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About an hour south of Mombasa, the sparkling white sands and lush greenery of Diani invite you to relax under a beach umbrella with a refreshing drink. Try a camel ride for the tourist experience or book a bike tour inland for a glimpse of life in local villages. Diani is also a base for several safari companies.
The delightful village of Watamu is an eco-tourist’s dream, lined with sandy white beaches and hotels dedicated to sustainable tourism. Watamu is a quick snorkel away from the Malindi Marine Reserve Park, and Turtle Beach is the ideal spot for a swim and a tanning session. The village proper features quaint Kenyan shopping stalls called dukas, where you can stock up with supplies. Make sure to visit the Gede Ruins, a mysterious and heavily overgrown 12th century Swahili village, and the beautifully fluttery Kipepeo Butterfly Project.
Actually more white than silver, lovely Silver Sands Beach is just south of Malindi town, and home to several luxury hotels. Snorkelling, diving, surfing and deep sea fishing (for marlin, shark and sailfish) are popular here. Further south lies Watamu Beach, part of Kenya's Watamu Marine National Park.
Set in a sheltered cove, Santa Ponsa's standout attraction is its vast beach, where sunseekers sprawl against a backdrop of pine trees. The resort town combines old and new, with a modern marina and waterfont promenade alongside ancient archaeological sites and a nearby nature preserve.
Salou, on the Costa Dorada, nestles between quaint Cambrils and calm La Pineda. Just seven miles south of elegant Tarragona, the compact resort town is a family favourite, due in no small part to the existence of Port Aventura and Aquopolis theme parks. Gentle beaches and a slew of exciting fiestas in August add to Salou's appeal for families. A good variety of clubs and bars round out the picture. To see more of the area, or for daytrips to Tarragona or Barcelona, it's easiest to rent a car.
The Costa del Sol juxtaposes gorgeous Mediterranean old towns and inland national parks with developed beach resorts. Famed for being the birthplace of Picasso, Malaga serves as a gateway to family-favourite stops such as Benidorm and Fuengirola.
Portimao is a sailor’s delight, thanks to its calm waters and beautiful conditions. Plenty of elite international competitions happen here, but you don’t have to be a professional to set sail. Cruising the coast on the double-masted Santa Bernarda pirate ship is a family favorite. On dry land, you can wander the lovely Alvor boardwalk, enjoy a succulent seafood meal or zip around the go-kart track at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve.