Long stretches of white, sandy beach not quite your thing? Then how about visiting a green beach, or one made of glass? Here’s our rundown of the world’s weirdest beaches.
Glass beach, California
This Fort Bragg beach is famous after Mother Nature reclaimed it from dumping that happened until the 1960s. Decades of waves on the beach have worn down the glass that was left there, leaving a sparkling, multi-coloured beach that is a joy to look at.
Pink Sands Beach, Harbour Island, Bahamas
You have to *really* want to get to Papakolea Beach in Hawaii. Visitors have to spend three hours in the baking heat, hiking along the cliff edge. But for most people it is well worth it, for the sand is a rich olive colour, giving you a truly unique experience.
Playa de la Arena, Tenerife
The black volcanic sandy beaches you find on Tenerife are a total eye opener. Kids and grown ups will get a real kick out of it. The dramatic colour dotted with parasols and surrounded by bars and restaurants is a real contrast.
Boulders Beach, Cape Town
This long, sandy beach may look totally normal, until you realise it’s filled with penguins. Over 3,000 of the flightless birds call this beach home and it’s quite the novelty to hang out with them for the day. Just don’t get too close, they’re not afraid to use those beaks!
Cow Beach, Goa
Speaking of animals, a trip to Cow Beach is perfect if you want to get up, close and personal with some bovines. Heifers and bulls mingle happily with bikini clad tourists, and despite the issues you would think would pop up, it’s a hugely popular choice with travellers.
Hot Water Beach, New Zealand
Imagine building your own hot tub on the beach? Well it turns out in New Zealand you can. Thanks to mineral water that flows beneath the sand up to 150 degrees, visitors can simply dig themselves a hole and settle in to their own personal hot tub.
Zlatni Rat Beach, Brac Island, Croatia
Croatia’s ‘golden horn’, this gorgeous beach is just a narrow spit of sand that extends about quarter of a mile from the shore. It completely changes shape depending on the current or the winds and makes the list for being simply gorgeous.
Don’t forget you can book your holiday to any kind of beach you want with Purple Travel.
If you’re interested in a beach holiday, but you want a little something on the side then why not go for a city beach break. We reckon it’s a great way to combine some sunshine with a bit of sight seeing, the bar and food choices of a city, with the loungers and sunshine of the coast. Here are our top choices for city beaches – if you’ve got others we’d love to hear them…
Barceloneta Beach, Barcelona: We think Barceloneta is a definite winner. Just at the end of the Ramblas, it’s got a buzzing atmosphere, loads of foodie jaunts and you can even get yourself a massage if you’re feeling really lazy.
Ipanema, Rio: the sexiest beach in the world or what? A place for some serious beautiful people watching, locals flock here every weekend, so it can be crowded, but with miles and miles of white sand and under the Two Brother’s mountains it offers a great mix of stunning scenery and epic views.
Dubrovnik, Croatia: The city is right on the sea, so it’s perfect for a little sun soaking. A word of warning though, most are pebble beaches, but don’t let it put you off. You can relax in the beach bars, grab a kayak and go explore or just totally unwind under a beach umbrella on your own stretch of paradise.
Miami Beach,Florida: Quite possibly the most famous city beach in the world, Miami is where the bold and the beautiful, the old and young come to top up their tans, sip on a cocktail or just soak up the atmosphere. The beach has even got its own workout equipment right there – just in case you feel the need to soup
Copenhagen, Denmark: The Danish city might not be your first choice for a beach break, but it’s got a lot going for it. Choose from not one, but two beaches nearby that you can easily get to by just hopping on the local train. The water’s crystal clear, the white sand is a sight for sore eyes, and the sea temperatures are a refreshing 20 degrees or so. Definitely worth a try.
Venice, Italy: There’s more to Venice than stunning views, gondola rides on the canal and the glorious history that makes this city famous. It’s also home to one of Italy’s best kept secret beaches, Venice Lido. Just minutes from St. Mark’s Square, it’s an island that’ll give you the chance to rub shoulders with the rich and famous under the gorgeous Italian sunshine.
