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Los Cristianos Coronavirus (COVID-19) Tenerife Travel Report

Wolfgang Holzem

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Los Cristianos is one of the most popular tourist centers in the south of Tenerife. In particular, this region has become known for its sandy beaches.

Get in

The town is best reached from the southern airport (Reina Sofia). Its only 15 minutes far away from Los Cristianos and is linked by an extensive bus network. From the northern airport the region can be reached via the TF-1 motorway, which also passes the capital Santa Cruz on the way to Los Cristianos. The port of Los Cristianos has daily connections with the islands La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro.

Get around

Those wishing to explore the island and who wish to see beautiful and important places have several possibilities to move on the island. The cheapest way is the public bus network, which is very well expanded and will take you almost anywhere. There is a so-called “Bono ticket” available at bus stops than saves 40% on the fare price. Additionally, it offers a 50% discount on admission to state museums. People who prefer to discover the island on their own, the car hire would be the most appropriate solution. You should obtain several offers and compare prices. After that, you have many options open to go to beautiful sights, pass beautiful panoramic roads and small villages and get to know the people. A tourist train (Tren Turístico) serves Costa Adeje to Los Cristianos with several stops including in Playa de las Americas.

What to see and do

  • Sports Centre “Tenerife Top Training”
  • Castillo San Miguel
  • Whale and dolphin watching
  • Masca hike
  • Jungle Park (Close to the area of Los Cristianos). Well worth a visit, the bird of prey show is a must. There are free bus links to the park, but getting on one to get back is not much fun!
  • Siam park (In Playa de las Américas). Opened in 2008, this is a fantastic water park, created by the owners of Loro Parque – and it has been beautifully designed, like a modern Lago Martianez! Look out for the 2 metre high artificial waves. Unlike many of these places, there is plenty of shade and high quality cafes/bars so you can spend the whole day there without burning and dehydrating!
  • Aqualand (In Playa de las Américas). A water park

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A resort that attracts thousands of visitors every year. With an extensive range of shops, shopping malls, restaurants … Just take a walk through the streets and experience the charm of the local shops.

Eat

In Los Cristianos you will find a wide selection of restaurants and bars, where typical dishes of the island were offered as Conejo en salmorejo, carne de cabra or stew canario, and prawns calamari or traditional paella, as well as Spanish food of course a great selection of international dishes you will find there.

Drink

In Los Cristianos and Playa de Las Americas you can enjoy a unique night life. A variety of pubs and clubs entertain visitors every night until dawn. Here are some examples:

  • AQUARIOMAvda. de Suecia.
  • Bar ElcineC/.Juan Bariajo, No. 8.
  • BUSBYSAv. Marítima, S/N, 38660 ARONA.
  • BYBLOSPlaya de Las Américas (Hotel Columbus).
  • Cheers Family BarSan Marino (Next To Bus Stops). Full Menu Available until 10PM

Where to stay in Los Cristianos

  • Hotel Andreas** The hotel is very centrally located, so you can easily reach bars and restaurants. It is a city hotel with 50 rooms and 3 suites. The hotel was completely renovated in the year 2000.
  • Aparthotel Reveron*** Currently 49 apartments are available, which were renovated in 2003. The apartment hotel is about 800m from the center of Los Cristianos. The Facilities include a swimming pool, game room, conference room, internet and laundry service.
  • Apartmenthotel Oasis Mango*** This complex has 49 apartments that were renovated in 2005. 1 km from the beach of Los Cristianos and just 300 meters away there is a range of restaurants and bars. Facilities include a swimming pool for adults and children, billiards and many other entertainment activities within the complex.
  • Apartments AguamarThis apartment hotel is located very close to the sea of Los Cristianos and it is about 1.5 km away from the beach of “Las Vistas”. The complex has 140 apartments with one or two rooms, and all include a living room with kitchen, bathroom and balcony. All apartments are equipped with the necessary accessories such as bedding, crockery and electrical appliances (microwave, toaster, kettle, coffee maker, TV and telephone). Other features are included like a swimming pool (heated in winter), deck chairs for relaxing, restaurant and pool bar, mini-golf 9 hole course, the entertainment area (table tennis table, children’s park, adventure park.), Laundry.
  • Regency Country Club**** Regency Country Club Apartments & Suites is an exclusive hotel with a privileged location in the south of the island of Tenerife in the residential area of Chayofa, only 5 minutes from Los Cristianos and the renowned Playa de las Vistas.Its design is based on the exotic island of Bali, decorated with natural stone and hand-carved statues located all through the resort and complemented by fabulous furniture and marble floors in all public areas with a unique panoramic view to the pool, gardens and the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Reveron Plaza Hotel**** The Reveron Plaza Hotel was opened in 1998 and retains its classic style to this day. The hotel is located 200 meters from the beach. A highlight is the unique sea view from the rooftop terrace, which also has a swimming pool. The 43 rooms are on the cutting edge of technology and services.
  • Hotel Spa Villalba**** Vilaflor is the highest city in Spain. The hotel was completed in 2004 and has 23 rooms. Its architecture is traditional canarian style and the hotel offers a wide range of activities and entertainment. The spa has a swimming pool with indoor and outdoor facilities, jacuzzi, sauna, solarium and massage.

