Best beaches in Greece

Check out These 5 Best Beaches in Greece!

Surrounded by glittering turquoise waters, Greece is a treasure island for sun lovers. But with thousands of islands scattered across the Ionian and Aegean seas, it’s easy to get confused when deciding where to go first. 

Popular Beaches in Greece 

1. Lalaria Beach, Skíathos Island

Considered one of the best beaches in Greece, Lalaria is located in the north of Skíathos Island. Its white pebbled shore is one of its kind. If you’re looking for quiet, remote little beaches in Greece, Lalaria should head your list. You can only reach it by boat; there are no walkways on the hill and no way to reach the shore by car. 

There is a price to pay for relaxing in nature. Lalaria doesn’t offer any services, so you will need to pack your own water, food, and other essentials. To get there, you will need to catch a boat from the old Skíathos port.

Boats only leave two times per day: mid-morning and late afternoon. The journey is about 40 minutes one way, so keep this in mind when deciding which one to take. Get plenty of water, food, and supplies that you will need for the day.

Lalaria is routinely named one of the most beautiful beaches, and its beauty has made it a tourist hotspot. Although not as remote as it used to, but it is still worth visiting this incredible seaside during your stay.

2. Super Paradise Beach, Mykonos

One of the best-known beaches of Mykonos, Super Paradise is a stunning bay with golden shores and crystal-clear waters. It is also known for its lively nightlife.

The Super Paradise Beach Club is always packed with partygoers, celebrities, jet setters, and VIPs. It’s one of the more popular beaches in Greece, with a lifeguard on duty, restaurant, and boutique.

Public transportation is available from Fabrika Square and Old Port every 30 minutes from 9:30 am to 8:30 pm. Departures back to Fabrika Square and Old Port also run every 30 minutes from 10 am to 9 pm.

3. Elafonisi, Crete 

One of the gorgeous beaches in Crete and all of Greece, Elafonisi has pink sands, clear waters, and a laid-back vibe.

Elafonisi is located 75 kilometers from the town of Chania, in southwestern Crete. It is an islet, but you can walk there on foot, without even getting your toes wet. 

It’s one of the more exotic beaches in Greece and is worth the effort to see. Elafonisi is part of a protected area. Once you get there, you walk into paradise. The islet is only a mile long, but there is plenty to explore along the way, including a number of small coves, rock formations, and sandy beaches.

Elafonisi is worth the trip because of its natural beauty, but there aren’t many amenities nearby, aside from a few small hotels. This beautiful place is the ideal choice for a day trip.

4. Myrtos Beach, Kefalonia

Located between Argostoli and Assos, Myrtos is surrounded by the Kalon Oros and Agia Dynati mountains. The blinding white sands are contrasted with the azure blue waters and green forested mountains. 

Known as one of the most dramatic beaches in Greece, Myrtos offers a mile and a half of sands. It was the backdrop for Captain Corelli’s Mandolinand voted the best Greek seaside 12 times.

You can reach it from the village of Divarata. The steep, winding road has dangerous hairpin turns, so be cautious if you’re driving. If you want to avoid the stress and hassle of driving, the city of Pylaros runs a bus service to and from the beach from Agia Efimia. 

There are several tavernas in Divarata, as well as a beach bar. Beach umbrellas and sunbeds are also available for hire.

5. Porto Katsiki Beach, Lefkada

Porto Katsiki sits at the base of the towering white cliffs of Lefkada. It has been rated as one of the best beaches in all across the Mediterranean Sea. It differs from the beaches on Mainland Greece because of the steep climb down to the shore.

To get to Porto Katsiki, you will have to traverse 80 steep steps along the cliff. But the journey is worth the effort. The stunning turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, and dramatic cliffs make this an unforgettable place. At the top of the stairs, you will find snack bars and a car park. 

The beaches in Greece are the most beautiful in the world. With clear azure waters, soft sandy shores, and incredible landscapes, Greece should be the number one of any traveler’s list. Which beaches in Greece have you visited or are going to visit?

Author Bio:

Thomas Quarry is a data scientist, treasure hunter, animal lover, aspiring wildlife photographer, and outdoor fanatic. In between writing and photography, Thomas likes hiking, climbing, camping, or daydreaming. He has been contributing to nature publications for several years and enjoys new writing challenges.

Algarve Boat Festival 2020

Algarve Boat Festival 2020: one stage, 30 dance floors, at Lagos’ sea

One stage, multiple dance floors and the western Algarve composing the scene. That was how, through the hands of the Portuguese startup SeaBookings, Lagos (Portugal) plunged into the first edition of the Algarve Boat Festival. This innovative concept of multiple private parties, together, for a single show, allowed a safe event according to the guidelines of the Directorate-General of Health of Portugal (DGS). Physical distance and open-air are guaranteed.

Algarve Boat Festival 2020
The stage-boat was one big show!

In charge of the music, on the stage-boat, were Pete Tha Zouk, DJ Astrella and the local Carlos Sax. In its first edition, the Algarve Boat Festival sold out, with almost 30 boats that anchored around the stage-boat in front of the emblematic Praia Dona Ana. The stage-boat had no customers on board, only staff. Festival-goers joined on their own boat, whether theirs or rented, be it a motorboat or sailboat.