Venice Beach, California: Another Venice, but this one is a little different! Famous the world over thanks to Pamela Anderson and that red swimsuit, there are actually over 20 beaches to choose from in Los Angeles. Venice is filled with fortune tellers, artists and was home to some of the early beach poets. Now you might be lucky to rub shoulders with some Hollywood elite applying their suncream.
Jumeirah Beach, Dubai: Dubai is a city of true contrast, from the stunning, eye-wateringly tall Burj Al Arab 7 Star hotel, to the exquisite sandy beaches, it’s got something for everyone. Jumeirah is about 25 minutes from the city centre, it’s usually pretty quiet and is ideal for children as it’s shallow and quite safe. The water is crystal clear and the sandy beach is just perfect. What more could you ask for?
In Dubrovnik, there is nothing better than long, lazy days lounging in the sunshine, strolling around the Old City Walls, enjoying a gelato or a cool beer or tucking into some amazing fresh seafood. You’ve already read all about what to do in Dubrovnik, now we fill you in on the best hotels in this gorgeous city.
Affordable Luxury: Grand Hotel Park. The design hotel is in a great location right in the heart of the city and has lots going for it. Surrounded by vibrant gardens and with lovely views of the Lapad Cove Promenade and of course the sparkling ocean, the Grand is a mix of Italian design and Croatian hospitality. We definitely like the look of the Taverna Marikin Dvorac which specialises in fresh fish and grilled meats. Vegetarians steer clear!
Rock the Kazbek: The Kazbek. This one really deserves its spot on the 10 best hotels in Dubrovnik list. It started as a castle, built in 1573 by noblemen so you know you’re in for a bit of luxury here. Fully renovated to its former glory, this boutique hotel has just 12 beautifully designed rooms, a restaurant with courtyard and balcony terrace and even boasts a library. You can literally become king or queen of the castle by renting out the whole property for something really special.
Bed to beach and back again: Komodor Hotel. This 3* is a great example of the famous old Dubrovnik architecture. This small hotel has a cosy atmosphere and offers the simple pleasures to make your stay unforgettable. And just minutes from the water, you can go from bed to beach in no time.
Water baby heaven: Orphee Hotel. Right in the middle of lush gardens and woodlands, so it offers that real get-away-from-it-all experience. It’s just a few miles from Dubrovnik, the pools are just what the doctor ordered; while the PADI approved dive school on the beach means you can learn a thing or two while you’re there too.
Naturally beautiful: Valamar Lacroma. Archinature, yes that might just be a made up word, but there’s no better way to describe this secluded hotel. Combining the natural environment and lush greenery of the Croatian countryside, with mesmerising style and architecture the Valamar Lacroma is a dream to stay in.
Unforgettable views: Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik. In a truly fabulous location, just minutes from the Old Town, this is the place to go for breathtaking views overlooking the ancient city walls and the gleaming Adriatic. Although it was renovated recently, it has that lovely old world feel and plenty of original architectural features.
A regal choice: Hotel Excelsior. Well if money was no object this would definitely be one of our faves. It’s literally where royalty go to holiday. Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, King Olaf have all stayed in this pristine hotel as well as super celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Hey, if it’s good enough for them, we wouldn’t mind it!
Family run fun: Berkeley Hotel. A really family friendly, family run hotel, the Berkeley is ideal for a relaxed summer get away. Run by the Vicelic family since 2007 who offer the warmest of welcomes, a really great breakfast and lots of insider knowledge on where to go during your stay.
Cosy cottage: Vesna’s Cottage. We absolutely fell in love with Vesna’s Cottage. From the lush gardens that surround it, to the blue timber ceilings, Vesna’s is so laidback it’s horizontal. The brightly coloured walls will make you smile and kids will love the feeling of countryside right in the city.
