Europe has a lot of beaches where you can swim, surf and hang out. If you are looking for a great beach break on the continent, you need to know where to find the best beaches and The Spain Event can help out if you're set on Spain as a destination. Spain- La Concha, San Sebastian La Concha is the Chrysler Building of beaches. This means it is instantly recognisable, but still heart-lifting and thrilling to visit. La Concha is considered the most beautiful urban beach in Spain. It offers sparkling sapphire water, stunning cream sand and a forested headland. Santa Clara is an island that you can visit and there are a few boats around. The seafront dates back to when there were long summer residencies, hotels with plush carpets and areas for children to eat away from their parents. However, the city is now vibrant and full of life. There are two smaller beaches that flank La Concha. To the west is Ondarreta which ends with the Wind Comb sculpture by Eduardo Chillida. The other is Zurriola which is very popular with surfers and is beyond the Kursaal Palace. Turkey – Cirali, Kemer, Antalya If you are looking for the ultimate beach experience, you need to head to Cirali. This beach offers several miles of soft sand that you can step right into which is backed by orange groves. There are also shaded gardens complete with lanterns and hammocks. Holiday cabins are discreetly dotted around and linked to hotels such as the Arcadia. You can get an amazing breakfast there along with bikes to explore the surrounding villages. It is a place with a fierce commitment to the environment where the usual order is salads, beer and filled gözleme flatbreads served on timber platforms shaded from the sun. If you take a walk to the west of the beach, you will find the riverside footpath that takes you past a ticket office. This office is sometimes manned, but not always. Beyond this are the ruins of ancient Olympos. You can also hike or cycle out to Chimaera where the myth shrouded hillside has flaming gas vents. Portugal – Porto Covo, Costa Vincentina, Alentejo If you are looking for a more tranquil beach, Porto Covo is a horseshoe bay protected by cliffs and a haven for fishermen. The town close to the beach thrives on tourism today, but the cobbled streets and cottages tell a story of fishing nets and rowing boats which used to line the shore. This is a popular spot for hiking and is situated on the wild, south-western coats. You could try the Fishermen’s Trail which takes you across the clifftops to Villa Nova de Milfontes or you could try the circular inland trails. France – L’Herbe, Cap Ferret, Gironde People from Paris and Bordeaux view the thin peninsula around the Bay of Arachon as a playground but it also houses a number of working oyster farms. The clapboard oyster farmer’s cabins are separated by alleys in the village of L’Herbe while the tiny beach can be viewed from several oyster bars. It is a great place to spend some time enjoying chilled white wine and some freshly caught crustaceans. Italy – Fiorenzuola di Focara, Le Marche This beach is located down a zigzag path that takes 20 minutes to walk down from the walled village on the Parco Naturale del Monte San Bartolo, Le Marche. While this might seem like a lot of effort, the beach is worth it as it is a relatively unspoilt mixture of shingle and sand. The only buildings you can see are the roofs of the town above as you are faced with the Adriatic before you and cliffs behind you. This beach is fairly unique in Italy because of the DIY feeling you get. The sunshades are made with driftwood and the enclosure takes you away from life for a while. The walk back to town also helps you build up an appetite. Greece – Voidokilia, Peloponnese A beach like this one would generally be packed with development, but this one backs onto a nature reserve. This has left the area looking the same as it probably was when Homer included it in his Odyssey. The beach is a great example of the crescents of white sand that you picture when longing for the perfect beach. You can swim in the sheltered water or explore a cave and the castle ruins above the beach.
Sabah, Borneo, not only boasts the Mount Kinabalu tour, but the rich waters also offer some of the best diving locations in the world. With Layang-Layang, Mabul and Sipadan, Borneo is a scuba diver’s dream. Sabah is home to a diverse selection of marine life, from whale sharks to hammerheads in addition to offering muck diving opportunities. Some of the must-visit locations are covered below.
The Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park
You can start your Sabah diving escapades around the islands making up the Abdul Rahman Marine Park, which is twenty minutes away from Kota Kinabalu by speedboat. Coral reefs located in shallow waters surround the 5 small islands in the park. If you are new to diving, this park is a great place to encounter and observe a diverse selection of marine life thanks to its gentle currents. Mandarin fish, ghost pipefish and harlequin are some of the rare sea creatures you can find in Tunku Abdul Rahman Park. You should also keep your eyes open for whale sharks, which come to feed on plankton during the cooler season between November and February, while Hawksbill turtles may be seen every now and then.
The Island of Sipadan
Globally acclaimed for its thriving under water ecosystem, Sipadan Island is located at the centre of the Indo-Pacific basin. Considered to be one of the best, if not the best, diving locations in Sabah, and the world at large, Sipadan has more than 3,000 fish and coral species. The “turtle tomb”, which is a submerged system of caves filled with the skeletal remains of dead sea turtles, is also located in Sipadan, in addition to the varied marine life. Visitors can seek accommodation in nearby Mabul or Semporna as divers are no longer allowed to stay in Sipadan. Per day, only 120 diving permits are issued in an effort to conserve the coral. As such, be sure to make your Sipidan diving plans as early as possible.
