Archive for June 27th, 2019

June 27, 2019

The beaches of Valencia!

And as the summer has started in my neck of the woods and even hotter in my beloved Spain why not mention the magic word=beaches! And my Spain has plenty of good ones, the ones closer to me have been always those by Valencia as well as when a boy had family near there so memories of old and came back with my boys and now more memories… The beaches of Valencia, let me tell you a bit more on them ok.

Valencia has two urban beaches of golden sand, Las arenas and the beach of Malvarrosa, which are bounded in the  south by the Port of Valencia and on the north by  the Patacona Alboraya beach. These are urban beaches, which have a large promenade where there are many large premises, which occupy old public baths, and offer a wide choice of accommodations and local cuisine. There are other beaches like those of Pinedo, with the area of the black house where the beach is nudist, of Perellonet, of Recatí and the Gola del Perello, more than 15 km of coasts of sand (protected by dunes), which constitute an offer of large beaches , in the heart of the Albufera Natural Park. A must the beaches, Malvarrosa and Las Arenas are right in the city easy. The paseo maritimo walkway is rather nice with shops and restos and of course hôtels. Plenty of activities in sandy wide beach, something to think about next time with more time.  There is a nice statue mémorial to Antonio Ferrandis a great Valencian actor.

valencia

These are the beaches of Valencia : within city limits are Las Arenas, La Malvarrosa, La Marina, Marina Beach,  and the Paseo Marítimo. The beaches around or close to the city are El Saler, La Albufera, Pinedo, Perellonet, La Devesa, and La Garrofera. For reference, in my youth I came more to El Saler and La Albufera because I stayed with my aunt at El Saler. Once coming with my boys we went more to the city beaches of La Malvarrosa, El Cabañal ,Las Arenas, and the Paseo Maritimo.

valencia

The Municipal Sports Foundation offers the possibility of practicing sports on the beach to encourage exercise and physical activity. Sports services include several modalities so that you can choose the one you most want. It offers yoga, pilates, taichi, fitness, GAP or cross training with classes taught by professional monitors and instructors. If you are interested in participating, you just have to go to the Malvarrosa information booth, at the beach volleyball facility.

But the thing does not end here, not only for its beaches is Valencia famous; also for its gastronomy. Restaurants on the beach are the busiest in the summer and present a variety of dishes to eat overlooking the Mediterranean and enjoy the scenery and Valencian cuisine flavors. Casa Isabel has been standing since 1967. Almost 50 years at the Malvarrosa beach, skimming the sand and discovering neighbors and tourists the virtues of traditional Valencian cuisine. Our favorite and recommended, webpage here:  https://casaisabel.es/

La Malvarrosa is the first beach that we are in the city of Valencia and  is surely the best known of all and do best in my opinion. It is a long beach, almost 2 km and up to 60 meters wide in some sections, of fine sand. Its promenade, border between the beach and the city, is one of its great values, since it allows you  to enjoy a pleasant walk along the Mediterranean 12 months of the year. Currently, this wide and open beach has a very lively appearance both on the beach itself, for the amount of services it offers and on the promenade that delimits it, whose construction began in 1990, and houses restaurants and cafeterias. It has lifeguard stations and an area adapted for the swim of people with reduced mobility.

valencia

You can go to the historic fishing district of Cabanyal, where the Arenas beach awaits you. There, you can enjoy its 1,200 meters of fine golden sand, as well as the traditional restaurants that are at the beginning of the beach. Many Valencian families prefer this beach because of its easy access and communication with public transport, because we can access it by metro and bus  just like the Malvarrosa. It has all kinds of services as well as sports areas and games for children. The good temperatures of Valencia make it lively for most of the year. It is also one of the most frequented nightlife spots between the months of April and October. Its official name is Playa del Cabanyal although it is also popularly known as Playa de las Arenas due to the old beach resort of Las Arenas, a characteristic building that imitates a Greek temple, now converted into a hotel, which was a meeting place for the Valencian bourgeoisie of the late  19C and early 20C.

