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If you want to enjoy a real Easter, you cannot pass up the chance to eat some good French toast, the origins of which go back as far as the 15th century. Its association with Lent is due to the need to use up the left over bread, which, since it is a period during which Catholics cannot eat meat, was less consumed.

 There are as many variations of French toast as there are of Easter. Although traditional French toast is made with bread, milk, cinnamon, sugar and egg, you can also find them made with wine, honey, vegetarian French toast that substitutes cow’s milk for soy milk and eggs for flour… What is more, in each country it is prepared in a different way, and have different names: “Pain perdu” in France, “Arme Ritter” (poor knights) in Germany, “Pavesen” in Austria, “Fotzelschnitten” in Switzerland, “bundás kenyér” in Hungary, “Rebanadas” in Portugal, “French Toast” in the UK, “Tostadas francesas” in Colombia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru, “torrejas” in Guatemala, Argentina, Uruguay, Honduras and El Salvador.

 Here we will show you how to prepare some original Caramelized French Toast with meringued milk foam. 

 Ingredients

 - 1 baguette
 (hard, from the previous day)

- 1 L whole milk


- 1 cinnamon stick


- Skin of 1 lemon


- 100 g sugar


- 2 eggs


- Sunflower oil


- Ground cinnamon

- Sugar

Preparation

Start preparing the emulsified milk. Put the milk in a pot and add the cinnamon and lemon skin (if possible without the white part, so make a superficial, fine cut). Once the milk has come to the boil, take it off and add the sugar, stir well without scratching the bottom in case the milk has stuck a little. Leave to cool and then remove the cinnamon and the lemon. Next, cut the bread into 2-2.5 cm slices. The bread needs to be hard so that it does not break when soaked in milk. Soak the slices with part of the milk for a few minutes on either side. Put plenty of oil on the heat. Coat the torrijas in beaten egg and fry until they are golden on both sides. Remove and place on kitchen roll to absorb the oil Mix sugar and ground cinnamon on a plate (two tablespoons of cinnamon for 100 g of sugar) and coat the torrijas. Finally, place them on a dish and accompany with the rest of the emulsified milk. Best served cold.

 To drink: Port or muscatel.

 

French toast is a food with humble origins that soon satiates diners, so share this tasty dish with your friends and family instead of eating it alone. Tell each other about your Easters when you were little or when you went abroad on vacation and you will find out that there are as many variations of Easter as there are of French toast and people.

 

Te_2

Mint tea is originally from Morocco but it is widespread throughout the Maghreb. It is consumed all day long and is the beverage usually offered to guests as a sign of hospitality. It is considered to have digestive, tonifying and diuretic properties.

 

We propose a most exotic plan: an afternoon with mint tea and your close ones in a relaxed, Zen atmosphere. Buy small candles and distribute them around the lounge. Prepare an apple shisha and put it next to a low table with cushions on the floor, where your guests will sit. Put on relaxing music and serve the tea in small, silvery glasses decorated with different colored designs.

 

This is the mint tea recipe: 

Ingredients

- Box of tea

- Sugar

- Incense

Preparation

Moorish mint tea.

Place 3 tablespoons of OOLONG tea (not sachets), 2 tablespoons of dried mint leaves and 1/2 a cup of sugar in a teapot, fill with boiling water to the rim and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Stir the infusion and check if it is sweet enough. Serve in glass cups. While your guests drink the tea, add a further teaspoon of tea and 2 of sugar, add boiling water, leave to rest for 5 minutes, stir and test again, and another pot is ready to serve.

 

We recommend preparing this drink, which is virtually the most popular after water, for before or during meals. On occasions, if it is the right season, you can add a few orange blossom buds. It will relax you and your guests and inspire the best conversations.

 

ESP_TenerifePlayas

The island of Tenerife is one of the preferred destinations for those seeking rest and relaxation on a beach to disconnect from work and stress. And this is due to its pleasant climate, which allows swimming at almost any time of year, as well as its crystal waters, the cleanliness of its sand and its thorough range of services which have earned it international recognition. But if we had to highlight a few specific locations, the beaches of the municipalities of Arona and Costa Adeje, in the south of the island, must figure on the list.

