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La Gomera’s Concert in the Mountains

If you love nature, you can’t miss La Gomera. As soon as you arrive, you’ll feel the magic of the place as it surrounds you. Keep looking and you’ll learn this energy is real. And if you listen closely, you’ll hear the beautiful chorus of La Gomera’s wildlife, especially its birds.

While the second smallest Canary Island dazzles visitors with its stunning beaches, volcanic mountains and the most beautiful natural parks in Europe, it’s also a privileged place for birdwatching, thanks to its six IBAs (Important Bird Areas).

Birdwatching requires minimal equipment and patience, and it’s a popular activity in the field of ecotourism. The pastime also aids in the conservation of birds and their natural habitat.

At night, you can have a front row seat to nature’s concert in the mountains and hear the song of pardelas —Cory’s Shearwaters— as they fly high above the thick jungle of Garajonay National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Closer to the coast, the calls of shearwaters echo against the rock face of Los Organos, a natural monument resembling a church organ that rises 80 metres above sea level.

Cory’s Shearwaters spend most of their lives far out at sea feeding on small fish, but they also travel inland, singing along the way to locate their nests as their young respond with fainter chirps.

Right now is the best time of the year to visit La Gomera as the shearwaters hatch their eggs before migrating to Brazil. After two years, the birds return to mate and lay their eggs again. This time of year is also when the baby birds are learning to fly.

Unfortunately, street lights and other artificial lighting systems often confuse the shearwaters’ navigation and cause them to crash into obstacles. As a result, the government of La Gomera has announced the implementation of measures to prevent the fall of shearwaters due to the light impact in some public spaces.

Proposed measures include the reduction of power in the luminaries of public places, such as soccer fields or streetlights near coastal areas. In this way, the negative impact of lighting is reduced. These measures, done in coordination with the municipalities of Alajeró, San Sebastián and Valle Gran Rey, coincide with the breeding period of shearwaters when the presence of specimens in these areas peak. The dim lights also contribute to the magical atmosphere of the island, which is world-renowned as a stargazing destination.

As well as shearwaters, there are many other bird species to admire in La Gomera. And with the island hosting 5 Special Protection Areas (SPAs), 25 Special Areas of Conservations (SACs) and 17 sites belonging to the Canary Islands’ own network of Protected Nature Sites, the enchanting songs of La Gomera’s birds sound like music to your ears no matter where you are.

For more information, please visit La Gomera’s official website.

Region of Valencia: A Haven for Sports Fans

If you love sports, you can’t miss the Region of Valencia. Thanks to its pleasant weather, diverse landscapes and premier entertainment venues, the region is the perfect destination to enjoy outdoor sports and activities. Whether you want to catch a football match, test your mettle in a marathon or spend an afternoon at the race track, Valencia’s storied tradition of sports excellence never disappoints.

A Great Place for Football Fanatics

You may have heard of Barcelona and Madrid, but the Region of Valencia is another popular destination for football fans. The city of Valencia is the proud home of Valencia Club de Fútbol, one of the most successful clubs in Europe.

Valencia CF currently plays in La Liga, the top professional association football division of the Spanish football league system. The club hosts their home matches at Mestalla Stadium with a capacity of 52,600 spectators. You can even learn about the stadium’s history on a 45-minute guided tour in Spanish and English.

Levante UD, a Spanish football club founded on 6 September 1909, is also based in Valencia City. The club plays in La Liga, holding home games at the City of Valencia Stadium.

Near Castellón, Villarreal has become a popular team even for UK football fans. Villarreal plays in La Liga as well, holding home games at the Ceramics Stadium with a capacity of 24,890. The club is nicknamed the Yellow Submarine due to its yellow home kit. As a low-profile team compared to Real Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, who they have challenged for trophies over the last decade, Villarreal has been touted as an example of a small but successful club.

A Paradise for Watersports Lovers

For watersports lovers, the Valencia Region’s 450 km coastline offers ample opportunities for fun on the shore. Almost every town offers some kind of water-based activity.

Major nautical sports centres can be found at the Valencia Marina, Canet d’En Berenguer and Pobla de Farnals. These marinas are among the best in Europe, as demonstrated by their capacity to host prestigious sporting events such as the America’s Cup in Valencia.

