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A Trip to the Canary Islands



A Trip to the Canary Islands

What to see and do on the islands of eternal spring in the Atlantic

Each of the Canary Islands offers a unique experience. In a single travel, you can visit either one of the islands or all of them. They’re don’t offer only excellent environment if you want to relax by the sea, but are also great for exploring with their volcanoes, charming villages and the most unusual contrasts. You can learn more about the archipelago in this article that’s full of travel tips.

The Canary Islands are comprised of eight large islands: Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, Gomera, Hierro and Graciosa, and a bunch of small islands and reefs. They’re part of the Spanish territory despite their proximity to the African continent. You can travel by ferry, ship or airplane from island to island.

Travel tips for Tenerife

The largest of the islands and also the most populous is Tenerife. It has two airports, one in the north and one in the south. Tourism is well-developed, which means you won’t be lacking anything during your trip. You should start exploring the island’s capital, Santa Cruz, a city that boasts a concert hall inspired by the Sydney Opera House. One of the world’s largest carnival festivals takes place there in February. The main unwinds during the night when people dance until morning wearing costumes. The island’s main historical sights can be found in San Cristóbal de la Laguna, which will delight you with its splendid beaches and a minster. You can just feel the charm of bygone days while taking a walk in the city. It’s time for some relaxation, so head to the Loro Parque on the northern coast, one of the best animal parks in the world. There you’ll find penguins, dolphins, a sea lion show and much more. Keep an eye out for the world’s largest collection of parrots numbering around 400. You can buy the ticket online and save yourself standing in the queue. Next in line is a trip to the mountains, offering travellers a completely new world – the Teide National Park. You can climb almost to the top of Spain’s highest mountain, Teide volcano (3,718m), with a cable car and enjoy the panoramic view over the kingdom of craters and lava.

Climb down to the valley all the way to the coastal town of Candelaria, known for its church with the Black Madonna, the guardian of all the islands. Nearby, in Güímar, real pyramids can be found that were made out of lava. Go and explore their secrets. Head to the southern coast on a Viking ship that will take you among dolphins and whales, as well as the mysteries of famous sailors. Vital for tourism, Playa de las Americas is part of an important tourist resort in the southern part of the island. A point of interest for travellers are the Teno mountains with the Masca village, a place where time seems to have stopped. What else can you do in Tenerife? I recommend going on a ten-hour tour of the neighbouring island of La Gomera by boat. Once there, you can explore the green island that’s been lost in time. Head to the island’s capital, San Sebastián, and visit the church where Christopher Columbus sent up a prayer before he embarked on his voyage. Afterwards, you should take a trip to the Garajonay National Park. It prides itself on its unique vegetation comprised by laurel trees and tree heaths. Don’t forget to visit the picturesque and diverse valley full of gorges and waterfalls, the Valle Gran Rey. If you’re itching for a walk, then the banana plantations in the Hermigua valley, charming villages and the Roque Cano rock outcrop are a perfect choice. You’ll be constantly surrounded by the traditional whistling language of the locals. To top it all off, head to the volcanic beaches for a swim.

What can you see in Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote?

On the other side of Tenerife, you’ll find Gran Canaria, a diverse island offering everything from verdant meadows to sand dunes. The island’s capital is Las Palmas and its Museo Canario is worth visiting. Knock yourself out while exploring the labyrinths of Vegueta, a neighbourhood full of historical colonial houses and streets, where the foundations of the city’s heart were first laid. I recommend staying at the Lua Lua Hostel, a bright and cosy house in the city centre.

A trip to Teror and Vega de San Mateo is a must for travellers who love villages with a soul. It’s especially worth visiting the lively Sunday markets. Teror is the island’s major place of pilgrimage while Vega de San Mateo is its agricultural centre. The result are two markets packed with souvenirs, homemade products, delicious fruit, vegetables, nuts, and spices. The road leading outside the capital is enormously picturesque, as it winds through the island’s most important agricultural areas. The southern part is different. You can ride camels there and cross the sand dunes on your way to Maspalomas.

A bit west are Fuerteventura in Lanzarote, two islands that are, despite their proximity, quite distinct from one another. Volcanic eruptions in the 18th century have given Lanzarote its distinct and contrasting appearance. The volcanic period also gave rise to the area that is now home to the rich Timanfaya National Park. You can learn more about the park by taking a half-day tour that includes camels, wine, geothermal energy and volcanic sand. The island’s sights also include villages dotted with white houses with blue or green windows. Steep cliffs and underwater lava tubes in the northern part of the island invite you to explore them. Take a ferry to discover the neighbouring island, La Graciosa. You’ll be awaited by crystal-clear water teeming with marine life and full of sandy beaches. You can go hiking around the island and the only permanent settlement, the village of Caleta del Sebo.