These are some of them:

Arona

-  Playa de las Galletas
A beach of calm, crystal waters and dark, fine sand, characterized by a tranquil atmosphere, far from the masses and crowded tourist areas.

-  Playa Los Cristalinos
Located next to the old town and the fishing port of Los Cristalinos, it is a beach on which there is no room for boredom, as you can take part in all kinds of activities and it boasts all the services of a tourist zone. Furthermore, it is the venue for dance and music performances, and world-famous carnival.

-  Playa Las Vistas
It is one of the largest and liveliest beaches in southern Tenerife, and boasts a full range of services, in addition to a promenade on which you will find cafés, restaurants and all kinds of leisure facilities for the visitor.

-  Playa del Camisón
An artificial beach with a a broad offer of water sports. It also has a promenade full of bars, restaurants, shops and activity during the majority of the day and night.

-  Playa el Cabezo Grande
A beach of golden sand which is perfect for practicing water sports due to its waves and relatively deep waters.

-  Costa del Silencio
It has a large volcanic cliff which dominates one of the main tourist cores on the island The coves, perfect for swimming with a solarium and access to the sea, are the ideal location for relaxation and swimming with shielded crystal waters.

Costa Adeje

-  Playa del Troya or Playa de las Américas
These are a series of heavily occupied beaches. However, they offer a large quantity of services and comforts, such as jet ski, pedal boat and deck chair hire, as well as a promenade with a broad offer of restaurants, cafés and shops.

-  Playa de Fañabé
Without doubt, one of the most beautiful and popular beaches on the island of Tenerife. Its length and the calmness of its waters make it an idea place to take children and enjoy a family day with all the services you will need.

-  Playa La Pinta
A small shell-shaped cove with perfect golden sand and calm waters thanks to its special geographical characteristics. Perfect for a family trip.

-  Playa del Duque
Located in one of the newest zones of Costa Adeje, explaining why its facilities are in a perfect state of preservation, this is a beautiful beach of gray sand, boasting all the services you could need. Its waters are also very calm.

-  La Caleta
A beach of crystal waters, lacking nothing in the services department and normally with a strong swell. It is an ideal location for spending the day in peace without people around you.

-  Playa Torviscas
A beach with clean, calm waters and a large quantity of services at the disposal of the visitor. In addition, it has many bars, cafés and restaurants.

-  Playa Diego Hernández
This beach is located in an enviable location on a beautiful bay befitting of a nature reserve. This makes it a magnificent location, with few crowds and very clean, calm waters.

-  Playa el Bobo
An urban beach of golden sand and very tranquil waters, which is highly popular and monitored. It is perfect for a family trip due to its full range of services.

-  Playa la Enramada
This beach’s black sand is of volcanic origin, and it was set up to enable swimming in 2009, after the local council carried out restoration work on it. Crowds are few and far between.

 

Do not forget to try: The desserts and cakes at Harriet’s Tea Room, a small British-style establishment with a large menu of sandwiches and teas.

 

IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts boasts 7 hotels on the island of Tenerife. These 4- and 5-star hotel complexes are situated in spectacular locations in Tenerife, almost touching the sea in peaceful and relaxed zones to offer their guests the best services and most enjoyable vacations possible in the Canary Islands. “

 

MED_deportesCaboVerde

Cape Verde is a group of small islands located to the east of the African coast, which offers volcanic mountains, waters sports and beaches. It is a paradise which shares some geographical commonalities with the Canary Islands, but with less tourist density, yet still boasting a considerably high level of services. This makes it a unique tourist destination, where nature, facilities and activities are combined for the visitor, in addition to amazingly simple African traditions.

But if the Cape Verde archipelago stand out for one thing in particular, it is the quantity of water sports and activities related to the sea which can be performed.

Diving

Submerging yourself in the crystal waters of the Atlantic Ocean is one of the best experiences you can encounter under the waves. With a temperature of 28 degrees in summer and 23 in winter, diving at all levels is possible, as they have created multiple diving spots for tourists and there are intensive classes for beginners on all of the islands Its marine flora and fauna are fascinating, with coral reefs, a large number of caves and some truly unique underwater formations.

