The French Riviera and in particular Nice, Cannes and those areas are always good to visit, but I want to recommend the town of Valbonne. I had a really nice stay there a while ago and resided in a villa nearby that had its own pool and tennis court. Nearby is Grasse for perfume and shopping, Mougins and of course Cannes and long sandy beaches. I can certainly recommend this area.
Easy to fly into Nice, a number of airports and airlines do it. I flew Easyjet from Luton and stayed in a villa from www.qualityvillas.com
Brighton...? Not as in the UK or the island across the ditch (in Unzud), Brighton beach in Melbourne is the real McCoy.
Split in the middle by Middle Brighton Baths (see other Been There tips) and the Royal Brighton Yacht Club, Brighton beach runs from Brighton (obviously) to Brighton Beach - there is a place called that, with a pub and train station.
All along the way is a broad strip of bright yellow sand (NO stones here in Oz) with brightly coloured beach bathing boxes. Pics of these are in Melbourne's gallery.
Laze on the beach in the warmer weather or when it gets cooler in winter and the wind whips up the waves, join the surfers or windboarders on the waters of Port Phillip Bay. Watch out for the dolphins or penguins!
Brighton Beach is bayside Melbourne
12-15 kms from the CBD
take the bus or a train to ..Brighton Beach (its a real train station 20 mins from the city)
We went to Camber Sands one long weekend intending on staying only a few hours, but ended up staying the whole day and watched the sun set turning the glistening sea a multitude of beautiful blues and greens. From the giant sand dunes laughter could be heard from children adventuring along the vast, desert-like sand which stretched miles out until the sea gently hugged it's edge. Seeing the sun's rays glinting on the sea with gold streaks, feeling the soft sand and having the cool water flow calmly over your feet is definately an unmissable experience, which made the holiday unforgetable.
Camber sands,East Sussex
If you're over 25 and like to party hard (festival starts at 8pm, winds up around 5am with the main acts on at 1am) but still value a few good hours shut-eye do yourself a favour and rent an apartment. They're not cheap for what they are - approx 200euros each for a week in Beni for a two twin bed, one lounge apartment with sofa bed and a balcony. However you won't regret it because;
1) day time temperature regularly tops 35/38 degrees. No one can sleep in that, especially under canvas in the sun.
2) In said temperature, a proper and private shower is a wonderful thing (albeit camping showers are remarkably good too).
3) you can chill your beer/water in the fridge/freezer.'Nuff said
4) you can relax in your own personal shade between festival/swims. If you camp, you need to find any bit of shade in town you can - you will see campsite refugees scattered in any bit of shade around parks/beach town.
5) you can make your money go further by cooking at home
If however you do decide to camp, bear in mind the following:
1) Buy a beach umbrella on the first day - approx 10-15 euros on the beach and will be a godsend - it can be errected by your tent for daytime snoozing, or on the beach to prevent sunstroke.
2) Campsite toilets are cleaned frequently and excellent compared with UK festivals
3) Take a couple of decent swimsuits/bikinis - easiest to have a shower in, and you will wear nothing but this in any daylight hours you're awake in
4) ear plugs. Get them free from the festival or bring your own unless you want Surrey's finest students keeping you awake all night
A final word on getting out of Benicassim. You need to fly into Valencia, Barcelona or Alicante and train/bus down. Highly recommend Valencia as closest with best connections. If you can, ensure you have one night in valencia on the way back. The bus (most reliable) is notoriously packed and it can take literally four hours to queue up to get on a bus to make the 40min odd journey. Don't even think about getting the train no matter how early - it's a massive crush, desperately hot and uncomfortable.
There are literally many magic places in Greece but Kardamili is almost unknown to many people. It is a little pretty village in Mani with loved beaches (to name a few Ritsa, Salio, Limanaki, Kalamitsi, Foneas, Delfinia, Kalogria, Stoupa), amazing cooking (Elies restaurant is literally great) and beautiful friendly people. It is a delightful place to take a break. The stone building architecture, crystalline waters, wild olive groves and distant mountains overlooking the calm sea and sunsets of the Messinian Gulf make the place a treasure that has been rightly kept away from the spotlight.
