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Archive for the ‘A Treasure of a Beach (Best Beaches)’ Category

A Guide to Beaches in Cyprus

Posted by Jody on August 6, 2013

Today’s Featured Guest Writer is Dan Perdomo. 

A Guide to Beaches in Cyprus

Picture the scene. You’re lying on a beach covered with soft white sand. A thatch parasol shades you from the sun’s glorious rays. In front of you, all you can see is the blueness of the sea meet the equally blue sky with not a cloud in sight. All that can be heard is the gentle lapping of waves coming into shore. Is there anything more relaxing than a beach holiday?

A beach holiday is perfect when you need to take a break and press pause on life. A well deserved break is just what’s needed to allow you to rejuvenate and be able to think clearly. Question is, what destination has the best beaches?

Cyprus would appear in many people’s list of countries with the best beaches in Europe. Don’t be fooled by the islands diminutive size. 57 of its beaches were awarded a Blue Flag – confirmation of the quality and cleanliness – beating its previous record of 56. So it’s fair to say Cyprus is blessed with many exceptional beaches. Here are my picks you just have to visit the next Cyprus holiday you take.

Coral Bay, Cyprus (Photo by Evgeniy Isaev/Flickr)

Coral Bay, Cyprus (Photo by Evgeniy Isaev/Flickr)

Best all-rounder – Coral Bay

Coral Bay is widely considered to be the best beach on the island, evidenced by the number of locals and tourists who pack the area year in year out! It’s no coincidence this beach draws in large numbers of visitors as it has a little something for everyone, whether it’s soft sands, gentle waters or beautiful landscape. Tourism has continued to boom, which means there are plenty of great places to eat and drink, whilst the promenade is lined with luxury hotels and resorts for an extra special holiday.

Nature/Wildlife – Golden Sands Beach

It’s hard to believe there is space for nature or wildlife to be free to enjoy the beach with so many tourists, but there is. Most of the unspoilt beaches can be located on the Karpaz Peninsula in Northern Cyprus. This area is perhaps the only place devoid of developments and, therefore, tourists. While facilities and services are few and far between, it does mean the beach is a safe sanctuary for nature and wildlife to live and grow. Watch nature at its best at Golden Sands Beach – also known as Turtle Bay – where a colonisation of sea turtles lay their blue eggs.

Golden Beach, Cyprus (Photo by Franco Pecchio/Wikipedia)

Golden Beach, Cyprus (Photo by Franco Pecchio/Wikipedia)

Quiet – Green Bay

If you prefer your beach to be a serene and tranquil haven, the small beach of Green Bay is perfect for you. The beach is located south east of the island and is a stark contrast with its noisy neighbour Aiya Napa. Its quiet nature is perhaps down to poor signposting; it can be found just south of Protaras beach. With few visitors around, you’ll be free to read your book in peace, clear your mind or just bask in the beautiful sunshine.

Romantic – Kervansaray Beach

What could be more romantic than a picnic on a beach with gorgeous landscape as far as the eye can see? Any beach in Cyprus could fulfil this scene, but for a truly unique experience, visit Kervansaray Beach. Located around 6km west of the picturesque town of Kyrenia, this pretty and secluded oasis is located in a lovely cove – perfect for hiding away from the world with a loved one.

Family – Makronissos Beach

With 57 Blue Flag beaches to choose from, there’s no shortage of clean and quality beaches for families to visit. One of the best beaches for families has to be Makronissos Beach. It could be said Makronissos Beach is three beaches in one; a long main beach flanked by two smaller bays, all complete with soft sands. But it’s the gently shelving sands into the water that are the main feature and draw for families, meaning safe calm waters to swim in.

About the Author:  Dan Perdomo is a travel blogger and writes about various destinations around the world. He plans to travel the world – when he wins the lottery. Until then, he enjoys booking holidays to Cyprus, his favourite destination in the world.