Surfing, kitesurfing and windsurfing

Vast sand beaches with shallow water, wind and big waves, are the perfect ingredients for practicing board-based water sports. The best time of year is the winter, as the waves can easily reach three meters and the water temperature is always lukewarm. On all of the islands there are places to rent equipment for all levels. However, surfing is relatively new and just starting to become established in the region, so the number of rental shops and courses is a little below that of the other sports.

Recreational fishing

Fans of recreational fishing have their own genuine paradise on the Cape Verde islands. Since it is a relatively quiet tourist zone, the trips organized by different centers are a delight for all the tourists who want to get on board a boat and go hunting for tuna, marlin and many other species.

Turtle spotting

While it is not strictly speaking a water sport, watching the loggerhead sea turtles lay their eggs is one of those activities that touches everybody. These animals can be seen on one of the most beautiful islands of the archipelago, Boavista, between the months of July and January, when excursions are always organized at nighttime.

Do not miss: The Olho Azul (Blue Eye) a hole in a rock formation on Sal island, with a depth of 12 meters, in which you can see spectacular reflections of blue in the water at the bottom at around midday.

 “The IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts hotels in Cape Verde bring the visitor closer to the most irresistible exotic pleasures. The excellent location of the IBEROSTAR Club Boa Vista provides guests with a unique opportunity to discover the gastronomy, festivals and cultural richness of the islands.”

BRA_Salvador

Salvador da Bahia is one of those cities in which tourists can lose themselves, both thanks to its cultural offering of the most contemporary style and its historical old town, full of life and establishments which fight to keep their traditions intact and carry forward the lifestyle which were threatened with extinction. The city is not considered the cultural capital of Brazil for nothing. But, to understand the richness of this duality, we must take a brief trip through its history.

Salvador da Bahia was founded as a city in 1549 high up on a hill, dominated by the immense bay. The first capital of Brazil shortly undertook two functions: a port providing support to the eastern routes and an export center for sugar cane. These two activities contributed to a population of both Portuguese and African origin, the Africans having been imported en masse to work in the sugar cultivation industry. On top of all this, you also have to take into account the large-scale immigration which took place in the 19th century, when cultivation fell and the city turned its focus to the extension of its port and opening up to the southern region. At that time, the high city was gradually losing its inhabitants, who moved to more prosperous areas with a better future. Buildings began to be left uninhabited, stores closed and the neighborhoods deteriorated.

Midway through the 20th century, with the creation of a foundation to conserve the High City, saw the first steps being taken to return it to its splendor of bygone years. The return of the traditional Benção São Francisco and the establishment rehearsal studios by top musicians and choreographers brought fame back to the high part of the city. That is why, in 1992 the government of Bahia invested large sums of money to reorganize this part of the city and focus it directly on tourism. In time, traditions have started to return to the region and the great presence of visitors coexists with the deepest-rooted history.

From all of this, we have produced a list of musts for all-comers, not necessarily in order of preference.

Lacerda Elevator
A striking steel structure which holds an elevator that connects the High City and the Low City in just 30 seconds. Just one figure: it transports 28,000 people every day in the low season and 50,000 during the high season.

Mercado Modelo
Around 300 establishments of art, craft and fashion manufactured in workshops intermingle with bars and restaurants serving traditional food, and capoeira and samba performances.

Forte do San Marcelo
Known as the Fort of the Sea that defended the city, it houses the city’s museum, memory of the sea and museum of the fort.

International Museum of Naïve Art
More than 8000 pieces by Brazilian and international painters, from as far back as the 15th century. It also has the largest painted canvas, a peculiar portrait, of the city of Rio.

Pelourinho
The city’s historic old town, declared heritage of humanity by UNESCO. The Council Building, Municipal Chamber, Municipal Square and the Rio Branco and Archbishop’s palaces stand out.

Solar de Unhão
One of the most notable expressions of the colonial architecture of Bahia, completely restored. It houses the Museum of Modern Art.

