Tarragona, Spain – A beautiful city to visit on Costa Dorada

Tarragona, Spain

– A beautiful city to visit on Costa Dorada

Tarragona in Spain

Lying on the coast atop a high hill, Tarragona is a charming city with a historical center.

There are remains of a Roman wall which formerly surrounded the town.

With its historic center, lively restaurants, beaches and interesting districts to explore, Tarragona is certainly a city worth spending a few days.

Nearby there are walking tracks, more beaches and other natural attractions.


What to see and do in Tarragona


Historic Center

In 2000, UNESCO declared it a “World Heritage City”.

As you stroll around the old town, you’ll wander along the delightful Ramblas and discover the charming Placas (squares).

In the heart of the historic center, you’ll find the Cathedral of Tarragona.

This amazing structure has a mix of styles from Gothic to Romantic.

Today it houses the most important collection of tapestries in Europe.

The Roman Amphitheater dates back to B.C. and standing there you can sense the gladiators and executions of a by-gone era.

The theater had the capacity to seat around 13,000 spectators, and it’s now an open air monument.



el Serallo Tarragona

El Serallo

El Serallo by the port is the original fishing village from which the modern city of Tarragona grew.

It has retained its charm from yesteryear and is a lovely place to stroll around and soak up the atmosphere.

Servings of fresh local fish are the order of the day at the local restaurants.



Mediterranean Balcony

At the southern end of the tree-lined La Rambla Nova (New Avenue), you’ll come out at the Balcó del Mediterráni (Mediterranean Balcony).

From this point high above the beach, you have one of the best views looking out over the Mediterranean Sea.

It’s a place the locals go to “tocar ferro” – touch iron – of the beautiful railings of the balcony built in the late 1800s.

From here you can follow one of the lovely promenades down to the beach.



Restaurants

Placa de la Font is a filled with lively restaurants.

Many of which are housed in historic buildings.

Cappuccino Restaurant is an experience not to be missed.

Offering great service and a breathtaking atmosphere, the prices are extremely reasonable.

The menu features authentic Catalan home-cooking as well as Italian dishes.

And make sure you indulge in a locally produced Tarragona wine.

Beaches

The Costa Dorada is well-known for its fine white sandy beaches, clear water and gentle surf.

The beach in Tarragona is called Platje del Miracle and is a lovely stretch of beach 500 meters long.

Further afield are many more delightful beaches which you can read more about here.



How to get to Tarragona

Tarragona is situated on the Costa Dorada, approximately 100 kms of Barcelona.

Barcelona is the closest international airport, but Reus Airport, servicing charter flights and low-cost airlines, is just 7 kms from Tarragona.

The journey from Barcelona to Tarragona takes just over an hour by car.

It can also easily be reached by train or bus.

The train journey is just under an hour, while the bus takes over an hour and a half.

You can also arrive by sea as Tarragona has a large port that is big enough to accommodate cruise ships.

Tarragona on Google maps



Things to do around Tarragona

Just outside of Tarragona are the ruins of the former 25-kilometer long Ferreres Aqueduct, or Devil’s Bridge as it is colloquially known.

This UNESCO World Heritage monument, is located in the Eco Historic Park of Tarragona.

The nearby town of Reus was the birth place of Gaudi and now houses the Gaudi Center which is dedicated to the memory of Spain’s most famous architect and his world-famous works.

PortAventura World is a major theme park located near the seaside town Salou.



Where to stay – Hotel-tips



A step back in time

Hotel Placa de la Font Tarragona

Hotel Placa De La Font is situated right in the historic centre, in front of all restaurants at Placa de la Font, and is only a few minutes walk to the beach.



Sea view

Lounge by the pool or stroll to the beach, when you stay at Hotel Astari in Tarragona.



More options

Tarragona and Costa Dorada.

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Paris Attractions, tours and sightseeings

Paris Attractions, tours and sightseeings

Paris attractions

When we think of Paris attractions, there’s a major attraction to come to mind – the Eiffel Tower !

