Panama travel guide

Top 7 Beaches in Panama

Although many people immediately associate Panama with either the Canal or the famous Van Halen “Panama” song, Panama is also home to many fabulous beach destinations. Still lagging behind Costa Rica and Mexico’s development of tourism and beach-side resorts, you can still find great deals, inexpensive hotels and hostels and cheap eats at many of these tropical beach destinations. However, the tourism industry in Panama is on the brink of major new developments and soon sleepy beach towns and islands will become host to mega resorts, higher prices and more gringo tourists.

Comarca Kuna Yala

This is the premiere beach destination in Panama and comprises about 350 picture-perfect beaches. The white sand, the blue water, the palm trees, everything is as it should be in a Caribbean paradise. Scuba is prohibited here and you’ll stay in rustic houses but , to be honest, you only travel here to swim , enjoy the sand and stay in the hammock.

Bocas del Toro

A group of small islands situated on the Caribbean close to the Costa Rica border, this beach destination has long been discovered by backpackers and is on its way to more major outside tourist development. Although slightly more expensive and touristy than the rest of Panama, the island is still home to a plethora cheap hostels and inexpensive hotels. Drawing mostly a younger crowd, many travel here to bask in the sun during the day and party at night. Just a short boat taxi ride away is Isla Bastimentos, where you will find Red Frog Beach and Wizard Beach. It is also definitely worth shelling out the extra bucks to take a boat out to the National Park located on Isla Zapatilla, where you will find a pristine white-sand beach, clear blue waters.

Isla Bastimentos National Park offers excellent beaches, such as Red Frog Beach, Wizard Beach, and Playa Larga, which can be reached by a short walk or hike.

Santa Catalina

This rather remote surfer’s haven on the Pacific Coast will not disappoint. Still a sleepy fishing village (though much beach front property has recently been snatched up by foreign investors for development), Santa Catalina offers spectacular views of green, jungle covered bluffs dropping into the ocean, a huge black sand beach, and great breaks for surfers.

For divers, a boat ride to the nearby Isla Coiba will take you to an amazing marine preserve and provide for an amazing dive where you can see dolphins, whale and bull sharks, coral and a plethora of tropical fish. Isla Coiba is often compared to the Galapagos because of the unique eco-system.

Las Perlas Archipelago

This location offers excellent snorkeling spots, calm water for swimming and white beaches. Outside of the holidays and the high season you won’t find crowds here, so it’s excellent place to allow the time to stand still for a while.

Las Lajas

It may not be the most beautiful beach in Panama, but the swimming is excellent and the long (13km) beaches allows for plenty of walking…or jogging. Bring your own snacks. If you look for something closer to Boquete , visit La Barqueta but keep in mind it’s not a good option for swimming (strong currents). But it’s good for walking.

Azuero Peninsula

It offers a lot of beaches but the cleanest are Playa Los Destiladores and Playa Venado. They are also the most attractive but are less tropical (due to the deforestation in the region).

The Pacific Beaches

Playa Blanca and Santa Clara , although not very impressive, are a good option for a day trip from Panama City. However, these are the beaches which include full service, complete with all-inclusive resort, exactly the opposite the ones mentioned above.

Photo credits: Kuna Yala , Red Frog beach , Isla Coiba , Las Perlas Archipelago , Las Lajas , Playa Los Destiladores , Playa Blanca

Sweden Things to Do

Top 7 beaches in Sweden

While Swedes are known to escape to winter sun destinations, during summer they often decide to stay put and enjoy the sun in their own back yard. Prices can be cheaper than in the Mediterranean and best of all, you won’t see exclusive five star resorts here.

Sweden offers a lot of sandy beaches and there are many activities available for everyone. Do remember though that pets aren’t allowed on all beaches in Sweden.

1. Böda Beach , Öland

The beach stretches for 20 km and has plenty of facilities. It’s one of the beaches which welcome pets. Watersports, cycling and golfing are available for those into more active days at the beach. Others might just love the saunas.

2. Långholmsbadet Beach, Stockholm

If you don’t plan to leave the capital, then the popular Långholmsbadet Beach is a good option for a day of soaking up the sun. There are facilities for swimmers, there are places to eat and recreational areas, but the beach tends to get crowded in the summer.

3. Smedsuddsbadet Beach, Stockholm

Also in Stockholm, Smedsuddsbadet Beach offers recreational areas , places to eat and facilities for those who want to swim. Just like the other beach in the capital, it gets crowded during summer.

4. Ribersborg Beach, Malmö

This is a real city beach with shallow water, ideal for families with children. You can eat in restaurants or make your own BBQ (in specialized areas). The beach has a nude section and welcomes pets.

5. The Sudersand Beaches, Gotland

It is the most popular and most beautiful beach in Gotland. There are plenty of recreational activities to try, including a mini golf course, there are restaurants and a kiosk.

