Renovated Homes & Farmhouses – Selling/Buying Property in Oxford

Lounge Building Exterior

Have you ever considered buying a cheaper property that you can later renovate and live in a luxury new home? There are plenty of beautiful farm houses in Spain and the UK. While renovated farm houses in Spain look spectacular, and interior design has characteristics such as tall walls and open style interior design, farm houses in the UK are quite similar apart despite of the size of the property. Oxford City in UK is a perfect location where you can find renovated homes or find a house that can be renovated. If you need help in finding a property like this, estate agents can easily guide you through the process of finding the perfect structure to meet your needs.

Selection of Views

What Styles of Older Homes Are For Sale in Oxford?

The area has several different styled homes. You can find a wealth of buildings from the Victorian Era. These massive structures are all brick and full of romantic looking rooms. Another style you will find is the classic Georgian facade with beautiful eaves.

Many of the homes have detached buildings that give you greater functionality. These rooms can be rented out or used as guest houses.

What Has Been Done to Renovate These Houses For Modern Day Luxuries?

Some of the houses in the area date as far back as the early 1800’s. These incredible buildings have been standing for hundreds of years. You will find that most owners have taken care of the structures and made necessary updates.

Depending on the home, different things will have been updated. Most owners strive to keep the original feel of the period in which the building was constructed. Bathrooms, kitchens, and other living spaces are brought up to code with modern appliances for a cozier feel.

How Can an Estate Agent Guide Me in the Process?

An estate agent can help you in finding the right residence for you whether old or new. Especially in the process of purchasing older homes, we can make certain you are purchasing the best property. Older buildings need additional care over the years.

Estate agents work to find you a property that has been kept up like it should. If there are repairs that need to be made, we can be sure you are informed of such. It is a great idea to use someone who is experienced in home buying to help you make such an important decision.

Although there are many estate agents available on the market, it might be difficult to find the best one. Here’s some useful tips to find a reputable estate agents.

  1. Pay attention at the properties that are for sale in your area and estate agents that are selling the property.
  2. Find estate agents that have most experience selling property similar to yours.
  3. Get a free market appraisal from at least three different estate agents. This will provide you with an estimate of what your property is worth. However, do not rush to start business with estate agents that evaluate your property with the highest price as estate agents aim to get a business with you.
  4. Ask for a list of houses that were sold by each estate agent so you can see if property evaluation has realistic numbers.

Estate agents Chancellors Oxford has properties for sale in Oxfordshire. Locations covered
New Hinksey, Littlemore, Cowley, Iffley, Iffley Village and St Clements and many of the smaller locations in between for your solution to find an Oxfordshire property. Please visit Chancellors website for more details. While Anscombes Finchley estate agents is a part of Chancellors Estate Agents Group and has properties for sale in Finchley, London, UK.

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Why Chinese property investors choose to buy property in the UK?

UK and China has an improved trade relations. A rising number of Chinese children are now being admitted in top schools along, which is among the key factors that drive Chinese investment in properties at prime central London.

W.A. Ellis, an agency in prime central London, made a research that stated the liberalization of China’s currency, the Renminbi (RMB), has created a rising price of newly constructed residential properties in China’s first tier regions and an increasing number of Chinese high net worth personas seek offshore investments. This adds attraction to London’s real estate.

The agency’s recent research pointed out that about £3.5B was spent exclusively on UK properties made by Chinese investors in 2013. The current Chinese currency strength means that the price of buying properties as assets in London is around 8% cheaper than it was a few years back.

The research done by Hong Kong-based property firm – Centaline – on the first quarter of the year 2013 emphasized the impact of around 15% tax introduced on foreigners that invest in Hong Kong. This resulted to four-year low decrease in the sales of luxury houses to mainland Chinese investors.

Lucy Morton – a senior partner and head of lettings at W.A. Ellis has returned from a trip to Hong Kong – said that there is confidence in the real estate market in London. Investors have become frantic to buy and the liberalization of RMB has immensely helped, which is partly the responsible for widening the profile of buyers.

She also stated that around 20 years before buying London properties are exclusive to the rich. Today, there are high net worth personas, in large numbers, who are interested in investing within the capital.

She highlighted the interest of buying through exhibitions. People are interested looking at exhibitions considering that they have researched about the area where they want to buy as well as the schemes and developers of the property they are going to buy. Deposits are made ready and so they leave right after making their purchase.

