Snorkel,sail, climb the surrounding rocks, explore cultural heritage or just find a convenientvantage point, make yourself comfortable and hum: “Sitting on the dock of thebay, watching tide roll away (…), wasting time”. Hours may pass and the eyes willstill be hungry for more of what we believe are some of the most amazing bay views inthe world.
Navagio Bay, Greece
Known alternatively as Shipwreck or the Smugglers Cove (a stranded wreck of the alleged cigarette smugglership rests washed up in the white pebble sand), Navagio Bay is by all means themost exhilarating sight of the Ionian Islands, if not the whole Greece. If youlook down from a vantage point on top of the cliffs, you’ll swear the rockformation protruding into the sea looks like a giant alligator basking in the Mediterraneansun. The beach is located on thenorth-west shore of Zakynthos and isonly reachable by boat (trips depart on a daily basis from all around theisland).
Bay of Kotor, Montenegro
Composed of4 smallers gulfs, with notable ancient heritage dotting the canvas of the archetypalBalkan landscape, the Bay of Kotor formsone of the finest natural harbors in Europe and Montenegro’s major touristattraction. Cutting deep into the mountains, the bay resembles a typical fjord,but in fact it’s a submerged river canyon. Boat services, ranging fromluxurious yacht cruises to small fishing boat trips, are available in any ofthe important stops along the coast: Kotor, Herceg Novi, Perast, Prčanj, and Tivat.
Bay of Pompierre, the Caribbean
Pompierre is a quiet, idyllic section of Terre-de-HautIsland, part of Îlesdes Saintesarchipelago, which is a dependency of Guadeloupe (an overseasdepartment ofFrance). The bay is protected from harsher waves by Les Roches Percées(called the Leaky Rocks), an elongated island populated by wild goats (some saythe animals are a nuisance, others take them as a funny addition to a laid-backstay). Pompierre was a fabled pirate refuge and a local tale has it thattreasure remains buried somewhere in the white sand or among the lushvegetation.
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Some1,900 islands and islets – mostly uninhabited and unaffected by human presence– make up for approximately 1,553 square kilometers of the stunning seascape ofHalong Bay. Here and there, self-reliant fishing villages float around enormouskarst protrusions that rise from the misty gulf likemythological creatures from oceanic depths. Travelers can choose among numerousoptions for sightseeing, boat tours, shopping, and cave exploration.
Maya Bay, Thailand
The Maya Bay on Phi Phi Lehisland, a turquoise realm of snorkeling and kayaking, sheltered by 100-meterhigh rocky outcrops, formed a heavenly backdrop for The Beach, a grimly adventurestory starring Leonardo di Caprio. Ever since the movie was released, Phi Phi Leh togetherwith its sister island PhiPhi Don have seen a rapid increase in tourist numbers, whichmakes the divine spot a little less tranquil, but the impression isnevertheless mind-blowing.
San Francisco Bay, USA
There’snever enough time to take in all the San Francisco Bay activities! Adventurecruises, splendid dining options, miscellaneous rhythms and unbeatableopportunities for people watching fill up the traveler agenda to the limit… letalone the bay itself is enough to occupy your attention for hours on end. Stretching 2737m (8981ft) across the straitand towering up to 227m (746ft), the Golden Gate Bridge epitomizes the city’sawesome duality: both its daring, rebellious character and its romantic,winsome spirit. Across the bridge, a picturesquewaterfront community of Sausalito, known for its Mediterranean flair andbreathtaking views, also deserves a visit.
Bay of Islands, New Zealand
NewZealand invariably tops the rankings of stunning destinations, and the Bay ofIslands is another example of the country’s unrivalled beauty. The irregular16 km-wide inlet cuts into the north-eastern coast of North Island andforms a natural harbor fit for both leisurely and superactive vacation schemes.Naturally charming and historically significant, the bay area makes for an unforgettablestay, whether you’re a cultural buff or prefer to spend your days swimming withdolphins.
Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong
It’sunbelievable how a once tranquil fishing village could be transformed into acutting-edge metropolis and the world’smost dazzling commercial center. The staggering sky-rise panorama of thenatural harbor formed between the Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula draws local residents andtourist alike, who gather on the walkways to attend numerous public shows or, afterdark, for the sheer spectacle of light not to be seen anywhereelse in the world.
Guanabara Bay, Brazil
You may nothave heard the name Guanabara Bay, but you’re most probably familiar with theview. A mile-wide entrance is flanked onone side by t
he Santa Cruz fortress and on the other by the camel-like SugarloafMountain, while the bay itself is dotted with numerous islets that can bepassed close by on a leisurely cruise. A boat trip offers a differentperspective of the iconic Copacabana Beach and the statue of Christ the Redeemeroverlooking the bay.
Trunk Bay, Saint John, the Caribbean
Withlush vegetation, snow white sand and an exhilarating underwater snorkelingtrail for beginners, Trunk Bay is one of the most sought-after stops in theVirgin Islands National Park. Located on Saint John island, the Trunk Bay beachhas consistently been voted one of the world’s most beautiful beaches bynumerous influential travel magazines, which obviously has a dark side toit. Entrance to the beach requires a fee, heavy snorkeling activity has led toextensive coral damage and the area can get crowded withcruise ship passengers. Nevertheless, the bay remains a little pieceof heaven on earth, with the convenience of good-quality beach services and abunch of nooks to hide if you get tired with people.
Wineglass Bay, Tasmania, Australia
Onceyour eyes run along the full curve of Whineglass Bay, where the whitish sand meetsthe turquoise waters, you’ll understandwhy several travel authorities have voted it as one of the world’s ten bestbeaches. The secluded marvel lies hidden from view in Tasmania’s FreycinetNational Park, protected by the pinkish, granite range of “The Hazards” andpresenting a splendid challenge for adventurous souls. Follow a track windingto the lookout on top and you’ll be awarded with views than can hardly bedescribed with words.