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Posted in A Treasure of a Beach (Best Beaches), Beaches of Europe, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Beaches in Brazil: Praia do Amor and Praia Bela

Posted by E.G.D. on July 31, 2013

Today’s Featured Writer is Thaynara Alves Goulart.

Praia do Amor – Love Beach

I had the amazing experience of traveling through the Brazilian northeast region with my family, and one of the places we visited was the city of João Pessoa, the capital of the state Paraíba. The beach I chose to talk about here isn’t exactly in João Pessoa, but in Jacumã – 15 km/9 miles away from João Pessoa, and because it is so close, I’d say it’s better to stay there than Jacumã.

The city of Jacumã is really small, 16.008 residents, and doesn’t offer that much for tourists (or residents in general) aside from it’s gorgeous beaches. I figured this beach deserved recognition because as well as being beautiful, it has a fun myth with one of it’s peculiar attractions: the Pedra Furada (Perforated Stone). And what is it? It’s a volcanic stone that, in ancient times when Brazilian indians lived nearby and made their wedding ceremonies, they went inside the rock. According to them, couples passing through the stone brings joy and add a lot of years to the relationship.

Ready for a Wedding (photo by the author)

Ready for a Wedding (photo by the author)

Praia do Amor (photo by the author)

Praia do Amor (photo by the author)

praiadamr

photo by the author

When you get there, there’s a free parking lot, and you walk a while until you reach the ocean. There are some bars and restaurants too, and they serve delicious food and snacks. The ocean is easy and warm; the perfect place for those of you who have babies and children.

Beautiful Beach (photo by the author)

Beautiful Beach (photo by the author)

Praia Bela – Beautiful Beach

I have to mention this beach, and the reason why I am going to is because it is on the same coast as Love Beach – what separates them is nothing but stones, volcanic rocks and some seaweed. This one is more low-key when compared to Love Beach, but it has bars and restaurants of it’s own.

Praia Bela (photo by the author)

Praia Bela (photo by the author)

It is dangerous to visit these places at night, the tide is high and it takes over this entire sand area.

Brazil’s northeast region is beautiful, truly enchanting. The variety of beaches is huge and what is around them, 90% of the time, is extremely pleasant. Receptive, kind people + great food + fun is what I found visiting João Pessoa, especially these two places mentioned in this post. Whoever is interest and wants to see more of it, I found a video on youtube that shows how amazing it looks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTQbkavy97U.  Enjoy!

About the Author: I’m a 19 years old Brazilian law student, and due to my dad’s profession I lived in 8 different cities so far. I travel around Brazil and I know 90% of it’s states now. Traveling is a passion of mine, and learning about different cultures and languages came along with it, I think. People say I’m very spontaneous and fun, because I try to make new friends wherever I go.  My blog is at www.cametofind.wordpress.com.

Thanks, Thaynara, for sharing these amazing beaches with us!  What fun! I’ll make it a point to give these a visit if I ever find myself in Brazil – E.G.D.

Posted in A Treasure of a Beach (Best Beaches), Beaches of South America, Featured Guest Writer | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Ruth Richards’ Top 5 Best Family-Friendly Beach Resorts in the World

Posted by E.G.D. on July 3, 2013

Today’s featured guest post writer is Ruth Richards from The Holiday Place.

For those traveling with family, a beach resort can make the ideal holiday destination. Kicking back with a good book or getting down to work with a bucket and spade is the best way to get away from the stresses of work and spend quality time with your loved ones, and thankfully, there are endless options across the world.

Let’s take a look at five of what I consider to be the best family-friendly beach resorts. My workplace and I have picked these five based on our own personal experiences, our future travel plans, and recommendations from high quality sources in the travel field.

