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10 top places to find a stunning secret beach

10 top places to find a stunning secret beach

Wherever we travel, it’s always thrilling to find a secret spot: a cave, forest, ruins and especially a secret beach.

Secret beaches are particularly great during holiday high season when it’s hard to escape people. If privacy is something you crave, opt for beaches that are less well-known or only accessible by boat. Narrowing the search for us, the Samboat.com team has compiled a secret beach list of just this kind of escape!

Ten of the best from around the world 🙌

 

Secret beach top 10

Es Portixol beach, Ibiza, Spain

Surrounded by hills, this small cove is a hidden gem located in the north of Ibiza. It’s usually only frequented by fishermen of the boat huts.

Perfect for those looking for their own little private beach, Es Portitxol features amazing turquoise green waters, creating your own mini paradise. The serene cove is protected from the elements. It’s completely surrounded by hills covered in pine trees, making the hike to get there totally worth it.

 

Visiting Ibiza? Find out where to be at sunset or head to one of our favourite beach bars!

 

Palm Beach, Barbuda

Known for its sparkling white sands that gleam a shade of pink in patches thanks to the vast expanse of seashells on the shore, Palm Beach is one of the world’s most spectacular secret beaches.

The beach is only accessible by boat, meaning it acts as a quiet escape away from the hordes of tourists and with nothing but sand and sea for miles it’s important to bring a sun hat and sun cream.

Take a visit to Palm Beach as the prefect opportunity to go swimming or snorkelling in the dazzling apple-green water.

 

Koh Lanta, Thailand

An hour’s speedboat journey from Krabi airport, Koh Lanta is home to nine secret beaches, all surrounded by the beautiful Andaman Sea.

Head to Lek beach (also known as ‘secret beach’ to locals) for perhaps the most beautiful beach on this island. Away from tourist hotspots, this quaint spot is typically only visited by those tipped off by Thai residents, exaggerating its ‘secret’ status.

Although completely undeveloped, there is a small wooden shack beach bar named by the synonymous Lek and a spectacular view of the sunset, what more could you really need?

 

secret beaches where to go top 10

 

Galešnjak, Croatia

Featuring a distinct heart-shaped coastline, this island is also known as lover’s island and it is one of the most popular islands in the world right now.

With no man-made features or tourist facilities, there are countless secret beaches to be explored, and the best bit? Seclusion is guaranteed as the island is only accessible by boat.

With a terrain empty of commercial infrastructure, the beaches here are indeed the perfect lover’s paradise, setting the stage for an idyllic and uninterrupted getaway.

 

St. Peter’s Pool, Malta

With crystal clear waters offering incredible snorkelling opportunities, the sea at St. Peter’s Pool is one of Malta’s most spectacular natural swimming pools.

Okay we’re cheating a little here as it isn’t technically a beach; however it is an experience second to none.

The pool is so remote that you’ll never struggle to find a spot, no matter what time of year it is and the surrounding rocks are perfect for some secluded sunbathing.

 

Flamenco Beach, Puerto Rico

Only a brief journey from the mainland, Flamenco beach is constantly ranked amongst various lists of the World’s best beaches.

The rolling hills in the background combined with clear waters and gorgeous white sand make this one of the most memorable beaches you’ll ever experience.

 

secret beach top 10 list ed

 

Salema, Algarve, Portugal

With dinosaur footprints embedded into the limestone, this is a palaeontologist’s haven. The half-mile-long beach boasts fantastic golden sand and seas that are perfect for swimming thanks to the strong waves and strikingly clear waters.

Seaweed is replaced by a variety of small shells on this beach, emphasising clarity. Free from tourists, this is the perfect secret beach to dig your toes into.

 

Praia Do Penedo, Portugal

Take a break from the big city in Lisbon and chase secret beaches around the country.

Located on the small Portuguese island of Porto Santo, this beach is covered in a layer of sugar-fine golden sand that have alleged healing attributes.

Due to its location at the furthest southern point on the island, this is arguably the quietest and most secret beach on our list but it is definitely worth the journey.

 

Kauapea Beach, Hawaii

You’d think tourists would flock here thanks to its breath taking beauty, however, with no public roads leading to it; Kauapea Beach is often referred to as ‘secret beach’.

