Settled in the southwestern France, Lourdes is one of the most popular places in the world for a pilgrimage. Each year, millions of tourists visit its religious sites. Either visiting Lourdes for a pilgrimage or just for an unforgettable vacation, Lourdes is best visited with family. Find out the eight best things to do in Lourdes, France.
Visit the most religious place in Lourdes: The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes
The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes is the main reason tourists from all over the world come to visit Lourdes. You must not miss this one, since it is the most religious site in Lourdes. The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes is a must-visit. St. Bernadette Soubirous experienced her first vision in 1858 in the grotto, the spot for pilgrimage.
Next-door to the Basilica, this grotto is a pilgrim hot-spot, with visitors in line for half the day to wait to dip themselves in the freezing pool or to light a candle just outside.
Enjoy the most breathtaking view of Lourdes from Funiculaire du Pic du Jer
This 950m mountain dominates Lourdes, providing an unforgettable panorama over the town and mountains. You can descend on foot or by mountain bike, following marked trails.
Wonder at the Château-Fort De Lourdes
The fortress of Lourdes is the town’s only major secular attraction, on top of a rocky outcrop on the edge of the city. The ascent is a steep, but short and rewarding walk.
Maison Paternelle de Bernadette
This location is another place where Bernadette and her family lived later on in their life. It is said that they lived there after 1858 when the apparitions occurred. The house has been restored and is now a museum related to the family. You can even see Bernadette’s old bedroom. During much of the time that the family lived in this home, Bernadette was living in the nearby convent. This is considered to be her mother’s home while Le Cachot, the more popular shrine was the home of her father.
Good weather arrives and Mallorca becomes a very popular destination to enjoy a few days. From Albastar we recommend 5 places to visit during this spring
La Seu Cathedral in Palma
The Palma de Mallorca Cathedral or ‘La Seu’, as it is known in Mallorca, is unmissable landmark, an incredible piece of architectural and artistic brilliance. Apart from being one of the most famous Gothic buildings in Europe, it represents Mallorca and is a symbol of the whole of the Balearic archipelago. It is considered one of the most magnificent buildings ever built. It is designed in the Gothic style but has had many influences over the centuries, including a contribution by Catalan legend Gaudi.
Train ride to Soller
Take a ride with the train and visit Soller. Its a great way to discover Mallorca and its beautiful landscapes. Since 1912 beginning in Palma a rustic old train with charm takes you though two local towns before reaching the Tramuntana mountains to Soller.
Cap Formentor is a zone where Sierra de Tramuntana meets the Mediterranean. Stunning by the beauty of the mountainous and costal landscapes. Check out the lighthouse, Faro de Formentor.
Valldemossa is one of the most beautiful towns in Mallorca. In the hills of the grand Tramuntana surrounded by forrest hills and luscious countryside its a popular destination for cyclist and hikers. This little village is relaxing and charming place to visit. The most famous landmark is the 13th century monastery where the composer Chopin spent the winter and composed some of his most loved works, including his Prelude in D flat major, appropriately known as the „Raindrop".
On the east coat of Mallorca these caves are one of the island’s most popular tourist destinations, and for good reason. The caves hide one of the largest subterranean lakes in the world and are home to a wonderful display of stalactites and stalagmites. A boat trip through this mystical underground world is a must.
AT THE “TTG INCONTRI” TRADE EXHIBITION IN RIMINI, ALBASTAR PRESENTS
THE COMMERCIAL PROGRAMMES FOR 2017/2018
Rimini, 12.10.2017 – Albastar, the private Spanish airline, is an exhibitor at the TTG Incontri trade exhibition held in Rimini from 12-14 October located in Hall A5, stand 060.
With totally renewed styling, including an elegant livery that “outfits” the new Boeing 737- 800 NG aircraft complemented by stylish uniforms for flight crew, the carrier projects satisfaction at its encounter with the market of reference after a Summer 2017 season that noted an uptrend, with over 9,000 hours of flight time and a turnover exceeding 64 million euro. In its seven years of activity, over 2 million passengers have been transported totalling over 25,000 hours of flight time. To close out the fiscal year, ending on 31 October, the results confirm a positive trend constantly on the upswing, with a 15% increase in traffic volume over the previous year, taking into consideration the investments made in the fleet renewal.
