Are you looking for somewhere to relax and soak up the sun in style? A trip to the beach is everybody’s dream vacation, but if you find that it too often falls short of expectations, you need to up your game. Getting the right gear, planning the right activities and, most importantly of all, choosing the right location, can let you live the dream. Contrary to popular myth, you don’t always need to stray far from cities to find fantastic beaches – you can be beside the sea and still have great restaurants, shops and entertainment venues on hand. It’s time to get out there and make it happen.
The world’s best beaches
There are many beautiful beaches around the world, but these are five you can’t afford to miss out on:-
- Sunset Beach, Cape Town, South Africa. With a name like that, how could we resist it? It’s also known as Bloubergstrand, and it enjoys a stunning location, overlooked by Table Mountain. The sea here is a dark sapphire blue and the sand dazzling white, with long stretches of shallow water. You can take a boat out to see dolphins or even whales, go kite surfing, or simply relax and enjoy the combination of warm sun and a gentle breeze.
- Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Just over two miles of pale golden sand stretching out beneath Sugarloaf Mountain, this is one of the world’s most famous beaches, and rightly so. It’s a place where people play volleyball and football, splash around in the warm water, or dance the night away. Beachside bars sell draft beer, fresh coconut water and popular local snacks. The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed, with people always ready to get into the party spirit.
- Barceloneta Beach, Barcelona, Spain. Right next door to one of Europe’s most exciting cities, where the food, shopping, sport and art are all world class, this vast golden beach is always a joy. Locals take tables on the promenade to enjoy evening glasses of sangria while dining on fresh seafood. Children love to play in the warm, shallow water, but there’s also plenty of room for adults to have fun, whether joining in games or only making the most of the warm sand and the sunshine.
- Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia. A beach with something for everyone, this place is most famous for its rocky promontory, where crashing waves make for incredible surfing, but it also has a long stretch of soft white sand ideal for sunbathing. There’s an attractive park nearby and a wide promenade perfect for those evenings when you just want to stand and look out at the sunset, which is always impressive.
- Umm Suqeim, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Just a stone’s throw away from the five-star resorts and beautiful boutiques of this spectacular city, Umm Suqeim is a beach popular with both tourists and locals, a place where the heat of the desert meets the cool breeze off the sea. White sand melts into crystal clear water, and everything is wonderfully clean and unspoiled. Small cafés sell simple but delicious local food, with the ice cream always a favorite.
Everybody has their own description of the perfect beach vacation, but if you forget to pack your speedos or bikini underwear, you options are going to be pretty limited. You’ll also need towels, flip flops or sandals, and suitable gear for any water sports you want to engage in – plus a beach bag to carry it all. Don’t forget the sunblock and shades, and remember that wearing a hat and keeping a loose shirt with you can help when the weather heats up. Add some suitable beach reading materials, and you’re ready to go.
Stretching out on the sand without a care in the world is many people’s idea of bliss, but if you want to add some more active thrills to your vacation, there are plenty of ways to do it. From beachside rock climbing off the Thai coast to swimming with seahorses in Hawaii, hitting the surf off California or exploring the dazzling reefs of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, there’s plenty to choose. For a good experience, choose a resort or tour that offers full instruction and supplies larger pieces of gear, so you don’t have to haul it with you; or if you want to be independent, seek recommendations for an excellent local guide.
With the right preparation, a beach vacation can be much more than you imagined and can give you memories you’ll always treasure.
If you have seemingly done everything there is to do in Europe and you’re looking for a new and interesting type of holiday, perhaps one where you don’t have to worry about anything, but you don’t want to be trapped inside an all inclusive, gated resort, why not try a yachting week in Croatia? Set sail on a rented yacht complete with everything you need to enjoy a week at sea, island hopping at your leisure and relaxing on your own yacht in the sun.
Depending on what you’re looking for, you can either opt for a self guided yacht trip or for a hosted yacht which would give you a hostess as well as a skipper. Both are fantastic options, but for a truly stress free option the skippered/hosted option is best. Overall you would get your yacht for the week, any outboard engines and extras such as a dinghy, all equipment required for successfully operating a yacht, GPS and nautical mapping, stereo and cockpit speakers/equipment, bedding and other textiles and the fee for cleaning the yacht at the end. Additionally you would get any water taxis included for your journey.
What’s Not Included?
Most additional fees such as port fees, skipper/hostess tips and food costs for you and your travelling companions plus for your skipper/hostess. While your skipper and hostess will provide much of the work on board the boat for you, they will need to eat as well and you will be liable for the costs of food. In some cases people find it ideal to have meals with their skipper and hostess, making it a lovely experience to make some new friends and get to know people who have been doing this as a job for some time.
What’s It Like?