Long Beach, Mauritius

Mauritius holidays are synonymous with relaxing beaches and taking a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Long Beach may be a relatively new resort, but it is advanced in its offerings. You’ll find sunshine, amazing architecture, and maybe even an insight into tropical sea life. Take lots of sun cream, as the temperatures really soar during peak season. While I’ve never visited this one, it’s been on my family’s to-do list for quite some time, and we can’t wait for the opportunity to see it up-close and personal.

Coral Bay, Cyprus (photo by Ronald Saunders from Wikimedia Commons)

Coral Bay, Cyprus (photo by Ronald Saunders from Wikimedia Commons)

Coral Bay, Cyprus

Coral Bay is known for its long, sandy beaches, and the shallow and calm waters make it the perfect choice for those traveling with little ones. Paphos, the historical centre of the area, is just a short bus journey away, meaning that you can easily combine culture with relaxation. It’s no wonder that Teletext Holidays include Coral Bay in their top ten destinations. I’ve personally visited this beach, and I’ll definitely be returning in the near future!

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

Massachusetts is a state of the east coast of the United States, full of pleasant beaches. One of my personal favourites is the beach at Martha’s Vineyard. Quite literally an old vineyard on the beach that has been updated with modern facilities, this location is a truly unique corner of the globe that offers a holiday like no other. As well as blue seas, there are plenty of activities to keep children occupied. It’s also a favourite of Forbes, so you can be sure that it comes recommended from those in the know.

Cala Capra, Sardinia

Cala Capra is situated on the east coast of Sardinia, and benefits from two calm bays and stunning views across the waters. Situated on a tiny peninsula, it’s like a little piece of heaven away from the busier resorts. There are many trees for offering shade from the midday heat, and there’s an excellent selection of restaurants, cafes, and watersports. Make sure that you sample the local cuisine, which is one of the reasons why many people return year after year. The beach of Le Saline is just 200m away, and is also worth a visit when you’re in the area.

Siesta Key Sunset (photo by Motmel from Wikimedia Commons)

Siesta Key Sunset (photo by Motmel from Wikimedia Commons)

Siesta Key, Florida

Siesta Key is widely regarded as one of the best beaches in the whole of the USA. There are lifeguards present throughout the year, and lots in the way of activities and family friendly eateries and picnicking areas. As you’d imagine from Florida, the shops are pretty good too. Take your plastic and treat yourself a little! I’ve visited this beach several times, and can vouch for the fun atmosphere that you’ll always find here.

Will you be taking a beach holiday this year? Which of these destinations will you be considering?

About the Author: This article was brought to you by Ruth Richards on behalf of The Holiday Place. Ruth is seasoned copywriter and blogger.  She currently resides in Durham, UK.  You can add her in Google+ -.

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 What a great way to head into the long holiday weekend: with family-friendly fun at the beach! Thank you so much, Ruth!

Posted in A Treasure of a Beach (Best Beaches), Featured Guest Writer | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Australian Beach Holiday: 5 Must-Visit Beaches for an Enjoyable Vacation

Posted by Jody on March 26, 2013

Today’s Featured Guest Post Writer is Ella Rich.

Australian Beach Holiday: 5 Must-Visit Beaches for an Enjoyable Vacation

Bounded by the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Australia is one of the best places to enjoy a perfect beach vacation. Whether you are visiting the East, South and West coasts of the country or looking forward to a great surfing vacation, Australia is one place that will make your beach vacation unique and memorable. Check out some of the best and must-visit beaches in this amazing country.

Bells Beach (Photo by Chensiyuan/Wikimedia Commons)

Bells Beach (Photo by Chensiyuan/Wikimedia Commons)

  • Bells Beach – Hot Spot for an Enjoyable Surfing Vacation

If you thoroughly enjoy surfing and are looking for such a hotspot in Australia, then you must head to the Bells Beach. Your beach vacation will remain incomplete without visiting this beach. Nestled on the coast of Victoria, you will get a chance to witness the world’s longest running surfing competition – Rip Curl Pro Surf & Music Festival when you are here.

