Written by Amélie Van Hoecke
For a lot of Belgians, summer stands for having a great time on vacation. Indeed, a study of Europ Assistance reveals that 65% of the Belgian population intended to take some holidays this summer. A 2% increase compared to last year’s results and 2% above the European average.
Yet, summer is almost over and so are the sunny days …
If you are already missing those morning strolls along the beach, those afternoons at the pool reading Ken Follett’s latest bestseller or those evenings having a good drink with a breathtaking view, this article should bring back some nice memories or … inspire your upcoming trip. Yes, it’s never too early to think about your next holiday break.
Enjoy stunning views in the Azores with Thomas
Needless to say, the Azores archipelago in Portugal is renowned for its emerald green and sapphire blue lagoons, its flourishing nature and its peacefulness. If you’re heading to Sao Miguel, one of the Azores’ nine islands, you should definitely hike to Lagoa do Fogo and Lagoa das Sete Cidades, two spectacular crater lakes formed within dormant volcanoes. The stunning views you’ll get from both lakes are without a doubt worth the effort. And you certainly don’t want to leave Sao Miguel before taking a relaxing moment in the Thermal Water Pool
of Terra Nostra Park.
Embark on an adventurous trip in Thailand with Domien
If you’re looking for a pristine paradise, head over to Railay Beach in Southern Thailand. As mainland access is cut off due to high limestone cliff formations, you’ll need to hop on a short 15-minute ferry to reach this place of pure bliss. Expect white sandy beaches, backed by unspoiled forest, and delicious Thai food. Grab yourself a mojito and watch the sun sink into a stunning azure sea, dotted with limestone islands and longtail boats…
After indulging the delightfully laid-back atmosphere, the strenuous hike up to the Railay viewpoint is highly recommended. Once arrived, you are rewarded with spectacular views overlooking the Railay peninsula, which is also home to the adorable dusky leaf monkey. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a rare glimpse of one of their bright orange coloured younglings!
Put your hiking shoes on to follow Hélène in Greece
If you’re more of the sporty type and enjoy a good hike, the mountainous region of Zagori in the northern part of Epirus in Greece is definitely worth a visit.
Undoubtedly, you’ll be amazed by the region’s outstanding natural beauty.
A 5 day walk across the Vikos-Aoös National Park – one of Greece’s UNESCO Geoparks – will take you through traditional picturesque villages with beautiful stone houses and remote monasteries.
Following the cobblestone trails and tiny paths, you’ll pass by lovely arched stone bridges and get the chance to dive into the Drakolimni (or “Dragon Lake” in Greek) for a refreshing swim.
To complete the trekking experience, you’ll cross the impressive Vikos Gorge – the world’s deepest canyon (in proportion to its width) according to the Guinness Book of Records – along the Voidomatis’ bed. Absolutely stunning!
Enjoy the power of nature in the Shetlands Islands with Miguel
If you enjoy vast landscapes of green grass and scattered cliffs, the blow of the wind, the sea and
hate crowded places, then the Shetlands Islands are a definitive match for you. The Shetlands lie 168 km north of the Scottish mainland. Lerwick, the capital and largest settlement, has a population of 7.000 inhabitants.
The Shetlands’ economy relies on oil & gas, fishing, salmon farming and sheep breeding. Because the coastline is long and winding, you can be sure to find a sheltered spot with a stunning view and some peace and quiet. In the unlikely event that the beach of your choice does have half a dozen people on it already – just move along to the next one. You’ll probably have it all to yourself! Next to numerous sheep and Shetland ponies, you will likely spot the Atlantic puffin, storm-petrel and red-throated diver, or even seals and sea lions.
To reach the Shetlands by other means than the plane, one can recommend the Ferry services from Aberdeen (UK) or Bergen (NO) or … to sail like a Wolf from Norway.