Bumper year for Spanish Tourism

Despite all the economic doom and gloom regarding the European economy and in particular that of Spain, the Andalucian Tourism sector is having a bumper year. Arrivals at Malaga Airport which has just opened its second runway and a new terminal are up 12% year on year to July.

As the saying goes “it’s an ill wind that blows no good”. The Arab Spring has given a great boost to tourist arrivals in Spain. The tourism sector in Egypt and Tunisia, two competitor destinations, have been all but wiped out for this year resulting in substantial gains for Spanish tourism.

This has resulted in a firming of prices for hotel rooms and other components of a golf holiday. It can come as something of a surprise to clients from the UK and Ireland who increasingly expect Spain to be slashing prices in the same way it is happening locally due to the recession.

There may well be a recession in Spain but Tourism is experiencing something of a micro boom.

Malaga Airport opens Second Runway

The second runway will effectively double the capacity of the airport and ensure future growth. €550 million has been spent on the project, part of a ten year €1.6 billion investment in the airport as a whole.

The new runway is 2,750m long and has an additional 340m which can be used to help in take offs. It means it can be used by all the latest generation planes which are heavier and larger. The runway is 45 m wide with an extra 7 metre margin on each side.

The runway asphalt is 32 cms deep so it can support the weight of the planes. (Just as well!)

A new 4.1 km tunnel had to be built for the local train line to go under the new runway.
An additional capacity for 27 stationary planes is also part of the project.

The new runway completes the latest phase of development at Malaga Airport following on from the opening of the new Terminal building in 2011.
Malaga Airport’s new terminal building.

Derek Bids farewell to Valderrama

During the summer the affable Scot, Derek Brown has retired from his position as Director of Golf at Valderrama. Anyone who has ever played Valderrama will know Derek. He had an amazing ability to make visitors from around the globe feel welcome.

No matter where your home club was Derek knew someone from it. He would always put visitors at ease in what can be a daunting environment. Derek has been replaced by Javier Reviriego who previously held the same position at Finca Cortesin.
Derek Brown Javier Reviriego

We wish them both well and are delighted to be able to say that Derek will be staying on the Costa and his days in “golf” are long from over.

Watch this space.

Contry to recent rumor Valderama Golf Club has not been purchased by a company associated with Greg Norman.

Mijas Golf Club Closes Los Lagos for all of 2012

Built in 1976 by Robert Trent Jones the very popular Mijas Los Lagos will close for the entire 2012 Season. During the 12 months, Los Lagos will be completely rebuilt with all new greens and fairways and will have a new irrigation system installed.

However there are no plans to redesign the course. So if you are planning to include Mijas in your 2012 trip it will have to be Los Olivos which will remain open throughout the year.

Espacar car rental return instructions

In order to clarify the procedure for returning cars rented through us with Espacar we would ask you to note the following instructions.

  1. Passing the Sam Miguel brewery on the left you arrive at the main roundabout before the airport.
  2. You will see the terminal building in front of you.
  3. Follow sign for airport and “Salida” (salida / exit)
  4. Stay on the right hand lane and do not follow Car-Rental returns signs.
  5. This will take you to the new Terminal 3 and its drop off zone. It’s preferable to drop any passengers here along with all luggage.
  6. Continue to follow “Salida” signs in the left hand lane which will take you away from the terminal.
  7. With the old main Terminal on your right hand side the short-term car park (called Parking Express) entrance will be on your left at 50m from the Terminal 3.DO NOT ENTER HERE.
  8. Continue to exit away from the airport and the main Public Parking (P-1)entrance is on the left hand side.
  9. Enter here please and you will be on the 2nd floor. Inside 40m on the right is the ramp to level 3.
  10. Drive up to the 3rd floor and park here.
  11. Please double check that you have taken all personal belongings (apartment keys on key-ring, passport, mobiles, CD’s in player, sunglasses etc).
  12. Leave the window open enough to throw in the key having locked the car beforehand.
  13. Leave the parking ticket visible so that the Espacar representative can find it.Bon Voyage and safe onward journey and we hope you will use Espacar services again in the near future.

Espacar offer GPS Rental

For an additional 5€ a day you can have a sweet Spanish voice (in English) guide you through the intricacies of the Andalucian motorway system. In fact the Costa del Sol is a relatively easy place to navigate however some of the urban areas can be a labyrinth.

Staying with Motoring

The powers to be have had great fun changing speed limits on the Costa recently.

First they reduced the toll road limit from 120 to 110KM and 4 months later reversed the decision back to 120KM. Each change cost 250,000€ which the region can ill afford.

Then, and more importantly they reduced the limit on the coast road (N340 / A7) from 100 to 80km. The cynical would say the thinking was to create a wider gap with the toll road hence making it more beneficial to use the toll and more revenue for the authorities.

