A ready collection of bookable travel ideas inspired by what you love. Discover things to do, where to stay, and the best spots to eat and drink in the Culture Trip Guide to Byron Bay.
Not just a hippy haven – although there’s definitely a big slice of the bohemian going on here – Byron Bay is a bucolic beachside town that happens to be full of great hotels, eateries and shops. Here, we round up our guide to the best places to eat, stay and play in the bay.
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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.
Where to stay
Sandwiched between 50 acres of native bushland and Belongil Beach, Elements of Byron allows you to connect with nature – albeit in total luxury. This hotel, which is part of the renowned Sofitel group, is award-winning for its state-of-the-art villas, Osprey spa, and pool complete with a swim-up tequila bar. Choose from eight freestanding villas to suit you and your entourage, and expect generous-sized rooms, roll-top baths and privacy.
Exclusively for adults over the age of 21, 28 Degrees Byron Bay is a quiet hotel designed with couples in mind. Guests can add on honey- or babymoon packages, featuring couple massages and champagne, to stays in suites like the ‘plunge pool’ room fit with outdoor showers and a private garden, or the ‘luxury master’ with lighthouse views and a private deck. And as for its location, you’ll be just a stone’s throw from Byron Bay’s town centre and five minutes from the beachfront.
What to do
Taking you through the protected waters of Cape Byron Marine Park, this kayak tour will give you the chance to paddle next to pods of dolphins, while learning about the protected aquatic area. You’ll also paddle below Cape Byron lighthouse and soak up the surrounding views. And if you don’t see any dolphins, you’ll be offered a return tour for free. If you’re really lucky, you may also encounter migrating whales and sea turtles, so be sure to keep one eye peeled on the sparkling water beneath you.
See the other side of Byron’s waterways with a stand-up paddleboard tour of the Brunswick River. Only eight people are permitted on this tour, guaranteeing you a relaxed and peaceful experience. After a short SUP introduction, you’ll head out onto the river with your guides, with nothing but the quiet splashing of the paddles and the distant noise of local wildlife in your ears. Your eagle-eyed guides will be on the lookout for dolphins, rare fish, seabirds and sea turtles – all common to see in these crystalline waters.
Where to eat
No, not the world-famous clothing store, but a sweet and much-loved breakfast spot up the hill from Clarkes Beach. Dishes range from Byron classics like açaí bowls covered in crunchy granola and sliced banana, to bacon, egg and hash brown-stacked burgers that would refuel even the most dedicated of morning surfers. It’s not just breakfast either – go later in the day to enjoy delicious sandwiches, burgers and salads packed full of fresh ingredients, and wash it down with a glass of freshly squeezed OJ.
The kind of place where you’d pop in for a margarita but easily end up staying for a few hours, Miss Margarita brings the vivacious vibes of Mexico to the laid-back and convivial Byron Bay. The margaritas are as zingy and fresh as they look when shaken up in front of you, and the guacamole bowl served with salty corn chips makes for the perfect pairing. Pull up a chair and lean back into the mellow Mexican vibes.
Set in the hotel of the same name, Rae’s sits in a ’70s mission-style villa on Wategos Beach, just outside of town. Those who aren’t staying in the hotel can still immerse themselves in its ethereal setting with a trip to the Dining Room – a white-washed, art-filled restaurant dappled with pastel tones and boasting a menu firmly focused on fresh and local produce. The raw yellowfin tuna, for example, will have been caught just a few miles down the coast, while heartier dishes like plum-glazed duck with radicchio, pancetta jam and beetroot bring the intense and organic flavours of the countryside.
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