Padang Padang Surf Camp is a place that provides lessons and guiding for experienced surfers, mainly around areas of the Bukit peninsular in the south of Bali, but also in other parts of the island too.
The surf guides and instructors have been surfing the various places in Bali for years and years so you get to surf the best place each day.
The accommodation was half-board which included a proper breakfast (not just cereal and toast) and some amazing traditional Balinese inspired lunches.
The camp was very laid back yet extremely well-run so a perfect place to both relax and ensure that you get the most out of your time there.
The staff were all very friendly and competent, all the way from the instructors to the kitchen staff and I'll definitely be visiting again in the future.
Three of the most appealing campsites we have stayed at have been on the doorstep of the sea. The glory of listening to the waves lapping in the early morning; soaking up the sun setting on the distant horizon is unsurpassable. The individuality of these campsites give them merits which cannot be compared but their all abiding attraction is their proximity to the sea: whether it’s the beauty of undulating hills leading to craggy cliffs culminating in a gentle descent to the Jurassic beach; the wondrous views of a superbly sandy shoreline crowded with lighthouses, surrounded by cultural, historical and culinary delights or blazing sun, crystal clear water and Italian ice-cream on a coastline littered with white sandy coves and jet-setter’s yachts sitting on azure sea. The choice is hard: Tom’s Field, Dorset, Camping Bois-Soleil, St Georges de Didonne, La Baia Blu la Tortuga, Sardinia the result is nothing but magnificent.
Tom's Field Road, Langton Matravers, Swanage, Dorset, BH19 3HN
Google map: bit.ly/m9MI7m
2 avenue de Suzac, 17110 Saint-Georges de Didonne
Google map: bit.ly/mnoTMt
Pineta di Vignola Mare, 07020, Aglientu, Sassari
+39 079 60 22 00
Google map: bit.ly/me2dz6
Excellent family camping and caravan site. Choice of camping or mobile homes. Beach huts to rent too. Lovely coffee shop and good value shop. Amazing beach that goes on for miles. Lovely one mile walk or cycle into Wells or walk along the beach or through the woods to lovely Holkham.
A campsite situated yards from the stunning Hahei beach. There's plenty of room to pitch up in this no nonsense, quiet site. Lots of communal barbecues and super retro wood chalets if you fancy. We had the best 7am swim in the sea, from which you can see Tuis in the trees, and hear them all around. There were plenty of bunnies hopping about too. You can walk to Cathedral Cover and Hot Water Beach from here too.
It's possibly the coolest place I've ever been. Sitting in my VW campervan, surfboards everywhere, drinking cold beer and listening to the ocean crash a few metres away - you can't go wrong. I made friends at this place that I'll have for the rest of my life. It's less than a minute walk to the beach where you can see that most spectacular sunsets and eat fresh fish until you explode. Although it's off the beaten track and basically unknown to most people, it really is a wonderful place where everyone will feel at home.
Situated on the rugged west coast of Skye this campsite has one of the most stunning situations in all of the British Isles. Camping at the foot of the Black Cuillin mountains on the shore of Loch Brittle with direct access to some of the most spectacular walking and climbing to be had anywhere, you could easily spend a week or so here and never feel the need to drive anywhere. Spend the days up in the mountains or the explore easier coastal walking to the chambered cairn, pictish fort and other delights and then spend the evening strolling on the beach watching the sky change colour in the long summer evenings. A very special walk to take (suitable for all abilities) is to head back up the single track road - it’s the only one so you won’t get lost! – and follow the footpath sign to The Fairy Pools, a truly magical place.
Should the weather turn inclement the nearby Talisker distillery at Carbost welcomes visitors with a tour and a wee dram, it’s worth buying a bottle to enjoy at your tent.
This is a near to wild camping as you can get while still having all the comforts of less remote sites, toilets, showers and a well stocked campsite shop and hopefully a small breeze to keep the midges at bay!
Take A863 past Sligachan on Isle of Skye, turn L to B8009 then L following signposted road for app. 8 miles.
This is an amazing beach hotel only about 30 minutes drive from the centre of Athens. It overlooks a calm bay with views up to the Temple of Poseidon (a short walk away). The service, food and rooms are superb.
Sounio Road GR-195 00, Sounio, Attica
+30 22920 69700
This is a great little beach bar next to Rosy's Little Village on the northern coast of Agistri about 100 metres east of Skala. There's good snorkelling and swimming, or you can just chill out all day, sunbathe, eat and drink, read books or doze in the sun. Bliss!
Welcome Beach on the Cornish and north Devon border. Hidden away from the crowds it has some of the best body boarding in the area, with incredible crashing waves. The beach is hidden at high tide and looks like it's just rocks, but at low tide the sea goes back and there is acres of beautiful sand and the body boarding is second to now. There is a lovely waterfall to wash under once you've had enough of the sea salt!
As the sun rests easily on your shoulders and unhurried tanned bodies pass by, you might pause on the boulevard to watch the breakdancers show their moves. Then on to the white beach where you can already hear the soulful strains of a live reggae band. Later on a crowd will gather around the stage; a sea of bright faces freed from care. As the sun sets and the colourful beer flows, you can get lost in this place that comes alive for two months of the year. Enveloped in darkness you can still see the stars and the glint of the Baltic as the music soothes you. This is why in Poland they say “to nasza Kalifornia przez 2 miesiace”: “it’s our California for two months”.
