What bloggers are saying about the new Marco Polo Pocket Guides

We launched our new series of Marco Polo Pocket Guides in 2018 and it has been wonderful seeing the positive response to the new updated guides. Here is a sampling from our favourite (travel) bloggers and what they are saying about the new Pocket Guides:

Jam and Clotted Cream

Devon and Cornwall guide:  “What I like about the guide –
It’s very family focused, containing lots of useful hints and tips on things to do with children. The ‘Great Places for Free’ section of the guide gave me some new idea’s for free days out and free activities to try – always handy as 3 children can equal a lot of money!

The guide contains a large pull out map as well as several road maps in the back of the guide, making orientation easy.

As a food blogger I’m always drawn to food and drink elements of guidebooks. Marco Polo didn’t let me down, with a comprehensive section on ‘local delicacies’ including stargazy pie, pasties and of course the famous cream tea – jam first obviously! Throughout the guide there are also insider tips on lovely cafe’s and restaurants to try. I love the fact they picked up on Woods Cafe in Cardinham Woods. They sell the most amazing homemade cakes…and pulled pork rolls too. Another one of our favourite family days out.” Read the full post here: jamandclottedcream.co.uk

SarahFunky

Photo credit: sarahfunky.com

New York guide: “While traveling the world, I always used Marco Polo guide books in all destinations. I’m pretty much obsessed with them! If you’ve never been to NYC, I recommend picking up a Marco Polo guidebook before you arrive. In addition to good suggestions on entertainment, food & drink, shopping, and sightseeing, they also come with a great interactive app, and a pull out map. Plus, the photography in the book is stunning!” Read the full post here: sarahfunky.com

The Wandering Quinn

Photo credit: thewanderingquinn.com

Rome guide: “…after 2 days of seeing the sights, both on my own and on a tour I felt like I needed to see a side of Rome that wasn’t so touristy. I wanted to get under the skin of Rome a bit more, so on my last day I visited Trastevere and with the help of the New Marco Polo Rome Guide I explored a greener and quieter side of Rome which included Trastevere, Gianicolo Hill and the River Tiber. Despite the rain (apologies in advance for the grey photos), I had such a good time and I’m so glad that I ventured over the river into this area of Rome. — I found the New Marco Polo Rome Guide really helpful and are a few other short walks in there too that I would definitely do if I go back to Rome, plus its filled with information!” Read the full post here: thewanderingquinn.com

Sophie Cliff

Photo credit: sophiecliff.com

Barcelona guide: “Sam and I both remarked that it was really good fun to “get lost with a purpose” and that’s exactly how following this discovery tour felt – there was no marching from one location to the next, instead we got to take each destination at our own pace and amble around some areas of the city that were totally new to us.

Each of the new Marco Polo pocket guides come with 4-5 perfectly tailored discovery tours that help you get off the beaten track, and I think they may be my new favourite way to discover a different side to a city. We’re already trying to decide which one we might follow when we visit New York later in the year!” Read the full post here: sophiecliff.com

Hand Luggage Only

Photo credit: handluggageonly.co.uk

Malta & Gozo guide: “A few weeks ago, the gang at Marco Polo Guides asked if we wanted to try scouting out some of their tips on our next trip (which piqued my interest straight away). Using their Malta and Gozo guide we decided to search for some of the ‘insider tips’ on the best things to do in Malta.

Suffice to say, I’m a real sucker for insider tips… Essentially, anything that means I get to make the most of my time on the islands (like those insider tips featuring some of the lesser-known spots in Malta and Gozo) is an opportunity I’ll always jump at while travelling.

After a little bedtime reading of the guide, I found a heap of recommendations that actually ended up saving my bacon on a few occasions. The tips on parking rules (i.e. how no parking or no stopping isn’t really shown with signs but instead with just the lines on the floor – which is totally different to back home in the UK) really helped and saved me a whole lot of unnecessary spend.” Read the full post here: handluggageonly.co.uk

Cornishbirdblog

Photo credit: cornishbirdblog.com

Devon and Cornwall guide: “There were no surprises for me, the guide includes everything that you would expect (speaking from a Cornish perspective), you’ll find all the most popular, picturesque and must see places but I was delighted to find some added extras too.

