Walk away from Brighton towards Hove along the seafront, the Meeting Place Cafe is on the border between the two. Great on a Sunday morning for watching everyone bike, blade and walk by and much better breakfasts than most of the overpriced fish restaurants along the front between here and the Pier. It's not that sophisticated (not a bad thing in Brighton) but the location's perfect.
Brighton & Hove Boundary, Kings Road, Brighton;
tel: 01273 206417;
Every evening around dusk thousands of starlings congregate and swarm in an amazing display over what was once the West Pier. Simply an incredible natural phenomenon. Best seen at sunset with a cold pint.
West Pier - the burnt out one on the beach;
Great hotel located on the front with a good view out to sea. Friendly staff, nice cocktails, comfortable beds and nice touches in the rooms.
Close proximity to the centre, Lanes, etc.
44 Marine Parade, Brighton;
tel: 01273 696934;
Best pub in Brighton. Perched on the end of the pier with portholes for windows, all manner of life is here: hardened drinkers and shell-suited daytrippers mingle with pale-ale drinking OAPs, fashion students and clubbers who haven't made it home yet. For sheer entertainment value (it's Brighton's only karaoke bar) it can't be beaten.
At the end of the Palace Pier.
The highlight of this trip is travelling on a wooden river boat through a reed filled waterway where loggerhead turtles live. You may or may not spot one in the water. Also on view are ancient rock tombs of the Lycian age at Kaunos. These resemble small temples carved out of sheer rock which housed the nobility and their belongings after death to await reincarnation. The lower orders were buried in less impressive surroundings below them.
Also worth doing - taking a mud bath, followed by a shower and a dip in a thermal bath afterwards.
And finally by boat again to Iztuzu or 'Turtle' beach, a beautiful expanse of white sand. You can dive into the Mediterranean on one side of the beach and swim in fresh water on the other. The beach is closed to public access at night to allow the turtles to breed there.
You can get there easily from the bigger centres such as Marmaris or Fethiye on an organised trip or from Dalyan itself. Most agencies offer it.
Likely to be one of the more popular festival options for the Glastonbury exiles heading overseas this year.
A combination of four-day festival, campsites practically on the beach plus after-show party on the beach on the fifth day, diverse European crowd, Spanish sunshine, numerous stages, a broad range of music genres, plus other contemporary arts such as film, theatre and fashion also represented, oh and did I mention the beach?!
Headliners for Summer 2006 include The Pixies, Depeche Mode, Morrissey, Scissor Sisters, however the big names seem to be in the minority, with the festival more in favour of championing more alternative artists to cater across the musical spectrum. With some quality bands and DJ talent performing, this year is guaranteed to be a stormer.
Benicassim is located on the Costa Azahar, one of Spain's less-developed Costas. About an hour north of Valencia and a couple of hours south of Barcelona, flight options are plentiful.
For kitesurfing lessons you should check out a new English run school 'Hi-Life Kitesurf School', who are based right on the beach and provide excellent tuition and services.
Hi-Life Kitesurf School - www.kite-surf-brazil.com
Mykonos's finest beach, for the views, quality of sand and the people: think transatlantic/European 20-, 30- and 40-somethings, style-conscious, but still relaxed. There are three coves, becoming more gay and secluded the further you go. Clamber over the rocks to the next beach and a stunning taverna where you can eat in a shady garden.
Elia is one of the most easterly beaches on the south coast. Takes about 20-30 minutes on a moped, and twice that long in the old fishing boats from Ornos;
At the end of a long, winding road through stunning mountain scenery is a little piece of Crete as it was in the 60s and 70s - but with electricity.
A traditional family-run taverna offering fresh food and four simple-but-comfortable balconied rooms, all with stunning views along one of the most picturesque and unspoilt coastlines in Europe.
Situated in a secluded bay and literally perched at the water's edge, you can fall asleep to the sound of the waves after a perfect meal of freshly caught and perfectly cooked fish and a carafe of local wine.
Perfect for those whose idea of nightlife is counting the stars, and who don’t need any water sports other than swimming and fishing.
Stavros & Vicky Peraki;
tel: (0030) 6937124600;
Egiali, at the top of the island, is extremely quiet and friendly with just a couple of shops and a handful of restaurants. There are decent rooms and a really good campsite to stay in, all within 5 minutes of a quiet beach with good swimming.
There is a lovely morning's triangular walk to the two nearest villages, Tholaria and Langada. Katarina restaurant in Langada serves THE BEST TARAMASALATA ON THE PLANET.
