Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Beaches in Malta: Ghajn Tuffieha Bay and Golden Bay

Ghajn Tuffieha Bay in MaltaTwo of my favourite beaches in Malta are Golden Bay and Ghajn Tuffieha Bay, they both sit next to each other and are only walking distance apart. They are situated on the Western part of Malta, with Golden bay having most of the facilities, like places to eat and toilets and the large 5 star Radisson Golden Sands Hotel and thus this beach gets much more populated especially in mid summer. You can hire all sorts of equipment for watersports from this beach and there is a diving school also located on site.

If you are looking for an un-crowded beach, somewhere to get a little peace and quiet Ghajn Tuffieha Bay may be just what you are looking for, this beach is also great for snorkeling. Because Ghajn Tuffieha Bay does not have any facilities, it tends to be much quieter and though it cannot be described as a nude beach, I have seen nudists at the far end of the beach before. If that is not your thing, you can easily stay away from that area and you would probably not even notice them.

You have to climb over 100 steps or you can choose to climb down hillside paths to get to Ghajn Tuffieha bay and so would not be suitable for anyone who has dificulty in climbing. To get to Golden Bay and Ghajn Tuffieha Bay you can take the bus Route 47 from Valletta or alternatively route 652 from Sliema.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Jumeriah Beach in Dubai

Dubai (2008) 10
Originally uploaded by Martin O'Connell
Dubai is a fantastic winter holiday location, with tons of shopping, loads of world class golf courses and stunning beaches.

This post is however all about what is acceptable for you to wear on the beaches in Dubai

I often get asked if it is ok to wear a bikini on the beaches in Dubi. I think wearing a bikini on the private hotel beaches like the Jumeirah Beach Hotel located near Jumeriah Beach is fine and you will not offend anyone. The photo of this post is actually of a couple on Jumeirah Beach and as you can see she is definitely wearing a bikini. I would say though it would probably be inadvisable to go topless in Dubai, save that for your beach holidays to Spain and Portugal!

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Topless Beaches in Malta

P'tit cul maltais
Originally uploaded by jdlechere
I have had a number of people asking me if the beaches in Malta are topless, or indeed if there are any nude beaches in Malta.

From the research that I have done, I think officially public nudity is illegal in Malta, but having said that I have seen some people go nude on some remote beaches like Gnejna Bay.

As for topless sunbathing, most people turn a blind eye to topless bathing, but again it tends to be done at the more remote beaches of Malta and Gozo.

So to answer your question, I would say that it is ok, as long as you don't wander the streets or go into the bars topless! For me though this is definitely not a reason not to visit Malta and it's wonderful beaches.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Active Winter Sun Holidays in Dubi (Dubai)

Dubai Golf
Dubai or Dubi as many people seem (including me) seem to spell it by mistake, is an excellent location for a winter sun holiday location where it is possible to view a completely different way of life as well as go to the beach, perhaps play a bit of golf as well as experience some of the finer things in life. In this post I am going to focus on some of the more physical activities you can enjoy on holiday in Dubai.

Dubi as a active holiday location?
Desert safaris, camel racing, sand skiing, golf and exploring the wadis in a 4x4 vehicle are all very popular in Dubi.

Dubai Golf Holidays
Dubi also has some of the best Golf courses that you could ever wish for and is an excellent location for a golfing holiday. one of the best and probably most well known golf courses in Dubi is the Dubai Emirates Club and actually has two 18 hole par 72 courses: The Majlis, which is where the famous Dubai Dessert Classic [Dubai Desert Classic] is played and the Wadi which was redesigned by Nick Faldo in 2006. Like most golf courses in this region it is a magnificent oasis of green grass and water features reclaimed from the desert sand and well worth a visit to anyone who loves their golf. If you want more info try this guide to all Dubai Golf Courses including the emirates golf club Dubai.

Scuba Diving DubaiScuba Diving in Dubai
Scuba diving is often forgotten by people looking for some adventure in Dubai, which is a shame as there is some pretty good dive sites and centers in Dubi.

Hotels in Dubai that have a dive center include the Jumeirah Beach Hotel (00 971 4348 0000) and you can expect to pay around £15/US$30 per trip if you have your own equipment, or if you ar new to diving in Dubai around £280/US$500 for a full PADI open water qualification. Children are also welcome and they have dive courses suided for them as well.

Another location is the The Scuba International Headquarters is a fully licensed PADI 5 star Instructor Development diving centre in Dubai located on the Al Wasl Road and has a purpose built on-site swimming pool for training.

Wadi Bashing - 4x4 Holidays in Dubai
Wadi Bashing involves bouncing a four wheel drive vehicle (4WD) through dried up creeks and river beds. There are many companies that run safaris to Wadi Hatta or the Hajar Mountains, so should not be very difficult to organise.