But, there’s so much more to the City of Light than just this historic landmark.

Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Elysees, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Palace of Versailles, the Pantheon, and Sacre Coeur, to name just a few.

Then there are the museums and galleries, first and foremost of which is The Louvre, but if you have the time there are many others to visit too.

For some visitors Paris is just a wonderful place to soak in the Parisian atmosphere.

Versailles_Palace

The Palace of Versailles

From one beautiful piece of architecture to another – The Palace of Versailles is an amazing place, and although it’s not within the city centre you should definitely try to find time to visit it.

When the palace was built, Versailles was just a small country village, set some distance from the heart of Paris. Today, following years of the city growing and growing, Versailles is now a suburb, about 20 kilometres from the city centre.

This vast palace has a floor area of 67,000 square metres and a total of 2,300 rooms. It was the centre of political power between 1682 and 1789 when Louis XIV decided to move out of the city.

The Royal Family lived there just over one hundred years until the beginning of the French Revolution when they had to return to Paris.

Today although it is a major tourist attraction the palace is still used for official events. It’s also a major museum with a collection of over 6,000 paintings, 5,000+ objets d’art and furniture, more than 2,000 sculptures, and over 15,000 engravings.

Website: chateauversailles.fr

Check tours including the palace


Paris Attractions, tours and sightseeings - Eiffel_Tower

The Eiffel Tower

Named after its engineer, Gustav Eiffel, the tower was built in 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair.

It was only intended as a temporary structure and almost faced demolition in the years after the World’s Fair because it, ironically, wasn’t very popular!

Only the fact that it was useful as a communications tower saved it from destruction, and today it is one o the most iconic landmarks in the world and the most visited paid-for attraction in the world with over 7 million visitors per year.

Climbing, or riding the elevator to the top is something that every visitor to Paris must do, but be prepared for a long wait.

Queues can be several hours long during the busiest times but it’s worth the wait!

The tower stands 324 metres high and has three levels – the highest can only be reached by elevator, but you can get to the other two by stairs.

There are restaurants on both the second and third levels and these make an absolutely memorable place to enjoy a meal while visiting the city.

Website: toureiffel.paris

Check tours including The Eiffel Tower


Catacombs

The Catacombs of Paris

This attraction is not for anyone who is afraid of dark and confined spaces.

It’s also a little creepy, so may not be suitable for younger children.

The Catacombs attract thousands of visitors every year though, and have actually been a tourist attraction since the late 18th century.

Once stone mines under the streets of Paris, the abandoned tunnels were seen as a good place to keep the remains of several million skeletons when the city’s cemeteries became overcrowded.

Moving remains to crypts underground sounds like a terrible thing to do, but the tunnels were officially consecrated and the remains were very neatly stacked, as you’ll see from the rows and rows of skulls and other bones.

The tunnels stretch for miles but as is often the case only a small portion are open to the public due to safety concerns.

Still, the sections that are open are supposedly perfectly safe, and although this is a macabre attraction it’s popular all the same.

Website: catacombes.paris.fr

Check tours including the Catacombs

the_louvre_paris

The Louvre

Musee du Louvre is the foremost museum in Paris.

In fact, the Louvre is one of the world’s largest museums and one of the best known and most visited museum in the world.

It takes up a floor area almost as big as the Palace of Versailles.

It started as a fortress that was built in the late 12th century.

Not much remains of that original building, and there have been numerous additions to it over the years.

It was extended to serve as the Louvre Palace, but when Louis XIV decided to move to Versailles the Louvre then began its longstanding job as a place to house and display the royal collection.

It officially became a museum during the French Revolution, and opened in 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings.

The collection has grown since then and now has over 380,000 objects, and 35,000 works of art, all set over eight different departments.

Because The Louvre is so large you cannot possibly hope to see it all in one day, so either plan to visit on several different days, or plan in advance which sections of the museum you’d most like to see.

They include Egyptian Antiquities, Near Eastern Antiquities, Greek Etruscan and Roman, Islamic Art, Sculpture, Decorative Arts, Painting, and Prints and Drawings.