Go next

  • Playa de las Américas
  • Puerto de la Cruz and its Loro Park Zoo
  • National Park Las Cañadas del Teide

Former founder of Asiarooms.com and now reporting mainly on the Asia Pacific region and the global Coronavirus crises in countries such as Thailand, Germany & Switzerland. Born near Cologne but lived in Berlin during my early teenage years. A longterm resident of Bangkok, Udon Thani, Sakon Nakhon and Phuket. A great fan of Bali, Rhodes & Corfu. Now based on Mallorca, Spain.

Menorca

An Introduction to Menorca Island on the Balearic Islands

Wolfgang Holzem

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menorca

The harbour at Maó, the island capital, is the second largest natural deep water port in the world – the largest being Pearl Harbour. The whole island is a European Biological Reserve and Unesco Biosphere Reserve aiming to preserve environmental areas. More than a 75% of the territory is protected. You can watch some of the last turtles of the Mediterranean, birds and protected species.

With a population of around 92,000, the island is dominated by tourists, particularly during the summer tourist season of May – October. Due to its unspoiled beauty, it allows the more adventurous the opportunity to discover new charms and experiences. Despite its smaller size among other Spanish islands, being just around 30 miles long and around 10 miles wide, the number of beaches that Menorca has equals the number of beaches that can be found in Mallorca and Ibiza combined.

An identifying sign of Menorca is its fascination with horses. All things centre around horses and the people love them. Menorca has its own race of black horses. In all the festivities the horses and their “caixers” (riders) are the centrepieces. The “Cami de Cavalls” is a pathway surrounding the island for horse riding and it was used in the past for defense of the coast by horse, literally translating to horse path.

If you do take time to explore the interior you will discover a wealth of interesting and historic landmarks from El Toro (the highest point on the island) to the most significant prehistoric sites at Trepucó and Torre d’en Galmés.

To this day no one is certain of the significance of these prehistoric monuments in the form of Taules, T-shaped stone formations thought to be spiritual sanctuaries; Talayots which are stone towers that local people believe were once used as look-out points. There is little evidence to support these theories about Menorca’s prehistoric past nor the original function of these breathtaking creations . Taules are named after the Menorquí word for table. (Menorquí is the local dialect of Catalan which is widely spoken on the Island). Menorca is by far the richest place in Europe for sites of prehistoric settlements, mostly dating from the Talaiotic Period, which was the period of civilisation between 2000 and 1000 BC. The term Talayot is believed to originate from the Arabic atalaya meaning “watch tower”.

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Menorca

Historical Facts of the Island of Menorca

Wolfgang Holzem

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menorca

Since prehistoric times, the Island has been controlled by the Romans, Moors, Catalans, Spanish, French and English. All these nations have left their mark on the Island and monuments to visit from Sanisera, the archaeological site close the port of Sanitja on the north coast of the island to the ruins of the 5th century Bascilica on the beach at Son Bou.

During the 18th century, Menorca was a bone of contention among the British, French and Spanish powers. This was due to the Port of Maó, the finest natural harbour in the Mediterranean, and one of the best in the world, which could protect the largest fleets of the time in their entirety.

The Utrecht Treaty, signed in 1713, gave place to the first British presence on Menorca, which lasted until 1755. The first British Governor was John Campbell (Argyll) nominated by the Queen Anne.

