Spanish package holidays have been a firm favourite of Europeans for more than 50 years, with many going to tried-and-tested destinations such as the Costa del Sol and Costa Brava. But what if you’re looking for a Spanish beach holiday somewhere new? Well, Spain has plenty of fantastic beach resorts you’ve probably never heard of, so we’ve unveiled five of the best destinations off the beaten track for you to consider.
The beach resorts in the far south of the country may be less well-known than those on the Mediterranean side of Spain, but they boast many more untouched beaches, including the spectacular Zahara de los Atunes beach, which stretches for five miles from the picturesque fishing village of the same name. The beach is popular for its water sports and makes an excellent family-friendly destination for those looking for all the trappings of a beach holiday but without the crowds. There are no high-rise hotels, giving the area a more intimate, friendly feel.
The Cíes Islands, Galicia
The little-known Cíes Islands in the north-west coast of Spain is a real find. With white-sand beaches that glisten in the sunshine thanks to tiny particles of quartz and waters of the clearest blue, it’s no wonder these islands are known as the ‘Galician Seychelles’. The 1,200m long Playa de Rodas, with its natural lagoon, sugar-like sand and turquoise waters, is beautiful. It doesn’t get much more off the beaten track than the beaches of the The Cíes Islands, accessible only by ferry, and with no hotels and only campsites available, you can live like Robinson Crusoe, if only for a few days.
Es Pujols, Formentera
On the tiny Balearic island of Formentera is the resort of Es Pujols. The one resort on the island, it provides a slower pace of life for those uninterested in the sights and sounds of its boisterous neighbour Ibiza. During the day, visitors can chill out on one of two white-sand beaches, while in the evening raise the tempo at one of the resort’s trendy nightspots. Es Pujols may be small, but it has everything a holidaymaker could want, from sunbathing and water sports to great restaurants and nightlife.
Hidden away in the province of Alicante is the small whitewashed town of Altea. It’s just a 20-minute drive from glitzy Benidorm but couldn’t be more different. Here you can experience traditional Spain in all its glory as you wander along the cobbled streets of the old town before stopping off at one of the many traditional tapas bars for a bite to eat. Visit the exquisitely decorated Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Consuelo church before finishing your day soaking up the sun at one of the many beaches dotted around the Altea area.
Punta Umbria, Huelva
For unspoiled coastline head to Punta Umbria in the Spanish province of Huelva. There you’ll find a number of spectacular beaches, including the urbanised beach of Playa de Punta Umbria, which offers plenty of peace and quiet and escape from the crowds while still providing plenty of amenities to keep you and the family fed and watered. Be sure to take time out to visit the Paraje Natural de las Marismas del Odiel, a protected area of wetland where you can take long walks and enjoy the sights of spoonbills, loons, cormorants and flamingos.
Now that you know about these off the beaten track destinations, why not try something a little bit different for your next beach holiday to Spain?
Visiting the Edinburgh Dungeons – Review and Giveaway
Check out our free giveaway of a family pass and review of the super spooky Edinburgh Dungeons.
Edinburgh Dungeons Review
If you have time to kill after spending 48 hours in Edinburgh and have encountered the typical wet Scottish weather, it might be worthwhile visiting the Edinburgh Dungeons. The Dungeons were not high on our list of things to do, but one drizzly summer afternoon, we decided to head along and check out what the fuss was all about.
Located in the heart of the capital near Waverley Train station, the Edinburgh Dungeons are conveniently located so that you can tick it off your list of things to do after visiting some of the other sights in the city center as well.
The attraction is run as a tour with groups of around 40 people lasting just over an hour. All the characters and guides are dressed in period costumes and play their roles very well. We were nearly the last ones to enter the first room, which is set out like a mock courtroom, and so, of course, we had the front row seats.
Sure enough, Adela was picked out by the “judge” who made her plead guilty to her crime of dancing atop Arthur’s Seat naked. It annoys me when you visit a place like this which is all about crowd interaction, and everyone is too scared to speak up or laugh. So make sure you get involved just like we did.
All the hallways are very dimly lit, and you spend the entire hour waiting for someone to jump out and scare the bejesus out of you, which does happen from time to time. I am not sure how some of the kids on our tour handled it because even I was afraid!
