The world has seemingly gone completely bonkers, and while not everyone can up and become an expat in the Med at the drop of a hat, most can afford to take a digital detox from the unpredictable politics and the impending end of humanity.
Here, we have collected the best holidays on water around the globe, where you can opt for high adrenaline or flopping on the sand, with or without you children and definitely sans smartphone and social media.
Of course, if you are travelling with young people, then water safety is of the utmost importance to avoid ear infections, injury, and bad tummies. Clear water isn’t always possible, but waste can be controlled with wastewater management information from XylemAnalytics, and hopefully, all of these destinations will provide safe and happy memories for years to come. Happy holidaying!
Sea kayaking in Scotland
While the idea of going to Scotland may not conjure up ideas of white sands and swaying palm trees, it holds a certain appeal for those who have a lust for moving landscapes and a touch of rough and readiness. On a trip through lochs and under mountains, you are far more likely to see otters and porpoises than you people, as well as a real chance to feel what Scotland is all about. As for accommodation, it’s not just mountain bothies and old pubs in the wild north of the Highlands, and there are many fine establishments on offer, not to mention restaurants serving some of the finest seafood on the planet.
Expedition cruising from Canada
Ah, the Galapagos! The destination of dreams for any nature lover and earth warrior. You can now take an expedition cruise, for nine days, from Canada all the way down south to these geological dreams off the coast of Ecuador. Sail by 68ft yacht and get a front row seat of nature at its best – from orcas swimming with you along the surf to sea eagles, falcons, tortoises and fish. You’ll also have the chance to stop off at small villages along the way, so you will be able to learn as you enjoy! Find out more here.
Diving in the Andaman Islands
For anyone looking to get away from the well-beaten path, look no further than the Andaman Islands. This World Heritage Archipelago, which is unknown to most divers who venture to the Bay of Bengal, is a stunning location to really detox from this hectic world of ours. There are limited liveaboard boats here, meaning that you will practically have it all to yourself, unlike when you head to the Maldives or Egypt. The water here is warm with up to 50m visibility, and divers get between four and five dives in per day. What will you see while you’re down there? Just some manta rays, shipwrecks, bioluminescence on night dives and a kaleidoscope of colorful fish.
Exploring the Azores
You wouldn’t usually think about putting volcanoes and water sports in the same sentence or destination, but the Azores run on a totally different set of rules. These green islands shoot almost vertically out of the seabed and into the sky, creating a playground like no other. You’ll spot whales from the volcano speckled land and snorkel amongst shipwrecked galleons with octopus and little rainbow fish. Inland, you can kayak in the extinct volcano craters and bathe in the geothermal pools the Terra Nostra Botanical Garden. On the Azores you can hike up mountains and dive off cliffs, explore underground lava tunnels and sail for days into the horizon. Sound good? Check out artisantravel.co.uk.
Snorkel with Sperm Whales
Out in the Dominican, they go one step further than your average whale watching boat trip, and you can dive, with three other guests and a guide, on a seven-day snorkel trip with these friendly giants. As these whales spend more time near the surface than any others, your likelihood of getting up close and personal with them is pretty high. BBC Nature photographer, Patrick Dykstra, will be your main guide and has a nack for knowing where the whales will be at any one time. He’s also a pro at getting that perfect profile picture you’ve been after. Book here.
Windsurf in Greece
Greece has got to be one of the best places in the world for those that love to windsurf. With almost guaranteed wind and warm water – this is an adrenaline lover’s dream destination. For sailing, head to the windy shores of Vassiliki on the island of Lefkada. There are plenty of windsurfing and sailing schools in this natural bay, as well as a number of festivals and competitions which are a hoot to both watch and join in with. As with anywhere in Greece, the nightlife is raving, so best to leave the kids at home if you want to get down.
Check out coral reefs in Maui
Okay, so coral reefs aren’t Maui’s only attractions, but they’re a good start! The reefs here are easily accessible for everyone, so even those with limited or no diving experience will be able to put on a mask and see what is under the surf. Humpback whales put on a spectacular show in Maui, as do other sea mammals such as dolphins and porpoises. If you are a keen surfer or want to learn to surf, Maui is the spiritual home of catching waves, and there are plenty of surf schools dotted along the beach, all at reasonable prices. Windsurfing and sailing are also popular here, so there is a watersport for every member of the family!
Explore Lake Garda
Send the kids off to learn to stand up paddle board on the lake while you head into the hills from some hardcore hiking. The wind here is fairly predictable, and there are a whole range of activity centres and watersport schools to enroll in. Venice is also just a short drive away, so it is possible to bookend an adventure activity in the mountains with a cultured couple of days wandering the waterways of this beautiful city. Don’t miss out on the gelato, Venice is famous for it!