Tag Archives: beach

Lisbon, Fado and the amazing Atlantic Ocean

When we visited Portugal a few years ago, we spent the first days on the beach enjoying the sunny days and the great Atlantic Ocean.

Ile and the AO

The Atlantic Ocean is so beautiful. Some days it looks green, some days dark blue.

Portugal sea view

ps. click on the photos to enlarge them

After visiting the famous and beautiful Sintra, we wanted to see Lisbon, the capital of Portugal.

Ponte Vasco da Gama is a  very long bridge – more than 17 kilometers long. When you see it, you will be astonished. It is the longest bridge in Europe. 

Portugal Lisbon seaside_Mrs Hurmerinta

If you want to, you can also enjoy Lisbon from the air – with these cable cars:

Portugal Lisbon seaside

We had heard of an amazing place, which we wanted to check out: Oceanário de Lisboa. It is the largest indoor aquarium in Europe.

The Lisbon Oceanarium has a large collection of marine species — penguins and other birds; sea otters; sharks, rays and seahorses;  sea anemones and corals; octopuses; marine plants and terrestrial plants and other marine organisms – about 16,000 individuals of 450 species.

The Penguins:

Portugal Lisbon Oceanarium_Penguins

The sea otters:

Portugal Lisbon Zoo

There is so much to see in Lisbon. I recommend to visit at least Baixa and the Belém Tower, which was built 1515–1521. If you like Fado music, you will love Portugal.

After spending half a day in Lisbon, it was time to drive back to the Atlantic Ocean. July is quite hot in Portugal, so a swim in the ocean is one of the best things to do after a few hours in the hot cities.

View from the balcony towards the Atlantic

Praia Grande is a huge beach. Though there were lots of people every now and then, sometimes you felt like you were there alone – and that was amazing.

Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean

 

Egypt – a pearl among the travel destinations

I have written a few short stories of our trips to Egypt (Hurghada, Sharm el-Sheikh and Port Ghalib) as well as posted a few posts about the superb and fantastic underwater world in the Red Sea.

Picasso fish at Port Ghalib

Egypt has some terrific places for anyone interested in an exotic culture, sun bathing, swimming, snorkeling and diving.

Great sphinx of Giza

ps. to enlarge the photos, click on them.

At the moment there are vacation flights from Finland to Hurghada and Marsa Alam. Sharm el-Sheikh is also a very popular and interesting area. We have been there once. I can recommend to visit it. At the moment there are though no flights from Finland to Sinai area. Hopefully there will be some in the near future.

Elegant Unicornfish

 

We have fallen in love with Intercontinental The Palace Port Ghalib Resort -hotel some years ago. The perfect beach (private beach), the coral reefs, the sunny weather, the hotel, the friendly staff, the fabulous food, the sunsets, the splendid rooms and suites – everything.

Coming from the beach to the cafe area

port g ranta ja sukellusvene_1

The hotel beach is spacious and you can relax and enjoy the views.

A great day comes to an end at ICPG

You can also enjoy the wonderful swimming pools. A few of them are huge.

PG pool area

It is so true what the hotel’s social media posts say:

We know there will be days when you want nothing more than to laze by the pool as the soft breeze rustles through the palms … or gaze out over the waters of the Red Sea, which sparkle in the unbroken warmth of the sun all year round.

Happy people in the big pool ICPG

And if you like a unique and enriching wellness experience, you will be thrilled with the award winning six senses spa at the hotel.

I also recommend warmly to try snorkeling or diving, which ever you prefer. This beach is great, because you can actually snorkel and dive in right from the beach. You don’t have to travel far, unless you want to.

In the harbour, there are boats, which take you out to the sea on diving trips. There are also seascope submarines.

PG harbour

Those who want to enjoy shopping, a cup of coffee or a nice dinner, can stroll to Port Ghalib harbour, which is a nice place.

PG harbour cafeteria

So, in a few words, what are you waiting for?