Byron Bay (Used with permission: Shot at Byron/Wikimedia Commons)

Byron Bay (Used with permission: Shot at Byron/Wikimedia Commons)

  • Byron Bay – Must-Visit for an Ultimate Beach Holiday

Being among the most renowned seaside hotspots, Byron Bay guarantees its visitors the ultimate beach holiday experience. Over the past few years, this sandy beach has been attracting people looking to take pleasure in fun-filled activities like deep sea diving and kayaking in the company of dolphins. Byron Bay boasts of pristine sandy beaches dotted with lush green surroundings. The cool coastal winds and mesmerizing beauty of the entire area near Byron Bay is one of the major reasons you must come here to spend your beach vacation.

Whitehaven Beach (Photo by Isderion/Wikimedia Commons)
Whitehaven Beach (Photo by Isderion/Wikimedia Commons)
  • Have a Rejuvenating Vacation at Whitehaven Beach

Nestled on the Whitsunday Island, this pristine beach possesses the purest form of white silica sand in the world. Immerse your feet into the sand and make your way slowly into the warm waves that gently lap the shore. You will wonder why people from all over the world never miss out visiting this amazing beach.

If you want to have a day trip to Whitehaven Beach you can hire ferries, yachts and power boats from Airlie Beach. Besides, luxury cruising yachts are also available to make your beach vacation memorable.

Cable Beach (Photo by Zoharby/Wikimedia Commons)
Cable Beach Before Sunset (Photo by Zoharby/Wikimedia Commons)
  • Wade Through the Pristine Waters of Cable Beach

Popular for its crystal clear waters, the Cable Beach in Western Australia is one of the most magnificent beaches in the world. Being cleaned up by tides that gently lap the shore; Cable Beach offers the perfect environment, allowing you to wade through the pristine waters, making your beach vacation relaxing. Enjoy the innumerable water sports activities available here and the sunset.

Cottesloe Beach (Photo by Michael Spencer/Wikimedia Commons)
Cottesloe Beach (Photo by Michael Spencer/Wikimedia Commons)
  • Snorkel at Perth’s Stunning Cottesloe Beach

If you want to indulge in sports activities like swimming, surfing and snorkeling, then the Cottesloe Beach in Perth is just an ideal spot for your beach vacation. Apart from these adventure activities, you can also enjoy a glass of wine or some refreshing beer as the sun begins to set. This spot is also ideal for a relaxed dinner.

The alluring beauty of this beach makes it stand out from other beaches in the city. Shady pines, smooth terraced lawns and pristine sands make this beach an ideal destination to spend a lethargic afternoon with family. Pristine waters make Cottesloe Beach a regular must-visit spot for swimmers and surfers. Snorkelers too enjoy hitting the water because of the presence of rocks and reefs. You can explore the city better with the help of guided walking tours of Perth.

Make your beach holiday experience unique and unforgettable by visiting these beaches in Australia.

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About the Author: Ella Rich is a travel blogger and trip organizer by profession. She has great experience in indigenous tours. She loves traveling to new places and discovering exotic cultures and cuisines. Sharing her travel experience through blogging is her real hobby. 

You can find Ella’s latest work at MyBusinessCentral.com.

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Posted in A Treasure of a Beach (Best Beaches), Beaches of Australia and New Zealand, Featured Guest Writer, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , | 8 Comments »

Best Beaches of Batangas, Philippines

Posted by alainaflute on January 22, 2013

A popular destination near Metro Manila, Batangas is a province known for its gorgeous beaches. According to PhilippinesBoard.com, these are the top 5 beaches close to Manila-Philippines (all found in Batangas):

Map of the Philippines showing the location of Batangas (© Eugene Alvin Villar, 2003)

Map of the Philippines showing the location of Batangas (© Eugene Alvin Villar, 2003)

Matabungkay Beach

Located in Lian, Batangas, Matabungkay Beach is popular among locals and tourists alike. The sea breeze is refreshing, and the waves are gentle, thanks to a small coral reef about 50 meters off shore from the low tide mark. Matabungkay is known for its bamboo raft rentals for swimming, snorkeling, or even picnicking on the water!

