Summer, the time of year when hordes of people fly thousands of miles for a slice of beach life. But it’s not all about beaches in 2016; Urban exploration is big and we have a selection of ideal hotels, located on the world’s best coastlines that also happen to be urban wonderlands. But where are these hotels? Well, from Italy to Cuba, and from breezy coasts to sun drenched hot spots, this year, search the perfect sand and island, here are our top 7 destinations.
1. The Amalfi Coast, Italy
If you think that the best things come in small packages that pack a big surprise, then the Amalfi coast is for you. It has captivated the world over for centuries, and you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s just the beaches and sublime Mediterranean views that draw people here in droves… Well, you’re not wrong! But there is another side to the Amalfi coast begging to be explored.
If you’re a hiker, then Amalfi is the perfect place from where to explore the ancient terrain. Why not head up to Ravello, a cliff-side village where you’ll be rewarded by breathtaking views and the chance to rest a typical trattoria to replenish energy levels. There is also Positano, with its steep, café lined streets, or Sorrento, where you’ll find the infamous Gelateria Primavera, a local favourite that even the Pope visited.
2. Valencia Coast, Spain
When visiting Valencia , step away from the golden sands and explore the city’s architectural triumphs; The City of Arts and Science, The Congress Centre, and Veles e Vents, to name but a few. Or why not go a step further and reconnect with nature in the Albufera national park, where you’ll find the largest lake in Spain, an important wetland prized, for its ecological values.
If you feel incomplete without a wander down history lane, the 13th-century Valencia Cathedral should be on your checklist, as well as the Torres de Quart and Plaza de la Reina. Like to work-out, why not switch your routine up with kayaking, kite surfing or anything else on the water, giving you the perfect reason to hit the beach afterwards.
3. Gijón, Asturias, Spain
How about a city that takes you back thousands of years yet is still vibrant and youthful? In Gijon, do as the locals do and while away the time fishing, playing golf, bird watching or take to the waters with Estación Náutica Gijón Costa Verde that offers sailing lessons on from row boat to yachts. Then there is the Universidad Laboral de Gijón, a must-see. Like trains? You’ll be surprised to learn that Gijón has a museum full of steam and diesel locomotives, wagons and trams.
If you’re looking for a Spanish getaway with a breezy climate, now you know where to go. A place to stay with a beautiful pool and views of the beach? Yes, we’re describing our NH Gijón, close to San Lorenzo beach and 15 minute walk from the historic centre of the city.
4. Palermo, Italy
Lose yourself when visiting Sicily’s charismatic Palermo; a city dotted with historic gardens, Byzantine mosaics, Sicilian Baroque, and street food that includes the famous Arancini.
But away from the beaches (and food), you’ll find examples of Norman Palermo (1130-1194), UNESCO World Heritage sites, that are a testimony to the coexistence of people of different origins and religions (Muslim, Byzantine, Latin, Jewish, Lombard and French). From the rooftop of Palermo’s impressive cathedral, you’ll find breathtaking views. Feeling fearless? Visit the Catacombe dei Cappuccini, an alternative tourist attraction where dead friars, local luminaries and mummified children rest. Tempted?
5. Cartagena, Colombia
Cartagena, a city founded in 1533 that has a magnificent walled city of cobblestoned streets and colonial buildings at its core. Sitting on the Caribbean Coast, feel inspired just as Nobel Prize Winner, Gabriel García Márquez did, strolling down the beautiful streets of Cartagena de Indias. Approach the Castle of San Felipe, and be captivated by the moment you step up towards its grand entrance.
Need peace? Then, go to one of the many churches of the city. This coast is the perfect place for relaxing, vibrant nightlife, watersports and, of course, honeymoons. Food lover? Make sure you hunt down Cartagena’s stew, Sancocho. Paradise awaits you.
6. La Habana, Cuba
La Habana, capital of Cuba, one of the most unique cities in the world. Old Havana, an UNESCO World Heritage site, immerses you in world’s past, with the likes of the Cathedral of San Cristobal and Castillo de la Real Fuerza, the old military fortress. Of course, a car fanatic or not, you’ll be in awe of the classic cars that line the streets of this city.
El Malecón, the famous seafront boulevard it’s perfect to watch the sun goes down, which casts unforgettable colours and shadows across the already colorful buildings and landscapes. Waves crashing against a mildewed sea Wall, close your eyes for a moment and imagine you’re there. Make it happen!
7. Nice, France
Deep, blue seas await you on the Côte d’Azur, the perfect destination for sun seekers. Climb the winding staircase of Parc du Château to discover the best views of the city, making sure to make a stop off and see the artificial, yet wonderful, waterfall. Looking for markets of fresh produce or a flowers? Get lost in Vieux Nice, the old town full of colours, sounds and fragrances. Or if you’re an architecture lover you’ll have to see the Cathédrale Ste-Réparate.
Fancy a skating/cycling tour seafront view at your side? Take yourself down Promenade des Anglais, a short stretch, packed with all manner of must see sights. Then, finish the jaunt off with a walk along the smooth-pebbled beach.
So there you have it. A selection of the best coastal destinations through the eyes of NH Hotel Group. Inspired? Then why not check out the NH Hotels and NH Collection properties that can be found in these destinations and more… plus, book now and you might just land yourself a nice Summer Deal.