Meanwhile, Alicante hosts the departure of the Volvo Ocean Race, the world’s premier offshore race and an exceptional test of sailing prowess.

In the winter, the Brownlee Brothers, British triathletes and Olympic medalists, come to the area of Alicante to train in the winter. The municipality of La Nucía has incredible sports facilities where they train.

There is also the Tabarca to Santa Pola swim, among the World’s top 100 open water swims. The popular medium distance crossing spans 5,900 metres from an offshore island to the mainland. With 1,400 swimmers, the event attracts the highest number of participants in open water events in Spain.

A Haven for Sports Fans

As well as football and watersports, the Region of Valencia is a haven for all sorts of other sports fans. Throughout the years, the region has hosted major international sporting events and entertainment, such as the Formula 1 European Grand Prix, the Global Champions Tour, Moto GP and the Valencia Open.

Other popular sporting events in the Region of Valencia include cycling, tennis, triathlons, running races, equestrian events and golf. And of course, the Pamesa basketball club is always a source of national pride.

Upcoming Running Events

On 11 November, Valencia will host one of the most important running events in Spain: The Trinidad Alfonso EDP Valencia Marathon. The popular athletics phenomenon is held annually in the historic city of Valencia. With a flat circuit and perfect November temperatures averaging between 12–17 degrees, the marathon represents the ideal setting for a long-distance sporting challenge.

On 24 March 2018the IAAF/Trinidad Alfonso World Half Marathon Championships will be the fastest course ever seen in Valencia. This year, Joyciline Jepkosgei set a new world record as the first woman to reach the finish line with a time of 1:04:51.

On 12 May 2018, Penyagolosa will host the 2018 Trail World Championships. The international trail running event will challenge your limits over impressive landscapes in the mountains of Castellón. Previous editions of this important sporting event took place in Portugal (2016) and Italy (2017).

Immerse yourself in the local culture of the Valencia Region through its sports! Even if you’re not the biggest sports fan, you’ll have a lot of fun getting caught up in the fervour.

For more information, please go to http://comunitatvalenciana.com/

Christmas in a Cup: Coffee Island Launches Brand New Drinks Full of Holiday Cheer

The countdown to Christmas is finally upon us. It’s the time of year for glittering decorations, red berries, evergreens and sweet treats, bright lights, autumn colours, family time and carols in the streets. It’s also the best time for a warm, soothing cup of coffee.

And Coffee Island, London’s latest coffee craze, is sharing its holiday cheer with the launch of this season’s most festive drinks: The New Christmas Spice Collection.

Dedicated to the fine art of specialty coffee brewing, Coffee Island designed the seasonal beverages as the ultimate gift to customers: Christmas in a Cup.

“Coffee Island loves Christmas!” said the R&D team. “So we’ve gone the extra mile to perfect our new Christmas Spice Collection and make the holidays even more special. Treat yourself to Christmas in a cup, and you’ll be sure to leave with a smile.”

From November to January, two tasty creations will be available for customers to enjoy.

Christmas Spices Latte: Conjure the warmth of Christmas morning as bold espresso meets frothy milk, sumptuous cinnamon, ginger and sensual white chocolate.

Christmas Spices Chocolate: Ring in the holiday season by indulging in this mouth-watering mix of milk chocolate, sweet nutmeg, warm cloves and cinnamon undertones.

Coffee Island Knows Artisan Roasting

Obsessed with customisation and unique products, Coffee Island’s R&D Department set out to create new drinks that would make Jolly Old St. Nick proud.

Using traditional Christmas ingredients from Coffee Island’s workshop, the team tinkered and toiled with flavours bursting with holiday character, from cinnamon spices to ginger snaps and clove flavours.

Then, to make the ideal espresso base, artisan roasters used sophisticated brewing methods to extract the nuances of coffee, while experienced cuppers made precise tweaks to capture the most festive flavours and zesty aromas.

After the artisan roasting came the quality checks. During this process, the R&D department tested each beverage under strict criteria to satisfy coffee lovers while ensuring a joyous taste of Christmas on every sip.

