Saturday, 25 January 2014

Explore Tenerife and its Outdoor Attractions

Holidays to Tenerife have long been a popular choice with European and especially British holidaymakers looking for a little slice of sunshine.

As the largest of the Canary Islands, nestled off the north western coast of Africa, Tenerife benefits from incredible climes and blistering sunshine throughout the year. Whether you choose to travel in the summer, to take advantage of temperatures that soar into their 30s, or you prefer to enjoy milder weather consisting of temperatures in the mid-20s with an accompanying Atlantic breeze, Tenerife holidays are the perfect answer.

While many of the accommodation options on the island involve all-inclusive, bustling resorts that families are drawn towards because of their great value, there are also plenty of luxury hotels and villas for you to call your own, too. Sophistication can be found in various corners of the island, waiting for you to snap it up!

Once you have your accommodation sorted, it’s time to plan your activities. Many will be content with simply lazing on the sands and enjoying the resort’s amenities but if you do wish to head for the great outdoors, there’s plenty to see and do, including:

  • Teide National Park dominates a large portion of the centre of the island, and is well worth visiting if you have a day spare. Mount Teide is the third largest volcano in the world and regular bus tours and camel rides will enable you to see this majestic formation in all its glory.
  • Barranco del Infierno in Adeje is perfect for walkers and hikers who love to get to grips with the terrain beneath their feet. The walk takes about four hours, and has an extensive range of fauna, flora and watering holes to spot.
  • Icod de los Vinos on the west coast is the place to go, not only for the Cueva del Viento which is the largest volcanic cavity in the world, but also to admire the mythological Dragon Tree, which some say is over 800 years old!

Make the most out of your holiday to Tenerife and explore beyond your resort of choice. There’s so much to see, it’d be a shame not to!


Friday, 24 January 2014

Real Turkish coffee in Istanbul

Even though I am not a coffee drinker (I consider myself more of a tea person), I like to try a good cup of coffee once in a while. I really liked the coffee I tried in Rome some time ago and was looking forward to trying a Turkish variety.

It might come as a surprise to you but finding a good cup of Turkish coffee in Turkey can sometimes be very difficult. All too often it is thin and watery, rather than thick and viscous.

I doubt we would have ever found a proper place on our own, but luckily we had a local friend to turn to.

A small coffee place tucked in a narrow street in the Asmali area of Beyoglu was exactly what we were looking for. It is called Mandabatmaz and has been serving coffee since 1967. The name of the place could supposedly be roughly translated into “so thick even a water buffalo wouldn’t sink in it.” And that is just what the brew made here is like.

The brewmaster of the place has been doing it for the last 21 years. They have a blend of coffee delivered to them that has been blended and roasted especially for them. The blend itself is a carefully kept family secret.

The coffee is really thick and strong. As I have been told, you should constantly swirl the coffee cup in your hand not to let the thick stuff sink to the bottom. This should allow you to finish it all.

Not being a coffee drinker I must admit I had trouble drinking it all. Italian coffee varieties with some milk are definitely closer to my taste. If coffee is totally not your thing, you should perhaps try a glass of freshly made tea instead. It is also supposed to be very good.

I definitely recommend this place, but you should not expect exemplary service or an extensive menu. However, a genuine experience is guaranteed.
You can expect to pay around 3TL for a cup of coffee.


Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Views of Istanbul from a ferry

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