The Island Resort of Layang-Layang
One of the most well-preserved dive locations in the whole world can be found in Layang-Layang, 186 miles off the western coast of Sabah. Layang-Layang is one of the world’s oceanic havens with walls that drop down to more than 2,000 metres in depth. Some of the commonly spotted sea creatures include threshers, silvertip, leopard sharks, gray sharks and hammerheads. The disputed waters of Layang-Layang are secured by a tiny Malaysian naval base that is closed off to tourists. A direct flight from Kota Kinabalu is the only way to access Layang-Layang. Between the months of March and October, visitors must make diving bookings through the Layang-Layang Island resort, which is the only accommodation on the island.
The Island of Mabul
Mabul is one of Asia’s top diving locations for two reasons; it’s close to Sipadan and is known for its world-class muck diving. In addition to having a number of accommodation options on the island, diving permits are not required in Mabul, unlike in Sipadan. Considered to be a great location for underwater macro photography, Mabul is one of the world’s most varied dive locations. Ranging between 25 and 30 metres in depth, the reef sits on the continental shelf. On every dive, you can expect to see squids, octopi and cuttlefish among other cephalopods along with abundant macro life. Semporna, located on Sabah’s southeastern tip is the main gateway to Mabul Island.
The Island of Labuan
Located about 71 miles from Kota Kinabalu you will find the duty free island of Labuan – popular among travellers criss-crossing between Sabah, Brunei and Sarawak who use it as a stopover. The numerous shipwrecks around the waters surrounding the island are the main attraction when it comes to diving. The 4 major wrecks, lying between 30 and 35 metres underwater can be explored by both new and experienced divers. During World War 2, the Dutch SS De Klerk and the USS Salute were sunk here. Add in a couple of civilian shipwrecks and you will see why Malaysia’s diving centre is considered to be Labuan. Visitors can ride the ferry from Bandar Seri Begawan or Kota Kinabalu to conveniently access Labuan Island. The island is also known for its numerous above-water attractions.
Summer is Cairo isn’t easy. Temperatures can easily rise to scorching values and the sun dominates the sky from dawn to dusk, making people flee toward coastal areas. Nonetheless, if you do want to spend your summer in the city, you may want to know a few basic rules to help you survive the heat and enjoy your time in Cairo. You’ll need to schedule your tours early in the morning, avoid hot buses in the second part of the day, and have a list of some good swimming pools in your neighbourhood. If you’re looking for Egypt Escapes, here are a few things to do in Cairo in the summer.
Attend The Salah El Din Citadel Music Festival
If you dare to get to Cairo in August, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the summer music festival at the Salah El Din Citadel in the Islamic part of the city. This event is extremely popular among locals, many of them being ready to put up with the scorching heat just to be able to attend this festival. Over the past few years, the festival has started to host artists from the entire Arab region, rather than solely Egyptian performers. The tickets are fairly inexpensive, but you’ll have to be quick to get one, as they sell out very fast. For as little as LE5, you’ll be able to enjoy the hilltop breeze and the various shows running from 8 pm to 10 pm or even later. After the sunset, Cairo comes to life, as locals gather in their favourite cafes for a shisha and a chat.
Refresh Yourself With a Late-Night Shisha
During summer, people wait for the sunset to get out of their homes to socialise with their peers. As soon as the sun goes down, you’ll see plastic chairs popping up from nowhere and crowds of people seeking to cool down with a nightly shisha. Just follow the crowd, grab a chair at one of these cafes, and enjoy your favourite flavour (try cool mint, by all means) and a lemonade. You can also get a seat at the Barrel Bar to enjoy a cold beer and admire the beautiful building of the historic Windsor Hotel. Even though it dates back from colonial times, this hotel is still one of the coolest places to enjoy a late-night beer.
Attend an Open-Air Show at Cairo Opera House
The original building of the Cairo Opera House burned down completely in 1971. It has been rebuilt in the same memorable architectural style. Unfortunately, it closes down during August, but if you get to Cairo in July, make sure you buy tickets to any of the evening music performances on their calendar. You may be able to see a program by the Cairo Symphony Orchestra, the Arab Music Ensemble, or an Egyptian modern dance show. Choose your favourite type of performance, whether you prefer modern art or classic ballet shows. After the show, head over to the Qasr El Nil Bridge to enjoy the water and the cool breeze of the night.
Get to the Closest Pool
You’ll find plenty of things to do during mornings and evenings. However, summer afternoons in Cairo don’t offer you too many choices. It is way too hot to tour the city. If you’re keen on doing something in the afternoon, find a pool, pay a day fare and refresh yourself swimming and relaxing near the water. Gezira Club in Zamalek, for instance, is one of the best ideas. A day ticket costs only LE150. The facility features two pools: one for leisure and fun; and one for serious swimming. If you’d rather spend your day by a pool with a view, you may want to choose the Hilton. Here, you’ll enjoy seamless poolside service and a breathtaking view.