Morton also pointed that South East Asian investors have purchased new luxury property developments within central London, which are usually one or two bedroom apartment. There are majority, however, that are buying just one apartment but other high net worth families can spend millions.

Apart from the ones mentioned, she also explained that there has been an increase in property portals such as Juwai.com and search engines that are in Chinese dialect such as Baidu. She added that this has helped the marked and will play a major role in the near future.

According to Morton, education has prompted this residential investment. There are children who attend private schools in London and they are in greater numbers. Mandarin is currently becoming part of the curriculum in a lot of schools. When they reach university age, a lot of students arrive and because of this their families seek private rented sectors. The steady growth of South East Asian students’ number has been seen, which also increased the rental numbers of centrally located properties.

Seven reasons to move to Marbella

Guest post by Michelle Rebecca

Spain has always fascinated North Americans. The combination of temperate weather, Old World history and cosmopolitan culture is a heady mix. Marbella, situated on the southern coast of the country, contains everything that makes Spain appealing. There are plenty of reasons to move to Marbella, whether you dream of an old-fashioned Spanish villa or a two-bedroom apartment overlooking the Mediterranean.

Sea and Mountain Vistas

Marbella lies on the shore of the Mediterranean, roughly midway between the Gibraltar Strait and the larger city of Málaga. Marbella stretches along the Mediterranean coastline like a languid cat, with over 27 km (almost 17 miles) of coastline and 24 beaches within the town limits.

Looking inland, the Sierra Blanca foothills border Marbella. Wherever you are in town, you can be assured of either an ocean or mountain view.

Temperate Climate, Sunny Disposition

Marbella boasts an average annual temperature of 18 degrees Celsius (64 degrees Fahrenheit), with summer temperatures reaching the high twenties (80s in Fahrenheit). In winter, the temperature rarely drops below a balmy 16 Celsius (60 degrees Fahrenheit).

During the winter, you may see snow on the highest peaks of the Sierra Blanca, which usually melts within days. And with over 300 days of sunshine a year, Marbella provides plenty of opportunity for sun worshippers and beachgoers.

Jetsetters and Andalusian Lifestyles

Marbella has long attracted Europe’s wealthy and famous. The town is known for its jet-setting visitors, from aristocrats and royalty to celebrities. During the summer months, the city’s population swells to 500,000 as the cream of European society flocks to Marbella beaches and festivals.

At the same time, the 136,000 permanent residents of Marbella retain their Andulusian heritage with flamenco dancing and a complex seafood-based cuisine.

Local Festivals

Marbella offers some of the best festivals in Europe, with most celebrations taking place between June and October. Music lovers flock to both the Marbella Opera Festival and the city’s Reggae and Jazz festivals. The Marbella also International Film Festival draws a great deal of attention.

History

Marbella may date back as far as the 7th century BC, when Phoenician merchants established a base on what would become the town. Later ruins attest to a time when the region lay within the grip of the Roman Empire.

During the Middle Ages, the region’s culture and architecture was heavily influenced by Spanish Moors, and as a result the city includes a well-preserved Moorish Fort. Museums and architecture from multiple periods dot the city, making Marbella a history-lover’s paradise.

Convenience and Comfort

Marbella is perfect for those who prefer to experience the exotic without giving up on the comforts of home. Unlike some destinations, Marbella offers all the conveniences of modern life, whether you want to see the latest shows, order 1999 Mustang Parts or simply enjoy an evening out at an excellent restaurant.

While Spanish is the primary language of Marbella, the cosmopolitan nature of the town makes it easy to find people who speak English. Many full-time residents of Marbella come from the United Kingdom and the USA, and many local papers and magazines have English editions.

Author bio: Michelle is an aspiring writer with a passion for blogging. She enjoys writing about a vast variety of topics and loves that blogging gives her the opportunity to publicly voice her thoughts and share advice with an unlimited audience.

Tips for a Stress-Free Move to Spain

Guest post by Jennifer D’Angelo.

Moving to Spain can be both an exciting and a daunting experience. Heading to a new country is never easy, but there are some ways to make this move as stress-free as possible. You need to know what needs to be done and when, as well as what to expect as you are getting things done.

Getting the First Things Done

If you are coming from the US, you will need a Visa. These are not granted overnight, so it is important that you get started earlier gathering the paperwork and documents that you will need to get your Visa. It is important to start early, be patient and make sure that you have all of the paperwork and documents together before submitting your application.

