Discover a different side to Ibiza

Ibiza attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors over the summer months, flocking to the island to enjoy the glorious weather and party scene. However, the island also has much to offer during the quieter, off season times. With mild temperatures and a peaceful, down tempo pace, discover a different side to Ibiza this spring.

Discover a different side to Ibiza

Explore to coastline of Ibiza

Ibiza has a rugged and fascinating coastline, which lends itself perfectly to hiking and walking. There are many companies who offer guided walks around the island during the winter months, when the climate is perfect for long, adventurous walks. If you have the stamina, why not head to the highest point on the island, Sa Talaia to marvel at the breathtaking views of the mystical rock Es Vedra.

Explore the rugged coastline of Ibiza

Explore the rugged coastline of Ibiza

Or perhaps enjoy a less challenging walk along the beautiful beach of Ses Salines, a natural wildlife park which is home to, over 200 different species of birds and is a recognised UNESCO World Heritage site. You can choose to discover the island by yourself, or join one of the guided walks. See www.walkingibiza.com for some insider tips and an itinerary of their weekly walking tours.

Puig de Misa in Santa Eularia, Ibiza

Puig de Misa in Santa Eularia, Ibiza

Wine and Dine on Ibiza

If you are a dedicated foodie then never fear, Ibiza still has plenty to offer the discerning diner in the off season. Many bars and restaurants are open all year round, albeit some of them just at the weekends, and many offer great value deals for winter visitors. For a delightful beachside meal – head to the shores of Cala Jondal where you will find the eternally popular Yemanja restaurant, open all year round, and serving some of the best freshly caught fish to be found on the island. The gambas ajillo (garlic prawns) have to be tasted to be believed. Another favourite is the organic cafe La Paloma. Hidden away in an orange grove in the sleepy village of San Lorenzo, the menu offers an unusual combination of Italian and Israeli influences, with many of the ingredients coming directly from their own gardens. We recommend the houmous cordero (spiced minced lamb with houmous) which is served with freshly baked foccacia bread, simply delicious.

Organic Cafe Paloma on Ibiza Photo: PalomaIbiza.com

Organic Cafe Paloma on Ibiza

Shop at the flea markets on Ibiza

It’s a great time to indulge in some retail therapy here in Ibiza, especially in the New Year when many shops offer great rebajas (post Christmas sales). Ibiza Town has a great selection of stores which stay open all year round, and the tree lined streets are literally bursting with great value deals to be discovered by an intrepid shopper. Or why not head to one of the markets which run all year round, check out Las Dalias in San Carlos every Saturday for some hippy style clothes and jewellery, or head further north to the Cala Llenya second hand market which attracts hundreds of people each and every Sunday, who head there to grab a bargain and enjoy the live music in the outdoor bar area.

Las Dalias Market on Ibiza Photo: www.LasDalias.es

Las Dalias Market on Ibiza

Pamper Yourself on Ibiza

If you are seeking some R&R and a little ‘me’ time, then low season Ibiza has lots to offer. With Both Atzaro and Can Curreu rural hotels remain open all year round, so head to their spas for some great winter deals on massages, beauty treatments and yoga classes. A perfect time to spoil yourself in the beautiful surroundings of the Ibiza countryside. And why not, you are most definitely worth it!

Visit Ibiza in springtime

Visit Ibiza in springtime

If you’re searching for a place to stay in Ibiza, take a look at Ibiza Summer Villas, who offer a complete portfolio of villa rentals to suit all tastes and budgets. Rent an entire villa for yourself, your family, and your friends. Each villa exudes Mediterranean luxury living at its finest, and some boast up to 17 rooms. Ibiza Summer Villas has almost 100 gorgeous villas to choose from, with special promotions going on year-round. The Ibiza Summer Villa staff know Ibiza intimately, and can give you the best hints and tips about everything island-related.

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Family Villa Holidays on a Budget

Looking for ideas for your next family holiday? This article will give you some destination ideas that are ideal for a family villa holiday that won’t break the bank…

The ideal way to get yourself luxury family holiday accommodation at a price you can afford is to hire a big villa and share it with another family too.

Once you become a parent, you have to accept that some things will never be the same – like how you approach annual holidays. No more leaving things to chance and grabbing a last-minute deal to somewhere exotic. Now it can feel more like an exercise in strategic planning – negotiating children and adults’ holiday expectations, arranging flights that won’t break the bank, or finding enough things to keep little ones entertained on a mammoth car journey can all make the longed-for break seem too stressful to bother with.

But it is still possible to combine a bit of everything in a holiday, with enough variety to satisfy everyone – and renting a villa gives you the opportunity to indulge in a little luxury and give the kids plenty of space to run riot without other guests tut-tutting under their breath. Although the cost of hiring a villa may initially seem high, if you go for a larger one and share the cost with either extended family or friends you’ll be surprised at the value they offer. The kids have mates to play with, you have company too. And you get pool, barbecue, fantastic views and more.

Palma on Majorca

Palma on Majorca

Magic Majorca

Spain is an increasingly popular holiday destination and Majorca may be a sensible choice if you’re travelling with younger children. The largest of the Balearic Islands, Majorca has long sandy beaches and fun-filled waterparks.Aquacity claims to be one of the world’s largest water funfairs, and even has a small zoo and parrot shows to keep non-water babies happy. The Palma Aquarium is home to the deepest shark tank in Europe and holds four different species – blacktip reef, smooth hound, sand tiger and sandbar sharks. Qualified divers can jump in and swim with the sharks, should they so wish, while younger children who have tired of the marine world, can let off steam in the play area or large rooftop jungle garden.