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Again this is a bit farther from the city but well worth your time if have it. The Playa El Saler with more than 5 km long and about 35 meters wide average is one of the favorite beaches for Valencians. A cordon of dunes of great ecological value and a great extension of pine forests protect this beach, very open, which makes it an ideal place to practice sports such as windsurfing. The fact that it is very open makes it require more control over children when you go with them, although of course these have fun assured. to the west it is delimited by the marsh and the lagoon, since it is within the limits of the wonderful Albufera Natural Park (birthplace of the rice for the Paella etc).

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The Natural Park of the Albufera has  21 120 hectares located just 10 km south of the city on the way to El Saler which is right on the tip of it. The park includes the Lake Albufera. Its environment is humid, and adjacent to both the coastal strip. The marshes of Rafalell and Vistabella, with an area of 103 hectares, is one of the last marshes that extends to the north of the river Turia at Alboraya Sagunto, which shoots the groundwater and the irrigation. La Horta of Valencia (vegetable garden) was born in the Roman Empire , but what is really today the Horta of Valencia was developed in the Middle Ages, during the Arabic period.  Arabs have created an extensive network of irrigation infrastructures: irrigation canals; Wells; and small dams. This network is derived from the canals of the Turia and allows to the formation of marshes carrying large amounts of water to the irrigation fields. And this produces the best rice for the Paella dish a must! The park info is here:  https://www.visitvalencia.com/en/what-to-see-valencia/albufera-natural-park

La Malvarrosa and Las Arenas are the urban beaches of Valencia. If you wonder the distance between Malvarrosa beach and the center of Valencia, it is approximately 6 km. Buses to Malvarossa and Arenas beaches are the lines 1, 2, 19, 20, 23, 29, 31, 32 and 95. Each has a stop along the promenade. Lines 4 and 6 tram in Valencia also reach the beaches of Valencia city stops as Dr. Lluch and Les Arenes, and lines 5, 7 and 8 Metrovalencia passing through Marítim-Serreria, nearby metro stop to the Malvarrosa Beach. Of course needs to verify updates as transpor lines and hours can change year to year. The bus networm EMT is here in English: EMT Valencia transports

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Line 25. Valencia-El Palmar / El Perellonet. Departure from Valencia at: Palacio de Justicia, Calle alcalde Reig,Palacio de Justicia and El Saler beach. Hours: from 7h  to 22H. with departures every 25-35 minutes approximately. Of course you have to check the dates as this changes from summer to summer. Since distance is something, you can come by car. Autopista del Saler: V-15, CV-500 and exit of the CV-500 at the roundabout of Av. Pinedos, third exit. About 10 minutes and 11 km. Follow signs Playas El Saler beaches and there are car parkings. Above EMT serves as well here.

Some additional webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Valencia on beach conditions

Tourist office of Valencia on the beaches

Tourist office of the Community region of Valencia on the beaches

There you go just in town to avoid the canicula heat wave going on now and head for the beach, whether now or in August massive vacation time and I will be by there lol! Time permitting. Enjoy the beaches of Valencia.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

 

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June 27, 2019

The beach towns of Carcans, and Hourtin!

So here I am as time is running fast and Summer and the beach time is here in my belle France. We still do not know where we are going, last minute lazy boys I guess, but we did have spent many summers on the beaches of my area and the Gironde ,specifically the Médoc. Oh yes is not just wines they make there ::)

Let me tell you  a bit more on the beach towns of Carcans and Hourtin in the Médoc peninsula of the Gironde dept 33 of the region of Nouvelle Aquitaine! And of course been beach towns, well we took personal photos, and someone was a bit shy to be in the photos!

We head for the beaches of Cancans and Hourtin as well like our playground area, crisscrossing this wonderful region, great beaches there. We love the italian ices in Cancans, and the pizza at Hourtin. Can’t missed the ice creams in Cancans Le Salon de la Glace , its right in the small city center street facing the beach at Maubuisson at 2 rue Rossignols.