In line with the development plan, the Albastar fleet comprises six aircraft - two Boeing 737-800 (configured with 189 seats in a single class) and four Boeing 737-400 (configured with 170 seats in a single class). Adding to the fleet within the first quarter of 2018 will be a third Boeing 737-800 that will allow Albastar to further extend its business offer by expanding operations and the network of destinations served.
With an organisation counting some 200 employees, Albastar offers the market a functional and flexible business model that provides national and international flights both for on-demandand scheduled traffic, and has acquired many prestigious clients among Tour Operators and Brokers, including Eden Viaggi, Viaggi del Turchese, Futura Vacanze, Settemari, Unitalsi, Brevivet, Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi, Rusconi Viaggi, Italy Aviation Service, That Aviation, Air Partner, Astra Charter, Classic Air, Tui U.K., Costa Cruises, Pullmantur Cruceros, Travelplan, JoeWalsh Tours, UIP and Tangney Tours.
Alba Star S.A Avenida Conde de Sallent, 23 - 07003 Palma Mallorca, España NIF: A57643439 Tel: +34 971 575072 Fax: +34 971 728153
For the upcoming winter season, Albastar confirms for the third consecutive year flight service to the Catania airport, with departures from Barcelona (a new entry), Milano Malpensa, Milano Bergamo and Verona.
For charter flights, instead, the airline announces direct flights to Northern Europe in partnership with the tour operator Giver Viaggi: Rovaniemi in December and January; and Norway starting in June 2018.
Also confirmed is the annual flight schedule serving the Canary Islands (Fuerteventura, South Tenerife, Lanzarote, Las Palmas) from Milano Malpensa, Milano Bergamo and Verona; and the Red Sea (Sharm-el-Sheikh and Marsa Alam) from Milano Malpensa and Verona. Playing an important role, now and increasingly in the future, are the partnerships with incentive housesand sports associations for programming of ad hoc flights during the entire year.
Already at work for the next summer 2018 season, Albastar again positions itself as an airline of reference for the European leisure market with flight connections to the Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Greek Islands, Cape Verde, Red Sea, Israel and Italy. For pilgrimages and religious tourism, flights are confirmed for Lourdes and Medjugorie from a wide network in Italy and Europe. A growth area is also incoming traffic to the airport of Palma de Mallorca from Northern Europe, United Kingdom and Ireland.
Important developments also regard distribution: Albastar’s goal is to expand and diversify its offer by engaging more and more with the B2C market, while maintaining its own core business. Albastar’s flight schedule is now available through the reservation systems Amadeus, Galileo, Sabre, Travelport and the major and main O.T.A.
Information for journalists:
Silvia Ruscitto – Albastar Press Office
Call Center - +39 095 311 503
Alba Star S.A Avenida Conde de Sallent, 23 - 07003 Palma Mallorca, España NIF: A57643439 Tel: +34 971 575072 Fax: +34 971 728153
On 31 July 2010, the aircraft Boeing 737-400 EC-LAV named “Pino D’Urso”, took off from Milano Malpensa Airport and landed on the Greek island of Rhodes marking the start of Albastar's activity. In seven years, Albastar has connected major Spanish and Italian airports to the most popular holiday destinations in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, the Middle East, the Atlantic Islands, North Africa, pilgrimage destinations and several European capitals.
Michael Harrington, the airline's Managing Director celebratingwith the employees remarked: “We have carried over one million passengers safely and in Albastar's unique style consisting in courtesy and professionalism, with 25,000 flying hours to date. In line with our development plan, Albastar's commercial fleet now has six aircrafts, two Boeing 737-800 (outfitted with 189 passenger seats in one class) and four Boeing 737-400 (outfitted with 170 passenger seats in one class), of which two are owned by Albastar. A third Boeing 737-800 is expected to arrive before the end of the year, which will allow Albastar to extend its offer by expanding its range of operations to medium-haul destinations."