Matabungkay, Lian, Batangas, Philippines (Hyougushi / Hideyuki KAMON / Wikimedia Commons)

Matabungkay, Lian, Batangas, Philippines (Hyougushi /Hideyuki KAMON /Wikimedia Commons)

Calatagan Beaches

A popular destination of the elite, Calatagan is home to several beach resorts, some of which “have swimming pools adjoining the sea to give guests the choice of enjoying the pool, the sea, or bothColorful fishing boats also dominate the seascape and some are made available to tourists who wish to roam the shorelines for a fee.”

Map of Batangas showing the location of Calatagan (Mike Gonzalez/ Wikimedia Commons)

Map of Batangas showing the location of Calatagan (Mike Gonzalez/Wikimedia Commons)

Bauan Beaches

The town of Bauan, Batangas touts several great beaches that are great for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. Notably, the Portulano Dive Resorthas an ideal beach front and coastline conducive for good and satisfying dives.” Also, you’ll be able to find lovely places to enjoy “the cool and gentle waves of the azure South China Sea and ample grounds of fine sandy beaches for sun bathing, leisurely walking, frolicking, and picnicking.”

San Juan Beaches offer stretches of fine sand with great views of the “cerulean” sea (I had to look that up – it’s another word for azure). San Juan is also known for its beach resorts. You’ll have absolutely no trouble shedding your cares on these relaxing beaches!

Virgin Beach, Laiya, San Juan, Batangas, Philippines (Urville86/Wikimedia Commons)

Virgin Beach, Laiya, San Juan, Batangas, Philippines (Urville86/Wikimedia Commons)

Kabayan Beach

If you’re looking for affordable quality, Kabayan Beach is your destination for “clear water, gentle waves, fine and clean sand, comfortable amenities for sun bathing, some water sports, picnicking, and cooking…”

I don’t know about you, but I’m putting Batangas on my beachy vacation to-do list!  Sun, fun, sand, surf, and a reason to use the word cerulean!  Who could ask for more?

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Posted in A Treasure of a Beach (Best Beaches), Beaches of Asia, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , | 18 Comments »

Happy New Year!

Posted by Jody on December 31, 2012

OK, maybe it doesn’t come close to the Sydney New Year’s US$6.9 million fireworks extravaganza from the steel arch Habour Bridge, and it has nothing near the glitz of the First Night celebration with the well known Zambelli Fireworks spectacular over Boston Harbor, but it is a room with a great view and a fireworks show!

So, Happy New Year with all the glitter and glow from Waikiki Beach’s man made Hilton Lagoon (aka: Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Lagoon)! The ocean beach next to the lagoon, Duke Kahanamoku Beach, has been named the #2 beach in America for 2012 by the well-respected “Dr. Beach.”  This is where world famous Waikiki Beach begins.

The Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Lagoon is the setting of a free fireworks display, hosted by the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa, which takes place every Friday evening. It’s one fine show!

A room with a view, Honolulu, Hawaii

A Room with a View, Honolulu, Hawaii

Hilton Lagoon, Waikiki Beach

Hilton Lagoon, Waikiki Beach

View of the Hilton Lagoon Fireworks, Waikiki

View of the Hilton Lagoon Fireworks, Waikiki

View of the Hilton Lagoon Fireworks, Waikiki Beach

View of the Hilton Lagoon Fireworks, Waikiki Beach

The Hilton Lagoon has always been one of our favorite sandy spots on Waikiki. This family friendly, kid pleasing swimming and recreation center boasts five full acres of splashable fun that is open to Hilton Hawaiian Village guests and the general public, alike. It’s also the spot where you can catch a parade of brides and grooms posing for dazzling and dramatic wedding photos, with sun-drenched Waikiki Beach and iconic Diamond Head as their backdrop. This is the perfect place to catch those amazing Hawaiian sunrises, too!