Fuerteventura is a desert island and a true paradise for travellers where you can take a rest and relax. The island’s name translates to “strong wind”, and the island truly is a paradise for all those who love water sports. The island is known for its beautiful beaches, but there are also other natural landmarks, such as sand dunes in the Corralejo National Park. All those who like to enjoy good food can visit the artsy villages of Lajares with its tapas and Betancuria with its goat cheese. The town of Oliva hides its own aloe vera factory. Fifteen minutes away with a ferry is the Isla de Lobos, an island with numerous experiences for travellers anxious to explore. Twelve eight-kilometre walking trails will take you on a journey to the centre of the island. The trails wend their way past lonely lighthouses and wetlands all the way to volcanic hills. You might also encounter one of the numerous bird species that live there.

Undiscovered pearls of the Canary Islands

The western part of the Canary Islands holds two other large islands – La Palma and El Hierro. They’re not as frequented by tourists, so they’re particularly interesting for travellers who like to get away from other tourists. La Palma is also known as the beautiful island as it’s definitely impressive with its dramatic landscapes, volcanoes, deep forests, black sandy beaches and the colonial capital of Santa Cruz de La Palma. The capital was once one of Spain’s most important port cities and it has still retained some of the characteristics from bygone days. A volcano erupted near the region of Fuencaliente 40 years ago, leaving black soil, thermal springs and salt pans. El Hierro, the smaller of the two islands featured in the Hierro TV series, is an even better choice if you’re looking for a quiet nature getaway. More than half of the island was declared a natural park as the island’s nature is as diverse as it gets. You can spot streams of solidified lava and steep cliff on the coast, making it hard to reach the ocean. Inland is full of Canary Island pines, laurel trees, eucalyptus and chestnut trees.

Enjoy your trip across the Canary Islands and don’t forget to send postcards with MyPostcard. All HI members get 25% off. New users can send their first postcard for free with the HIGlobetrotter promo code through the Globetrotter profile. You can read more about it here.

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Introduction to tourism 



Introduction to tourism 

Defining tourism is not a simple matter, as it is a complex industry made up of many different businesses, the common theme being that they provide products and services to tourists/visitors.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), tourism entails the movement of people to countries or places outside their usual environment for personal or business/professional purposes. These people are called visitors. Generally speaking, a visitor is classified as a (same-)day visitor if their trip does not include an overnight stay and a tourist if it does include an overnight stay. The purpose of their trip can be for business, leisure or personal reasons, other than to be employed by a resident entity in the country or place visited.

If a trip’s main purpose is business/professional, it is often subdivided into two further categories – ‘attending meetings, conferences or congresses, trade fairs and exhibitions’ and ‘other business and professional purposes’.

Types of tourism

There are three basic forms of tourism: domestic tourism, inbound tourism, and outbound tourism.

Domestic tourism refers to activities of a visitor within their country of residence and outside of their home (e.g. a Brit visiting other parts of Britain).

Inbound tourism refers to the activities of a visitor from outside of country of residence (e.g. a Spaniard visiting Britain).

Outbound tourism refers to the activities of a resident visitor outside of their country of residence (e.g. a Brit visiting an overseas country).

The tourism industry in Britain is primarily a private sector industry, consisting of around 200,000 businesses, some very large including international hotel groups and airlines, as well as small and medium sized businesses, industry groups and bodies.

Domestic tourism is the core of businesses revenue (generally at least 80%, particularly outside of London), with demand peaking during the school holidays, particular Easter and Summer. Dealing with the demands of international visitors requires specialist knowledge, cultural understanding and investment.

Most UK statistics separate spending and volume of day visitors from overnight tourists. VisitBritain’s statistics and research reports focus on overseas visitors who come to Britain.

For domestic statistics (ie. data on people from within Britain who visit another location in Britain) get in touch with the tourism organisations for England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and London. 

What are tourism products?

‘Tourism product’ covers a number of different categories including:

  • Accommodation, i.e. hotels, bed & breakfasts, guest houses, self-catering/serviced apartments, camping, caravanning and home stay
  • Hospitality, i.e. food and beverage serving services, e.g. pubs, restaurants, cafes, private dining for groups/conferences
  • Transport services, e.g. rail, road, water, air networks and rental
  • Guided tours and tourist guides
  • Travel agencies and other reservation services, including tour operators and destination management companies (see travel trade section)
  • Cultural services, e.g. museums, attractions
  • Sports and recreational activities
  • Retail

The travel trade

It is useful to distinguish between trips which are booked directly and those which are booked via third parties such as the travel trade. The travel trade acts as an intermediary between visitors and tourism products. The travel trade has multiple purchasing power. One tour operator can make arrangements on behalf of hundreds of other people.

