In Croatia: Swimming in the Adriatic Sea

I love being in the water, I love swimming, snorkelling and the small amount of diving I have done was incredible. I should have been born a mermaid! So these are the spots I found close enough walk from the city for a really nice swim.

Split

Split is a great place to go swimming, there are a few options for what you want. There are three spots just past the bus station that I really recommend. Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 18.10.12

I put a star on the main beach in Split, when I walked by the first day it was packed with loads of people, screaming children, terrible music and bounce houses. It really wasn’t the kind of beach I like, but there is a walkway that connects all three coves in the above image. I recommend the middle small cove if the weather is a bit cooler but still sunny and warm. The last cove is better if it is really hot because there was a stronger breeze so you might get cold on a cooler day.

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There isn’t much marine life in these little coves but it is fun swimming with schools of little fish and spotting sea urchins at the bottom of the sea floor.  DCIM103GOPRO

Dubrovnik

If you are on foot there is one beach close to Dubrovnik that is pretty nice (it’s on the right hand side of the picture). It is small so it will probably be very crowded on a hot day, so go early! Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 18.09.45

The views of the old city are nice to see from the water. This beach has a maker that is a safe zone for you to swim, there are a lot of boats that use the area outside the marker to go to different islands around Dubrovnik, so it is not safe to swim outside of it.

DCIM103GOPROTip:

  1. Get beach shoes! Wearing flip flops isn’t good as you can’t swim without them falling off. Get slip on shoes they are a lifesaver. From the beach to the water is all stones and can hurt quite a bit. I found in Split there are beach shoes sold in the kiosks by the bus station.
  2. Keep wandering, getting to the beaches and finding the entrances can be tricky but just keep walking around, the beauty of Croatia is that it’s small so it will never take you too long.

Swimming in the Adriatic is fantastic, the crystal clear, cooling water is a dream to swim in. I definitely would be interested in coming back one day and finding spots to dive and see more of what this water has to offer. Have you swam in the Adriatic? Do you have any places you can recommend?

Happy Travels!

In Wicklow: Bray Head

I like to start my hikes very early in the morning. Especially in Summer when it is hot and sunny out. I got up at 5:30am to catch the sunrise. As I have mentioned on my facebook I am trying to see more beautiful things during my day. That morning was particularly stunning at 6am, no one is around and it was really peaceful. PhoebeGill150501037

Bray Head is clearly seen from a lot of angles, it’s a hill that is surrounded by amazing cliffs and has some great walks for you to do! There is the Bray to Greystones walk which I have never actually completed and there is the Bray Head Loop.PhoebeGill150501126The path leading up to the top can be both rocky and paved. I always opt for the more uneven, steep path because it’s more fun. There are gorgeous trees and tiny streams that I like hopping over and around. PhoebeGill150501001You can keep going once you reach the top but the last time I did that a fog descended and I went off track and I got a little lost so I recommend you stay on the path and if fog comes down just turn back. PhoebeGill150501046The views from the top are beautiful you can see beautiful hills, all of Bray town and the gorgeous bay. I like sitting at the top under the cross and just taking it all in. PhoebeGill150501099PhoebeGill150501012I recommend you bring proper foot wear as there is a lot of uneven surfaces as you go up, it can also get steep so just be carful of twisting your ankle. It doesn’t take long at all to get to the cross so you don’t need to bring food and water but if it is a hot sunny day then water is a good idea.

This location is a great spot for some exercise and beautiful views. I definitely recommend you stop off here as you start your trip into Wicklow.

Happy Travels!

In Hermanus: Whale Watching

In Hermanus: Whale Watching

Whale watching has been something I have wanted to experience for years and after this trip I want to do again and again. What is so magical about this location is parking up and looking out at the bay. The second I got out of the car I loved Hermanus, there was a female Southern Right Whale with her calf swimming in the water. The calf breaching and playing beside its mother, it was absolutely amazing and this was two hours before the trip was scheduled  to start.PhoebeGill141021049

We decided we’d have lunch an hour or so before the trip, make sure you take in to consideration that South Africa is very relaxed and your lunch may not go as fast as it does in Europe but that is what makes it nice.  You don’t want to get on a catamaran with a full stomach, could end up a very unpleasant journey. It can get quite choppy so do look at the weather before you book.PhoebeGill141021174

Southern Right Charters is located in New Harbour, Hermanus. There are three tours a day 9am, 12pm and 3pm. There is a member of staff that can speak english, dutch and german. All the staff are very knowledgeable and friendly. A lovely employee told me where to stand and we had great informative chats. You also get a snack and a drink which I saved for later.PhoebeGill141021613

The captain parked away from the whales and thankfully they swam over to us. A female and calf ended up right next to the boat. They are amazing creatures, we also saw seals, penguins and dolphins.  Whale watching was as captivating as I thought it would be. The members of staff give you so much information so I encourage you to take a trip and learn for yourself how wonderful these creatures are.

