Tag Archives: UNESCO

Diving into the Blue Waters of Patmos, Greece

Dive into Patmos blue waters, and you won’t regret it! As the locals say; visiting Patmos Island is a blessing. There’s an unusual atmosphere here that you don’t find on other Greek Islands. It’s hard to put your finger on it, but probably comes from the wonderful people, beautiful scenery and fantastic water sports. Known as an historical wonder thanks to the famous Monastery of St John, the island is on the fast track as a water sports fan favourite too.

Living by the sea

One of the highlights on our visit to Patmos was meeting people that actually live on the beach all year long. They shared their passion for the sea, their love of nature and thirst for action. They live for the sea and the sports they can take part in on the water. In the beginning I was a little scared to give it a go, but my new friends convinced me! I tried out water skiing on Kampos Beach. It’s the ideal place because the beach is huge and the waves weren’t too bumpy.

Windsurfing is also available or you can hop on a boat to go exploring some of the nearby coves. Looking out from the beach you can take your pick of all sorts of sports like kitesurfing, windsurfing, wakeboarding, waterskiing, barefoot skiing,  tubing and of course as on every Greek beach, volleyball. It doesn’t matter what you think your level is, most sports are suitable for all ages and start with beginner lessons.

Not only is Patmos surprisingly great fun for sports, but there is plenty going on besides. We visited a couple of very nice cocktail bars right on the beach. It’s very picturesque and a sunset sipping a strawberry daiquiri is very difficult to improve on! For water sport enthusiasts Patmos is the perfect choice because it’s got everything; sun, sea and sand and wonderful accommodation right on the beach like the luxury hotel Patmos Aktis.

A extreme adrenaline rush

After trying out my waterskiing skills, (improving every day!) we decided to go one step further and explore the magical beaches from under the sea. Scuba diving is something I never even considered before, but it’s a sport like no other. We visited underwater caves, dived from the rocks and all in all fell in love with the island both above and below the water level.

Enjoying the true Patmos

When you get tired of shriveled fingers and toes, head inland for a walk around the small island. The island’s Chora (the center) as well as the Monastery of St John the Theologian and Cave of the Apocalypse are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a reward for all that energetic swimming. Visit in the evening when the sites are lit up like beacons. It’s the calm before another day of water sport fun on Patmos Island.

The next morning, wake up full of energy and enjoy life!

 

 

 

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Qatar’s Zubarah Site is Appointed UNESCO World Heritage List

Qatar is a country that holds a dear place in my heart. As a graduate I spent months driving all over the country to record and protect its heritage and eventually grew fond of its desert landscapes, and of its ability to spring archaeological sites upon visitors in the most unexpected of circumstances.  When I read that Qatar’s archaeological site Zubarah had been inscribed onto UNESCO’s World Heritage List, I felt this appointment was well-deserved. Having visited Zubarah several times and learnt about its history in relation to the rest of the world, the rarity of sites like this meant it urgently needed further investigation and preservation for the posterity of history. I was fortunate enough to visit Zubarah back in 2011, and you can read about my experiences visiting the site at Vagabondish magazine.

A two hour drive north from Qatar’s capital city Doha brings you into a region known as Al Shamal, where the clay-hued fort of Zubarah suddenly rises out of the horizon against the backdrop of the flat desert landscape. Once a central role in the pearl-diving industry from 1811 to the early 19th century, Zubarah faced a steady decline following the introduction of the Japanese pearling industry and the discovery of oil off of Qatar’s coast until the site was eventually abandoned in the early 1900s. Today archaeologists are excavating a small portion of the Zubarah town, and have already discovered an expansive complex of houses, streets, and mosques that denote a thriving trade industry. Over the decades a natural blanket of sand blown from the coastal winds has perfectly preserved this area, allowing archaeologists and historians alike a rare archaeological glimpse into the everyday life of the Bedouin who called Zubarah home. The fort however continues to stand resolute against time and weather erosion, a testament to Qatar’s early trade links stretching across the Indian Ocean, Western Asia, and Arabia.

With Zubarah making it onto UNESCO’s World Heritage List, and Qatar’s hosting of the World Cup in 2022, this country’s tourism is set to rocket in the next few years. Now is a better time than ever to beat the crowds and explore the country’s heritage for yourself while it is still quiet. Zubarah is only one of Qatar’s treasures, there are still several listed below waiting to be explored…

 

 

Qatar's Own Hollywood: Film City

Qatar’s Own Hollywood: Film City

 

Al Jassasiya Rock Carvings

Al Jassasiya Rock Carvings

 

 

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