The Algarve Boat Festival had the support of the Municipality of Lagos and the Marina of Lagos. The Marina offered the night after the festival for boats from other Marinas. And the Port of Lagos, as well as the maritime police, were present to enforce the Contingency Plan in order to comply with the “Safe Event” requirements, according to the DGS guidelines. The Clube de Vela de Lagos, the local sailing club was also present to provide support where needed.

Nauti Algarve Boat Festival
The bar-boat was cruising around the festival area to serve cold drinks

The show started at 3:30 pm in the best possible setting, in front of the emblematic Praia Dona Ana, and should have lasted for 3 hours. But the Algarvian DJ Pete Tha Zouk was so excited to be playing in times where all discotheques are shut, that the party prolonged for another hour for those who wanted to stay. Seems like we were all needing to dance!

One stage, multiple dancefloors allowed to party with social distance between groups

For those who were unable to be physically present, the Festival was available to everyone through live streaming. There are no official dates for the next edition, but taking into the consideration of festival-goers, this is only the beginning!

Sea Adventure

Turning Your Next Trip Into a Sea Adventure

Are you overdue for an adventure? Whether you’ve gone a bit stir crazy due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, or you’re just ready to try something new when it comes to travel, nothing can beat turning your next trip into a sea expedition. After all, it’s easy to feel like an old-fashioned explorer when you take advantage of all the water has to offer. 

Planning an adventure on a boat or alone a coastline is a great way to try something different. Plus, there are so many things to do whether you’re a solo traveler or you’re bringing your family along. 

If you want to travel by boat, the benefits include everything from going at a slower pace and being able to breathe in the fresh air, to being able to move around freely in a way you can’t in a car, train, or airplane. But, you don’t necessarily have to get out of the water once you reach your destination. 

Croatia is the best spot to travel by boat

Let’s look at a few great ways you can “dive in” to some sea adventures during your next trip, and how those adventures can benefit you. 

Adventure Is Out There And it Can Benefit Your Health!

If you’ve ever seen the Pixar movie Up!, you’re probably well-versed in the meaning of this subtitle. While the characters in that film may have taken to the skies for their adventure, the premise remains the same for any unique form of transportation. 

While a trip to a theme park or luxury hotel can be relaxing, doing something more adventurous and unique may actually be more beneficial for your mental health and wellbeing. Adventure traveling gets you out of your everyday routine and your comfort zone. As a result, you have more time to think about yourself and your life, and what you truly want out of it. It’s a great way to boost your sense of self-reflection. If you have children, going on an adventure can help them to get their eyes off of their video games and phones, and experience everything the water has to offer. 

Travel, in general, has also been linked to boosting mental health. One survey performed on 485 adults in the U.S. found that traveling was linked to an increase in: 

  • Empathy
  • Focus
  • Energy
  • Attention

Simply being out in nature is a great way to improve your mood and give you more energy, so if you’re planning on taking a trip any time soon, why not choose something out of the norm, that will transform you into a real-life adventurer? 

Live the Pirate Life

Okay, you don’t have to pillage and plunder, but there are plenty of deep-sea adventures that can make you feel like a real-life pirate without all of the danger involved. One of the best ways to do that is to go on a treasure hunt. 

Treasure hunting is a great way to involve your whole family in your sea adventure. That’s especially true when you decide to shallow water hunting. That involves going out about knee-deep into the water. When you use a metal detector to do your hunting, you and your kids can find everything from coins to jewelry, and it’s often easy to dig up. 

If you’re looking for more serious treasure, you’ll want to get out to at least six feet of water, where you can find things like: 

  • Gold and diamond rings
  • Military uniform buttons
  • Trading tokens
  • Religious medallions

Depending on where you go, the possibilities are truly endless when it comes to what you can find!

If you want to spend more of your time actually exploring the seas themselves, consider getting on board with the underwater tourism market, and taking a submarine tour. They can be quite costly, starting at around $800 for some of the less expensive tours. But, if you have a vested interest in the world’s oceans and you want an immersive experience, it’s truly an adventure unlike any other. 

Where to Make the Most of Your Travels

The oceans make up about 70% of the earth’s surface, and for as much as we know about them, there is still so much that is left to be explored. So, how can you be sure you’re visiting the best possible places for unforgettable adventures? The possibilities are truly endless, but having a little guidance doesn’t hurt. 

The best places to have adventures on the sea really depend on what you’re interested in. For example, if you’re a bit of an adrenaline junkie, you might want to try coasteering (and cliff jumps!) or canyoning in Maderia. If you’re bringing the family along and want to experience something everyone can enjoy, take a boat tour in Lagos to see dolphins swimming around in their natural habitat. It’s a sight that truly never gets old. 

If you want to take a break from ‘adventuring’ and relax with friends or family, the water is the best place to do it. Consider a boat tour in Ibiza for a relaxing afternoon in the sun that everyone can enjoy. 

As you can see, adventure really is out there. It’s waiting for you on the sea and near the shore, so consider making your next trip an unforgettable one by making memories on the water. 

Best watersports in Barcelona

Best Watersports in Barcelona

If you’re a fan of the water and have always been someone that enjoys riding the waves rather than soaking up rays, you’ll be pleased to know that there are tons of aquatic sports that you can enjoy in gorgeous Barcelona. With a coastline that stretches for 4.5km, there’s a wide variety of excellent beaches to try out these activities.

Whether you’re looking to try a water sport out for the first time, or you’re already a seasoned pro, there are plenty of great clubs and schools peppered along Barcelona. Below we’ve got a list of some of the best watersports in Barcelona to get you started. 

Enjoy the colorful Parc de la Ciutadella and the SEA!

Windsurfing in Barcelona

Windsurfing is essentially a form of sailing that involves a board being powered across the water by the wind. It’s not for the faint-hearted as it requires an immense amount of strength, stamina and of course, courage. 

If you’re looking for an adrenaline kick, however, it’s one of the best water sports to try out. You’ll start out on a bigger board with a small sail when you’re learning the basics before moving to a smaller board as your skill increases. The best thing about windsurfing is that it can be enjoyed at any age. In Barcelona, you can check out classes or rent equipment along the Mar Bella beach. 

Paddleboarding in Barcelona

Known as SUP (stand-up paddleboarding), this water sport is a great way to have fun playing in the water while also providing a full-body workout. Since you’re standing upright on the board, you’ll also get to admire the views.

While paddleboarding isn’t as fast-paced as some of the other water sports out there, it’s great for your core, and there’s also a growing trend of individuals doing yoga on their paddle board – talk about intense! In Barcelona, there’s no shortage of schools available and there’s plenty of places for you to rent boards or even practice SUP yoga.  

Surfing in Barcelona

While the Barcelona area may not have the biggest waves in the world, it’s still a great place to get your surf on. If you’re a beginner, Barcelona’s also a fantastic starting point and there are plenty of great spots along the Catalonian Coast. 

Garraf is one of the most picturesque surf spots in Barcelona with old fishermen’s hut on the beach along with houses peppered all over the cliff for a unique appearance. Another popular spot just north of Barcelona is Masnou. There, you’ll have access to the longest waves of the area. There are plenty of surf schools in Barcelona such as Pukas Surf School that’s great for beginners that are just starting to ride the waves. 

Are you ready for some serious fun on our inflatables?

Renting a boat in Barcelona

While it may not be a sport per se, it deserves a brief mention. When you’re in Barcelona, you’ve got to rent a boat as it’s a great way to enjoy the open seas. Head on board as a family or gather a group of friends and you’re sure to have a wonderful afternoon or evening.

From medium-sized yachts to luxury superyachts, there is plenty of options to cater to everyone. On a budget? No worries, in Barcelona you can rent license-free boats and have fun exploring the waters on your own. 

Renting Jet Skis

Feel like you’re flying on water thanks to the high speeds you’ll experience on a jet ski. As you zoom across waterways, you’ll also get to take in the stunning coastal views. 

In Barcelona, you can choose to rent a jet ski for 30-minutes to a couple of hours for some fun. Alternatively, book an excursion that’ll take you a little further to areas such as Costa Brava or Garraf

For those who love some serious speed, how about a jet ski in Barcelona?

Hoverboarding & Flyboarding

If you want to take it to the next level, give hoverboarding and flyboarding a shot. This relatively new water sport is a great way to get the adrenaline pumping. You’ll be propelled into the air thanks to the two powerful water jets that are attached to a pair of special boots. 

You’ll feel as free as a bird and it’s an incredible feeling. Hoverboarding is not difficult to learn, but it’s important to have the right balance. You’ll soar up to 10 meters into the air, and you can even enjoy this activity with your friends or family and have an amazing time together. 

Similar to hoverboarding is flyboarding. Instead of the water jets being attached to a pair of special boots, however, the water jets will instead be strapped to your feet. Feel free to do somersaults, jump and create whatever shapes your heart desires over the water. With flyboarding you’ll reach a height of up to 30 feet in the air – an exhilarating adrenaline experience that’s an absolute must. 

Banana boat in Barcelona is always fun!

Crazy Sofa & Banana

You’ve probably tried the banana boat, but have you tried the crazy sofa? For something fun and exciting to do together with your friends and family, you’ll want to try this out. In this exhilarating activity, you’ll be sitting on an inflatable sofa and get dragged around by a tire that’s attached to a speedboat. 

As you whizz around the ocean, you’ll get to see who ends up being the last one sitting. It’s an exciting activity that’s sure to get everyone laughing. Best of all, there’s no previous experience required and anyone above the age of 10 is welcome to join embark on a crazy sofa adventure. 

Flying Fish 

This new unique water sport is something you absolutely need to check out when visiting Barcelona. Here, you’ll be sitting on an inflatable rubber boat that takes the shape of a flat fish while being pulled by a speed boat. As the boat accelerates, you’ll get lifted above the ocean for a heart pumping experience. 