Don’t miss out on Christmas in a Cup at Coffee Island. It’s the most delicious way to treat yourself, as well as your family and friends, to a Merry Christmas and a Happy Brew Year.

Drinks cost £3.20 each in 12oz cups and are available from mid-November.

For more information, please go to www.coffeeisland.co.uk.

WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS 2017: Grand Resort Lagonissi Named Europe’s Leading Luxury Wedding Resort

For the second year in a row, Grand Resort Lagonissi on the Athenian Riviera has won the title of ‘Europe’s Leading Luxury Wedding Resort’ at the World Travel Awards 2017.

A proud member of the Leading Hotels of the World, Grand Resort Lagonissi held off stiff competition before being awarded the title last weekend, cementing its position as a global leader in the hospitality industry.

“We are proud to be recognised as Europe’s leading wedding resort at this year’s World Travel Awards,” said General Manager Nikolaos Tzimas. “From all of us at Grand Resort Lagonissi, thank you for your support in making us one of the best hotels across the globe.”

Offering a large selection of indoor and outdoor wedding venues with catering potential for up to 1,200 guests, Grand Resort Lagonissi invites couples to exchange eternal vows amidst the azure sea.

Plan an intimate reception. Evoke romantic elegance in a beachfront ceremony. Revel in lush aromatic gardens by the poolside. Be wed on a spacious veranda under the sunset. Create memories that last a lifetime.

For more information on weddings and celebrations at Grand Resort Lagonissi, please visit http://goo.gl/IpW3Va.

The five-star Grand Resort Lagonissi is now nominated in the ‘World’s Leading Meeting & Conference Hotel 2017′ category, please vote for us here:



WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS 2017: Elounda Beach & Elounda Bay Palace Win Top Honours

For the second year in a row, Elounda Beach Hotel & Villas and Elounda Bay Palace Hotel, two five-star properties in Crete, won top honours at the World Travel Awards 2017.

Elounda Beach Hotel & Villas was awarded ‘Europe’s Leading Resort Villas’ and for the second time awarded  ‘Greece’s Leading Hotel’, while Elounda Bay Palace won the title of ‘Europe’s Leading Seafront Resort’ for the second year running. These accolades are regarded as the most prestigious accolades in the hospitality industry.

Both properties held off stiff international competition before claiming the coveted titles last weekend, cementing their positions as global leaders in the hospitality industry.

“We are honoured to be recognised in two of the most competitive categories at the 2017 World Travel Awards,” said General Manager Manolis Rassoulis. “We appreciate everyone’s support in making Elounda Beach and Elounda Bay Palace leading hotels of the world!”

About Elounda Beach Hotel & Villas

From its exclusive waterfront location on the northeast coast of Crete, Elounda Beach is a Greek hotspot for families, friends, honeymooners, couples and prestigious travellers, including A-list celebrities and royalty.

Set on 40 acres of colourful gardens, the five-star hotel offers luxury accommodation to suit all tastes, combining panoramic bay views with personalised services and award-winning cuisine.

Multi-awarded Yachting Club Villas & Residences offer modern comforts and private infinity-edged pools. New this year are Waterfront Dreamline Villas designed to enhance the holiday experience and make guests feel completely at home.

For more information, please visit http://www.eloundabeach.gr/.

About Elounda Bay Palace Hotel

Next to the Elounda Beach Hotel & Villas on its private beach lies sister property, Elounda Bay Palace Hotel. The five-star property invites guests to experience a dream holiday, with stunning views, aromatic gardens, luxurious seafront accommodation and complimentary access to the award-winning spa at the Elounda Beach Hotel & Villas.

Seven restaurants and three bars offer a variety of fine dining options on the water’s edge, including Cretan, Mediterranean, Italian and seafood. Guests can relax and refresh by the infinity pool or take part in tennis, sailing, water-skiing, jet skiing and scuba diving.

For more information, please visit http://www.eloundabay.gr/.

World Tourism Day 2017 addresses the power of sustainable tourism for development

  • The event took place in the framework of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. 
  • Celebrated worldwide since 1980, World Tourism Day was commemorated on 27 September. This year, the Official Celebrations were held in Doha, the capital city of Qatar.

