Wrapped up 2015’s summer for good by paying a visit to the gorgeous Iberian Peninsula! From the eastern coast of Barcelona (& Ibiza) to the western coast of Porto, couldn’t think of a better way to say goodbye to the heat and embrace the autumn gold!
This place is SKATING MECCA. I swear I’ve never been to a better city in the world for street and freestyle skating! Just minutes from the beach and Balearic Sea, this oh-so-beautiful city boasts some of the best flat concrete and asphalt surfaces for anyone on wheels, anywhere in the world!
Barcelona has an extremely skate-friendly atmosphere/infrastructure that has been infused into its culture, and if you love tearing up the streets on urethanes and taking breaks by stunning sandy beaches, I can guarantee there is no better place on the planet! Oh yeah, Iberian ham… Omnomnomnom…
I mean, don’t forget Antoni Gaudí, FC Barça, and all the standard touristy stuff! But for us, we were just hooked on a drug called “skating” for our entire duration there. Meow.
Yeah we’ve heard it all, the party (island) capital for British tourists and the world. Many Brits working there even told me it’s almost like a “rite of passage” for many youngsters nowadays when they hit the legal partying age. Some DJs say the island has lost its magic since its massive influx of tourists and commercialisation, yet some say it retains its stardom as party-paradise. Meh.
Regardless, I must say Pacha was epic, Amnesia was a blast and even Eden was fantastic! BUTTTTT (hurr-hurr)… After three-days of consecutive partying, you’ll soon come to realise Ibiza’s not just about that. The natural sights were what actually made my trip truly worthwhile.
Café Del Mar has by far one of the prettiest and ambient sunsets I’ve experienced in all my life. Just imagine sitting by coast, waves lapping, sipping piña colada’s with tropical chill-house music from the likes of Kygo and Robin Schulz playing in the background… And of course a glorious sunset, followed by thunderous applause from everyone in the vicinity as our beloved red ball of fire crests on the horizon.
Highlight of the trip: Going off the beaten track in a quad-buggy w/ a factory down-tuned engine and shitty horsepower; then realising your foot-break doesn’t work very well and you have a faulty hand-brake… while up on a hill. Thank God for a crappy engine, he probably knew our breaks weren’t gonna work well. #YOLO.
Anyway, the cliff overlooking the small island of Es Vedrà (quad-buggy/cliff shot) is one such place you can’t easily reach by regular road – I recommend you rent a GOOD buggy, bike or 4WD, you won’t regret it and it isn’t entirely expensive at all! Unknown to many, Es Vedrà is actually the third most magnetic place in the world and home to numerous tales and myths; I swear it’s a really inspirational place to be near even if you don’t believe in all the superstition. Not forgetting the remarkable view of a crystal turquoise coastline, the local fun-lovin’ hippie population and the exceedingly friendly fellow-travelers you’re bound to encounter en route!
Promise me you guys include this on your bucket list and I promise you won’t regret it, you might even get to see a UFO!
(P/S: I swear the place is magnetic as hell. So magnetic in fact that my travel-buddy left his entire bag, bottle & maybe half his brains at the cliff, only realising after twenty minutes that… “Oh, I’m missing something!” #TRUESTORY)
Pity for my alcohol-allergies, if not I’d be on a wine-tasting frenzy! Porto is home to world-renowned Vinho do Porto (Port wine) and for good reason! Had the opportunity to taste 40-year-old Tawny Port aged through a solera and although I’m far from being a wine-connoisseur, I could somehow fully-appreciate the golden-brown appearance and aromatic sweetness of lingering caramel and nuts… Heaven! Let’s just say the itch was worth it.
Apart from having the best-tasting fortified wine in the world, Praça da Ribeira (The Ribeira Square) is another postcard-perfect place worth visiting in Porto (from the southern side of the river). Designated as World Heritage by UNESCO, and being the main city-square, we can see what once used to be a centre of intense commercial and manufacturing activity since the Middle Ages, now a favourite tourist hangout. Cobbled streets… I LOVE cobbled streets!
Follow the Douro River up north and you’ll arrive at Foz do Douro, where you can walk along the promenade and admire the Atlantic Ocean in all its majesty with the sun setting in the backdrop. On a good stormy day (kinda depends on what you deem to be “good”), you’d get to see waves crashing higher than the Felgueiras lighthouse out on the jetty – Really a sight to behold!