Christmas in the Canaries: the best of all the islands.

Mild climate throughout the year, with an average temperature of 20ºC in the colder months. Easy to reach even in winter, with new low-cost direct flights (in force since November, towards Tenerife and Fuerteventura). That’s why the Canaries are the ideal destination for spending holidays at the beach. Find out which of the 7 islands is right for you. And look at the photos of the most incredible beaches

Already in Africa, but in Europe. With the best climate in the world: an eternal spring, mild all year round (the temperature fluctuates between 19º and 24º), thanks to the trade winds, sea breezes and the Gulf Stream. For this reason, the Canaries are a perfect destination for a Christmas in the heat, without spending a fortune or going too far from home: four hours by plane from Italy, now they are comfortable to reach even in winter thanks to new direct flights and low cost, like those of Vueling: from Rome Fiumicino to Tenerife and Fuerteventura, proposed for the first time in the winter months (starting from November 5th) and from Milan Malpensa the weekly flight to Las Palmas.

Seven major islands – Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro -, fragments of earth scattered across the Atlantic Ocean, are miniature continents, very different from one point to another and between them . Volcanoes that reach 4000 meters, petrified lava flows, abstruse rock formations, sand dunes, centuries-old trees. And, of course, beaches: white and black, equipped and wild, beaten by the wind and by waves, or with calm waters

The largest island of the archipelago, ideal for those seeking entertainment and nightlife, but with an amazing natural heritage behind the coast, protected by parks and nature reserves. Los Llanos, at the foot of the Teide, is a perfect retreat. You sleep at Caserío Los Partidos (double b & b from 60 €). From here you reach the National Park of Las Cañadas del Teide: in over a million years the eruptions have shaped a fascinating and unique landscape, which extends around the largest volcano in Spain, the Teide, and each year attracts about 3.5 million of tourists. Still active, the volcano divides Tenerife into two parts: the green area to the north and the arid zone to the south. The cable car goes up to 3500 meters, then you continue on foot, only with permission (reservasparquesnacionales.es). For those looking for secret shores, playa Benijo is perfect; for a swim with the whole family, the natural pools of El Caleton. Typical Granja Verde cuisine, in a finca. To experience the night, the discos of Santa Cruz, A Saudade, Sabuu, Malibù Beach.

Ibiza, what to see in the most popular destination of the summer

There are those who choose it for the beauty of the sea, some for the nature at times still wild, those who love the night life, and those who go with the whole family to benefit from the crystalline water. Ibiza is actually an island with diversified attractions, even though it is universally known for its trendy and very expensive night life.

The historic center is also the town of Eivissa, or Ibiza. With its castle and city walls from which you can enjoy a complete view of the city, the port, the elegant hotels and souvenir shops and the only bookshop on the course I was lucky enough to see. So bring lots of books on the go if you do not want to stay dry!

In the western part there is Sant Antoni de Portmany, definitely more Spartan, check prices better: here come to holiday mainly Germans and English, as also testified by the pubs. There are the local historians Cafè del Mar and the Mambo, from where you can admire a spectacular sunset and drink one of the most expensive cocktails in this area. At sunset, on this stretch of coast, you can enjoy the spectacle of some guys who make juggling their fun, entertaining even a vast audience.

Santa Eulària des Riu is a town much appreciated by families. Here there is the homonymous market where it is possible to buy local food. Not far away, there is the Hippy market, unmissable attraction of Wednesday in the period from April to October.

Cala Longa, Cala Codolar and Cala Gració are calm beaches with the possibility of finding a little corner, a creek that is, to be away. Calo des Moro, is rocky and is ideal for diving. Es Figural, name deriving from the abundance of fig trees, is in a tourist position and it is possible to practice water sports. Ses Salines is the trendy beach of reference, it is part of a protected park and its waters are crystal clear and enchanting. Cala d’Hort boasts beautiful waters and steep cliffs, normally this beach is less stormy. Cala Comte has remained in my heart, it’s really a nice corner of paradise: do not miss the sunset from here.

Half an hour away by ferry is Formentera, another Balearic island, smaller in size and less famous, but very pretty and with exceptional water clarity.

The season on this island already known to the Phoenicians, begins in April and until May is very enjoyable, with mild and uncrowded days; in the summer months for excellence instead it literally fills up, prices increase and you lose part of that relaxed holiday atmosphere I’m looking for in one place. Young people who go there to dance also increase, since all the international jet set and famous London djs animate the night life.

