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    Monthly Archives: November 2015

    Spanish Tapas in the Canary Islands

    Finding good tapas bars in the Canary Islands isn’t as easy as on the Spanish mainland, but that doesn’t mean that wonderfully tasty tapas doesn’t exist, according to Debbie Black who works for www.letsbuyinspain.com .

    The Canary Islands are Spanish provinces, but their location near the coast of West Africa and their history means that, although Spanish in name, they have an identity that is quite different than that of the Spanish peninsular.

    On Tenerife, for example, a mix of Guanche culture (the island’s original primitive inhabitants), South American emigrants and the pot pourri of nationalities (Spanish, Portuguese, Italians, British and Flemish) that settled and developed the island following the Spanish conquest in the 15th century have resulted in a culture that is quite unique.

    It would be reasonable to think that the cuisine in the Canary Islands would reflect this mix and that an exciting culinary tradition would have evolved. Strangely, this didn’t happen and the traditional cuisine found on the islands is more akin to basic peasant food; basically grilled meats and fish and hearty stews.

    However, the rise of tourism over the last few decades have brought more and more European visitors who were familiar with Spanish tapas. The more savvy restaurant owners adapted to give the visitors what the were looking for and more and more tapas dishes started appearing on menus.

    Now most traditional bars offer a small selection of tapas dishes and in the more cosmopolitan areas, smart tapas bars similar to those found in Barcelona and Madrid have sprung up.

    Any bar owner will tell visitors that they serve tapas to get visitors through the door of their establishment, but it is always worth checking out the menu to make sure that restaurants actually do offer some tapas commonly found in the Canary Islands.

    Common Tapas Dishes in the Canary Islands

    Papas Arrugadas with Mojo Salsa

    A speciality of the islands, these are literally wrinkled potatoes served with a green cilantro sauce and a spicy pepper sauce. Sometimes they are also served with ali-oli; deliciously addictive garlic mayonnaise.

    Tortilla Española

    The classic Spanish chunky egg and potato omelette.Also good with ali-oli.

    EnsaladillaRusa

    Usually tuna, potato, vegetable and egg mixed into a not particularly appetizing looking mound. It tastes a lot better than it looks and is served in just about every traditional Canarian bar.

    Chipirones

    Exquisitely tasting small squid fried in olive oil. Squid dishes come in a variety of sizes, the next one down are chopitosfritos – tiny squids which are dipped in flour and deep fried.

    Pimientos de Padrón

    Small green chillis fried in olive oil and sprinkled with rock salt. One in ten of these are supposed to have a kick like a mule, but it depends where they were grown. If they come from Padrón they will, if they come from Tenerife they won’t.

    Boquerones

    Small filleted marinated anchovies.

    Almogrote

    A paste made from cheese, garlic and chillis. It is a speciality of the island of La Gomera where some are so pungent that even the most devoted strong cheese love may be tested.

    Croquetas

    Small deep fried croquettes made from fish and potato.

    Most restaurants serving tapas will also have Serrano ham and a selection of cheeses. Where it’s available opt for cheese from the island of El Hierro or from Arico on Tenerife (voted the best cheese in the world in 1998).

    In the last few years local councils in some locations have a number started to hold ‘rutas de tapa’ (tapas routes) at various times of the year. This is the best time to sample the Canary Islands’ tapas as participating establishments dish up wonderfully imaginative tapas and a glass of beer or wine for only a couple of euros.

    Calpe, a great vacation destination

    This information was supplied by established Costa Blanca estate agency Valuvillas.com .

    Where can you find it?

    Calpe is a coastal town in Spain which has many holiday resorts in its structure. Costa Blanca is one of the most famous resorts, popular for its fine sands and the amazing restaurants; the most important attraction in Costa Blanca is the rock of Pennon de Ifach, the one which receives millions of tourists annually.

    If you try to know more about Calpe, you will find out that it had a great financial statute but with the passing of time, it slowly lost it; it seems that the pirates invaded the area many times so the people here tried to improve their defence. This is how the present Calpe was born.

