As a holiday destination, we reckon the sea gets a bit of a rough deal. Together with its buddies (lakes, rivers and bays), the ocean makes up 70 percent of the Earth’s surface. Yet, when it comes to planning an adventure – the other 30 percent seems to get all the love.
So if you like to be near nice beaches, swimming pools and sea views, why not take that next step (or splash) and head for the high seas, low lakes and long rivers of the world on one of these epic aquatic adventures…
10. Sail Croatia
These days, it seems like all the kids are doing it, and all the adults have done it – but Sailing in Croatia remains an essential European pastime. Full of beautiful coastlines, crumbling medieval ruins and thousands of islands to explore, finding your own piece of the The Dalmatian Coast is an experience that more than deserves the hype.
9. Float down the Nile
If you’ve never seen a felucca before, picture the most relaxing, authentic type of sail-boat you can possibly imagine. Got it? OK – now imagine floating along the world’s longest river, sleeping on deck and gazing up at the millions of stars that come out to play on a warm desert night. Sound like your kind of thing? We thought so!
8. Galapagos island-hopping
Lots of people claim to know the ins and outs of Darwin’s On The Origin of Species, but it’s not until you step foot in the Galapagos that all that scientific mumbo-jumbo really starts to make sense. Frolicking sea lions, gardens of colourful fish and thoughtful sea turtles make it seem like you’ve stepped into mother nature’s secret garden, and the volcanic scenery suggests you are standing on another planet entirely. The best part? You don’t need a spaceship to explore this remote archipelago – all you’ll need is a boat!
7. Amalfi Coast
A playground for those that enjoy the finer things in life, Italy’s Amalfi coast is stacked with postcard worthy towns that sit precariously atop some of the most dramatic stretches coastline in the world. And what better way to experience this delicious slice of La Dolce Vita than by jumping on a yacht, drifting between quiet coves and dropping anchor at breathtaking beaches. If nothing else, we guarantee it will make you feel like an Italian millionaire.
6. Thailand by boat
When Alex Garland was looking for an exotic setting for his novel The Beach, he could have done a lot worse than settling on the alluring waters of Thailand. Nowadays The Beach is a popular stop for backpackers, but most people miss out on the other, equally perfect islands scattered between Phuket to Pipi that Leonardo Dicaprio never quite made it to. But just like in The Beach, you’ll need to find someone to take you – so hunt down an able skipper, keep a keen eye on the horizon and pack plenty of sunscreen!
5. Gliding the Greek Islands
Golden beaches, bronzed bodies and warm waters – The Greek Islands are the blonde-bombshell of Mediterranean. But spend a day in these supermodel settings and you’ll quickly discover that there is more to life in this pinup destination than the nightclubs of Santorini. That’s because The Greek Islands are all about sitting back with the wind in your hair and the warm water beneath your toes, exploring tiny villages and experiencing the very best Hellenic culture has to offer.
4. Halong Bay
Rising like ghostly specters from the emerald waters below, the limestone Karsts of Halong bay create a landscape that’s alive with ancient caves, hidden coves and floating villages. But it’s not just the stunning surrounds – there is a magical and eerie calm about this place that’s not easily described. If you only travel to Vietnam for one reason, make it Halong Bay.
3. Turkey Sailing
Underwater cities, cobblestone towns and pine-forest clad cliffs that stretch down toward the clear water – sailing in Turkey serves up a unique colour palette that you won’t find anywhere else. Once you tear your eyes away from the remarkable scenery, there are ancient Lycian tombs, remote islands and endless seafood to keep you busy until the sun goes down.
2. The Whitsundays
Out of all the thousands of kilometers of beaches in Australia, the Whitsunday Islands are simply on another level entirely. They also happen to be located right next door to the Great Barrier Reef, which, as its name suggests, is pretty great. Anyway, back to the beaches. The diamond in the Whitsunday’s crown – Whitehaven beach – tops pretty much every list of ‘world’s best beaches’ we’ve ever seen. But really, the entire place is overflowing with white sand beaches. Why are you still reading this? Just go already.
For those who travel to ‘get away from it all’, Antarctica represents the final frontier. It’s a place where nature still reins supreme, and the extremes of our planet are on full display. Not inaccessible – but definitely not for the feint of hearted – it’s often said that Antarctica has to be ‘earned’, courtesy of an often arduous voyage to its icey shores. The reward, however, is unmatched.
If you’re ready to set sail on the high seas, check out Intrepid’s exciting range of Marine Adventures!
* Antarctica photo by Claudio Suter – Intrepid Photography Competition