Tips: 

  1. It can get choppy at sea, don’t eat directly before and don’t go crazy on the snacks provided. Look at the horizon and try to think about something else. Some people also say to stay on top of the boat, don’t sit inside, that can help too.
  2. The people who take this tour don’t care if you see a whale or not, don’t be rude but certainly don’t wait for another person to move out of the way for you. Get your pictures and video, the whales move so everyone should get a turn to view them.
  3. Ask questions, don’t be afraid, they really are lovely people!
  4. Bring a windbreaker and suncream, the sea air can be a little cold but the sun is strong as well, be prepared.
  5. Definitely get a memento from the shack shop, they have really cute magnets and t-shirts.

It is an amazing trip and I really recommend it!

Happy Travels!

In The Western Cape: Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope

In The Western Cape: Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope

The Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point are the two points that are a must see. These points are included in the Table Mountain National Park. It has some beautiful landscapes and seascapes. There are also lots of flora and fauna to spot along the way.IMG_9079

The Cape of Good Hope:

The area is impressive with the waves that crash along the rocky coast and the group of seals just off the shore. It is perceived, that it is where the indian ocean and the atlantic ocean meet. It is customary to get a picture with the sign. The sign does get a lot of traffic. If you are going to get a picture with the sign, make sure you clear the way, no point in ruining someone else’s photo and queue to make it fair for everyone, become British.IMG_9382

Cape Point:

This attraction is really nice, you can get the tram that brings you up to the top and from there you can get spectacular views and visit the lighthouse. There are lots of nesting birds and other species that fly around. It can get quite cloudy as you are up very high, so be patient and let the clouds pass.PhoebeGill141023009

The sea in this area is just beautiful, so many gradients from the aquamarine to deep blue. It’s amazing standing at these two points and thinking the next land mass is Antarctica. A place I hope I visit one day but for now being close will do especially when close is a place as beautiful as this.

Happy Travels!

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In The Western Cape: Boulders Beach

In The Western Cape: Boulders Beach

This gorgeous spot in between Simons Town and Cape Point is used by humans and animals alike. This beautiful coastal spot is perfect for the African Penguin and is home to a large colony. This area is now a safe haven for these endangered animal. There is a boardwalk which brings you so close to the animals.PhoebeGill141019025 It only costs R55 (€4) to get in and it is so nice seeing this colony swim in the sea and communicate with each other. For a colony of penguins to be in Africa is so strange I think it is a must see if you are travelling around the Western Cape.PhoebeGill141019029

Just Some Notes:

  1. Although it says this area is sheltered, it may not be as sheltered as you think, if it is a windy day you will get sand whipping your skin. It is really unpleasant and it does get in your eyes. Bring a hat and sunglasses and wear long sleeves to try to prevent real pain.
  2. Do not under any circumstances do anything to the penguins, they are happy doing their thing.
  3. Penguins nest all along the boardwalk so remember to look to the left as you are going down to the entry barrier.

Happy Travels!PhoebeGill141019040

In Sligo: Surfing in Strandhill

In Sligo: Surfing in Strandhill

I have a lot of goals for my bucket list in 2014 but my sisters was to go surfing in Ireland. Now if someone wants a road trip across the country with a new adventure attached then I am in. She had heard about Strandhill being a good spot to surf but also as she is a vegetarian she heard about good eats also. From Dublin to Sligo it takes about 3 and a half hours so very doable.

Accommodation:

We stayed at the Surf n Stay lodge. On arrival I was greeted with a not so friendly member of staff, he didn’t make himself known to us also so it was a little confusing at first but then we were introduced to Carmel who was lovely, she put on a great breakfast of coffee, juice, toast, cereal, fruit and yogurt. Everything you could want. She was always around at breakfast too, to answer any questions or just have a chat. A deluxe twin room was €25 per person a night and we stayed for two nights. There is also a hostel next door so you can get a range of rooms and prices.

Surfing:

We had never surfed before, I had paddled on a board but never attempted to get up on one. I did not know this before I went but when September hits Summer is over, it’s time for good surf (for people who actually have surfed before) These waves were big, strong and the current was changing very quickly! I was nervous because the sea is a lot more powerful than I am.IMG_8452

Our instructor that I booked through the lodge (Michael organised this, he was very friendly and helpful) was Rory, a very nice guy who was very patient and was very helpful. A lesson is €30 per person.

It was a lot of fun, the sea bet us up quite a bit as we were exhausted afterwards but it was definitely something I would try again. And hopefully be better at!

Things to do and eat: 

Walking is big in Strandhill. There is a great long beach walk you can do. When you are standing on the promenade you can choose either left or right and you can go on a long walk. You can also visit lots of archeological sites around Strandhill which again is a lovely walk.IMG_8481

Shells Cafe is a great place for food! Really lovely spot with big portions of yummy food and great coffee. There is also a shop attached which I wanted one of everything!IMG_8476

There is your usual eats which is chinese, italian but there is a nice ice cream shop that does crepes also. I didn’t eat there but everything looks really tasty and delicious! Also Sligo town is also 20 minutes away so if you are stuck you can always go exploring there.

Strandhill is a lovely get away. It is small and friendly with good places to eat and fun activities to do. It’s great going for walks along the beach, collecting shells or watching surfers ride the waves with a coffee. It’s a peaceful place and well worth a visit.

Happy Travels!

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