Privacy is easy on this beach as it’s so vast that you often feel like you have the entire beach to yourself; however be aware that if you walk too far down you may encounter the unofficial part of the beach where clothing is considered ‘optional’.

 

Navagio Beach, Greece

An exposed cove surrounded by towering limestone cliffs, Navagio beach is located north of the Greek island of Zakynthos. The cove is more commonly known as ‘Smugglers cove’ as it is said to be the location of the shipwreck of an alleged smugglers ship many years ago.

Adding to its secluded status, the beach is only accessible by boat and the silvery white sand and clear waters are a must see if you’re on the island.

 



 

How a dog hotel is helping find furever homes 💕

How a dog hotel is helping find furever homes 💕

This lovely story on how a dog hotel is helping to find furever homes popped into our inbox recently.

We were so inspired that we had to share. We’re embarking on pawesome travels ourselves, and one of our most visited posts here is on options available for your dog when you travel. So, we figured this dog hotel item is a good fit 🐕

A boutique dog hotel making a big difference

As this tale goes, in March 2017 Ashley Bush received a photo from a friend. The pic featured an adorable little dog called Chester who was ‘one of the team’ greeting guests in the lobby of a Florida hotel, the Aloft Tallahassee Downtown.

Chester was a rescue dog, recruited as part of the hotel’s foster dog program.

Curiosity got the better of Ashley. That’s how she ended up stopping in to meet Chester.

The Leon County Humane Society had placed the Pekingise/Chihuahua cutie at Aloft for his effervescence and abundant cuteness. They also figured he had a unique ability to thrive in the busy environment of a hotel lobby. If he got tired, they’d set him up with his own doghouse, a custom-built replica of the hotel.

Ashley said she felt an immediate connection with Chester (pictured below).

“I put him on a leash and took him around. He jumped up on the sofa next to me, very curious and sweet. Chester seemed very well-adjusted.”

 

How a dog hotel is helping find furever homes - Chester before adoption

 

Travel + dogs 🐶

Ashley and her partner, Walter, ended up adopting Chester 🙌

How many of us are likely to book a local hotel staycation, and leave with a furry friend? Cooper and I probably would!

Chester was the third dog adopted from the Aloft Tallahassee Downtown as part of their foster pet program. This excellent initiative was started by the Aloft Asheville Downtown and it’s spread to some of the group’s other hotels in America.

Each hotel partners with a top local animal rescue facility and hundreds of rescue dogs have found new homes through the collective program.

 

Chester before adoption - amazing work being done by this dog hotel

 

Where did the idea come from?

Seems serendipity was at play. Emma Ledbetter, director of food and beverage at Aloft Asheville, was flying to interview for her current job. She sat next to a man who worked at an animal rescue facility. They got to talking, and coincidentally ended up sitting next to each other on the flight back. That’s when she had an idea…

After securing her job, she brainstormed with the hotel’s general manager about having an ‘ambassador dog’ that would ultimately be adopted.

The first canine guest, Gabriel, was housed in the back office and it took just three days to find him a new home. Staff then moved their foster dogs into a contained area in the lobby, and had the custom dog house built.

“Even associates who aren’t really dog people got excited and helped make the program a success,” Emma says. “And the guests love it. It’s so fun to see businessmen come in and the first thing they do is greet the dog.”

 

Chester after adoption

 

Corporate culture and man’s best friend 💕

Ingrained in McKibbon Hospitality’s corporate culture is the opportunity for teams to undertake projects that will enhance the guest experience, lift employee enthusiasm and do good in the community.

“The foster dog project is a perfect example of how these factors converge,” says Randy Hassen, President of McKibbon Hospitality. “It checks all the boxes. And it’s a great example of innovative thinking about how to run a successful hotel. We’re not surprised that three of our other Aloft properties started their own programs.”

 

Chester is still living happily with Ashley and Walter. But, his new family haven’t forgotten where he came from. They frequently take him for visits. His hotel family still loves him too.

 

~

We’ve since discovered there’s a number of hotels around the world running schemes like this! Here’s 5 you might like to read about.

If you know of any other great schemes like this, or awesome animal tales linked with travel, let us know about it in the comments. 

