The floating city of Venice makes for a sublime spot to explore on foot, but it’s even better by boat. Wind your way along narrow canals, under yawning bridges, and through to the sweeping lagoon where you’ll find a peppering of other magical islands to moor up at. Highlights include characterful villages, historic churches, waterfront eateries, unspoiled nature reserves, and some splendid beaches. Here we reveal some of the best destinations in the Venetian lagoon to point your compass to.
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1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Tourists flock to this picture-perfect island for its lace-making traditions and its brightly painted houses, which locals say were colored so fishermen could find their way home when fog blanketed the lagoon. The most colourful is Bepi’s House. A labour of love for the late Giuseppe Toselli, a local cinema operator, its exterior features a geometric pattern in bold shades of yellow, orange, red, green and blue. Linger for a while, making time to explore Burano’s three canals connected via a wooden bridge and Piazza Galuppi where you’ll see the leaning tower of San Martino church.
Sant’Erasmo is Venice’s market garden, best known for its unique violet artichokes. The island – the largest in the lagoon – sits between Murano and Burano but is overlooked in comparison. In medieval times, it was a port, but by the 19th century, its population declined. It played more of a strategic role and today, it’s worth visiting the Massimiliana Tower, built in the 1840s during the Austrian occupation and the best preserved of the island’s military defences.
Torcello is busy with sightseers during the day, but in the evening and early morning, it’s an entirely different story. Moor up on Canale di Torcello and you’ll be right by the island’s centuries-old cathedral, Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta. Climb its bell tower for sweeping views across to neighbouring Burano. Another must-see is the Ponte del Diavolo, one of only two bridges in the Venice area with no parapets – the other is in Cannaregio – and according to legend, it was built in a single night.
Midway along the strip of land that forms Pellestrina Island is the village of Portosecco. Like Burano, it has a long tradition of lace-making but unlike its crowded counterpart, its craftswomen and men are largely left undisturbed by tourists. Fascinating to watch, it’s a laborious process that involves crossing and pinning threads on wooden bobbins atop a padded cushion. It’s thought that the technique might have evolved from the skill of mending fishing nets, another tradition that you might see in action during your visit.
Ca’Roman nature oasis
Birdwatchers will appreciate the importance of this nature reserve located on Pellestrina Island between the Venice Lagoon and the Adriatic. It is one of the most intact dune environments in the region. Sightings of more than 200 species have been recorded here. Kingfishers and Mediterranean gulls are permanent residents, while seasonal visitors include sparrowhawks, terns and plovers. Guided tours are sometimes offered, but this serene, calming space is a pleasure to visit on your own too.
Chioggia is a sleepy fishing port that is often described as a “little Venice”. If you can, get there in time for the morning fish market; if not, settle in for lunch at one of its charming canalside seafood restaurants. Learn more about the local maritime environment at the fascinating Museum of Adriatic Zoology, housed inside the 300-year-old Palazzo Grassi. Devote the rest of your day to aimless wandering, but if you’re an art lover, you should make an effort to visit the Romanesque Chiesa di San Domenico for its decadent interiors.
Spiaggia di Punta Sabbioni
Spiaggia di Punta Sabbioni is a beach that sits at the end of the narrow Cavallino-Treporti peninsula, close to Venice. Backed by grassy dunes and pine forest, it extends for over a mile. Wide and gently sloping, this unspoilt strip of sand is dog-friendly and popular with families. When the breeze picks up, the beach attracts kite-surfers. If you fancy something a little less active, take a peaceful stroll to the yellow lighthouse that stands guard on a breakwater at the end of the beach and from there you can watch thrillseekers in action.
Lido di Jesolo
Lido di Jesolo is perhaps Veneto’s best-known beach resort. Purpose-built in the 1950s to capitalise on miles of yellow sand, today it’s a favourite among fly and flop package holidaymakers. There are plenty of facilities aimed at visitors: sunbeds and showers, ice cream parlours and beach-front snack bars, amusement arcades and bicycle hire. First aid points and lifeguards in peak season make this a safe place to enjoy a day at the seaside.
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