The airline has grown to over 220 employees and today offers a functional, varied and flexible business model that provides national and international flights and has acquired a number of prestigiousTour Operators and Brokers, such as Eden Viaggi, Viaggi del Turchese, Futura Vacanze, Settemari, Unitalsi, Brevivet, ORP, Rusconi Viaggi, Italy Aviation Service, That Aviation, Air Partner, Tui, Costa Cruises, Pullmantour, JoeWalsh Tours, UIP e Tangney Tours. In addition to being a reference for leisure travel and on-demand flights, Albastar has establisheditself as a leading European airline for flights to pilgrimage destinations with a focus on the transport of PRM passengers.
With the FlyAlbaStyle pay-off, Albastar presents the new next generation Boeing 737-800 named “Eden” and the new flight crew uniforms.
In just a few weeks from its seventh year of activity, that began on 31 July 2010 with the take-off of the first Boeing 737-400 EC-LAV named "Pino D'Urso", Albastar, a private Spanish airline, presents the company's complete restyling based on the new FlyAlbaStyle pay-off, anticipating the stylistic revolution of the carrier.
In front of a crowd of more than one hundred officials, journalists and business partners at Milano Malpensa airport , the carrier’s Italian operating base, in collaboration with Sea Aeroporti Milano, on Thursday 22 June it was time to celebrate many new things, starting with the arrival of the first, next generation Boeing 737-800 that has a new and elegant livery: alongside the original red, a lovely green appears on one side of the fuselage and on the tail, where the historic "A" of the carrier’s name stands out. A dedication also goes to "Made in Italy” where the crew takes off in elegant uniforms, this time designed and produced entirely by a team of Italian craftsmen, in red and blue like the interior of the new B737-800 and which also feature green details like the tail of the plane.
For the first Boeing 737-800, EI-IAS registration, the evocative name “Eden" has been chosen as a tribute and in honour of the first historic Italian business partner of the airline company, Eden Viaggi. From the onset, Eden Viaggi organised part of the short-medium flight routes of Albastar and whose owner, President Cav. Lav. Nardo Filippetti, “godfather of the event”, was present at the ribbon-cutting and christening ceremony of the aircraft that took place as usual under the Fire Brigade's impressive arch of hydrants.
In line with the development plan, Albastar's commercial fleet now comprises six aircrafts, two Boeing 737-800 (outfitted with 189 seats in one class) and four Boeing 737-400 (outfitted with 170 seats in one class). The addition to the fleet of the Boeing 737-800 will allow Albastar to extend its area of operations beyond its European destinations. As for the summer period, Albastar, in collaboration with numerous European tour operators, will offer direct flights departing from major Spanish, Italian and European airports to some of the most important and well-known holiday destinations: Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Greek Islands, Southern Italy (Catania and Lamezia Terme), Israel, the Red Sea, European capitals, pilgrimage sites and the new entries Cape Verde (Sal Island) from Milan Bergamo and Tangier from Palma de Mallorca.
The design of the new uniforms, for both pilots and flight assistants, arises from listening to the needs of the flight crew and is the result of the creativity of Mrs. Daniela Caruso, President of Albastar and of experienced high fashion consultants. Every detail has been examined in order to make the uniform pleasant not only aesthetically, but also to wear. Particularly charming with a dynamic approach, the hostesses' uniform consists of four different combinations: the flight assistants can choose to wear trousers, a skirt or a dress, and at their discretion, they can choose either a red skirt or a blue one. The fabrics selected are of the highest quality, refined so that they are comfortable, natural, soft to wear and durable. Equipped with useful features, they have been designed to meet all the needs of our cabin staff, from boarding to on-board service activities, so that they provide an elegant yet comfortable solution at all times. Even Albastar's historic red cape has been redesigned to offer a modern outfit.
Furthermore, Albastar renews its partnership with Opera Italia Srl for the distribution of the on-board magazine, whose editor is Domenico Marasco, Viaggi del Gusto magazine. VdG magazine, in its personalised monthly edition for Albastar, offers an insight into the world of tourism, travel, food, manufacturing and Made in Italy in its broadest sense. A container-like magazine, almost exclusive in Italy, about the beautiful, the good and the well-made of Italy - whose mission is to promote national excellence and, consequently, the reference territories, thanks to important names in specialised press and prestigious experts from the academic world and professionals.