Feeling flush: Hotel Pucić Palace. Now this one is for the serious luxury hunter. The 5* boutique hotel is right in the middle of the city and prides itself on its exclusive feel. It’s got ancient stone walls and parquet floors which combine with all the modern stuff you need – in room DVD and CD players. It’s even got a yacht for hire! If that doesn’t impress in your holiday snaps, nothing will.
If you fancy a stay in one of the best hotels in Dubrovnik, call Purple Travel now on 02079939228.
Purple Hearts… Croatia Travel Guide the Croat d’Azur, if you will
The Dalmatian Riviera stretches along the Croatian coastline between Split and Dubrovnik, intersected by a small outcrop of Bosnia with some notable bad architecture and not much else. Boasting more islands than any other Mediterranean country except Greece, Croatia is not only naturally beautiful, but also extremely private, having all in all, around 125,000 inhabitants scattered across 48 islands – some 670 remain deserted. This, combined with some of the best sailing in the world, endless beaches, hidden coves, dramatic withstanding Roman ruins and a cuisine that packs a punch to their Italian neighbours, Croatia is a brightening star in the Mediterranean. Yet, ironically, most of Dalmatia is comprised of a throwback to simpler, non-commercialized roots and its chic beaches are just the tip of the iceberg for what the Riviera has to offer. With this Dalmatian Riviera travel guide, you can find out that little bit more about why so many people are in love with this beautiful holiday destination. Discover more in our Croatia Travel Guide.
Croatian cuisine is certainly one its big attractions. Renowned for a superb selection of fish and seafood, as well as a distinctive Italian influence – rizot is risotto, prsut is prosciutto, for example – it’s not just the scenery that beckons tourists back each year. The secret is in its simple preparation and easy digestibility, with essential ingredients including sheep´s cheese, salty sardines, roasted lamb, beef cooked in tomato sauce (salsa), and sautéed greens with potatoes.
Drink: Do not forget the wine, Croatia’s most famous export. Known for its special taste of the south, a taste that has been perfected over centuries, the secret recipes for winemaking are passed down from generation to generation in middle Dalmatia, produced in the families´ wine cellars. A wine connoisseur’s dream destination.
Places to go: Brač
Brač’s grey, mountainous centre provides a rugged, unfinished contrast to the alluring abundance of greenery, red-tiled roofs and clear blue water of the Adriatic Sea. Although first known for its quarries, which provided the stone for the White House, the island of Brač is now most celebrated for its beaches. Zlatni Rat (the Golden Cape) is hyped as the best beach in Dalmatia, perhaps because, aside from a few bearded gelato sellers, it remains almost completely uncommercialised. The nearby wind-surfing haven, harbour town of Bol, however, is a tourist hub.Skrip, home to the Brač Museum, is well worth a visit, as is the community winery, Poljoprivredna Zadruga, which produces some of the best wines on the island.
Over on the mainland lies Split, home to the 416,000 square-foot Roman Emperor Diocletian’s villa, circa 305 AD. About 3,000 people live in the 220 buildings within the old palace walls, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Summer is the best time to visit, when a month-long festival of performing arts fills theatres, squares, and galleries all over the town. Marrying the past with the present, the local children play alongside monuments like the Cathedral of Sveti Duje (Saint Domnius) and the Baptistery of St. John (Jupiter’s Temple).
Hvar The epicentre of Dalmatia’s ‘fabulous’ scene. Here you will find huge yachts cruising by, complete with bikini-clad women sunbathing topside, shortly followed by pods of playful dolphins. You’ll sip on a Chai latte or some other new-fangled mocha-choca-ino, stirring the blueberries into your morning soya granola with the rest of the seaside glitterati.
Vis Just a short ferry ride away from Brač, Vis is the antithesis to Hvar’s hipster scene. But with a rich history, stretching back to Greek and Roman times, Vis is brimming with natural beauty, including over 500 varieties of flourishing herbs thrive, which make exploring the island very much a sensual experience.
