As the third highest producer of luxury yachts in the world, boasting an unspoilt coastline of 8000km of spectacular beauty, and with 311 Blue Flag Beaches, Turkey ranks among the top sailing spots in the world. Sailing enthusiasts can enjoy a tradition of regular international boat races and festivals throughout the year; while the more leisurely can discover the serene ‘Blue Cruise’ on a traditional wooden boat and a breathtaking coastline accessible only by boat. The best bit? A multitude of anchoring points offer fantastic settings for snorkelling, swimming and diving, as well as the opportunity to explore secret bays, local fishing villages and vibrant resort towns.
New marinas are opening all the time… the latest is planned for Dalaman on the Mediterranean coast, Turkey’s most popular spot for British visitors, with a capacity of 650 berths and sports (tennis, basketball, football), eating and shopping facilities. This is an addition to Turkey’s wealth of world-class marinas, 29 of which are international standard, and 12 municipality operated marinas with a total capacity of 10,450 floating berths and 5,400 hard standing. All are located between Istanbul in the north and Antalya in the south. In Istanbul both Atakoy Marina on the European side and Setur Kalamis-Fenerbahce (Amiral Fahri Koruturk) Marina on the Asian side offer 24-hour service. Larger cruise-liners most often dock in the larger ports of Istanbul or Kusadasi, both of which are perfectly situated for access to some of Turkey’s most interesting historic sites. Turkish Marina Management has an excellent reputation amongst international sailing crews for taking care of the yachts and their crew.
New marinas planned include: Marinturk Pendik Marina, Istanbul: 752-berth capacity and 100 hard standing; Marinturk Gocek & Poruklu Marinas, Gocek: 200-berth capacity and 150 hard standing; Alanya Marina on the east side of Antalya Gulf: 300-berth capacity and 150 hard standing; C&N Cesme Marina: 400-berths and 100 hard standing capacity; and Kas Marina: 450-berths and 100 hard standing capacity.
So what are you sailing enthusiasts waiting for? Organise your sailing tour now!
Most people will have heard of Lithuania; many may even be aware that Vilnius is the country’s capital city. However, it may be a surprise to find out that Lithuania actually boasts some award-winning beaches and stunning UNESCO World Heritage sand dunes. The resort towns of the Curonian Spit have been attracting tourists for many years and with the fall of communism in 1991, Lithuania’s attentions have turned to the West.
A visit to the Curonian Spit is not as simple as jumping on a plane for two-and-a-half hours, but it is well worth that extra effort. Fly with airBaltic from London Gatwick South Terminal to Riga in Latvia, and then hop on a short flight to Palanga in Lithuania. Both Gatwick South Terminal and Riga have luxurious lounges in which passengers can relax before boarding the planes. It is well worth the investment, with complementary drinks, snacks, and in Riga, an impressively well-stocked water bar with water from thirty different countries. On arrival in Palanga, simply take a taxi or public transport to Klaipeda, the region’s largest city.
Although Klaipeda is quite industrial it is home to a particularly quaint old town and luxurious hotels, none of which has a particularly hefty price tag. Located in the up-and-coming port district, The Old Mill Hotel is one example of a brand new hotel, with lavish rooms, which does not come at a high price. With great public transport links to the resort towns of the Curonian Spit, Klaipeda is an ideal destination to base oneself. However, the city itself does have some interesting attractions, including the air-raid shelter at Memel-Nord where a rather animated local guide talks visitors through the history of the region and then demonstrates amber fishing. Lithuania is renowned for its amber. After dark stormy nights it is even possible for amateur amber enthusiasts to find small pieces washed up on the beach, but to be truly wowed, watch the pros.
Just a short ferry journey from Klaipeda visitors will find the Sea Museum which boasts an aquarium, dolphin shows and even a giant performing sea lion, named Pirate. A trip to Lithuania’s most visited museum will certainly keep children amused. Similarly, visiting Klaipeda’s castle ruins and watching members of the local war society re-enact marching, shooting and even firing canons will keep children thoroughly entertained and enthralled.
While wandering the streets of Klaipeda, for a truly authentic Lithuanian experience look out for local festivities. During festival times traditional, local folk bands play music and dance in the street. Even outside the festivals there is a great deal of merriment to be had in Klaipeda. To take in the city as a whole a beverage or two must be consumed from the top of the recently refurbished Amberton Hotel. The new block is one of the highest buildings in the area and gives visitors a 360-degree panoramic view of the city, port and surrounding countryside.
However, for those who want to embrace laid-back Lithuanian life, take a short ferry ride to the Curonian Spit and stay in one of the resort towns, such as Nida. With its UNESCO World Heritage status, Nida is particularly strict with any new buildings and even refurbishment. All buildings are painted in certain colours, generally red, white and blue. Nevertheless, essential regeneration is taking place in Nida, and hotels such as Nidus have been thoroughly renovated to provide visitors with a comfortable place to stay.
