With a name like Razzmatazz, you might expect a menu of '80's fare; maybe some avocado and a prawn cocktail? Well, the only thing this restaurant underneath the Cabana Beach Hotel inspires from the 80's, is a name Wham would be proud of. The food and the setting, unlike the former, are simply timeless.
The calamari is so tender, one's jaw barely works out and the seating on the deck looks straight beyond Umlhanga's busy seafront onto the serene Indian Ocean.
This may be the restaurant that you encountered in the '80's, smart waiters in ironed waistcoats, caraffs of red wine and blue gingham table cloths; but with its specialism in seafood and game, the menu is far from dated. Indeed the food is far more progressive, try the crocodile kebabs or the langoustines, steamed with lemongrass for a signature taste of South Africa.
10 Lagoon Drive
Cabana Beach Hotel
Take the M4 from Durban or the M12 from Pietermaritzburg and travel towards Umhlanga.
Take the Lighthouse Road turnoff and proceed into this road. Turn left into Lagoon Drive
and proceed to the Cabana Beach Hotel.
Google map: tinyurl.com/yaxf7x4
If you like eating seafood in sight of the sea, then Enrico's is the place for you. As their T-shirt strap-line says "Any closer and you'll get wet". Enrico's is perched on the cliff-edge where you can feel the spray from the breakers while you're tucking into your crisply-fried calamari. The restaurant provides typical italian fare in its cosy interior, but when the sun's out, the outside tables in view of the surf are packed. Service is prompt and enthusiastic.
An amazing beach. Take a picnic, you're likely to have these perfect white sands to yourself even on a summer's day. A brilliant place to let dogs, children and husbands run wild.
Luskentyre, Isle of Harris
Google map: tinyurl.com/yhzhvxt
In a quiet corner of the Caribbean are The Caves, a boutique hotel nestled on the limestone cliffs of Negril on the west coast of Jamaica. This hedonistic hideaway consists of twelve cottages and suites, each one with a character of its own. This multi-layered tropical paradise is connected by winding cliff paths that give the feeling of complete privacy and seclusion as you make your way to your room.
The lucid blue sea below is perfect for snorkelling and swimming, as well as a great way to explore some of the more out-of-the-way caves. Also, if you were to swim around the headland from this romantic retreat, you would find yourself on Negril’s superb seven mile stretch of white sand beach.
The Caves cater almost exclusively to couples (no children allowed!), offering massages and spa treatments, dining in private candlelit caves strewn with flower petals, and a private ocean-view jacuzzi that can be reserved for sunset. All of this is sound-tracked by the gently lapping waves of the Caribbean Sea. Now really, is there anything more romantic than that?
I recently went on holiday to Ibiza and found this amazing secret hideway restaurant called Amante, set on a clifftop overlooking the beach. The staff were really friendly, the location was stunning and the food was outstanding.
Sol den Serra
c / Fuera Sn
07849 St Eulalia, Ibiza
+34 971 196176
The most beautiful setting I have ever been to. Totally remote and totally secluded - you need a visa to enter the Aboriginal world of Australia's Arnhem Land. Situated in Gurig Ganuk Barlu National and Marine Park you can stay in luxury camps overlooking Port Essington where you will see the most beautiful sunsets. www.northernaustralia.com organise tours and you can stay at the luxury camp. I was lucky enough to live in Cobourg Peninsula and experience the beauty. There are also beach huts available. Experience the magic of Australian beaches - be warned NO SWIMMING IN THE WATER - due to crocs, jellyfish and all sorts.
North of Kakadu National Park (Northern Territory) Darwin.
Google map: tinyurl.com/ylmrdxz
Rottnest Island is a short ferry ride from Perth or Freemantle. Along with being known for numerous lovely bays which can be explored by bicycle, Rottnest is known for its Quokkas, little furry creatures that look a bit like miniature kangaroos. Quokkas are native to the island. Dutch explorers thought they were rats; hence the name, Rottnest Island.
