Not far from the Bajondillo Apartments is EXOTIC TOUR Travel Agency and Exchange.
Their tour prices are very reasonable and they always give a fair exchange rate on your currency (American - Canadian - British pounds - etc.)
I have exchanged money here many times and I believe it's even a better rate than using the ATM Machines. There is no commission charges - the rate you see is the rate you receive.
An example of tours they offer and (2010) rates are as follows:
Cordoba - Thursdays - Tour - 41,50 Euros - with lunch - 53,50 Euros
7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Update (2013 rates)
Tour - 39,50 Euros - with lunch - 54,50 Euros
Gibraltar - 12.50 Euros - Express 14.25 Euros
7:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Update (2013 rates)
11,95 Euros - Express 13,95 Euros
Granada - Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday - 54,95 Euros - with lunch - 66,95 Euros
7:40 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Includes admission to Alhambra
Update: (2013 rates)
54,95 Euros - with lunch 68,95 Euros
Nerja/Frigiliana - Monday and Thursday - 20,50 Euros - With Caves 26,50 Euros
9:20 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Update: (2013 rates)
19,00 Euros - with caves 25,50 Euros
Ronda - Tuesday - Thursday - Saturday - 30,50 Euros - with Lunch 42,50 Euros
7:35 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Update: (2013 rates)
28,50 Euros - with lunch 43,95 Euros
Sevilla - Wednesday and Friday - 41,50 Euros - with lunch 53,50 Euros
7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Update: (2013 rates)
39,50 Euros - with lunch 54,50 Euros
Lunch is well worth the extra price as it usually includes a drink, dessert and gratuities
Prices are as of February 2010.
Updated February, 2013 - as you can see most prices are actually less than two years ago.
New: Marbella and Puerto Banus - Thursdays
8:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. - Half Days - 18,00 Euros
Jerez and Cadiz - Fridays
7:10 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
includes Horse Show & Boat Trip - 45,00 Euros
The competition to keep the tourists inside the hotels is strong and wild, with advantages to the costumers.
Spanish hotels developed a standard of activities that cover all the areas, with each hotel concentrated in its dominant area of costumers.
So, either if you travel with children or not, this is a point you must consider when booking your hotel.
This was one of my favourite things to do while staying for such a long time on the beach. Get up really early in the morning and watch the sun rise. It is absolutely breathtaking.
My photos are taken in Bajondillo and show the sunrise in different months of the summer. It is really worth waking up early for this! I stayed for 6 months in Bajondillo in Torremolinos. An waking up to a sunrise like this is out of this world. I just couldn´t go back to sleep knowing that such beauty was outside.
Despite its growth towards touristy exploitation, Torremolinos still keeps some few details from its origin. Too much commerce around, too much modern adding, but... there is still something.
Not much, and to be honest, people don't care - beach is everything.
What else can I say but " The Lift " situated behind the Bajondillo Apartments, the lift takes you up into the main town, saving you a long walk up many.many steps to get you to the top.
There's a very nice man who will take €0.50 off you when you reach the top, which only takes a few second but well worth the money.
Torremolinos was certainly the place to do gift shopping. There are so many great bargains here! :o)
If found this lovely fella that engraved gifts while we waited. He was great at his job! So if you recognise him...you need to buy some gifts and get them engraved while you wait.
Sorry, I didn't get his name...but you will find the shop in the markets near Apartamentos Bajondillo and the El Dorado restaurant.
Ok, for those of you that have visited Torremolinos - did you go for a walk along the beachfront on the walkway? Of course you did! :o)
For those of you that are looking for something to do in Torremolinos then this is the first thing that you will want to do....well that is unless it is raining.... but then you will probably want to do it anyway.
There are gift shops galore, restaurants, ice-cream shops, views over the beach, cruise ships out at sea etc...
So a trip to Torremolinos is not a trip unless you go for a wander along the seafront prominade.
Why not take a cruise aboard the STARFISH, along the shores of the Mediterranean. COSTASOL CRUCEROS offers this very thing. Leaves Benalmadena at 10:30 12:30 14:30 and 16:30.
Prices for Adults: one way 8,00 Euros Return 13,00 Euros
Prices for Children ( 4 - 12) One way 5,00 Euros Return 8,00 Euros.
While in Arroyo de la Miel, why not take the TOURIST TRAIN or Trenes Turisticos. Departures are every hour from 10:00 a.m. Duration is 50 minutes and cost is 4,00 Euros. On Wednesday and Fridays, the train stops at the Flea Market (Mercadillo).
Leaving Calle San Miguel, we headed back to the Bajondillo Apartments via Plaza de los Tajilloes and Calle de Bajondillo, which is quite a pleasant route, with its whitewashed or colourfully painted buildings. I spotted quite a few tiled pictures on the walls of bars and private properties.