They even talk about them now in this webpage Carcans-Maubissons here on the ice creams: Carcans Maubuisson on the Le Salon de la Glace

Hourtin is in the Médoc peninsula of the Gironde Department 33   in the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. Nestled in the heart of the immense forest of the Landes, it borders the Côte d’Argent or Silver Coast and counts on the presence of one of the largest natural lakes of France, the Lake of Hourtin and Carcans, which is also the most important of the great lakes of the Landes. Hourtin is also the 30th largest town in France by its surface area due mainly to the lakes/forest area. Part of the territory is classified as a national nature reserve, the national nature reserve of the dunes and marshes of Hourtin.

Carcans

The town is 12 km from Carcans 23 km from Lacanau, 24 km from Pauillac, 37 km from Soulac-sur-Mer, 54 km from Bordeaux and 59 km from Arcachon. By it takes you about 1h30 from Bordeaux.

The present town was known until 1628 under the name of Cartignac, Hourtin being only a small hamlet of the village to the French revolution, the present town replaced the old parish of Saint-Hélène de l’Étang.

Main tourist places here are the Church of Hourtin. , the Hourtin lighthouse (phare). The Forest of the Landes. And Hourtin shares with its neighbour Carcans one of the largest freshwater lakes of France, the Lake of Hourtin and Carcans, at the edge of which is built the tourist complex of Hourtin-port.

Some webpages to help you enjoy fully wonderful Hourtin are

City of Hourtin with direction maps

Tourist office of the Medoc on Hourtin things to see

My favorite Plages tv webpage on the beaches of Hourtin

Carcans  is also located in the Médoc,as above and 50 km from Bordeaux, in the Landes. As above only 12 km from Hourtin. And as above, Carcans is a seaside resort enjoying both the Atlantic Ocean and the largest natural freshwater lake in France. It is composed of five poles: but for the visitors the main are Carcans city center or bourg; Maubuisson, with a great lake beach and water activities; the tourist resort Le Domaine de Bombannes, sports and recreation area by the Lake; and Carcans-Beach, seaside resort at the edge of the ocean.

Carcans

Carcans

The first historical testimony of the town dates from 1099, the year in which the Lord of Lesparre attributed to the Benedictine monks of the Abbey Sainte Croix (Holy Cross) in Bordeaux, the churches of Carcans-Lacanau and Saint-Hélène de l’Étang . Carcans is as well located on the way or Camino de Santiago de Compostela (St James) , leaving from Soulac, on the Soulac way. A 13C manuscript reveals the importance of religion in Carcans and especially the cult of St. John the Baptist. Today the main economic activity of Carcans is the seaside tourism.

Some of the remarkable tourist places here are the Moulin (mill) built at the site of what was called the Castle. The first official mention of the monument dates from 1627. The miraculous fountain of St. John quoted by Olivier de Marliave was located at the foot of the mill.

The Church of St. Martin founded in 1099, was the seat of a Priory until the 13C. At that time it was erected as a parish. Carcans was a relay for pilgrims from Santiago de Compostela coming from Saintonge. In remembrance, the Church preserves a statue of Saint James in a pilgrim’s costume dating from the 17C. From time immemorial, Saint-Martin Church was a place of pilgrimage to St. John the Baptist folks came from very far revering the head of St. John, carved in stone, of Byzantine origin of the 6C, wearing hair in horseman-work of a terrifying realism . A statue of Saint John of the 18C dominates the altar of this Saint. The present church was built in 1870 in the Neo-Gothic style; the altar of the same time is polychrome marble. The organ of the choir, of German origin, was mounted in 1971, during the restoration of the Church.

OF course, we came here for the walks on the beach side predominantly and the beach itself of course with the family is tops. Some webpages to help you plan your trip to wonderful Carcans are

City of Carcans on tourism choices

Toursit office of Medoc on Carcans things to see

My favorite Plages tv webpage on the beaches of Carcans

There you go another gem on the water of my wonderful Médoc, a lot more than world class wines (simply the best), but also, many monuments, rides, architecture,history and great beaches all along the Atlantic ocean.  Enjoy coming to Carcans and Hourtin! Hope you will like them too.

And remember ,happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

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