I must admit that I have never been enamoured by Ryanair. I don't like the way they do business as I feel as though I have to be very wary in order not to end up paying far more than I expected. However, I recently made a trip to Spain to see friends. I did the usual trawl of the Internet to find the best prices. Ryanair beat the competition by approximately £100 so I decided to bite the bullet. I was told that the most important thing with this carrier is to ensure you follow their instructions to the letter. So I did and have to say that everything went very smoothly and flight landed slightly before the scheduled times. I paid upfront charges for reserving my seats, for using my credit card and for checked luggage, all of which were included in the original comparisons.
I had chosen the particular time to go to southern Spain to see friends as the Andalusian Flamenco festival was taking place in Jerez and it was a great opportunity to see a form of dance completely new to me. Like most people I had come across the usual flamenco of the stereotypical red dressed and matador dancers but I understood tradition flamenco was quite different and so it proved to be. An important part of the performances is the accompanying agonised love songs sung in a style that I had never heard before. The dance itself was truly wonderful with an energy, rhythm and grace that was quite moving. I was so impressed, not just with the movement but also the very clever clapping routines hitting an off-beat. It is very skillful. If you get a chance you must see traditional flamenco, preferable in Andalusia, but companies do tour in the UK.
For those of you that know Sotogrande I have two recommendations for eating. In the port is the Italian restaurant La Toscano in Puerto Duquesa.. An excellent host and very good, resonably priced food. I had one of the very best lasagna that I have ever tasted preceded by an excellent beef, cold meat starter.
On the Sunday we decided to take the train to Jemena de la Frontera to a small hotel called Hotel Molino del Santo for Sunday lunch. It is run by a British couple who have developed the hotel gradually over 25 years and have made an excellent job of it. It is truly magnificent and situated in beautiful surroundings. The food and wine was excellent and at a reasonable cost given that it is a special place. I will undoubtedly pay a visit again and would even consider staying there overnight. ( hotel link ) One of the best parts of that day was the train ride. The train runs from Algeciras to Granada and stops at Jemena de la Fronterra. It is a beautiful line with each station sporting staff dressed in very smart and colourful uniforms. We have done the trip on this train before when we caught it to Ronda which also makes such a nice day out.
Whilst in Jerez we stayed at the 4 star Hipotels Sherry Park. It cost €175 for the two of us for 2 nights. Included in the price was a magnificent buffet breakfast catering for all requirements. (Hotel link)
These are a few recommendations in which I feel very confident and would welcome some similar reflections and recommendations of your. Please let us know after all, with TripAdvisor having got itself into such controversy perhaps the Silverlinksnetwork members are a more reliable source.