Jet off to the Java Sea and enjoy some peace on this beautiful island with a body massage down on the beach, or a yoga session at sunset. For a spot of culture, you won’t be short of temples to visit here! Top of the list should be Jagatnatha Temple, dedicated to the supreme god, with a shrine made entirely of white coral.
Tucked away from the open stretches of the Tasman Sea, Melbourne lies along the shores of Port Phillip, South Australia. Soar above it all in a hot air balloon across to bay, or get in amongst the chaos of this bustling city. With a cultural mix to test the senses, snack on Russian buns at Babka’s Bakery Café, grab an Aussie beer in Cookie or flirt your way through a salsa lesson in the Fitzroy neighbourhood.
Do a Lawrence and grab yourself some Arabian nights in Muscat, the capital of Oman. Wedged between mountains and Arabian Sea, the city is home to the third largest mosque in the world, the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. If shopping is more your religion then head to the souk for a Persian rug, some gold trinkets or the latest iPad, they’ve got it all!
Ok so it’s not technically beside the seaside, but this 600-year old capital does straddle the Han River which eventually merges into the Yellow Sea. Cycle along the banks and stop for some gimbap, South Korea’s answer to sushi. Failing that, shop day and night at the Namdaemun Market, specialising in cheap clothes and sparkly jewels for any budget.
There’s more to the ‘City of the World’s Desire’ than kebabs and Ottoman palaces (although this isn’t a bad place to start!). Film buffs and jazz lovers alike flock to Istanbul every year for the city’s programme of International Festivals. It is also famed for its seafood rather than the shish. Go ahead and surprise yourself!
Baku is the largest capital city on the Caspian Sea, and one of Europe’s best undiscovered spots to party. Fountain Square springs to life come nightfall, lined with ex-pat pubs, Azeri cafes and a handful of nightclubs. Cheap beer and cheesy dance tunes come as standard.
The largest port on the Red Sea, Jeddah has been a stopover for travellers throughout the centuries. A maze of ancient streets lined with coral houses, the Al-Balad district contrasts with the city’s glitzier side as the commercial capital of Saudi Arabia. So if you’re in the market for a pair of satin slippers or D&G jeans, you’ll find them in one of the many malls of Jeddah.
For more flights to exotic and exciting destinations like these, check out Qatar Airways.