It’s been a while on my Spain, but never forgotten ;here I am . As summer is here Spain offers all kinds of interests for the whole family. As one commercial from the 80’s used to said, “Spain ,everything under the Sun”. So here is my sunshine on Spain.
The Cies Islands are an archipealogo located in the ria of Vigo, consisting of 3 islands; San Marino, O Faro, and Monte Agudo. They are part of the Atlantic Islands National Park, and are the main tourist attraction of Vigo. Less than an hour by boat from the city, in summer and Easter there are daily trips organized by the city only accessable by boat. At San Marino you need to ask permission for anchoring.
There are nine beaches in the islands, and they are all beautiful. Through different hiking trails that crisscross the Islands, you gain access to all of the beaches. You can spent a wonderful day at either Rodas, the Chapel of Areinas or practicing nudism in Figueiras. In the campsite of the Cies Islands you can camp provided you have booked a space as it is inside the park handle by the city of Pontevedra. You have restaurants ,cafés and shops about 50 meters from the beach. However, there is no electricity, as it is a protected park ,but is not required with the stars of the Moon when they shine on the Cies Islands.
On the islands you have the largest colony of seagulls in Europe with more than 20 thousand pairs of their species. You ,also, will find woodpeckers, and other birds in large numbers such as cormorants, and small communities of gannets, doves, birds, as well as rich sealife in crab, octopus, lobsters,a nd turbot as well as urchins, barnacles, and mussels. If you are lucky you may see dolphins.
You can get more information here http://www.turismodevigo.org/en/cies-islands
And now go to my ancestors island of Tenerife. The Teide mountain (volcano) or Cheide, as the original inhabitants the Guanches call it is awesome. The Reloj de las Flores or clock of flowers giving by Denmark over 50 years ago,and in the Parque Garcia Sanabria , a cultural center designed by Swiss architects Herzog & De Meuron (Tenerife Espacio de las Artes ,TEA) ,the square or Plaza del Principe conquered by skaters, and an auditorium overlooking the sea modeled after the Calatrava. To add, there is great nightlife on the surrounding beaches, with shops, market, and the Church of Nuestra Señora de Africa as well as the Castillo de San Juan.
At San Cristobal de Laguna , the first capital of Tenerife (1723) you see nice architecture still present in the old town with narrow streets that resemble a checkered chess board. You should not missed in the Center, the Casa del Corregidor, Alhondiga, and Palacio Lercaro , amongst other buildings; The beaches, you have the quiet Abama, Duque,and Las Eras or the surfing wild Agua Ducel, La Pelada, and El Cabezo, the emblematic las Teresitas the marine environment of los Cristianos, the volcanic such as las Mujeres,and the to go with children such as the Camison.
We go the North-West of the island (known as Isla Baja or low island) to get to the Walkers paradise of Parque Rural de Teno, great views of the Atlantic ocean, endemic plant species of the area, and come across the Barranco de Masca, one of the most impressive of the island, dotted with charming villages, not easy to reach but that is why the charm. The garden or Jardin del Teide, starts on the slopes of the volcano and reaches the coast at Puerto de la Cruz, peaceful life and great seafood. The top here is the Lago Martiànez with more than 13 000 square meters of artificial lakes of salt water.
The Dragon tree is a national monument since 1917, and the giant and longevity of it is amazing. The millenium dragon by the town of Icod de los Vinos in the north of the island has 18 meters with a trunk of 30 meters diameter and about 300 branches. You reach Garachico ,where a Genovese merchant founded it in 1496 and since then ,began to fill it with palaces, churches, convents and castle fortresses. The castle of San Miguel has the arms of Charles I of Spain and the same Charles V of Germany, and it is still there. See the paradise of Tenerife.
What to do in Madrid in Summer! Well many things like walks in its wonderful parks such as El Retiro and take advantage of the non crowds to visit others like the El Capricho the Jardin de Sabatini, Casa de Campo. The museums in the capital are still open in summer such as The Prado, Reina Sofia, the Archeology museum, National Library or the Thyssen museum all awaiting you.
Then, you have the Parque de Atracciones (Amusement park), and Parque Warner. Other sites includes the Aquopolis parks and in all you can be a child again. Luckily, Madrid has some private beaches too in which to escape ok go to the Reservoir of San Juan in San Martin de Valdeiglesias, a classic for Madrid folks and the natural pool of Las Presillas in Navacerrada, the best ways to cool down with the waters of the Sierra mountains.
Several of the shows are held outdoors near Rio Madrid ,the huge park that runs along the banks fo the Manzanares river. This year you can enjoy the film festival of Fescinal, in Principe Pio, outdoor cinema at Conde Duque, and the stage at Puente del Rey rio Madrid with guests stars Estrella Morente, El Cigala, Jose Mercé and the best of the Zarzuelas in the theater. Also, the Matadero or (slaughterhouse) another essential now in Madrid.
At Alcalà de Henares you can spend a day touring its old streets with something for everyone, and in summer is a wonderful time to see it. The Calle Mayor, Plaza de Cervantes and the House where he was born, Cathedral de los Santos Niños, auditorium all that in historic Alcalà de Henares , and take advantage of visiting Torrejon de Ardoz with its unique Europa Park and some great shopping at Parque Corredor (great took my kids here for toys r us ).
Back to Madrid in the summer the streets are empty and a great time to walks its streets such as Preciados (great store El Corte Inglés) and the awesome Puerta del Sol without appearing the entire world has been given appointment here. Find your way to the El Rastro ,flea market, nothing more local than this. Come Sunday heads for Calle Ribera de Curtidores in the La Latina neighborhood to discover the hidden treasures in the market stalls of a centuries old tradition. Even in the summer the Rastro is open later closing at 16h or 4 pm; if nothing else in Madrid in summer stop by here. The city tourist office has official guided tours program and this August 2015 you have the traditional festivals of Madrid such as the San Cayetano, San Lorenzo ,and my all time favorite the Virgin de le Paloma or Verbena de la Paloma.
Awesome and all is everything under the Sun, Spain , of course.