As you take in the views of the coast, you’ll be blown away by the breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea as you look out over Costa Brava. The Flying Fish can take up to six people with the minimum age being 18 years old. This is an activity that you wouldn’t want to miss in Barcelona. 

crazy water sport in Barcelona
Do you date to try flying fish?

There you have it, some of the best water sports in Barcelona! Either than water sports, there’s also plenty to do from visiting the La Sagrada Familia to admiring other modernist landmarks around the city. Finding comfortable accommodation in Barcelona is also key to a fantastic vacation. Why not check out some of these vacation rentals in Barcelona, Spain for a memorable trip unlike any other.  

Watersports Activities you can Enjoy with Your Family in Santorini

Watersports Activities you can Enjoy with Your Family in Santorini

One of the most recognizable islands in the world, Santorini is a symbol of Greece. Known for its whitewashed Cycladic houses, ancient archaeological sites, and the fact that it’s built on the remnants of one huge volcano make it a pretty spectacular place for a holiday. And we haven’t even mentioned the spectacular sunsets! It’s one of the most memorable places you could visit – though it’s probably not the first place you’d think of taking your family. Nevertheless, there are lots of things to do for all ages on the island. 

Of course, one of the most popular draws is its white, red, and black beaches. Each has its own personality and character, but after a few lazy days on the beach, you might start to crave something that will get the adrenaline flowing a little more. How about trying some watersports

In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the best family-friendly watersports in Santorini. Hopefully, it’ll make it easy to plan and make the most of your trip! 

Stand up paddle boarding in Santorini is magical during sunset

Stand up paddle boarding in Santorini

Santorini’s waters are known for being calm. So, unfortunately for some, that means surfing is off the menu. However, if you feel at home on a board you could try stand up paddleboarding instead. The fastest-growing watersport in the world, it’s a great workout for your core – and who wouldn’t want to say they’d SUPed in the remains of a collapsed volcano?!

Try it at sunrise or sunset, and if you have plenty of SUP experience, you could even have a go at yoga on your board. The ability to do SUP at a slow and relaxed pace means that it’s an ideal way for the family to see the scenery of Santorini together.

There are several different paddle boards depending on what you want to use yours for. So, if you’re wondering which paddle board do I choose? You can either get some expert information at the link there, or find a reliable rental service on the island who will find the best board for you!  

Swimming in Santorini

Something that can be very off-putting when deciding which watersport to do is the need for equipment. Thankfully, with swimming, all you need is a swimsuit. And perhaps a pair of goggles. With swimming spots all over the island, you’re sure not to be disappointed with Santorini. 

Kamari black sand beach is the most popular beach on the island, and there are plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas to rent for breaks between swimming. The black sand beach at Perissa has a water park where children can swim safely, while Red Beach has an awesome swimming spot amongst impressive rock formations.  

Snorkeling is a refreshing and fun experience

Snorkeling in Santorini

One way of exploring the fascinating waters and the underwater world of Santorini is through snorkeling. Snorkeling in Santorini is one of the best ways to see colorful sponges, groupers, snappers and many schools of fish. Book your tours with SeaBookings and explore the treasures under the sea in safe conditions.

Sea Kayaking in Santorini

Another great way to take in the caldera of Santorini is by kayak. Like stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking gives you a great core workout but you’ll be sat down instead. You’ll be able to enjoy some of Santorini’s most famous sights, including rock formations, the Akrotiri lighthouse, while also ducking into sea caves for a bit of shade from the relentless Mediterranean sun. 

Of course, while you kayak you’ll have the opportunity to stop off at a number of beaches that are inaccessible to the busloads of tourists you might find on other parts of the island. 

Parasailing

Maybe one for families with older kids here – and definitely not for anyone scared of heights. Parasailing will see you dragged along behind a speedboat attached to a parachute. You’re likely to reach heights of up to 100 metres! It’s an incredible activity to tick off your bucket list and the views of the caldera below will be etched into your mind forever! 

Water-biking

Shaped like Volkswagen Beetles, water-bikes are basically just fancy pedalos. You might not think of the Beetle as a family-sized car, but there’s space for four on one of these cute little vessels and the good news is it’s very difficult to fall off one!

Are you ready for your first time diving in Santorini?

Scuba Diving in Santorini

If you enjoy diving, Santorini boasts its beaches as it offers great chances for scuba diving due to its volcanic geological background. For people who have experience in scuba diving, this should be one of your highlights during your stay in Greece. Many diving centers and tours have opened over the last couple of years offering diving courses for all ages and levels. Just rent the necessary equipment for your scuba diving experience and your experienced guides will take you out for an amazing time in the underwater world of Santorini. There are also options available for first-timers.

Jet Skiing

Another activity that may be more suitable for families with older kids. Jet-ski safaris are a popular way to see Santorini’s collapsed volcanic craters. Thanks to the high speed of a jet ski, you’ll see what you would in a whole day on a kayak in just a couple of hours. And it really gets the adrenaline pumping! The only issue here is that it’s more difficult and expensive to do as a family. 

