There is much to be said about the benefits of coastal towns. For one, there is the constant sea breeze; nothing is as good as having sea salt-infused wind blowing through your hair and cementing your holiday mood. Then, there is the hospitality; coastal folks are known to be extra nice and assuring, and factors for enjoyment abundant, from beachfront hotels to marvelous seafood. And let’s not forget the amazing, downright heavenly view of vast water body everywhere you look. So if you are planning to escape to the coast, you’re in for a ride! Below are 10 coastal destinations identified as some of the best in the world.
#1. Valparaíso, Chile
Located about 120km away from Santiago, Valparaíso is Chile’s second biggest metropolitan. While it may be an urban city, Valparaíso is also known for retaining much of its historical and cultural heritage. Some of the must-see attraction sites here include Chilean artist Pablo Neruda’s houseturned-museum La Sebastiana; the Museo Naval y Marítimo (the Naval and Maritime Museum) housing information on Santiago’s seafaring history; and Plaza Matriz, the heart of Valparaíso.
#2. Newfoundland, Canada
Located on the east of Canada in the country’s Atlantic region, Newfoundland and Labrador is a place of love, with a wide variety of natural sites to marvel and nature-themed activities to enjoy. Hike, sightsee and camp at Gros Morne National Park; explore caves and shop in one sitting at Corner Brook; or enjoy the cascading waterfalls at Western Brook Pond. Whichever way you lean towards, know that there’s no such thing as “boring” in this seaside province.
#3. Polperro, England
Before achieving a clean slate, the idyllic Polperro was a scandal-ridden site frequented by bootleggers smuggling alcohol and tobacco in the 18th century. One simply wouldn’t know it just looking at the town’s sculpted assembly of fishermen’s cottages, narrow streets, and quaint art and shopping havens. But what do you know! When there, don’t forget to check out the Heritage Museum of Smuggling and Fishing to discover Polperro’s sensational history.
#4. Kotor, Montenegro
To visit Kotor is to travel back to over 2000 years back in time, for that’s exactly how old the town is! It’s amazing how its narrow streets and stony architecture, which were all built back then, could still survive and function today. The slopes of Mount Lovcen on which Kotor stands, coupled with the misty view of the Bay of Kotor cliffs, make for a dramatic experience.
#5. Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia
While Sidi Bou Said is located merely minutes away from Tunisia’s sprawling capital Tunis, it seems as if it’s a different world altogether. One can’t help but be stunned into awe when greeted by its beauty, which strikes us as quite similar to Greece’s Santorini and Morocco’s Fez. Sidi Bou Said is most distinguished by its scenic glimpses of the Mediterranean Sea as well as colourful bougainvilleas framing its stone streets and blue-windowed white houses.
#6. Sardinia, Italy
Sardinia is a super old landmark; for one, the rock formations it sits on can be traced back to the Palaeozoic Era! And being the second largest island in the Mediterranean region (after Sicily), the town definitely upholds a great reputation despite not relying on tourism to function. Loved by the quietly rich and affluent, Sardinia is great for its fresh seafood, buzzing cocktails, majestic sunsets, and sandy white beaches perfect for chic gatherings and family get-togethers.
#7. Ilulissat, Greenland
Not to be confused with Iceland’s Reykjavik, Ilulissat is one colourful town. Its colour-coding history began in the 18th century, during which communal buildings and functionalities were referred to by certain pigments. Apparently in Ilulissat, yellow refers to hospitals, black to police stations and blue to fisheries everywhere, with varied hues attributed to more personal undertakings. Against its cold Arctic surroundings, this fishermen’s village makes for an image of striking contrast. Don’t forget to also take photos of the Ilulissat Icefjord and the Disko Bays icebergs, too!
#8. Corsica, France
Corsica is loved by many world-renowned celebrities, the latest being Hollywood’s power couple John Legend and Chrissy Teigen. After all, it is, as Lonely Planet describes, “an outdoor lover’s playground,” fitting those with a huge appetite and opportunity for versatile living. There is a wide spectrum of sunny quirks to enjoy on this island, be them glistening bays to swim in, hilltop villages to hike to, or awe-inspiring valleys to trek.
#9. Zakynthos, Greece
Those looking to check into Greece should look to the coastal gem of Zakynthos to unwind and relax in. The star of the show here is none other than the buzzed-about Navagio Beach, accessible from Porto Vromi via boat. Think endless crystal clear azure waters framed by majestic copper cliffs that one can have picnics on or jump into the sea from.
#10. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Another cliffy stunner in our entry is Dubrovnik, situated in Croatia’s Dalmatia region. This beautiful Mediterranean town is rich with historical and cultural waiting to be experienced, chief among which are Old City, a UNESCO Heritage Site, and the Dubrovnik Cathedral. Of course, no coastal town is complete without an accompanying enjoyment of the sea! In the case of Dubrovnik, activities such as sailing, snorkeling and kayaking connects one to the wonders of the surrounding Adriatic Sea.