I particularly liked the Discovery Tours section towards the back of the book, this can be used as is or with the Free Touring App. These tailored routes help you to explore the region by guiding you from one awesome destination to the next. They also include details on cost and how long it should all take you. Some of the routes last a couple of weeks others are just a fun packed day trip.” Read the full post here: cornishbirdblog.com

Find our full range of guide books and maps here on Amazon.

What is your favourite Marco Polo travel guide?

Something to say? Leave a comment below, tweet us @MarcoPoloGuides or tell us on Facebook.

Marco Polo’s Top 5 Easter destinations for 2018 + GIVEAWAY

Easter is only two weeks away, and there is still time to book a last-minute trip to catch the first April sun in one of Marco Polo’s favourite Easter holiday destinations! Don’t forget to check out our Spring giveaway at the end of the post, for a chance to win 5 Marco Polo Pocket Guides of your choice and a FujiFilm Instax Mini 9 camera!

Photo credit: Tim Kelly

ROME

Rome is perfect for a true Easter experience. Easter can be one of the busiest times to visit the Eternal city, but in recent years many people have taken advice not to visit at Easter, so there are plenty of hotel rooms to be had at reasonable prices. To hear the bells of St. Peter’s Basilica ring on Easter Sunday is an unforgettable experience. Those not too keen on the spiritual can benefit from free access to all of Rome’s archaeological sites and museums, as the first Sunday of the month falls on Easter Sunday this year. Though do be sure to pack your umbrella, as April tends to be one of Rome’s rainier months.

SRI LANKA

Not willing to risk the rain in Rome? Then why not head over to Sri Lanka? April is one of the best times to visit Sri Lanka, as the peak tourist is winding down before the monsoon season’s arrival in May. Sunshine, warm weather and beaches – not to mention the beautiful nature and fascinating wildlife – make sure that nobody misses the chocolate eggs. Whether you decide to stay in one place, or travel around the island, Sri Lanka will not disappoint.

VIENNA

Vienna is a great destination for an Easter break. While many locals head for the ski slopes, the city caters to those who stay – or arrive – with a multitude of Easter markets, chocolate and rabbits everywhere. Visit the Schönbrunn Easter market for some beautiful handcrafted souvenirs or take the children to the Prater area for some fun including the famous giant ferris wheel. Don’t forget to try Osterpinze, a local bread like pastry eaten during the Easter holidays.

CAPE VERDE

Another guaranteed destination for sun is Cape Verde. The archipelago off the coast of Africa is a perfect alternative to the more familiar Canaries. The weather is a lovely and warm, and April is the ideal time for whale-watching. Also, there are some lively Easter festivities to be seen, as the locals ring in the Easter Sunday with a big party.

BARCELONA

If a six-hour flight is not your thing, Barcelona is a good choice. Sure, the museums and shops have slightly awkward holiday opening times – mainly on Easter Monday – but there are still places that cater to the tourists. Be sure to check out the main Easter parades and processions on Good Friday, and on Easter Sunday you should stay in the vicinity of the Barcelona Cathedral – not to be confused with Sagrada Familia – for a true Barcelona Easter experience.

GIVEAWAY GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED

To celebrate Spring, Marco Polo is organising a giveaway! We are giving away a set of 5 Marco Polo Pocket Guides of your choice and a Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 camera to one lucky winner, chosen at random.

How to enter?

Simply share the story of your most memorable Easter / Spring travel moment in the comments below. You can earn more chances to win by liking our Facebook page and by following our Twitter and Instagram accounts and by letting us know in your comment that you have done so.

The competition is open from Thursday 15 March 2018 until Thursday 29 March 2018 at 12:00 GMT. We will contact the winner personally via email using the email address used to leave the comment so make sure to check that it is spelled correctly!

Good luck!

Terms and Conditions:

  1. The promotion is open to UK & European residents aged 18 or over, excluding employees and their immediate families of Marco Polo, its agents or anyone professionally connected with the promotion.
  2. To enter, simply comment on the blog post. Additional chances to win may be acquired by liking the Marco Polo Facebook page and by following the Marco Polo Twitter and Instagram accounts. If the entrant has done any of the mentioned actions, it should be stated in the comment.
  3. This competition will commence on 15 March 2018 and all entries must be received by 12.00 GMT on 29 March 2018. The Promoter accepts no responsibility for any entries that are incomplete, posted late, misdirected, and incorrect, garbled or fail to reach the Promoter by the closing date for any reason. Entries via agents or third parties are invalid.
  4. No purchase necessary, however internet access is required.
  5. The Prizes: 1 x prize winner will receive 5 Marco Polo Pocket Guides of their choice and a Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 camera (RRP £64.99).
  6. The prize must be taken as stated and no compensation will be payable if a winner is unable to use the prize as stated. The winner will be liable for all costs and expenses not stated relating to claiming or partaking of the prize.
  7. The promoter may substitute the prize for a prize of an equal or greater value if, for any reason the original item is unavailable.
  8. By entering, winners agree that if they win they will participate in any reasonable publicity arranged by The Promoter or its agencies.
  9. By entering the promotion entrants confirm that they have read and agree to be bound by these terms & conditions and by the decisions of the Promoter, which are final in all matters relating to the promotion. Failure to do so will result in the forfeiture of the prize. No correspondence will be entered into.
  10. The Promoter or its agencies accept no responsibility for any loss or damage suffered through acceptance of the prize.
  11. The Promoter or its agencies will not be responsible for the non-inclusion of entries as a result of technical failures or otherwise, including any such failure which is within the control of The Promoter or its agencies. Proof of submission of entry is not proof of receipt of entry.
  12. The Promoter reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any person it finds to be tampering or to have tampered with the operation of the promotion or the Marco Polo website, or to be acting in violation of these terms and conditions.
  13. To the full extent permitted by law the Promoter will not accept liability for any loss, damage, injury or death arising from this promotion beyond its reasonable control. The Promoter is Marco Polo Travel Publishing, Pinewood, Chineham Business Park, Crockford Lane, Chineham, Basingstoke, RG24 8AL

Marco Polo’s 24 Holiday traditions from around the world – Day 9: Spain, Caganers

It’s Day 9 of our Advent Calendar and today we are looking into a very peculiar tradition from… Spain! Did you miss yesterday’s post? Check it out here!

 

SPAIN: CAGANERS

Originally a Catalonian tradition but now practiced throughout Spain, a caganer is a small figurine of a man in the process of defecating. The caganer literally means the “crapper” and the figurines are featured in the traditional nativity scenes. There are many explanations for this tradition, but the most widely accepted one is that by defecating the caganers are quite literally fertilising the Earth and as such featuring the caganer in the nativity scene brings good luck. The figurine is usually depicted as a man dressed in traditional Catalan attire, though nowadays there are caganers – rather popular ones too – depicting celebrities and political figures, such as President Trump, or even the Pope.

Needless to say, the caganer figurines are well-beloved, especially by children and adolescents. If you want to ensure a few good chuckles at your Christmas party, just bring a caganer figurine home when you next visit Barcelona!

CHECK OUT THE GIVEAWAY

Buy the Marco Polo Barcelona Spiral Guide

Barcelona Spiral Guide

Something to say? Leave a comment below, tweet us @MarcoPoloGuides or tell us on Facebook.

That Mallorca Feeling

Experience the island’s unique flair and find out what makes it tick – just like the Mallorcans themselves.

Mallorca Marco Polo Guide

GET UNDERWAY IN A KAYAK

Exploring Mallorca from the sea is something Mallorcans and their guests love to do. Mon d’Aventura organizes fabulous accompanied kayak trips in the north (http://mondaventura.com). You start from a beach at the wonderful coast town of Cala Sant Vicenç with the gleaming sea and spectacular cliffs of the Formentor Peninsula in front of you. Depending on the sea conditions, you may even be able to travel through a small cave in the cliffs. What an experience, in harmony with nature!

SEA SALT ON YOUR SKIN…

Not just for holidaymakers – the Mallorcans also love their beaches and like to mingle with the crowds and feel salt on their skin. One of the most popular spots is the unspoiled sandy beach that stretches for miles at Es Trenc in the south.

… AND ON YOUR PLATE

There is not only lots of sand, but also lots of sea salt, right at Mallorca’s doorstep. The mountains of salt, which can be seen from afar in the south of the island, point the way to the Salines d’Es Trenc. You can buy high-quality flor de sal – also flavoured with herbs or hibiscus flowers – in the shop. There is even a quaint vending machine for fine and coarse salt. And, if you want to find out more about how salt is harvested, you can take a tour of the salt works.

MARKETS

The pigs in their pens are a clear indication and so are the chicks and ducks in their cages: although there are many tourists and it is very crowded at the market in Sineu, the animals are quite clearly the main interest of the locals. They enjoy shopping at the markets just as much as the tourists do. Fruit, vegetables, cheese, sausages and more… maybe even a sow.

EXCURSION TO SA DRAGONERA

Admittedly, not all Mallorcans know the “dragon island”, off the west coast, by experience, but those who have visited it gladly pass on the tip. The protected park’s hiking trails of the offer spectacular views of the coast. And “dragons” even cross your path – miniature ones in the form of Balearic lizards – and there are lots of them, the visitors’ centre estimates that there are two lizards per square metre.

SEASIDE PROMENADE

Mallorcans love going for a stroll. One of the loveliest promenades, in the holiday resort Colònia de Sant Jordi, runs almost entirely along the coast: from the small Marqués beach to the harbour, past tiny promontories, miniature bays, rocky outcrops, villas, hotels and a black-and-white striped lighthouse. The path is around 2km (1 mile) long and along the way there are wonderful views of the sea as far as the Cabrera archipelago. Unfortunately, there is not much shade so it is best to take this stroll in the early morning or evening.

AUTHENTIC FISHING HARBOUR

Cala Figuera is an idyllic spot: a narrow fjord-like bay that ends at a wonderfully romantic harbour. Boats of all shapes and sizes bob up and down in the cove and a narrow footpath winds its way past whitewashed cottages and traditional fishing huts – unique!

FIESTA FUN

The Mallorcans really know how to enjoy life to the full. Mock “battles” between Christians and Moors (Moros y Cristianos), are popular enactments of historical events and are characteristic of festivals like the one in Sóller (in May) and in Pollença (in August). And, there are plenty of other opportunities for the locals and tourists to celebrate. The beloved figures Gegants i Capgrossos (“giant and big-heads”) are a highlight of several festivities on the island.

 

Buy the Mallorca Marco Polo Spiral Guide.

Mallorca Marco Polo Guide

Something to say? Leave a comment below, tweet us @MarcoPoloGuides or tell us on Facebook.

Only in Barcelona

There’s no doubt about it: Barcelona (1.5 million inhabitants) is a place of fascinating contrasts. This major design metropolis with its award-winning post-modern buildings boasts the largest historic city centre in Europe after Naples, where you can lose yourself for hours.

Barcelona Marco Polo Guide

Let Marco Polo show you some unique experiences to be had in Barcelona:

Gaudí’s divine temple

Sagrada Família is the world-famous symbol of Barcelona. Let the gigantic columns and spectacular interior of the huge nave consecrated by the Pope work their magic on you.

Fairy-tale gardens above the city

Enchanting park with panoramic views: when creating the Parc Güell, Antoni Gaudí let his imagination run riot and revealed his universal genius as architect, landscape designer – and a pioneer of recycling.

Mediterranean spirit

Enjoy the flair of the Mediterranean metropolis on one of its many squares with a coffee or a cool beer. Plaça de la Vila and Plaça de la Virreina in Gràcia are particularly atmospheric.

Catalan-Caribbean sounds

The rumba catalana, an explosive mix of flamenco, Caribbean rhythms and rock, is the music of the Catalan gitanos and super-trendy in Barcelona right now. Meet the best bands every Wednesday at the Sala Apolo club’s ‘Rumba night.’

Popular mayhem

Throw yourself into the crowd on the famous Rambla – tourists and theatre-goers, culture vultures and purveyors of kitsch souvenirs, dolled-up opera-goers and agile waiters.

Lavish Art Nouveau splendour

Blossoms, tendrils, dragon heads: if you want to experience Catalan Art Nouveau in all its glory, head for the Palau de la Música Catalana, the most ornate monument to modernism.

Towering humans

At traditional castells, a popular sport in Catalonia, you are not only allowed to watch balance artists training – the courageous may even join in.

» Read more about Barcelona

Buy the Barcelona Marco Polo Guide.

Barcelona Marco Polo Guide

Something to say? Leave a comment below, tweet us @MarcoPoloGuides or tell us on Facebook.

Only in Madrid

Unique experiences in Spain’s capital city!

Madrid Marco Polo Guide

Churros con chocolate
What better way to round off a night on the town than with churros con chocolate? The Chocolatería San Ginés between the Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor is one of the city’s most popular places and your best bet. It is always open and you will be forgiven for mistaking the thick creamy potion served here for hot chocolate but it is actually for dunking the churros – a delicious, deep-fried pastry. Heavenly!