Flyboarding

Have you ever wanted to fly above the water before diving down to the depths of the ocean? Okay, maybe not the depths. You want to give flyboarding a go. You’ll be strapped to a jetpack which will enable you to fly more than 10 metres in the air – all you need to do is keep your balance. This unusual activity is just 10 minutes long and it’s available on many of Santorini’s beaches. 

Catamaran cruises are a more relaxing option

Catamaran Cruise

Okay, a catamaran cruise isn’t exactly a watersport, but after all of the high adrenaline activities on this list, it might be time to do something a little less taxing. With a range of options, you could enjoy a sunset dinner cruise or a full day exploring the caldera and beyond. A cruise as a family may be a little pricey, so make sure to find something all inclusive.

Algarve is the best holiday destination

Travel experts agree: the Algarve is the best holiday destination this summer

A panel of travel experts at Clickstay.com has voted the Algarve as the best destination for British tourists this summer.

52% of the in-house travel pros voted in favour of the Algarve, the South of Portugal, citing successful control of Coronavirus as one of the key factors.

The Algarve obtained more than half of the votes

“Local government has done fantastic work in limiting the spread of the virus and put in sensible measures to ensure people can enjoy their holiday safely”, said Tom Hughes, founder and MD at Clickstay.

“Their use of technology, such as the Info Praia app where tourists can real-time information about the level of occupancy of the beach, is a great example of how the government is being innovative in its approach”, he added.

The article about this study mentions that Portugal recorded a considerably lower number of Covid-19 cases than the UK, so is considered low risk by the UK government. On the other hand, the Portuguese government considers that the UK has got the virus ‘under control’ and is calling for a so-called ‘air bridge’ between the two countries, which would allow British tourists to go on holiday to the Algarve, and the rest of Portugal, without having to quarantine on arrival.

According to these travel experts, there’s a wide range of activities which you can enjoy safely, making the Algarve is the best holiday destination this summer, above other destinations in Europe.

During your stay in the Algarve, you will be able to visit the vast range of beaches without worrying about overcrowding, thanks to social distancing and hygiene protocols and dedicated beach surveillance.

“I usually go on a beach holiday during the summer but was a little anxious having seen some photos of very crowded beaches in the UK,” said one of Clickstay’s holidaymakers, “If social distancing is properly enforced on the beaches in the Algarve, I will definitely consider making the trip”.

Algarve beach
The Algarve’s beaches are a huge attraction for British tourists this summer

Outdoor activities like swimming, kayak tours, SUP tours, and surfing are permitted and most boat tours are already running, all with hygiene and safety protocols in place. In fact, these tours and activities are all recognized by the Portuguese „Safe & Clean“ seal. This is surely another big boost for the region’s tourism prospects. According to Tom Hughes, “Many of our customers love to go surfing in their summer holidays, so being able to do that in a safe environment would be a massive attraction’.

For those looking for a more cultural experience, restaurants, hotels, museums and galleries are also already open, with social distancing protocols in place. So yes, you can enjoy some of the local fresh seafood and terraces in under the blue sky are abundant for a safe food-experience.

The shrimps are ready!

The research shows that the geography of the Algarve has also been a factor. In the Algarve, there are many relatively quiet places to rent a villa compared with the busier coastlines of France and Spain, which make it a good destination for those wishing to keep their distance and enjoy a relaxed holiday. 

What do you think? Would you consider the Algarve for your holidays this summer?

Safe Holidays in Portugal

Portugal commits to ‚Safe Travels‘ protocols by WTTC

‚Safe Travels‘ is a special safety and hygiene mark to provide consistency and reassurance for consumers to speed the Travel & Tourism recovery. Portugal is among the first destinations to adopt private sector protocols and stamp.

 The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has launched the world’s first ever global safety and hygiene stamp. The specially designed stamp will allow travellers to recognise governments and businesses around the world which have adopted health and hygiene global standardised protocols – so consumers can experience ‘Safe Travels’.

The stamp will allow travellers to experience ‘Safe Travels’

The landmark move by WTTC, which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, has also received the backing of the influential United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Eligible businesses such as hotels, restaurants, airlines, cruise lines, tour operators, restaurants, outdoor shopping, transportation and airports, will be able to use the stamp once the health and hygiene protocols, outlined by WTTC, have been implemented.

Portugal is a pioneer in this type of stamps

Rita Marques, Portugal’s Secretary of State, said: “Portugal has been committed in reassuring our tourists they will always have the best experience in our country. This stamp, together with our “Clean & Safe” program, is one step further in reassuring everyone that we care, our destination is focused on recovery, and trust is at the core of our business.”

WTTC and all its Members from around the world have the safety and hygiene of travellers as their top priority.

Last week WTTC’s launched the first of range of new worldwide measures that were part of its Safe Travels protocols to rebuild consumer confidence and encourage the restoration of the global Travel & Tourism sector. They provide consistency to destinations and countries, as well as guidance to travel providers and travellers about the new approach to health, hygiene, deep cleansing and physical distancing, in the post COVID-19 world. 

The protocols are also being defined following the experience of WTTC members in dealing with COVID19 and based on the best available medical evidence. It also follows guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

What do you think about this initiative? Does it influence your decision about where to travel to?

