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Presenter : Alex Riley

Spanish Islands

The goat rodeoA new face to the Globe Trekker team, traveller Alex Riley enjoys his first Globe Trekker experience in the glorious Spanish Islands, taking in the Balearics off the coast of Spain and the Canary Islands near Africa. Better known for their partying resorts and overwhelming influx of British tourists every summer, Alex sets out to uncover the less visited aspects of the islands.

Starting in the millionaire’s playground of Mallorca, Alex discovers that there have been famous residents of Mallorca for decades. The composer Chopin lived here in the monastery of Valledemosa, and the war poet Robert Graves made his home in the nearby village of Deia. Alex visits their homes and learns why the charms of Mallorca inspired them. Now, it wouldn’t be right to visit the next island of Ibiza and not delve into the hedonistic world of the super-clubs. So with the help of Ibiza DJ Pete Tong, Alex takes over the dance floor in the world famous Pacha, before slowly crawling to bed at 6.00 am.

Local boy strikes a poseWith his body and mind in need of some rejuvenation, Alex heads to a yoga retreat in the north of Ibiza, where he can sleep under the stars in his very own tepee and take an invigorating yoga class overlooking the hippie beach of Benirras. That night, Alex is invited to one of the famous Benirras drumming parties, which have been happening since the 70s, and meets some of the old hippies who have made Ibiza their second home for over 30 years.

A short ferry ride takes Alex to the nearby island of Formentera, a sparsely populated island famous for mud baths and massive boats. Alex meets some of the travellers here, and discovers the hippie side of the island on a nudist beach.

Next, Alex travels from the Balearic Islands to the Canary Islands, just off the coast of West Africa. First stop is Gran Canaria and the capital Las Palmas. At the traditional festival of the Virgen del Rosario, Alex learns the ancient game of stick fighting and dances into the night. The following day, a local archaeologist takes Alex to meet the cave dwellers of the island. The ancient Canarians lived in these caves, and some locals carry on this traditional, basic way of life.

On the island of Tenerife, Alex finds the Tiede volcano, the highest peak in Spain, and decides to trek to the top to see the spectacular view. On the east coast, Alex goes swimming with whales and is fortunate enough to see a mother and her two calves who allow Alex to swim alongside them.

Alex Riley gets muddyThe island of Fuerteventura is a famous destination for kite surfers, so Alex decides to give it a go, and finds it’s a lot trickier than it looks! Then he’s invited to a goat rodeo by the local shepherds, but has to work for his dinner by trekking the hills in search for the goats. On the final island of the trip, La Palma, Alex hangs out with some more shepherds, who use huge sticks to leap and vault their way over the hills and valleys of the island in search of their flock.

These islands have so much more to offer than their first impressions allow you to believe – Alex discovers friendly localsbeautiful landscapeswonderful wildlife and a fascinating culture in these 2 groups of Spanish Islands.

Places Mentioned - Spain, Spanish Islands

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Spanish Islands

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