Richard Kane, from County Antrim in Ireland, the second British Governor, is still fondly remembered for his effective support of agriculture on the island; he introduced the cultivation of the apple, promoted cattle breeding and built roads and reservoirs which are still in use today. The Scottish Col.Patrick Mackellar (Argyll) was the chief engineer of Menorca and responsible for the main constructions of the British legacy. The main contribution of Mackellar was the design and construction of Georgestown (Es Castell) near to Sant Felip fortress at the entry of Mahon harbour.

There were two later periods of British presence on Menorca, from 1763 till 1781 and 1798 to 1808. The British left more than their earthworks and ramparts behind. Things as varied as the growth of Maó, which enthusiastically accepted the opportunities for trade and the abolition of the Inquisition, the traditional woodworking and boat building techniques and designs and Menorca’s most popular drink, gin.

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Spain

Oviedo Coronavirus (COVID-19) Asturias Travel Report

Wolfgang Holzem

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Oviedo or Uviéu (in Asturian language) is a cathedral city, capital of Principality of Asturias, in Northern Spain. It has an interesting old town with various monuments listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Spain Coronavirus since reopening
3,456,886
Confirmed
0
Confirmed (24h)
77,496
Deaths
0
Deaths (24h)
2.2%
Deaths (%)
3,156,955
Recovered
0
Recovered (24h)
91.3%
Recovered (%)
222,435
Active
6.4%
Active (%)

Credit/Source: Sentosa Medical Exchange Germany & Singapore

Get in

By plane

Airport of Asturias  is approximately 40km away from Oviedo. The airport is located on the outskirts of the town of Aviles. Asturias airport has flights to and from London (Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick), Lisbon, Munich and Venice.

The bus is by far the cheapest way to get to Oviedo from the airport (8 euros). An ALSA coach will leave you in the Bus station, very close to the centre, with connections to local buses, taxis and the train station next to Buses are on the right as you exit the terminal and leave every hour from 6.00am to midnight. The journey takes from 40 to 50 minutes.

A taxi will cost around € 46 and take 20 to 25 minutes

By Coach

The Oviedo Coach Station (calle Pepe Cosmen, tel. +34 902499949) is located in the centre of town, next to the Oviedo train station. There are coach routes to most towns in Asturias and the North of Spain, as well as Madrid and some other Spanish large cities, like Seville and Barcelona. International coach routes link Oviedo daily with Paris, Brussels and Genève There is a Tourist Information Office at the bus station (tel. + 34 985117050).

By train

Oviedo train station (calle Pepe Cosmen) is on the north side of la Calle Uría (the center of the city), where there are many connecting local bus routes. There is also a taxi stand just outside the station. It is next to the coach station.

By car

There is a convenient ring-road,with various exits into Oviedo. There are places to charge, but they are not near, check directions before getting into A6. Lugones will be your easy option to return. To Oviedo, freeway will take by car in less than 20min to Gijón or Avilés.

Distances to/from Oviedo: Madrid 450 km, Bilbao 305 km, A Coruna 325 km, Gijon 30 km

Get around

The best way to get around is by walking.

Most of the center of the city can only be visited that way, because little motor traffic is allowed. Where traffic is possible, be prepared for jams and narrow passes, as sometimes parking is permitted on both sides of the road.

The local Buses (Autobuses Urbanos de Oviedo, tel. +34 985222422) are fairly reliable, and on every bus stop there is a screen with the time for arrival of the next bus. Almost all local buses go down Calle Uria. The single fare is €1.20 (children under 4 free).

There are plenty of taxis, although they are not cheap. Minimum charge at non-peak hours is 4€. Although they can be found on taxi ranks and on the streets, you can contact one of two companies directly: Radio Taxi Ciudad de Oviedo (tel. +34 985250000) or Radio Taxi Principado (tel. +34 985252500); if you need to go from Oviedo to the airport. and from the airport to Oviedo, and you prefer taxi drivers who speak English; you can reserve it by email: contacta@taxioviedo.com, or by phone (+34 615980000). Final prices, taxes included in 2016 are 40€. If you prefer other companies, prices are from 53€