Some were of local scenes (pic 4 &5). Hostal Micaela (pic 3) was adorned with tiles of proverbs etc. between the foliage of the hanging plants. I particularly liked the colourful tiled picture advertising Bodega Quitapenas, which depicted grape-pickers (pics 1 & 2)
Using Azulejo tiles as an exterior decoration is a tradition in Andalucia. Azulejo comes from the Arabic word zellij meaning, "polished stone".
A legacy from the Moorish occupation of this region of al-Andalus is the architecture and the use of these glazed ceramic tiles as decoration. In some areas the more heavily tiled exteriors had an air cooling function for the interior.
In Islamic architecture significant colours were green, black, cream, blue, gold, red and white. The tiles were arranged in complex geometrical patterns.
From Andalucia, via the Moors, Portugal embraced azulejos - covering whole churches in mainly blue and white tiles of patterns or historical/biblical scenes.
Seville is the main centre in Andalucia for producing Mudejar-Spanish tiles.
There were many examples of azulejos around Torremolinos.
After enjoying another walk down Paseo Maritimo to La Carihuela (stopping at La Roca for our obligatory VT Group Shot) 22 of us enjoyed a leisurely lunch of pintxos (Basque style tapas) at Vinotecca el Elefante (see my Restaurant tips and travelogue for Saturday 29th January).
Afterwards, some of us decided to head to Calle San Miguel, by Avenida Carlota Alessandri, a long street that runs along the lower part of Parque de la Bateria and heads to the old town.
I'm afraid that I didn't get to see the park at this visit, but it sounds like a nice alternative to the beach for somewhere to relax. As part of Torries face-lift, the park was renovated, with 100's of trees and shrubs being planted. In the 1940's it was the site for a military base, there are some reminders of this time with the round watch tower, which was visible from the road (pic 2). Apparently there are many canons to be seen too. The park is now a memorial garden to those who lost their life in WW2.
I was quite intrigued by the white and blue building in the shape of a boat on the corner of Calle Aladino. It appeared to be closed. I wasn't sure if it was a place with holiday apartments.
There was a banner which I think was advertising a language school and translation services.
At the end of Avenida Carlota Alessandri, we came across a small garden, with a Monument in the shape of two crossed steel triangles (pic 3). Nearby were 2 plaques (pic 4) in Spanish and English, which commemorated "A Gathering of the Peoples of Spain and Great Britain For the Union of the Municipalities of Stockport and Torremolinos 1991"
I can't find out why these 2 towns 'united' twenty years ago though.
At the next roundabout was an attractive fountain with statues of prancing horses at its base.(pic 5)
This was near Calle San Miguel, where we had time for a spot of bargain shopping in the January Sales, before enjoying a calorie laden treat at Le Epanta (see my restaurant tip for more info)
Walking a bit further I spotted this athletic looking sculpture on the beach. Quite a graceful pose! I'm afraid that I haven't been able to find out anything about this piece of art - Name and/or artist would be appreciated!
With the palm trees and blue sky, it didn't feel like it was the end of January! I should imagine that in the height of summer this is a popular part of the beach to relax, and is probably used a lot by the locals from La Carihuela.
Now the first thing to do while visiting a new town is to head for the Information centers and get all the information you need on the town and a map. What I recommend is getting an agenda on what is going on in the town, in Torremolinos you can get a detailed information paper on what is going on every day of the week for each month. And there is a lot going on, f.ex. singing or Flamenco dancing on the squares, Veladillo "neighbourhood festivals", ferias and local customs. It is in Spanish though. I didn´t know about this for the first times I visited Torremolinos so I missed out on a lot of events. You can also get information on buses and the train, but they don´t give you the schedules, you have to write it down or take a photo of it. In Fuengirola they give you all schedules you need, I don´t know why Torremolinos holds on to their schedules.
There are 4 Information centers in Torremolinos, one in Bajondillo on Paseo Marítimo by the statue of the two women running to the beach. Another one in La Carihuela on Paseo Marítimo, the 3rd one is up town on Plaza de la Independencia and the 4th one is in The Town Hall (Ayuntamiento).
Leaving Calle Carmen, we arrived back to the promenade at Paseo Maritimo de la Carlihuela and the beach of Playa De La Carihuela. It wasn't long before we came across this statue of a naked man standing astride a boat and holding something aloft, which might be a ships sail - tho I'm not sure if this was what it was
It was quite a powerful piece of sculpture
As expected, Plaza del Panorama promises...... Panoramic views.
Well on a clear day, I'm sure that you could see for miles and miles, but as you can see in pic 2, it was a cloudy day (and boy, didn't the skies empty shortly after leaving the tapas bar)!!
In this plaza was a trendy looking cafe, decorated in pink, with a covered outside eating area, this was next door to Matahambra, where we enjoyed a sumptious tapas lunch. I should imagine that this plaza attracts professionals/ trendy Torremolinenses etc especially during the summer months.
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