall is not expected to exceed the 4mm mark. The winds are very active during this time of the year, and the splendid Atlantic Ocean maintains a warm temperature of 20°C on average – perfect for swimming, deep diving and snorkelling, as well as other marine activities. In fact, the waters are quite choppy in the early morning and late afternoon, so it might not be a bad idea to try windsurfing or sailing while you’re there – of course, that is if you’re not too tired from all the amazing fun just waiting to unravel at this year’s Pride!

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