This national park has some amazing beaches on its southern side and along its northern coast. Very few roads but plenty of trails to access these beaches. The masses tend to stay on the beaches around Roses as you will need to walk about 30 mins to get to the first if you come by car. The ones on the north coast are difficult to get to without a boat. The south coast also has the last home of Dali, Port Lligat which is also a museum that operates with the museum in Figueres.
We recommend to go to this place because it is a nice place where you can see a lot of little white crabs in a cave with beautiful views, which was created by a volcano that erupted 3000 years ago.
Climb, hike and cycle among the rock towers, gorges and ravines of this beautiful but unknown part of Slovakia - but hurry before everyone else discovers Sulovske Skaly too.
Even for those able to differentiate their Slovakias from their Slovenias, this region remains undiscovered. Lower in altitude than the better-known Tatras to the north-east, its rock towers, needles, windows and gates, separated by deep waterless gorges and ravines, form a national nature reserve, deservedly popular with Slovakian walkers and climbers. Its forested and round-topped limestone ridges are also much more typical of Slovakia’s mountains than the Tatras, but you’ll find little tourist infrastructure and few English speakers.
This is a classic Alpine hike,which is easily undertaken in a day by the reasonably fit and has the added benefit of a low carbon footprint as access to the start and finish is by rail. You take a train from Interlaken to Wilderswil and then the cog railway to Schynigge Platte at 2000m for breakfast with spectacular views of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau. You then follow a well signed path to First, enjoying magnificent views of Interlaken, Thunersee and Brienzersee. You can take the option of lunch at Berghaus Manndlenen and then on towards the Faulhorn which boasts the oldest Alpine hotel in Europe at 2600m. You then descend towards First via Lake Bachalpsee before taking a well earned drink at the cable station and then descent to Grindlewald and a train back to Interlaken. There is the option of an extension to the walk by continuing to Grosse Scheidegg and taking the postbus to Grindlewald. (Tip -check the times of the cablecars for the descent from First before you start.)
Wonderful easy 10-12 mile walk across the cliff tops, loads of little deserted coves to wander and sunbathe in. You can stop at fantastic little beach cafes serving amazing seafood, syrupy strong coffee and the most delicious pastel de nata (custard tarts)
Stay at the vila gale de praia, adults only with a great spa.
Praia da Galé, Lote 33, Apartado 22048201-917 Albufeira
(+351) 289 590 180
Pelion is crisscrossed with a network of ancient kalderimi, or stone donkey paths, and monopati, or unpaved footpaths. These link the traditional stone-roofed hill top villages and the picturesque fishing harbours, sandy beaches and secluded coves. Walks take you through plane trees in the valleys and olives and pines on the hills. Round each corner there is something different, small springs that provide cool, pure water, glimpses of the sapphire Aegean, splendid sunsets over the Pagiasitikos Gulf and a tsipouro and a meal of delicious regional cuisine at journeys end.
For how to get there, places to stay, walking routes and opportunities to join walking groups contact The Friends of The Kalderimi of South Pelion on Facebook or pelionwalks.wordpress.com
This natural park south of Valencia is a secluded peninsular of lagoons, rice fields and beaches, packed full with birds, tranquility and a wonderful sense of space. As a delta, the area is flat and perfect for cyclists of any ability. Many people visit in spring and autumn for the bird migrations, but there are plenty of resident birds to see in summer and winter too.
This small corner of Spain just south of Almeria encompasses a range of different landscapes, in one day you can walk through sand dunes and on wide sweeping bays, play on rocky shores, climb mountains and sit by salt water lagoons bird watching. The scenery is stunning and this is a fantastic area for walking without seeing another soul all day or cycling on quiet lanes. Stay in San Jose, a bustling village, for some nightlife, if you still have the energy at the end of an active day.