Website: louvre.fr

Check tours including Louvre


arc_triomphe

Arc de Triomphe is also among the most famous landmarks

It honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars and underneath is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.

It’s difficult to conceive how large this triumphal arch is until you actually stand up close to it.

There’s a viewing deck inside, and the arch is so wide that a biplane was famously flown through it shortly after the end of World War I.

Arc de Triomphe is at one end of Paris’s most famous street, the Champs-Elysees, which also is one of Paris attractions.

It stretches 2 kilometers right through the 8th arrondissement and the most exclusive and expensive part of the city.

Website: paris-arc-de-triomphe.fr

Check tours including Arc de Triomphe


notre_dame

Notre Dame de Paris

It may not be the prettiest cathedral in the world, but after a second glance this church, completed in 1345, actually holds a great deal of beauty.

It is one of the world’s most famous cathedrals for sure, thanks in large part to the efforts of author Victor Hugo and his novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.

Because of the success of Hugo’s novel, a major restoration project was started that actually gave the cathedral much of its present appearance.

The novel is said to have led to the popularity of Gothic Revival architecture in France, so the novel really is an important part of the culture of the city.

When visiting Notre-Dame be sure to go inside to see the beautiful stained glass and other architectural elements.

You should also venture down into the crypts where you can see snapshots of the long history of Paris.

Historical ruins were discovered that go right back to the founding of the city in Roman times and are really quite fascinating to see.

Website: notredamedeparis.fr

Check tours including Notre Dame

sacre coeur

Sacre-Coeur and Montmarte

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Paris, more commonly known as Sacre-Coeur, is probably the second most famous church in Paris.

This is a church that is stunningly beautiful from the outside, and has quite an amazing interior too.

The striking white of the façade, and the fact that this church stands on the highest point in the city, makes this a major landmark, and definitely one that you should travel to see.

Perched high on Montmarte the climb up to Sacre-Coeur can be a little challenging, but it’s well worth it when you see the views from here.

Thus Roman Catholic minor basilica was built between 1875 and 1914, and was consecrated following the war, in 1919.

Montmarte is a picturesque place to stroll along the winding cobbled streets. There are often artists and markets heree and you also find the yearly wine harvest festival Fête des Vendanges de Montmartre in October

Website: http://www.sacre-coeur-montmartre.com

Check tours including Sacre-Coeur and Montmarte
Tours and sightseeings in Paris

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Wellness and Spa on Rugen

Wellness and Spa on Rugen

Rugen is a popular destination for spa and wellness. All beach resorts have high-quality, beautiful and luxurious spa facilities.

The prices are relatively cheap, given the high standards and service levels.


spa rugen

Kurhaus Binz, with exciting history

Kurhaus Binz is a widely known and famous spa hotel in Binz, and the most popular according to visitors’ own reviews.

They celebrated 100 years in 2008, and have had many German politicians and so-called upper class people staying here throughout history.

The first official opening was in 1890 when the empress was among the first guests.

Unfortunately a fire destroyed parts of Kurhaus in 1906 but it was quickly rebuilt over the next two years and opened again in 1908.

In the 1920s it was the site of glamorous upper-class events, while after World War II it served as a place of convalescing for the East German authorities and organizations.

When the Wall fell in 1990 it allowed work to begin on restoring Binz to the fantastic seaside resort it once was.

kurhaus_binz

Kurhaus Binz was completely restored in 2001, modernized, and slightly expanded, and could be reopened as a spa hotel.

Then in 2005 the hotel was awarded the world’s best tourist facility, issued by guests via TUI Holly.

More pictures, information / booking here >>



More Spa Hotels

Vier Jahreszeiten, Binz
Centrally located in Binz, yet close to the beach promenade, Vier Jahreszeiten offers a sauna, fitness centre, solarium, spa and wellness centre, massage, Turkish / Steam Bath, Hammam and indoor pool.

