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This year marks the 40th anniversary of ABBA’s Eurovision triumph with their emblematic song Waterloo, which made them famous around the world.

Today we propose a plan which is heavily focused on both music and movies, a night living the musical Mamma Mia!, with Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth, at home, remembering the group’s hits such as Dancing Queen, Chiquitita, Super Trouper, The Winner Takes It All and, of course, Mamma Mia!.

 

For dinner, we propose a simple Greek salad, a recipe which will not take you long to prepare and will transport you to the Greek island where the musical’s plot unfolds.

 

Ingredients

- 4 tomatoes

- 2 cucumbers

- 1 onion

- 200 g feta cheese

- 1 green pepper

- 150 g black olives

- 2 dessert spoons of vinegar

- 4 dessert spoons of olive oil

- Salt

 

Preparation

 

Wash the tomatoes and cut them into wedges. Cut the ends off the cucumbers and cut into slices. Wash the pepper, removing the stalk, the seeds and the white membrane. Cut first into strips and then into squares. Peel the onion, cut it into slices and separate the layers in rings. Place the vinegar in a bowl, add a pinch of salt and stir until the salt is diluted. Add the oil in a gradual flow while continuing to stir until the sauce is emulsified. Add the vegetables to the bowl, flavor with the vinaigrette and mix well. Crumble in the feta cheese with your hands or cut into small cubes and add it along with the olives. Serve immediately.

 

You can accompany the salad with dry sherry, chamomile tea or young white wines.

 

During the movie don’t hesitate to put on the subtitles and sing along to the famous ABBA songs with the stars. This will prepare you for when you come to see one of the live shows at Iberostar Hotels & Resorts.

 

 

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Shoes, clothes, ornaments, wallets, accessories or sunglasses. All of these objects are found in the same place: the antiques fair in Rua de Lavradio, in the district of Lapa in Rio de Janeiro. But an antiques fair cannot be an antiques fair without the objects that give it its name. Hence why all of these other items are simply added-extras, in addition to the origin of the fair: old furniture and other objects of all kinds. On the first Saturday of each month, hundreds of antiques stores exhibit their objects in the street so that the more than 20,000 visitors who pass through it can find everything their hearts could desire.

Old cameras, clocks of all kinds, Baroque-framed mirrors, fine china and silver-plated games fill the sidewalks and the road to make this street one of the most charming spots in the city. A street full of historic homes that are relatively well preserved, and which was opened by the Marquis of Lavradio in 1771, when his residence was being built there, a building which still stands there today. A street which experienced its peak period at the end of the 19th century when there were as many as 6 active theaters located there. A street which fell into decline in the 20th century and which began its recovery with the revitalization of the Lapa district to a point when it once again became what it always was: the most elegant street in the district.

But this antiques fair is not only a place to buy old objects and all kinds of handcrafted products, but also a meeting place in which to spend a whole day. From 10 am through 6 pm, the street is a hive of activity. The restaurants on the street offer special menus and, in the afternoon, open-air concerts are organized. Thus, what appears to be a flea market becomes a place where onlookers, tourists and buyers come and go, where people meet and greet, where animated conversations swing back and forth and groups of people gather to eat, and, of course, a place full of rhythm and dance on every corner. The history and life of Rio de Janeiro on one street.

 

Don’t miss: One of the most highly-recommended restaurants in the city is located on this very street, the Rio Scenarium, a place with live music, simple Rio cuisine and which ticks all the boxes in terms of service and price.

 

“Brazil conceals a world of endless natural and cultural treasures that are waiting to be discovered. The  IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts in Brazil offer the utmost comfort and most complete services so that entire families can enjoy their stay in Brazil to the full.”

 

 

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TATI DOMINGUEZ!!

Congratulations! We held a raffle between all participants, and Tati’s name was randomly chosen.

 

Prize: A one week stay at the IBEROSTAR Hotel of their choice!

We will be in contact with our winner by email.

 

Thank you everyone for participating in our Facebook contest. Be on the lookout for more contests and special Iberostar offers!

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July 16 is a special day for all Andalusian natives: on this day the Fiesta de la Vírgen del Carmen is celebrated. This virgin is the patron saint of many places in Andalusia, particularly in coastal areas, as, in addition, she is the patron saint of sailors. In Málaga, the image of the virgin is carried through all the fishing districts until it reaches the port, where those in charge of carrying it, who wear no footwear, take it on board a fishing smack, a small row boat used in the province to cast the net that gives it its name, adorned with flowers, which takes a tour around the coast accompanied by lots of small boats. But it is not just a procession.