 



 

The X-Files and Vancouver travel journal | first time travel diary

The X-Files and Vancouver travel journal | first time travel diary

The X-Files is back in 2016 – how X-traordinary. To say I was obsessed with this show when I was in high school is probably an understatement, but what can I say – it was a good one – still is! Not surprising then, that my X-Files and Vancouver travel journal is a prized possession.

I wasn’t alone – I had mates, Leisa, Michelle, Julie, Jacquie, Melissa… to name but a few. We all fed the beast. There are worse things to be addicted to though, and actually this series taught me about smart storytelling, mythology, history, passion, spirituality and creativity.

Like many fans around the globe, I’ve begun watching episodes again, cherry-picking my favourites, as sadly I don’t have time to get through all nine seasons (just yet). Through the re-watching exercise I’m remembering why I loved it so much – depth, characters and chemistry (despite at-times dodgy ’90s sound and production technology).

I also found one of my favourite destinations in the world because of this special production – Vancouver.

As many diligent fans before me, I too made the pilgrimage to Vancouver to hunt X-Files sets (although by the time my brother and I travelled to North America, filming had been shifted to LA). I ended up discovering a city I feel utterly at home in.

Life is strange and beautiful.

Anyway, the treasured travel diary I kept on that original adventure has since been in my top three personal possessions that I would take with me in the face of that hypothetical fire! The trip was my first foray into freedom, travel, challenges and real growth, fueling an incessant wanderlust; this diary and its stories of our adventures over six weeks in five areas of America and Canada represented all of that, particularly in the many years that followed where travel was not part of my life.

Now the show which inspired me in my teens is back (as of 24 January 2016) and also shot on location in Van, I decided I’d read back to relish in what actually happened across December 1999/January 2000, as Josh and I investigated on our own, throughout British Columbia (BC), to California and beyond.

Did we find what we were looking for?

Read on…


X-Files and Vancouver travel journal

17 January 2000

Vancouver now – so much to tell! Flying into British Columbia (BC) and driving to our city accommodation, I was breathless seeing snow-capped mountains, green grass, clean streets… this place is lovely!

We stay in Gastown, the oldest, original part of Vancouver. Quaint shops line Powell and Water Streets, and downtown city centre is only a block or two away.

The X-Files travel blog diary extractFound Canada Place where the ‘fountain scene’ from X-Files episode ‘Duane Barry’ was filmed, as well as the Gastown rail yards where many other X-Files episodes were shot (located a street behind our accommodation, actually). This, all framed by pretty waterways, ocean and snow-drenched mountains.

Met up with [Josh’s friend] Shawna yesterday. Took the skytrain to Surrey to meet her then drove back towards the city and had a look at Granville Island. Along the route, the epic landscape evolved – mountains, flat lands, residential areas, parks, snow – so inspiring, and appropriately (in my head, at least) the ride was set to an anthemic soundtrack of Savage Garden’s album, Affirmation.

Today was the real treat though. Woke up to find sunlight and fairly warm weather (7 degrees!). Decided to aim for Lighthouse Park and Atkinson Point in west Vancouver. This is the forest park where much including ‘Darkness Falls’ X-Files episode was filmed. Found the right bus route and it was a nice ten minute walk through the woods that eventually open up to the sparkling seaway. Beautiful BC!

Caught the bus back to Park Royal Shopping Mall for lunch. By accident, I spotted Buntzen Lake on a map. Previously I couldn’t find this precious location where ‘One Breath’ and ‘Quagmire’ were filmed.

The X-Files travel blog diary 2000Worked out the bus to Lonsdale Quay, seabus to Waterfront, skytrain to Westminster and then found another bus to take us to the area around Buntzen Lake just fine – I was a woman on a mission; too bad I can’t navigate my way around Brisbane this well.

Only problem, we didn’t realise it would take an hour and a half to get to this quieter and more regional part of BC – far away from Vancouver. We got there nearly on dark.

A local showed us a short-cut to the remote lake which turned out to be a twenty minute hike through snow, forest and mud, over a dodgy wooden bridge and well into falling darkness.