Make a reservation and go enjoy a perfect holiday!

PG beach seen from the sea

Italy: San Felice Circeo and Monte Circeo

90 kilometers south from Rome you find Sabaudia, a perfect little town to visit in the summer. Next to the town you can enjoy the sandy beaches, which strech for many kilometers.

Sabaudia ranta

Right next to Sabaudia there is the small town of San Felice Circeo with its over 400 meters high Monte Circeo. I can recommend to drive up to the mountain and walk around the top enjoying the scenery to north and south.

ps. to enlarge the photos, click on them 😉

Sabaudia beach from the mountain

view towards south from mount circeo

After walking and taking some amazing photos, it was fabulous to enjoy the nice beach of Sabaudia and the fresh water of the Mediterranean.

Swimming in the Med

Fly to Rome, rent a car and drive to Sabaudia and San Felice Circeo. There are some great summer houses to rent. You can of course also choose a hotel of your choice. There are some great once south of San Felice Circeo.

 

 

 

Egypt: Port Ghalib (best of the best)

Since I was a child, I have been dreaming of visiting the mysterious, beautiful and fabulous Egypt, the country I had only read about in books.

Finnish writer Mika Waltari wrote a historical novel. It was first published in Finnish in 1945, and has been translated to 40 languages. 

Pyramidit

Then there were all the pictures, postcards and movies of the great and mysterious pyramids and sfinks. The Great Sphinx of Giza, commonly referred to as the Sphinx, is a limestone statue of a reclining or couchant sphinx (a mythical creature with a lion’s body and a human head) that stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile in Giza, Egypt. 

Great sphinx of Giza

Some years ago we found on Finnmatkat web pages information of a new destination – Marsa Alam. Close to the airport there are Coraya Bay and Port Ghalib. We visited Coraya Bay a few years ago. It was a great week.

Coraya Bay Egypt_Our beach_Sunny day

We decided to try Port Ghalib, due to the high class hotel and the amazing coral reefs right next to the marvellous and private sandy beach of The Palace Port Ghalib Resort. I fell in love with the hotel, the personnel, the interior, the food, the splendid service, the beach and the coral reefs. So did my husband. The colorful fish and amazing coral offer you new things to see each day. I have even seen a few sea turtles, swimming just five meters from me.

Sea turtle

The Picasso triggerfish is one of my favourites.

Picasso fish at PG Egypt_2

The yellow exquisite butterflyfish is another beautiful and exotic fish.

Chaetodon austriacus_The Blacktail Butterfly fish

This is  a short intro to the future stories and photos from the best place in Egypt –  The Palace Port Ghalib Resort. If you enjoy kind and open people, sunny days, warm days, great beaches, snorkelling and diving, luxury hotels, relaxation, superb spas, fabulous food – travel right away to Marsa Alam.

Ma`as-salāma – مع السلامة

 

Egypt: Sunny Sharm el-Sheikh

Sharm el-Sheikh is one of the best areas in Egypt to visit, if you love sunny weather, the Red Sea, swimming, relaxing, snorkelling, diving, exotic trips to Bedouin camps and shopping.

ps. to enlarge the photos, click on them 🙂

Sharm El Sheikh_1

There is something for everyone. There are hotels  optimised for couples, for families and/or for those who love water sports.

watersports

I recommend to check what you can find beneath the Red Sea surface. You do not need expensive diving courses and trips to far away coral reefs, which you can of course also enjoy. You can just rent or buy a mask and a snorkel and enjoy beautiful corals and colorful fish, close to the shore.

Sea turtles are rarely seen close to the shore. We did not see any in Sharm el-Sheikh. But we have seen a few sea turtles in Port Ghalib.

Sea turtle

Why not start a new hobby during your next vacation.

Sharm_J sukeltaa_1

In Sharm el-Sheikh you can enjoy the beach life. The hotel we stayed at had a private sandy beach with a coral reef right there. That is rare.