Cliff Hotel Rugen, Sellin
Cliff Hotel Rugen is a charming and luxurious hotel in Sellin, including sauna, solarium, spa and wellness centre, and indoor pool.

Hanseatic Rugen, Göhren
Set high up with beautiful views, Hanseatic Rugen is in a very quiet and protected area. Perfect if you are looking for peace and quiet. It has a sauna, fitness centre, solarium, spa and wellness centre with massage and indoor pool.

Some of the best spa hotels in Binz

Dorint Strand Hotel Binz

dorint_binz_spa_rugen

Luxurious and beautifully situated on the promenade of Binz is the Dorint Strand Hotel. It has a fitness centre and spa area with massage and indoor pool, a restaurant, Olivio, which serves Mediterranean specialties.

Read more / Book now >>

Hotel Am Meer & Spa, Binz

spa_hotelammeer_rugen

Located right on the promenade and sandy beach in Binz.
Hotel Am Meer & Spa features a sauna, inhalation and steam bath, rhassoul and hammam, as well as a small swimming pool and a range of beauty and massage treatments.

There are bright attractive rooms and a really good restaurant. When we were there, it was also possible to take champagne for breakfast.

Read more / Book now >>

More in Sellin and Göhren

Kurhaus Sellin

kurhaus_sellin_rugen

According to most, Kurhaus Sellin is the best hotel in Sellin.

It has a great location and is just a staircase away from the beautiful beach and pier with its romantic restaurant.

This is a very nice place, and you can enjoy really good food in the cozy restaurant.

Read more / Book now >>

Hotel Bernstein, Sellin
Situated high with a stunning view over the water and Sellin beach. It has a spa, wellness center, massage, Turkish bath / steam room and indoor pool.

Hotel Nordperd, Göhren
Beautiful and comfortable hotel in Göhren with spa that includes sauna, solarium, massage, Turkish / Steam Bath, and an indoor swimming pool, outside there is also a tennis court.



More from Rugen and Germany

Nature Reserve Granitz and the Hunting Lodge

Nature Reserve Granitz and the Hunting Lodge

Granitz on Rugen

From Binz you can easily find the trails going through the magnificent beech forest and natural reserve Granitz.

You can walk the long way around which is 7 km (4 miles) to the most visited tourist destination in Rugen, Granitz Hunting Lodge (Das Jagdschloss).

There is also a shorter route from Binz of about 3 km (1.8 miles), or you may go with the little street-train that runs continuously between Binz and the castle.

Hunting Castle Expressen’s website:  www.jagdschlossexpress.de



jaktslottet1

History of Granitz Hunting Lodge

The lodge was built between 1837 and 1851 to the orders of Wilhelm Malte I, Duke of Putbus, and was constructed by builder Johann Gottfried Mayer Stein from Berlin.

The castle was first opened to the public in 1900 by the family and is today one of the biggest tourist attractions in Rügen.

It is definitely the most popular castle in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Inside the castle there is lots to see including preserved interiors from the 19th century and a collection of horns from animals around the world.


Larger map

The cozy restaurant …

keller2
In the basement is a nice and cozy restaurant, plus there’s an outdoor terrace that seems to be open only in high season and during good weather.

The tower

The Tower is one of the highlights of Granitz Hunting Lodge.

Take the stairs up and enjoy the panoramic views from 144 meters above sea level.

The stairs can be difficult and not recommended to try if you have a fear of heights.



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Charming Putbus on Rugen Island, Germany

Putbus on Rugen Island in Germany

Putbus

Putbus, with its unique character, is a nice outing for a change from the beach resorts on the island of Rugen.

There are white houses and a nice park that offers a lot of history.

As you wander around be sure to read the interesting signs on the houses that tell you about that building’s history.

There’s actually something on nearly every house.

wm


Larger map

Prince Wilhelm Malte and Putbus

The city looks as it does thanks to Wilhelm Malte, the Prince of Putbus, who lived 1783 – 1854.
He was promoted to governor of Swedish Pomerania 1813 by King Karl XIV Johan Bernadotte.

