Köyceğiz is a beautiful quiet town with hot summers and friendly local people.
The Lake of Köyceğiz is often said to be as "as smooth as glass" till noon and then great for wind surfing in the afternoon. The Köyceğiz Lake contains almost every kind of seafood from fish to crab.
The Rock Tombs are tombs carved into the rock in Dalyan and date back to the ancient harbour city of Caunos.
The Mud baths are natural hot mud baths - very good for the skin!
Kalymnos is located in the Dodecanese between the islands of Leros and Kos. Mountains ideal for rock climbing, crystal blue waters for swimming, fishing and scuba diving.
The capital of the island is Pothia, worth seeing are the villages of Vathy, Masouri and the small island of Telendos. You can get there by ferry from Piraeus or by plane via Kos or Rhodes.
We were in Marrakech early March and found out that many pools were still closed because the temperature of the water is too cold.
We found a place called Caravan Serai just outside Marrakech with a heated pool. We took a taxi (about £10 return) and arrived in a very quiet, lovely place. It is a hotel with a couple of rooms and a decent size swimming pool. We had to pay to use the swimming pool for the day (£15), but this included a very nice lunch. Worth a visit if you want to chill out a day in hectic Marrakech.
This is a beautiful villa with a shared pool (shared with villa opposite) in a quiet town, which is on the edge of a huge lake. It's really beautiful, and we were very well looked after during our stay. We loved it so much that we're heading back in May! If you like diving, it's not far from Dalyan where you can jump on a boat (we used Tripoint Diving) they were very good. Incredible viz, and we dived a great wreck!
Ticks the boxes for adults and kids. Fantastic Art Noveau building with probably the most photographic indoor pool in the world for the adults to appreciate. Outside is another pool with sun loungers around it and every hour a wave machine is turned on. Shrieks and shouts from kids aged 4 months to 40 years (and some).
If you want a break that gives you peace and quiet, beautiful Scottish island scenery, a pristine beach, sparkling sea and masses of outdoor space to let the kids explore, this is perfect.
There is no formal camp ground. You pitch your tent on the grass next to the beach and put some money in a box in the local village. There are public toilets to use but other than that, this is pretty wild camping.
The area is really safe so the kids can go off and explore the beach and rock pools whilst you relax and get the camp fire going. Long summer days, lovely walking, swimming, fresh air and starry skies. This is a wonderful, memorable place to take the family.
on the west coast of the Isle of Lewis
The Lycian coast of Turkey has many jewels: choose from Kalkan, Kas, Gocek or Fethiye. Beautiful villas and apartments at very reasonable prices, frequent scheduled and charter flights, extremely friendly, hospitable and humorous people, roof terrace restaurants offering local delicacies or international cuisine, fabulous swimming and water sports at stunning locations and the longest and best sandy beach in Europe within easy reach. And there are inland excursions and activities and a 20 mile gorge to explore, for the more energetic. The combination is unbeatable and offers exceptional value for a family holiday - just do a little research on the internet!
A jewel in the Aegean, the easternmost of the Cycladic Islands, it has an evocative beauty, and is remarkably unspoilt. Swimming and plenty of remarkable walks, which give you views to the smaller Cycladic Islands to the north and west. It is a dreamy place, a place to rest and let yourself be taken by a traditional, intimate and quiet life of the island.
A small settlement on the west coast of Australia where Ningaloo reef is just a short swim from Paradise Beach.
I'd recommend it for those on a budget as the snorkelling rivals any organised trip on the Great Barrier Reef and can be done to your own schedule.
Stay at the nearby campsite for a few days and you can venture out on to the reef as many times as you like and see reef sharks, turtles, trumpet fish, octopuses, you name it. It's also handy if you fancy doing a diving course without being out at sea for days, or if you want to take in a leisurely glass-bottom boat tour. It's best to visit outside of the school holidays.
Captain Shallo and Sail Kenya run sailing safaris along the Lamu archipelago. Captain Shallo also runs sailing safaris from Kalifi between Mombasa and Malindi.
I went on the four-day Lamu sailing safari last September and would truly say it was one of my best ever holidays. Captain Shallo and the crew really make sure you have a great time - swimming in clear, warm, blue water, walking along the most powdery of white sands, visiting tiny villages along the north-eastern coast and eating great super-fresh food.
It's not a luxury comfort holiday, but a bit of an adventure combined with a lot of pleasure.