Walking around Nida is the best way to see the sights. Visits to the lighthouse on Urbo hill (an area which during summer months plays host to a summer cinema festival) and a trek up the Parnidis dune are well worth the hard work on the thighs. From both vantage points visitors cannot fail to be impressed by the spectacular views. It is here in Nida that the real Lithuania can be found – here that countryside and the seaside are combined. This is, quite simply, visually spectacular.
Heading on to the beach, facing the aggressive Baltic Sea, is the only way to start the morning. While the wind whips through your hair and the sun beats down on your face, join in with the locals at the free
summer yoga sessions. Nevertheless, there is something for adrenaline junkies too. Irklakojis offers blokart (land-sailing) sessions, as well as kayaking, sailing, hiking and cycling tours. The provisions for cycling, be it on a tour or independently, are impressive in Nida and the surrounding resort towns. To take in the dramatic amalgamation of coast and forest hire a bike for the day and cycle the 50 kilometre cycle path which will take you through the pretty resort towns of Nida, Pervalka and Juodkrante. If in need of refreshments, stop off in Juodkrante to enjoy a refreshing Svyturys beer on board the town’s very own pirate ship.
During a stay in Nida a boat trip is a must. Local boat tours take tourists right up to the border of Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave. It is from the sea that it is finally possible to comprehend just how impressive the sand dunes are. Walking through the white sand of the Dead Dunes (do not stray from the path, as they are protected and hefty fines can be incurred if caught doing so), located between Pervalka and Juodkrante, may be as initially breathtaking as the Sahara desert but it is only from the sea that their sheer scale can be grasped.
For an awe-inspiring holiday consider visiting Lithuania’s Curonian Spit. Whether searching for a holiday with real value for money, rest and relaxtion or an action-packed adventure, Lithuania’s Curonian Spit has something to please everyone.
Flights: airBaltic fly directly from London (Gatwick airport) to Riga and Vilnius and offers connecting flights to Kaunas and Palanga. Prices for flights from London to Vilnius start at 57 EUR per person including all taxes if purchased online at www.airbaltic.com.
Airport: To book your place in the No 1 Traveller Lounge at Gatwick South Terminal visit www.No1Traveller.com.
Despite being many miles from the ocean waves, Krakow will host its 29th International Festival of Sea Shanties this month. Between 25th and 28th February, Poland’s capital of culture will welcome music groups and performers from across the world to pay homage to the big blue and the world of old ships.
After relatively humble beginnings in 1981, the festival is now one of the biggest shanty celebrations not only in Poland but also in Europe. Every year people from all over the country – and from further afield – drop anchor in Krakow to sing about sea adventures and voyages.
The four-day festival will welcome almost eleven thousand people who will take part in a number of shows, concerts and performances. In past years, the festival has proved to be a launching pad for some of the most popular shanty groups and artists including Stare Dzwony, Packet, Ryczące Dwudziestki, and Mechanicy Shanty.
For those already thinking of their summer plans, one destination and event is particular is right up there: The Garden Festival in Croatia. Set in a stunning 900-year old fishing village on the Dalmatian Coast, it is an area of true beauty, one which festival goers explore to indulge in fine food, adventure and fun, all framed by the festival itself, which again takes place across the first and second weekends of July from 2nd-11th July.
The lineup is indeed taking shape to be the most inspiring yet in the Garden’s esteemed history, with everything from NYC deep disco from Metro Area jousting with the sublime sounds of Floating Points, one of the most talked about acts of 2009 for a string of revered releases and remixes, through to Leeds’ finest deck devil, Dave Beer. One of Scotland’s finest, The Revenge, is set to unleash his fine disco cuts, and since his Resident Advisor podcast his stock has risen even further. Two of the north of the border’s other favourite sons, Subclub’s Harri and Domenic, make their inaugural trips to Petrcane. London’s Horse Meat Disco also star, themselves enjoying their most fruitful year yet, and two late night specialists, Sebo K and Seth Troxler, bring a tech-noir edge to nocturnal proceedings. Of course it’s not just all about the new boys; some already legendary Garden guests also return, including Greg Wilson, Henrik Schwarz, Kelvin Brown, Terry Farley, No’ Fakin and a great deal more also star.
Croatia itself has enjoyed a bumper year as a travel destination, offering everything from secluded coves and deserted stretches of pristine beach to historic and vibrant cities, succulent seafood and an enriching culture of old and new. Many of those who attended one or more of the weekends this year also took time out to explore some of this inspiring and seductive country too. Visit gb.croatia.hr/Home for more info.