Getting a Place to Live

You want to get a place to live before you head to Spain. Call and email local realtors and talk to them about what you want and which neighborhoods would be best for you. You want to make sure that once you arrive that you like the place you will be living.

The majority of rental properties in Spain are fully furnished. This means that you will not need to worry about shipping big pieces of furniture or rushing around to find new furniture. Talk to the landlord and real estate agent about what the apartment comes with so that you can plan. You will still need your personal items and decorative items to get to your new place. You can choose to have these items shipped. This can be a bit pricey, but it is a convenient way to get boxes full of stuff to your new place without having to do all of the lugging yourself. Of course, you can choose to carry your items with you via whichever travel method that you choose, but this can be pricey too, especially if you are flying and have to check multiple bags.

Think about the smaller things that come with choosing a new home too. For example, do you have pets that you want to bring with you? Some rental properties may not allow pets, so you will want to ask about this, as well as any additional costs associated with bringing a pet along.

What You Bring Matters

Things like electronics may or may not be included with your new home. Most electronics will work in Spain, but things like televisions may not get the channels that you need. Ask your realtor if televisions will be part of the included furnishings.

Before getting to Spain, take to the Internet and research the neighborhood that you chose. Get to know where things like the grocery store, restaurants, medical clinics and other important places are and how far they are from your new abode.

How Will You Get There?

Many people will choose to fly, of course. If you are having most of your items shipped, flying is probably the best choice. You will get there in a day or less and can meet the rest of your stuff. Some will also choose to head to the UK and then take a ferry to Calais or Santander and then drive to Spain. These are not short drives and you will want to drive through Spain during the day since it is new to you and night lighting is not the best. If you choose to drive, make sure you have your passport, driver’s license, insurance proof and all other important documents that show who you are.

About the Author: Jennifer D’Angelo is a real estate professional in the United States who has spent time living and working in Spain. Click here for more information about Jen’s work. 

The Luxurious Costa del Sol

Guest post by Heather Reid.

Whilst the Costa del Sol may conjure up images of mass tourism, many visitors are surprised to find that this region also boasts a wealth of exclusive and luxurious destinations. Spoil yourself with a luxurious road trip along the 100-mile coastline of the Costa Del Sol and enjoy a landscape that includes spectacular mountain scenery, views of the Rock of Gibraltar, the coast of Northern Africa and the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Whether you drive along the coast or head inland, amongst the natural beauty and traditional villages, you will find luxurious resorts, fine dining, golf courses and some serious fun.

Luxurious Puerto Banus
Luxurious Puerto Banus

First of all, head to Puerto Banus, a luxurious resort built in 1970, just 6km from the town of Marbella, 64km south of Malaga.  Starting out as a luxury marina and shopping centre, today it is a major destination and a magnet for the super rich, with seemingly endless mega-yachts docked at the marina and streets chock-a-block with luxury cars.  Set against a dramatic mountain backdrop, you can’t help but be impressed by the glitz and glamour of this town.  Puerto Banus is always bustling and full of upmarket bars and restaurants, boutiques including D&G and Dior and a casino.  This is a prime party location, attracting a young, sophisticated and rich clientele whose main aim is to be seen.  There are some great restaurants, including the meat lovers’ delight, Tango or the celebrity hangout of the Red Pepper and some even better nightclubs such as the hugely popular and pricey Olivia Valere.

A few miles away from Puerto Banus is the exclusive town of Marbella.  A luxurious destination for rich European tourists, it successfully combines history and culture with flashy marinas, restaurants and beaches. Those who enjoy a bit of culture should try to get to a performance at the amphitheatre or enjoy an afternoon stroll through the historic old town, a charming place with cobbled streets, whitewashed buildings and outdoor cafes.  If however you prefer a day of pampering and partying, a visit to the exclusive Nikki Beach resort will be a highlight.  One of the most glamorous destinations in Marbella and a great way to enjoy the beach in style, try to make it for one of Nikki Beach’s ‘Amazing Sundays’ with DJ’s, live music, great cocktails and oodles of beautiful people.

If partying is not quite your thing, a short drive will bring you to Nueva Andalucia, also known as the ‘golf valley’.  With warm weather all year round, this region is perfect for golf and the exclusive Aloha Golf course should be at the top of your list.  Designed by Javier Arana, it is one of the best courses to play on in Spain.  Set within beautiful surroundings that have been lovingly landscaped, this is a well maintained golf course that most golfers will find an enjoyable challenge, whilst the terrace has amazing views and is a wonderful place to sit and enjoy a leisurely lunch.

