Tag Archives: outdoor activities

Top Reasons To Visit The Canary Islands

Being a relatively known tourist destination, there are many top reasons to visit the Canary Islands. This archipelago is an Atlantic territory of Spain and it is located off the west coast of Africa. It shares close proximity with Morocco, Cape Verde and two known Portuguese territories such as the archipelagos of the Azores Islands and Madeira Islands. The Canary Islands are composed of seven atolls, each of them uniquely beautiful. The first civilization to inhabit this archipelago were the Phoenicians, around 1,000 BC, right after establishing their capitol in North Africa. It is interesting to note that in ancient times, the Canary Islands were believed to be the lost islands of Atlantis. Anyone with a fascination for this legendary location can probably choose to believe that Atlantis is not just a myth. But Atlantis or not, it was not called “the lands without sorrow” for nothing.

beaches in Fuerteventura

1. Vacation means fishing, surfing and cruising

An island vacation wouldn’t feel right if one does not enjoy the recreations akin to the pleasant surroundings. Fishing in the Canary Islands is a splendid experience especially in Tenerife. There is big game fishing with a wide array of angler selections such as yellow fin tuna, white marlin and wahoo. Fuerteventura is a windsurfer’s and outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. There are plenty of great places to stay as well, just check out On The Beach for accommodation in Fuerteventura, they have some good options.

2. A magical trek along the Magic Isle

La Gomera has earned the moniker Magic Isle. Being a haven for walkers and casual outdoor enthusiasts, strolling around the Magic Isle is definitely one of the top reasons to visit the Canary Islands. The rough terrain provides a good challenge to many intermediate trekkers, providing some sense of adventure while not being too dificult. Have a talk with one of the friendly locals and notice their “Whistled language” which was documented by the Romans back in ancient times. This whistled speech is called Silbo Gomero.

3. Seafood diet is so good it is see-food diet!

Another of the top reasons to visit the Canary Islands has a lot to do with their diverse cuisine. Canarian cuisine is a great treat for health conscious eaters as it often makes use of ingredients based on fish, vegetables and fresh fruits. Because of its close proximity to North Africa, it is not surprising to find Moroccan cuisine in the mix with the standard Spanish culinary genre. For meat lovers, one can always enjoy a nice hot stew or have a piece or two of the succulent barbecue steaks.

4. Fantastic Drink Options!

Canary Islands have four wonderful types of drinks. The wines are of excellent quality fermented from the vineyards of La Palma and Northern Tenerife. It’s a good addition to a romantic dinner. Barraquito is a special brewed coffee admired for its caffeine strength and tea-like constitution. The special ron miel is a sweet rum made from honey, similar to mead. Lastly, nothing beats a good cold beer!

Natural Bristol!

Bristol is a grand city made famous by its rich history as a port and trading hub. It is widely known that in 1837 Bristol born engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel launched the famous Great Western steamship  that was built in the city’s harbour. But as with many other cities, these famous tales often overshadow things that might otherwise take prominence. For example, as well as being a historic and creative city, Bristol has an array of natural attractions including parks, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens and more. Check out some of these enjoyable nature activities in Bristol!

University of Bristol Botanical Gardens

Deer in Avon Valley Wild Life Park

The University of Bristol’s botanical gardens were opened in 1882 by Adolf Leipner – the Lecturer of Botany at the time – for a mere £15. Since then the gardens have seen many thousands of visitors every year and continue to thrive. With four impressive plant collections and a further four greenhouses filled with tropical and sub-tropical plants, there is no shortage of interesting things to see. Opening times from April – September are from 10:00am – 4:30pm and it costs £3.50 to get in at the time of writing. School age kids go free.

Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park

From Flickr

Avon Valley is the perfect place to take the kids during the summer holiday, as there are plenty of attractions and events to fill a whole day (perhaps even two). Attractions include a huge indoor soft play arena, pet’s corner, quad bikes and boat rides. One of the park’s great selling points is that it gets the kids out in the fresh air and away from the television. The main park is open from the 23rd March (opening times are 10:00am – 6:00pm, Mon – Sun). It costs £8.00 for an adult and £7.50 for concessions and children. Kids under 2 go free.

Bristol Aquarium

From Flickr

The Bristol Aquarium is home to a wide array of sea life including sharks, rays and a multitude of species that are native to the UK. As if the resident giant octopus wasn’t enough, there is also an underwater tunnel constructed with 2 inch thick glass which houses puffer fish, butterfly fish and wrasse among others. The aquarium opens 7 days a week from 10am – 5pm and a one day adult ticket costs £13.00. Child tickets are £9.00, Senior and Student tickets are £12.00 and family tickets are available for £38.50 (2 adults & 2 children)

If you’re looking for a Bristol hotel, consider staying somewhere quite central, as the city itself is quite big and can be difficult to navigate if you don’t have a car. The Bristol Mercure is very conveniently placed and has the added benefit of a spa to rest your weary body after a day of exploration.

If you haven’t yet, check out our Bristol Travel Guide as well for even more great things to do!


Photo of the Week: The Chocolate Hills in Bohol, Philippines

Bohol, Philippines

One of the last great frontiers on the tourist circuits in South East Asia is The Philippines. Named for King Phillip of Spain, The Philippines are an amazing collision of cultures as a result of over 300 years of Spanish colonial rule,  Japanese and American occupation and an influx of people from other local nations, namely China. The nation, which is comprised of over 7,000 islands is very affordable and offers everything you could want for a vacation from sprawling metropolises to nature so untouched, you might be the first human to lay eyes upon it in years.

The above picture is from the island of Bohol in the Visaya region of the country. Bohol offers some of the most pristine beaches in the whole world as well as bountiful beautiful landscapes including the Chocolate Hills seen here. They are a geographic wonder known as conical karsts that result from the dissolution of limestone after rains, tectonic processes and ground water. There are over 1,500 of these hills that average in height from around 98 to 160 ft in an area of about 50 sq km. They get the name “chocolate hills” because in the dry season, the vegetation that covers them turns brown, i.e. looking like chocolate kisses!

There are plenty of tours that will take you to see the hills from the beaches where most people stay, but a more fun option is to just rent a motorcycle or scooter and make the scenic drive at your own pace!