Archive for October, 2010

These Three Things – Madrid

By 1800FlyEurope in Destination Highlights, These Three Things | on October 20th, 2010

This week, let’s take a trip to Madrid and check out three things to do and see.  This would be a perfect time to go, too, with the mild autumn weather and the summer tourists all gone home.

Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid (Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid)  РFor those of us who appreciate and love all things botanical, this is a place that can’t be missed. It was founded in October of 1755 by King Ferdinand VI.  Located on the banks of the Manzanares river and consisting of two greenhouses and a herbarium, the garden contains over 25,000 plants, flowers and trees. They are open year round and admission costs around €2 per person.

Chocolatería San Ginés – Love chocolate? This is the place for you! Located in the city center serving hot chocolate and churros (fried dough), this café has been open since 1894. It is typical to enjoy the churros by dipping them into the hot chocolate.  People flock from all over to chow down on this specialty, so the place is almost always packed. Open during the afternoon until late night, which is prime chocolate-craving time, stop in and take a bite out of traditional Madrid fare!

Las Ventas Bullring –  Many people travel to Madrid for no other reason than to go see a bullfight. (Other brave travelers go to Pamplona simply to “run with the bulls” – not recommended!) The main bullring in of Madrid, La Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas del Espíritu Santo (known simply as Las Ventas) was built from 1922-1929 and is probably the most important bullfighting arena in the world. The bullfighting season goes from March to December; fights are held every Sunday and each one lasts about 2 or 3 hours.

Have you been to Madrid?  What were some of your favorite activities while you were there?

Three Gnarly Spots to Hang Ten

By 1800FlyEurope in Destination Highlights | on October 15th, 2010

Previously, if someone mentioned surfing, the first places that would come to my mind were California and Hawaii. And while these places are fantastic, I now know of many more fun locations to hang ten; but  I wonder how many other people also think of these two states as the world’s main surf destinations.

I did my research and found hundreds of other spots, some made me say, “Of course, why didn’t I think of that?” while others made me go, “Hmmm…who’d have thought?”  Here are three places to consider if you’re interested in surfing while on your next trip abroad.

Thurso, Scotland- Although it seems unusual to hear “surfing” and “Scotland” in the same sentence, Thurso is an interesting place to try it out.  The waves here bowl around the reef into the harbor, making for a long, fun ride! The weather is not balmy in Thurso and the water is quite cool (top water temps in summer are typically around 60°F) so it calls for surfing in bodysuits as opposed to regular swimsuits or trunks. Probably best suited for experienced surfers, watch for the large rocks!

Peniche, Portugal- On the west coast of Portugal, about an hour north of Lisbon is the seaside town of Peniche.  It is known for its long beaches, water sports and as one of the best surfing locations in Europe.  Plenty of offshore wind makes for the strong, fast tubular waves sometimes referred to as the “European Pipeline”.  Whether you’re an experienced surfer, or you’re new to the game Peniche is a fantastic spot to hit the waves.  There is even a surf school/camp (the Peniche Surf Camp) right on site!

Bundoran, Ireland – Bundoran is another one of the places that you will want to surf fully suited.   This resort town is located along the Atlantic Ocean’s Donegal Bay, about a three hour drive from Dublin.  Home to the Annual Sea Sessions Festival and Bundoran Surf Company (which is a Surf School, Lodge and Shop), Bundoran is one of Ireland’s premiere surfing destinations.  In 2008, “Wave Riders” a documentary about surfing in Ireland (Bundoran in particular) came out, winning the audience award at the 2008 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.  Certain local surfers have been recorded riding waves from 45-55 feet high in Mullaghmore Head which is about  less than 10 miles from Bundoran.  Wow!

Have you ever been surfing? If so, where was your favorite place?

Departure Information
Return Information
Fare Type Round Trip     One Way
Passengers  Adults
  Children under 11