And if it is natural beauty that you are looking for, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Benalmadena. The town is located around 20km from Malaga and boasts spectacular views across the coast from the top of the Calamorro Mountain. There is a cable car from the town that lifts you slowly up the side of the mountain, allowing you to enjoy breathtaking views as you rise 800 metres to the summit.  On a clear day you can see Gibraltar and the coast of Africa.

There are some truly luxurious options for accommodation on the Costa del Sol, including the hotel resorts of Gran Melia Don Pepe, just a few kilometres from Marbella or the Don Carlos Leisure Resort, right next door to Nikki Beach.  For something a little different there are a good selection of boutique hotels, including Hotel Claude, a charming 17th century townhouse in Marbella that has been refitted to combine exclusive modern design with the original features and the fashionable Marbella Heights Boutique Hotel, located on a hill above Marbella with stunning sea views and glorious surroundings.

With well-maintained roads, fast highways connecting the cities and major towns and plenty of wonderful scenic routes to travel, exploring the Costa del Sol by car is great fun and with companies now offering extremely competitive prices for car rental in Malaga and locations across the Costa del Sol, driving a luxury car is much more affordable.  With cars designed for extreme comfort and fitted with all the latest entertainment systems and safety features, it is likely that you enjoy the drive as much as the destination.

Heather Reid is marketing manager for Bingo Car Rental, specialists in low cost and luxury car rental in locations across Spain and Europe.

Buying a house in Spain?

Guest Post by Grace Beckett.

Spain is considered to be one of the most beautiful and scenic countries in Europe. Its rich heritage in almost every aspect of life make it a must see destination for many. Some even go one step further by buying land or property or even a house for when they visit. If you are one of the few who would want a nice little cottage somewhere around the Pyrenees or the Sierra Nevada mountain ranges or maybe a villa overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, this article is for you.

Here, we look at some of the most important things and issues to look out for before buying real estate in the land of bullfighting, football and sangria.

History

Spain’s history shows a high inclination towards a very artistic culture. Right from Diego Velazquez in the 17th century to Francisco Goya in the 18th and 19th and more notably Pablo Picasso in the 20th century, Spain has been overflowing with it. The Flamenco music and dance has been highly regarded all around the world as well, so it’s not much of a surprise to see some of the most beautifully constructed houses and villas here.

Architecture

Spain has seen big changes in architectural style through the years. With a walk around Madrid, the capital, one can see renaissance architecture dating back to the 1500s. The country moved towards modernism in the 20th century and today, you notice an inclination towards contemporary architecture. Most of the villas around the sea-line are from the 1960s to the 80s and expanded later.

The famous property bubble

1985 saw a rapid increase in property value in Spain all the way up to 2008. Between 1985 and 1991, house values nearly tripled as there was a super-high demand all through the country. From 1992 to 1996, the prices had somewhat stabilized but then onwards, they started to skyrocket again.

It is the same theory used for a regular bubble – sooner or later, it has to pop. When the Global Financial Crisis (2007-2012) caught up with the Spanish, they were already in too deep. With the house ownership in Spain more than 80%, the country was one of the worst-affected in the world. Between July 2007 and June 2008, sales dropped an astonishing 25.3%. Banks had started offering 40 to 50-year mortgages to the owners in an attempt to slow down the crash landing they were headed for, which worked. Due to the high rates however, many sold their land and houses but are now stuck with huge debts for property they no longer own.

Value

As of August 2008, new constructions are at an all-time low, but the value of land has not had much of a change, still standing at a whopping 2095 euros/m2.

Buying property in Spain today

Regardless of the incredible downfall, Spain has managed to get back up and has improved significantly. Although there are almost no new constructions going on, you have a good chance of getting your hands on a second-hand cottage or villa/bungalow for a reasonable price (considering the boom) almost anywhere in the country. The styles vary from place to place and according to the value and they are in pristine condition.

Properties on the Balearic and Canary islands also provide some amazing scenery as well as tranquility away from the fast-paced capital.