Public transport is not widespread. It’s impossible to rent a bike in the Sant Antoni area, so get yourself a taxi, because, as I’ve seen, you could get to a beach by bus and have to go back by taxi since after the sunset there are no more runs. Among other things, the bus makes many stops and even if the place is near by air, you could get a lot to reach it …

From the airport buses leave in all directions: ticket price 4 euros for Sant Antoni, 7 if you pass from Ibiza etc …, while we are about 25-30 euros by taxi.

I expected the culinary proposal much more focused on the Spanish style, however, perhaps because of its broad international scope, Ibiza has absorbed all the kitchens reworking them with a cheerful spirit.

The beauty of this island is that everyone can live it in their own way, the people of the night will hardly meet those who go there with their family or those who prefer day life, giving everyone the holiday they want.

Formentera, Better in Winter!

The Tourist Board of the Balearic Islands (ATB) together with the Patronat Municipal de Turisme de Formentera presents Better in Winter! the campaign to promote the smallest island in the Balearics as an exclusive destination for lovers of active and eco-sustainable tourism. “The promotion of the low season is fundamental for the environmental, economic and social balance of the island – says Alejandra Ferrer, Consellera de Turismo, Territorio y Comercio, Consell Insular de Formentera – who must be able to live in tourism all year long, respecting the its own natural and cultural heritage “.

The ideal period for a green tourism is in fact in the months of May and October, when the temperatures are mild and the island is less crowded. “Autumn is the ideal season to discover our island – continues Ferrer – September and October are perfect for diving, trekking and cycling, but also to get in touch with the most authentic traditions of the island, including gastronomic ones”.

If Formentera is a paradise for lovers of the sea, which can admire its rich seafaring of marine species, caves, and coral gardens, it is also for those who love outdoor activities. On foot or by bicycle it is possible to discover the breathtaking landscape of its 70 kilometers of coastline, or its rural hinterland, through 32 marked green circuits, not accessible to cars and motorcycles, for a total of 110 km with various levels of difficulty and distances. But it is also possible to immerse yourself in the island landscape with a horse ride. Throughout the year the island stables organize excursions and lessons suitable for all ages and levels of preparation.

Mediterranean gastronomy 2017.

The fifth edition of the Forum of Mediterranean Gastronomy, an annual event in Ibiza dedicated to making the island’s gastronomic riches known to the trade press, is all about the recovery of traditional dishes. With chefs, seminars and showcooking.

A whole month of partying for the palate in one of the most popular summer destinations, especially by the youngest. Trendy venues and breathtaking beaches aside, Ibiza is also part of its charm on the cuisine and the ancient gastronomic tradition. For 5 years now, a dedicated event is committed to making this aspect of the island known, often forgotten in favor of its nightlife. With the aim of shedding light on the island’s delicacies, Ibiza Sabor gathers the best chefs of the area every spring, involving them in a series of guided tastings and special menus designed specifically to enhance the taste of local products. Because the Ibizan cuisine is to be discovered, as well as its lush agricultural and fish tradition.

The beating heart of Ibiza Sabor is the Mediterranean Gastronomy Forum, a congress designed for the specialized press and professionals involved this year which involved 20 chefs from Ibiza and neighboring territories, plus many other professionals in the sector, from fishermen to producers of cheese, from professors to agricultural engineers. All collected yesterday, 15 May 2017, at the Hotel Gran Ibiza in the city center, a luxury hotel that hosted the festival in the outdoor garden. To embellish the congress, a series of tasting tables of various local producers: from organic wine to cheese, from typical sweets to vegetables, from liqueurs to extra virgin olive oil.

 

Food and wine tourism: the new spearhead of the island
It was Julia Pérez and José Carlos Capel Vicent Torres who introduced the Spanish chefs, the same organizers of one of the most important gastronomic congresses on an international level, Madrid Fusion. “Ibiza boasts a series of unique and exceptional raw materials. Unfortunately, the intense tourism linked to the entertainment industry often prevents visitors from appreciating the other soul of the island, the culinary one. But it is time for Ibiza to focus on its gastronomy and start conquering foreigners with its flavors “. Thus begins the Forum of Mediterranean Gastronomy, with the words of José, which invites visitors to be more curious about the local specialties. “Through the story of the chefs, who work every day in the front line to enhance local products, we hope to give you an idea of ​​the concept of Ibizan cuisine”, adds Julia. A table that draws from the most diverse traditions, that of the Iberian Peninsula in primis, but also that of North Africa, combined with a series of different influences for each local: many of the restaurants of the Isla Blanca, in fact, are run by chefs from other cities or countries, which reinterpret tradition in their dishes by adding a personal touch of a different school. “It is time to overcome prejudices” continues Julia “and go beyond the stereotype that associates Ibiza only with unbridled fun and alcohol. Because there is no better and more immediate way of food to understand the identity of a place “. A kitchen, the Ibizan, which is characterized by character and personality, based on a few ingredients, which in the traditional recipes retain all their original taste.