The growth of the internet means that more people are now booking their trips directly, either online or by phone after researching on the internet. However, the travel trade still plays a major role, particularly in longer-haul markets or where visitors have more complex travel arrangements.

The travel trade are likely to bring both individuals and groups to Britain. Take a look at our working with the travel trade section to find out more.

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5 essential places to visit in Kyoto



5 essential places to visit in Kyoto

This list of places to visit in Kyoto will help you prepare a trip to a city that has been able to combine its ancient culture and traditions with modernity in an incredibly harmonious way. Neighborhoods that preserve their traditional wooden buildings and teahouses, still hurriedly toured by maikos and geishas, ​​hundreds of incredible temples and shrines, beautiful gardens and grand palaces, make Kyoto a traveler’s dream.
Although any time is perfect to visit Kyoto, all its wonders shine even brighter in spring with the cherry blossom or hanami, turning the entire city into an explosion of colors and smells, which make these months, without a doubt, the best Time to travel to Japan.
Another of its great attractions is its delicious gastronomy, in which eating dishes based on sushi, sashimi, tempura, ramen, Kobe beef, okonomiyaki, gyozas or miso soup, will make your palate enjoy the most.
We have to confess that for us Kyoto became our favorite city during the trip to Japan on our own that we did a few years ago. Such was our infatuation with the city that we returned to spend a month living in an apartment in the Gion neighborhood, during which time we wrote this guide to Kyoto .

So, based on our experience of the time we spent in the city, we have made this list of what we believe are the 10 essential places to see in Kyoto . 

1. Fushimi Inari Taisha

We can say that Fushimi Inari-taisha is our favorite temple and one of the essential places to visit in Kyoto .
This sanctuary built in the 8th century in honor of the goddess of rice, is famous for its thousands of red or orange toriis, which wind their way through the base of the Inari mountain and have been donated by individuals and companies so that the God Inari be favorable to them.
If you have time, we recommend taking a long walk through its 4 kilometers of toriis until you reach the highest part and we are sure, it will be one of the experiences you will remember from the trip.
It is also important to keep in mind that Fushimi Inari is one of the most visited shrines, so we recommend coming first thing in the morning if you want to see it or take photos with few people.
The sanctuary, located less than 4 kilometers south of the city, can even be reached on foot, although the most common way is with the JR Nara line train ( included in the JR Pass ), from Kyoto Station. The journey is about 8 minutes and the train will leave you practically in front of the sanctuary, so it is the best way to get here. We made the visit first thing in the morning, taking advantage of the train trip that would later take us to the city of Nara.
Another option to learn more about the history of the shrine is to book this tour that includes Fushimi Inari and Narawith guide in Spanish.
The temple is open 24 hours a day, so you can get up as early as you want to visit it.

2. Kinkaku-ji

Kinkaku-ji or the Golden Pavilion , is a Zen temple in which its pavilion covered with pure gold leaves or gold leaf stands out.
The temple, a World Heritage Site, was built in 1397, although the current structure is from 1955 since in 1950 a monk with altered mental faculties set it on fire, it has a beautiful pond in front called the Water Mirror and a Japanese garden, is one of the postcard images of Kyoto.
Located a bit far from the center, to the west of Kyoto, you can reach the temple in half an hour with buses 101 and 205 from Kyoto station.

3. Gion District

Gion, the famous neighborhood of the geishas, ​​is another of the most essential places to visit in Kyoto . Taking a stroll at sunset through its narrow streets and traditional Japanese-style wooden houses is one of the best things to do in Kyoto . If you are also lucky enough to come across a maiko or a geisha on the way to a tea house, we assure you that the experience will be complete.
In addition to walking around the neighborhood, we advise you to pay special attention to Hanamikoji street, full of restaurants and tea houses, which is a good place to see them when they go to work from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. or when they leave work from 8:00 p.m. 10 p.m.
Geishas, ​​called Geiko in Kyoto, are performers of traditional Japanese arts such as the famous tea ceremony. During their formative years,