The villas are self-catering units with balconies and bbqs and have lovely views of the sea. They are reasonably priced and popular with families. School holiday slots are chosen by lottery. Cars are discouraged on the island. Public transport and rental bicyles are readily available.
+61 8 9432 9111
Google map: tinyurl.com/ycyd4u9
Comfortable cottages beside white sand beaches, a turquoise sea and pink mountains. And amazing wildlife; Wendy the wombat lived underneath the house and there were wallabies and all sorts of birds in the grounds. On the beach we saw pelicans and fur seals. Penguins and kangaroos used the road. We were there out of season but had a warm welcome from friendly and helpful hosts Tony and Kyle. Breakfast was brought in the morning and a log-burning fire warmed chilly evenings.
The nearby village of Bicheno had stores, restaurants, a stunning coastal walk and friendly people. There's a reserve where you can see tasmanian devils, and evening trips to watch the penguins. It's not far to the pink granite hills of the Freycinet National Park and a walk to the fabled Wineglass Bay.
This is a really great place to stay, under two hours from Cape Town, close to the most beautiful beaches with warm water. Also close to the southernmost tip of Africa. They have really comfy rooms with a great restaurant that makes the best pizza ever! The kids love it as they can play by in the pool and climbing gym while we sip cocktails and munch pizza. Backpackers vibe with great service. Live music every now and then in the pub as well.
Cape Tribulation campground rents out safari tents so you can have the experience of beach camping without carrying the gear. On the edge of the rainforest and 100 m from the beach. You are given a bed with bedding in a permanent tent with a small balcony looking out onto the rainforest. One of the best bits was meeting up with other campers in the well equipped communal BBQ and cooking area using the cooking kit supplied by the campground. From here you can walk up the beach to the mangrove boardwalk through the rainforest.
It can be hard work trying to find a good beach spot in Australia that isn't over-run with tourists. If you're passing through Queensland, take the time to stop by Point Lookout on North Stradbroke island - beach houses for rent have balconies overlooking the ocean, most with BBQs (perfect for cooking prawns, tuna, snapper etc caught by local fishermen that day). Beautiful beaches, whales swimming past, and not a tourist bus in sight. It's one of the best kept secrets that the locals won't tell tourists about.
This is a smaller version of the famous full moon party. Instead of being held in Haadrin Beach, which these days resembles a sort of run-down concrete backpackers brothel - with it's concrete roads awash with everything from dogs, cats, trash, vomit, passed-out backpackers - it's held in Baantai Beach. The advantages are a smaller party and more chance of getting accommodation near the party, and also on the flat, ferry side of the infamous 'hilly concrete road of accidents'. Disadvantages are less people, and less choice of music. Also it has become famous for rooms near the party being broken into during the event - don't leave any valuables in your hut. Of course as it's less touristy, you'll need to fit in! Get your fluro paint and camo shorts ahead of time. The black moon party is held, unsurprisingly, during the night of the black moon, every month. Probably the best way of getting to it is a ferry to Thong Sala, then rent a scooter (about $3/day), and drive with the coast on our right hand side for about 20 minutes.
El Port beach is the main beach of Llança but it is rarely crowded even in summer. It's a pleasant beach to lie out on and relax in safety.The sea is calm thanks to the marina opposite the beach.
Llança is 35km north of Girona and easily reached by train from Barcelona (via Girona and Figueres)
Google map: tinyurl.com/yegg73p
A beautiful sandy beach - amazingly quiet considering! A perfect antidote to the built up areas of White Sands further up the coast, and better for swimming than Bang Bao in the South. Elephant trekking tours also start very near by. Stay at the Blue Lagoon (and eat there) and drink at Nid's Reggae Bar
I have just returned from Rapture surf camp in Bali on the Bukit peninsula. I was booked in for two weeks and ended staying there the whole month I was traveling. The food was great, accommodation was clean and the staff were extremely friendly. Surf guides took me to different surf breaks everyday. As a lone traveller with little surfing experience I was a little nervous at the prospect of surfing Bali however I found people at the camp outgoing and meeting new people was easy. The surf guides took me to places to suit my ability which really helped me push my surfing to the next level (I even ended up buying my first board!) I would rate my overall experience 10/10 which is why I've taken the time to write a review! I hope to get back to work save some money and return with my new board over the summer.