Emerging out the other side we found this peaceful, shimmering body of water surrounded closely by snowy mountains. It was the picture image of ‘One Breath’ (though I understand this emotional episode was filmed at a few locations around the region). The anxiety and craziness of walking back through a foreign forest in darkness (far too close for my liking to having just seen Blair Witch Project) will be worth it if any photos turn out to capture this simply magic moment. It was stunning, and gratifying finding this place, for many reasons. I can’t believe I’m here, cosy amongst such tranquility and in a world so far removed from Queensland. I should have written more on Vancouver. It’s touched me so.

Grouse Mountain and first time snow

The very definition of ‘winter wonderland’ is stepping off the skyride at Grouse – for above the city, through and beyond the clouds, Grouse was like a glowing powdery-white world of its own. Certainly, we’d never seen anything like this before. Josh tried skiing. I took photos with my new camera. The experience was just amazing. I’ve become obsessed with photography, especially framing the picturesque beauty of BC.

Friday 21 January 2000

Counting my location spots: found Grouse “Skyland” Mountain (‘Ascension’), Buntzen Lake in Anmore (‘Quagmire’, ‘One Breath’, ‘Conduit’), Lighthouse Park (‘Darkness Falls’ forest) and more across the city; Hotel Vancouver from ‘Fire’, St Andrew Wesley Church and St Paul’s Hospital from ‘All Souls’ and ‘Pusher’ respectively. Saw the site of the arcade from ‘DPO’, and the Ovaltine Cafe from ‘Jose Chung’, but these shops in north Vancouver and downtown don’t exist anymore. Found the GM Place stadium [now Rogers Arena] where the huge chess game and final Vancouver ep, ‘The End’ was filmed; and the fountains at Canada Place used in ‘Duane Barry’.

BC Grouse Mountain Sarah Blinco travellivelearn

Of course, we stayed in Gastown where much was filmed, including the rail yards and Water Street from ‘Redux II’, and ‘Beyond the Sea’, plus found the ‘angel made of stone’ from the same episode outside the city’s central transit centre. In Vancouver, The X-Files is all around you – particularly brilliant if you’re a fan. There’s always something being filmed around the streets of the city, it’s really cool. Vancouver proves to be true to its nickname, Hollywood of the North.

Pondering all this and sheltered from a cold winter’s night, I enjoyed a post-dinner tea in a cafe on Powell/Water Street, across the road from our hostel. Chatted to the owners who told me more about all the filming which happens around here. In fact, they had a photo of Billy Zane from when he filmed The Survivor in that very space!

We’ve decided to stay an extra day to return and attempt to capture better photos in the sunlight at Buntzen Lake, then we’re going straight to San Francisco. Oh, and I stopped by GM Place earlier to say I stood there (Ricky Martin is playing there on March 3!).

Spent some time on my own over the past couple of days, and I love the anonymity. Breakfasts have an ‘arty’ feel and I have adopted a favourite coffee shop in Gastown where I go almost daily for tea and fave North American find, sticky buns.

Just as I have to leave, I realise I’m sad because I’ve found a  place here. Nestled snugly within the Burrard Inlet, snowy slush and bare trees; despite a crisp winter not previously experienced by us, it’s a bitter-sweet comfort being so far away from home. But I can breathe.

Change of scenery – X-Files and LA

30 January 2000

The X-Files travel blog visitor pass[My friend] Lauren and I staked out Fox Studios in Los Angeles today – we’ve made it to the one and only Hollywood now! Fox is down on the Avenue of the Stars at Century City, between the massive space of Pico Boulevard and Olympic Boulevard, south of Santa Monica. We saw props and buildings which would be sets, we imagine, but no-one was around for us to question.

I have a phone number to make use of tomorrow. I’m fearful of hearing that word, ‘no’, but I’m not easy to stop! It’s worth a shot anyhow, to see if I can get on the set – I’ve come so far, why stop now?

Superbowl today, but I’m more excited about the brand new XF New Year ‘kiss’ episode that’s on tonight, ahead of Australia 🙂

X-Files Day – 30 January 2000

The X-Files travel blog diary extract travellivelearn.comThe world’s technology didn’t shut down on New Year’s as predicted, and just as astonishing, I talked to Gillian Anderson at 6.30pm tonight, before she left with [her daughter] Piper! She was lovely and pretty and had her costume on from the movie! I told her I’d come all the way from Australia and she smiled. She asked what we were doing there and I said we’d been watching filming. She laughed and said it must have been “so exciting” (the scene was fairly low action, not that I cared at all). Then she shook my hand and said it was nice to meet me. Dream done.