What to see and do

  • The old part of Oviedo is called the “Casco Antiguo”. Wander along cobbled streets admiring its beautifully restored buildings and squares. Some of the most outstanding are the Velarde Palace (which hosts part of the Art Museum), the Town Hall, the plaza del Fontán, the Palace of Toreno and the Palace of Camposagrado.
  • The old town also hosts Oviedo’s splendid Cathedral of San Salvador. Although predominantly Gothic, some IXth century pre-Romanesque sections can still be seen.
  • The churches of San Miguel de Lillo and Santa Maria del Naranco are two quaint little pre-Romanesque churches, both on a hill just outside Oviedo, a short distance one from another. A regular local bus line will take you to both of them.
  • Museum of Fine Arts.  Santa Ana, 1 and Rúa, 8 (open Tue-Sun, only mornings on Sun and holidays, free entrance.
  • Museum of the Church.  Corrada del Obispo (open Monday – Saturdayt, free on Thursday afternoons.

The Tourist Information office is just next to plaza de la Constitución, just the other side of the archway under the Town Hall on the right (calle Cimadevilla, 4, open Monday – Saturdayt, 10am-7pm, tel. +985213385, e-mail ofiturio@princast.es).

What to do

Local festivals

There are plenty of local festivities, in which local food, folk groups and local costumes are the main attraction:

  • Fair of La Ascensión (variable date in May). It is a fair devoted to the countryside with an arts and crafts market, local produce and folk groups playing in the streets.
  • La Balesquida or Countryside Tuesday (first Tuesday of Whitsun). The main event is a procession that takes place in the square in front of the Cathedral, followed by the handing-out of bollu preñau (pronounced boyo preniau), or chorizo-filled bun.
  • La Hoguera de San Juan. The night of the 23rd of June (St. John), bonfires are lit all over the city and in the square of the Cathedral. There is also a fountain-decorating contest.
  • Fiestas de San Mateo are mostly a cultural affair with plays and concerts scheduled for the week leading up to St-Mathew’s Day. America Day in Asturias takes place on the 19th of September in honour of the Asturian emigrants. A procession takes place through the main streets. On St. Mathew’s day itself (21st of september) there is a hand-out of bollu preñau and wine, and at the end of the day fireworks in Parque de Invierno.

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The old-town is full of small traditional shops. There is an open-air market in the main square on most days, which is worth a look. The traditional covered maket is close to the Plaza de la Constitución. Close to the covered market there are various shops that sell traditional foodstuff and cider. There are also various large shopping malls in Oviedo. The shopping malls offer uninterrupted shopping hours, from 10am to about 9PM. Other shops and businesses in Spain tend to close from 2pm-5pm:

  • Intu Asturias (people knows it as Parque Principado), which is located just outside Oviedo. The D1 and H1 bus goes from El Cristo and Serrano St, respectively, and takes about 30 minutes to get there, with stops along the way. Once there, you have about 110 shops, with the flagship hypermarket Familia flanking one end, and an eclectic range of restaurants, 11-screen cinema, bowling alley, casino, children’s amusements on the other end. Parque Principado is situated in a sprawling industrial estate, which also boasts stores such as MediaMarkt, AKI (a DIY superstore), Conforama for furniture and an IKEA.
  • There is another shopping mall called Los Prados which can be reached by bus no. 2,4,7 and 11. These buses can be caught from central Oviedo. This mall has Asturias’ only IMAX theatre offering movies in 3D, as well as a traditional 14-screen cinema. The range of shops is not as impressive as that of El Parque Principado, however.
  • The main shopping malls in central Oviedo are Salesas and Modoo. Salesas hosts Spain’s main department store El Corte Inglés, a huge supermarket Hipercor, as well as various fashion stores and a Burger King. Modoo (people knows it as Calatrava) features many stores like El Corte Inglés, Game, La Casa del Libro, Real Oviedo store… (For Real Oviedo see below)
  • There is a Corte Inglés situated in Uría St. This one is the biggest and the best of Oviedo.

Eat

There are many places to eat in the old-town, both indoors and in small secluded squares such as El Fontán or Gascona, to name just two. Down calle Gascona you will be able to get a huge set menu for around €10. The set menu (menú del día) may not be on the menu you are given, so you may have to ask.

