Stingrays under the crystal clear sea waters

Inspiration


Big Days Out


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We all have a day of our holiday that we particularly remember. An amazing day out somewhere special, an experience that we couldn’t have had at home, a place that we visited for a short while, but stayed with us much longer… Those are the days we’re talking about. If you’re searching for the next big day out, then we have some suggestions for you.

Encounter Stingrays in Antigua

Rated the top thing to do in Antigua by Trip Advisor, Stingray City offers the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with these remarkable creatures. While this could sound a pretty crazy idea to some, they’re actually very gentle and friendly. A short boat trip out has you standing in warm, waist deep water surrounded by tropical fish and colourful coral reefs, making even just swimming and snorkelling a pleasure. The highlight though is feeding the stingrays, interacting with them, or just watching them glide gracefully through the water. It’s one the whole family will love.

Explore the island of La Gomera

Mountain peak on the island of La Gomera, near Tenerife

La Gomera might be small, but it’s still well worth seeking out. Getting there takes just under an hour from Tenerife by boat. Known as being the volcanic island where Columbus set out from to discover America, the island’s gem is its ancient subtropical forest of Garajonay in the centre. In fact, the entire landscape is splendid, with unspoilt coves and dramatic ravines. If you’re lucky you might hear the sound of ‘Silbo Gomero’. Known as the Gomeran whistle, it’s a UNESCO protected, whistled form of Spanish used by the islanders, which carries on the air over the narrow valleys. There’s plenty more to fill your day here, including whale and dolphin watching. Just make sure you’re back at Valle Gran Rey at sunset to be treated to a sky spectacular.

Airboat ride in the Everglades

An airboat riding through the Everglades in Florida

Florida isn’t all about theme park thrills. Probably the best known natural attraction in the Sunshine State is the Everglades. Nicknamed the ‘River of Grass’, it’s vast, wild and teeming with wildlife. The ultimate – and most fun – way to see it is without doubt by airboat. From the air whipping your face to the narrow, meandering mangrove passages, it really is an experience. There’s also an animal sanctuary nearby, and some tour operators offer alligator encounters, so all the family can see, enjoy and interact with them, should you dare!

Visit Spinalonga in Crete

Ruins in Spinalonga, Crete

Reached by boat from Agios Nikolaos, Elounda and Plaka, the tiny Cretan island of Spinalonga was built upon centuries ago to protect nearby bays and as you arrive you can’t miss its imposing Venetian Fortress. Lapped by the shallow turquoise sea, it’s intriguing to imagine its harrowing history as leper colony for over 50 years until 1955. Guided tours around its ruins, streets and churches paint a haunting picture of this bygone era. Before you go, read The Island, a wonderful novel by Victoria Hislop about Spinalonga. You’ll feel a real emotional affinity to the place.

Rock climbing in Mallorca

A man rock climbing in Mallorca

Forget sun, sea and sand. Mallorca’s perfect limestone landscape and impressive Tramuntana Mountains make this island a magnet for sport climbers. If you’ve never climbed before you shouldn’t let that put you off. There’s plenty of qualified climbing specialists out there who can find a route for lots of different ages and abilities. Craggy and dramatic Sa Gubia near Soller in the northwest of the island is about as impressive as they come. Not only will you get a kick from pushing your body, you’ll find it sets your mind soaring too. Unforgettable!

Game of Thrones tour in Dubrovnik

View of Dubrovnik, Croatia across the sea

If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones you’ll be in your element if you visit Croatia’s historic city of Dubrovnik, where you can take a three hour walking tour of the UNESCO-listed Old Town. From season two onwards it was transformed into King’s Landing and as you follow in the characters’ footsteps around key filming locations, your guide will inundate you with insider knowledge. One stop is the Lovrijenac Fortress – otherwise known as the Red Keep. Set on the highest point of the city’s medieval walls, it gives you the best look out over fictional Blackwater Bay. Imagine Stannis Baratheon’s epic naval battle ending in a sea of green fire. It’s a must for any cult-enthusiast!

If you’re searching for a different setting for your next big day out, why not check out our other destinations? With more than 50 to choose from, countless adventures are just waiting to begin.

Amanda

Amanda is a Marketing Assistant at James Villa Holidays.

There are a few quirky things about me, one of them is my obsession with travel. My...

See all articles by Amanda

See all articles by Amanda


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