Beachside Wedding

Pros and Cons of a Beachside Wedding

On average, there are over 2 million weddings in the U.S. each year. That means there are a lot of weddings to plan! While some people opt for a simple courthouse ceremony or a backyard event with family and friends, others go all-out. Things like barn weddings, country club weddings, and even traditional church weddings are all still popular in their own right. 

But many people opt to have a beachside wedding due to its natural beauty, relaxed atmosphere, and uniqueness. It’s easy to think about a walk along the beach at sunset for a romantic date or getaway (no matter where you are in the world!), but when it comes to planning your wedding around the beach, there are some pros and cons to consider. 

Your big day shouldn’t be stressful because of the location you choose. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the benefits and potential drawbacks of a beachside wedding before you decide whether it’s right for you. 

Sunset is the most romantic time for a beach wedding

Pro: A Naturally-Beautiful Backdrop for Any Season

One of the biggest draws to having a beachside wedding is the natural beauty. It takes very little decorating or “preparing” the space to make it look great. With that, you can save money, since you’ll have to worry less about creating a big budget for decorations. You can also use the beach as both your ceremony and reception area by utilizing a large tent; no need to have your guests travel to another venue for food, drinks, and dancing!

Plus, if you get married in a more tropical location or in a Mediterranean climate such as Greece or Portugal, you can have your wedding any time of the year. There are plenty of ideas regarding the best month to get married, but if you don’t want to wait, you can enjoy warm, beachside temperatures even during the winter when you choose a warm destination. 

Con: The Risks of Being Outside

Unfortunately, you can’t control the weather. Weddings take an average of 13-18 months to plan, and the one thing you can’t plan for is harsh sun, rain, wind, or even a higher tide than you expected. On bright, sunny days, you might be putting yourself and your guests at risk for UV exposure. 

It’s a good idea to have both a backup plan for inclement weather and a way to keep your guests safe. A tent or enclosed location is a great solution for rain or wind. Having sunscreen and sunglasses available for both UV protection of the skin and protection for the eyes would be a good idea, and they can also serve as cute party favors for guests to take home. 

There are plenty of location options for beachside weddings

Pro: Many Theme Options to Choose From

You don’t have to limit yourself to standing on the shoreline when you’re considering a beachside wedding. There are plenty of location options you can choose from: 

  • A long dock/pier
  • A lighthouse
  • A boat/ship
  • Further away from the shore
  • A rental property facing the beach

Don’t limit yourself to your idea(s) of what a beachside wedding has to be. When you choose the location that fits your needs, you can also choose the “theme” and style that works for you. Beachside weddings are often more casual and less formal, so guests can enjoy everything from feeling the warmth of their feet in the sand to appreciating a romantic beachside sunset as the backdrop to your reception. Get creative with your seaside locations!

Con: Not All Beaches are Private

Beach weddings can be very intimate, private things if you choose the right spot for your ceremony, but keep in mind that not all beaches are private. If you choose to get married on a public beach, you run the risk of a lot of noise, other people nearby, and even “beach rules” in place that everyone needs to follow. 

Obviously, the best way to avoid this is to rent out a block of time on a private beach. If that isn’t an option for you, be prepared to share your wedding day with other beachgoers who might be curious enough to look-in on your ceremony. That even includes animals, wildlife, and bugs that create their natural habitats on the beach and may crash the party when you least expect it!

If you plan a wedding in low season, you’ll likely have more privacy

Pro: An Instant Honeymoon Spot

Because the beach itself is so naturally romantic, you can transform it into your honeymoon location after the reception is over. Rent a small beach house for a few days and do nothing but relax. If you do decide to have a destination wedding in Greece or Portugal, you’ve already set the stage for the honeymoon of a lifetime!

Beachside weddings are beautiful, romantic, and almost always popular with guests. With a little planning and preparation, you can have the wedding of your dreams with your feet in the sand. 

Vale Do Lobo Golf SeaBookings Family-friendly Golf Courses In Portugal

Discover These Family-friendly Golf Courses In Portugal

The many golf resorts across Portugal provide numerous opportunities for families to enjoy themselves not only on the golf course but with a host of activities for the entire family. Along with the first-class golf courses, there are waterparks, beaches, and kid-specific activities can be found at several resorts across the region.

Additional Read: Top 10 blog posts about Portugal

Below are a few of the more popular resorts along with information about their family-friendly features and activities.

Amendoeira Golf Resort

A favorite among many family travelers, the Amendoeira Golf Resort in the Algarve features apartments and villas available alongside 36 holes of Championship golf, with the Christy O’Connor and Nick Faldo courses. There is also a very popular 9-hole course that is perfect for beginners, while still an enjoyable play for low handicappers. A full 27 holes that will put that new GPS watch to its test.

In July and August, the resort’s “Kiz Club” is active. Designed to entertain the younger crowd, it’s a place where children can engage in age-appropriate activities and make new friends. There are also nearby activities for the entire family, like boat tours and fun watersports in Armação de Pêra.