To advocate the potential of sustainable tourism as a tool for development. This is one of the goals of the World Tourism Day celebrations that are being conducted throughout the world. The Official Celebrations taking place in Qatar, the second celebrated in the country that hosted the event in 2005, convene tourism ministers, industry entrepreneurs and researchers, among other key actors in the sector. The event was opened by the Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism of Qatar, H.E. Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, who emphasized the performance of Tourism and the links of the sector with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as well as its potential in economic diversification.

As stated by UNWTO Secretary General, Taleb Rifai, “as we celebrate World Tourism Day 2017 the question is how we can enable the powerful global transformative force of tourism to contribute to make this world a better place and to advance sustainable development in all its five pillars: Economic, Social, Environmental, Cultural and Peace”.

“Tourism has been recognised by our country’s leadership as a tool for sustainable development, and has been designated one of the priority sectors in the nation’s pursuit of economic diversification. We are particularly honoured to have been joined by high-level members of the international tourism community in Doha for the official celebration of World Tourism Day, which witnessed the launch of the Next Chapter of Qatar’s Tourism Sector Strategy. As we continue on this journey, we look forward to sharing our destination with more visitors, investors and tourism professionals,” said Hassan Al Ibrahim, Chief Tourism Development Officer at the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA).

“For an industry that produces 10% of global GDP and 1 in 10 jobs globally, it is crucial we protect the growth to be sustainable. This International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development should create a legacy based on three key aspects: better management to protect from impacts of T&T, continue working closely together as partners, not just UNWTO and WTTC, but private and public sectors across destinations and countries and to tell the stories, share the inspiration, keep talking about it,” mentioned Helen Marrano, Helen Marano, Senior Vice President at the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), at the Opening of the event.

The Celebrations include a Keynote Speech on ‘Aviation’s Role in Building Sustainable Tourism’ given by Akbar Al Baker, Global GCEO of Qatar Airways and a High Level Think Tank on ‘Tourism as a means for creating opportunities, enhancing cultural preservation and mutual understanding’ moderated by Max Forster from CNN International. The session addresses the capacity of tourism to create jobs and bring new opportunities to communities as well as the contribution of the sector to wealth creation, investment and exports.

The following personalities participate in this debate: Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism of Jamaica, Eugene Lenn Nagbe, Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism of Liberia, Selma Elloumi Rekik, Minister of Tourism and Handicrafts of Tunisia, Avedis Guidanian, Minister of Tourism of Lebanon, Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor Khan, Managing Director of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation, Frano Matušić, State Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism of Croatia, Akbar Al Baker, GCEO of Qatar Airways and Anna Paolini, Director of the UNESCO Office in Doha.

As the role of communications within the tourism sector is of high relevance, a key note speech is offered by Tom Hall, Editorial Director of Lonely Planet on the value of Communicating tourism for Development. This leads to a Special Session on “Tourism and the Planet: committed to a greener future”.

The panel discussion includes Abdulla Hassan Al-Mehshadi, Chief Executive Officer of Msheireb Properties, Fernando Olivera, Minister of the State of Guanajuato in Mexico, Sofia Panayiotaki, Managing Director of PR MEDIACO, Maxime Verstraete, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and ADA Compliance at Hilton, Patricio Azcárate Díaz de Losada, Director at the Responsible Tourism Institute and David Ermen, Senior Manager of the Lodging and Tourism Clients Group at PwC.

Christmas and New Year Holidays in La Gomera

There’s something magical about Christmas abroad. Maybe it’s the much-anticipated winter sun, depending where you’re travelling of course. Or maybe it’s the chance to escape from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. In any case, there are few places where you can simply relax and let the traditions roll out. La Gomera, the second smallest Canary Island and a destination that discerning travellers like to keep for themselves, is just such a place.

But before you read any further, here’s the catch: if you want to go, you might as well start booking now. Hotels get busy all over the island and reach full capacity in sought-after properties, such as those in Valle Gran Rey. This doesn’t mean you’ll be faced with a sea of fly and flop tourists like other islands in the Canaries. It’s just that La Gomera isn’t inundated with massive resorts. Instead, you’ll find small, family-owned boutique hotels that offer a more authentic, bespoke experience.