Castro is a smallish jewel of a resort to the west of Bilbao and a welcome respite from the cultural overload of the Guggenheim. Comprising of a cheery port and two beaches (one manmade), it's a popular destination in summer and offers the perfect Cantabrian holiday experience. Just back from the front are a couple of pedestrianised streets are cluttered with stone pinxto bars specialising in everything from fried mushrooms to wonderfully plump sardines.
We have sailed to all of the Greek Islands, and my favorite still is Samothraki; hard to get to and no airport, not much in guide books, and that of course makes it less visited and a wonderful paradise. It lies in the North of the Aegean two hours by ferry from Alexandroupolis and the border with Turkey, or best of all by your own boat. The island is a high mountain, 'Fengari', the 'Mountain of the moon' , where Zeus sat and watched the Battle of Troy. It has one ancient site on the northern slopes - home of the 'Winged Victory of Samothrace' (now in the Louvre). Nearby a village of hot springs, Loutra, and further up a series of eight tumbling streams and rocky pools flowing through forests of huge chestnut, plane, fig and mulberry trees, where the islanders grow their vegetables for winter. The northern beaches have fine white stones, but on the southern shore there are sandy beaches. Last time we were there, a few backpackers were camping near the falls and Loutra had grown a hotel, so maybe change is coming. After a stormy passage, the little port with poplar trees filled with nightingales, was an experience I will never forget.
Google map: bit.ly/ms0CBV
Koufonissi is a really small island south of Naxos. I went island hopping in 2003 and the island which I remember most favourably is this little gem.
Because of its small size it gave us a feeling to be in a different world. If you are looking for quietness and recreation then this is the place to go. The beaches on Koufonissi are tidy and nice. On the east coast you will also find small bays which really give the illusion of being alone on the island.
We stayed in a small studio close to Finikas beach which was perfect for the small budget we had then. If I ever return - and I hope that will happen one day - I would, however, try to get a place in the Windmill Villa, a refurbished windmill close to the sea.
Halki is a small island five miles west of Rhodes but very far away from the hectic tourist activities of the larger island. There really is nothing to do there which makes it perfect for a relaxing holiday. Until recently there were no cars at all on the island and even now there are very few and the lack of traffic is wonderful. The island is very dry and water has to be imported from Rhodes which helps to explain the lack of major developments. There is one pretty harbour town and two small beaches which are served by traditional tavernas. Once you have walked to the beach of your choice the water comes in many shades of blue and green and is crystal clear. The beaches are never overcrowded as the island cannot accommodate many tourists, Most visitors stay in small apartments or villas in the town or in the new Hiona Art hotel.
Even in August you will have plenty of space on the beach at Spilla. Georges Taverna is at the end of the bay. If you come by boat on one of the sailing holidays you can use their lazy lines for simple mooring and George will help.
Free showers and washing machine. Super taverna - fresh bread from the village can be ordered or if you fancy a cool early morning walk visit the village yourself. Fantastic views from the top over to Lefcada. On the beach there are small pebbles and sand gently shelving into a crystal clear bay - lots of fish to spot if you fancy snorkelling. Swim out to the quay for a bit of exercise or just float about in the sunshine.
Google map: bit.ly/maFSx1
We learned to dive a few years ago with Nature Island Dive in Soufriere and have since been back every year. The diving is sensational - really unspoilt (not that many tourists) with lovely corals and fantastic sealife. Turtles on almost every dive, seahorses, frogfish, huge shoals of creole wrasse, jacks etc and occasional sharks. The best sites are the least dived - with pristine reefs. All dives must be guided as it is a marine reserve. There are divers from the cruise boats but they are taken to limited sites so if you stay for a few days/weeks ask to go to other sites such as Scotts Head Pinnacle, West End, Craters Edge, Condo as well. The boat rides are short from Soufriere.
Dominica is a wonderful island - the Atlantic coast is amazing for views and walking. The Dominican people are really friendly and proud of their country although you can see and feel the changes happening on the island.
Getting around is, er, interesting. Cars/jeeps can be hired but driving isn't easy due to the poor roads, enormous potholes and other drivers. We have preferred to use the little cheap and interesting buses where possible.
You can buy fish from the fishermen in Soufriere and Scotts Head - they don't sell reef fish fortunately.
The Saturday market in Roseau is great fun - and good value. The fruit on the island is amazing - pineapples have a totally different taste than when eaten in Europe.
I'd recommend staying outside of Roseau - not the prettiest place on the island. Dive shops will arrange accommodation according to your budget and preferences.
If you stay in the south, walk up to Galion village and the top of Scotts Head for the best views in the Caribbean.
It is a psaro (fish) taverna on a small beach tucked away in Agni Bay on Corfu. They serve the most delicious food, particularly seafood, with views over the water to the Albanian mainland - at night the moon rises over the bay.
A peninsula linked to the mainland by a causeway, with a lovely taverna, a sunken city, a byzantine mosaic, and lovely small beaches to enjoy.
Take the sharp turning to the east when driving to Elouda, drive along the causeway by the venitian salt flats, over the hump backed bridge, and enjoy.
Google map: bit.ly/kUoBVM
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