“Over the years, the passion for our work and the possibility of offering a flexible and quality product, attentive to the needs of the market and those of passengers, have repaid us and Albastar has successfully established itself as a reference airline for many Italian clients. My thanks go to all of you for believing in our business and managerial project, for allowing us to grow and to identify the new goals we need to achieve. A special thought goes to all the Albastar team, a group of professional people who work with optimism and the utmost dedication", comments Giancarlo Celani, Chief Commercial Officer of the carrier.
"SEA is happy to see that Milan airport has been chosen as the catwalk to introduce new distinctive elements that characterise the Albastar brand. Malpensa is experiencing a magical period with passenger traffic that has been growing steadily for the past two years now, a marked acceleration from November with a growth of more than 14% in the past 8 months and 13% in the freight sector,says Andrea Tucci Director of Aviation Business Development of SEA. The airport now has an enviable portfolio of destinations served, having exceeded the threshold of 200 this season. We must thank carriers like Albastar who rely on the quality of our infrastructure and on the market potential that revolves around our airport, for the investments and for the added value they bring to the territory. Evidence of this today, is the presentation of the new B737-800 Neo, one of the most efficient and technologically advanced aircrafts, which will be employed by Albastar in Malpensa.
Finally, Albastar thanks Eden Viaggi and its President Cav. Lav. Nardo Filippetti for having believed in the airline company from the onset, seven years ago. The name “Eden” given to the new B737-800 is a tribute to the Tour Operator and a wish for future mutual success stories.
Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi has signed an agreement with the airline company, Albastar, for the scheduling of direct flights to Lourdes operating on Mondays and Thursdays, which provides integrated services directed at end-users with the aim of enriching the spiritual experience of every pilgrim who reaches their destination.
On Thursday 8 June at 11.00, at the Palazzo Vicariato Vecchio (Via della Pigna 13 a), the partnership, which provides direct flights to the French townof Lourdes from Rome Fiumicino airport, and the strategic collaboration were presented and illustrated.
Over the years, Albastar has succeeded in establishing itself as the leading airline for flights to the French town of Lourdes, with flights departing from several European airports. It is precisely from this destination, that the carrier begins its activity in 2015, becoming a major European partner in the religious tourism sector, transporting about 80,000 pilgrims every year. In addition, the specialised training in hospitals of its cabin crew for the care and assistance of people with reduced mobility, combined with the utmost dedication to pilgrims, have allowed the airline to offer its passengers a high-quality service.
This new collaboration between ORP and the airline, has allowed the project that Opera and the Sanctuary of Lourdes have been working on for some time, to get underway. The gradual generational change in the world of pilgrimages and the possibility of booking flights, hotels and services online, allows more and more pilgrims to arrive in Lourdes independently. For many years, Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi has been accompanying tens of thousands of pilgrims every year from Italy to the Massabielle Grotto, it will now also welcome individual, Italian speaking pilgrims directly in Lourdes and guide them in a unique experience.
LOURDES FOR EVERYONE by ORP is the new project that will see the presence of ORP personnel at Tarbes-Lourdes airport and inside the Sanctuary to welcome pilgrims by offering a pilgrim kit that will allow them to join ORP pilgrimages taking place and understand the message of Lourdes in more depth by participating in all the celebrations of the Sanctuary and in the visits to pilgrimage sites.
"The partnership between the Sanctuary and ORP offers individual pilgrims to begin a journey of faith, be it personal or communitarian. The aim is to offer people who have heard about Lourdes or who have already visited the pilgrimage sites, to be accompanied along their journey and allow them to be embraced by grace. A pilgrimage is a meeting with God, with others, with oneself. This is the objective that the project aims to achieve." says Mons. D'Arodes de Peyriague, Vice-Rector of the Shrine of Lourdes and International Pastoral Coordinator.
"We have shared our many years of experience in welcoming pilgrims in Rome with the Sanctuary. Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi has anticipated the changes that have taken place in the pilgrimage sector and today meets the needs of individual pilgrims, young people and families, by providing low cost direct flights and a range of services that will allow everyone to experience the unique and unforgettable Lourdes, in a completely new way " says Mons. Liberio Andreatta, Managing Director of Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi
Albastar, private Spanish airline based in Palma de Mallorca, increases its fleet with the arrival of two next generation Boeing 737-800s (registration mark EI-IAS e EI-GAT).