You can get boats directly from Piraeus to Katapola at the south of the island. Egiali Camping sends a minibus on spec and I'm sure a lot of the private rooms in Egiali do too. You can get the 'Skopelitis Express' from Naxos straight to Egiali, but it is slow.
Lovely town, despite being the capital. Stroll along the quayside in the evening and enjoy good and plentiful food at reasonable prices in the many tavernas.
In the day wander over to Loutsa beach (20 minutes easy walk). Nice bar, ice-cold beer and good beach food, sheltered cove providing good swimming. If you fancy something more substantial try Dennes (the Australian) which you pass going to or from the beach. Good food with lovely views towards Vathy.
You need a car to get to the lovely Skinos or Sarakiniko beaches. If you go to Skinos take the footpath over the hills to Gidaki beach on the east coast; a delightful walk with stunning views as you climb.
Bus service runs twice-daily between Kioni and Vathy (though not during school holidays), and taxis can be expensive, so it's best to hire your own transport.
A real caricature of a Greek beach village. Wide, clean, sandy beach. Good self-catering accommodation, limited choice in the Tavernas. Nothing doing, so just get there, slow down, then stop.
South-west of the island. Catch a bus from Kamares to Apollonia, and then a bus to Vathy, or get a taxi from Kamares harbour (about 10 euros);
North-west Crete - particularly the Apokoronos plain - is beautiful: good beaches with gorgeous views of the White Mountains. The national road makes travelling across the north of the island easy and safe. Good access to Xania, Rethymno, Heraklion and Knossos. Kalives, Almerida and Plaka all make good beach holiday bases. Or for somewhere more secluded go up into the mountain villages.
Crete is big enough to have plenty to offer: culture, historical sites, stunning gorges and mountains, and probably one of the best beaches ever at Elafonissi (south-west Crete, but it can be crowded at peak times).
Of all the Greek Islands visited we've found Cretans to be the friendliest and most hospitable people. Greeks are generally very friendly, but we found Cretans to be exceptionally so.
Nice stretch of coast a little bit to the west of the main city, Xania. Even though the touristy main drag can be very tacky, behind all of that is a long stretch of family-friendly beach and activities. About 800 metres across the bay is the island of Thedorou, with excellent scuba and snorkelling sites. 30 minutes' drive away are more sandy beaches and snorkelling coves. Overall, a great location for a holiday.
Conveniently close to Athens (a couple of hours on the boat from Piraeus), this island, like most of Greece, is laden with history and is a favourite destination for many artists. The Canadian bard, Leonard Cohen, has spent several years of his life writing music there, and owns an old house close to the small port.
The laidback coffee places by the seaside are great to spend lazy hours in and enjoy afternoons gazing out to the sea and the clear skies.
Note that cars are not allowed on this island so most of the moving about is done either on bicycles or donkeys.
Hydra is about 30 miles from Piraeus, which is where you can catch a boat or hydrofoil from. Journey time is about two hours. There is also a connection with the coast of Pelopenese via water taxi.
How to get there: www.hydradirect.com/info/gettingtohydra/gettingtohydra.htm;
More information: www.hydradirect.com
Do you like Mykonos, but want to avoid the crowds? Try Agios Stefanos for somewhere a bit quieter than Mykonos town. It’s a small beach area about 4kms north of the main town with a selection of accommodation styles (from the Kastro Hotel to Mamas Pension), its own general store and some very good beachfront bars and restaurants.
A good way to spend some time is to walk from Ag Stefanos to Mykonos for a long lunch and then walk back to Ag Stefanos for dinner overlooking the beach
Catch a bus from the airport (we did) to your accommodation. Taxis are also available to get around the island.
Hotel Kastro: tel: 2289 023176
Mamas Pension: 401 St. Stefanos Beach; tel: (0030) 22890 23262; email: email@example.com; www.mammas.coo.gr
General information: www.travel-to-mykonos.com/place.php?place_id=10
A typically Ionian, small pebble beach which looks unpromising. But as lunchtime approaches, a tiny beachside taverna opens up serving a menu of locally caught fish and fresh vegetables that changes every day.
Take the coastal path uphill from the village with fine views of the bay to your left. When the path runs out you'll find a track down to the beach.
A 3km-long stretch of fine white sandy beach approached through protected sand dunes and pine trees. Wonderful swimming and fishing. Strong tides.
South west coast of Cap Fréhel via D34a, close to the scallop fishing town of Erquy
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