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Platja de Muro is the 5.2 kilometers of coastline which form part of this town in the north of Majorca, in Alcúdia Bay. A coast where tranquility, family tourism, the dunes, the pine forests, the Natural Park of s’Albufera, and a beach with crystal waters, golden sand and little swell make it one of the preferred coasts of locals and visitors seeking to avoid the hustle and bustle of mass tourism. Platja de Muro is one of those places which, thanks to the protection of the zone, still holds the Mediterranean philosophy almost intact.

The beach is divided into four sectors, each with its own characteristics. The first is the one located near the center of the Port d’Alcúdia, which possesses the greatest offer in terms of hotels and restaurants, as well as beach services (parasols, loungers, beach bars, etc). But that does not mean that it is a crowded beach, as its great length makes it accessible on any day of the year. It is the perfect place for those who need all the usual services, but who do not want to give up the tranquility of the shallow waters and scant swell.

The second section is the one nearest to the Natural Park of s’Albufera, the largest wetland on the Balearic archipelago, which forms part of the European Union’s Special Protection Areas for Birds. Similarly to the first section, it also boasts a top class hotel and tourism offer, with low-standing apartments and houses practically on the sand. It is one of the locals’ favorite areas for a vacation home.

The third section, called Es Comú, is one of the few completely unspoiled beaches in Majorca. Its location, opposite s’Albufera, and its dune system, unique on the archipelago and which extends hundred of meters inland, make this the most valued part by those who know it. Scarcely frequented, as there is no parking in the area and you have to pass through a forest to access it, it is a real treat for lovers of unexploited beaches.

The final stretch is known as Es Capellans, or Ses casetes dels Capellans. Hardly exploited on a tourism level, it takes its name from the small, modest summer vacation cabins which are located almost on the sand itself, and which were occupied by the priests of the town parish for a time. Today it is a small village with four sand streets and a very peculiar appearance.

The beach, in addition to holding a blue flag, boasts one of the most comprehensive safety and rescue services on the Balearic Islands. It was not awarded a Diploma for excellence in the area of rescuing, life-guarding and first-aid in 2009 for no reason. This was a recognition only granted to two towns throughout Spain that year.

 

Don’t miss: After a day on the beach, very close to the Port d’Alcúdia, there is one of the best and oldest ice-cream parlors in Majorca. Helados Garrido. The artisan ice-creams are famous for their capacity to amaze each year with new flavors.

 

“IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has 2 hotels in the Playa de Muro zone. These hotels, geared towards family or couples’ vacations, offer their clients everything they need to enjoy their stay on the island of Majorca. Magnificent location, facilities, the culinary and entertainment services and the treatment provided by the staff are details which are planned and provided to perfection in these hotels in order to offer an equally perfect stay in Majorca.”

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In the Republic of Montenegro you will find Durmitor National Park, a vast natural protected area of 39,000 hectares which was declared Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 1980. Shaped by the action of glaciers and with rivers and underground waters cutting through it, its beauty goes beyond what can be captured in a photo. Dense forests of conifers with important endemic flora and lakes of crystal waters stretch out along Tara River, which possesses one of the most profound gorges in Europe. A real wonder offered to visitors by nature.

Durmitor, which probably comes from the romance languages of the Balkans, means “sleeping” and is the highest peak in the park at an altitude of 2,522 meters. Furthermore, it gives its name to the mountain range which includes it and to the park itself, with 48 peaks above 2,000 meters, five canyons and 18 lakes. The high altitude of these summits is what guarantees large snowy spaces in winter, making it an ideal location to practice sports such as skiing and snowboarding. On the other hand, during the summer, it makes it an ideal space for mountaineering, climbing and recreational tourism.

One of the greatest attractions of the park is the Tara River Canyon, the longest in Europe and second longest in the world, after the Grand Canyon in Colorado, with a length of 78 kilometers and a depth of 1,300 meters. For its part, the crystal-watered river possesses noteworthy flora and fauna. But what is more, the park houses 16 glacial lakes, standing out among them the Black Lake, the largest and most spectacular of all, as it is formed of two lakes which are connected depending on the season of the year. A real natural spectacle.

Due to its geographical location and altitude, the park is under the influence of the Mediterranean and Alpine climates, which results in an exceptional range of flora and fauna species that would be difficult to find anywhere else. Hence why the more that 2,000 kilometers of hiking paths throughout it, including a large number of glacial paths, all perfectly signposted, have made it one of the paradises within Europe for nature tourism.

 

Don’t miss: After a long day of walking, lakes and mountains, relaxing your feet and your stomach is mandatory. Momcilov Grad is a restaurant in Zabjlak, at the top of a mountain, with great local cuisine and magnificent views over the park.

 

“The IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts hotel in Montenegro brings visitors closer to discovering the history, culture and tradition of this country. The excellent location of the IBEROSTAR hotel in Budva-Becici provides the perfect opportunity to truly experience this country, full of charm and contrasts.”

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In the streets, in the cafés, in homes, music flows in Cuba as a component of the minutes that fill the days. It is difficult to get an idea of what this island would be if it weren’t for its music, for the passion of the Cubans for instruments and their unique way of turning their feelings into notes, into emotions, into dance. Everyone, from the most skilled to the least experienced, can start a band, gather on a street corner, sing to the city from a terrace, organize a gig in a bar and make their own songs known or simply cover, for better or for worse, the songs that they have grown up with over the decades.

Cuban music was born of a cultural fusion of Spanish musical folklore and African rhythms imported by the slaves who arrived from the continent. This mixture produced an astonishing collection of easy-to-interpret phrases that, thanks to their combination of relatively simple melodies and frenetic rhythms, began to take the place of the most popular European dances at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries. But it was not until the 20th century that Cuban music underwent its greatest expansion. Up until the Second World War, a long list of Cuban musicians had already created huge collections of songs, danzones, sones, boleros, guarijas, guarachas, pregones, sones montunos, guaguancós, cha-cha-chas, mambos, rumbas, congas and tangos tongos (songs of these traditional genres). And this had an enormous influence on the development of jazz in the United States. All of these rhythms traveled to the continent and, thanks to the popularization and commercialization of formulations by Hollywood, large quantities of music which would be consumed by a public that lived for dance rhythms were produced.

To speak of it all, and as the icing on the cake, in 1999, filmmaker Win Wenders, together with musician, Ry Cooder created one of the best documentaries in the history of cinema:  Buena Vista Social Club. That turning point in the recognition of popular Cuban music beyond its own borders was a way of defending, making known and revitalizing what had happened in Cuba for decades: the importance of some musicians and the music beyond its borders.

But none of this would have any value if it were not for the Cubans themselves, for the need that these people have to live music in all of its forms. Everything counts when making music, from saucepans to electric guitars, because music is in everything. Rhythms that force your muscles to move to the sound of the notes can appear from everything. Here you cannot simply look, because Cuban music does not just belong to those who play it, but also to those who listen to it, who participate in its dances, its choruses and its emotions.

Cuba is many things but, above, below, at the sides of and before all of them is music. Music that cannot be forgotten and with a such a rhythm that, if visitors get hooked, they will never lose.

 

Don’t miss: If Cuba has one thing it is establishments with live music. One such option is El Gato Tuerto, where you can enjoy live classic tunes with a more than pleasant atmosphere. One thing to remember is that, since the places are so small, it’s best not to leave it until the last minute.

 

“IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has a large number of hotels scattered across various regions of the island of Cuba. From the best known, such as Varadero, to areas such as Trinidad or the majestic capital of Havana which, while less tourist-oriented, are no less appealing.”

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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.