Turkey predicted to dominate summer holidays

Travelmatch are expecting the summer of 2011 to see many British tourists venture to Turkey. Sales figures from the online travel specialists have shown a significant increase in interest in trips to Lara Beach, Marmaris and other seaside resorts in Turkey. The country is known for these excellent spots as well as Istanbul, an enchanting and very popular city steeped in history.
According to travelmatch.co.uk this surge owes to several factors. Airlines have opened new routes to seaside resorts making it convenient and affordable for British tourists to plan their holidays there. The country has also received notable acclaim of late with its capital city of Istanbul drawing praise from many observers thanks to its gorgeous buildings and superb cultural attractions. Recently it was listed by TripAdvisor as one of the top ten cities in Europe in its 2011 Traveller’s Choice Destination Awards.
The country has also proved popular with people looking for holiday homes. Recent figures have shown that foreign investment in Turkish real estate increased by 40% in 2010.
Alex Francis of Travelmatch comments on the high demand for holidays to Turkey: “Every year one country proves to be especially popular, and early figures indicate that the summer of 2011 will be all about Turkey. This in part owes to structural factors such as the greater availability of flights to resort areas, but there is no denying this country’s unique appeal. Resorts like Lara Beach feature some of the world’s best beaches and gorgeous hotels like the Delphin Diva, while Istanbul offers an amazing cultural experience. Turkey is truly an incredible destination and it is certainly deserving of its popularity.”

The worlds best beach

The clean white sandy beaches of the Seychelles have again pulled an international recognition as being the best. This time it is the National Geographic book that has listed one of the known Seychelles beaches as the best in the world. Anse Source d’Argent on the island of La Digue is the beach that has topped the list of beaches most sought after. Second after the Seychelles was the Maldives, which was followed by Tahiti.

Alain St.Ange, CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, said that he was happy with the findings published by the National Geographic book. “Our beaches are one of our unique selling points, alongside our clean and clear turquoise blue seas, our unspoiled nature, the diversity of our islands as Seychelles remains unique as a group of islands to have both granitic and coral islands, the diversity of our people among others. We are happy that a respected publication such as the National Geographic book has taken notice of the best of the best. Seychelles today has over 50% of its land area dedicated to natural reserves, because we care about our environment, and our government is clearly demonstrating that they are serious custodians of our environment and unique treasures for our future generations and for the world to see as they visit this last paradise on Earth,” said Alain St.Ange when contacted by the press following this listing by National Geographic.

Below is the listing as published by the National Geographic book – The 10 Best of Everything:

1. SEYCHELLES

One of the most photographed beaches in the world, the pale pink sands of Anse Source d’Argent unfurls across the island of La Digue, one of the 115 components of this archipelago in the Indian Ocean. The sands sparkle against a backdrop of towering granite boulders, worn by time and weather. The turquoise water is relatively shallow and protected from the ocean’s waves by a reef.

2. MALDIVES

Whether your dream beach trip consists of spending a few pampered nights in a four-star resort or swimming among tropical fish some 80 feet (24 meters) underwater, the Maldives are the sort of islands where either or both can come true. Straddling the equator southwest of Sri Lanka, the 1,102 islands that make up the Maldives form 26 atolls. The soft air enveloping the archipelago blends into a beautiful palm-fringed haze.

3. BORA BORA, TAHITI

This is one of the magical islands that make up French Polynesia in the South Pacific. Just 18 miles (29 kilometers) long, this lush little slip of land lies in a protected lagoon edged by white sandy shores, the best being at Matira Point. Bora Bora boasts the nickname the “Romantic Island,” a moniker easy to appreciate with its isolated beaches, intimate hotels, and quiet atmosphere.

4. THE HAMPTONS, NEW YORK

One of the hip spots for the air-kissing, well-heeled set, the Hamptons boast some of the prettiest beaches on Long Island. The unspoiled shoreline begins around Southampton and runs east to the end of the island at Montauk. Windswept dunes and waving grasses border the Atlantic Ocean.

5. LANIKAI BEACH, HAWAII

Half a mile of sparkling sand, palm trees swaying over a white beach, lush tropical plants, and endless sunshine make Lanikai one of Hawaii’s most scenic beaches. The shore is protected by a nearby coral reef, which keeps the surf relatively calm. The water is always deep green and postcard-perfect.