By the way, do you recognize this unique building?  It’s the Ilikai, where Detective Lieutenant Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord), the head of a special state police task force, is standing in the opening credits for the original Hawaii 5-O. “Book ‘em, Danno.”

Here are a couple helpful links: Beachcombing on Waikiki Beach (includes family friendly freebies near Waikiki Beach)

Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Lagoon, aka: The Hilton Lagoon

Aloha and Beat Wishes for 2013!

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Posted in A Treasure of a Beach (Best Beaches), Beaches of The Hawaiian Islands, Monday Miscellaneous, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Best Beaches Near Brisbane

Posted by Jody on November 13, 2012

Jody:

What a wonderful list! The Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, islands and park lands, whales and dolphins! What’s not to love about the Best Beaches Near Brisbane?

Thank you so much for sharing!

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Originally posted on Brisbane & Beyond:

Now that the temperatures are rising in Brisbane, we’ll all be thinking about a visit to the beach to cool down. We’re a bit lucky in Brisbane because we have the Gold Coast beaches stretching to the south and the Sunshine Coast to the north, plus the islands of Moreton Bay. With so many beautiful beaches within an hour or two’s drive, it can be difficult to decide where to go.  Here are a couple of our family favourites.

Bulcock Beach – Caloundra

Bulcock Beach – Caloundra

This beach is sheltered from the surf and is great for little kids. There can be a strong tidal flow so you need to be in the water with young children. We like to use the flow for a free ride along the beach. You jump out, run up the beach and do it again. There are picnic tables and cafes nearby.

Kings…

View original 594 more words

Posted in A Treasure of a Beach (Best Beaches), Beaches of Australia and New Zealand, Tallies & Tips, Whales and Dolphins | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Ghost of Kate Morgan

Posted by Jody on October 26, 2012

The Hotel Del Coronado, Coronado, California

Reports of paranormal activity related to the 1892 death of the beautiful, young Kate Morgan at the beach-side Hotel Del Coronado are well known to the locals and the visitors of this sprawling, Victorian seaside resort. According to “The Del’s” public relations department:

“Hotel guests, employees, and even paranormal researchers have attested to some supernatural occurrences at The Del.  Witnesses report flickering lights, televisions that turn on and off by themselves, dramatic shifts in room temperatures, odd scents, unexplained voices, the sound of strange footsteps, mysterious breezes which cause curtains to billow when windows are closed, and objects which move of their own accord; still others claim to have seen the ghost of Kate Morgan herself.”

Years ago, our family spent Christmas week at The Del. Not one of us encountered Kate Morgan’s spirit or experienced any spooky happenings.  In fact, all five of us even scuttled past Kate’s room (#3327) on several occasions! No luck. Maybe we were just looking too hard.

Wide, sandy beach at The Hotel Del Coronado

The wide beach on which The Hotel Del sits is super clean. It stretches along 1 ½ miles of stunning San Diego County coastline. With its glistening sand, gentle waves and the backdrop of the iconic Hotel del Coronado, it’s the ideal Southern California destination. It is no wonder that, in 2012, the well-respected “Dr. Beach” crowned Coronado Beach “America’s Best Beach” with the release of his 22nd annual Top 10 Beach List.

The Sand Castle Man at work on the beach at the Hotel Del Coronado.

If you’re heading to Coronado, be sure to look for The Sand Castle Man (aka: Billy Pav) who likes to work (play?) on the beach near The Hotel Del.  He’s a friendly, award winning sand sculptor who loves to chat with passers-by about his rather unique craft. I forgot to ask him if he’s met Kate Morgan!

More related links:

Ghostly Goings-On at the Hotel Del Coronado (San Diego.org)

Guest Post: Let’s start the summer at Coronado Beach!