Ready to book your Christmas holiday?

La Gomera Equals Traditions

In La Gomera, much like in the rest of Spain, Christmas Eve is called Nochebuena, and it’s when the family gathers for a large meal. Little presents might be exchanged then, but most gifts are opened on the 6th of January, celebrating the arrival of the Three Wise Men in Bethlehem. Also, celebrations happen everywhere in La Gomera on the 6th of January, the official Feast of the Epiphany.

Lovely decorations adorn the island, and Christmas trees sparkle with thousands of lights in the central squares of each town. The most spectacular sight is the nativity scene in the Exhibition Hall of La Gomera. And it’s free to visit!

Another interesting fact is that the local council sends out around 7,500 Christmas cards to all the families in La Gomera and its citizens living abroad so they get a little taste of home during the holiday season.

Surely, one of the many things they might miss, and which visitors can try in every bakery this time of the year, is the Torta de Vilana, a traditional Christmas cake made with eggs, raisins and almonds.

When it comes to food, Gomerans know what they’re doing. Their Christmas tables fill up with sweets, pastries, yams, tender potatoes and succulent meat – delicacies that hotels are keen to offer their guests in the name of family spirit. Indeed, the feeling of being a part of a community is one of La Gomera’s many charms.

In fact, you can join in on the holiday cheer as local groups sing Christmas carols door to door. As part of an ancient tradition, these local groups play on the streets in the weeks leading to Christmas Day.

To celebrate New Year’s Eve in Spain, there is also a tradition of eating 12 lucky grapes as the clock strikesmidnight, one for each of the twelve chimes, in order to have a lucky and prosperous year.

And if you’re hoping to kick off 2018 in style, the town of San Sebastián hosts the biggest New Year’s Eve Party of all in the Plaza de Las Américas, the town’s central square. After midnight, local bands play festive dance music all night to the appreciation of a merry crowd. It’s a unique experience you’ll remember fondly for years to come.

For more information, please visit La Gomera’s official website.

Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit: Winter (Sun) Wonderland

Now that summer is over and the leaves are on the turn, the UK is already starting to feel the cold bite of winter. But for those who aren’t quite ready to pack away the shorts just yet, we know the ideal haven for a spot of winter sun.

The neighbouring regions of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, and Riviera Nayarit, Nayarit, have everything you could hope for in a winter sun destination. Situated on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, they enjoy more than 300 days of sunshine every year and an average annual temperature of 28 ºC.

With more than 200 miles of combined coastline, there is ample opportunity to soak up the sun this winter. Whether it’s on the blue-flag awarded Playa Nuevo Vallarta Norte and Marina Riviera Nayarit La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, or in the privacy of the uninhabited Marietas Islands and Hidden Beach, you can be sure to enjoy paradise.

Even without a white Christmas, you can still get festive in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit. There are plenty of posadas, (that’s Christmas parties to you and me), as well as the traditional Festival of Our Lady of Guadalupe at the beginning of the month, where masses of “Vallartenses” parade through the town. Traditions like this are rife in Mexico, making for one of the most heart-warming Christmas seasons you will ever experience.

With a holiday to Mexico booked, you may have also forgotten to finish your Christmas shopping in your excitement – fear not, as it is the perfect region for everything you need. In Puerto Vallarta, head to the Malecon, a half-mile promenade on the water’s edge, for unique gifts for your loved ones from local merchants and families.

Alternatively, if you need a gift for your travel companion, why not book one of the many food and drink tours that offer an authentic taste of Mexico? Head down to Puerto Vallarta and experience a festive Mexican feast with Vallarta Food Tours, who run some of the most popular, including the boozy ‘Mex-ology’ tour in Centro and ‘The Street’ – an evening taco adventure.

While in Riviera Nayarit, you can head to the boho-chic town of Sayulita or celeb hotspot Punta Mita, but the must-see town would be Bucerias. Situated toward the southern end of Riviera Nayarit’s 200 miles of coastline, Bucerias entrances visitors by its incredible food culture, thriving beach scene and charming art walks. It really does have it all. We would highly recommend grabbing a Mexican pastry from Panino’s before a dreamy wander along the flower-lined streets for the perfect day in Mexico.