6. NANTUCKET ISLAND, MASSACHUSETTS

The most popular beaches on this island in the North Atlantic are Surfside and Children’s. The waters here are relatively calm, and there’s plenty of sand to use for sunbathing or castle-building. Madaket Beach is known for its rougher surf and not-to-be-missed sunsets. Quidnet Beach provides great views of Sankaty Head lighthouse.

7. FRASER ISLAND, AUSTRALIA

Perched on the sunny Queensland coast 161 miles (259 kilometers) northeast of Brisbane, Fraser Island is the world’s largest sand island and home to a wonderful beach. This World Heritage Site is an ecologist’s dream, with 640 square miles (1,664 square kilometers) of unspoiled natural paradise. Rain forests with 1,000-year-old trees sprout from the sand. Lodgings here accommodate a wide range of tourists, from the backpacking ecology lover to pampered resort fans.

8. ST. BART’S

One of many islands in the Caribbean Sea, St. Bart’s stands out with its blend of French chic and island relaxation. With beautiful secluded beaches, fine French cuisine, and gracious hotels, this tropical playground is popular with the Jet Set. The 8-mile-long (13-kilometer-long) island is edged by 20 beaches and small coves for swimmers and sunbathers, with sparkling water and white sand.

9. LANGKAWI, MALAYSIA

The name “Langkawi” translates into “the land of one’s wishes,” a welcoming concept that somewhat belies the island’s historic origins as a reputed refuge for pirates. Langkawi has since become a modern hideaway for the traveler seeking an escape. If your vacation wishes extend from uncrowded white sands and clear waters to lush green forests, you will find yourself content here. Datai Bay, located on Pulau Langkawi, is a heavenly retreat on the Andaman Sea.

10. KAUNA’OA BAY, HAWAII

Located on the Kohala Coast of the Aloha State’s Big Island, Kauna’oa Bay is the quintessential Hawaiian spot. The 0.25-mile-long (0.4-kilometer-long), crescent-shaped beach has plenty of white sand, palm trees, and calm, clear, blue water. In addition to swimming and sunbathing, beach-goers here can snorkel or ride boogie boards. (Be careful swimming, however, because there are no lifeguards on this public beach.) At night, nestle into the sands and peer out into the water to see if you can catch a glimpse of manta rays swimming.

St Ives is voted number one!

St Ives has been ranked as the best British beach resort by holidaymakers.

St Ives in Cornwall was rated top by users of the review website TripAdvisor, and came sixth in their list of top European beach destinations.

It has beaten the likes of Spain, Italy and France, proving that holidaymakers are not always looking for the scorching sunshine you might find abroad.

St Ives not only boasts stunning beaches and some of Britain’s top ranked hotels according to the travel website, it is also home to attractions such as Tate St Ives and the Barbara Hepworth museum.

Malcolm Bell, head of tourism at VisitCornwall, said: “This award is an amazing testament to the popularity of St Ives which is truly one of the jewels in Cornwall’s crown.

“As well as stunning beaches it has a range of quality accommodation and fantastic attractions making it appeal to visitors of all ages and interests.”

The West Country also scooped the number two spot in the best British list, with Newquay coming in second place.

Bournemouth came third in the poll, with Weymouth and Tenby coming fourth and fifth.

The winners of the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Beach awards are based on the opinions of visitors who post reviews on the website.
TripAdvisor spokeswoman Emma O’Boyle said: “These awards recognise the best beach destinations in Britain and Europe as decided by millions of travelers.
“Vast numbers of Brits jet off to traditional Mediterranean beaches every year, yet a British beach resort has out-classed all its Spanish, French and Italian counterparts in the awards.”

Ayia Napa in Cyprus came top in the European beach destinations, with Greece, Cyprus and Turkey all being in the top five.

Top 10 Beach Destinations in Europe
1. Ayia Napa, Cyprus
2. Skiathos, Greece
3. Protaras, Cyprus
4. Mykonos, Greece
5. Oludeniz, Turkey
6. St Ives, England
7. Alcudia, Balearic Islands, Spain
8. San Vito lo Capo, Sicily, Italy
9. Calvia, Balearic Islands, Spain
10. Villasimius, Sardinia, Italy

Top 10 Beach Destinations in the UK
1. St Ives, Cornwall
2. Newquay, Cornwall
3. Bournemouth, Dorset
4. Weymouth, Dorset
5. Tenby, Pembrokeshire
6. St Brelade, Jersey
7. Woolacombe, Devon
8. Padstow, Cornwall
9. Shanklin, Isle of Wight

10. Swanage, Dorset