Travel

Strait of Gibraltar. Experience between Europe and Africa

Andalusia , that magical and almost mystical area of ​​Spain, which is where Africa and Europe meet, can be explored and traveled with a splendid on the road, even for a day.

The poet Mahmoud Darwish wrote that Al-Andalus is the place where “foreigners meet to build human culture” is therefore a border line par excellence, geographical and cultural customs, a mix of peoples, histories and religions. So on a journey between two continents in the morning, on the same day, I woke up in Malaga and fell asleep to the muezzin song, in Tangier , after a fascinating crossing from Gibraltar.

# VIA TERRA

From Malaga to Gibraltar, or rather to Algeciras, via Tarifa, we used a rented car with NoleggioAuto.it ; a service that compares the prices of the major and minor rent cars of the moment and proposes the most advantageous formula for the customer . For us, the three points in favor of this reality were the possibility of modifying or canceling the service free of charge, not having extra credit card fees and 24-hour assistance.

# TARIFA

Tarifa , an out-of-town program uncovered during a leisurely breakfast, is a city to be seen at least once in a lifetime. It is the only European inhabited country to face both the Mediterranean and the Atlantic . It is known as the wind city because of the Levante which often blows in these areas. It is only 14 km away from Morocco. It is the southernmost point of all of Europe.

It is not only famous for its beaches and surf, but there are also monuments to see, gastronomic delights to taste, the delicious Andalusian wine to sip and it is almost obligatory to follow its white alleyways remaining enchanted by painted balconies full of flowers . Then among the main attractions we find the castle, built on an old camp of the Roman Empire and the long medieval walls that surround it almost entirely.

But that is not all. It is the atmosphere of Tarifa that truly seduces the traveler; a sort of slow, jovial lifestyle and always with a smile ready to explode on the lips.

And if you happen here at lunchtime, our advice is to stop at La Sacristia, a real Andalusian-style posada where to have a snack and taste the local white wine.

The 5 most beautiful beaches in Italy

Finally summer, the season that many of us, including myself, wait all year. Here it is, in a moment it is here and in this season made of travel I would recommend an exclusive 20% coupon between the various Groupon discount codes  of Sconti.com, so you can save a little bit on your holidays. Are you ready to discover the five most beautiful beaches in Italy? 

1: Tonnarella dell’Uzzo beach – Sicily

With its transparent waters and its very white pebbles, Tonnarella is one of the wonders of the Zingaro Nature Reserve, the first Sicilian reserve established in 1979.

Cala dell’Uzzo is paradise as I imagine it, uncontaminated and completely surrounded by lush nature and very far from the noise of the city. The beach is small, intimate, about 150 meters along which white pebbles shine in the sun. Swimming in this crystalline water conveys a strange sensation, it seems almost to fly for the clarity of these waters.

Here in the Zingaro Nature Reserve from San Vito lo Capo to Castellammare del Golfo, there are seven kilometers of parkland along which you will find, as in a precious necklace, another six beautiful bays: Cala dell’Uzzo, Cala Marinella, Cala Beretta, Cala del Varo and Cala Caprera.

How to get? Here are some -> directions 

2: Arco Magno – San Nicola Arcella – Calabria

This is a special place, not reachable by car, a place that you must earn step by step or at most with a   pedal boat. It can be reached on foot from the nearby and equipped beach of the Arco Magno ( where it is located ) with about 15 minutes of walking along a beautiful path or south, from the parking near the Bar Furano using the iron ladder nearby. 

To say that the beach is Caribbean is obvious and inaccurate, the Magno arch and its beach are much nicer.

The place is characterized by a rock arch, where a crystalline sea enters whose depth is visible at more than five meters of depth. This beach is another Italian treasure that I wish to discover sooner or later, if you have not already done so.

3: Cala Mariolu – Sardinia

In this list could not miss the beautiful Sardinia with its blue sea and its priceless natural treasures. Surely, one of the most beautiful beaches in Italy is Cala Mariolu.   A pearl of the Gulf of Ortisei, located in the central-eastern coast of Sardinia. Composed of white and pink pebbles, this is also a very intimate beach, as the English would say, secluded.

If you like me bored to spend hours sunbathing, I recommend a dip in the blue, indeed, in a real painting of colors. Since I put on the snorkeling mask and I dived, I spent hours exploring the seabed and the marine life belonging to the fragile ecosystem of our beaches.

4: Marina Grande, Positano – Campania

Surely the beautiful beaches in the area of ​​Positano are not lacking, in fact, but if I had to choose one, Marina Grane is undoubtedly my favorite. From here the view of the hundreds of colorful houses that characterize the stupendous village of Positano, make everything even more magical and unique.

The beach is almost 250 meters long, surrounded by a crystal clear sea, it is one of the most famous of the Amalfi coast.

In Marina Grande there is no shortage of bathing establishments where you can find every comfort and maybe rent a kayak for a wonderful excursion on a coast that you discover step by step, in fact, paddling after paddling.

5: Torre dell’Orso – Melendugno – Puglia

Even Puglia, as it should be, has had a place on this list. Salento is dotted with beautiful places, it is certainly not just my personal opinion since beauty is not subjective.

In its immaculate transparency, I present the beautiful Torre dell’Orso whose beach stretches for almost a kilometer between two cliffs from where you can admire the famous faraglioni called “The Two Sisters”.

But it is the fine sand and the pinewood behind the dunes that frame this place giving postcard shots.

The largest maze in the world

Among the places in our current wish list there is one that has fascinated us right away and that we discovered to be very close to our hometown, Bologna, and that, for this reason we could not miss it. We are talking about the Labyrinth of the Mason, the largest labyrinth in the world, which is found in our region, the Emilia-Romagna region, precisely in Fontanellato, in the province of Parma.

