Archive for the 'Travel' Category

El Camino de Santiago (The Way of Saint James)

Monday, October 21st, 2013

La Cruz de FerroBy guest blogger Ash Bolton

I arrived in the small Spanish village of Roncesvalles in the north east of Spain late on a rather depressing looking Saturday evening in September, just as the skies turned dark with rain and released a torrential downpour.

Sprinting off the bus with a heavy backpack weighing me down, I ran to the municipal albergue (subsidised shelters along the Pilgrimage route) but got soaked to the bone within a minute and was already questioning whether this adventure was such a good idea. The plan had been to catch a taxi over the Pyrenees and into France, to reach the traditional starting point of the Camino Francés, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, but a quick look for said taxi proved fruitless, so I took this as a welcome sign that fate was telling me to start here. (more…)

A voyage of discovery with Toma Tours

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Pablo station restaurantOver the years I’ve been fortunate to see a lot of Andalucía and enjoy many of the exotic experiences that are unique to this southernmost part of Europe. So I like to think I know it pretty well, and travelling to Algeciras to hook up with a group of journalists and PR people I thought I had the measure of the press trip we were about to embark upon.

I hadn’t counted on the sheer enthusiasm and knowledge of organiser Manni Coe, the founder of Toma Tours and re-discoverer of the route we were about to follow. His detailed knowledge of southern Spain is born out of a passion for its culture, history and people that also shapes the fantastic tours he puts together. (more…)

Discovering beautiful lakes on our doorstep (Part 2)

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

Laghi di Monticchio, Italy In my previous blog you will have read all about our adventures in and around the fair town of Potenza. If not, go right back to start and catch up before reading on…

So having chanced upon the wondrous Laghi di Monticchio after our laborious travails through the hills of Basilicata, we promised ourselves to come back and explore this little hidden paradise properly. This is exactly what we did a few days later, following the much easier route from Calitri along the gently winding valley road en route to Melfi. Well before that town, however, you turn off and upwards towards Rionero in Vulture. (more…)

Discovering beautiful lakes on our doorstep (Part 1)

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Countryside Calitri, Campania,  ItalySo there we were, on holiday in Calitri. The open French doors let in a cooling breeze and views of an open countryside of green valleys and forested hills. I was peering over a map of the region, as I am want to do when ‘exploring’ new territory.

Ever since I first arrived here and began studying the local maps, the name of Potenza seemed to be calling out to me – as it did on this particular occasion. I know, it’s just a dot on a map with a name beside it, like so many others on a fold-out atlas, but while Bari, Matera, Brindisi, Foggia, Benevento and Cassino are all still on my to-do list, Potenza had, well, the most potent pull of all. (more…)

Classic chic in the heart of Tarifa

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Classic chic in the heart of Tarifa

In the heart of the old town there is an enchanting home that encapsulates the charm, elegance and the unique ambience of Tarifa.

This article first appeared in Essential magazine and is for sale with Tarifa Direct.
Words: Michel Cruz, Photography:

Tarifa’s historic centre is a small but attractive maze of little streets and squares populated by white-plastered houses and stylish boutique hotels. Some are grand, others unassuming, but an occasional glimpse through an open door reveals the oasis of peace and fresh air created within the courtyard patios of even the humblest of homes. (more…)