In accordance with the business plan which estimates a progressive release into service of two Boeing 737-800s starting from Summer 2017, these two aircraft will add to the existing four B737-400 aircraft currently in Albastar’s fleet, bringing to six the total of aircraft which will be operated in the Summer Season 2017.
The aircraft, in a next corporate livery, are fitted with 189 seats and will be based in Italy, in Milan Malpensa Airport and Milan Bergamo Airport. The B737-800 Next Generation is one of the most environmentally friendly aircraft with low noise footprint and low CO2 emissions and will allow Albastar to extend the range of its operations to beyond European destinations.
As far as the summer network, Albastar will provide connections from the main Spanish, Italian and European airports to the most popular holiday destinations in cooperation with several Tour Operators: Mediterranean, Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Greek Islands, Israel, Red Sea and the pilgrimage sites.
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Albastar S.A, one of Spains leading charter Airlines, welcomed today the arrival of the first two B737-800 Next Generation aircraft. These two aircraft will add to the existing four B737-400 aircraft currently in Albastar’s fleet, bringing to six the total of aircraft which will be operated in the summer 2017 season.
The aircraft are in a new corporate livery and are fitted with 189 seats.
The B737-800 Next Generation is one of the most environmentally friendly aircraft with low noise footprint and low CO2 emissions and will allow Albastar to extend the range of its operations to beyond European destinations.
For further news contact: email@example.com
On the occasion of the first centenary of the appearances of Our Lady of Fatima, Brevivet and Duomo Viaggi present the new air service operated by Albastar which flies to Lisbon and Porto directly from Milan Bergamo Airport.
From 20th April to 4th June and from 28th August to 14th September, direct flights to Lisbon will operate every Monday and direct flights to Oporto will operate every Thursday, for a total of 14 departures and around 2,300 passenger seats available. Albastar charter flights will complement all scheduled flights throughout the whole season.
Based in northern Italy, Brevivet and Duomo Viaggi specialise in organising pilgrimages. They offer four-day stays (Monday to Thursday) and five-day stays (Thursday to Monday), with arrivals and departures alternating from Lisbon and Oporto airports.
Pilgrimages and cultural trips are specifically organised for the centenary to discover the most significant places of Fatima's message and Portugal's countless wonders that delight the eyes and hearts of its visitors. Some itineraries include visits to the charming medieval towns of Obidos, Sintra, Coimbra, the monasteries of Batalha and Alcobaça, Cabo de Roca, the westernmost point in continental Europe, the fishing village of Nazarè, as well as spending a few days exploring the city of Lisbon. Last but not least, an itinerary that starts from Fatima and continues to Santiago de Compostela along the Portuguese way. The presence of a tour guide is guaranteed at all departures and for the duration of the whole trip.
Flights will be operated with aircraft type Boeing 737-400 belonging to the Albastar fleet, outfitted with 170 passenger seats in one class. Brevivet and Duomo Viaggi have scheduled their departures at 12:00 local time, making the connections accessible also to passengers coming from all over northern Italy.
A choice that SACBO welcomes in seeing that major operators of the religious tourism sector, with which they have a longstanding and consolidated collaboration, have fully recognised the capacity of Milano Bergamo Airport to meet the operational and logistical requirements and to guarantee a high quality service to passengers and the airline company.
Information for journalists: Albastar Press Office +34 971 575 072 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Albastar presents the fourth Boeing B737-400 aircraft (EC-MFS) in its fleet, dedicating it to the city of Milan, in honour of one of the most important identifying symbols of the Milanese capital, St. Ambrose.
At the ceremony that took place this morning at Milan’s Malpensa Airport, the Episcopal Vicar of Milan, Monsignor Erminio De Scalzi blessed the aircraft that will fly mainly on routes to the city of Lourdes, which from May 2016 will be connected with two scheduled flights per week from Milan’s Malpensa Airport. Also present at the ceremony were Albastar’s main partners, Unitalsi, Brevivet and Rusconi Viaggi; Albastar, the airline that specialises in religious tourism and pilgrimages in particular, has flights scheduled from all over Italy in association with these partners.