Nuestra Señora del Carmen is one of the images which sparks most devotion in the coastal towns of the south of Spain, and the passing of her image through the streets is much more than a procession. The feeling that it provokes among the Malagan residents is so strong that, as she passes, shouts of “Viva” (hail) and “Guapa” (beautiful) are frequently heard. Furthermore, the procession is always surrounded by a festive atmosphere, partly provided by the band which takes care of the musical side with songs such as Salve Marinera (the anthem of the Spanish Navy), Encarnación Coronada (Crowned Incarnation) and the Himno de la Coronación (Hymn of the Coronation).

Both the bearers and many of the visitors wear the traditional dark costume: a white shirt, black trousers, red sash and canvas sandals. The women, for their part, wear white shawls, and it is common to see traditional Malagan outfits, which give a colorful air to the whole procession and the fiesta in itself.

 

Don’t miss: Far removed from the festival, if you visit Málaga you cannot miss the Museo del Vidrio y el Cristal (Museum of Glass and Crystal), located in a magnificent 18th century mansion which has been completely restored. In it, you can explore the history of humanity through crystal.

 

“IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has two 4-star resorts in Málaga: the IBEROSTAR Marbella Coral Beach in Marbella and the IBEROSTAR Málaga Playa in Torrox-Costa. Both complexes are perfect for couples’ vacations or vacations with children in Malaga.”

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In Punta Cana and Bávaro it is difficult to get bored. In addition to relaxing on the white sand of their beaches and swimming in their crystal waters, the offer of sea-related activities is considerable. But what is more, the possibilities in terms of gastronomy and leisure have also been conceived to allow visitors to select from a long list. Shopping in its local craft stores is just another good option to lose yourself for hours on end.

One of the most common activities is taking out a catamaran to go sailing. There are basically two options: high-speed boats, also known as “flyers”, with which to spend a magnificent evening with the sunset as the perfect backdrop and dinner on board; or glass-bottom boats, which allow you to gaze at the marine life. That being said, it is also possible to hire a sailboat to go sailing simply for the fun of it.

Furthermore, you can practice a great number of activities: snorkeling, diving, kiteboarding, windsurfing or surfing, as well as being able to fish for barracudas or struggle with a swordfish in the open ocean. And if you fancy another type of fun, you can take a banana boat ride, explore the coast in a kayak or play volleyball on the beach.

Punta Cana is scattered with fairytale locations and beaches, but there are five which stand out due to their features and facilities.

Bávaro. This zone, protected by reefs and with the whitest of sand, is the most commercially developed and has the greatest number of tourist establishments.

Boca de Yuma. Usually known as the Casa de Ponce de León and with a gastronomy specializing in fish, you can hire a yola (a small rowboat directed by a fisherman), which will take you to La Playita, the neighboring fairytale beach.

Cabeza de Toro. A magnificent beach with a high standard of quality, as proven by the “Blue Flag” it has been awarded.

El Cortecito – Los Corrales. One of the beaches in the region which does not have any restricted access. Full of small hotels and seafood restaurants, it is popular due to the number of gift stores and for the possibility of taking kiteboarding or windsurfing lessons on the beach.

Uvero Alto. It is one of the most northerly beaches in the country and one of the most diverse, as, depending on the zone, it can be open with considerable waves or calm and protected by reefs. Perfect for surfing and snorkeling.

 

Don’t miss: Lovers of gastronomy have three options which they must not miss: the Jellyfish and El Pulpo Cojo, both in Bávaro, and the popular Capitan Cook, in El Cortecito.

 

IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has four beautiful complexes in Punta Cana: the IBEROSTAR Bávaro, the IBEROSTAR Dominicana, the IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Bávaro and the IBEROSTAR Punta Cana. These are incredible all-inclusive resorts located on the best beaches in Punta Cana.”

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The archipelago of the Kerkennah Islands is a paradise for rest and relaxation. Essentially made up of the islands of Chergui and Gharbi, and facing the coast of Sfax, they stand just three meters above sea level. With a population of just 15,000 and having been recently declared a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance, particularly as a Habitat for Aquatic Birds, they are a perfect destination for lovers of the sea, diving and fishing.

