Discover Gran Canaria…

Despite its size, Gran Canaria has many places full of charm and beauty…

Gran Canaria is one of the seven Canary Islands and with its climate of eternal springtime and over 60km of beaches it is impossible not to understand the draw of this tiny island.

Las Palmas Cathedral

Vegueta mit Kathedrale Santa Ana, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Kanarische Inseln, Spanien

Background

Visiting Vegueta Old Town could only be compared to stepping back in time with its architecture ranging from late-Gothic styles to Renaissance. A visit to the Santa Ana Cathedral and Square are a must as the views from the top of the cathedral are spectacular – the Atlantic Ocean on one side and panoramic views of Vegueta on the other! With a wide range of eateries and several museums of both history and art so there really is something for everyone.

Agüimes is a small but attractive town in the eastern part of Gran Canaria with medieval narrow streets and terracotta-coloured houses. If you’re driving up from the coast then the beauty starts before entering the town with the many sculptures along the roadside epitomising the history and character of the town. As well as an exhibition room at Plaza de San Anton there are also two Parroquia de San Sebastian towers which are historical cultural monuments and are beautifully designed both inside and out.

Amadores Beach

Meloneras1

Areas and activities

Teror is situated in the north of the island and being founded in 1481 makes it one of the oldest towns in the Canary Islands. It is ultimately a place of pilgrimage for the residents of Gran Canaria. A visit to Teror is not complete without a visit to the Basilica which was dedicated to the patron saint of Gran Canaria which is decorated intricately inside and is not to be missed out on. The town also hosts a market every Sunday lunchtime where you can sample and buy local specialities and sweets made by the nuns of the Cistercian Order.

Firgas is a small, charming and pretty village in the north of Gran Canaria. The town is famous for its production of mineral water which is drawn from a spring 4km away from the town. It has always been associated with water and now there is an artificial waterfall that tumbles through the centre of the old town adding to the already pretty sights.

The beautiful Island at sunset

5787_vlcsnap-2012-12-16-16h24m46s253

 

Nestled in beautiful mountains is Tejeda which is a perfect destination for a rural retreat. With blooming almond trees Tejeda is at its prettiest in February but can be to visit all year round. A vast amount of archaeological remains such as burial caves, rock carvings, paintings and houses can be found in this area which visitors can discover.

Rovos Rail: A South African Experience like no other – part 2

A South African Experience like no other -­‐ part 2

bridge
The African Golf Collage is a nine day, panoramic journey from Pretoria to Cape
Town (or in reverse) in which guests have the opportunities to participate in a
vast range of excursions ranging from game drives to city visits to visiting an
ostrich farm and a brandy distillery. The excursions are sometimes offered as an
alternative option to playing on world standard golf courses: Leopard Creek at
Kruger, Durban Country Club, Humewood in Port Elizabeth, Fancourt and Ernie
Els Oubaai in George. However, even if golfers want to play each of the five
courses there are still excursions which don’t conflict with the schedule for
golfing; such as the visit to the KWV Brandy Distillery, the visit to Highgate
Ostrich Farm and the game drives.
Upon departure guests are immediately immersed into the South African
scenery as they can see the vast greenery and mountains that make up the
Drakensburg escarpment whilst en-­route to Kruger. An exciting morning awaits
the golfers as they are invited to tee off at the wildlife-­filled Leopard Creek
course whilst non-golfers will enjoy a game drive in the famous Kruger Park.
Overnight, the train will conEnue to travel south to Hluhluwe where all guests
will experience a game drive through the Hluhluwe Game Reserve where a
wide variety of game can be spotted in scenic surroundings.

Sur le trajet du "ROVOS" de "Buffelsjagsrivier" à Cape Town. Sur le trajet du "ROVOS" de "Buffelsjagsrivier" à Cape Town.
On the third morning of the journey the golfers tee off at Durban Country Club
whilst the non-­golfers remain on the train which ascends through the Valley of
Thousand Hills where incredible views for miles ahead can be seen. The
journey conEnues the following morning where all guests take a tour of
Bloemfontein which is home to the Botanical Gardens as well as an Orchid
House. The city is known as the “fountain of flowers” due to fact that there are
over 400 rose trees planted within the city.
Guests are invited on another game drive to the Addo Elephant Park, known
for its huge herds of elephants whilst golfers take on the challenge of
Humewood Golf Course. Guests will then be invited to visit Highgate Ostrich
Farm in Oudtshoorn where guests can feed ostriches as well as purchase any
ostrich cuisine, golfers then leave the train to play at Fancourt whilst the train
makes another breath-­‐taking descent into George through the rolling hills of
the Montagu Pass.
Non-­golfers will get the chance to relax in the exquisite surroundings of Knysna
and the lakes of the Garden Route while golfers play at Oubaai. The train then
travels through Mossel Bay and varied scenery towards the vast Cape
winelands. On the last day all guests are invited to the KWV Brandy DisEllery
before ending their once in a lifetime trip in Cape Town.