The second shot we saw in our two and a half hours on set, was of Scully receiving a phone message from Mulder and then she could be seen adjusting her bra before she left with an overnight bag and the Cigarette Smoking Man (who also smiled and said hello when we were on set)! We listened to proceedings in our own ‘Guest’ director chairs with headphones to hear what was going on, and could see in the monitor the shot in sequence.

I got to meet Gillian Anderson today, and watch her play the character I love. I made this happen somehow. No one can take this away from me! This is amazing. I’ve read back through my diary too, and noted the aspiration to make this set visit somehow come alive here. I believe that it was always meant to happen – I just knew it, but I didn’t know how. ‘I want to believe’ (yep, truly dorky fan-nerd pun right there!).

Turned out we were watching the filming of ‘All Things’. And we could eat what we wanted from the huge snack table. Can’t believe after sweating on hold on the phone this morning and talking through several different people that they agreed to let Josh and I on set. I pulled this one-off by calling Fox myself and basically making it happen (despite being shy!). I can’t quite believe it but I’m very very glad.

2016 - present day

Funnily enough, I still live by this exact mantra today – write your desires down and go for it – regardless of fear. What’s the worst that can happen? More importantly, what’s the best thing that could happen?! That’s the lesson I share.

Looking back, I’m pretty proud of my ‘little self’ for being so resourceful and passionate in pursuit of her dreams, no matter how ‘out there‘ they may have been.

As for Vancouver, I’ve been there a few times now, and we even lived and worked in Gastown for a spell. Despite having to say goodbye to the city repeatedly over the years, it’s been a wonderful X-perience and ride.

Please share your thoughts below, I’d love to hear from you!


If you’re interested in more stories from this divine part of the world, you might also enjoy:

Heaven is Harrison Hot Springs

Coffee & cocktails in Gastown

Love this artist, Lisa Penz

Wonderful Whistler adventures

Discovering Grouse Mountain and Victoria, Vancouver Island

48 hours in San Francisco

48 hours in San Francisco

This ‘city by the bay’, known for its famous landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and cable cars offers an abundance of attractions, dining, shopping, and night life that’s are certainly less pretentious than its Los Angeles counterpart but no less indulgent or exciting. Voted the ‘Best US City by Conde Nast Traveler for 16 years running, the city has recently been named the home of the upcoming Super Bowl 50 in February 2016 for the USA‘s National Football League (NFL).

Whether you’re just passing through heading to the Napa/Sonoma wine country or staying longer in this travel hotspot, here are a few suggestions for keeping yourself entertained while enjoying the ‘fog city’ even if you’re short on time.

48 hours in San Francisco – what to do

Dining and drink

San Francisco has no shortage of culinary treats to please every palate. From slow food to street food, farm-to-fork or caviar to champagne; no matter what your taste, this city has something to match it.

Urban Tavern main dining room

The modern Urban Tavern offers fresh, seasonal produce where 80 per cent of the ingredients are sourced within 100 miles of the Bay Area. Classic items that have previously been featured on the Urban Tavern menu have included spicy beer sausage and house made pretzel, crawfish and wild mushroom turnovers, five spice braised baby back ribs; and more.

The restaurant’s wine list is focused on selections that are organic, bio dynamic and/or made from sustainably farmed grapes. The domestic list includes more than 100 local vintages and even the table water being served is filtered in-house, not obtained from a commercial source.

Step back in timewith thistribute to old San Fran glamour as John’s Grill is an iconic restaurant located near Union Square. Featuring a wall full of photo of the famous diners who’ve enjoyed this eatery over the years, this particular restaurant’s atmosphere was also once made famous by Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon. The menu features a wide variety of steak, seafood and pasta options as well as a heavy serving of nostalgia.

Bluxome Winery Barrel with Lights

If it’s a tasty drop you’re after, Bluxome Street Winery is the first San Franciscan winery in over a decade. While the city was once long ago full-to-the-brim with wine-makers, unfortunately, most of the wine-making facilities were destroyed due to the 1906 earthquake and its ensuing fires.