The eponymous town within the island of Korčula is its biggest selling point. Expect a hopelessly quaint town that reflects a distinctly Venetian charm.
Activities: Diving is available all over the Riviera, allowing visitors to explore 1,000 years of maritime history, reflected in the sunken ships found in waters off Vis. There’s even a B-17 bomber that went down in 1944.Windsurfing and sailingare also a must. Or why notexplore the hilltop ‘ghost town’ of Humac on Hvar with its spectacular views of the Adriatic, then hike down to the Grapceva Spilja Ice Cave.TheFestival of Sword Dance, which runs throughout July and August, is Korčula’s recreation of a battle between two 16th-century armies, featuring soldiers dressed in flowing red and black uniforms, who each duel with genuine metal sabres in a tightly-choreographed frenzy, all to the accompaniment of a big brass band.Vanka Regule is a game in which participants free-dive, windsurf, long-distance kayak and jump bikes into the sea. It takes place in July in Sutivan on Brač.
Are you football mad? Will you be addicted to every game in Euro 2012, from the initial qualifier to the tense finals? Well, I have a confession to make. Although I will be supporting our team with gusto, thrilled at each goal and disappointed with each miss, I do have a tendency to daydream a little bit. At least I’m being honest about it, right? One of my favourite daydreaming topics is picturing myself on a picture perfect beach, or strolling up the cobbled streets of some historic town, possibly with a cocktail at the ready.
So with that in mind, I thought I’d offer some of the place I’ll be daydreaming about from Friday.. (in between huge cheers, of course!) Read More
Winter in the UK is cold, grey and wet. Definitely a good excuse to stay in the office. If you have the luxury to be able to leave, though, these are definitely the best and most popular places to hibernate and escape the winter blues..
An all-time British favorite, Spain offers amazing value for long-term getaways in an environment that caters distinctively to the British. It’s like home away from home – with better weather and cheaper food. Mainland Spain and the Balearics, such as Majorca and Ibiza, have much milder temperatures in the off-season months than the UK and you can even end up spending less than you would if you stayed home! The best part about it is that you’re no further than a 3-hour flight from the British cold – in case you ever want to go back, that is.
Take advantage of the almighty Pound compared to the US Dollar and spend a month or more in the USA’s favorite laid-back state. Florida has something for everyone, whether you’re retired, have a family, or want to party all night…and they speak English! Prices on flights out of the UK are quite moderate (you are crossing the ocean) and once you get there, accommodation is very cheap! You can have a villa or apartment to yourself for peanuts. If you feel adventurous, internal flights are cheap as well – go to New York, Las Vegas, or Los Angeles just for the weekend.
Australians go backpacking through Europe. Europeans go backpacking through Australia. It’s just the thing to do…and they speak English! The Pound will go far in Australia also, although the flights can be quite pricey. If you haven’t been to visit your second-cousins half way around the world, you definitely should. Australia is blessed with warm climate, beautiful beaches, and very friendly people. Australians celebrate their Christmas and New Year on the beach, since the seasons are opposite from the UK. No wonder it’s such a great place for you to hibernate the winter away.
4. Thailand. Indonesia (Bali). India.
Exotic, hot, and CHEAP. Sorry, they don’t speak much English. Spend a month or more immersing yourself in an amazing cultural experience surrounded by breathtaking natural surroundings. Better yet, choose one a year or, even better, one a month! These are developing countries that have a lot to offer. Pleasant and luxurious hospitality is available at prices you would have to see to believe. Jump on the “eat-pray-love” trend and go on a Yoga retreat. So many options, so little time…
Yes, Spain fits in here also, but we reserved this space for all the other wonderful destinations you can take advantage of in the winter months that are just around the corner. Europe has many popular, and cheap, places to get away on a long-term holiday. Among the favorites are Portugal, Malta, Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Croatia. Each of these countries has a distinct character and personality to offer – along with an unforgettable experience.