If you are more of an independent traveler you can try camping under desert stars or again organise the trip through a company.

Jebel Shams lays claim to the title "Grand Canyon of the Middle East", climbing up to nearly a mile-and-a-half above sea level. The eastern emirates have plenty to offer too. Ras Al Kaimah to Dibba is a classic route, climbing from sea level to over 6,000ft and back again. It's always advisable to take a second car and tow rope in case one gets stuck. Most major car-hire firms are represented at Dubai airport an important point is 4x4's will need to be booked in advance.

For more info on Holidays in Dubi check out Dubi Holidays & Beach Holiday Guide

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Winter Sun Holiday in Cape Verde

Cape Verde makes an excellent spot as a beach holiday destination all year round, but because of it's location, it also makes the perfect winter sun beach holiday destination.

So where is Cape Verde?
For those of you who don't know, Cape Verde is a group of very small islands in the Atlantic Ocean, just off the coast of Africa and so make a great tropical island paradise almost all year round. The temperature in winter average around 24 degrees Celsius and the summer has a low temperature of around 29 degrees Celsius. So thats the first check sorted in any good beach holiday - the weather.

The beaches in Cape Verde
Cape Verde has some of the best beaches I have ever seen, up till now pretty much unspoilt, the perfect place for a relaxing beach holiday. For the more energetic there are also beaches that offer water sports, like windsurfing, snorkeling and even scuba diving around the islands.

So apart from the beaches what else is there to do in cape Verde?
Cape Verde is known for it's their own style of folk music, which is sung all over the island and there are many laid back beach bars and clubs where you can join in.

Like most tropical beach locations, Cape Verde also makes a great spot for your honeymoon or a romantic holiday as it has a very laid back out of the way feel to it. You could easily rent a holiday villa or self catering holiday apartments giving you all the seclusion you could ask for for the ultimate romantic holiday!

The Cape Verde’s islands are however much more than just a beach holiday destination, if you venture inland you will find some stunning scenery perfect for those who love of hiking. It is also important to remember that each island is unique and special in it's own way and my advice would be to definitely do a bit of island hopping.

So there you go, I would recommend The Cape Verde Islands as a truely relaxing beach holiday destination both as a winter sun holiday location and as a summer destination. So if you are lloking for something a little different why not give these beautiful islands a try.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

The Best Girls in Bikinis 02

Fun at the Beach 3
Originally uploaded by ellievanhoutte
Wow what a stunner!!

The whole idea of my Girls in Bikinis series was to find photos of babes at the beach in costumes, but I wanted them to be amateurs, not professional models. In my opinion she could easily be a model and what makes it more interesting is I think really great photo is of herself - many thanks for sharing and allowing us to share the photo as well!

The Best Girls in Bikinis 01

Giannella 061506
Originally uploaded by andicati
Ok, for me and I guess many other guys out there, one of the definite bonuses of beach holidays whether they are winter sun holidays or just plain old summer holidays are sexy beach babes in bikinis!

So I thought it would be fun to see if what were the best sexy beach bikinis I could find on Flickr that have a creative commons license of Attribution which basically means that they let others copy, distribute, display their copyrighted work but only if I give them credit.

Well here is the fist of the series her name is Giannella and was taken by Andicati and she is a real stunner I am sure you will agree!

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Happy kids in Gambia

Happy kids in Gambia
Originally uploaded by chirundu
One of my favorite photos from my trip to The Gambia. Would love to hear your comments.

Gambia River Safari

Saturday, 1 March 2008

The Best Beaches in Malta

Ghajn Tuffieha Bay - Malta
Originally uploaded by GeertVG
Whenever I go on holiday, like most people I like to do some research on where I am going. For my upcoming trip to Malta (in about 2 weeks time now! \o/) I have been trying to do some research on where are the best beaches in Malta.

Now I don't know about you, but I reckon that a good beach guide should at least contain:

A description about the beach
What facilities you can find at the beach
How to get to the beach
Photos of the beach - so you can get a good idea of what it looks like.

Now you won't believe how hard this is to find! There are plenty of guides to the best beaches out there, but to find a good one, especially for Malta was tough, but I did find one and not only did it have all that i wanted, but also contains videos from Youtube on the beach.. excellent!

Check out The Beach Holiday Guide to the best beaches in Malta

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Pretty bay, Birzebuggia

Pretty bay, Birzebuggia
Originally uploaded by ngari.norway
Excellent photo of a beach called Pretty Bay, in the south of Malta near the town of Birzebuggia.

This beach was actually a stony beach, the sand has been artificially added when the port (freeport was constructed)

I think it is the only sandy beach on the southern part of Malta.

