Tuesday, January 26, 2010
If you’re a baseball fan then a stop at “The Ripken Experience” is a must or you can even book in your entire baseball team to experience a tournament baseball on a professional major league quality field. Restaurants are plenty but no trip would be complete without a stop at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville.
Water activities include boating, fishing, surfing, kayaking, scuba diving to name a few. However, crystal blue water and 60 miles of beach means the perfect place to lie around and simply sunbathe.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
The beach is split into two by seaside headland, to the north is North Vagator Beach and towards the south is Ozrant beach or the mini Vagator beach. And in the center is a tiny beach cut off from Ozrant down the cliff. This is Middle Vagator beach also called the Tel Aviv Beach. All three beaches are popular with tourist particularly British and Israeli tourists.
Inseparable from Vagator is the Chapora village inhibited by a predominantly fishing community. The village gives the beach an old world charm.
At Palolem, life seems to be just like living on the edge of the sea. Since Palolem is a tourist beach there are quite a few shacks selling sea food but the beach doesn't looks crowded. There are also some cafes and souvenir shops in the village. In spite of the commercialization, Palolem retains its charm of a village.
Colva is forty kilometres from Panaji, the Goan capital and two kilometres from Benaulim. Adjacent to Colva is its secret suburb, Sernbatim beach. Longest among all beaches in Goa, Colva stretches twenty kilometres along the Arabian sea, about six kilometres west of Margao. Lined with coconut palms throughout, Colva has Bogmalo in north and Cabo de Rama in south. In the pre colonial era, Colva had the honour of being the retreat zone of Margao's high society. While speaking of history of Colva, the name of Our lady of Mercy Church invariably comes up. More about the church in the later paragraphs.
While at Colva one can also see the beautiful houses and villas that dot the village. Another interesting thing about Colva is its popularity among the locals. Though the beach is fairly famous with foreign and Indian tourists, it is the locals who can be seen here in large numbers.
When in season (November to May) seafood restaurants sprout in large numbers on the main beach area. If you have deep pockets, than don't give any second thoughts, just enter and you will have the most romantic evening. With tablecloth, candles, soothing music and large portions to gorge on, you will not complain. And for budget tourists there are plenty of offers in the shacks. You will get excellent pasta and steak, varieties of Goan prawn curry. Swimming in Colva is another passtime.
Colva is fairly safe place to make a splash in water but don't venture in deepwaters unless you are a strong swimmer. Indulge in some trinket shopping or start collecting seashells and make your own collection. Though not in line with established rave party venues like Anjuna, Colva doesn't actually disappoints its visitors. There are few places where you can catch up with the party scene.
The greenery to the beach is lent by palm trees and casuarina groves and it presents an excellent view to the Mormugao harbour. The beach has the obvious advantage of being in proximity with the capital city. During festivals like Janmashtami and the feast of St. Lawrence, Dona Paula is immersed in the colours of festivity.
What lends the beach romantic angle is the legend behind the name of Dona Paula. The legend has it that Dona Paula was the daughter of the Viceroy in the colonial era and was in love with Gasper Dias, son of a fisherman. As their love could never be realized, they jumped together from the cliff to death. Furthermore it says that she is seen emerging from the sea wearing only a pearl necklace on moonlit nights. Haunted by the romantic tale of Dona Paula, the beach hold dual attraction for the Indian tourists. Its the same beach where film Ek Duje ke liye was shot.
The main road that is the Candolim Calangute road is packed with shops and restaurants, but the beach front is rather free of any commercial activity apart from some water activities. Though the beach is close to bustling Calangute beach, life is rather laid back at Candolim. Even the village isn't very clustered, its quite spread out so there isn't any centre to it as such. The area around the beach can be termed as resort free as there aren't any resorts there. However, the beach has quite a number of inns at reasonable prices with good facilities.
In a semicircle, under the shade of palm trees basking golden in the glory of sand is the 'queen of beaches', Calangute. Nine miles from the Goan Capital Panaji, the beach is spread four miles along the Arabian sea. On the north is hamlet of Baga and to the south is Candolim village. Take a break from the parties of Anjuna in the calm solitude here and you will be mesmerized forever.
It was hippies who first discovered Calangute in late 1960's and there on spread word about the beach. 1970's saw tourists from Europe coming in large numbers. The beach was even quite popular among the movie stars back then. Shashi Kapoor rented a house here and Raj Kapoor got inspiration for his blockbuster film 'Bobby' here. Over the decades the hippie culture has vanished but not the popularity of the beach. Round the year there are hoards of tourists coming to Calangute for that perfect escape from their hectic schedule.
The name Calangute according to locals is a distortion of the local vernacular word 'Koli-gutti', which means land of fishermen. Others say it has derived from Kalyangutti meaning the village of art, and still others say it came from the earlier name Konvallo -ghott because the village is full of coconut trees.
Nightlife of Calangute is in contrast to that of Anjuna. The bars close around ten pm, though few hippie joints still remain open. There is hardly any night life here, so if you are one of those party animals, Calangute is not the place for you.
'Life is a party'. If you live by this phrase then Goan beaches are the place you ought to be holidaying at. And even those who don't believe in the merriment of life will start giving second thoughts once they are here. Goa's beaches by nature are most versatile. From the peppy ones which are kept awake all night by trance parties to the long stretches of virgin beach territories, Goa has something to offer to every holiday mood. Being washed twice a day by tides and getting a new look every year courtesy the monsoons, each of the beaches exude a personality of their own.