As hosts to the World Kids Golf Championship, the Amendoeira Resort attracts juniors from across the world to compete in a supportive environment, stimulating growth and development as golfers. In an effort to create a true family experience, it is encouraged that parents serve as caddies for their players. After the tournament concludes, a Parent-Child Par-3 contest is held.

The Amendoeira Resort is a prime example of what makes the Algarve region such a great destination, with nearby proximity to the beautiful beaches of southern Portugal. Views of the magnificent Monchique Mountains are at every turn through the two championship courses, and the resort is home to the region’s only floodlit par-3 course.

Photo credit to https://www.amendoeiraresort.com/

Recently awarded the honor of being the Best Course in Portugal by the World Golf Awards in 2016, the Faldo course is consistently ranked as a top 100 course in Continental Europe.

Penina Hotel & Golf Resort

The original home of golf in the Algarve Region, the Penina Hotel & Golf Resort is set within 360 acres of perfect grasslands and natural beauty. Three golf courses, including the Algarve’s first 18 hole championship course, accompany the five-star hotel and leads the way in high-class service.

Photo credit to https://www.penina.com/

For the kids, the Penina’s Kangaroo Club is a securely enclosed and fully supervised area that provides quality entertainment for children. Daily programs balance entertainment with education, to ensure that every child gets the most out of their holiday experience. A swimming pool, climbing area, football pitch, bicycle track, and a sandpit are all at the kids’ disposal, and . during the summer season a supervised bouncy castle is also set up. There is a Kangaroo Club Restaurant, a state-of-the-art crèche with baby changing facilities, a designated toddler area, and a fully stocked game room.

The Penina Resort welcomes dogs up to a weight of 7 kilos, at an extra charge so don’t forget to pack the doggy toys and their favorite food. No other pets are accepted, with the exception of guide dogs.

Penha Longa Resort

With two golf courses set across the beautiful slopes of the natural landscape near Lisbon, the Penha Longa Resort is a spectacular place to play golf. The stunning forests and rocky mountains rise around the grounds, giving an isolated experience and perfect place for a high-class golf escape.

Two golf courses, the Atlantic Course and the Monastery Course are located at Penha Longa. The Atlantic Course is the resort’s main attraction, designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. and is ranked as one of the top 30 golf courses in Continental Europe. The 6,786-yard tract features many dramatic holes cut through the resort’s sloping landscape. The course features two distinct sections, with six holes running through a valley, and the remainder straddling the hillside. The Atlantic Course has twice served as host for the Portuguese Open in the mid-1990s, as well as the Estoril Open in 1999.

Photo credit to https://www.ritzcarlton.com

While the Atlantic Course remains the star attraction at Penha Longa, the 9-hole Monastery Course also deserves a look. A less challenging course, with fewer undulations throughout the tract, the views of the nearby Sintra Mountains are spectacular and make for a nice, relaxing round for players of all skill levels.

There is fun for the entire family, as children can enjoy the Penha Longa Kid’s Club where they can enjoy a host of toys and games to play and learn. With Pirates, Treasures and camping, painting and cinema, cooking classes, and pyjama parties, a continuous choice of activities will fill their days while enjoying their stay at Penha Longa, with even more activities during the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays. 

There is no need to find a dog-sitter for your holiday. Pets are welcomed at the hotel with a reservation of a Junior Suite, but additional charges apply.

Vale do Lobo Resort

The renowned Vale do Lobo Resort sits on the magnificent coast of southern Portugal and is one of Europe’s best all-encompassing golf resorts. Two golf courses, the Royal and the Ocean, provide an epic layout and rank among the best golf courses in Portugal. Vale do Lobo is an ideal combination of two contrasting courses to make it a truly unique venue among its peers.

Thanks to a huge choice of activities, Vale do Lobo is an ideal location to spend quality time with family and friends. Throughout the year there are a host of activities in the various different areas of the resort, from enjoying the restaurants and live music in the Praca to relaxing on the beach or by the pool or just spending time on the courts or the golf courses.

The Tennis Valley section of the resort features a children’s playground area. The newly refurbished par tee mini-golf course includes fantastic new elements, holes, and challenges, including plenty of water features, tricky holes, and oversized entertainment.

Visit Portugal this summer COVID-19 measures for the beaches in Portugal

7 reasons to visit Portugal this summer

After several months at home and possibly some cancelled trips, you must be as eager as us to travel again! The majority of the team of SeaBookings lives in Portugal and this is also where the company was founded. There are many reasons to visit Portugal bus now, given the current circumstances, we’d like to share some special reasons to visit Portugal this summer.

In fact, Portugal is ready and prepared to receive you for summer holidays. Check out our 7 reasons to visit Portugal this summer:

Surfers have been enjoying the sea again since May 4th

1. Beaches in Portugal are already open for the practice of sports

Since May 4th, we can enjoy the beaches again, not to sunbathe yet, laying on a towel, but to walk, run or practice any other watersports like surfing. We can already enjoy the beach! Let’s cross our fingers that very soon, we can freely enjoy the beach again.