Now the Winery offers enthusiasts a way to experience some of what makes the California wine region a favourite without leaving the city. The Winery crushes and ferment its grapes on site to produce small quantities of high quality pinot noir, chardonnay, and sauvignon blanc.

Often the site of special epicurean dinners, tastings and more, it’s well worth the visit.

 

Things to do

Geographically speaking, the city is small enough to get around in a short period of time which makes it easy to see and do a number of things in just two days, particularly if you take the iconic cable cars.

Among the quintessential San Francisco icons, the Golden Gate Bridge is said to be one of the most photographed structures in the world and still manages to impress visitors with its expansive span over the Bay. Also in the San Francisco Bay is the notorious Alcatraz prison, former home to some of the most famed ‘baddies’ in US history including Al Capone. This prison was closed in the 1960’s and remains a fascinating tour and attraction for exploration.

Fishermans_Wharf

Fisherman’s Wharf is also home to Pier 39, an area bursting with waterfront shopping, dining and night life options. It’s also home to a large and highly photogenic community of seas lions who have taken up residence on the floats to the west of the pier.

Serious shoppers will adore Union Square with its multiple department stores, designer boutiques any so much more all within a short stroll.

Sea Lions 2

Lastly, and certainly one of the city’s most underrated attractions, Beach Blanket Babylon, is a quirky comedic musical revue that’s stood the test of time for 40 years. The outrageous and elaborate costumes, irreverent humour and high calibre performances are enough to even make the toughest crowds chuckle. While much of the humour is based in American pop culture, even international guests will connect with the jokes. Performances are held at Club Fugazi in the North Beach district and are well worth booking for something out of the box.

Where we stayed

The Taj Campton Place is centrally located in Union Square and offers easy access to most anything in the city. Rooms are spacious and comfortable and in 2010, its restaurant earned one Michelin Star.

For more inspiration on this destination visit The San Francisco Travel Association at www.sanfrancisco.travel

 

About the author
Gwen O’Toole is an accomplished writer focussing on travel, events management and food and wine. She also published a fiction novel while spending the past eight years as a magazine editor and travelling the globe before launching The Ideas Library, a creative services and event management company. She is regularly featured in a variety of travel and leisure publications and blogs.

 

Have you visited San Francisco recently? Do you have any extraordinary experiences you can share with us in the comments below? We’d love to hear from you! 

 

 

Mont Tremblant in Canada’s summer

Mont Tremblant in Canada’s summer

Gareth Anderson explores Mont Tremblant in Canada‘s summer, a fun winter sports playground, and ideal for a warmer-months tour through the land of the great redwoods. There’s plenty to keep even the most dedicated adrenaline junkie happy, and he shares insight with TravelLiveLearn.com …

Mont Tremblant is most often seen under a frosting of fresh powder nestled as it is in the Laurentian mountains of Quebec. But this mountain playground is even better bathed in summer sunshine. Check out the challenging mountain biking trails, improve your grade on the many outdoor rock climbing routes or put your best foot forward and set out on a hike. This is a great destination for active families who will be well placed to enjoy the mountain from one of the many accommodation options on offer across the town.

Lighthouse Park Canada hiking outdoors travellivelearn.com

Climbing

Mont Tremblant National Park has a variety of European and North American style routes to try. If you are looking for a good introduction then the Tremblant Climbing School can teach you the basic techniques to get you started. Or if you are seeking something unique why not try the Diable Via Ferrate? These ‘via ferratas’ which translates as ‘iron roads’ are made up of steps, handles and beams hammered into the rock face. Climbers are clipped into a steel cable that runs the length of the route making it safe for all levels and ages. The view from 200 metres up is truly spectacular.

Biking and running

Biking fans won’t want to miss the Quebec and Canada Cup Mountain Bike Race. Over 1,000 bikers take on the mountain in this challenging downhill race each year. There are also cross country trail races that make the most of the many miles of mountain bike tracks in Mont Tremblant. Keen cyclists can also enjoy the excitement – or of course take part in – the Mont Tremblant Iron Man Competition. Competitors must swim 3.8 km across Lake Tremblant, cycle for 180 km and as if that’s wasn’t enough, run 42.2 km to reach the finish line at the Tremblant pedestrian village. You can get a taster of the Iron Man Competition by taking part or cheering on the athletes in the Mont Tremblant Triathlon. There are different levels to choose from, so match ambition to your course!