6. Varamon Beach , Östergötland

It is the “Pearl of Vättern” and is blessed with 80 more hours of sun per year than the rest of Sweden. You can play various sports – windsurfing, volleyball -, and there are plenty of cafes and restaurants. It’s a good option for families with children.

7. Skutberget Beach, Karlstad

It is located on the northern shore of Lake Vänern and includes a campground. There is a playground for children and the activities you can try here range from hiking to mountain biking and playing football. There are restaurants and cafes available, too.

Photo credits: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 ,7- A beach on Lake Vänern

Croatia travel guide

Top 7 beaches in Croatia

With 2000 miles of coastline and a lot of islands, Croatia doesn’t lack places to get a tan or make a splash. Some of the beaches are world-famous and many travelers head here every summer.

Searching for the best beaches in Croatia certainly starts with the traveler’s definition of “best beach”. Some travelers look for sandy beaches, with shallow waters, while others don’t mind pebbly beaches but want a superb landscape, too. Here is a list of the most popular and beautiful beaches in Croatia.

Paradise Beach, Rab Island

It is considered one of the best beaches in the world to skinny dip and is located on the island of Rab. It is also a beach popular among families (of course, for the part on which a swim suit is required). The 2 km long beach is one of the most famous in the Adriatic.

The closest airport serves the city of Rijeka and from there you can catch a catamaran to the island (runs year round). But don’t underestimate the city , either, as it has a superb castle and is home to the biggest carnival in the country.

Bijeca in Medulin

Bijeca is a sandy beach located in Medulin, about 8 km from Pula. It is recommended for families with children, singles and older people. The beach spreads for 1 km along the coast. The archipelago of Medulin has some uninhabited islands which become quite crowded during summer.

The closest airport serves Pula and handles flights from a variety of European destinations.

Big Beach / Vela Plaža, Baska Beaches, Krk Island

Baska is known for the Vela Plaža, a natural pebbled beach stretching for almost 2km. It is a romantic spot on Croatia’s largest island. The beaches in this area are clothing optional.

Rijeka airport is closest to the island of Krk. Baska is connected to the mainland by a bridge, so you can rent car at the airport and travel here. Or you can catch a local bus.

Plat beaches, Dubrovnik

Located between Cavtat and Mlini, Plat is a tiny oasis of tranquility and remains one of the hidden areas in Croatia. The beaches are made both of sand and pebbles. The water is shallow so anyone can enjoy the beaches without having to know how to swim.

Dubrovnik airport is the choice when traveling to Plat. From there rent a car and drive the remaining 14 km.

Sunj beach, Dubrovnik

The wide, sandy beach is located on Lopund island. It’s incredibly busy during summer but once the high season ends, you can pretty much have the beach for yourself.

Sunj beach can only be reached by boat or foot from Dubrovnik.

Lokrum island beach, Dubrovnik

The island is a natural resort, protected by law. It’s a popular day trip excursion from Dubrovnik and offers a lot of sand, sea and sun. And when you’ve caught enough tan or plan a break, Fort Royal offers amazing views of Dubvronik. All the beaches here are rocky.

You can catch a taxi boat from Dubrovnik Old City Port (10 min travel time) .

Milna & Dubovica beaches, Hvar Island

Hvar is one of the most popular and beautiful Croatian islands and has been popular among travelers since the Roman times. Milna and Dubrovica are the most popular and most crowded beaches. All beaches are pebbly.

Two beaches are located in Milna village itself and two really close to the village. The largest beach is Dubovica and is made of white pebbles.

The beaches can be reached by road from Hvar town or by taxi boat from the port.

>>read about Getting from Dubrovnik to Hvar

Photo credits:
Milna beach , Lokrum island , Sunj beach , Medulin , Paradise Beach , Krk island

Articles Panama

Panama is Beautiful and Affordable

Panama can claim much of the same bragging rights as other Central American countries. It offers pristine beaches, colonial towns juxtaposed with dazzling big cities, untamed jungles, and pleasant weather-year round. But unlike some of it’s more well-known neighbors like Costa Rica and Belize, Panama remains a little further off the American tourists radar.

Though the country is home to the famous Panama Canal, it still attracts fewer visitors than other destinations in the region, and has therefore remained a relative bargain. Air tickets to Panama can be had for under $300 if you are flying the 3-4 hours from the southern US, and hostels and laid back beach bungalows cost only a fraction of what you would pay in the Caribbean.  While it’s possible to visit Central America on $25 a day if you plan a budget-conscious trip, you can shave a little off that price and still enjoy a few luxuries in Panama.

Topping the list of places to visit in Panama include that famous engineering marvel, the Panama Canal; the historic Casco Viejo area of Panama City, and the sleepy beach town of Bocas Town. Whether you want adventure, the convenience of city life, or a remote slice of paradise to call your own, Panama fits the bill.