As in Goya’s day
The Fiesta de San Isidro is an occasion for the residents of Madrid to don their traditional outfits and to celebrate in true Spanish style. The fiesta is held in May and honours the city’s patron, locals make a picnic pilgrimage to the Ermita de San Isidro across the river Manzanares in a scene reminiscent of Goya’s ‘La Pradera de San Isidro’ now gracing the Prado.

Live like there is no tomorrow
Seeing is believing – there are traffic jams on the Gran Vía in the middle of the night – the alleyways and streets of Madrid’s centro are jam-packed with late night revellers and it is not only the young. Drop in at one of the many open air terrazas and you will see the familiar sight of Madrileños of all ages up until the early hours of the morning.

Meeting place for intellectuals
There is no trace of the small tobacco kiosk that once marked the entrance to the Café Gijón. But even without the smoke wafting through it, this iconic coffee shop continues to remain one of Madrid’s intellectual institutions. Made famous over the past 130 years by the likes of Camilo José Cela, Ortega y Gasset and Rosa Montero.

A second-hand world
Madrid’s main flea market is an institution, a ritual that goes far beyond the mundane of buying and selling. You will find whatever your heart desires at the Rastro – you need only look long enough.

Tapas tasting
Eating out and going out become one thing when you do as the locals do and go on a tapeo – a tour of all the various tapas bars – a mandatory stop has to be the Bocaíto bar on the Calle Libertad in Chueca.

 

Buy the Madrid Marco Polo Guide.

Madrid Marco Polo Guide

Something to say? Leave a comment below, tweet us @MarcoPoloGuides or tell us on Facebook.

Eat Like a Local – Madrid

The Spanish love their food. When they start talking about what makes their country special, its cuisine always ranks on top of the list.

Madrid Marco Polo Guide

Local specialities you should try on your visit to Madrid:

Albóndigas – meatballs

Boquerones fritos/en vinagre – deep fried/marinated anchovies

Café solo/cortado/con leche – espresso/espresso with a shot of milk/coffee with milk

Calamares – squid

Callos madrileños – tripe stew

Caña – a small glass of beer

Cava – Spanish sparkling wine

Chipirones – baby squid

Chorizo – paprika salami

Churros – deep fried pastry, particularly popular con chocolate i.e. dunked in hot chocolate

Cochinillo – suckling pig

Cocido madrileño – typical Madrid stew with chorizo, garbanzos (chickpeas) and vegetables

Cordero (asado) – (roast) lamb

Croquetas – fish, meat or ham croquettes

Ensaladilla – potato salad with greens (fresh or cooked) and mayonnaise (plenty of it)

Gambas al ajillo/a la plancha – prawns in garlic sauce/grilled on a hot metal plate

Horchata – refreshingly sweet drink made from ground tiger nuts

Jamón – air dried ham

Mejillones – mussels

Pulpo – octopus

Patatas bravas – fried potatoes served in a spicy tomato sauce

Queso – farmhouse cheese mostly

Tinto de verano – ‘summer wine’ a mix of half wine and half gaseosa with plenty of ice

Tortilla – Spanish potato omelette

Madrid Marco Polo Guide

Restaurants serving traditional Spanish cuisine:

CAFÉ DEL NUNCIO
A classic interior with a relaxed outdoor café on the steps of the Costanilla del Nuncio in the heart of La Latina. Daily 12.30pm–2.30am | Segovia 9 | Metro 5: La Latina

JULIÁN DE TOLOSA
This is one of the classics on the Cava Baja, Madrid’s restaurant mile. It is renowned for its lightly grilled Basque steaks but the seafood dishes are also excellent. Closed Sun evening | Cava Baja 18 | tel. 913 65 82 10 | en.juliandetolosa.com | Metro 5: La Latina | Expensive

MATRITUM
Not very spacious, usually packed and often noisy, yet this restaurant still manages to retain its elegance. A great selection of unusual tapas with no less than 250 wines to choose from! Closed Mon–Tue for lunch | Cava Alta 16 | tel. 913 65 82 37 | Metro 5: La Latina | Moderate

CASA MINGO
A classic that has been going strong since 1917 – their speciality is roast chicken and they are famous for their cider or sidra – on a fine day Madrid’s locals sit outside on rows of tables crammed on to the street. Daily | Paseo de la Florida 34 | no reservations | www.casamingo.es | Metro 6, 10: Príncipe Pío | Budget

LA FINCA DE SUSANA
There are always queues of people in front of this restaurant and it is no wonder because you will be hard pressed to find such value for money in an elegant setting elsewhere in Madrid. Expect everything to feel a bit rushed and chaotic – a small price to pay for a great meal. Daily | Calle Principe, 10 | no reservations | www.grupandilana.com | Metro 2: Sevilla | Budget

 

Buy the Madrid Marco Polo Guide.

