Coastlines can offer some of the most amazing views on Earth. Some of these coastal hotspots are close to major population centres, meaning they’re guaranteed to attract visitors, sometimes swarms in peak season. Others can grant more solitude and allow you to explore them at your own pace. And then there are those so remote it takes preparations almost of an expeditionary nature to reach. Here are four coastal hotspots from around the world that you should not miss during your lifetime.
The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Stretching over 2,600km from Rockhampton in the south to the tip of Cape York Peninsula in the north, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s longest coral reef. It features over 900 islands, 2,000 different species of life, and can be seen from outer space. While the Reef attracts over two million visitors a year, it’s so large that it never feels crowded.
What’s more, it is perfect for exploring with personal watercraft. Keeping in mind the need to minimise environmental impact, their shallow drafts enable you to get close to the reefs without the risks of running aground and damaging the coral. Experts like JSW Powersports can advise you on the right kind of personal watercraft to explore the coastal islands and reefs.
Big Sur, USA
Big Sur is a famous stretch of the California coast extending around 150km from Carmel in the north to San Simeon at its southern end. Blessed with ruggedly beautiful scenery of high cliffs plunging into the sea, the redwood-rich San Padres National Forest, and a colourful cultural history littered with famous names; Big Sur is a coastal gem best explored with a convertible sports car. Highway 1, the main thoroughfare, passes the historic Point Sur lighthouse and a multitude of properties that have played host at some time or another to well-known figures like Orson Welles, Joni Mitchell and Clint Eastwood, the former mayor of Carmel.
Cote d’Azure, France
Facing the Mediterranean on France’s south-eastern coast is the famous and fabled Cote d’Azure. Known less exotically as the French Riviera in English, the region’s natural beauty has seen it transformed from a winter getaway for wealthy Brits in the nineteenth century to a glamourous playground of the rich and famous. Some of the more prominent towns and cities of the area include St Tropez, the film festival home of Canne, Nice and Monaco. If you have the cash, a great way to see the coast is by private yacht.
Antarctica is one of the ultimate unique coastal hotspot. Exclusive by its location, a visit to the coast of this frozen wonderland sits on the bucket list of many travellers. Thanks to icebreaker cruise ships and airlines offering flyover tours, Antarctica is no longer that elusive destination available only to intrepid explorers, scientists and penguins. Words do not do the scenery justice; it must be seen.
This is just a small selection of must-see coastal hotspots around the world. Why not suggest some of your own below?