There’s nothing that makes me relax more than being close to the water – whether it’s the sound of crashing waves, the gentle lapping of a stream or even the happy splashes of my kids in a swimming pool, the glistening hues bounding off any rippling entity takes me to my happy place. But even though I love being near water – what about actually getting in it? I’m not a very strong swimmer, however, I am adventurous and do like to try my hand at most watersport activities. Over the years, I have grown to adore snorkelling, and have completed over 40 scuba dives, having qualified for my PADI Open Water Certificate in Thailand.
The Best Destinations For Watersport Activities
I’ve even tried my hand at windsurfing and whitewater rafting (and not with much success!) but there is definitely something to be said about not just enjoying the mental benefits of being close to a body of water, but actually enjoying the physical elements, too. With so many watersport activities, as well as watersport holidays to choose from, where to even begin? Depending on your adventurous spirit and capabilities, there are many destinations and watersport activities to suit all levels. And some don’t even entail you having to get wet!
Watersports Holidays in Greece
Families that love watersport activities might prefer going to one destination in order get a watersport fix throughout the whole trip. With many Greek islands, including Vassiliki and Kos offering up family watersport holidays, it makes for an ideal destination for an adventurous trip as well as a relaxing beach holiday. Watersports holiday specialists such as Ocean Elements bring take children’s activities to another level. Not only have a complimentary kids’ clubs at their beach resorts, which give the children the opportunity to learn new skills on and off the water but professional tuition in watersports including windsurfing and dinghy sailing.
Adventure cruising in Canada
Become an expedition explorer and really connect with nature by taking an adventure cruise. Expedition cruising is gaining in popularity and allows those on board to not only experience untapped and rugged natural beauty but sail to destinations that are hard to reach. Canada should be top of the list with charters that power their way to the vast icy wilderness of the Canadian Arctic and its archipelago of 36,563 islands. Marvel at humpbacks whales, black bears and peregrine falcons, swim in geothermal pools and be amazed by untouched landscapes peppered with glaciers and fjords, frozen tundras and remote islands.
Family Sailing in Croatia
Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast boasts over 1,000 islands waiting to be explored. The azure blue Adriatic Sea offers the perfect sailing conditions for those who aren’t of a seafaring disposition but want the advantages of being onboard a private yacht. With so many hidden coves and beaches to discover, as well as ancient towns, hop on and off at your leisure and let the skipper do the hard work. Family sailing holidays also mean plenty of watersport activities, too. Jump off deck and go snorkelling, or take a jet-ski closer to shore. The whole family can even learn to sail and become part of the crew.
Paddle Boarding in Portugal
SUP, or stand-up paddling boarding, is not only great exercise but great fun with kids – who can start from as young as seven or eight. It’s one of the world’s fastest growing watersport activities; the concept is relatively simple and requires a person to stand on an oversized surfboard and use a paddle to propel forwards. The south of Portugal has many paddle boarding hotspots including Odeceixe and Rio de Seixe in the Algarve. Not only do both offer unparalleled views and sandy beaches but calm waters for beginners.
Scuba diving in Sipadan Islands, Malaysia
Imagine an ecological and marine paradise that has stood the test of time. One of the world’s undisputed diving meccas, Sipadan Island located in Sabah, close to Borneo in Malaysia, has pristine reefs and sudden drop-offs into the deep blue sea. Its rich biodiversity comes from being originally formed by living corals developing on top of an extinct undersea volcano, which rises 600m from the seabed. Tales of divers who have been surrounded by shoals of barracuda, and seeing dozens of turtles, as well as hammerhead sharks are not uncommon. With over 3000 reported species in the area, it’s no wonder that the 12 dive sites are popular with scuba divers. The great thing is, with only 120 diving permits per day, means this spot will remain unspoiled for future generations.
Sea Kayaking in Scotland
While New Zealand is home to some amazing kayaking destinations, with so many beautiful coastlines here in the UK, there’s no need to jump on the plane to find some of the best kayaking locations – and Scotland has an abundance, including the West Coast with stops at Kintail, Plockton, Loch Hourn at Knoydart and the Isle of Skye. You don’t even have to be an experienced kayaker to enjoy a trip – with so many specialists offering up a full itinerary, training and accommodation, traversing through epic scenery and watching the wildlife from the water couldn’t be simpler.
Snorkelling in the Maldives
There are so many snorkelling destinations around the world, so why did the Maldives make it to my top 10? I was barely out of the Indian Ocean during my stay in the Maldives, so strong was the pull of seeing so many beautiful marine species on my daily snorkelling trips. With 26 Atolls in the Maldives, the house reefs of many resorts serve up idyllic snorkelling conditions with shallow reefs that act like natural swimming pools, which have sudden drop-offs into the deeper ocean water. It’s at this meeting point, I saw parrot fish, stingrays, and even baby sharks, as well as a vast array of colourful marine life. With some resorts located in the Baa Atoll island archipelago, visitors can experience snorkelling in a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.
Surfing in Cornwall
Watersport activities don’t come more fun than surfing. Not only does it build balance and coordination, but it also instils confidence in open water. Plus the whole family can have a go. Watergate Bay Hotel in Cornwall has direct access to the beach, which means you can walk straight from your hotel room to your surfing lesson! Meanwhile, for those who are more experienced, Sennen Cove has the most consistent breaks and great beach facilities. But with so many fantastic surfing spots – it won’t be difficult to ride a wave in Cornwall.
White Water Rafting in Utah, USA
White knuckles and adrenaline-inducing rapids can only mean one thing – white water rafting! Not for the faint-hearted, this watersport activity really does get the heart pumping and one of the finest white water rafting destinations in the world is in Utah. Raft along the stunning Colorado River at Utah’s legendary Cataract Canyon. In the summer it has rapids that are perfect for families because of decreasing water levels, as well as oodles of rapid drops and spectacular scenery. You can even take little ones as young as five on a four-day trip across the river on what would be an adventure of a lifetime.
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