Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What's your favourite beach?

I've grown up close to the beach, so when I have to choose a country to live, I usually prefer one with the sea. It's completely psychological, but I feel I have more space if the sea is within easy reach.

Among my favourite beaches, Sardinia has a privileged place in the podium, but I'm still deciding whether this golden medal stems from objective consideration or rather unconscious loyalty to the sceneries of my childhood.

Truth be said, the world boasts plentiful stunning beaches and seaside landscapes.

On the South American continent, from Rio de Janeiro to Fortaleza, I would only be spoilt for choice on where to go. I've always been attracted by the semplicity of life and the spontaneity of the "south of the world", and Brazil has all rights to share the podium with my hometown.

In Fortaleza the choice goes from Beira Mar to Praia do Futuro: they are all beautiful, not excessively big and comfortably accessible from all parts of the city. Moreover, the city itself is living a period of huge economic development.

But so far, my favourite is Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana. I know, in Rio there is the beautiful Ipanema and classy Leblon, but Copacabana has kept its original Brazilian character: it's colourful and (true, I promise) people keep smiling!

On the European side, I found nice by not breathtaking the Spanish beaches of Malaga and Cadiz, while I've been completely captivated by the attractions of the main Andalusian cities such as Seville and Cordova, and their peculiar way to blend Catholic and Muslim cultures and designs.

Of course, many are the beaches I haven't been to, and among the places I'm planning to visit in a close future, the Asian beaches are the first of the list, especially after my parents told me their adventures on their trip in the Far East last year. The ones I find more enticing are the beaches in Thailand, they embody the most traditional and evergreen tropical dream, they are the image of purity and the best connection between present and past.

So, where to next?


Fly Girl said...

Some wonderful choices. I love the sea too but have not been lucky enough to live near one. My post on beaches goes through my faves and I have to say, Copacabana is fun but Bahia is better!

AngelaCorrias said...

Never been to Bahia! It must be beautiful, heard that it's the soul of Brazilian culture, for sure my next destination in Brazil!

Mark H said...

Maybe I am biased but I've travelled a fair bit around the world and I still don't think anything beats the Australian beaches. The beautiful white sands on a sun-drenched day on some remote beach near a tiny seaside village is my idea of idyllic.

AngelaCorrias said...

Mark, have you been to Sardinia?? Ok, I admit, I'm quite biased, too ;-)
Very curious about Australia though..

Craig said...

I tend to agree with Mark H. I found many European beaches to be too built-up for my taste. Give me Piha's black sands and windswept surfers (Auckland, NZ), Tapotupotu Bay -- where the nearest shop is around an hour's drive away (Far North, NZ) or the miles of great Aussie beaches (sans jellyfish, sharks and other nasties).

I'm looking forward to an autumn in South America and hope to see how they compare.

AngelaCorrias said...

Hi Craig,

I know what you mean about European beaches being "built-up" and it also depends on the fact that they are much smaller than the Australian or South American ones, and much closer to built-up areas.

You can find some "isolated" beaches, but you really need to be or go with a local, and nevertheless, you might well find them packed with locals!

Mosher said...

My top choice: China Beach in Vietnam. Specifically the part directly east of the Marble Mountains, about 15km north of Hoi An.

At least up until recently when they started plonking bloody resorts down along it.

When I was there 3 years ago, you could go for a 6 mile walk up and down it and not see a single other person. The water was as clean as I've ever seen and even at 11pm was like warm bathwater.

No harassing salespeople, no deckchairs, no umbrellas... just kids playing football after school, a couple of old guys who's feed you rice wine and maybe a dozen backpackers singing round a campfire a couple of times a week.


Think those days are gone though :(

AngelaCorrias said...

Oh wow, it must have been very beautiful. I'm afraid such problems are always more common everywhere though...

Mosher said...

I know. In a way it is good - it means that tourism will increase with benefits the local economy, provides jobs and so forth. However, it is at the cost of making yet another beach that bit less unique!

Ah well, it keeps the challenge there to find new ones :)

Megan said...

Ever been to the Cinque Terre? The beaches are certainly unconventional, but hiking along the path that connects that five picturesque towns is breath-taking, with its views over the Mediterranean. I would give my right arm to permanently set up shop in Vernazza.

AngelaCorrias said...

I haven't been, Megan! But will surely go, I have friends there and what's the best excuse?

I know it's beautiful, my father used to work in that area. I think it's been declared a World Heritage site by the Unesco, it must be worth a visit!

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