There is nothing quite like hitting the beach on a sweltering hot summer day. Upon first sight of water you don‚Äôt even think twice about running full speed and plunging into a refreshing escape from the heat. The following European destinations not only provide the much desired splash factor that we‚Äôll all be seeking soon but also come with awe-inspiring terrain that just may make you slow down to take in the incredible views before diving in.
photo courtesy of chausinho
Playa de Gulpiyuri, Spain
Nestled in a field near the village of Naves is a tiny saltwater pool called Gulpiyuri Beach. What makes this little swimming locale so unique is that the water level rises and falls with the Atlantic‚Äôs tide. The basin was created by a sink hole, and it is fed via caves that run from the coast, which is close-by.
Giant‚Äôs Causeway, Ireland
The seemingly chiseled layout of the basalt encased shoreline in Northern Ireland has been drawing people to the Giant‚Äôs Causeway for centuries. Formed about 50 million years ago from volcanic blasts, the mystical pillars have been the origin of many Irish folkloric tales. It is said that the hexagonal rock formations were part of a giant‚Äôs bridge that linked Northern Ireland to Scotland.
No, these aren‚Äôt melting ice shelves, they are ridges of bright white travertine and are filled with thermal waters that have left terraces of calcium carbonate deposits throughout the centuries. Pamukkale is located in western Turkey’s Menderes River Valley and is a World Heritage Site. People have been visiting these hot spring fed baths for thousands of years.
Blue Lagoon Iceland
About 5 km outside of Grindavik, Iceland you can take a soothing dip in the steamy Blue Lagoon. Geothermal waters flow into the picturesque basin from 2000 meters underground, and the minerals are said to have healing qualities. Relax and take in a spa treatment available pool side.
Algarve Coast Portugal
Golden sand beaches are tucked in between rugged cliffs and allow sun lovers a more intimate place to unwind on simmering summer days. There are several caves scattered along the oceanfront, giving visitors an exotic and striking backdrop for their Algarve Coast retreat from the heat.
If you are considering taking a vacation abroad this summer, it is best to begin booking flights to Europe as soon as possible. You will want to lock in lower priced airfare before everyone else because this will be peak season for many travelers.