Cruisin’ Coronado (Travel Monkey)

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Posted in A Treasure of a Beach (Best Beaches), Friday Finds, Southern California Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Top 5 Beaches in the Eastern Cape (South Africa)

Posted by Jody on October 2, 2012

Today’s Featured Writer is Roseanna McBain

Surfer at Sunrise (ReeSaunders/Flickr)

Top 5 Beaches in the Eastern Cape, South Africa

The long, lush coastline of the Eastern Cape has plenty of wild floras around, opportunity for bird watching, wonderful cuisine, and more than a few activities to keep you occupied when you’re not working on your tan.

Jeffrey’s Bay – it would be remiss not to place this surfing nirvana first on the list. The Billabong Pro Surfing competition is held here annually, and almost year-round you can expect to find surfing gurus dotted about the water. The long stretch of pristine beach means families and couples gather here often during the warmer months. Make sure you book accommodation in this area well ahead of your arrival, as the majority of Jeffrey’s Bay accommodations are booked several months in advance.

A sunrise at J-Bay (Photo: ReeSaunders/Flickr)

Eastern Beach – situated in central East London, this beach is opposite Marina Glen and the main attraction here is the large collection of black rocks which make for some stunning photographs –if you have children they’ll have an absolute blast scrambling over these boulders! There are several changing rooms, restaurants and takeaway options, so if you don’t feel like packing a picnic make sure to stop off at one of the popular places along the way. A word of warning: don’t visit this beach over the New Year period, especially on New Year’s Day, as it’s one of the most popular local spots
around and can become tightly packed.

Relaxing in Style (Photo: FlickreviewR/Wikimedia Commons)

Coffee Bay – this stunning area has a very unique rock formation dubbed “Hole in the Wall” – it is attached to a cliff which juts into the sea. The Xhosa call it “iziKhaleni” – meaning place of thunder– as the water rushing through the hole can be heard from quite far away. A romantic Xhosa myth about how the hole was formed goes as follows: There was once a fair maiden who visited this shoreline, and a sea man saw her and fell in love. He begged her father to let her come away with him, but the father refused. The merman enlisted the help of a giant fish, who battered down a portion of the cliff (the hole) through which the sea man and his friends swept through and took the fair maiden away. The warm waters, soft sand, and picturesque scenery make this a must-see destination.

Humewood – this was the first blue flag beach in South Africa, and it is still very popular with locals and tourists alike. There is plenty of shade for when the sun becomes a bit too warm. There is a very family friendly vibe here, due in part to the beach being adjacent to Happy Valley, which offers some fun children’s entertainment. There are lifeguards on duty for six months of the year (November to April), and there are great opportunities for water sports, including fishing, snorkeling, surfing, swimming, and water skiing.

The lovely beach stretch of Port St. Johns (Photo: garethphoto/Flickr)

Port St Johns, Wild Coast – referred to locally as the Jewel of the Wild Coast, Port St. Johns beach seems to have it all: soft sand, warm waters, and long sun-drenched days. Take your camera with and get a picture of Thesiger and Sullivan, the twin mountains on either side of the river mouth leading to the ocean. A laid back community inhabits the town, and backpackers are frequent visitors to this area.

Author Bio: Roseanna McBain works for the Eastern Cape accommodation and booking website, TravelGround. She enjoys exploring the world around her, finding new eclectic shops, watching science fiction series, and herbal teas.

Posted in A Treasure of a Beach (Best Beaches), Beaches of Africa, Surfing Beach, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Coastal Living’s “Top 10 Shelling Beaches”

Posted by alainaflute on September 13, 2012

If your favorite activity is combing the sand, beaches rarely disappoint. With a little creativity, there is always something to pick up, whether it’s a sea bean, seashell, polished glass, or piece of drift wood. However, if you are looking to really score some fabulous finds, with a little research, you can find the best shelling beaches before you travel.