This is a peninsula far from for the mainland just two kilometers through a handmade pathway in the middle of an estuary. The almost-island is an inhabited mountain named Monte Argentario. Porto Santo Stefano is one of the two small typical fishing villages in the area. You can enjoy looking at the sea from the central square at Porto Santo Stefano, placed in the middle of the bay and also the center of town. The streets here are steep. All the houses windows on the hill look at the sea.
You can enjoy a great pizza and especially all the fresh seafood just some minutes after the fishing people carry it from the boats.
You can have a bathe in the sea, sunbathing, having a mineral water bath - the nearest is Orbetello, hiking on the mountain, walk round the town, go on a leisure boat trip ... or just plan a trip to Siena or Firenze, only an hour and a half from here.
It is like paradise, you'll enjoy the historic places like the Spanish fortaleza (castles), the seaside walk, the mountain views, the excellent wines and food, the calm and tranquility, and the sea bathing and of course, the proximity to Firenze and Rome.
You should take some of the numerous, almost every two hours, trains from Rome, in direction to Milan or Lucca. You should stop down at Orbetello Station and there rent a car or a taxi. In some minutes, just about 10 kilometers far you will be in an almost unknown italian paradise.
Google map: tinyurl.com/yczbbqt
Playa Blanca is a short (exciting) ride away from the busy tourist city of Cartagena. Playa Blanca is a small slice of paradise, with clear blue sea's, white sands and the delicious tranquility of Caribbean life. The gross scape of art inspiration is hard to describe, a world of photography, painting and writting is open to anyone who finds themselves on this desolate island. Playa Blanca's beach is lined with coconut palms and banana tree's, smells of mango infused bonfires fill the air. Any traveller to arrive at Playa Blanca will be instantly drawn in to the chilled way of island life. A sure place to find your self relaxed and inspired to indulge in your choice of creative outlet.
Mama Ruth's Paraiso
To get there:
The safest and easiest way to get to Playa Blanca is to take a boat from the Muelle in Cartagena which is 35.000 pesos plus the insurance 15.000 pesos.
Google map: tinyurl.com/yjvde33
I spent many, many summers in Seattle as a kid. So I did all the typical touristy stuff, the space needle, etc. We even drove to Vancouver once (well worth it.)
I feel that not enough people who visit Seattle (or the state of Washington, for that matter) end up exploring the majesty that is the San Juan Islands. I didn't end up doing it until I was much, much older. It is absolutely gorgeous, feels worlds away from Seattle and is relatively easy to get to thanks to the state ferry system. You won't have to take some crazy expensive tour to get there.
You probably won't have time to go to Alaska, and might only be in town for a week, so go for the next best thing. Sea kayaking is really popular in the area and a number of outfits will rent you one. If you get lucky or time your visit right, you might even get to see a pod of orcas - one of the main attractions. In my mind, a must-see of Washington.
Google map: tinyurl.com/yks76fb
This is a great website I have found which is all about Palolem Beach in Canacona, Goa, India. It lists lots of places to stay and things to do in the area. It is by far the best resource on Palolem on the internet, I highly recommend it. It even has a great forum where you can chat with people about Palolem and what they recommend, so is a must see if you are planning to visit the area.
The beach at St Marc sur Mer looks as inviting now as it did when Jacques Tati made Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot, but, sadly, most other things have changed.
The ground floor of the Hotel de la Plage has been completely refurbished and is now the Brasserie La Plage de Mr Hulot. The land opposite the hotel has been redeveloped and is now topped by a viewing platform on which a life-size statue of M. Hulot stands, looking out to sea.
Those for whom the film was special will find memories flooding back, though the changes will mean they may not want to linger too long.
St Mark sur Mer,
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