I fell in love with the water at a very early age. At nine years old we visited Seaworld (before all of their bad press) and discovering the marine life there almost rivalled being at Magic Kingdom and meeting the Princesses themselves. Since then I’ve been on several holidays near to a Sea or Ocean and have taken every opportunity to be out on or in the water as much as possible. With the clocks having recently gone back an hour and the British weather becoming more and more gloomy, I’ve been feeling a strong urge to pack up and travel anywhere warm.
To brighten the darker evenings, I’ve been reminiscing on previous travels; some which I’ve not written about before, but which definitely deserve recognition. If this weather has you booking up beach-side holidays to look forward to, then here are some water experiences that you should consider.
Snorkelling is one of the easiest and cheapest water activities and is great for any skill level (strength of swimming). If you’re not so confident then you can simply paddle out. Depending on where you are in the world, you’re pretty likely to spot some sea-life even in shallower -keep your feet on the floor- waters. However, if you’re a medium-strong swimmer then I’d definitely recommend a guided snorkelling trip.
When we went to Mexico with TUI we booked four excursions (within a deal which meant the fourth was free) and despite being a pretty expensive addition (£1000+ extra) to the holiday, it ensured that unforgettable memories were made. The most entertaining guide took us out on a speedboat to the best (and safest) waters to see a variety of marine life, which he also informed us about, above water, obviously. I was able to touch a puffer-fish and was the only one of the group (around 10 people) to take up holding a Black Brittle Starfish.
Coasteering and Exploring Rock Pools (Cornwall)
I love Cornwall but haven’t been for a number of years. As a child, exploring the rock pools of Cornwall was one of my favourite ways to spend a Summer. Coasteering, which involves swimming, jumping and climbing the coastline, is also a super fun idea. You don’t need a plane journey, just a sense of adventure. I would definitely advise visiting in early Summer though, and to make sure not to go it alone and to have your wits about you, rocks are often very slippery (the sight of a grown man falling straight onto his back will never leave me). It’s also pretty important to be aware of the tides.
Boat Trips (Mexico)
I briefly mentioned boat trips earlier, but you don’t have to be as enthusiastic about snorkelling as me to just enjoy a boat trip. Another of our TUI excursions was the Hidden Beaches Discovery, which felt like actual paradise (if only there were better sewerage and fridges). Being out on the boat was a part of most of our trips though, and we were even lucky enough to spot a pod of dolphins that accounted for at least a few hundred. Watching so many dolphins in their natural habitat was magical, and they definitely weren’t shy of the boat.
The above photo is the better of hundreds I took trying to capture what was one of the most memorable moments of my life. The splash at the bottom of the image was caused by the boat so you can tell just how close we were to these gorgeous creatures.
This is a little less adventurous, but it’s still lovely to be out on the water and to take things at your own pace and depth of water. I’ve been out on a Pedalo in a few places, but Halkidiki was the most enjoyable as we had a stunning view of Mount Olympus. We also had a family outing in one with a slide on the top. Although the water was far too cold for my liking, it was hilarious to watch my Dad plunge into the sea from one!
I’ve never fished in my life, but after recently watching Gordon, Gino and Fred’s Road Trip, J commented on how much he’d like to give it a go. I don’t think that it would quite be up my street, but apparently, hotels in West Yellowstone are great for fly fishing, and the Yellowstone National Park is on my to-visit list, so it could be a win-win.
* This post is in collaboration with Alicia Bakewell. All words, images and opinions are my own. Please read my full disclaimer for more information.