Kayaking at Deep Cove in British Columbia travellivelearn.com

Water Sports

Mont Tremblant also offers great options for those who want to spend some time on the water, kayaking, canoeing, rafting and sailing are all readily available around the resort. Rafting down the white water of the Rouge River is about as exhilarating as it gets, but if you want a slightly more restrained experience, La Diable river or the hidden beaches of the lake are easily explored by kayak. On the lake itself sailing, water skiing and wakeboarding are available at all levels with tuition on hand for those looking to get started or to simply improve skills.

hiking in the woods Canada Deep Cove travellivelearn.com

Hiking

In the winter months the trails are covered in snow and ski slopes dominate everyone’s attention. In summer the hiking map is revealed, allowing walking enthusiasts to enjoy over 12 trails of varying distances with stunning views of the surrounding countryside. For those who like to take the scenic route down, there is the option of taking the panoramic gondola – the perfect way to arrive back at base refreshed and ready for your next adventure.

 

We adore Canada and British Columbia and believe it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world.
 
Take a look for yourself here on Flickr
.
Bye beautiful British Columbia

Bye beautiful British Columbia

British Columbia Gastown Vancouver travellivelearn.comVancouver, you’re my third home. It’s been brilliant living and working in the city for a couple of months.

I’ve loved it here ever since my first visit in 2000. At that time I was merely in pursuit of old X-Files’ filming locations (“nerd”), but my mad film obsessions lead me to one of the prettiest, easy-going, outdoorsy and downright beautiful places on the planet.

Bye beautiful British Columbia… 

We stayed in Gastown (pictured) this time around. Sure, this historical part of town is renowned – one, for being a waterfront tourist mecca, but two, for hosting a ‘wide variety’ of people – from the wealthy design set to the ‘residentially challenged’ as they say here.

Across my three visits I’ve never ever had a problem in Vancouver, even in the so-called ‘dodgy’ area. I’m enamoured of the city and its water views across to the northern section, and the reciprocal views from North Vancouver to the downtown area.

Tom Cochrane Life is a Highway lyrics always spring to mind when I look across from Lonesdale Quay as sun sets across the cityscape. There’s nothing more lovely than strolling through Gastown in the evening as it is lit up by fairy-light encrusted trees and old Parisian style street lamps.

beautiful British Columbia Vancouver travellivelearn.com

Cycling around stunning Stanley Park, fish ‘n chips at Deep Cove, snowboarding down Grouse Mountain overlooking the vast city, watching productions set up for a day’s filming then disappear, and getting lost amongst Capilano’s Christmas Canyon light display – it’s all magical to me, and I can attest first-hand to the many reasons this city is consistently voted one of the most liveable, and naturally gorgeous, in the world.

I’ve written several travel pieces on the region, focusing on the plethora of activities, sights and attractions… in fact it’s all happening in Vancouver! This time around however, I’d like to touch on Vancouver’s vibe, its people – they’re cool, creative, interesting, friendly and welcoming. We had the pleasure of meeting several new friends in Vancouver this year – some of the most interesting, inspired people I’ve met in a long time – you know who you are!

Then there’s the dog factor. They’re everywhere, and Vancouverites love ‘em, therefore I love Vancouverites. Dogs and coffee… it’s a little like dogs ‘n beer going hand-in-hand in London pubs.

Finally, the really noticeable nicety about Vancouver? The air! It’s clean, crisp, fresh… beautiful British Columbia (BC) is actually pretty ‘green’. They’ve had electric buses on the streets for a long time, even beyond when I was first here. It’s noticeable. Clear skin and fresh air in a busy city. Two thumbs up to everyone contributing to that, many cities should be paying attention.

I hope to see you again soon, Vancouver, and BC. I’m inspired by your beauty and the fact that no matter how much time I spend I can never seem to get enough of your amazing offerings. So, I’ll just have to head back again one day x

We adore Canada and British Columbia and believe it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world.

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