Steve Millburg (Coastal Living’s website, March 2007) gives us the skinny on the best places to shell:

Sunset on Sanibel Island, Florida

1. Sanibel Island, Florida
This one probably comes as no surprise. Having been there several times with my family, most of my jars and salt shakers of beach finds comes from Sanibel Island. The fabulous variety of colors, shapes, and sizes are sure to please anyone who combs its shores. According to Millburg, “Seashells cover the beaches, tinkling like wind chimes as they tumble over one another in the waves. Low-key development, abundant wildlife, and great restaurants make the island a wonderful all-around getaway.”

2. Ocracoke Island, North Carolina
Notably, “Stephen ‘Dr. Beach’ Leatherman ranked Ocracoke third on his 2006 ‘top beaches’ list.” Who are we to argue with “Dr. Beach?” Located in the Outer Banks, you won’t likely be competing with other tourists for the best beach finds. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to pick up a Scotch bonnet, the state shell of North Carolina.

3. Bandon, Oregon
The West Coast might not be home to the absolute best seashell finds “because the mighty Pacific Ocean waves tend to chew up most specimens.” Here, the best finds are in more protected areas, such as the mouth of the Coquille River. “As consolation prizes, winter storms also toss up Japanese glass fishing floats and such semiprecious stones as agate and jasper,” according to Millburg. You may even find more than you bargained for, considering the residual effects of Japan’s earthquake.

The ever-popular Seawall Beach at Galveston Island, Texas

4. Galveston, Texas
Although I’ve never been, I’ve only heard good things about the beaches of Galveston, Texas. This Gulf of Mexico beach offers up some great shelling finds. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website, “Gulf beaches are considered the best shelling beaches in North America.”

5. Tunnels Beach, Kauai, Hawaii
You can’t go wrong in Hawaii. Even if the waves have smashed your shells to a pulp, they’ve turned them into something new and beautiful. Kauai is known as Hawaii’s “Garden Isle,” and you can find nice shells “especially in the area around Haena, near the end of the road that doesn’t quite circle Kauai…Legend has it that the puka shell-necklace craze began here in the 1960s.” This makes me want to put on my old cassette (really old) of Coconut Willie and throw on a lei.

6. Flag Ponds Nature Park, Lusby, Maryland
Interestingly, “most of the shells here, along the Chesapeake Bay south of Annapolis, are fossils dating back millions of years. They’ve come from the Calvert Cliffs, a 30-mile stretch of what was the sea bottom during the Miocene Epoch. Today’s bay determinedly chews into the cliffs, freeing the shells, shark teeth, and other fossils within.” There is an entrance fee to the park. To the south, Calvert Cliffs State Park is also worth a trip.

7. Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia
A solitary shelling spot, travel to this barrier island is restricted by ferry access under the control of the National Park Service. Comb miles of Atlantic beach, picking up sand dollars and shark teeth, without seeing another soul.

8. Eleuthera Island, The Bahamas
Although hurricanes make the news for all the wrong reasons, here is the up side. Waves toss up piles of shells onto these beaches. One of The Bahamas’ “Out Islands”, Eleuthera is a short trip by air from Fort Lauderdale or Miami, Florida.

9. Great Peconic Bay, Long Island, New York
Here you can pick up New York’s official state shell, the Atlantic Bay Scallop (or Bay Scallop)!

Sand and sea at Stinson Beach, California

10. Stinson Beach, California
This lovely beach, just north of San Francisco, doesn’t have the same quality of shelling as its Gulf Coast counterparts, but you may be able to pick up some limpet shells and sand dollars. Otherwise, you can enjoy the surf, nearby restaurants, and the “rugged natural beauty, and endearing small-town quirkiness.”

What do you think? Are these beaches on the top of your list, or is there some place else you would rather shell? I, for one, have never been to a beach that was devoid of treasure. Happy Shelling!

Posted in A Treasure of a Beach (Best Beaches), Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Seashells | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

 
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