News Archive from Andalucia & Costa del Sol
In association with
Week ending April 18th
SPAIN TO MOROCCO IN 30 MINUTES
Travelling between Algeciras and North Africa across the Straits of Gibraltar is about to enter a new age. Euroferrys' Pacifico have purchased the fastest catamaran in the world, which will do the journey in just 30 minutes.
The Pacifico has been built by an Australian Company, Austral Ships, and has been designed by Oliver Design. It incorporates all the latest technical innovations and navigational equipment. Inside passengers can travel on different levels and also have the option of an outside terrace.
The Pacifico is 101 metres long and weighs 750 tons. It can carry 1,100 passengers and 251 cars or 16 lorries or coaches and 96 cars. The state of the art vessel can travel at 40 knots, making the crossing between the two continents in record time.
MARBELLA has reported that all its hotels are absolutely full for the Easter holidays as Britons and Germans join holidaying Spanish nationals in the resort. The hotels of Tarifa and San Roque have also put up the 'no vacancies' signs and La Linea and Algeciras report that their establishments are fast reaching capacity.
MALAGA ALCAZABA REOPENS
The Mayor of Málaga, Francisco de la Torre, reopened the Alcazaba in a ceremony held on Monday morning. The refurbished Gibralfaro and Alcazaba can now be visited by the public free of charge. An entry charge will be made in one or two months time, one the new museum on the site is also open.
SELWO MORE EXCITING
The Selwo Nature Park at Las Lomas del Monte in Estepona has improved its facilities to make the visit even more exciting. Now visitors will be able to choose from various options, in an effort to increase their participating role. The park was opened in 1999 with a budget of 10,000 million pesetas.
BUSY EASTER FOR HOTELS
Hotel occupancy across Málaga Province this Easter has been estimated at an average of 83 per cent, increasing to 95 per cent on Good Friday. The figure was given by the delegate for tourism in Málaga, Maria José Lanzat, who described them as 'enormously positive'. The number of hotel places in the province has increased this year from 52,000 to 60,000.
BENALMADENAS POPULAR 'TELECABINA'
The popularity with the public of the Telecabina at Benalmadena has not been affected by the accident when three passenger cabins crashed to the ground in freak high winds. In the nine days the cable car was operating in March, 6,027 people made the trip. An average of 67o passengers a day used the cable car as opposed to 786 in February.
MONORAIL LINK EXPANDED
It has also been announced that the monorail service, which will run from the railway station at Arroyo de la Miel to the Puerto Deportivo will have nine stops. Passengers will be able to alight and join the monorail at these points, five more than initially planned.
ICE SKATING RINK PLANNED
A company from Zaragoza is interested in covering and acclimatising the municipal swimming pool in Arroyo de la Miel and plan to incorporate it into an ice skating rink.
An underground car park in the Avenida Garcia Lorca is also on the list of improvements
AXARQUIA TOURIST TOWNS
Regional government has given the town of Nerja official tourist status for the next four years. This allows for wider summer opening times. Meanwhile Runcorn de la Victoria has announced its intention to apply for a similar classification.
ALHAMBRA VISITS LIMITED
The management of the Alhambra and Generalise palaces in Granada have decided to put new limits on visitor numbers. A new total of 7,700 tourists a day will be split into two turns of morning 4,200 tickets and afternoon 3,500 tickets, when the new scheme comes into operation on April 23. Those with morning tickets can enter from 0830 but will be asked to leave the palace at 1400. Then those with afternoon tickets will be allowed entry and allowed to stay until 20.00 h during summer opening hours, which continue until October.
The management says that the new scheme will avoid the crushes of up to 5,000 people inside the grounds at one time, which happens at present, and therefore hopes it will improve the quality of the visit for tourists. Tickets can now also be purchased online at alhambratickets.com and then be collected at the entrance.
FOREIGN ATHELETES FLOCK TO TORREMOLINOS
It is estimated that 400 professional foreign athletes will use the sports facilities of Torremolinos this month. They have been attracted by the good climate and high quality of the training facilities in the town. The highest demand will be for the Virgen del Carmen Olympic swimming pool and the Ciudad de Torremolinos sports stadium.
Swimmers top the list of visiting athletes with seven teams from France, Ireland, Switzerland, Germany and Finland using the Olympic pool as part of their training for the Athens World Championships. In addition, Belgium is sending its triathlon team, which will be based at the sports stadium and will be using the Olympic pool as well. Opening hours at both venues will be extended to ensure everybody is catered for.
RONDA TO GAUCIN ROAD WORKS TO START
In spite of delays, work will start on the first phase of the scenic A-369 road between Ronda and Gaucin in May.
The work will start four years after the project as first approved by the Ministry of Public Works in 1997. The budget for the first phase is 729 million pesetas in a project, which will cost 3,500 million pesetas in all. When completed it will extend from Ronda to Manilva via Gaucin.
The A-369 is a mountain road. It was badly damaged in the heavy rains of 1998 and is now in a very poor state. The commencement of work will be welcomed by the residents of the villages of the Serrania de Ronda and the valle de Genal. The object is to upgrade the 33 kilometres road as well as adding parking an viewing areas which will make travel easier for residents and attract more tourists to this inland region.