Their unpaved streets and incredible outlines, only visible thanks to the silhouette of their tall palm trees, maintain the tranquil flavor of the Mediterranean philosophy. Almost unspoiled, their residents partake in a curious activity: marine agriculture. This activity consists of fishing for fish and shellfish in areas of the sea, which are sold to fishermen. To mark out the different areas, the owners cut the trunks of the palm trees, which are not very fertile in terms of producing dates, to give them the shape of stakes and stick them into the coast in its shallow waters. In these areas, the main products are mullet and octopus, which are later served as part of an incredibly unique gastronomy.

So traveling to Tunisia doesn’t have to be all desert and beach. The wealth of the Mediterranean waters, always crystal clear and calm, increases greatly with the use that the residents of these islands make of them. A place in which, furthermore, travelers will enjoy perfect days of relaxation far-removed from mass tourism and in constant connection with the traditions and silence provided by islands which have undergone an evolution similar to that of many destinations.

 

Don’t miss: If, as well as being a lover of sea-related activities, you are also a fan of its gastronomy,  La Sirene, on Remla Plage beach, and its Mediterranean seafood and shellfish menu will not disappoint.

 

IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts in Tunisia  bring visitors closer to enjoying unforgettable experiences during their vacations in the country. The superb location of the IBEROSTAR hotels in Djerba, Hammamet, Mahdia, Sousse, Zarzis and Tozeur offer the best opportunity to fully explore the country’s renowned culture and natural beauty.”

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The Costa Martiánez complex in Puerto de la Cruz on the island of Tenerife is one of the examples of coastal transformation most used by the Canary Islanders and visitors to the region. The project was designed by architect and sculptor César Manrique and was one of his most emblematic works. It is a 100,000 square meter complex made up of an artificial central lake with a collection of pools, gardens, terraces, restaurants and bars, in which volcanic rock is the dominating feature. A real demonstration that architecture is not at odds with nature or daily use.

The first stage of the project is the public swimming pools area. César Manrique’s creative and artistic plan adapts the whole project to the traditional Canary Islands architecture, incorporating elements of the native flora, together with some of his most original sculptures, such as the mobile known as Los Alisios or La Jibia (the squid), a real innovative piece in the world of children’s play. The pools were opened in 1971 and take the form of two pools for adults and one for children, along with two bars, in addition to the technical facilities.

Its success was such that, in 1975, the Council of Puerto de la Cruz decided to take on another phase of the work. The project consists of 33,000 square meters of infrastructure entirely reclaimed from the sea, with a lake with 27,000 m3 of seawater, surrounded by solariums, beaches and gardens. Its central islands, with various fountains which spurt water as if they were sprinklers, are one of the most valued spots among users, the number of which has been on the increase since its opening on April 30, 1977. Around the lake there is a great offer of restaurants, bars, beach bars and, since 2006, it even houses the Casino Puerto de la Cruz.

 

Don’t miss: Just a few kilometers from Puerto de la Cruz you will find La Orotava, an idyllic town with architecture based on the black stone of Mount Teide, located within the municipality which gives the town its name.

 

“The IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts group has 7 hotels on the island of Tenerife. These 4- and 5-star hotel complexes enjoy privileged locations in Tenerife, on the ocean’s edge and in peaceful and relaxed areas to offer the best services and the most fulfilling vacation possible in the Canaries.

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It was the Portuguese who, in the 16th century, brought Brazil one of the most important Catholic festivals in the country: the Festa do Divino Espírito Santo (Festival of the Divine Holy Spirit). From then on it has been celebrated in a large number of cities and towns, and the celebration has become a mixture of religious devotion and profane joy. This festival celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus on the day of Pentecost, 50 days after Easter, and is a genuine relic of the cultural past of ancient Brazil. History, tradition and popular festivities come together in a colorful and joyful meeting of the different generations that make up the communities.

The festivals, which last around a week and a half, are celebrated in a different way in each location and have evolved with the passing of time, but the religious features of gratitude and promises are conserved in all of them. The celebration that takes place in the city of Parati, in Rio de Janeiro, is particularly noteworthy. In this city, the so-called Divine Ox is commemorated with the donation of meat to the poor, as done by Queen Isabel, and of food and drink to the rest of the people. Furthermore, an Emperor of the Divine One, who will be the leading voice during the festivities, is elected. The tributes that this person receives following the conclusion of mass are of renowned prestige. The Ribbon Dances, of the Xiba Cateretê, the Dance of the elderly and the folkloric dolls (the Ox, the Caballito (little horse), the Peneirinha and the Miota), have become some of the tourist attractions of the zone over the dates when the festival is celebrated.