Church of Nosso Senhor do Bonfim
The most popular church in Bahia. The traditional Festa do Senhor do Bonfim celebration is held in it. It has been attributed with miraculous virtues and the power to grant desires.

Itapua
An old fishing village is now an urban center with a shopping mall, pharmacies, restaurants and various leisure facilities. What is more, it is a magnificent beach with protected zones, as it has a spectacular coral reef.

 

“Vacations in Brazil are full of delights. The fine sand beaches, its natural wealth, the carnivals, the wide variety of culture, the delicious national gastronomy and, above all, the warmth of its people will seduce you. The IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts hotels in Brazil bring visitors closer to the most exciting experiences they can encounter during their vacations in Brazil. “

 

 

CAR_RivierMaya

You cannot plan a family trip without taking all the members into account. Children, adults, adolescents… each one envisages their own type of trip and everyone having the majority of their expectations satisfied or not depends on the planning. The Riviera Maya offers a large quantity of activities and visits to suit all comers. And not just theme parks but also nature, adventure and contact with indigenous culture are ever-present in most locations.

Undoubtedly one of the most amazing options is a visit to the Mayan city of Chichén Itzá, considered one of the seven wonders of the world and declared heritage of humanity by UNESCO. The offer available there, including spending a day among its buildings, its pyramids, exploring its temples and immersing yourself in one of the most fascinating parts of the history of humanity, is one of the greatest. From express tours lasting half a day to luxury tours with treatment you could only describe as beyond exquisite, as well as two-day visits including an evening light show.

But if you are interested in nature and performing all kinds of activities related to flora, fauna and the marine world, there are a great number of so-called ecological parks which, profiting from their location, present an opportunity for fun, knowledge and leisure for all ages. Each has its own characteristics and offers some exclusive activity, so it is worthwhile looking at what is on offer when you are setting off. Snorkeling, canoing and kayaking in underground caves, incredible zip-lines above the rainforest, swimming in the crystal waters, bike rides on the beach or in the rainforest and tours in amphibious vehicles are just some of the many options to choose from in the vast majority of parks. To name but a few: Labna Cenotes, Tulum Monkey Sanctuary, Xcaret, Xplor, Xel Ha, Tulum Xei…

Another option is underwater activities. Among them is swimming with sea turtles, discovering a wide variety of tropical fish and feeling yourself floating in one of the most spectacular locations in the world: the coral reef. What is more, you can plunge into the underground rivers, gaze in wonder at the mystical power of the natural wells and learn a little more about one of the most fascinating and mysterious civilizations in history.

There is question of your family will being bored for even a second in the Riviera Maya.

 

Don’t miss: Akumal Beach, a paradise for snorkeling, in which you can lose yourself in the diversity of species that you will find just a few meters below the surface while diving in its crystal waters.

 

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

 

MED_CuevasBudapest

Budapest never fails to fascinate those who visit it, both due to its history and its architecture. But, furthermore, it has an attraction which remains largely unknown to the general public, the large quantity of caves which run beneath it, formed by the erosive effect of the thermal underground waters. The best known and best conditioned is the Pálvölgyi Cave, a formation discovered in 1902 and opened to the public in 1927, of 18 kilometers in length, which stretch out in front you you as you explore. It is the second longest cave in Hungary and has been a nature reserve since 1944.

A visit to the cave can turn the visitor, even if they have now experience of caving, into a genuine underground explorer if they opt for the long tour, which takes more than three hours (there is another easier option which lasts around 50 minutes). At the entrance to the cave, you will receive the equipment you need (overalls, helmet and flashlight), and it is advised to wrap up warm, as temperatures can drop as low as 8 degrees.

The tour begins with a 12 meter descent down a steep staircase and, from then on, everything is a unique adventure. Climbing the walls, exploring passageways that appear to have no exit, passing through impossible crevices, walking along the more open areas, becomes a unique way of moving forward. One point is that if you suffer from claustrophobia or have any kind of mobility problem, it is best not to go deep into this genuine maze, where you will always be accompanied by expert guides.

During the tour, you can gaze at stalactites, stalagmites, fossils and different types of rock formations, always explained by specialist staff, allowing you to understand the past, present and future of these fascinating visits.