You are ushered into various rooms you are given an insight into what life was like in Scotland a few hundred years ago. Including the different torture devices used, William Wallace’s beheading, meeting Sawney Bean’s family of cannibals and watching a dissection occur.
Our favorite was saved to last when we went on the “Drop Ride to Doom!” Winched up several meters to the hangman’s noose, you are dropped into the pitch blackness to answer for your crimes. It makes for some classic photos they take just as you are released.
Disclaimer: We were provided with two tickets to the Edinburgh Dungeons, but as always, our thoughts and comments are our own.
10 Dream Holiday Destinations For Couples
Exploring new and exciting places with the person you love provides the most incredible life experiences you could ever ask for. However, while the right companion is the most critical factor, there is no doubt that the choice of destination can have a meaningful impact too.
No two couples are the same, so finding a destination that satisfies your requirements is critical. Ten perfect goals catered to different personalities, tastes, and budgets.
1| London, England
London is one of the greatest cities on the planet and is visited by millions every year. First and foremost, there are many things to see and do in London. As a tourist, though, it’s even more exciting to know that many of those attractions are near each other. The less time you spend traveling as a couple, the more time you can enjoy your break in the city.
While the attractions themselves will appeal to all, many are particularly suited to couples. Finding the romance with a walk along the Southbank, a river cruise, or meander through Hyde Park. Irrespective of the time of year you choose to visit, London is waiting to be explored by couples.
The multicultural DNA of the city ensures that finding food and entertainment that’s to your taste should be easy too.
2| The Seven Seas
Taking a cruise is a bucket list item for everyone. However, taking a cruise with your lover can take this incredible experience to new heights. After all, there’s nothing quite like looking out across the water. Sunrises and sunsets are particularly romantic.
Moreover, this is the perfect way to explore multiple locations and countries in a short space of time. Given that synching up your holiday time can often be very difficult, this opportunity to squeeze more into the break is beautiful indeed.
3| The Maldives
If the idea of getting away from it all to enjoy a short break of private luxury appeals, Maldives is ideal. Sun, sea, and sand are guaranteed, while the islands provide a slice of the excellent life unlike any place on earth. You’ve almost certainly seen pictures and videos. Even those images fail to do it justice.
The quiet is the perfect way to break away from the hectic nature of modern life. The food and drink are exceptional too. Combining this trip with visits to neighboring destinations such as Sri Lanka is also very possible. You will love it. This is a trendy destination for married couples, including those on their honeymoon.
This is paradise. And there’s no better way to enjoy it than with your significant other.
4| Miami, Florida
The United States of America is home to many couple-friendly destinations. Miami, Florida, offers a little bit of everything. From the Everglades to Ocean Drive, every excursion is one that you’ll cherish forever. This is the ultimate holiday destination in the USA.
There are some genuinely excellent short-term rental opportunities on Airbnb too. Better still, when you travel at the right time of the year, great weather will be virtually guaranteed. If you stay a little longer, trips to Orlando’s many theme parks can take the adventures to a new level.
5| Paris, France
The city of love is one of the top destinations on vacation wish lists of couples around the world. Therefore, it should be on the bucket list if you’ve yet to go. Not only is it one of those things that every couple should do. More importantly, it is a romantic city blessed with great food, stunning backdrops, and cultural significance at every turn.
Paris is blessed with many attractions that everyone should see at least once. The Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and Louvre are all significant sights. Meanwhile, Notre Dame will be a must-see after it is refurbished. The gothic architecture is also supported by a tourist-friendly city with street artists and performances. The public is very welcoming too.
The romantic venues are ideal for lovers while it’s also a great choice of venue for a proposal.
6| Riviera Maya, Mexico
Several items will be on the checklist when taking a romantic trip with your partner. If spending time in a venue exclusive to adults, saving you from screaming kids, Riviera Maya in Mexico is ideal. Many of the popular destinations’ top hotels offer this feature.
A few relaxed days can be coupled with a trip to Chichen Itza. You can take a long-haul holiday to learn how much a private jet costs to fly. Get it right, and you’ll be set for the trip of a lifetime. Seeing a Wonder of the World with your lover is a memorable experience.
