9 ways to make a splash this holiday season

STORY BY Debbie 21st August 2019

Fly and flop beach holidays aren’t for everyone, from Kayaking in Pittsburgh to White Water Rafting in Gunma, Japan.  Get inspired by some of the best ways to explore the worlds waters.

Swim with sharks, The Islands of Tahiti

Scuba diving is one of the most popular activities in The Islands of Tahiti and TOPDIVE is the destinations organisation of choice. Based on 6 islands including Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, Tetiaroa, Rangiroa and Fakarava divers can expect to see several species of shark, ancient sea turtles, colourful coral gardens with an anemone of tropical fish, curious dolphins and manta ray during their trip. For shark fanatics the Tiputa pass, off the shore of Rangiora, is home to a popular shark cave 35m below sea level. Hordes of grey reef sharks pass through the cave due to fast currents. There are unique structures in the cave that shelter divers from these powerful tides allowing them to see this spectacular marine life movement without disturbing the sharks. tahititourisme.uk

Diving in Legoland, California

Legoland California has introduced its very own adventure submarine, allowing guests to visit the deep sea and immerse themselves underwater amongst the ocean life. Whilst underwater visitors can discover a truly amazing world filled with more than 2,000 sea animals, including marine tropical fish, several species of stingrays and a variety of exotic sharks. The underwater adventure will also showcase lost Lego treasure, Lego octopi and Lego scuba divers amongst the wildlife.  visitcalifornia.com/uk

White Water Rafting in Minakami, Gunma Prefecture, Japan

Tone River in Minakami is in full flow throughout spring with 25km+ of white-water to descend down and is known for being one of the best places in Japan for both beginner and experienced white-water rafters. Canyons offer a range of rafting tours with views of cherry blossoms and snow-capped mountains whilst rafting. During summer the river flow drops creating a more placid current, perfect for first time rafters. The river is located in the Gunma Prefecture, just a two-hour train ride away from Tokyo making it the perfect day trip from the capital. japan.travel

Kayak the seas of The Setouchi Region, Japan

Seto Inland Sea offers a broad range of water sports, a favourite being sea kayaking and the town of Nio is perfect for beginners offering particularly calm waters. Tsutajima island is located a kilometre away from the town and visitors can kayak over to the uninhibited island and soak up Japanese culture on the remote island where ancient ruins stand along with 8000-year-old ceramics and stoneware. On route to the island, kayakers pass stunning granite cliffs whilst paddling over small waves. setouchitrip.com

Glow-in-the-dark stand up paddle boarding in Newport Beach, California

Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) is one thing, glow-in-the-dark SUP in the serene waters of Newport Beach’s harbour is quite another. Pirate Ghost Paddle, the first glow tour in California, offers visitors the chance to witness the spectacle of multi-coloured boards creating a light show over the Pacific. visitnewportbeach.com

Perfecting your front crawl at Kodonohama beach, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan

As a coastal prefecture Miyagi has plenty of water sport activities to explore. With 206 pine islands in Matsushima Bay head to Oshima Island and explore the beautiful Kodonohama beach on the Sanriku coast. Ranked as one of the ten best swimming beaches in Japan it is the perfect place to strip down and take a dip. Due to calm waters it is also a great spot for stand-up paddle boarding. Oshima Paddle Club offer board hire and lessons throughout the summer. Additional activities on the beach include cycling, rent a bicycle from the Oshima Tourist Information Center and enjoy sightseeing on wheels. visitmiyagi.com

River kayaking in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh’s position at the point of three rivers makes it the ideal location for a day of water sports during the summer, without having to leave the city. There are three kayak rental spots in the area, but the most scenic location is the North Shore, located under the Roberto Clemente Bridge next to the iconic baseball stadium PNC Park. From here, visitors can paddle around Point State Park, venture up the Allegheny River alongside the city banks or head out further to join the Monongahela or Ohio Rivers. visitpittsburgh.com

Whale watching in Dana Point, California

Located between San Diego and Los Angeles, Dana Point is California’s coolest coastal gem. The region offers some of the best blue and grey whale watching along the west coast, with sightings virtually guaranteed all year round. There are three major operators which offer sightseeing tours from Dana Point Harbour, whilst the Ocean Institute is a great place for visitors to brush up on their marine life knowledge. visitdanapoint.com

Sail the Seven Shrines in Miyajima waters, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan

Miyajima Island is located just off of the main Hiroshima prefecture and visitors can take a private cruise around the island observing spiritual practices at the seven shrines of Miyajima. The visit to the shrines is known as the mystical ‘Nanaura Meguri’ said to be where the gods reside. The tour includes a stop at the wave-lapped World Heritage Site Itsukushima Shrine with stunning views of Mount Misen. visithiroshima.net

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