What is more, if you are interested, you can celebrate your child’s birthday with a short tour, simplified explanations and, of course, a cake. A real experience for the smallest members of the family.

 

Don’t miss: If you are left wanting more, in Budapest there are two more caves that you must visit: theSzemlőhegyi Cave, high walls adorned with formations reminiscent of bunches of fruit and vegetables, and the Labyrinth of Buda’s Castle with reproductions of cave paintings, post-modern sculptures and a magnificent Room of Terror, in complete darkness.

 

“IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has a hotel in Budapest: the 5-star IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Budapest. It has a privileged location, surrounded by important buildings, embassies and shopping areas. It was built in 2011 and its suites offer perfect luxury. “

ESP_PlyasMallorca

Majorca is an island of beaches. Long, short, wide, narrow, sand, rock, pebbles, each is different, but all share the characteristics of the part of the island on which they are found. And one of the zones least influenced by mass tourism is the extreme east of the island. Artà and Capdepera are municipalities with tourist zones, but which boast areas and small coves which are hardly frequented by the majority, and some even practically untouched.

Featuring among the most prominent are Cala Mitjana (Menorca), Cala Torta and Cala Mesquida, which can be reached by car, and which, despite each having its own characteristics, all possess one common denominator: the wind. They are some of the best beaches for surfing in all of its variations. Mesquida, furthermore, is an exceptional case, as it has one of the most important dune systems on the island. On Cala Torta, on the other hand, nudism is practiced.

Nonetheless, some coves tucked in small urban cores also attract attention, such as Canyamel, es Carregador, Cala Gat and sa Font de sa Cala. These are always busier than other, less urbanized, options, but you will rarely ever find the beach packed, with no space to throw down your towel. Other coves, such as Cala Moll, in Cala Ratjada, are much more crowded, because they are much more tourist-oriented cores with a higher population density, particularly in July and August.

The vast majority of these coves are surrounded by vegetation and, while they have small urban cores nearby, it can, at times, be difficult to access them. Such is the case with Es Matzocs d’Aubarca and Cala Déntol, two beautiful, unspoiled coves on which there is a great chance you will spend the day completely alone.

All of these coves have white sand, but there are others on which rocks and some spectacular sea beds, which you can almost gaze at with plain sight through the crystal-clear waters, are the main protagonists. This is the case with Cala Tamarells, Cala de n’Aguait, Cala de Can Beato and Cala Provençal, which have become swimming zones thanks to the special characteristics of their waters, although they are not appropriate for everyone.

Do not miss: A visit to the Castell de Capdepera, a walled fortress whose construction began in the year 310 and where you can see turrets, ruins of ancient homes and a church with a  Gothic Christ orange-tree wood carving.

 

“The IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts hotels in Majorca put the most exciting experiences that the Balearic Islands have to offer within the reach of the visitor. The excellent locations of IBEROSTAR hotels in Majorca, spread across the island, provide an unmatched opportunity to discover all of its secrets.”

 

CAR_ImprescindiblesHabana

There are two types of cities. Those characterized by monuments, buildings, parks, great works of architecture and art, where the visitor feels hopelessly attracted by the beauty of its constructions, always tied to its history, full of tumultuous periods and great passion. And those which, to love them, to feel something for them and fall into their arms, seeing them alone is not enough: you have to experience them. In these cities, the buildings do not draw your attention due to their beauty or the soul of the works of artists housed within, but they breathe daily stories, also tumultuous and full of great passions, albeit very different to the first kind. Havana is one of these cities.

A place where compulsive consumers will find nothing that grabs their attention, but one with which the observer, the lover of small details, the most confusing histories and life gulped down with impatience will fall in love without hesitation, and from which they will want more, always just that little bit more.  Because, in Havana, the beauty of destruction is just as common as the music that fills its streets, as the great convertibles and the smile of its people. Because those who live in these houses, which you can never tell if they are about to collapse or in permanent restoration, are the protagonists of this city which beats from the inside out, where there is so much to explore and experience that it always leaves you wanting more.

Here is a list of musts:

-  Take in the appearance and gastronomy of the typical “paladares”, restaurants full of fascinating stories known or unknown.