    Historical monuments

    In the old town of Calpe, historical monuments can be found in every corner: the museum of Archaeology, the old Roman fortresses and the churches from the 15th century are a great history lesson for every tourist. Admire some old costumes in the Festival Museum if you are a lover of antique things. The most popular carnival here takes place in September, which is a traditional Moorish and Roman carnival; they were the ones who started it and the present population tries to keep it alive.

    Pennon de Ifach

    One of the most popular monuments in Costa Blanca is definitely this old rock; if you want to nourish your eyes with a magnificent panorama, try to reach its top. This place has been declared both historical and nature reserve, so it is worth visiting. If you are lucky, you can find a very rare species of orchid which grows only here. The Pennon de Ifach has been very important from the beginning as it is very rich: many old coins and other valuable things were found here. Beside this famous rock, El Raco and Del Panyo are also rocks that deserve being mentioned.

    Enjoy your time in Calpe

    You will not get bored while visiting Calpe as there are many things to do here: if you like water and everything related to it, go and see the port, the yachts and the large number of fish species. If you do not feel like admiring the marine wealth, enjoy the beaches. The water is very clean and when combined with the fine sands, you have a relaxing trip guaranteed. There are many resorts and beaches here, so you can choose the most appropriate one for your tastes.

    Grand Cayman Shore Excursions – Grand Cayman Tours

    Numerous Grand Cayman excursions, tours and activities await including snorkeling, dolphin encounters, diving and even a pirate adventure.

    Planning a Caribbean cruise and need ideas for shore excursions in Grand Cayman? This popular port of call is visited by several cruise lines. Shore excursions can be booked directly with individual cruise lines. This ensures that you are booking a genuine tour and not some kind of an Internet scam. Companies that visit here include:

    • Carnival Cruise Lines
    • Disney Cruise Line
    • Royal Caribbean International
    • Princess cruises
    • Celebrity Cruises
    • Norwegian Cruise Line
    • Holland America Cruises
    • Costa Cruises
    • Grand Cayman Excursions

    Or the one I have used personally: yachtcharterspecialists.com/caribbean/british-virgin-islands

    Get up close and personal with dolphins. Choose a dolphin encounter where you can play and interact with these magnificent creatures or if you prefer, enjoy a dolphin swim. Visit a turtle farm or have fun in the water spending time with stingrays.

    Take a tour of George Town on the Trolley Roger or view the original Bat Mobile, along with Ferraris and Corvettes at the Cayman Motor Museum. Journey under the sea to experience stingrays, turtles and coral aboard the air conditioned Atlantis XI submarine. This makes for a wonderful family adventure. Guests must be at least four years of age and three feet tall.

    Grand Cayman Activities

    If traveling with children and looking into booking a shore excursion, be sure to check if there are any age or size requirements. An exciting activity for the entire family that doesn’t have any restrictions is a pirate encounter on the Jolly Roger. On this excursion, kids can swear an oath to the Pirates Creed, watch family members walk the plank and enjoy a swim stop in the Caribbean waters.

    Outdoor activities abound in Grand Cayman. Learn how to scuba dive or for certified divers, take a two tank dive. Visit a salt water forest or get an aerial view of the breath taking scenary this location provides with a helicopter tour. Looking to relax? Enjoy a day in the sun at Seven Mile Beach Park.

    Grand Cayman Tours

    All excursions mentioned in this article are included in at least some of the above mentioned tour companies’ itineraries. It’s best to check with the cruise line you’re booked with to see if these activities are included in their shore excursions. Additional tours include:

    • snorkeling
    • bike riding
    • parasailing
    • kayaking
    • horseback riding

    When booking a shore excursion, it’s best to book early to ensure that there is enough space on the tour or activity you wish to participate in. However, they can be booked once on board. Keep in mind that BVI cruise excursions cost extra, although they do provide a wonderful opportunity to experience all that Grand Cayman has to offer.