According to the Algarve Travel Board, beaches will open in June, with health regulations and procedures in place. A maximum number of people per beach is one of the possible measures. Let’s see.

And if you like waterparks, the Algarve Travel Board points to June and July to reopen these, again with special health measures. The park’s capacity will, therefore, be reduced and have compulsory use of masks in closed areas like restaurants and stores.

Marina de Lagos by Mario Majer

2. Golf courses, marinas and some hotels are already open in Portugal

Portugal was rather quick to adopt preventive measures at an early stage of the pandemic. As such, Portugal has fewer cases than other European countries; with only 11 reported deaths per 100 000 population (May 14th, according to the ECDC). And looking within Portugal, the Algarve, our favorite destination, is one of the least affected regions in Portugal.

Some golf courses, marinas and car hire businesses are already open with strict health protocols in place, of course. Regarding hotels, over a third of hotels in the Algarve are open and the local tourism board expects this to rise to 75% in June and most to be open in July.

Portugal is a seafood paradise!

3. Delicious Portuguese Restaurants

During these times, you might want to book a hotel or apartment with a kitchen so you can cook some meals at home and use your time outdoors to enjoy nature. Take-away and delivery services have been open during the whole period of lockdown in Portugal and work very well.

The good news is also that as of May 18th, restaurants can reopen with 50 per cent capacity restrictions. 

We can’t wait to meet some wild dolphins in the middle of the sea…

4. Sea experiences will resume very soon in Portugal

Thanks to the large effort by the national authorities and also local agents, Portugal defined a set of best practices in terms of safety and security, to restart its tourism sector. The “Clean & Safe” seal is one of these measures. 

Turismo de Portugal, the Portuguese Tourism Board, recognizes companies in the Tourism sector that comply with the recommendations of the local health authority to avoid the contamination of COVID-19.

All tourism companies that wish to obtain the “Clean & Safe” seal must comply with a set of provisions. Of course, most of our local tour providers in Portugal have already obtained this seal and are ready to have you once the local authorities give us the “OK” to resume our sea experiences (it should be in the coming days). In fact, in Madeira, nautical experiences will restart already on May 20th! So if you visit Portugal this summer, you’ll be able to experience the sea to its fullest!

In addition to local tour providers, other sector agents are also strongly committed to reopening in a gradual, responsible and safe manner and commit to the seal. According to João Fernandes, President of Algarve Tourism, the Algarve already has 271 hotels, 176 tourist entertainment companies and 177 travel agencies, duly certified by this initiative of Turismo de Portugal, that pioneered this worldwide.

The airport of Lisbon is still scarily empty at the moment

5. Safety measures upon arrival in Portugal

The reopening of borders and air traffic is the main factor that still remains undefined, preventing the return of tourism in full. For now, travel from and to outside the EU will at least be banned until June 15th in Portugal

Portugal seems to be the right bet as several international airlines and tour operators are showing great interest in resuming their flights to Portugal. Some airlines already even taking reservations.

Regarding the local airports, some measures are being implemented upon arrival to ensure the protection of passengers and staff. The possible measures at airports in Portugal include:

  • Temperature measurement at arrivals;
  • Hand sanitizers at all points of the terminals;
  • Mandatory use of a mask at the terminal;
  • Warnings for the need for extra hygiene care and the need for physical distance;
  • Installation of personal protections in service counters (acrylic and glass);
  • Reinforcement of cleaning of spaces and equipment with hospital-level disinfectants and use of UV equipment, among other measures.
The Torre de Belém in Lisbon can be seen from a boat tour but also be visited from land

6. Local culture in Museums, Monuments and Cinema in Portugal

According to the Portuguese reopening plan (Plano de Desconfinamento), as from May 18th, museums, monuments and palaces, art galleries and the like will reopen with reduced capacity and physical distance. The use of masks might also be mandatory in some places.

And from June 1st, cinemas, theatres, auditoriums and concert halls should be open again. Be aware that these will have marked seats, reduced capacity and physical distance.

The sad news is that summer festivals have been banned until September 30th.

Face masks and hand sanitizer are widely available in Portugal

7. Face masks and hand sanitizer are widely available in Portugal

A few days after the use of masks in schools, public transport, shops and other closed spaces with a lot of people became mandatory in Portugal, the VAT rate was reduced from 23% to 6% on this kind of protective equipment, as well as disinfectant gel. Masks and hand sanitizer are available at pharmacies but also at big supermarkets like Continente, Pingo Doce, El Corte Inglés and Mercadona. The supermarkets Intermarché and Bricomarché stand out as they sell disposable masks and other personal protective equipment at cost prices “without any profit”.

According to ECO newspaper, the disposable masks are available for 0.40 cents a unit and a pack of 50 masks costs 20.15 euros. A 50 ml bottle of hand sanitizer is 4.90 euros and prices are monitored weekly in order to have the best price on the market.

Another reason to visit Portugal this summer are it’s spacious beaches

We know that traveling in these “new normal” times can be a bit scary, but we truly believe Portugal is a good bet. If you’ve got any doubts or tips about traveling to Portugal this summer, feel free to contact us at any time.