Kardamili is in the southern Peloponnese. The nearest station is Kalamata. Elies restaurant is located at Ritsa.
By far the best way to visit Greece is to take a flight only into Athens then take the one hour bus ride to the port Piraeus. Have a mental list of islands you wish to visit - use the many ticket agents to find a conveniently timed ferry. Outside the period mid-July to end of August finding accommodation is easy as people will meet incoming ferries. In Naxos I recommend Hotel Galini in Naxos Town. Other islands worth visiting, which can be reached easily from Naxos, are Syros, Amorgos, Folegandros and Donhoussa. Read a good travel book before you go!
The Great Ocean Road, or the B100 to give it its official and less romantic name, is a 151-mile stretch of coastal highway between Torquay and Warnambool in Victoria, Australia. Hire your preferred mode of road trip transport in Melbourne and allow at least three days to do it justice.
The vividly picturesque route snakes around sheer cliffs and bypasses sandy beaches, including Bells Beach made famous in the film Point Break (although the Bells Beach scenes were actually shot in Hawaii). If you want to surf, Bells’ neighbour, the fabulously named Winkipop Beach, has better waves according to a local in a wetsuit.
The Great Ocean Road does exactly what it says on the tin; but don’t be fooled by the name – it’s not all sea views, beaches and cute seaside towns (of which Lorne is the nicest, so base yourself there if you’re looking for a place to stay), parts of the route head inland where you’ll drive through rainforests, past waterfalls and over green hills covered in sheep.
The main tourist spots on the route are situated at Port Campbell National Park – home to the majestic Twelve Apostles and other rock formations formed by years of sea erosion. You can also take the Gibson Steps down to a secluded beach and visit the graveyard at Loch Ard Gorge, which houses the victims of a 19th Century shipwreck. All well worth a pitstop.
Another highlight is the straight-out-of-a-storybook lighthouse at Aireys Inlet where 1980s kids’ TV series Round The Twist was set. Don’t let the resident cockatoos pilfer your cream tea though!
But the real magic of the B100 is its population of non-human inhabitants. It’s the perfect setting to spot some of Australia’s native wildlife, without having to go to a zoo. If you head to the Golf Club in Anglesea in the late afternoon/early evening, you’ll be privy to the sight of hundreds of kangaroos feeding on the greens. But don’t get too near, unless you want to be growled at! Koalas can be found in the Great Otway National Park forest area. Your best bet is to take a quiet side road and look up – you’ll see lots of white, fluffy bottoms in the gumtrees. If birds of paradise are your thing, stop for tea at the café in Blackwood Gully where you’ll be treated to raibow-coloured parrots flit ting around the gorgeous landscaped garden. Whale watching is also possible between June and October.
Great Ocean Road (B100)
btwn Torquay and Warnambool
But what a countryside. Trust me, if you are willing and able to make the effort, an amazing array of beaches, flora and fauna await you at Wilson's Promontory.
We travelled from Melbourne by coach to a small town called Foster where we stayed in a nice little hostel. The lady that ran the place was kind enough to drive us to the 'base camp' which is where we got the necessary permits to access the Prom.
We stocked up with as much as we could carry and set off. You must do your homework before you even get there. Know where you're heading and don't stretch yourself too much. When you find a nice campsite, pitch your tent and explore the locale.
The chances are, you may even have an entire beach to yourself overnight if you catch it in the right season and it's not too busy. We once spent an entire evening in one of the places called Oberon Bay with a beach about five times the size of Bondi all to ourselves. Truly magical but as I said before, it's a lot of effort because everywhere can only really be accessed by foot and you must carry everything with you.
The facilities at most the campsite are basic so you need to take water with you and also water purification tablets for any top-ups you get while you're exploring.
We followed a circuit around the coastline which took us about three days which I think was enough. It meant we had access to all of the bays and beaches that were on offer.
Wilson's Prom is a very remote part of Australia but is very lush and green which is an amazing contrast to the red dust and rocks of other less accessible parts of Oz. Even though the Great Ocean Road is in itself a very nice place to head to, make the effort to head towards Wilson's Prom and you will not be disappointed.