How was born the largest labyrinth in the world “della Masone”

10 years (from 2005 to 2015). This is the time that has been used by Franco Maria Ricci to realize his project for which he had been looking for a long time: to create the biggest labyrinth in the world. The Labyrinth of the Masone was born in fact from the strong passion of Ricci for the labyrinths already starting from the 80s.

A passion that, after years of design and planning, has given life to the largest labyrinth in the world, thanks also to the collaboration with the architect Pier Carlo Bontempi .

Info and costs to access the maze

The Labyrinth of the Mason presents a very particular star plant, which develops for almost 7 hectares of land, with a total length of the path of about 3 km.

Although this may be surprising, the length is not the only amazing feature of the labyrinth. The real peculiarity of this attraction lies in the vegetation of which the labyrinth is composed

You must know that the Labyrinth of the Mason is made up entirely of over 200 thousand bamboo plants , as many as 20 different species. This is because Franco Maria Ricci had a real obsession with these plants and being an unusual plant for a labyrinth he wanted his creature to be full of it

Keeping this maze in good condition all year round is not a trivial matter, which is why the cost of entry is not too cheap. € 18 for adults and € 12 for children between 6 and 12. Under 6 instead can enter for free.

Moreover, the Labyrinth of the Masone is open every day from 10.30 to 19.00, except on Tuesday which is the closing day.

Weekend in Castellaneta, between the beach and the ancient village

The beach is a long, uninterrupted strip of fine white sand bathed in transparent water ( Blue Flag 2018 ). Equipped beaches alternate with wild stretches, with fossil dunes covered with arbutus and juniper bushes. Behind it, an expanse of Aleppo pines and Mediterranean scrub that spreads scents of myrtle, thyme, rosemary. Welcome to Castellaneta Marina, the other Puglia . That of those who flee the crowds and excesses of Salento, and seeks more secluded, less traveled, in which it is still possible to combine fun and relaxation , having available quality facilities and services. In the shade of the pine forest that stretches along the coast overlooking the west coast of the Gulf of Taranto, there are many good hotels where you can enjoy a comfortable stay at prices, moreover, more than accessible even in high season.

MOVIDA E NATURA
If you really do not want to give up luxury, you can book at Kalidria , a 5-star hotel and resort with thalassotherapy center (where Vasco Rossi has elected his retreat). Immersed in the vegetation, the structure reopened at the beginning of the summer, after the modernization works carried out by Emilio Ambasz, guru of natural architecture, which made it an oasis of quiet and tranquility , perfectly integrated into the landscape. 
Aligned on the promenade, the beaches have terraces overlooking the water with bars and restaurants, which in the evening become lively places to sip an aperitifadmiring the sunset or getting late after dinner accompanied by DJ sets and live music concerts. 
During the day, swimming in the sea alternates with walks in nature, on foot or by bike, within the Bioenergetic Reserve of Stornara , a protected area of ​​over 1,500 hectares that surrounds the village, up to the mouth of the river Lato, a refuge for many species of birds , from the heron to the white stork, on which the remains of an ancient Norman watchtower stand watch.

Last sea in Sardinia: 20 perfect beaches even in autumn

 

A kaleidoscope of turquoise, light blue, cobalt blue overlooked by white sanded coves, coves of smooth pebbles, capricious inlets, myrtle bushes and strawberry trees, pink granites. They are the , to be enjoyed without crowds, to take a last dip or, if it is too cold, a romantic walk.

It is then broken into the blue, with full sails in the archipelago of La Maddalena , sailing in the company of humpback whales and cetaceans to discover baiette with Caribbean colors or the famous pink beach of Budelli , one of the most beautiful beaches of Sardinia. Staying on the north coast, from Stintino to Santa Teresa di Gallura, the choice is not lacking and you relax by boat in the most hidden coves, you dive between the polished rocks of Cala Capriccioli or you move in search of the most mundane beaches of the Costa Smeralda, furnished as living rooms.

By bike, on the other hand, explore the Sinis peninsula , as far as Capo San Marco , where there are wild beaches, set between Mediterranean maquis and archaeological remains. Sports enthusiasts head south, towards Buggerru , the surfers’ beach, or Su Giudeu , where the stand up paddle can be tested.

But the Sardinian coast is a whole parade of spectacular bays bathed by a crystal sea. We have selected 20, a little taste, to inspire an autumn getaway.

Where to go in 2017: the Best in Travel guide by Lonely Planet

Travel Tips? Much more. An updated map of the planet. Where are the places where something new is being born? The most spectacular natural, archaeological, artistic cities but so far ignored by the great flows of tourism? The cities reborn or refounded, the closed borders that collapse and open up to the world? Here they are. The Canada, Wonder of the premier superstar Justin Trudeau, countries that want to win on a difficult past such as Colombia or Myanmar . The last frontiers of adventure such as Mongolia , Nepal , Polynesia or the Peruvian Andes .

And Italy ? We find it in the section dedicated to the cities not to be missed – between confirmations like Bordeaux and new entry as Ohrid (How? Do not know where it is?) – with a Tuscan town that is about to become our main cultural laboratory. Find out which … But Italy reappears, surprisingly, also in the section of low cost destinations, with Venice, the most obvious and cartolinata of our icon-cities, but in a new “sharing” look.

Best in Travel 2017 by Lonely Planet – today the Italian presentation of the book – classifies the10 countries, the 10 regions, the 10 cities and the 10 most convenient trips of the coming year and reminds us, on time, at each end of October world is more varied, large, unexplored and capable of surprises than we think. A concept to be kept in mind in what the UN has declared as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism . The ethical journey, respectful of Man and Nature, as an exercise to improve ourselves, and slowly, even the planet that hosts us. To find out more, just scroll through our gallery.