Wilhelm Malte built a castle in Putbus and he also had the famous Hunting Lodge in Granitz  in Granitz built too. However, Castle Putbus was destroyed by the East German regime after World War II.

In the park lies Castle Church which has an exhibition of pictures and stories about the castle, showing you what it once was like. The park contains the statue of Prince Wilhelm Malte of Putbus facing the place where his palace once stood.

Outside the church there are often some deer that make for a nice attraction.





Things to do on Rugen


More from Rugen and Germany

Camping on Rugen Island, Germany

Camping on Rugen Island in Germany

Camping on Rugen Island

camping rugen

Camping Meier

A good camping is located, in an ideal location, between Binz and Prora

Not far from Sassnitz, so if you come by ferry you don’t need to go too far on the narrow roads of Rügen.

Link to homepage; Camping Meier

camping3

Camping Oase Thiessow

Another large camp lies at the bottom of the peninsula Mönchgut outside the small village Thiessow.

Nicely situated along the long beach which also has a large naturrist department (labeled FFK).

Link to webpage: campingplatz-thiessow.de


Camping map

Camping sites on Rügen on a map. Hover your cursor over the red dots to get the name and the URL to the campsite. Alternatively, you can also see other camps in Germany and Europe by zooming or enlarge the map.


View larger map




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Logroño Art Festival “Actual” in January

Logroño Art Festival

2 – 7 January 2018



Logrono Art Festival “Actual”

Logroño is hosting a big art festival, called ACTUAL which is held in January.

Music, painting and sculpture are the three main parts of the week long festival.

Music

Music is mainly rock and pop.

The participating bands are competing with each other on three consecutive days.

The venue for the music performers is Logrono’s Rioja Cultural Center and ticket prices vary.

Sculpture and Painting

The venue for temporary sculpture and painting is the Sports Stadium of Logroño.

There you also can watch a mini film festival.



More about Logrono

Situated on the shore of the river Ebro, Logrono is the capital of the La Rioja province in Spain.

Old historic town

Have a look at the sights in the historical part of Logroño.

Walk along the Ebro river and see the many baroque and Gothic buildings which bear witness to Logroño’s past.

Eat some “Pinxos”

Sustenance is also guaranteed in Logroño which was the gastronomic capital of Spain in 2012.

Go to Calle Laurel and Calle San Juan where you will find one tapas bar after another.

Here the famous Spanish snacks are not called tapas but pinxos.

They are small slices of bread heaped with the most delicious and sometimes extravagant toppings.

Eat enough, washed down with the famous Rioja red wine, and you won’t need a sit down meal, but will be ready to enjoy the art festival all day and all night.



Rioja Wine Festival

The famous Rioja wines comes from this region, and Logroño has a big celebration of the Rioja Wine Harvest Festival in September every year.



Places to stay and hotel tips

Hotel los Bracos is situated in the center of Logroño, very close to the famous Calle Laurel and cathedral and it features air conditioned rooms that have a classic style décor and free WiFi Internet.

loc bracos

This hotel serves a breakfast buffet daily and its restaurant is in the sign of Riojan cuisine with oriental touches.

Because of the fact that this city is in the center of many vineyards, even if you come before or after Rioja Wine Harvest Festival, you’ll find exquisite wines that are coming from this region.

The hotel is only a 15 minutes walk to the bus and train station.

Read more




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Paris – The city of light


Paris – The city of light


Paris known the world over for its wonderful landmarks, cuisine, culture and lively ambiance.

The capital of France and home to around 10,5 million people.

It’s ranked at the top of tourist charts as being one of the most visited places in the world, and if you haven’t been here, it is a destination that most certainly should be on your bucket list.

Getting Around

Paris Metro Once you’ve arrived you’ll probably be using the Metro to get around most of the city.

It’s a very extensive system that was first opened in 1900 and covers 214 kilometres (133 miles), most of which is underground.