deer
Many guests that have travelled on the Rovos Rail describe the experience as
“stepping back in time” which can only be due to the sheer elegance of the
interior of the train with wood-­panelled rooms and beautiful furnishings as
well as the antique sebng upon the train and the calm and serenity
throughout the trip.
The Leopard Creek course is rated as the number one golf course in South
Africa undoubtedly because of the rolling scenery and bushveld surrounding
the course as well as the wildlife present around and within the course
boundaries. This course is ocen described as being “a golfer’s heaven” and is
not to be missed.
Durban Country Club’s course is universally considered to be one of the finest
layouts and is regularly ranked as one of the world’s top 100 golf courses. The
course is set on the edge of the Indian Ocean and amongst rolling sand dunes
and tropical vegetation which facilitate the incredible views which can be
enjoyed from this course.
The Links course at Fancourt is rated number two in South Africa and it’s easy
to see why, it represents a unique and difficult golfing experience. The
Outeniqua Mountains provide a stunning backdrop to the course making it one
of the most scenic golf courses you may every get the opportunity to play.
The Rovos Rail experience is one not to be passed up on and the African Golf
Collage combines the perfect golf courses, the highest quality food, drink as
well as service with the beautiful and breath-taking scenery of South Africa
making it an unforgettable and unmissable experience.

 

Rovos Rail: A South African Experience like no other ‐ part 1

A South African Experience like no other ‐ part 1

rovos rail#

The Rovos Rail Company was established in 1989 and has earned a reputation
for being the provider of the finest luxury train journeys in the Southern
Hemisphere and it isn’t hard to see why; from the polished crystal glasses to
the varnished wood and brass panelling to the fine bone china everything
is upper class aboard a Rovos Rail train.
South Africa is arguably one of the most magical countries in the world with its
diverse and beautiful scenery which covers the entire country. Rovos Rail gives
the opportunity for guests to take in this incredible and breath-­taking scenery,
seldom seen by others, whilst embarking on a world-­class travel experience
including fine dining, spacious living quarters and magical experiences both on
and off of the train.
Paul O’Hagan’s article in Golf Monthly Magazine epitomises exactly why the
Rovos Rail trips are so successful and popular with golfers and non-golfers alike.
Paul chose the Golf Safari trip for his honeymoon which is an eight night trip
giving golfers the opportunity to play on five fantastic golf courses as well as
take part in excursions with the non-­golfing guests. The Golf Safari starts from
Pretoria heads north up to Sun City, then south to Durban on the Indian Ocean
coast before heading north through Swaziland and back to Pretoria. Rovos Rail
also offer six other journeys ranging from short two night trips to a fifteen day
trip from Cape Town to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.
Paul O’Hagan described the balance between relaxation and off-­train
experiences as “just right”; guests are given an itinerary for excursions but
there is always plenty of time to relax and just enjoy the scenery as the train
rolls through. Each Rovos journey includes multiple game drives as both a
replacement to golf and an extra for golfers but the other excursions are
different due to the different cities that are visited in each trip. Guests are
given the opportunity to do city tours along the way which gives guests the
chance to experience even more of the South African scenery and culture of
this special place.

rovos rail2
It seems that part of the draw of the Rovos Rail adventures is the style in which
they are taken in. Paul O’Hagan likens the food and wine to that of a top-­class
restaurant and even mentions the sommeliers who can make
recommendations which only begins to demonstrate the luxury with which
guests are presented with when they embark on a Rovos Rail adventure. It also
seems that the Rovos Rail adventures are not just attractive to an exclusive group of people but rather attractive to anyone who is interested in soaking up some of
the wonderful scenery and culture of a magical place – as Paul O’Hagan
explained – a typical Rovos passenger doesn’t exist! Even The Golf Safari was
packed with non-­‐golfers which just goes to show that although golfers are
offered the chance to play world renowned courses; the scenery and other
excursions are just as popular and sought after.

On the Golf Safari golfers are invited to play on five vastly different courses
which is described by Paul as “highlighting the fantastic variety of golf on offer
in South Africa”. On the Golf Safari golfers were invited to play five courses:
Lost City Golf Club, Champagne Sports Resort, Durban Country Club, The Royal
Swazi Golf Club and Leopard Creek. These courses all have something to offer
which is different from the last; the Lost City golf Course has around 28,000m²
of water – much of which is home to Nile crocodiles! There is also the
Champagne Sports Resort which has been rated as South Africa’s most
beautiful course and Durban Country Club’s exquisite views of the Indian
Ocean. However, not to be forgotten is the course at Leopard Creek which is
rated the number one course in South Africa; Paul O’Hagan described this
course as his “golfing highlight”. Being set on the border of the Kruger National
Park facilitates the viewing of some spectacular wildlife from some of the holes
and Paul mentioned the viewings of crocodiles and hippos – showing that even
on a golf course the natural beauty of South Africa is never far away.

Again, each trip offers different golf courses but there are overlaps in the
courses played by guests on different journeys but guests can be assured that
each course is hand-­picked to provide the best quality golfing experience for
them. Paul O’Hagan highlights the presence of the golfers on the trips being of
varying standards but how they are all “admirably catered for” and also how a
PGA professional accompanies each golfing excursion to help the golfers as well
as set up competitions for them, enhancing the overall experience of each
excursion.

rovos rail3
Paul O’Hagan describes himself as “left wanting more” at the end of the trip
and describes the journey as a special adventure that he and his wife will never
forget. This seems to be the general consensus of opinion after a Rovos Rail
adventure and shows how these trips really are a once in a lifetime experience.

Part 2 coming soon…..