Beach vs Culture

If you’re a beach lover on holiday with a history buff, or a culture lover on holiday with a sun worshipper, we all know the difficulty finding a holiday to fulfil both needs. So, we’ve taken a look at what we think are some of best combination holidays.

Sri Lanka is an ideal spot for a beach/culture combo holiday. With a centre rich in history, and beaches edging both sides of the island you can easily combine the best of both worlds. Sri Lanka’s west coast is rougher than its east, so if you want to swim and dive, you’re probably better off heading west. That said you can charter a seaplane from Colombo in the west to the east and start your adventure on the beach, making your way through the cultural heart until hitting the west coast before flying home. At its cultural heart you’ll find the ancient cities of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura as well as the iconic Sigiriya Rock and Dambulla rock cave temple. Equally you can always combine Sri Lanka with nearby India, with plenty of iconic sites such as the Taj Mahal and the pink city of Jaipur, as well as the beaches of Goa.

If you’d like to take a walk on the wild side before kicking back on the beach, Tanzania is ideal. Not only is it home to the epic Serengeti National Park, which hosts a large portion of the annual great migration, but also the little island of Zanzibar, a beautiful beach escape. You can easily charter across Tanzania, perhaps stopping off at the beautiful Serengeti Bushtops for game drives, and village visits, before hopping over to Tanzania, where you can wander through historic Stone Town, snorkel and relax on soft white sand.

If it’s iconic history you’re looking to experience, Egypt can also offer the best of both worlds. Spend your days visiting ancient monuments such as the Pyramids of Giza, the Valley of the Kings and Queens, Karnak and the Temple of Hatshepsut. From here, head down to the Red Sea coast and resorts such as Hurghada and Sharm el Sheikh. Here you’ll find great all inclusive hotels overlooking golden sand and waters teeming with life. Whether you’re a snorkelling novice or a diving pro, there’s something for everyone.

Thailand is another all-encompassing destination, with everything a traveller could ask for. From the bright lights and buzzing streets of Bangkok, to the ancient city of Ayutthaya and the scattering of islands, blessed with beautiful beaches, Thailand is magical. We recommend chartering between the islands, spending a few days exploring as each offers something a little different. Koh Tao is the best for diving, and also offers an upmarket selection of hotels, Koh Samui is laidback and well-established, whilst Phuket offers plenty of glittering nightlife. Northern Thailand is far more rural than its glossy southern counterparts and offers a more traditional take on Thai life. Here you’ll find plenty of elephants, hidden hill tribes and beautiful temples.

A little closer to home, Barcelona is a great shout for anyone looking for a short-haul flight but still packing in plenty of culture, with a great beach scene as well. The city itself is home to plenty of stunning architecture, from temple columns and ancient city walls, to gothic cathedrals and contemporary modernism. You’ll find a great many museums, as well as great cafes and plenty of bars.

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