Small village set on a bay on the Budva riviera. Not too over-developed and with a range of different types of restaurants from western-style cool and chic with 'Blanche' to local fresh and simple seafood with 'Konova More'.
A really pleasant little beach lapped by clean, clear aquamarine waves. Friendly and low-key. Perfect for a couple wanting to get off the beaten track and do a little exploring. Easy access by seashore path to King's Beach, Queen's Beach and the famous and extremely pretty Sveti Stefan.
20 minutes south of Budva by taxi or bus along the coast road.
Semuc Champey is called the eighth wonder of the world by locals. We were cynical because of the hundreds of other 'Eighth Wonders' we've encountered on our travels, but this is truly breathtaking.
Semuc is a series of natural sparkling turquoise pools in the middle of the jungle, that form a bridge over a buried river which shoots out the other side. If it's hard to imagine, that's because it is just so unbelievable it beggars description. It's worth the detour from the main backpacker trail.
Swim, lounge, hike to a viewing point in the jungle or follow a local guide who will show you which rocks are safe to jump from. We tried a terrifying 10m dive from a cliff. This place is absolute paradise.
In Australia the star of the show is the Great Barrier Reef. The only living organism visible from space is in fact a collection of corals, living and growing in the shallow seas and forming hundreds of reefs which stretch 1,430 miles along the Queensland coast, home to thousands of fish and plants.
As a first-time snorkeller, I swam from pristine sandy beaches and from the dive platform of the Coral Princess into another world so beautiful it takes your breath away – especially when your snorkel’s on the wrong way round and you swallow half the Coral Sea! Unforgettable.
Google map: tinyurl.com/l96ynr
Parsley Bay is a small, secluded beach surrounded by bush in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs, on the Harbour (not the ocean).
Go there for an early morning swim (there's a wire mesh net across the mouth of the bay to keep sharks out!) then have breakfast at the cafe there. If going on weekends, get there before 9.00 or else the small car park (with its narrow, steep, one-lane driveway) is full and you have to park way up the hills on either side and walk down. As well as a beach there's a large grassy area for picnics, and a children's playground.
Other pleasant places to swim and eat in the area include Camp Cove and Nielsen Park.
There's more cafe choice at Balmoral on the north side, but weekend parking is even more impossible - get in by 8.00!
I’m not known for skipping in and out of cocktail bars, but swimming to one in a turquoise sea under a tropical sun is another matter, even I couldn’t resist the allure of the infamous Soggy Dollar Bar, so called because the only access is by water.
We had hired a little boat with some friends, talked my brother into being captain, and were sailing around the BVI in the Caribbean for an idyllic holiday. We had already discovered the potent Painkiller cocktail, an innocent tasting concoction of white rum and tropical fruit juices, served in half pint mugs. One before dinner the night before had left us giggly and strangely uninterested in the food put before us. The test was now whether we could swim ashore, have a Painkiller and return without drowning.
The bar lived up to all its hype; swaying palm trees, golden sands and hammocks to lie in while sipping and chatting. We eventually managed to doggypaddle back to the mooring and then lay out on deck gazing at the stars. We didn’t bother with dinner, strangely no-one was hungry – again!
A beautiful small fishing island just 45 minutes' away from central pier by ferry. Has lovely beaches and a real village feel to it, such a great atmosphere.
You can have the best seafood down by the pier, relax on the beach, swim in the sea, go for walks or cycles or try windsurfing (the womens' world champ lives there). Has an altogether slower, friendlier pace than HK and is so close and easy to get to.
Take ferry from pier 5 - 30-50 min journey depending on ferry. Ferry every 30 mins.
Want to surf, or laze, or walk the sands? The beach at Merimbula is the go! You have two to choose from, surf beach or protected in the lagoon.
Families flock to Merimbula during the holidays. It is a popular spot with city families with Melbournites and Sydneyites holidaying there. Merimbula is a great spot!
Rarotonga is absolutely beautiful, with amazing white sand beaches, and the Rarotongan Beach Resort is set right on the edge of Aroa beach. The resort offers free snorkel hire so you can explore the lagoon where you might find giant clams and blue starfish as well as thousands of colourful fish.
The beds are huge and comfy, cocktails are highly recommended (although beware - you can put all your food and drink costs on your room bill so be careful or it'll take you by surprise when you check out!) and you can dine on fresh coconut and starfruit for breakfast.
Aroa beach, Rarotonga, www.therarotongan.com
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