If you want to get really tropical with your Christmas, then Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit are also home to some of the world’s most stunning and amazing wildlife on the planet. Head out into the waters with dolphins and whales, or visit one of many nature reserves and leafy greens to discover birds, bugs and butterflies, the likes of which you won’t see elsewhere. You may even get to see an ocelot or a jaguar on your adventures! But for a memory to last a lifetime, go to Riviera Nayarit for their baby sea turtle release programs on the coast and amazing crocodile adventures in the marshy El Quelele.

There’s no denying that Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit is the perfect place to spend your winter, whether it’s for a few more days of sun, or for a tradition-fuelled Christmas in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. What are you waiting for?

Getting There

Direct flights to Puerto Vallarta International Airport are available via Thomson Airlines from London Gatwick and Manchester or AeroMexico via Mexico City from London Heathrow. British Airways runs direct flights to Dallas/Fort Worth, offering code share on its One World partner, American Airlines.

Region of Valencia: Family Fun on the Med Coast

If you’d like a holiday that guarantees you and your children a great time, look no further than the Region of Valencia in eastern Spain. Full of natural beauty and a wealth of leisure activities, it’s the perfect place for family fun on the Mediterranean Coast. Get started with these suggestions…

Soak Up the Sun

The Region of Valencia has everything you need for an awesome time with your family. To start, pleasant weather throughout the year makes it ideal for swimming in the sea.

Close to the centre of Valencia, you’ll find the beaches of Las Arenas, La Malvarrosa and El Cabañal. These Blue Flag beaches have earned certifications for their outstanding quality, so you can be sure they’re safe for your little ones. The water is always warm, the sand powdery soft, and you can do almost anything on the shore, from sunbathing to swimming and watersports.

If you prefer more privacy, Valencia’s unspoilt beaches lie just 10 km away. These spectacular stretches of paradise are surrounded by sand dunes and lush vegetation – good for soaking up the sun and letting your worries slip away while the kids play.

Or, they can take to the golden sandy beaches of Benidorm and splash in the crystal clear sea. The beaches of Levante and Poniente have sandy shores and shallow waters that are excellent for children.

Reconnect with Nature

Whether in the mountains, in the countryside or close to the coast, the Region of Valencia is the ultimate option for your family to reconnect with nature.

Tucked between the majestic sierra and the Mediterranean Sea, Castellón is a fantastic starting point due to its variety. The province is home to many natural parks, such as Penyagolosa, Cabanes-Torreblanca and Sierra Calderona. These areas provide a wonderful opportunity to teach your children the value of nature.

A few miles from Valencia, Riba-roja de Túria invites families to participate in an array of exciting activities like hiking, kayaking, horse riding and cycling. And while you can discover the beauty of the region at your own pace, guided tours ensure a fun and educational day out.

Around Alicante, a journey to Elche comes highly recommended. Here, you’ll come across the Palmeral of Elche, Europe’s only large palm grove and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. South of Elche, you’ll find two small natural parks, including Salinas de Santa Pola, a meeting point for huge populations of pink flamingos.

Spend a Day in the Park

In the Region of Valencia, your family can stay close to nature without leaving the city.

For a quintessential day in the park, Turia Gardens in Valencia is one of the best places to be. One of Spain’s largest urban parks, Turia stretches over nine km of green scenery comprising footpaths, leisure and sports areas and romantic spaces to relax and unwind.

Straddling the historic bed of the Turia River, Cabecera Park spans 334,000 square metres of fertile gardens and pine trees, an open-air auditorium, a dock and play areas for children. A small hill within the park also presents picture-perfect views of the city.

Near Cabecera, Bioparc Valencia lets your kids meet lemurs, zebras, elephants and lions within an atmosphere reminiscent of Africa.

But for even bigger thrills, you can’t go wrong with Terra Mítica, one of Europe’s most original theme parks. The park is split into five areas representing the legendary civilisations of Egypt, Greece, Rome, Iberia and the Mediterranean Islands.