The red flags with the symbol of the Divine Holy Spirit (a white dove) are another one of the symbols that make it unmistakable. The Catholics parade through the districts of the cities and participate in the Novenas, folias and chanted masses. As has occurred in many places, this type of religious festivity has been used to organize another kind of more pagan activity, which rounds off the ambiance of fun and party and have helped the celebrations to stand the test of time.

 

Do not miss: Another place where the Festa do Divino Espírito Santo is particularly vibrant is in the city of Diamantina, in the state of Minas Gerais, a city declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

 

“Brazil conceals a world of endless natural and cultural treasures that are waiting to be discovered. The  IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts in Brazil offer the utmost comfort and most complete services so that entire families can enjoy their stay in Brazil to the full.”

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Xcaret Park is one of those places that has it all. It is a natural park which possesses the best of the traditions and culture of Mexico, as well as a spot in which nature and the fight for the environment are one of the cornerstones. In Xcaret the visitor can enjoy underground rivers, natural pools, the top Butterfly House in the country and a coral reef aquarium, as well as bearing witness to age-old festivals and ceremonies and basking in the Mexican gastronomy.

One of the most popular attractions of the park is its underground river. You can explore the more than 600 meters of turquoise waters, full of caves, rock formations and marine fossils. Furthermore, for those who don’t fancy getting wet, there is the River of Paradise, a boat trip which crosses the hiking path of the Tropical Rainforest, where you can see deer, monkeys and macaws in the majestic Quintana Roo rainforest.

But Xcaret is also a natural aquatic paradise. Its lagoon, sprinkled with islets which play host to a wide variety of birds from the Yucatán peninsula, is a magnificent place to explore and relax. The white sand beach makes it possible to enjoy a day of relaxation on Xcaret bay. You can also swim in its pools, natural jacuzzis in which to feel the movement of the tide without having to swim in the open ocean.

Strolling through Xcaret is also an experience. The 3,500 square meter and 15 meter high Butterfly House can hold more than 5,000 butterflies at a time. Furthermore, the regional bird breeding center provides proof of the richness of the fauna which characterizes the south east of Mexico, with more than 44 species of tropical birds. And for visitors seeking marine animals, the coral reef Aquarium allows you to gaze at the depths of the Caribbean Sea and its over 5,000 marine organisms. Sea turtles, Jaguar Island, Manatee Lagoon, Spider Monkey Island and the conservation of the park’s more than a hundred flamingos combine perfectly with the countless number of activities on offer.

But Xcaret is not alone in the conservation and enjoyment of nature. Its spectacles, which recreate some of the oldest pre-Hispanic traditions are a delight for the senses. One of them, the Voladores de Papantla, named Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, a ceremony dedicated to the god of the sun to ask for fertility and a good harvest, is recreated with a team of acrobatic actors who will leave visitors speechless. The other, the pre-Hispanic Juego de Pelota, is performed in two versions, the Mayan and the Purépecha, and will undoubtedly keep you on the edge of your seat.

 

Don’t miss: If, after a full day in the Xcaret Park, you are still left wanting more, the nachos and the music in La Fe bar, on Playa del Carmen beach, are one of the most highly-recommended options. A 100% Mexican spot which is some way off the typical beach bars.

 

IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has 7 hotels in the Riviera Maya, scattered between Playa del Carmen and Playa Paraíso, two of the most beautiful spots in the area.”

shutterstock_201918280 A light snack in the middle of the afternoon is essential for kids and adults alike because it provides us all with enough energy to perform our extra activities.

Today we propose a very family-oriented plan, a traditional afternoon snack with your kids which will enable you to recharge your batteries and have an afternoon full of fun and games, in which cakes, sweets and video games will be forbidden.

Prepare sandwiches and baguettes filled with cold cuts, and to drink create this crazy shake, a recipe which originated in Mexico and is very easy to make but also very tasty, with a high energy value. Ask your kids to help you, the preparation will become part of the fun!

 Ingredients

- 3 cups of strawberry yogurt

- 1/4 cup of strawberry jam

- 1/2 cup of La Lechera condensed milk

- 500 g of biscuits

- Ice (to taste)

 Preparation

 Mix the yogurt, the jam and the milk.
 Crush the biscuits and the ice separately. 
Mix all the ingredients and liquidize. Place in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes and serve in glasses.

 Once you feel revitalized you can begin to use your new-found energy. Switch off the television, hide the consoles and play with your kids. A water fight, a game of skully, hide and seek or hopscotch… Timeless games which allow you to have fun with your kids and help them to grow up happy and healthy!