Madrid Marco Polo Guide

What’s the best thing you have ever tasted in Madrid? Comment below, tweet us @MarcoPoloGuides or tell us on Facebook.

Top 10 Things To Do On Gran Canaria

Marco Polo’s list of the top 10 things not to be missed on Gran Canaria! Our best recommendations – from the top down – help you to plan your tour of Gran Canaria’s most important sights.

Gran Canaria Marco Polo Guide

1. MUSEO CANARIO
The most important museum in the Canary Island archipelago is to be found in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. It sheds light on the life and culture of the island people in ancient times whose most famous artefact is the Idol of Tara.

2. DUNAS DE MASPALOMAS
A hint of the Sahara sweeps across this stupendous dune landscape between Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés. Some of the dunes are 10m (33ft) wide and up to 20m (66ft) high.

3. ROQUE NUBLO
A popular hiking trail leads up to these bizarre rock pinnacles from where the reward for the strenuous climb is a breathtaking view.

4. CENOBIO DE VALERÓN
This cave system, used by the island’s first inhabitants, comprises some 300 chambers carved out of tuff; it is regarded as one of the most important archaeological sites in the Canary Island archipelago.

5. CALDERA DE BANDAMA
The virtually round cauldron is the product of a massive eruption. Pico de Bandama nearby, offers a wonderful view of the volcanic scenery and the sea of houses that make up the island’s capital.

6. JARDÍN CANARIO
The botanic garden showcases the exceptional variety of plants on the Canary Islands, including several impressive dragon trees.

7. TEROR
Many of the old houses in the historical district of this little country town – considered the most ‘typically Canarian’ of all towns on the island – boast artistically crafted balconies and idyllic patios.

8. PUERTO DE MOGÁN
Gran Canaria even has its own ‘Little Venice’ – part of this beautiful coastal resort around the marina is built out into the water.

9. PALMITOS PARQUE
More than 200 different species of birds, as well as other animals, live in this park that extends over more than 49 acres. Its stars are those that perform in special shows.

10. ARTENARA
From here, the highest village on the island, and the Mirador de Unamuno, you have a spectacular view of the mountain scenery.

 

Buy the Gran Canaria Marco Polo Spiral Guide.

Gran Canaria Marco Polo Guide

Something to say? Comment below, tweet us @MarcoPoloGuides or tell us on Facebook.

Top 10 Things To Do On Tenerife

Marco Polo’s list of the top 10 things not to be missed on Tenerife! Our best recommendations – from the top down – help you to plan your tour of Tenerife’s most important sights.

Tenerife Marco Polo Guide

1. PARQUE NACIONAL DEL TEIDE
Towering over the volcanic landscape of the national park is the Pico del Teide, the highest mountain in Spain (3,718m/12,200ft). The cable car takes you up to 3,550m (11,650ft) and, if you wish, you can then climb up to the summit.

2. LA LAGUNA
As you stroll through the historic centre of this World Heritage Site, the cathedral, churches and cloisters are a clear reminder of Tenerife’s colonial past.

3. ICOD DE LOS VINOS
An enormous dragon tree is this small wine town’s main attraction. Just to the north, in the parish church, you can admire an imposing silver cross.

4. MASCA
The gorge that opens up by this picturesque mountain village in the Teno Mountains promises fit outdoor enthusiasts a spectacular experience.

5. PUERTO DE LA CRUZ
This popular holiday destination ranks highly for its attractive old town centre, and also for the Lago Martiánez swimming complex, designed by César Manrique, in which water activities and art flow harmoniously together.

6. LA OROTAVA
Even the famous German naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt could not resist the charm of the historic district’s streets and alleys.

7. SAN ANDRÉS
People from Santa Cruz love the fish restaurants here. What is more, Tenerife’s most beautiful palm-fringed beach can be found on the Playa de las Teresitas.