There are 303 stations in total and 16 lines, and you will always know where a station is thanks to the brightly coloured Metro signs with their Art Nouveau styling.

But this is such a beautiful city that it seems a shame to be stuck underground not seeing it!

Walking is very popular, and it’s the best way to experience the real Paris.

It is a very walkable city after all, and you could walk from one end to the other in a couple of hours if you weren’t stopping everywhere!

Cycling is another good way to get around and there are many miles of dedicated bicycling paths to use.

The good thing is that these are safe, with barriers in place to stop vehicle traffic from entering the bike lanes.

An easy way to discover Paris is to use the Velib bike sharing system.

When to Visit

The problem with being such a popular city is that it’s also a busy city.

Not only are there over ten million people living in the city itself, there are hundreds of thousands of people in the suburbs who commute in to work every day; add the millions of tourists into the mix and there’s never really a quiet time of year to visit Paris.

Lines for attractions can be extremely long during the summer so if you want to achieve anything in a day you have to make a very early start.

Summers are the best time to visit for the nicest weather though. July and August are the months with the most sunshine and the average high temperature in both these months is around 25C.

Occasionally the city does experience intense heat waves when it can become very unpleasant, and you should take an umbrella or rain jacket with you so that summer showers don’t spoil your fun.

Paris will be a little quieter in spring and autumn.
The weather can be very pleasant at this time of year with mild daytime temperatures and cooler nights, and while winters are not harsh, it will be cool and damp for sightseeing.

Attractions in Paris

It’s so much to see in this city, and you can read about the main attractions at the Attractions Page


Moulin Rouge Show Paris

One thing not to miss …

We just have to mention one of the most fun things to see when you’re here.

The number one show in France and maybe even the whole of Europe; Moulin Rouge

It has gone on for over 110 years now and is so popular that tickets sells out months in advance. Don’t miss your chance to see this historic show !

Read more

Getting to the City

It is very easy with the city’s excellent air and rail links to Europe and the rest of the world.

There are two major airports serving the metropolis: Orly Airport, and Charles de Gaulle Airport, the latter of which is one of the busiest in the world.

Paris Orly Airport is 13 kilometers (8 miles) south of the city and was originally the main airport.

Still today it is the busiest in France for domestic air traffic and the second busiest overall in the country.

So there are many flights to other parts of France from Orly, but also from around the world: North Africa, East Europe, the USA, and most of Western Europe is covered though you’ll find that Charles de Gaulle is served by bigger airlines if you want additional choice for flight times and days.

Charles de Gaulle is a little further out (25km/16mi) but it’s well connected to the center of the city via the RER train, and is easy to get to by car.

Air Canada, Air France, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, Lufthansa, and United Airways are just a few of the big airlines using this airport.



Hotels and Where to Stay

Paris is a large city with many popular areas and attractions spread all over its reaches.

There are twenty ‘arrondissement’ in total with the 1st being right in the heart of the city and the others spiraling out from there in a clockwise direction.

So technically if you want to be in the center of the city look for a hotel in the 1st arrondissement, though many others will be great places to stay too.

For example Champs-Elysees runs through the 8th arrondissement, so it’s a good idea to use the Metro, which is an excellent way to get around the city, so you can stay a little further out if preferred.

Over 2000 places to stay in this big city. An overview here >>.

If you want a luxurious and beautiful property, then you won’t be disappointed, there are many to choose from;


Hotel Collectionneur Arc de Triomphe

The 5 star Hotel du Collectionneur Arc de Triomphe is a magnificent property in an art deco style, ten minutes walk from the famous Arc de Triomphe.

The elegant and classy Hotel du Louvre which, as the name suggests, overlooks the spectacular Louvre Museum.


fouquets_barriere

Worth to mention is also the amazing and pure luxury hotels Fouquet’s Barrière and Le Royal Monceau Raffles

In the center the majority of hotels will be set within historic buildings and while the exteriors may all have similarities you’ll find very different interiors, from modern and cosmopolitan, to ethnic, and everything in between!

Check it out




Things to do in Paris

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