Michael Harrington, Albastar’s Managing Director said, “We have decided to dedicate one of our aircraft to the city of Milan as we would like to consolidate our projects for development at Milan Malpensa, an airport from which we have been flying for over five years and which has been our operational base in Italy since 2013. Together with our partners, we are going to start a new direct route to Lourdes, a destination to which we are the market leader in Europe, thanks to the number of flights we operate and the number of passengers we carry there. We are also working in association with SEA, to open up new routes and for the development of ad hoc services for passengers, in the hope that these will make a major contribution to the future of air traffic at the airport and that this will represent an opportunity for growth, as a result of the increase in business that shall be brought about by the company’s activity.”
Albastar, a privately owned Spanish airline, has its head office in Palma de Mallorca and its main operational base in Milan Malpensa; it came into being in spring 2010 thanks to the initiative of a group of Italian businessmen in the tourism and transport industries, with the aim of providing a la carte air transport services with departures from the main Italian and European airports to the most popular holiday destinations in the Mediterranean, Northern Africa and the Red Sea, in association with with the leading Italian, Spanish and European tour operators. .
Six years since it started operations, Albastar offers the market a functional business model, which at the same time is flexible and varied, capable of providing different products: domestic and international flights, depending on market demand, whether these be for the leisure or the religious markets, operated with a fleet of four Boeing 737-400s, each with 170 seats in one single class. Albastar started to operate scheduled routes to Lourdes from Rome and Bergamo in May 2015, and, from May 2016 on, shall be adding twice weekly flights to Lourdes from Milan Malpensa, on Mondays and Thursdays.
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As the Albastar Standard was raised in front of its passengers spontaneous applause broke out with shouts of “Viva il Papa”! Thus Alba Star launched the first scheduled flight from Rome to Lourdes.
Albastar is Europe’s top international airline flying pilgrims, sick and disabled to Lourdes from 48 cities, with over 70,000 passengers forecast in 2015.
The reception in Lourdes-Tarbes Airport was equally festive as the Mayor of Lourdes and invited VIPs from the Region welcomed the Albastar aircraft, the newest delivery to the fleet of Albastar, EC-MFS, with a traditional water canon salute (see next page) and champagne reception for all the passengers .
Flights now continue each Monday and Thursday.
“With the 2pm departure from Rome, Passengers from all of central Italy can benefit from this flight” stressed Michael Harrington who was on board. “We have launched these flights especially in view of the Jubilee Year to be celebrated next year” he added.
“The two hour flight, also equipped with stretcher facilities if requested, offers our sick and disabled passengers a much easier journey than the problematic train alternative”
The Mayor of Lourdes welcomed the flights which also offer the French market the possibility of visiting Rome with prices starting from 59 euros one way.
During the Papal Audience today dedicated to the care of the sick and disabled, Alba Star airlines of Spain presented their Company Stardard to Pope Francis for his blessing. The airline confirmed that the new flights from Rome to Lourdes and return, flying each Monday and Thursday will commence on 22nd June despite problems at Rome Fiumicino caused by a major fire in Terminal 3.
Alba Star Airlines is Europes top pilgrimage airline to Lourdes, France specializing also in the carriage of sick and disabled as well as pilgrims. Some 70,000 passengers are expected to fly with Alba Star this year to/from Lourdes, with also the fitting of special stretchers if required to the fleet of four Boeing 737-400 aircraft.
The Company Standard will be carried on all Rome-Lourdes flights so that all pilgrims maybe close to the good wishes and blessings of Pope Francis, who we are all preying will visit Lourdes later this year confirmed Michael Harrington, Managing Director of Alba Star present at the Papal audience.
All Albastar has equipped its fleet with two medical stretchers by plane. Each stretcher is equipped with individual curtains and occupies six seats of the aircraft . The stretchers are mounted on a platform that is fixed on the rail system of the seats , allowing installation during a transit , without removing existing seats of the aircraft.
In addition & to add privacy stretchers are mounted in the back of the plane, one on the left and one to the right. Doctors and nurses can sit close to each patient.
With this equipment on board Albastar offers an additional service of importance to the Pilgrimage Flights from which the Company Performs Albastar Lourdes , France.
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Av. Conde de Sallent, 23-5A
07003 Palma de Mallorca
Tel.: +34 971 575 072
Fax.: +34 971 728 153