-  Listen to that impossible silence through which music travels in huge convertibles or wait on any corner, watching the shaking hips of the improvising dancers.

-  Go into the Tropicana and feel the esthetic nostalgia of the cabaret and its beautiful men and women dressed in sequins, a pure image of Caribbean sensuality. And it achieves this because its stories go much further than those depicted on the stage.

The Plaza de la Revolución, the square on which the image of El Ché and his “Until victory, always” watches over all visits and the focal point of the cameras of all visitors.

-  The Morro Castle and a stroll along the Malecón, where the stone speaks much more than than they tell you in tourist guides.

Sit and have a coffee, order and gaze as life passes by, while you have a conversation with a stranger who might just end up being a friend, who knows?

Do not miss: El Floridita, an establishment which has been around for 195 years and in which visitors will find a waiter with a lapel and tie full of medals, and a bronze Ernest Hemingway propped on the bar, having a drink. Who could resist joining him?

 

“The IBEROSTAR Parque Central, which belongs to Grupo IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts, is a 5-star hotel located  right in the heart of Havana. This luxury hotel boasts spectacular views over Havana , which can be seen from the rooms and the spa, among other areas. The IBEROSTAR Parque Central is considered the best hotel in Havana.”

 

MED_SunnyBeach

Bulgaria has one of the most important tourist centers in the town of Nessebar, on the coast of the Black Sea. It is called Sunny Beach, a place where it is impossible to get bored. Its offer of beaches, culture, leisure, gastronomy and sporting activities is such that the visitor will be forced to leave some for the next time. From trips exploring the mountains, days in the city, boat trips or practicing water sports, everything is prepared to ensure that the experience of traveling to this corner, boasting a Mediterranean climate, is unforgettable.

The beaches of Sunny Beach are mostly vast areas of sand and calm, crystal waters. Furthermore, they have services focused on the comfort of the visitor, such as access, a zone of restaurants and bars, sun lounger hire and emergency services. However this does not mean that they should be labeled purely tourist beaches, as the level to which they are integrated in the landscapes of the area, without losing the typical tranquility of the coasts of the Black Sea, is noteworthy. Amongst them, Irakli beach stands out due to its location in a protected 42-hectare area, which, along with its considerable waves, give it a wild feature which will delight those who love primitive nature.

But Sunny Beach does not live on beaches alone. The town of Nessebar and its incredible historical heritage, with the church of Santa Sofia, declared heritage of humanity by UNESCO, and the ramparts which surround it, dating back to the 18th century before Christ, is a must-visit for any tourist interested in the history of a country marked by the passing of thousand-year-old civilizations. Furthermore, the town of Sveti Vlas, with the ruins of what were its five monasteries dedicated to Saint Peter, Saint Andrew, Saint Anne, Saint Illya and Saint Blas, is a magnificent example of the historical wealth of this spot.

But if you are after experiences, Sunny Beach’s offer is not lacking in that department either. In addition to strolling through its towns, you can enjoy a night which can begin with one of the many specialist dining options, eating on a terrace, in a restored castle or even on a boat, where the most exquisite gastronomy is mixed with circus shows or live music. And after dinner, a night full of life in any of its bars or nightclubs, with sets played by internationally-renowned DJs and themed parties. Sunny Beach is not known as the knew Ibiza for nothing.

Nonetheless, if you prefer activities in hours of sunlight, a walk across the bay of Nessebar is a great option. And you can simply head to any of the piers and take a look at the many offers available. But what is more, you can also explore the shores of the Black Sea on horse back, go diving in its salty waters with little swell, or go hiking on some well-maintained and perfectly signposted paths.

Do not forget to: Check the calendar of events for the month you are traveling, since Sunny Beach boasts a varied spectrum of international festivals for all audiences: cinema, music, puppets, theater, art, classical music…

IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has a 4-star, all-inclusive complex just a few meters from the Black Sea: the IBEROSTAR Sunny Beach Resort. Its facilities are geared to providing vacations full of rest and relaxation, making this hotel the perfect option to discover Bulgaria during some family vacations.”