Summing it up

Spain has seen its share of ups and downs in the property business. Buyers have gone from enthusiastic to greedy to downright delusional but right now, everything seems to have settled down. Although experts say that there still is a chance for another sharp decline in the land value, it is safe to say that the worst has now passed and investing in real estate here is pretty logical now.

Grace is an blog writer with Godot Media. Her interests lie in writing about finance and real estate. She specially likes writing about foreign markets and investments abroad. Grace is also a skilled  cv writer and financial advisor.

Pool Safety – keeping Safe around the pool

Guest post by Ken Walker

Many types of safety cover are available
Many types of safety cover are available

While a pool can be many things to many people, some benefits are universal.  By enjoying a backyard pool, homeowners improve their health and fitness, release and eliminate stress, and create a vibrant atmosphere for special occasions and family fun.

Overall, pool ownership is a lifestyle change and definitely one for the better – you don’t have to leave home to escape the rat race.  A pool gives opportunities to encourage togetherness or to appreciate quiet moments alone.

Most health professionals agree: – swimming is the single most beneficial activity for your whole body; being stress-free for joints and limbs.

Improved self-confidence and a positive attitude-change are also significant parts of the pool exercise package.  Pool aerobics are a preventative, therapeutic activity and a cardiovascular conditioner, particularly for those with arthritis and other disabilities.

“The more often you swim the longer you’ll live”, according to 2 studies of more than 335,000 people by Jeremiah Stamler MD, a heart-disease researcher from Northwestern University in Chicago, who estimates you may add 10 years to your life by swimming every day.

Your own private, backyard pool can transform the most ordinary occasion into a special event.  You can readily imagine some of the occasions around your pool; parties, barbeques, college reunions and quiet gatherings of friends – or just relaxing.

With colourful decorations, tasty food and music to fit the mood, your pool parties will create memories that will last a lifetime. The possibilities are endless. What better place to entertain your kids and their friends than at home, safe in your own family pool?

Pools are Very Dangerous Places

Be aware that your pool is a potentially life-threatening hazard and plan to make your pool the safest place that it can be.  Nobody ever plans for a tragedy like drowning – but pool-owners and pool-users should all plan to prevent one by paying attention to Pool Safety.

Drowning is the 3rd leading cause of death of children under five years of age in the USA, and the leading cause of death in some states such as California, Florida and Arizona (where there are more than the average percentage of properties with private pools).   Over 280 under-fives drown each year in private pools and spas in the USA.  In Spain alone 80 to 100 kids aged 1-4 drown every year in private pools. Enough cannot be said or read on this subject.

According to the USPS Commission “An estimated 3,000 children under age five, and an even greater number of adults, are treated in US hospital emergency rooms following submersion accidents each year.”  A percentage of these submersion accidents result in permanent brain damage.

In the USA a high percentage of married couples who have suffered the fatal drowning of a child end their relationships in an acrimonious divorce.  Additionally, in almost all of these tragic cases the family feel the need to move home.

Children must be constantly supervised when swimming; this is one of the most important aspects of Pool Safety and the more people in or around the pool, the more supervision is necessary. You need to assign one person who is dedicated to watching the children. If that person leaves the pool area, they must pass the duty to another responsible adult (a sober adult who can swim and has learned CPR).

Swimming lessons provide an excellent opportunity for kids to be self-confident in the pool, but the ability to swim is not a guarantee against drowning because kids of all ages constantly test their abilities and try out new tricks. An accident can happen at any time and once again supervision by a responsible adult is the key to pool-safety.

Pool water must be completely protected whilst not in use – to prevent drowning – with a Safety Cover, Security Fence, or a Safety Net. In the USA, Australia and France, to name but a few examples, every pool must be protected by a fence, cover or safety net by law. In many other countries there is a legal requirement to protect any pool that is not ’for the exclusive use of one family or household’. That means all Community pools, all pools at properties that are rented to holidaymakers or tourists, and all private pools where guests are invited along for a swim.

Teach and enforce basic pool rules

  • No eating, drinking, running or glassware in or near the pool.
  • Don’t dive from the side of an in-ground pool – enter the water feet first.
  • Don’t swim or dive if you’ve taken alcohol or drugs – your reactions will be slowed.
  • NEVER dive into above-ground pools; they are too shallow.
  • NEVER swim during a thunderstorm.

Under no circumstances allow or encourage swimmers to Hyperventilate in an attempt to swim further underwater. This practice can cause Shallow Water Blackout; the root cause of up to 50% of swimming pool fatalities.