Typical dishes of Oviedo are those common to all of Asturias. The Fabada Asturiana is a bean stew with a reputation all over Spain that is worth trying (maybe not in the evening!). A really well known Asturian dish is the Cachopo, this one is meat with ham and cheese all breaded. The Cachopo deserves a try. Fish and shellfish are of great quality. A local cheesecabrales, also has an excellent reputation, especially if you like strong flavours. Less known are the gamoneu and afuega’l pitu cheeses. Asturias also has a tradition for rice pudding (arroz con leche).

There are many popular places to eat, the more known are: Tierra Astur (in Gascona there are two down the street there is a grill with local products and up the street there is the restaurant with every product said above. Also in the Fontán there are two: Casa Ramón with fish from the shores and Casa Amparo. Near the Cathedral there are many places to drink and eat tapas, like Plaza del Riego with restaurants of ham and El Reloj de Porlier with its great asturian and international food.

Drink

Cider (sidra) is something that should not be missed. The cider you will find in Asturias is natural cider and has a reputation all over Spain. Drinking cider in Asturias is a ritual in itself: it is poured from on high in order to incorporate air into the cider as it falls from the bottle to the glass. When you get your glass of cider it will be naturally fizzy. You are meant to drink in one gulp what the waiter offers you, leaving a little in the base of the glass. You then pour what’s left out of the glass and leave the glass on the table until the waiter offers you more. Be aware that cider pouring is a messy business and the floor will get very, very wet and sticky (which is why the floors of sidrerías are covered in sawdust).

In many other bars and restaurants there is cider available. Look out for signs saying “Sidrería” or “Chigre”. The best place to find a number of Sidrerías by far is La Calle Gascona {100 mts from the Cathedral}. There are also plenty of wine bars close to Gascona street, on Calle Jovellanos. Do not miss El Patio de los Naranjos with friendly staff, good wine and tapas.

In the past bars used to close very late, but now there is a time schedule: Su-Th – bars close at 3:00am, discos close at 5:00am. Fri-Sat – bars close at 5:30am, discos close at 7:00am.

There are mainly 3 areas:

  • El Cristo. In this area you can find mostly bars and pubs, and some after hour. Mostly middle age people in their 30s and 40s.
  • El Rosal. It is where large numbers of youth go on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons and evenings (7pm to 3am). Once the teens have left, youngsters in their early 20s will take their place.
  • La calle Mon. The vast majority of people end their night in this narrow and noisy street. People here are usually in their 20s and 30s. Erasmus students can be regularly found in “El Escondite” and on Tuesdays in the “Asturiano”, for the Erasmus quiz.

Where to stay in Oviedo (Spain)

There are plenty of hotels of all categories in and near the old-town. If you are traveling by car, you might want to consider staying in a dwelling in a smaller village nearby (casas de aldea). There are two hostels in Oviedo:

  • Oviedo Youth Hostel “Ramón Menéndez Pidal”. C/ Julián de Clavería, 14, tel. +34 986 96 65 70
  • Ibis Hotel (Cheap hotel with modern rooms) Calle Ernesto Winter Blanco, 6. +34 985 11 43 75. From 20 €
  • Eurostars Reconquista (Best known hotel where famous people stay. The Kings of Spain, Shigeru Miyamoto, Francis Ford Coppola…), C/Gil de Jaz 16 ,  fax+34 985 23 78 09From 80 €.
  • Ayre Hotel Oviedo (City centre hotel in Oviedo with modern rooms), C/Policarpo Herrero nn (In Modoo at the back of the main entrance) ,  fax+34 985 22 15 54A hotel with modern rooms, a Congress room and many other facilities. From 60 €.
  • NH PrincipadoSan Francisco, 6, +34.98.5217792. Located in the historical centre of the city, a few meters from the Cathedral, the Campoamor Theatre, the entrance scene of the prizes of the Princess of Asturias and in front of the Historical Building of the University of Oviedo.

Views

For enjoying good views the best place is the Cristo. To go there you can go walking, following many routes and stopping at fountains and the Santa María del Naranco and Miguel de Lillo churches.

You can go by car/taxi that will be faster but you will lose the churches.

Go next

Asturias is full of coastal and mountain villages all worth visiting and spending some time in (Luanco, Cudillero, Villaviciosa…). The other major towns in the area are Gijón, a lively coastal town, with a beach worth visiting, and Aviles The Picos de Europa National Park, on the other hand, is a great place for hiking and climbing.

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