The feel of sand between your toes, a soft breeze blowing through your hair, the smell of the water and fresh air wafting to your nose, and of course, the sound of the waves as they crash upon the shore. There really isn’t anything the two of us enjoy more than taking a trip that affords us the opportunity to be near a body of water. What we’ve learned while travelling is that you don’t always need a coastal beach in order to enjoy a body of water or watch the waves form.
Five Top Places To Watch The Waves: From The Coast To The City
You don’t have to be by the seaside to enjoy the beauty of a wave. From the powerful surf crashing along the rugged Cornish shore to Arizona’s striking wave-like canyons, here are five fantastic locations for wave watching from Holiday Lettings.
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Head west to Cornwall to soak up the UK’s wildest weather. Winds drive directly over the Atlantic and pound the waves into turmoil: witness it for yourself from quaint Porthtowan or Portreath’s picturesque harbour. Just don’t forget to wrap up warm for your coastal stroll and treat yourself to a hot chocolate at a toasty beach-side café afterwards.
Keep your walking boots on and venture cross country to Gunwalloe Cove, where you can wander round the little fifteenth-century church sheltering by the beach. You’ll hear the waves when you’re inside this ‘church of the storms’, even on a relatively quiet day. Watch out for the smugglers’ passage carved into the rocks as you walk up the village’s cliff path too.
Maui, Hawaii, USA
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Hawaii’s most celebrated big wave reef break may officially be called Peʻahi, but it’s better known by its nickname, Jaws. Well, its waves are as ferocious and unpredictable as any shark attack. In winter, powerful winds form vast swells surging up to 27 metres high. The location was chosen for the opening sequence of the James Bond film Die Another Day.
When you’ve dried off, you can hike to the top of the majestic Mount Haleakala and breathe in the breathtaking views over the lunar landscape and rain forests. Why not visit the fantastic Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm nestling on the volcano’s slopes and take in the spectacle of over 55,000 fragrant plants? Head to Ho’okipa Beach Park and admire the green Hawaiian sea turtles taking the sun on the far end of the beach.
Photo credit: Jaan-Cornelius K (license) via flickr.com
Is the Eisbach the world’s weirdest wave? You certainly wouldn’t expect to see a one-metre tall and 12-metre wide vertical wave in land-locked Bavaria. It’s a brilliantly engineered standing curl at the centre of a thin man-made stream that runs through Munich’s main park. You can join the admiring spectators who often assemble here.
You’ll find lots of other things to appreciate in Munich too. Wander round the quaint Marienplatz square at the heart of the city, or sample local delicacies at one of the excellent beer halls – Hofbrauhaus is one of the country’s most famous. Tour the Residence Palace: the Bavarian monarchs used to live here, and it now houses a rich display of interior decoration ranging from porcelain to tapestries.
Photo credit: Voyager (license) via Wikimedia.org
Plunge into the deep blue icy water of the River Reuss’s standing wave: you can ride it on a surfboard or in a kayak, then go with the flow through one of the country’s most picturesque towns. On a sunny day, you might have to wait for over 30 minutes for your turn, but it’s well worth it.
You can visit the country’s oldest tree (an 800-year-old linden) in nearby Linn. Roam round the nearby Schloss Habsburg, a stone fortress straight out of a fairy tale. Take in the extensive collection of Impressionist art at the local Stiftung Langmatt museum, where there’s a chilly Monet painting of ice floes at twilight.
And for something completely different…
Photo credit: Katie Darby (license) via flickr.com
Arizona’s Wave is one of the world’s weirdest geological wonders: its multi-toned sandstone troughs intersect and swirl into amazing structures. Decide for yourself whether the merging pink, yellow, red and green rocks form a beehive, a castle or a chute. The changing light alters the shades and shapes, turning this site into an amazing natural kaleidoscope.
There are other amazing landmarks in the area: you can visit Antelope Canyon and step into an awe-inspiring stone sculpture; you’ll also be inspired by Rainbow Bridge, one of the planet’s tallest natural bridges at over 88 metres tall and 25 metres wide. You can find out more about the region’s fascinating indigenous culture at the Navajo Village Heritage Center.