Monday, 25 February 2008

What to see and do on your holiday in Malta

So with my holiday in Malta fast approaching, I leave in the middle of March, I thought I would do a little research to find out what else there is to see and do in Malta, besides lazing on the beach and scuba diving!

Malta Attractions
Malta have a very rich history and culture, in fact the islands of Malta and Gozo are blessed with an abundance of fascinating historical and archaeological sites, some of which preceded the building of the Pyramids!

St. John's Co-CathedralMuseums in Malta
If you enjoy visiting museums, in Malta you are in for a treat, with such a rich heritage, much of it preserved in museums there are plenty of places to visit. Each museum contains exquisite artefacts from various fields and eras be it art, archaeology, natural history, war time. And if that is not enough even more treasures can be found in the 364 churches built on the island!

So which museums do you visit?

An excellent place to start is the National Museum of Archaeology in Malta which houses a collection of artifacts from the unique prehistoric periods in the history of the island which begins with the first people to arrive in 5200 BC.

The museum is located on Republic St, Auberge de Provcence Valletta

I will also be visiting St. John's Co-Cathedral which also adjoins the St John's Co-Cathedral Museum

The church which was built between 1573-1577 by the Knights of Malta is said to contain marble tombstones where great Knights were buried as well as two great masterpieces by the artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. The museum next to the church holds many more woks of art including Tapestries and many great paintings.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Winter Sun Holidays in Malta

Yay! I am off to Malta in the middle of March 2008 and I can hardly wait.

So why a winter sun holiday in Malta?
I have been asked a few times why I decided on Malta as a destination to visit in March, well a few reasons really.

Cheap Flights to Malta
Traveling out of Season you can often really get some great deals, not only did I get a cheap flight to Malta, but booking the flight and hotel through Lastminute.com I managed to get the flights and 8 nights accommodation at the four star Paradise Bay Hotel with a sea view for £350 which I think is a real bargain. Even though this is a cheap holiday to Malta, I still felt a little gutted because if I had made my mind up a few days earlier I could have had the same flights and hotels for £280!! (I was booking the holiday in February about a month in advance)

Scuba Diving Malta
I have a PADI open water diving license which I got on a trip to Mombasa in Kenya a few years back, and which I have not used since then, so I was also looking for a holiday destination with some warmish water not too far from the UK, Malta has a few diving schools and companies on the islands, the one I have chosen to go with is called Paradise Diving Malta which is located within the premises of the Paradise Bay Hotel which I was staying at, one of the reasons for choosing the hotel! For 7 dives and a refresher course, I have been quoted a very reasonable 220 Euros which includes the full diving kit. During the summer they make all of our dives by boat diving off Malta, Gozo, Comino and Cominetto. The dives include visiting four different ship wrecks, numerous caverns, chimneys and reefs. As they say on their website, Paradise Diving Malta has some excellent dive sites that are about 10 to 20 minutes away by speedboat and they cater for all levels of diver.

The Weather in Malta
Because the island archipelago is south of Italy and not far from Africa, it has a very Mediterranean feel to it's climate, similar to that of Southern Greece. Generally the weather is warm, sometimes hot in late summer Autumn.

I will post a few more articles once I get back from my holidays in Malta with my conclusions. For now check out the Beach Holiday Guides to Holidays in Malta

Monday, 14 January 2008

Winter Sun Holiday in The Gambia

As mentioned in my previous post, I went on a winter sun holiday to The Gambia in West Africa this year, and escaped a little the English winter over Christmas.

The flight is only meant to be six hours from Gatwick Airport, but unfortunately we were delayed by two hours in Gatwick because of poor weather! Luckily this would be the last sort of any bad weather we'd see again until returning back in England!

After landing at Banjul International Airport, we spent a night at the coast and stayed at the Safari Garden Hotel, we then traveled inland, partly on land by bush taxi and partly by boat on the Gambia River.

Along the way we spotted many birds, we also saw dolphins in the river, monkeys, baboons, hippos and chimpanzees!

sunset on the Gambia River, West Africa

Our destination up country was the Bird Safari Camp, located near Georgetown on MacCarthy Island, not far from the Gambia River national park and where the The Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Project is located. We stayed at the Bird Safari Camp for three nights, before returning back to the beaches of The Gambia.

On the whole I would say that The Gambia is a pretty good location if you are looking for some winter sun, the temperature never dropped below 30 degrees and we never saw a cloud whilst we were there. The prices are, for me a little high for what you get, especially when you compare it to a few other locations in Africa, this is probably because of just how popular The Gambia is becoming as a tourist location, especially as a beach holiday location. The trip that we did up river was excellent and I would recommend it to anyone looking for more than just a beach holiday in the sun.

I have written a full report about the trip on another of my websites if you would like to read it: Winter Sun Holiday in the Gambia