4. Kiyomizudera

Kiyomizu-dera, the temple of pure water , is one of the most touristic places in the former imperial capital of Japan. This temple, built in 778 on a hill to the east of Kyoto, is famous for its magnificent views of the city, the pagodas, the pavilions, the doors and the nature that surrounds it, which form a set of extreme beauty.
Kiyomizu-dera, like most famous Kyoto temples , is best visited first thing in the morning, before organized groups arrive.
To get to the temple you can take the 100 or 205 bus from Kyoto station and get off at the Kiyomizu-michi or Gojo-Zaka stops, keeping in mind that the final ascent to the temple is done on foot.
Visiting hours: every day from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

5. Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Strolling among more than 50 varieties of bamboo perfectly aligned while you hear the whisper of the swaying of the trunks produced by the wind, we are sure that it will be another of the moments that you will remember from a trip to Japan .
This bamboo forest, a plant of great importance in Japanese and Oriental culture, has in Arashiyama specimens of more than 20 meters in height that delight the thousands of tourists who come here every day.
Although the normal thing is to come only once during the trip, we recommend, if you have time, to visit the forest at different times of the day, since due to the change of light and colors, each one of the experiences becomes unique.

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The 5 best gifts for travel lovers



The 5 best gifts for travel lovers

Best gifts for travel lovers? It is not the first time that you have asked us this question and the truth is, we have to confess that it is not something as easy to answer as it seems at first glance. And we have to keep in mind that travelers are not easy at all. We know that “the details are what count” , but if we add the word “travel” to that equation , we assure you that getting the best gifts will be a safe bet. Do you want to prove it?

1. Kindle, 6” touch screen

Without a doubt, one of the best travel companions is a book. What would become of us without them during flights, long waits and of course, in moments of relaxation.
And although most of us love the smell and feel of the paper book, on many occasions this is not the most practical thing to travel, since for a traveler, weight and space are essential.

Taking this into account and after our experience, we will tell you that the electronic book is one of the best gifts for travel lovers.

2. FlyKube, the best gift for travel lovers

There is no better gift for a traveler than a trip. We agree on that, right? And if this trip is also a surprise, we are sure that from that moment on, you will become the favorite person of the globetrotter in question.

With FlyKube you have 4 options to surprise your favorite traveler with the best gift , which includes surprise travel experiences around Europe from 99 euros with flights and accommodation.

surprise destination

With this option you only have to choose the month of the trip and 4 days beforehand they will confirm both the destination and the weekend of the trip.

Main features:
– You choose the dates but not the destination
– 3, 4 or 5 day trip –
Direct round trip flights
– 3 or 4 star central hotel
– Breakfast not included
– City guide


With VipKube you can travel to an exclusive destination, staying in 5-star hotels, which include breakfast. Without a doubt, the best gift for the most demanding travelers.

Main features:
– You choose the dates but not the PREMIUM destination
– 3 or 4 day trip –
Direct round trip flights
– 5-star hotel
– Breakfast included
– Includes a surprise activity
– City guide

all surprise

The most surprising of all. Choose the month and you will travel to a destination and a surprise weekend.

Main features:
– Choose the month of the trip to enjoy a surprise weekend and destination
– Weekend trip
– Direct round trip flights
– Hotel or B&B accommodation
– Breakfast not included
– City guide

surprise summer

This option is one of our favorites. You can enjoy a surprise vacation in a beach destination such as Santorini, Mykonos or Sardinia among others.

Main features:
– Choose the dates and the beach destination will be a surprise
– 5 or 7 day trip –
Round trip flights
– 3 or 4 star hotel by the sea
– Breakfast not included
– City guide

3. Plug adapter, a must for a traveler

If there is something that must accompany a traveler, it is a plug adapter. Although there are many models on the market, it is best to look for one that is small and weighs little and that also works for most countries.
We bought this international adapter compatible with more than 150 countries in the world that has become our great travel companion .
If in doubt, the adapter is the best travel gift .

4.Campark Sports Camera 4K

Almost without realizing it, sports cameras have made their way into the top 10 of the best gifts for travelers .
Taking into account that the best-known brand of this type of camera is not exactly cheap, and much less for a travel detail , if you do not want to spend a lot of money, a great option is this action camera, with which you can record your videos in 4K Ultra HD at 30 frames per second and will capture images at 16 Megapixels.

5. Mobile battery, another of the best travel gifts

Today that we always travel with a mobile phone and use it a lot (sometimes too much), there is nothing better than having an extra battery in case at some point we go blank .
We take two for our trips, one that has 3 phone charges and a smaller one that has one and a half charges.
We are not going to deceive you. We use it almost daily.

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