Pool Safety Equipment

You should have a bare minimum of a ‘Shepherd’s Crook’ pool hook firmly fixed to a pole that will allow you to reach to the bottom of the deepest part of the pool, a First Aid box and a life belt. These items are only of use if they are within reach, so keep them poolside at all times.

You can find more information on pools and pool safety on Ken’s website mypoolguru.com

Things to do on your Spain trip

Guest post by Andy Butler

Spanish tapas
Tapas are very popular across Spain

If you have decided to head to Spain on your next holiday, here are few ways that can make your Spain trip easy, fun and memorable. Spain, being home to some popular cities of Europe, has all the ingredients for that perfect holiday. Madrid, Barcelona, and Cordoba are some of the few beautiful places to see in Spain. A lot of planning must go in the trip to Spain to explore its beauty to the fullest. Here are few things you could do in Spain.

Traveling around Spain

Buses and trains are a great way to travel inside the cities. In Madrid and Barcelona, the underground metro systems are safe and easy to use. They are pretty cheap and quick too. Use this mode of public transport to get to your destinations safely and quickly in Spain. The metros also have easy-to-understand maps which can guide you easily. Moreover, trains and buses are the best way to explore a new city.

Must see places

Though there is plenty to do in Spain, here are few places you just cannot afford to miss. ThePlaya de Las Catedrales Beach in Galicia has beautiful rock formations along its shores. The Sitges offers a beautiful beach and some great nightlife spots around the beach. The Alhambra Palace in Granada with its red-bricked walls is a fantastic sight. Costa Brava houses the Salvador Dali Theatre Museum which is famous for its interesting architecture.

Food habits in Spain

The Spanish believe in a modest breakfast and an enormous lunch. Coffee is almost like a morning ritual and can be found easily in any of the coffee shops which open by 7 in the morning. The famous term ‘Tapas’ owes its origin to Spain. Tapas is a small dish served with a drink. The dish could be just anything. A cheese and ham toast with a fine tasting glass of wine is tapas. ‘Go for Tapas’ is a famous term in Spain. So do not look confused if you hear it too often.

Art and culture

Flamenco is a form of art that combines dancing, use of guitar, singing and handclaps. Make sure you witness one of these finest forms of art unique to Spain. There are events which organize these or you could find it happening in any of the restaurants.

Festivals

There are some very famous festivals that take place in Spain. So you could plan your holiday around that time to witness some unbelievably beautiful customs. The Semanta Santa, Pamplona Bull race, and the La Tomatina are some major events that take place which one has to experience in a lifetime.

Speak Spanish

Learn a few common Spanish phrases. They could be useful in restaurants and shopping areas and at the same time fun too. Hola is used for greeting people. Si, Gracias, and favor are used mean yes, Thank you and please respectively. Spanish people are very polite and would love to have you greet them this way.

Author bio: Andy Butler is an expert associated with Burger Davis SIR, an international realty company that offers a range of luxury real estate in France and worldwide. If you are looking for luxury villas for rent in France Burger Davis Sotheby’s International Realty offers great deals for holiday homes.

Top Tourist Attractions in Malaga, Spain

Guest post by Irina Chirilov

MalagaMalaga is one of the largest Spanish cities; it is located in the South of Spain, in Andalucia, being the capital of the MalagaProvince. The entire Costa del Sol has a Mediterranean climate and for this reason a lot of tourists come and spend great summer vacations there.

Malaga is a city that was built by the Phoenicians close to 3,000 years ago; during the Roman Empire it was one considered a confederated City of Rome. Nowadays it is one of the top world tourism capitals, and its importance is growing continually.

Malaga attracts tourists with its beaches, the possibility of hiking, its architecture, the art museums, the great places for shopping and the excellent cuisine. You can get to Malaga by bus, by train, by car, by plane, by boat or even by taxi. In fact Malaga has the third biggest airport in Spain.

What is there to see and visit?

1. One of the most recommended places to go to is the Alcazaba Fortress. It was built in 1040 by King Badis from the Zirid dynasty, who was thus trying to protect his family from invaders. The fortress was raised up on a hill.

2. Castillo de Gibralfaro represents the ruins of a Moorish castle, which has an unknown origin. It was built during the Phoenician Punic period and it is open for visitors between 9:00 and 18:00, the price for the entrance ticket being just under two Euros.