Park by the signpost on the road between San Juan de Beleno and Viego, and discover this spectacular 10 km walk in the Ponga National Park, northern Spain. My friend and I went in September and we walked through a carpet of purple crocuses and exuberant thistles. We saw no-one apart from some old men in a hut who offered us water, unless vultures, choughs and the odd goat count. If you make the summit you’ll see the sea - we didn’t as the final ascent is vertiginous - but the far reaching views of endless rolling green hills beneath us as we gradually ascended the mountain ridge make this the most memorable afternoon’s walk I’ve ever done.
If you can avoid the slightly disconcerting packs of feral dogs that race across the plateau - and occasionally snarl at cornered tourists - then the Bucegi mountains are fantastic, not least because a cable car ascends to the top. Then it's an undulating plateau culminating in the huge Caraiman cross that overlooks the valley directly and vertiginously below. Airy and easy and fairly quiet until the cross is close.
Google map: bit.ly/JkkLMK
To me, the 105 mile Tour du Mont Blanc encompasses all that is great in the 'great outdoors' - from the majesty of the spiring mountains to the fresh sweet smell of the alpine ﬂora, the piercing blue still glacial lakes beneath the grandiose glaciers, the gushing torrents racing to the deafening waterfalls, the loud whistle of the invisible marmot juxtaposed with the silent grazing of the charming ibex - the ancient past that time has not forgotten. The TMB really is to reach the sublime; what isn't there to love?
This is an energetic trek taking in the best of the French, Italian and Swiss alps, crossing three high mountain passes, sleeping in a variety of remote mountain huts such as Lac Blanc, Rifugio Elisabetta and Refugio Bonatti to boutique guest-houses in the busy towns of Chamonix and Courmayeur. Be ﬂexible and organise your own trek using the cicerone guide written by Kevin Reynolds - he became a bit of a hero to us. Then to top it off, why not paraglide from the Aiguille du midi - I thoroughly recommend it.
Cicerone Guide: www.cicerone.co.uk/product/detail.cfm/book/532
Google map: bit.ly/JkliOu
A selection of the numerous mountain huts:
Information for the Aiguille du Midi:
This is a new 17.5 mile walk that joins up the magnificent gardens created by the Aislabies 250 years ago. It starts at the glorious Studley Royal water gardens, passes Fountains Abbey, Aldfield Spa and through Galphay. Next it heads North to the beautiful Braithwaite Hall and Grewelthorpe before passing through Hackfall. Hackfall is a fantastic woodland garden with follies and a gravity fed fountain that has recently undergone a £1 million renovation. The views here are magnificent. After Hackfall you take the Ripon Rowell walk through Mickley Barras before heading off towards Azerley. The walk finishes with a stroll through the Deer Park at Studley Royal.
The route is not particularly challenging (compared with hill walking for example) but there are gates and styles to negotiate and 17.5 miles is a pretty long walk for one day. It is possible to take shorter routes by using the described cross paths.
An opportunity to get right up close to Mont Blanc- Europe’s highest mountain.
Grand Balcon Nord 6.5 km – allow three hours.
Chamonix in the French Alps is one of the best known centres for walking in the summer and rightly so.
One of the most spectacular yet easiest walks is the Grand Balcon Nord which has you strolling through a veritable rock garden at 2000 metres and even offers the possibility of meeting a marmot or two.
From Chamonix take the Aiguille cable car to the half way point at Plan de l’Aiguille which is the starting point for your route - although it is spectacular, and literally breathtaking, due to the altitude, to take the cable car right to the top station – and then start your walk on the return journey.
The well signposted rocky mountain trail undulates north east, meandering through miniature rhododendrons, gentian and azaleas, with stunning views down to Chamonix and over the narrow valley to Plan Praz and La Flegere standing at 1877m - this is the Grand Balcon Sud and another fine walk affording views over Mont Blanc and Les Aiguilles (the needles).