Unique raw materials, those of the island, which thanks to the work of younger and passionate chefs are gradually recovering the deserved pride of place on the tables of Ibiza. “In recent decades, many products have risked disappearing because of the slow but steady loss of interest from consumers.” Like the blat de xeixa, an ancient variety of soft wheat that the bakers Vicente Cardona (bakery Can Blay) and José Luis Riera Coves (bakery Can Coves) committed themselves to recover. “It is an easy to mill wheat that gives rise to light and versatile flours, ideal for making pasta and bread, but which lend themselves well to sweets”, says Vincente And like him, many other local artisans have long been searching for the ancient native grains, to restore value to the historical varieties of the island and rediscover the flavors of the past. “Food is emotion and is an instrument capable of telling stories “adds Julia,” recovering the products of the past helps us to communicate with ourselves “.

Mallorca, the island with three hundred beaches

Sea, sun but also extraordinary protected natural areas and an important cultural heritage

Majorca, the main of the Balearic Islands, is characterized by its contrasts: it has magnificent beaches, mountains, countryside and a characteristic hinterland. Mallorca is also known for its traditional food and craft products, as well as for its wonderful beaches, which are almost three hundred, which surround the whole island and are one of the main reasons why tourists from all over the world decide to spend here their holidays.

Speaking of Majorca means in fact to speak of beaches and its 550 km of coastline reserve a great variety of landscapes. The large tourist beaches, with the most advanced services, are located in places such as Playa de Palma, El Arenal, Palmanova, Magaluf, Santa Ponsa and Alcudia. In the south or in the area of ​​Migjorn we find long sandy tongues like Sa Ràpita or Es Trenc, a landscape of dunes and bright waters. There where the contrast between white and bright blue is spectacular.

Beaches and sports – The coast is also an important incentive for water sports. The ports and regattas like the “Copa del Rey” highlight its importance. Water sports and golf, sport of which Mallorca is a paradise: in fact, it has 24 well-equipped courses. Those looking for quiet and family beaches have a long list to choose from: Ponent beaches, others like Sant Elm or Llevant, or those located in the northeastern area of ​​the island like Arta and Capdepera. Then there are the hidden coves, which can be reached on foot. Jewels of landscape that are found mostly in mountain areas, such as the Sierra de Tramuntana, the Formentor peninsula or the Llevant Natural Park.

Natural and historical paradises – In fact, Majorca has magnificent protected natural areas. The most important is undoubtedly the Terrestrial Maritime National Park of the archipelago of Cabrera, located in the south of the island. It is a stronghold that remains absolutely intact, which can be visited by organizing organized trips that depart from the south of the island. Other naturalistic attractions are the wetlands of the lagoon of Mallorca, in Muro; the Natural Park of Llevant in the mountains of Artà; the islet of Sa Dragonera or the coves of the area of ​​Mondragó. The Serra de Tramuntana has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in the cultural landscape category, as a recognition of its landscape, cultural, historical and ethnological values. The Serra de Tramuntana is a naturalistic area with a great heterogeneity, a succession of mountains and valleys that occupy almost a third of the island. Even the coastline is suggestive, starting from the two distinctive symbols of the island: the islet of Dragonera and Cabo Formentor.

Gastronomy and culture – To get to know Mallorca we must also taste the food. Both in Palma and in any other region, there are operative restaurants where you have to try dishes like “ses sopes” soup, pork loin with cabbage, or “frit di matances” or fried meat. Mallorca is also a key place for cultural tourism. Music, painting and literature have always found inspiration in this island, of which Chopin and George Sand were in love.

Palma, an extraordinary historical center – Palma, the capital, concentrates in itself numerous attractions. In the first place, the historical center, full of exceptional buildings and monuments from an architectural point of view, with picturesque alleys that run between houses and courtyards, churches and convents. The greatest symbol of the heritage of Majorca is undoubtedly the magnificent Gothic cathedral of Santa Maria; to admire, not far away, the Almudaina Palace, official residence of the king of Spain during his stays on the island.