What’s what at The Garden festival 2010: the story so far 2020 Soundsystem • Bonobo • Crazy P • Henrik Schwarz • Killer Whale (The Arthur Russell Project) • Tensnake • Trojan Sound System DJ SETS: Adam Regan • Adam Shelton • Ame • Andy Blake • Basement Boogaloo • Ben Terry • Bobby Beige • Borja • Christophe (Redux) • Daddy G • Dave Beer • Dave Jarvis • Deano Ferrino • Discomendments • Dixon • Dolan Bergin • Dom Chung • Ed Cotton • El Diablos • El Harvo • Electric Minds • Emma Chibuku • Faze Action • Faith • Felix Dickinson • Filthy Dukes • Floating Points • Florian Keller • Futureboogie DJ’s • Geddes • Greg Wilson • Hang The Dj • Harri and Domenic • Horse Meat Disco • Ichisan & Nakova • James Hillard • James Holroyd • Jamie Jones • James Hillard • Jimpster • Joe 90 • Karen P • Kelvin Brown • Kid Bongo • Matty J • Metro Area (Darshan Jesrani) • Nick Shaw • No Fakin DJ’s • Ole Smokey • PBR Streetgang • Pete Herbert • Phat Phil Cooper • Qool DJ Marv • Red Rackem • Rub n Tug • Sam Redmore • Sean Brosnan • Sebo K • Seth Troxler • Shur-i-kan • Smith and Mudd • Soul Jazz Sound System • Ste Hodge • Stu Patterson • Subb-An • Terry Farley • The Revenge • Tirk • Tristan Da Cuhna •Yam Who?
Also, Argonaughty Boat Crews are confirmed! Ahoy there me hearties! There will be 20 voyages over the ‘Double Whammy’ period so get your cutlass polished ready, as mutiny, booty and plunder are not far from these here distant shores.
Weekend 1 Argonaughty Buccaneers: Tirk* Sub Club* Asylum/Hang The DJ* Mulletover* Crazy P* Faith* Below*Futureboogie Crews to include Greg Wilson* Harri & Domenic* Junior* Telford* PBR Strretgang* Geddes* Crazy P Soundsystem* Terry Farley* Stu Patterson* Dave Jarvis* Joe 90* El Harvo* Kid Bongo
Weekend 2 Argonaughty Bucaneers: Trojan/Andy Blake* Resident Advisor* Leftoot* Innervisions Crews to include Trojan Sounsystem* Andy Blake* Sebo K* Seth Troxler* Adam Regan* Bobby Beige* Daddy G* Ame* Dixon* Henrik Schwarz
Barbarellas After Parties Confirmed to Date: As per usual there will be some top club nights and hosts planned for next year’s after parties in Barbarellas Discotheque; the opening party will be on the 1st July and is the official start of the 2010 season. Barbarellas will be open from 23.00hrs until sunrise throughout the ‘Double Whammy’ event in 2010 – expect some very, very special guests.
Weekend 1 Club Hosts: Sub Club* Mulletover* Horse Meat Disco
Weekend 2 Club Hosts: Futureboogie* Resident Advisor presents* Freerange
Croatia on Tour: If you want a taste of Croatia in your home country, think about heading to one of the The Garden Festival European Tour Dates starting this February:
Saturday 6th Feb London UK, The Star Of Bethnal Green
Friday 12th Feb Ljubljana Slovenia, K4 with Crazy P Soundsystem and Futureboogie
Friday 12th Feb Brighton UK, Life (tbc) with Horse Meat Disco
Saturday 13th Feb Zagreb Croatia, A secret location with Crazy P Soundsystem and Futureboogie
Saturday 20th Feb Sofia Bulgaria, venue tbc with Crazy P Soundsystem and Futureboogie
Friday 26th Feb Birmingham UK, The Hare And Hounds with Crazy P Soundsystem and Futureboogie & after party with the Revenge
Saturday 27th Feb Nottingham, The Maze with The Revenge
Saturday 6th March, The Deaf Institute with El Diablos Social Club and The Revenge
All gigs will feature Garden friends and family, spreading the good word across the continent in anticipation of what is going to be a fantastic summer… Keep checking The Garden Festival for updated information www.thegardenfestival.eu
Mottra caviar is new to the UK and is the world’s only truly sustainable caviar. This is bang on trend with us being encouraged to choose more ethical and sustainable options, and since the release of film The End of the Line (The Inconvenient Truth of the fish world), our focus has been firmly on the oceans.
Last year, Mottra ‘sturgeon-friendly caviar’ was awarded the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) certification. Priding itself on its eco-credentials Mottra is both ecologically and gastronomically gratifying.
Even in today’s economic climate, people want to enjoy such delicacies as caviar, but maybe now more than ever, they want to know that the process used is sustainable and that the sturgeon are being looked after. Mottra is your eco-luxury ‘caviar with a conscience’.
Discerning caviar lovers will always have suffered from the knowledge that wild breeding sturgeon were killed to provide this world renowned delicacy. Mottra has solved this dilemma with the use of modern technology and special techniques that encourage caviar production, while putting the sturgeon’s welfare first. Once the sturgeon is about five years of age the caviar gets gently massaged out of the fish – a process also known as ‘stripping’. The fish is then put back into the perfect conditions of the Mottra pools, where it continues to grow and starts the next year’s process of caviar production.