As you reach the junction of the path to Montenvers mountain railway you can take the route directly there or turn right and zig zag easily up the extra 150m to grab great views of the stunning pinnacles of the Aiguille Vert at 4122m, Les Drus and the Mer de Glace (sea of ice).
Catch the picturesque little train from Montenvers back down to Chamonix. Remember to check what time the last train and cable car operate as it’s a long walk down!
This walk can be done in reverse and an early start will give you the opportunity to watch the sun come up from behind Les Aiguilles.
At only 318ha, car-free Île de Bréhat is the largest island in this tiny archipelago of pink granite islets. Idle away the days by kayaking in the ebb and flow seascape, or walk the island's bird rich coves and coastal paths. In spring, while Bréhatins enjoy some pre-season peace, its Mediterranean flowers come into celebratory bloom. Marc Chagall visited in 1924 and painted "La fenêtre sur l'Ile de Bréhat".
Directly due west of Bordeaux, at the midpoint of La Côte d’Argent lies the jewel that is the Bassin d’Arcachon. From chic Cap Ferret at its most Northern edge touring past houses on stilts, stopping at some of the finest fish restaurants on the planet, and round to the spectacular Dune du Pilat, the largest sand dune in Europe, offering a challenge to kids of any age, the Bassin epitomises the best of France in every way.
The diamond of the Bassin d’ Arcachon was, for us, the Parc Ornithologique du Teich. As seasoned birdwatchers, we were stunned by the variety of environments – salt marshes to fresh water habitats - that have been created there. With over 20 hides, and up to 280 species of birds to spot, this place is twitchers’ heaven.
The Zingaro Nature Reserve Sicily is only a short bus journey from the idyllic coastal village Scopello. You have to pay a small fee to enter the reserve, but once you are in, you are free to explore some Italy's most unspoiled beaches.
The beaches are stunning small coves with crystal clear water and stunning views of the surrounding nature reserve. The clear water is fantastic for snorkelling, and diving around the national park is thought to be excellent due to the nature reserve status of the area.
The best time to go is early in the morning. You'll have a cove all to yourself. Paradise! The beaches of Zingaro are the most beautiful I have ever seen. Cars are not allowed within the reserve, but the nearest cove is only fifteen-twenty mins by foot. The park stretches for seven km, so you're spoilt for choice to discover beautiful beaches. If you want to escape the crowds of Sicily's resorts, head to Zingaro!
The reserve stretches between San Vito Lo Capo and Scopello. Palermo is only an hour away by car, but you can rent villas in the vicinity and the beautiful village of Scopello is a short journey away. Scopello has a number of B&Bs and hotels, and some great restaurants. It has a family atmosphere, but the gorgeous location makes for a great romantic trip away, too.
The Arco Naturale is a natural spectacle on the outskirts of Capri town which is best accessed on foot. Within minutes you will be away from the hoards of tourists in Capri town walking along tiny streets to the coast. The arc itself is a huge curved rock springing out of the water. There is a handy cafe at the top of the steps leading down to the Arc.
Capri Town, Amalfi Coast
Google map: bit.ly/IblpAj
This small island, closer to Africa than Europe, is the southernmost tip of Italy. It has some of the prettiest and remote beaches in the Mediterranean, most of which are empty outside the months of July and August. Snorkel with manta rays, watch dolphins from a boat, or hire a bicycle and cover the island's 20 sq km in a day. Loggerhead turtles lay their eggs on the Isola dei Conigli (Rabbit Island), and the Riserva Naturale Isola di Lampedusa, a wildlife nature reserve, is an undiscovered land of walks and megalithic sites. If you visit, don't forget to pack Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's literary masterpiece "The Leopard", his grandfather used to own the island.
The best penguin display I have ever seen although I am sure Antartica is better. Well worth it, was located just near the casino which was also really good
This is iconic Australia, plenty of tours on offer. Our one included a cruise on Sydney Harbour after the tour which was good although it made the day very long. If you're only here for a few days it is well worth it.
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