Tag - Canary Islands

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Top 5 Long-Duration Getaways to Skip the British Winter
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The Culture of Alcohol
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Holidays: Cultural Dining… Taste the Experience

Top 5 Long-Duration Getaways to Skip the British Winter

Winter in the UK is cold, grey and wet. Definitely a good excuse to stay in the office. If you have the luxury to be able to leave, though, these are definitely the best and most popular places to hibernate and escape the winter blues..

1. Spain.

An all-time British favorite, Spain offers amazing value for long-term getaways in an environment that caters distinctively to the British. It’s like home away from home – with better weather and cheaper food. Mainland Spain and the Balearics, such as Majorca and Ibiza, have much milder temperatures in the off-season months than the UK and you can even end up spending less than you would if you stayed home! The best part about it is that you’re no further than a 3-hour flight from the British cold – in case you ever want to go back, that is.

2. Florida.

Take advantage of the almighty Pound compared to the US Dollar and spend a month or more in the USA’s favorite laid-back state. Florida has something for everyone, whether you’re retired, have a family, or want to party all night…and they speak English! Prices on flights out of the UK are quite moderate (you are crossing the ocean) and once you get there, accommodation is very cheap! You can have a villa or apartment to yourself for peanuts. If you feel adventurous, internal flights are cheap as well – go to New York, Las Vegas, or Los Angeles just for the weekend.

3. Australia.

Australians go backpacking through Europe. Europeans go backpacking through Australia. It’s just the thing to do…and they speak English! The Pound will go far in Australia also, although the flights can be quite pricey. If you haven’t been to visit your second-cousins half way around the world, you definitely should. Australia is blessed with warm climate, beautiful beaches, and very friendly people. Australians celebrate their Christmas and New Year on the beach, since the seasons are opposite from the UK. No wonder it’s such a great place for you to hibernate the winter away.

4. Thailand. Indonesia (Bali). India.

Exotic, hot, and CHEAP. Sorry, they don’t speak much English. Spend a month or more immersing yourself in an amazing cultural experience surrounded by breathtaking natural surroundings. Better yet, choose one a year or, even better, one a month! These are developing countries that have a lot to offer. Pleasant and luxurious hospitality is available at prices you would have to see to believe. Jump on the “eat-pray-love” trend and go on a Yoga retreat. So many options, so little time…

5. Europe.

Yes, Spain fits in here also, but we reserved this space for all the other wonderful destinations you can take advantage of in the winter months that are just around the corner. Europe has many popular, and cheap, places to get away on a long-term holiday. Among the favorites are Portugal, Malta, Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Croatia. Each of these countries has a distinct character and personality to offer – along with an unforgettable experience.

The Culture of Alcohol

Drinking is a part of the culture in the UK, pubs are the best places to go and socialise, catch up on gossip and watch the match of the day on the TV, all while having a pint or two, or three, or so on….

Holidays are no different, as the number of people choosing All Inclusive (AI) hotels proves that even whilst abroad, people still want to have alcohol to end (or in some cases begin!) the day with.

In case you don’t know, AI means that free drinks, snacks and even ice cream are served throughout the day, not just at mealtimes. There are varying types of AI, which tell you exactly when they are served. While it is all day, most hotels do not allow free alcohol after midnight, so do check with your hotel before trying for an all night booze up!

To keep costs down, hotels don’t always give away popular drinks all the time, since they are fairly expensive to import. Instead they tend to use drinks that are either brewed locally or imported from nearby. Though it isn’t your normal pint at the pub, their own local flavours are worth trying.

Here is quick list of the different types and brands of local alcoholic drinks that you may get to sample at your hotel or resort. This doesn’t include the small shots you can get in every bar, since those are everywhere, but for the more sedate pace of drinking a can of beer, or glass of wine.

In Tenerife, they have a beer called Dorada which is exclusive to the island, and comes in three varieties, Dorada Pils (normal alcohol level), Dorada Pils (strong), and Dorada Sin (alcohol free). The neighbouring island of Gran Canaria has its own beer by the name of Tropical, and as the two islands are so close to each other, both beers can be found on either one.

The Canary Islands also have their own wine thanks to their climate, and asking for the house wine for a meal is not a bad choice at all. Red wine is more common here too, and may even be chilled, good for those boiling summer days!

Egypt, despite being a Muslim country, is fairly tolerant of foreigners drinking alcohol, and so they have a large selection available. The most common beer which can be found in almost every bar is known as Stella (yes, similar name, but this isn’t related to the Artois family). Two more varieties, Stella Export and then Stella Premium have higher alcohol levels. A European brand called Meister, licensed for and produced in Egypt is also available and Meistar Max, another type, has the highest alcohol level for beer in Egypt, good if you want a quick dizziness spell!

For the wine lover, there are some that try to capture the taste from the ancient Egyptian days, these include Omar Khayyam, Cru Des Ptolmees, Rubis D’Egypte and Abarkai. They’re called Giancils types of wines, so ask for one if you’re interested.

Greece is famous for Ouzo, highly alcohol with the taste of aniseed, thus giving licorice-haters less to drink. However there are other drinks too. For beer there is Mythos, the most famous out of all the brands, and is easy to find. Retsina is a white wine that can be served with a meal, however house wine does taste good on the whole.

Overall, a huge variety which should move you away from your current tipple of choice. You’re sure to get a hangover if you overdose on them too much, but then you can rely on your own methods to clear your head. The levels of alcohol vary so do check the amount before beginning another round at the bar. Be sure to follow the law with regards to drinking age, and drink responsibly. Ending up in a police cell or even a medical clinic overnight does not make for a good vacation!

So, happy holidays, cheers, and bottoms-up!

Holidays: Cultural Dining… Taste the Experience

Holidays abroad can be a chance to try something just a little different to what you’re used to at home. Whether you’re in a five star, all inclusive hotel, or just a two star self-catering apartment, no matter what, at some point, you’ll want to eat!

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