3. Another top tourist attraction in Malaga is the RomanTheatre, which was raised in the first century B.C. and is located close to the Alcazaba Fortress. The Theatre was used for entertainment for about four centuries now, even though the Moors used some of the remains of the theatre to build some fortresses nearby. The theatre ruins were found in 1951, when the authorities were planning to build a new garden in the region.

4. The Museum of Glass and Crystal in Malaga is located in an 18th century palace and contains a private collection of artistic glass and crystal pieces coming from various historical periods and cultures. The entrance fee is 4 Euros, and this guarantees you the possibility of touring the museum with the help of a certified guide.

5. The Cocodrilos Park is the place where you will have the chance to see about 300 crocodiles of different species. The Park is open all year long and it consists of eight lakes, an African village, a museum, an audiovisual room, a nursery for baby crocodiles, a fortress that was built using the African Sahara style and a playground for kids.

6. The natural monument Canyon of Buitreras is a spectacular narrow gorge that has been formed due to the action of the river Guadiaro. This natural marvel has its origins in the Jurassic period, and the tourists visiting it have all talked about the awe that the canyon inspires. It is the perfect place to go if you are looking for spectacular, natural landscapes that are both wild and awesome. A lot of accommodation possibilities are offered to tourists coming to visit the canyon and the prices start from few Euros per night for a regular bedroom.

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, besides all these unique and wonderful places to visit while in Malaga, you will also be charmed by its excellent cuisine; you will have the opportunity to eat not only special Malaga dishes, but also some of the best international ones.

Author bio: Irina Chirilov is a blogger for Thrifty Bucharest Romania, a car rental agency that represents Dollar Thrifty Car Rentals in Eastern Europe.

Spain’s Top 5 Music festivals

Guest post by Jonathan Gordon

Whilst Spain is a country that is very wealthy in both culture and tradition which has been well-preserved over the years to honour their heritage, one area which has been adapted and improved is music. Here is a quick list of some of the music festivals in Spain you may want to attend.

Festival # 1 WoMAD Festival in Caceres, Extremadura
WOMAD Caceres 2012Spelled out as World of Music, Arts, and Dance, WoMad is an international music festival that is commonly celebrated in over twenty-seven countries and islands all over the globe including Spain. It is usually held in May of every year. It is considered as one of the best music festivals in Spain because of its wide variety of music artists and dancers all over the country to make this event the one of the greatest music festivals in Spain. Almost one thousand artists perform in the festival for about 1,000,000 people that celebrate this festival. Attendees include the citizens naturally living in the country as well as tourists from different countries who want to explore the wonders of Spain.

Festival # 2 Viña Rock in Villarobledo
This music festival may be considered as another one of the best music festivals in Spain. One of the things that make this festival great is that this is mainly a local festival for the local people, so it is teeming with local culture. It is usually held in the month April. It can be described as a mega rock and pop music festival that is attended by thousands of people that enjoy the fun and excitement of a festival that they can truly call their own. Tourists are welcome to attend and experience a truly one-of-a-kind festival.

Festival # 3 Festimad in Madrid
Usually held during the late part of April and in early May, Festimad can be considered as one of the most popular music festivals in Spain. This alternative rock festival is attended by hundreds of music artists that come from Spain and from other countries. It also features different artists in that are involved in cinema, graffiti art, and talent performances. The festival is a combination of diverse talented artists from all over the world, even though it primarily focuses on performers of the Spanish culture. Attended by approximately 25,000 people each year, this is a music festival that is worth attending.

Festival # 4 Primavera Sound in Barcelona
Every year, approximately 100,000 to 500,000 people, this music festival is also one of the best in Spain. With such diverse music genres that can be enjoyed, people of all ages have come to love this festival. It is usually held in late May or early June. This festival is full of big acts that the people of Spain never get tired of and it happens just before the Benicassim International Music Festival.

Festival #5 Benicassim International Music Festival in Benicassim (between Barcelona and Valencia)
Also known as Festival Internacional de Benicassim (FIB), this festival is one of the best music festivals ever held in Spain. The Benicassim music festival is usually held in July and boasts some of the biggest rock and pop bands. Dance acts as well as various other artist performances can also be experienced during the festival. This is why almost 50,000 people attend the music festival every year and continues to attract many more thousands of people.

Author Bio: Jonathan is a freelance copywriter who writes for a variety of websites and organisations including providers of cheap European flights.