8. MONTAÑAS DE ANAGA
Tenerife’s hiking paradise offers a captivating mix of unspoilt laurel forests, panoramic views and remote mountain villages.

9. VALLE GRAN REY
A wonderful valley on La Gomera with beautifully laid terraces, palm groves and a touch of flower power.

10. PLAZA DE ESPAÑA & PLAZA DE LA CANDELARIA
These interlocking squares were given a makeover by London’s Tate Modern architects Herzog & de Meuron; their saltwater lake is particularly impressive.

 

Buy the Tenerife Marco Polo Guide!

Tenerife Marco Polo Guide

Something to say? Comment below, tweet us @MarcoPoloGuides or tell us on Facebook.

Eat Like a Local Barcelona

Eat like a local in Barcelona with our guide to its native delicacies and traditional Spanish restaurants…

Barcelona Marco Polo Guide

Spanish specialities you should try on your visit to Barcelona: 

Allioli – fine olive oil mayonnaise with garlic, served with fish and rice dishes or grilled meat

Amanida catalana – salad with smoked sausage

Arròs negre – rice with squid (including the ink)

Bacallà – cod (prepared following various recipes)

Canelones a la catalana – cannelloni Catalan-style, filled with mincemeat, chicken breast and liver, topped and baked with bechamel sauce

Cava – Catalan sparkling wine, traditionally matured in bottles

Crema catalana – sweet egg custard, covered with a layer of caramelised sugar

Escalivada – cold starter of grilled peppers and aubergines in olive oil

Espinacs a la catalana – starter of spinach (or chard) with raisins and pine kernels

Esqueixada – popular starter made from raw cod, fresh tomatoes, onions, peppers and black olives

Fideuà – pasta paella with monkfish, squid, prawns and mussels, baked in the oven

Llagosta i pollastre – chicken with langouste, in tomato-hazelnut sauce or with almonds, chocolate, saffron and garlic

Pa amb tomàquet – bread, rubbed with garlic and tomato and drizzled with olive oil. For the Catalans, this starter is a national dish, a philosophy and a passion

Suquet de peix – Catalan fish soup, usually a mix of monkfish, sea bream, squid and other seafood

Barcelona Marco Polo Guide

Restaurants serving traditional Spanish cuisine:

Bar Mundial

This authentic tapas bar has been around since 1908. The establishment is situated on one of the prettiest squares in the Old Town and has a welcoming ambience. Its specialities are fish and other seafood. Closed Sunday evenings, Tuesday lunchtimes and Mondays | Plaça Sant Augustí, 1 | Metro: Jaume I (L4)

Tapas 24

Chef Carles Abellan is renowned as a master of experimental tapas and all of his food is first-class quality. Closed Sundays | Diputació, 269 | Tel. 9 34 88 09 77 | Metro: Passeig de Gràcia (L3)

Drolma

An exquisite Michelin-starred restaurant at the Majestic hotel. Chef Fermi Puig spoils his guests with delectable and creative cuisine, serving Mediterranean dishes of the highest quality. The service is very professional and the staff are friendly and attentive. Menu from €95 | Closed Sundays | Passeig de Gràcia, 70 | Tel. 9 34 96 77 10 | Metro: Passeig de Gràcia (L2, L3, L4)

Casa Leopoldo

This Old Town restaurant has been a legend since the 1929 World Exhibition. It has a cosy and rustic atmosphere and serves traditional Catalan food. Closed Sunday evenings and Mondays | Sant Rafael, 24 | Tel. 9 34 41 30 14 | Metro: Parallel (L3)

Allium 

This restaurant is situated in the heart of the Gothic quarter and serves delicious Catalan cuisine. All of the produce is sourced from ecological and organic agriculture or sustainable fisheries. Open daily until 11:30pm | Call, 17 | Tel. 9 33 02 30 03 | Metro: Jaume I (L4)

La Avia

A bohemian style restaurant serving traditional Catalan dishes such as bean stew, paella, squid a la marinera and homemade empanadas. Open daily | La Cera, 33 | Tel. 9 34 42 00 97 | Metro: Sant Antoni (L2)

 

Buy the Barcelona Marco Polo Guide.

Barcelona Marco Polo Guide

What’s the best thing you have ever tasted in Barcelona? Comment below, tweet us @MarcoPoloGuides or tell us on Facebook.