Terra Mítica offers an abundance of attractions and more than 80 daily shows to suit all tastes. Get the whole family involved as you escape from the “Minotaur’s Labyrinth”, get soaked at the “Nile Waterfalls” or fly at high speeds on Europe’s longest wooden roller coaster.

Make the Most of the Region’s Museums

When it comes to family holidays, checking out the local museums is a safe bet. In the city of Valencia alone, you can tour 35 museums that cover many different themes, from history to fine art.

Don’t miss one of the most memorable experiences available: The City of Arts and Sciences Centre. Within the centre, kids can have fun while learning at the Príncipe Felipe Science Museum and the Hemisfèric, where they can watch amusing presentations such as “The Enchanted Reef” and “The Origins of Life”.

At the Science Museum, children can take part in workshops, learn how the human body works, discover how robots are made or go on a simulated spacewalk.

A trip to the Oceanografic Aquarium is also a must. It’s the largest aquarium in Europe, covering some 111,000 square metres with futuristic architecture. Over 500 species of marine life await nature lovers, including dolphins, belugas, walruses and turtles. The youngest members of the family can participate in plenty of events too, counting close encounters with a penguin.

Stay in Family-Friendly Accommodation

No matter how you choose to spend your holiday, the Region of Valencia is an enjoyable destination to visit as a family. Give your family a real treat and explore Region of Valencia together.

Aside from all the fun, you’ll have no problem finding family-friendly hotels and restaurants to complete your stay.

For more information, please go to http://comunitatvalenciana.com/.

Ras Al Khaimah Golf Challenge Champion Jordan Smith Masters ‘PaddleGolf’ Test

Jordan Smith, one of the brightest emerging stars in global golf, proved he is just as accomplished with a paddle as an eight-iron.

The Englishman was challenged to the unique ‘PaddleGolf’ test by Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA). He was joined by with Wellness and Performance Coach Claudine Foong, and her husband, Alex Riggs, a PGA coach.

The ‘PaddleGolf’ challenge saw Smith and Foong paddleboard approximately 1,000 metres from the new Al Hamra Sailing Club through the tranquil waters of Al Hamra Marina. There, they stepped onto a floating pontoon to fire 14-yard shots towards a makeshift pin on the 18th green of Al Hamra Golf Club.

The Al Hamra Golf Club is the venue of next month’s Ras Al Khaimah Golf Challenge, which returns to the UAE’s northernmost emirate from 25-28 October.

Smith, who secured his first PGA European Tour card last October, even managed to sink one of his shots.

“I was a little cautious at first because I had never tried stand-up paddleboarding before,” Smith said. “After a few quick tips on the beach, it was a relief to get straight on to my feet once we hit the water.

“It turned out to be really fun, and it was comforting knowing the water beneath me was warm! Once we got on the pontoon, it was a little more familiar – well, as familiar as playing golf shots off a floating platform in the middle of a lagoon can be!”

Smith has secured multiple top 10 finishes and a maiden Tour win at August’s Porsche European Open. He has risen to 69th in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) and currently sits in a lofty 17th in the Race to Dubai rankings. He has also secured his place in the DP World Tour Championships at Jumeirah Golf Estates from 16–19 November.

A 105-strong roster of golf stars will tee-off in the second Ras Al Khaimah Golf Challenge in six weeks. Haitham Mattar, CEO of RAKTDA, was thrilled to see Smith back in the emirate.

“It’s fantastic that Jordan has taken some time out from his busy European Tour schedule to return to Ras Al Khaimah and take part in our ‘PaddleGolf’ challenge,” Mattar said. “It’s great to have him back here with us, and on behalf of all his fans in Ras Al Khaimah, we wish him a successful end to his rookie season on the European Tour.”

The Ras Al Khaimah 2017 Golf Challenge is the penultimate event of this season’s European Challenge Tour. The event has attracted a marquee line-up of sponsors for its second edition, including Emirates Airline, the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Group and Al Hamra Golf Club.

Watch Jordan Smith’s ‘PaddleGolf’ stunt: https://youtu.be/xFMzJDpMUqY


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