Imagine being able to cast off and island hop at will, exploring the rugged and varied coastline of Croatia with all its beautiful coves and interesting caves, go diving, start each day with a dip in the warm Mediterranean waters. All this and more await you on a week long trip through Croatia on a yacht, simply the best way to tour the area for those who want some stability but are keen to adventure as well.
So there you have the details about a yacht week in Croatia. Yachting through the summer months in Croatia is a great way to meet like minded individuals who are also yachting, and to really get to know the area as well as develop new skills and interests. Nothing could be more exciting or enjoyable than sailing around the coastline of the beautiful country that is Croatia.
So you have decided to jet off to the island nation of the Bahamas for a week or two and you’re about to start packing your bag in preparation for the best week you’ve had in as long as you can remember. The sun, sea and sand await your arrival and you can’t wait to kick back on the beach with a cocktail or two and really soak it all up, but what should you pack? Read ahead to find out the top things to remember to include in your bag for the best trip possible.
Sunscreen, Aloe Vera, After Sun Moisturiser
It sounds obvious to pack sunscreen, but the truth of the matter is that in many countries where the sun is out almost constantly they really take advantage of those people who forget their sunscreen and they charge out the nose for it. Save yourself potentially $5-$10 per bottle and pack it ahead of time. The same goes for things like Aloe Vera cream or Nivea After Sun – it can be fairly expensive outside of your home country, so it’s best to take some along with you. After Sun cream will double as a moisturiser, making sure your skin stays soft and supple after some sun exposure so it doesn’t tighten up and get painful, dry or itchy – a true investment.
A Scarf or Shawl or a Cardigan/Sweater
Depending when you go, evenings can actually be a bit chilly, especially if you’re going to be doing things like going for walks on the beach or having cocktails on the seafront. Those ocean breezes can really cool down by night, so if you’re travelling between December and April, it can be a good idea to take a scarf, shawl, cardigan or sweater. Both men and women will benefit from this, and it’s a doubly good idea to make sure whatever you bring will be usable for both casual and fine dining in case you could be doing either.
It depends on the traveller and what you like to do, but bringing flip flops/sandals is a given but what about hiking boots or good walking shoes? Are you planning to do a lot of walking or are you more of a beach bum? It’s a good idea to think seriously about things you want to do and pack accordingly. If you like snorkelling it can be a good idea to purchase this in your home country before setting off – it’s likely you could rent snorkels and masks in the Bahamas, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Likewise make sure you take at least one pair of cheap flip flops you can slip in and out of quickly on the beach.
So there you have a couple of great suggestions for the ideal things to pack for a holiday in the Bahamas. Make sure to think of what you like to do and what you plan to do and pack accordingly so you don’t find yourself caught out and caught short so you truly enjoy every moment of your beachy holiday!
If you have been giving some thought to heading to South America for your next holiday, you might be wondering where you should stay for at least a weekend and what there is to see or do. Rio de Janeiro is one of the hottest cities to spend a couple of days in, and is well connected by both road and air to allow for easy movement to and from other regions not just in Brazil but also throughout the continent and abroad. Read ahead for a short guide about spending a weekend in this fabulous city.
Copa Cabana, Ipanema and the Beaches
Without doubt, the beaches of Copa Cabana and Ipanema are two of the most famous beaches in the world and this is confirmed by the fact that they are absolutely covered in both locals and tourists enjoying the hot sunshine and luscious waters. For more relaxed, lesser visited beaches, try out the beaches of Barra de Tijuca to the west or Prainha. Most of the beaches have great amenities including refreshing iced teas served from barrels on the sand, and many have beach bars or restaurants, so you could literally spend every moment seaside.
Sugar Loaf Mountain and the Trails
The hills around Rio are understandably ideal for hiking, trekking and general walking. With some truly commanding views around the city and over the beaches, some of these trails take you up to heights with truly awe-inspiring views that allow for great photo opportunities. Perfect for those who like to get a bit of exercise and activity in their holidays as well as relaxation. If you want to see the top of Sugarloaf and can’t make the trails, never fear – there is a frequent cable car that allows you to experience the views without having to dedicate yourself to the trail.
Christ the Redeemer
Perhaps the symbol of Rio after the famed Copa Cabana, Christ the Redeemer stands over the city as its eternal protector and eternal tourist magnet. Like many of the other hills around the city, you will find views from the top to be awe inspiring and well worth the climb. Make sure to get a great selfie with this well known statue – a true mark of Brazil’s faith and background of religious culture.
So there you have a couple of suggested sights to see on any weekend in Rio. As one of Brazil’s most well-connected cities around, you can get in and out with ease from almost anywhere and it’s well placed for trips to other countries, including places in Africa as well as North America. The sky is almost literally the limit in Rio, so come see for yourself!