Iceland is a small country but with a big reputation. It is a welcoming destination for solo travelers, couples, and groups alike. The combination of natural beauty, friendly locals, and weather are particularly suited to a romantic holiday. This is especially true when you cozy up in a hotel pod under the stars.
The small island country boasts some truly stunning sceneries and natural features. From visiting the blue lagoons to seeing the northern lights, the experiences gained in Iceland are unique. The romantic backdrops are supported by accommodation facilities that support those sentiments. A week should be long enough to explore the island nation in style.
Frankly, every couple should visit at least once in their lifetime. It’s too beautiful to miss out.
8| Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Amsterdam is known for its liberal approach to sex and drugs. However, it offers so much more. Its culture is heavily influenced by music, fashion, and sport. Meanwhile, the canals and stunning architecture provide a romantic setting for couples, especially at mealtimes.
The country’s small size means that you can easily explore other places like Eindhoven, Groningen, and Rotterdam. Even if you stay in the capital city, boredom isn’t an option. Whether you want to visit the red light district, Amsterdam has plenty for couples to enjoy.
9| Kho Phangan, Thailand
Thailand is another destination that is known for liberal thoughts. While there are many beautiful places to explore across the country, Kho Phangan is one best. You can live and explore the area at a pace that suits you. So whether you’re a couple that loves the fast life or prefers a calmer vacation, this destination is ideal for starting any trip to Asia.
A quick search of things to do in Kho Phangan will open your eyes to many different ideas. While you could undoubtedly tour the whole of Thailand, this region alone will have more than enough to keep you satisfied for the duration of your stay. Exploring by foot or bicycle is very fun, while the fact that many people don’t even know about this hidden gem is vital to remember.
Whether it’s a solo destination or part of an Asian tour, this is a beautiful part of the world to visit.
The island is full of hundreds of options for accommodation, but if you’re looking for a great Koh Phangan hostel, you should check out Mad Monkey Koh Phangan.
Life is about creating magical memories with the people you love. While traveling the globe is a great way to celebrate this, simply spending time together is the greatest gift. Modern life encourages couples to forget this, but taking time off for a staycation will change this.
By exploring the local attractions, you can rediscover a love of your hometown and your partner. It’s cheaper, involves less travel, and can genuinely promote a greater appreciation of each other. Best of all, minimal planning other than booking time off of work is required.
Basic Arabic Words for Travel to Egypt
Use our quick language guide to learn the key basic Arabic words that we used when travelling through Egypt and the Middle East.
We knew very little about the Egyptian language before we visited earlier this year. All we knew was that they spoke Arabic. And to be honest, to my untrained and ignorant eyes, the written Arabic language looks a lot like squiggly lines.
We are not talking about ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics either, which would make me feel like an idiot if I had to translate them!
Essential Arabic Words To Get By In Egypt
We always pride ourselves on learning a few essential words and phrases to help us communicate when traveling in foreign countries. The locals always seem to appreciate it, and it makes us feel as if we are immersing ourselves in the culture, which is why we love to travel.
So whether you are just visiting the numerous Red Sea all-inclusive vacations or the Great Pyramids of Giza, use our list of essential Arabic words and phrases below to help you out on your next travel adventure through Egypt and the Middle East.
Keep in mind that there are loads of different ways to greet someone or be polite, etc. But by using the essential Arabic words below daily when strolling through the markets or stopping to eat Egyptian street food.
Essential Arabic Words and Phrases
Marhaba = Hello.
Shukran = Thank you (although we usually used “la shukran,” which is no “thank you” when being offered another 100 camels for Adela).
Tatakallam ‘English? = Do you speak English?
Ya-Allah = Let’s go.
Naam = Yes.
Min fad like = Please.
Kam? = How much?
Afwan = Excuse me.
Ilal-liqa = I’ll see you later.
‘Ayna… = Where is…
…al-Hammaam? = …the rest room?
WaaHid = One
‘Ithnayn = Two
Thalaatha = Three
‘Arbaxa = Four
Khamsa = Five
As always practice makes perfect and there is no easier way to learn a language than trying it out in every day situations so don’t be afraid to have a go. Your pronunciation might be a bit off the first few times but like we said above, most locals will appreciate you trying and correct you.
Reader question: Do you have any tips or additional words that we didn’t include that you think we should?
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
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