Sierra NevadaThe popular Spanish ski resort, Sierra Nevada, is making preparations for the possibility of there being no snow in the forthcoming 2013‐14 winter season. The well known competition resort is ready to run the first tests of the planned system to ensure it is safe to be used, with the system including of three last generation ‘snow cannons’ and twenty new hydrants. The purpose of the testing is to ensure that the resort, which maintains many of the professional ski tracks such as the Sulayr Snowpark and the Prado de las Monjas, is kept in the best condition possible with the approach of this year’s ski and competition season. This move has come as a result of fears of the effects of climate change and what impact this could have on the resort. The weather has heated year on year, so this is something that has had to be considered for the future of the resort. A spokesperson for the resort has stated that “Sometimes we don’t have enough snowfall. Last season almost didn’t snow at all, so we were forced to arrange this system to ensure that this year everything goes smoothly.”

Sierra Nevada has always attracted a vast amount of visitors, due to how unique the resort is. The feeling is surreal when you are able to view the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains of North Africa whilst strapped to your skis or snowboard and is something that sets Sierra Nevada apart from other popular ski resorts. The brightness of the sun reflecting off the snow whilst it beats down perpetually on the visitors is a beautiful sight. There are not many places where skiing enthusiasts can experience the combination of sea and snow, something that the Granada region especially offers to its visitors. The four thousand feet of snow that face you is a delightful prospect as you stand at the top and prepare to ski down the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the South of Spain.

Pradallano, the village that sits at 2000 meters, is the focal point of Sierra Nevada. The number of visitors that travel to the destination is growing year on year and attracts a range of people, including the British, who have always appeared to be fond of it. The seasons in Sierra Nevada start earlier than most resorts, and as we approach the winter months, it is a great time to start preparing for a trip to the resort. The lifts reach heights of up to 3,500 meters, guaranteeing the perfect weather for taking on the slopes. It is a fantastic place to visit and if you have not previously done so, it should be a destination on the list for the future. In comparison to the Alps too, where this time of year shows a real lack of snow.

The website discloses more useful information for those planning to travel or for those interested in the process of the snow production. The resort is well prepared to ensure the opening of the resort every year with fantastic quality snow, even when there is zero rainfall. The system that is in place there is the largest that exists in Spain and one of the largest in Europe. The team at the resort state that ‘this facility has been the main investment effort in the services of the ski resort in order to offer skiers and snowboarders under optimal conditions during the winter season.’Read more on the Sierra Nevada website.


Get the feel for Flamenco with Kelipé

On October 15, 2013, in Flamenco, Malaga City, by admin

Flamenco with KelipeIf you have or have not previously visited Spain before and have not had the chance to see an authentic show, Kelipé is the place to go. A vibrant atmosphere and an evening full of passion, Kelipé delivers an outstanding Flamenco show with plenty of natural improvisation. The show takes place in an impressive 18th Century former Palace Cropani, traditional in its Spanish style and welcoming to all those who visit. The group is made up of a foursome of inspirational dancers, singer & guitarist. With powerful music and impressive energy, the evening is packed full of talent and power as the group take you back to the very beginning of the Flamenco era. One of the best things about Kelipé and one that really sets it apart from other Flamenco shows, is the ‘family feel’ that comes with it. The group ensure that visitors have the best experience by being as close and personal as they can throughout the evening. The low key setting adds to the atmosphere and allows the audience to become fully involved in the history and sentiment of Flamenco. Kelipé is a special evening, perfect as a couple or as a family looking for a show not to appeal to the Spanish tourist, but to view an insight into the true spirit of Flamenco. In addition to the show and the main feature of the evening, the ticket includes one drink and tapas of your choice. If more of these are required there is also a bar and a selection of tapas available throughout. The owner, who happens to also be the organiser and guitarist of the evening describes the objective of the show as ‘to promote the traditional values, related to the songs, dances and Flamenco guitar. We want to convey the feeling and flavour of Flamenco through our performances, teaching, research, and recuperate the deep understanding of this art and culture’.

Aside from the shows that take place throughout the week, the foursome also provide the opportunity to take part in classes and workshops. The goal of the Kelipé classes is to show the essence of the art through five factors – percussion, guitar, rhythm, song and dance. A night to truly involve yourself in the culture of Spain, the group encourage the audience to praise, applaud and cheer during the performances. By the end of the evening, it will feel like you are simply a part of a close Spanish family. Although they are made up of such a small group, they have toured across the globe with their spirited show, with visits to art companies, musicians, language schools, business groups international universities and more. A hospitable group with much culture to offer, the evening is unlike any other. A show praised by all who have visited and an inspirational night of passion & interpretation, this is an experience not to be missed. Kelipé Flamenco shows take part every Thursday at €20 per ticket, Friday at €25 per ticket and Saturday at €35 per ticket. It is located at the Kelipé Centro de Arte Flamenco, deep in the heart of Malaga city. Just visit their website for more information.


Good news for SpainA total of €25.0 billion was invested in European commercial property in the second quarter of 2013, according to Real Capital Analytics data at the well respected property company of Knight Frank. Although this was 13% down on the previous quarter, it took the total for the first half of the year to €53.7 billion, a 4% increase compared with 2012.

While prime assets in core markets remain a major focus of activity, the first half was also marked by a revival in demand for property in peripheral countries and secondary cities. With a guarded respect with regard to the Eurozone debt crisis easing, increased numbers of investors have been looking for opportunities outside of core markets as they move up the risk curve in the search for higher yields.

The three largest European markets; the UK, Germany and France, collectively accounted for 64% of total investment activity in the first half of the year. On a year-on-year basis, investment volumes for this period were up in Germany (+24%) and the UK (+11%), but fell in France (-20%). London and Paris have remained key targets for international investors entering Europe, but transactional activity slowed in the French capital during the first half of 2013.

Year-on-year, investment volumes increased significantly in Spain (+102%), Italy (+113%) and Ireland (+182%), albeit all three countries were recovering from low levels of activity in 2012. Significantly, the Spanish investment volume of €1.1 billion included AXA’s purchase of a portfolio of offices in Barcelona for €172 million. This was AXA’s first acquisition in Spain since the onset of the financial crisis and provided evidence that international institutional investors are now returning to the Spanish market after being largely absent in recent years.

Investment volumes in Italy were boosted by the Qatar Investment Authority’s acquisition of a 40% stake in Porta Nuova in Milan, a major urban regeneration project valued at over €2 billion. This was one of several major deals at the front end of this year involving Middle Eastern or Asian buyers. Having been largely focused on the London and Paris markets in recent years, investors from these regions are now taking stakes in landmark schemes in other European capitals and stronger regional cities. Notably, the Chinese sovereign wealth fund Gingko Tree Investment acquired a share in the Co-op headquarters in Manchester, United Kingdom in the first quarter, whilst an undisclosed Asian investor was part of a joint venture that agreed to purchase the BelAir project in Brussels in the second quarter.

For 2013 as a whole, European investment volumes remain on course to reach and go beyond a similar level to 2012’s total of €118.7 billion. Europe’s gradual emergence from its long recession can be expected to continue to aid sentiment and boost investors’ risk appetite. Activity in peripheral countries should also be encouraged by the stabilisation of yields in these markets, following recent downward price corrections. This all bodes well for Spain’s emergence from its previous difficult years. The need now is to continue to encourage the interest shown by the major investment factors around the globe and get the country back to a healthy standing.