Snorklaus ja meri sopii kaikille

Sunny and hot days can be enjoyed also during the winter time. We travelled to Sharm in January and the weather was perfect.

I ja J pinnalla_uusi harrastus maistuu

One day we decided to check out the near by bazaar. It was said to be huge. A friendly taxi driver took us there in less than fifteen minutes.

Sharm El Sheikhin kaduilla

When we arrived at the bazaar, I was surprised. I had expected to see something different. I had imagined small stands in a row. This bazaar was a huge area, inside a beautifully built wall.

Sharm El Sheikhin basaarin edessä

The area in front of th wall was filled with taxis and buses, bringing tourists to this bazaar.

I loved the mountain view behind the bazaar area.

We strolled around the bazaar. The shops sold t-shirts, sandals, ornaments etc.

As we saw a small mall on the other side of the street, we decided to visit it. The sidewalk around the mall was super clean. We were looking for a book store and a coffee shop. We found both.

Sharm El Sheikhin basaarin edessä_2

We found a Red Sea diving book with ship wrecks. And a few nice shirts.

The hot sunny weather made us think about swimming and snorkelling. So we took a taxi back to the hotel and ran down to the fabulous beach.

Sharm El Sheikh_innokas snorklaaja
Back in the water! Guess who dived in first?

I think you would like Sharm el-Sheikh. We had a great sea view from our top floor room.

Sharm El Sheikh_aurinkoinen kaunis päivä
If you prefer to swim in a pool, there are plenty of pools to choose from – in most hotels. We like the big pools. The water was cold but so refreshing.

Sharm El Sheikh_Altaan vesi oli kylmää ja piristävää

Egypt: Hurghada

Our first visit to Egypt took us to Hurghada. A few friends had recommended the area. We wanted warm weather, sunshine and a hotel close to the Red Sea.  In January it can be 25°C. During our stay the temperature did not get quite this high, but we enjoyed warm weather during the day. During the night it was about 12°C.

Egyptikartta

The vacation was great and the week was sunny.

Hurghada_Blue Lagoon beach

 

THE HOTEL

The Shedwan Garden Hotel has 4 stars.

Shedwan Garden Hotel Hurghada

Our first room situated outside the main building in a quickly built additional wing. The front door and the balcony door had a gap of a few inches between the floor and the door. The wind was strong, outside and also inside. The furniture was cheap and old. We decided to change rooms.

JH ekassa huoneessa_Hurghada

Personal discussions with the personnel worked well.  We got a room in the main building. We had to give up the wish of a balcony and partial sea view, but instead we got a real room, with great furniture, space and no wind inside 🙂

Ile uudessa kylpparissa

Johanna uudessa huoneessa

 

There were lots of cats around this hotel. I heard it is common in Hurghada. Hurghada_slight cat problem

The garden of the hotel was very nice. The personnel took good care of it. You could stroll through it during the evening and on your way to the beach.

Hurghada JH in the hotel back yard

THE BEACH

The beach of the hotel was OK. We had yet not found the amazing world of snorkelling and photographing underwater,  so the beach fulfilled our needs – we got to swim in the Red Sea.

Hurghada_Blue Lagoon beach

Hurghada_IH swimming in the lagoon_luxury boats in the background

There were no coral reefs close to the beach, but you could take a boat and travel to coral reefs and go scuba diving.

Hurghada seen from the beach

We saw some pedal boats and decided to try one. It was actually quite fun and sporty to pump the pedals in the high waves.

Hurghada beach_lets rent a paddle boat

Here are some great shots of the Blue Lagoon and Hurghada, seen from the sea.

Polkuveneellä laguunin ympäri

Hurghada_seen from the sea 2
It was nice to swim in the Blue Lagoon. The temperature was not too hot, but during the day it got warm and the water felt great on the hot skin.

JH tried the cold water

I recommend to travel to Egypt and to enjoy the country’s many beautiful places, beaches and its many attractions.

Egyptin pyramidit