Posts Tagged 'Greece'

International Summer Beach Hotspots

Looking to soak up the sun this summer? We at Gulliver recommend you pack the lotion, flip flops, and beach towel and head to the international shores. Here are a few great beach destinations to consider if you’re studying abroad or just traveling for fun.

Placencia, Belize

Hailed as one of the best beaches in Belize, Placencia is located at the southern tip of a long, narrow peninsula in the Stan Creek District. Beach-goers have more than 16 miles of white sand from which to choose.  If you need a little more adventure, try a popular half-day kayak trip through the mangroves of Monkey River. You’ll spot crocodiles, howler monkeys, and manatees floating around. Build up an appetite? Head to one of the beach bars for some shrimp burritos or fish tacos!

Morro de Sao Paulo, Brazil

Explore Morro de Sao Paulo

Explore Morro de Sao Paulo

Get away from the hustle and bustle of Rio and take a ferry to Tinhare Island, better known as Morro de Sao Paulo. Pick from not one, but four beautiful beaches.  Beach “Two” is known for it’s youth culture, night life, and “Rodas de Capoeira,” a form of Brazilian martial art. Once a real weapon, now an acrobatic dance, the “Rodas” takes place each day at sunset. The “First” beach offers pousadas (inns), which cater to the international surfing community.  Beach “Four” is the most peaceful, with good snorkeling and some of the most colorful fish in Brazil.  If you’re lucky you’ll also see dolphins and humpback whales! If these beaches prove too touristy for you, head further north to Ceare and Canoa Quebrada.

Latvia

Latvia is probably not the first place that comes to mind when thinking about beach towns. According to the UK Times, however, this small Baltic nation has beaches that rival those in Brazil and Australia. There are numerous choices along the 330 miles of Latvian coast, including Jurmlala on the Latvian Riviera. Looking to party? Check out Liepāja, a coastal city with funky hotels, night clubs and cafés, and reasonably priced food and drinks. For those explorers, Liepāja also has medieval churches, tsarist era fortifications, and an abandoned prison well-known for its paranormal activity.

Koh Tarutao, Thailand

Speaking of prisons… this beautiful serene stretch of National Marine Park in Thailand served as a “Prison Island” during World War II. Legend has it that many of those prisoners turned to piracy. Today, the Island is best known as the original setting for the hit TV show “Survivor.” Ko Tarutao is filled with waterfalls and caves, where some say the pirates stashed their booty. The island offers white sandy beaches, coastal trees, a friendly local atmosphere, and clear blue water.

Navagio Beach, Greece

Navagio Beach Offers Jaw-Dropping Views

Shipwreck Beach Offers Jaw-Dropping Views

It’s hard to leave Greece off a list of summer beaches. Our advice…explore the remote, sandy cove of Navagio Beach.  The beach, surrounded by cliffs on the Ionian island of Zakynthos, is accessible only by boat.  The beach was originally called Agios Georgios until a Navagio (“Shipwreck” in English) became a permanent fixture. Today the wreckage of a marooned vessel, dating back to 1983, remains half-emerged in the sand.  Catch a cruise tour from the villages of Volimes or Porto Vromi. While there, hit up the island’s other treasure, the Blue Caves at Skinari – massive airy grottos that are big enough to snorkel, swim, or boat through.

These are just a few beaches to discover – do you have a favorite of your own?

Summer Adventures: Sailing Around the World

Hit the open sea this summer! Whether it’s kayaking, yacht cruising, sailing, or wind surfing there’s no better way to spend a summer break than enjoying the water. Studying Abroad? Take a break from land-based activities for a few days. Here are some places that offer unforgettable experiences away from land.

Greece

Sail Along the Miki Canal

Sail Along Greece's Miki Canal

It’s Greece, need we say more?  When you’re not sunbathing on the beach,  explore this magical country by sea! Broaden your horizons and visit the islands that make up one-fifth of the country.  Explore the Saronic Gulf.  Check out the island of Aegina, a short sail from Athens. Trek to the ancient Temple of Aphaia high on a hill to the northeast to catch some of the most unforgettable sunset views. Spice it up Italian style and visit Naplion, an old Venetian town further north in the Saronic Gulf. You’ll also find the island of Spetsae, which is surrounded by small boatyards where they still build traditional wooden fishing crafts. Another option- sail the Turkish coast. Your best bet is to sail in May, early June, or September. Find more sailing options here.

New Zealand

Let the wind guide you along New Zealand’s beautiful coastline. Check out the old whaling town of Russell, a short sail from Auckland. Visit the museum and the church, which is the oldest in the country. Across the water lies Waitangi, New Zealand’s most important historical site. The Treaty House and Maori meeting house are both national monuments. Another can’t miss- The Bay of Islands offers everything from uninhabited islands to small coves and steep hills. Sail around Cape Brett to Whangamumu Harbor, which operated as a whaling station until the 1930s. By the way, New Zealand is the only destination in the world where you can set sail in the morning and ski in the afternoon!

Scotland

Relax Along Scotland's West Coast

Relax Along Scotland's West Coast

As fun as it is to explore the historic locales of Scotland, the Scottish coast is big on water sports. Pick your poison- go wreck diving, kayaking, sailing, take in scenic views, or discover an unspoiled underwater environment.  What lurks underwater? You’ll find colorful anemones, soft corals, kelp forests, crustacea, pelagic and demersal fish, seals, dolphins, and an occasional whale or basking shark. Sounds cool!  Did you know Scotland is also one of Europe’s top destinations for windsurfing and waterskiing?  Introduce yourself to another side of the Scottish landscape!

Our advice? When you tire of land exploration, see what the sea has to offer! It will no doubt be a memorable- and original experience.

Here are a few other sites to check out:


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