After three weeks in Rio we'd seen all the museums, the beaches, the nightclubs and all. I wasn’t bored or anything but the girls were restless and I love new adventures. I went for Marlin Yacht Charters. I was impressed at how attentive the crew was. They had a great infrastructure and the boat was comfortable. The only thing that was a true bummer was that the visibility was horrible due to the polluted waters. But that’s just a whole other issue.
Av. Infante Dom Henrique, s/n - Marina da Glória - Loja. A1 - Glória, Rio de Janeiro/RJ - CEP 20021-140
One of the best things about Perth is you’re only ever a train ride from the beach. If you can’t be bothered to make the day trip to the wine regions of the Swan Valley and Margaret River, spend a morning stretching out on this secluded patch of sand, and take a dip in the Indian Ocean. There’s a free shuttle bus that runs between the city and the sea, but it’s only a fifteen minute walk from the train station if you want to soak up the scenery.
Google map: tinyurl.com/qgf5g9
One of our tour guides over at Brazil Expedition company told us that Rio was the only city in the world where we could hanglide above the mountains, buildings, beach – and even slums – all together in one place. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but after I found out about that, I obviously had to try it out! It was rad! I was a bit scared at first, because I had never hanglided or done anything of the sort, but you jump off the ramp with a fly instructor, and he’s the one who gets all the work, all you have to do is stand back and enjoy the ride! The coolest pics I took of Rio were from my hanglide flight. If you're into adrenaline and tryng out new things, I recommend it!!!
You want drama? You got it. Dunnottar Castle in Aberdeenshire is about as dramatic as it gets. An ancient ruined castle sitting precariously on the edge of a cliff, overlooking the ragged North Sea - it has been home to some of Scotland's best history, from William Wallace to the siege of Cromwell's army.
You can explore both inside and out, and then take a run along the coastal path and a peek among the rockpools down on the little beach. A perfect day out for both boys and girls! Also a good spot for budding photographers too - you can't fail to take a great pic here.
www.dunnottarcastle.co.uk/ nearest town is Stonehaven.
Walking distance from the city centre, Hietaranta is sheltered by the city, with perfectly clean water and is so shallow as to be very child friendly.
A must see in the summer and also in the winter when the sea freezes (supposedly). We spent a great afternoon there in mid August with only about 30 other people. A real highlight.
Hiekkarannantie, 00100 Helsinki
As an alternative to bumping around in a dusty van pointing at distant dik-dik, Pinewood Village is a very very quiet, friendly hotel at Galu Beach, down a bumpy road south of the much busier Diani Resorts.
One of the main attractions (apart from the lack of forced activities, relaxation and friendliness of the atmosphere) is the stretch of beach stretching away from the hotel, pure white and, apparently unusual for the area, somewhere you won't get harassed by beach boys - who'll simply introduce themselves on the first day, point out where their shop is and ask you how long you're staying.
Found it through Trip Advisor where it was highly recommended for a very quiet, peaceful break.
Beautiful beach and great for kids. The beach slopes very gently. Great for walks too. If you wander round to Rock you can get the ferry across to Padstow. Daimer Bay is great for windsurfers and surfing where there is a decent wind or swell. Voted one of the best beaches in the world.
It's a 2 minute drivefrom Polzeath, go through the Polzeath beach road and carry on for about a mile or two it's a turning on the right. if you get stuck ask a local.
Listed as one of Sardinia's nest beaches, Spiaggia della Pelosa is about an hour's drive from Alghero up to the north-west coast. It's a dreamy crescent of white sand and sparkling emerald water guarded by an ancient stone watchtower. It's very popular in summer though, so be prepared for traffic jams. The nearest town of Stintino is a little port that makes a nice stop for lunch.
on the SP 34 road, past Stintino
This beach has over 5 miles worth of deserted golden sand, barring the small gatherings to be found near the car park. It is backed by dunes and Tentsmuir Forest which offers miles and miles of walking and cycling all on the the flat.
Kinshaldy Beach is on the North Sea coast of Fife, just north of Leuchars and only about 5 miles from the Tay Bridge and Dundee and 4 miles south to St Andrews.
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