Photo by thinkpanama

Articles Croatia

Hotel Dubrovnik Palace

beach_tourist_seashore_280414_m.jpgExpensive extravagance is the norm at Hotel Dubrovnik Palace, Croatia’s premier luxury travel resort.

Dubrovnik Palace is the finest of Croatia’s luxury accommodations and bills itself thusly. The winner of the tourism flower award among five star resorts, the hotel was also named Europe’s Leading Resort in 2006.

What makes Hotel Dubrovnik Palace so special? It outperforms its competition repeatedly and out supplies its guests with the kind of amenities that matter to those who have the cash to spend a week on vacation in the finest luxury resort in an up and coming tropical European destination.

Four swimming pools, three outdoor, one indoor, sprinkled throughout the facility, as well as tennis courts, its own scuba diving center, a private beach and a private wooded area behind the hotel add to the resume of this accomplished resort.

The resort also provides a full compliment of bars and restaurants, all seaside, convenient to your room or activities. From the upscale restaurant Lenga, to an a la carte snack cart that you can sample from and take back to your pool or beachside barca-lounger, the food at Hotel Dubrovnik Palace is conveniently located, but it also might be the resort’s weak link.

Does it live up to the hype?

Travelers give the hotel strong reviews and find the resort’s location and amenities often exceed their expectations. A common theme in their criticisms seems to be the food. “Gourmet” becomes “overpriced” when travelers aren’t satisfied with the selection, taste, or quality of the meals. There have been no reports of food-poisoning or similar horror stories, some travelers simply felt the food wasn’t on par with the price they were paying for it.

The service and accommodations, except for the snootiest of travelers, are generally agreed to be top-notch.


Location is one of Hotel Dubrovnik Palace’s most marketable features. Other hotels and resorts can build more pools or offer more free massages, but no other hotel can offer downtown Dubrovnik after only a short bus ride from the hotel.

To be specific, the Hotel sits on the Lapad Peninsula, just outside of Dubrovnik, where there are pine forests instead of ancient buildings. The Dubrovnik Airport is about 10 miles away and the historic part of Dubrovnik is even closer.

Articles Croatia

Baska Beach

Watch your step on your way down to Baska Beach on Krk Island. The long stretches of nearly-sand beach are inviting and fun to play on, but you have to get down there first and the descent can be a leg-sapping workout. Take all of your towels and picnic supplies with you, because you won’t want to make this trip twice.

A trip to Baska Beach does not have to include a grueling climb down from the parking lot. But hiking the trails to one of the secluded coves gets you into your own personal sunbathing and swimming hole and that is a feature worth every step of the walk down.

If you don’t want to make the effort to get what is close to a private beach, the beach at Stara Baska is still a worthy destination for your day. Known for its unspoiled nature and the pebbles that look like fully formed sand from a distance, Stara Baska is on the southwest coast of Krk Island. Krk Island is accessible by road or ferry. The main road (M2) extends by bridge to the mainland and connects to the island’s main road. Ferries connect from Valbiska to Merag, or if you want to get straight to Baska, there is a ferry running from Lopar to Baska.

Although there are plenty of tourists during the summer season, Baska is one of those “off the beaten path” destinations that you should visit to show up those travelers who think that if they’ve seen Dubrovnik they’ve seen Croatia. Dubrovnik is the face that Croatia wants to present to the rest of the world, but Baska beach, Krk Island and the rest of Istria hold some equally tempting attractions.

Although there are better beaches around Croatia, Baska’s appeal rests in that it has not been commercialized by the tour groups, windsurfing lessons, parasailing and other high cost ways to have fun that have moved in to other beaches. Instead of a resort, there are only the people who live there year round nearby.

Articles Croatia


rocky-beach-losinj.jpgThe island of Losinj is a lesser known tourist destination off the coast of Croatia that is usually undisturbed by heavy tourist traffic. This could be because it is difficult to get to from the mainland, or because the island has had a sordid history surrounded in controversy. Yugoslavia annexed Losinj from Italy several decades ago, and many Italians left the island rather than live under communist rule. Today, Losinj is every inch a part of Croatia, although the group of Italians who lived there still stay in contact.

Although Cres island is considered something of a big brother island to Losinj, a vacation on Losinj has its advantages. Losinj is popular with couples and those looking for privacy while they’re away. Although there is an airport on the island, because of the island’s distance from the mainland, there are fewer people around and it is easier to get away from the crowds. The easiest way to access the island is by ferry Pula, Zadar, or Brestova.


Edinburgh for Dummies Volume 2: Beaches and Coastal Villages

Edinburgh is surrounded by some of the most peaceful beaches in Scotland. And you don’t have to travel far from the city before you can enjoy a fresh sea breeze!