There are beaches which are fully commercialized, have upmarket stores, massage centres, gym, night clubs and then there are ones which have no signs of habitation. While some are fairly safe for swimming, at others swimming is a complete no. The beaches are packed up with thrill with water sports ranging from parasailing to jet skiing, windsurfing to speed boating. The beach shacks serve all the sea food, the grilled and the roasted. Feni is more then a drink, its the staple drink and at night every second house on the beach will be open for the public offering cheap sea food and drinks.
Most beaches are named after the closest village. The scenic beauty of the beach is complemented with the red brick small houses of the village and white washed churches.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Ile du Levant, Mediterranean
This gem of a beach on the magical island of Levant is reached by an easy coastal footpath 10 mins walk from the quayside. A small natural cove of white sand slides gently into the turquoise sea, providing excellent swimming and snorkelling. The easiest way to get here is by ferry from Le Lavandou, between St Tropez and Toulon.
Seventy years ago Ile du Levant was the birthplace of nude leisure in France. Today, there is a tiny resident community and lots of holiday accommodation. Minimal clothing is normally worn in the village of Heliopolis, but the rest can be enjoyed as nature intended.
A fabulous setting of cliffs, mountains and a huge sweep of golden sand make this beach a wonderful place for all-over tanning and fine snorkelling. The sea shelves gently, making it suitable for families, and there are showers available. Refreshments are brought to the beach in season, and umbrellas are available.
The nude area is the last section of the beach, to the left as you face the sea, and unsurprisingly it is often the most popular part of the whole bay.
Near Playa del Ingles, southern Gran Canaria
Hundreds of acres of sand dunes, looking just like the Sahara, frame the beautiful beach between Maspalomas and the popular resort of Playa del Ingles. It’s 3 kms from one end to the other and over 1 km deep. The bare areas, like the swimsuited ones, have sunbeds and umbrellas for hire. For a quieter spot, walk into the vast expanse of dunes, but be careful not to get lost!
You can walk to the bare beach areas from either end, although the walk from Maspalomas town is slightly shorter.
Skiathos, near Koukounaries, on the south-west coast
Banana beach is the collective name for three lovely sandy bays well loved by nude bathers. Before you ask, the name refers to the fact the beaches are yellow and curved
During peak season bare bathers mainly use Little Banana, one of the smaller coves, as clothed holidaymakers descend on the main beach. Little Banana is often called the best bare beach in Greece, although there is plenty of competition for the accolade. There is a bus terminus and car park at the end of the Koukounaries road, coming from Skiathos town. The footpath to Banana takes 15 mins through olive groves.
This is Spain’s capital of bare bathing. The long wide sandy beach is popular in summer and has a big choice of naturist accommodation. Beach bars, sunbeds, pedalos and yes, if you really want to try the naturist cliché, beach volleyball are all available. Almeria has the hottest and driest climate in the country, so the beach season is almost year-round. Most European nationalities park their bottoms here, giving it a cosmopolitan and friendly atmosphere.
Take the coast road north from Garrucha, through Puerto Rey, and Vera Playa is well signposted after a further 1.5 kms.
Sunny Isles, north Miami
Situated in the south of the ‘Sunshine State’, this bare sandy beach has a huge following of visitors from across the globe. With glorious weather for most of the year and the vibrant city of Miami on the doorstep, it’s not difficult to see why. The bare area is more than 800 yards long and has its own lifeguards and unobtrusive police patrols. Refreshments, sunbeds and umbrellas are available.
The beach is at Haulover Beach Miami-Dade county regional park, on Collins Avenue (A1A), just north of fashionable Bal Harbour. There is a large car park ($5) right by the beach.
The route to the beach is a pleasant 15 minute walk along the shore, heading north from the resort town of Colonia Sant Jordi. Start at the Hotel Marques Del Palmer, and it’s the third bay along. The fourth bay, if you walk further, also happens to be a bare beach, part of the much larger Es Trenc beach.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Air: Newcastle International Airport. Rail: Metroland has its own station, Newcastle Metro. Road: Bus: Public services. Car: Well signposted and large car parks.
Tel: 0191 493 2048
Tel: (01202) 253253
Air: London's City Airport, Gatwick Airport, Heathrow Airport, Luton Airport and Stansted Airport. Rail: Underground: Piccadilly and Green Park or a short walk from Oxford Circus and Bond Street. Road: Bus: Public services.
Telephone 020 7300 8000
Air: Norwich Airport. Rail: Norwich train station. Road: Bus: Public services. Car: A47.
Tel: 01760 726100
Air: Newquay Airport, Exeter Airport and Plymouth Airport (domestic services).Rail: Penzance Station. Road: Bus: Public services.
Tel: 01736 710507
Air: Copenhagen Airport. Rail: Train: Copenhagen Central Station or S-Bahn to København H. Road: Bus: Services to Town Hall Square. Car: Signs to the city centre and the Town Hall.
Tel: 3315 1001
Air: Billund International Airport. Rail: Train: Vejle, Kolding or Fredericia stations. Road:Bus: Regular public services. Car: A7/E-45 (exit 63), then route 441 and route 28 (from the south); E-45 (exit 60), then route 28 (from the north); E-20 (exit 61), then route 18 and route 28 (from Copenhagen).
Tel: 7533 1333
Air: Copenhagen Airport. Rail: Train: Elsinore Station or Grønnehave Station. The castle is approximately 15 minute’s walk from Elsinore Station. Road: Bus: Regular services.
Tel: 4921 3078
Tel: (020) 323 887
Tel: (+385) (0)21 348 600
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Tel: (057) 239 220
Tel: (02) 474 8977
Tel: (02) 513 8940
Tel: (02) 513 8940