Villas in Majorca come in many different styles, from the traditional finca or farmhouse, to the super modern, so you should find something to suit you. Sharing your holiday with friends with similarly aged children means that the kids will entertain themselves and you can share evening childcare with your friends, giving everyone a chance to have a little quality couple time too.

Villa Tomeu in Pollensa has five bedrooms and sleeps up to ten people, so will give you plenty of space in which to relax. There’s a pool, and grassy terraced areas equipped with a barbecue which are perfect for al fresco dining. Pollensa itself has several bars and restaurants if you are tempted away from the villa, and there are many beaches to explore.

Beautiful Kefalonia

With spacious gardens and barbecue areas, villas in Kefalonia may prove too tempting to leave. But if you do manage to drag yourself away, take the opportunity to visit one of the world’s most beautiful beaches – Myrtos Bay. Just remember to pack sandals as the sand stops at the waterline, and the pebbles can be painful on bare feet. Argostoli Town, Kefalonia’s capital promises a bustling town square, great shops and waterfront tavernas, so would also make a good day trip.

Fiskardo, Kefalonia, Greece

Fiskardo, Kefalonia, Greece

Villa Astria, just outside the picturesque fishing village of Fiskardo, boasts not one, but two pools and enough space to sleep ten comfortably. The smaller pool is perfect for children and there are terraced gardens as well. This villa is separated into the main building and an annexe, so is perfect for two families who want to holiday together but might enjoy a little more privacy.

Cool Corfu

Corfu offers many choices for family holidays, from bucket-and-spade to high action watersports. Head to the north of the island for shallower waters and family-friendly beaches, or the west for sandy beaches and watersports – including pedalos, paragliding, waterskiing or windsurfing.If the kids need some cultural stimulation, take a day trip to the island’s attractive capital Corfu Town which offers lots of shops for souvenir hunting, pleasant café-culture and several interesting museums including the Archeological museum which is stuffed with impressive Roman remains. Head into the interior of the island for complete away-from-it-all countryside and wonderful views out to sea.

Beautiful beaches on Corfu

Beautiful beaches on Corfu

You’re spoiled for choice with villas in Corfu. If you’re more of a modern family, with children of different ages ranging from young adults to little ones, Triton House in AghiosStefanos may provide the solution. A separate guest house with twin beds would provide older teens with the privacy they seek, while being close enough to enjoy the benefits of a larger villa – including the swimming pool and covered terrace to make the most of those balmy days. AghiosStefanos has bars and a busy harbour with yachts – so get your sailing shoes on and make the most of this seaside holiday.

My thanks for this article, written by Belinda Weber on behalf of luxury villa holidays specialist Meon Villas. All the villas mentioned above can be found on their website: www.meonvillas.co.uk

Useful links

Meon Villas – the luxury villa holidays specialist
Aqualand water park on Majorca
Palma Aquarium on Majorca

Photo credits: Palma on Majorca by Piutus, Fiscardo, Kefalonia, Greece by sisaphus, Beach on Corfu by mickpix

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read more travel articles at Travel Blog Home

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Walking in springtime in Mallorca

My guest post today from Nick of Villa Parade highlights that spring is one of the best times to visit the island of Mallorca, especially if you enjoy walking as a way to explore the beautiful scenery of this island and get away from the crowded tourist spots.

I find that spring can be the ideal time to visit the Med, as the weather is slightly cooler and there aren’t as many tourists as the high season, so it’s an excellent opportunity to explore. There are great range of activities in The Balearics to choose from. I’ve been on many of Mallorca’s walking trails, and with the Almond blossom in bloom throughout March, it’s a really beautiful time to see the island.

Almond blossom in Mallorca

Almond blossom in Mallorca

I also hear from many people who go to Mallorca in the spring because of its cycling routes, often used in Triathlon training, as well as from those who love wildlife and travel to spot the island’s famous Eleonora’s falcon.

One of my favourite walking routes is trekking up from Alaro to Castell d’Alaró. It takes about two hours and you need to follow signs from the PM210 to the peaceful valley of Orient. The walk takes you through olive groves climbing up to the plateau, with views of the Puig D’Alaro, a rocky outcrop with an old Moorish castle at the top. It’s worth the effort to see the beautiful views over the sea from the summit and to work up an appetite for the famous lamb dish in the Es Verger restaurant, renowned for its red wines, on the way back down.

Castell d’Alaro in Mallorca

Castell d’Alaro in Mallorca

There’s also a beautiful Mallorquin sunset walk from Roca Blanca, starting from PM-221 Formentor Road, to the peak of Fumat which shows the Formentor Peninsula, the North Eastern tip of Mallorca. at its best. A friend recommended this route to me it’s perfect if you’re looking for a bit of an adventure and you can picnic at the peak and visit the old lighthouse on the way down and have a dip in Cala Figuera. The walk is about 8km and finishes with a sunset view of Formentor’s most famous beach, Cala Formentor from Albercuitx Watchtower.

The bay at Cala Figuera, Mallorca

The bay at Cala Figuera, Mallorca

I’d love to from anyone who’s got any other tips on exploring Mallorca, especially walks that you’ve enjoyed on this beautiful island.

Many thanks for this guest post to Nick at Villa Parade who offer exclusive villas and holiday apartments throughout the Mediterranean, including Mallorca.

Photo credits: Almond Blossom by lightbrigade,  Castell d’Alaro by benjami,  Cala Figuera by Cayetano on flickr.

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Cezar Manrique and the volcanic island of Lanzarote

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