More troubling is that more and more clients are beginning to receive an unpleasant holiday snap shot of themselves behind the wheel of their rented car with a demand for payment of a fine (Multa) from the Guardia Civil. Whereas previously few if any fines were sent on to holiday makers they certainly now are. Whether or not there is any follow up over and above posting the fine we can’t actually say. We do know of a few clients who have coughed up the money – mostly in fear of being pulled aside at the airport on a future trip. While this is highly unlikely we have no inner knowledge of these matters.

Our only advice is to slow down. In fact in Spain all fixed speed cameras are signalled 500m in advance so really only the careless get caught!!

Joke Section! – Good story if true!!!!

Lee Trevino – a true story.

One day, shortly after joining the PGA tour in 1965, Lee Trevino, a professional golfer and married man, was at his home in Dallas, Texas mowing his front lawn, as he always did.

A lady driving by in a big, shiny Cadillac stopped in front of his house, lowered the window and asked, “Excuse me, do you speak English?”

Lee responded, “Yes ma’am, I do”.

The lady then asked, “What do you charge to do yard work ?”

Lee said, “Well, the lady in this house lets me sleep with her”.

The lady hurriedly put the car into gear and sped off.

San Pedro Tunnel 2012

We have put our neck on the line once too often in relation to predicting a date for the opening of this much awaited relief tunnel. The word now is “sometime in 2012”. It would seem to be about 95% finished but nobody (neither locally or the central Government in Madrid) has the money to finance the remaining 5%. We can now say with certainty that it will open when it opens and not a day before.

San Pedro Tunnel Works a basket “mañana” case!

San Roque Suites

San Roque Suites have recently reopened their refurbished accommodation at the San Roque Resort. The tastefully decorated Suites (one and 2 bedrooms) were originally built to house the Ryder Cup Teams in 1997. Indeed today the suites carry the names of the team members who occupied them during the Ryder Cup.

In addition to a magnificent pool facility, the resort boasts 3 restaurants – the Golf Club Clubhouse, Tango’s (Spanish Cuisine) and the world class Japanese Kamakura restaurant.

For golfers looking for comfortable accommodation in the midst of what is probably Europe’s finest cluster of quality golf courses (Valderrama, Sotogrande, San Roque, La Reserva & Finca Cortesin are all only a short drive) this is the place for you.

Please consult us for excellent rates.

European Ladies Win Solheim Cup

Congratulations to the European Ladies Team who won the Solheim Cup in Dramatic fashion and in dramatic weather at Kileen Castle in Co. Meath, Ireland.

2018 Ryder Cup heading for France

Much to the disappointment of Spain, France has been chosen to host the 2018 Ryder Cup. A yet to be built course at The French Federation’s Golf National at Les Yvlines on the outskirts of Paris will be the venue.

H10 Andaucia Plaza Hotel and Casino.

Many of you will be familiar with one of our favourite hotels the H10Andalucia Plaza Hotel and Casino in Puerto Banus. This year the property has become an “Adult Only” hotel.

Foyer – H10 Andalucia Plaza Hotel

Cultural Golf – The Andalucian 7 night Tour

For golfers looking for something more than Golf, Sun and Sangria we have designed a range of golf packages based on the various Cultural Capitals of Andalucia.

Arriving and Departing from Malaga, Seville or Gibraltar airports the standard itinerary is as follows.

Day 1
Arrive Malaga Airport and continue to Antequera. Overnight at the 5 star Hotel Convent La Magdalena

Day 2
Play Antequera Golf and continue to Granada.

Day 3
Visit the Alhambra – overnight at the Parador Hotel within the walls of the Alhambra.

Day 4
Play Granada Club de Golf and continue to Cordoba – overnight at the Vincci Hotel Cordoba.

Cordoba’s Mosque

Day 5
Morning visit the magnificent Cordoba Mosque and afternoon continue to Seville. Overnight at Hotel Vincci (5 star).

Day 6
Play Real Club de Golf, Seville. Afternoon visit Seville’s Cathedral and city centre. Overnight and Seville

Real Club de Golf, Seville

Day 7
Drive to San Roque playing Montecastillo or Arcos Gardens en route or San Roque on arrival. Overnight at San Roque Suites.

Day 8
Return to Malaga or Gibraltar Airport for return flight

For prices and availability contact Golf Experience.

This Month we Congratulate;

  • Daren Clarke for getting away with speeding in his Mercedes between Belfast and Killarney to take part in the Irish Open. Luckily he had the Claret Jug on the passenger seat and the “Garda” let him off with a caution and a photo!
  • European ladies for winning the Solheim Cup
  • Great Britain & Ireland for winning the Seve Ballesteros Trophy in France
  • The Dubs for getting the monkey off their back
  • Wicklow for winning the All-Ireland Football final. Gender & category irrelevant. We won and that’s all the matters!
  • Northern Irish golfers for winning everything worth winning
  • Welsh rugby team for beating Ireland in the RWC
  • Ireland for beating Australia in the RWC
  • Malaga FC for finding a wealthy buyer and soaring up La Liga – why not take in a match when next on the Costa!