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Destinations

Loving summer in Copenhagen

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​Most places in the world seem to be at their best during the summer months.

While it can be fun to pull on hats, scarves, and gloves, and trudge around in the snow for a while, it’s a completely different dynamic when the sun is out, and everyone can relax, take their time, and just enjoy what life has to offer.

Of all the places in Europe where you can spend summer, one of my favourite places has to be Copenhagen — the capital of Denmark.

Copenhagen is a beautiful city at any time of year, but during summer it really comes alive.

Swimming in the harbour

You’ll be amazed at how clean and fresh the water in the harbour is. There’s a swimming pontoon set up at a spot called Islands Brygge. Adjacent to this is a stretch of grass. On sunny days the grass is rammed with everyone, relaxing in the sun and working on their tans, while the energetic jump in and out of the water at the swimming pontoon. Included in the pontoon is a diving platform. It doesn’t look particularly high from the bottom, but when you’re at the top and looking down at the water below it’s a completely different proposition.

Eating the food

Copenhagen has a justifiably impressive reputation as a destination for food-lovers. From Noma (by all accounts one of the best restaurants in the world), to the simple open sandwiches that they do so well. I was eating some herring in a local restaurant when they poured me a glass of schnapps. I protested, I was just having a quick lunch, it really was a bit early to be laying into the schnapps, but they insisted that the schnapps had to be drunk with the herring “to help the fish swim.” It’s hard to argue with that kind of logic. Copenhagen is also the home of the Joe & The Juice franchise (who do great juices); The Coffee Collective (who do great coffee); and Grod — which translates as porridge (they do great porridge).

Dancing in the streets

Lots of places have music festivals in the summer months, and it’s always a great atmosphere to head out into the fields and go camping somewhere remote. Copenhagen’s summer music festival is called Distortion. What makes it interesting is that it effectively takes over the city. They describe it as a party tsunami, because each day it moves from one neighbourhood to the next, building momentum, involving everyone, bringing music and dancing to the entire city. The atmosphere is relaxed and informal, everyone out in the streets, enjoying the sunshine, drinking cans of beer, and having a good time. This is what a music festival should be.

If I was just a little bit taller, and a little bit blonder, I would move to Copenhagen in a heart-beat. There’s so much to recommend this city — they cycle everywhere, they know good food, and they know how to have a good time. If you’re looking for a city-break destination for summer then it is hard to look past Copenhagen.

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Destinations

Travel Tuesday: Faro and Algarve

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The beaches of Faro and Algarve (image published via Pixabay)
The beaches of Faro and Algarve (image published via Pixabay)

By Lionel Hierso - LH Travel Designer

In today’s Travel Tuesday destination guide, we take a look at Faro and Algarve in Portugal.

When to go

The Algarve is one of the most beautiful regions in Portugal. Very friendly but also very gay friendly. The best time to go there is between April and November when you can have really nice temperatures. This region is known for its Atlantic beaches and golf resorts. Discover fishing villages on low cliffs overlooking sandy coves, and the central coast between Lagos and Faro is lined with villas, hotels, bars and restaurants.

Dating

Faro and its surrounding area offers loads of possibilities to meet people. You have the choice of bars and dance clubs around Faro. After Lisbon and Porto, Faro is without a doubt the new gay destination to discover in Portugal.

  • Zablucha, Cupido and Afrodite (sex shops)
  • Prestige dance club
  • Connection bar
  • The loft gay bar
  • Heaven club

If you enjoy being naked and enjoy an all-over tan, the following gay nudist beaches are the perfect places to also meet new friends and enjoy yourself!

Clothing-optional beaches around Faro:

  • Praia Grande
  • Praira do cavalota Preto
  • Praia do Submarino
  • Manta Rora

Unofficial nudist beaches:

  • Praia Da Bordeira
  • Praia do Beliche
  • Praia Cabana Velhas
  • Praia Das Furnas
  • Praia Do Zavial
  • Praia Dos Pinheiros and Meia Praia in Lagos
  • Praia Do Trafal
  • Praia Da Futeza
  • Praia De Ancao reached by boat from Sitio da Fabrica in Vila Real de Santo
  • Antonio just west from Monte Gordo

Accommodation

In terms of accommodation in Faro, I would strongly recommend the Pine Cliff Resort. I had the chance to stay there for a couple of days last year and I really enjoyed it. This amazing resort is very well situated in the Algarve. The resort is what I would call an affordable luxury resort. With your other half or a group of friends, the Pine Cliff offers standard rooms but also townhouses, standard villas, deluxe villas with private pool, suites and penthouses, and golf suites. Your private transfer and breakfast is included and you can also request a private cook. The resort also organises cooking classes. There’s also a private beach, and of course a swimming pool and spa. Experience the Pine Cliff you won’t regret it!

Pine Cliff Resort, Faro (image supplied)
Pine Cliff Resort, Faro (image supplied)
Pine Cliff Resort, Faro (image supplied)

As an alternative, I would also suggest the Thermas Pride Guest House and Spa for men in Albufeira.

Food

Traditional food in Algarve includes:

  • Conquilhas a Algarvia (succulent clams fresh from the sea in a garlic sauce.
  • Cataplana de Marisco (mixed sea food and vegetables)
  • Petiscos de Taberna (Similar to Spanish tapas)
  • Feijoada (bean stew with pork and beans)
  • Dom Rodrigos (Tarts and pastries very popular in Potugal)
  • Leitao (suckling pig smothered in herb and roasted)
  • Caldo verde (succulent soup with potatoes, kale, bacon and sausages)
  • Queijo (local cheese)

Don’t forget to try the Portuguese wine which is one of the best in the world!

Gay restaurants in Algarve:

  • Aperitivo bar (Faro)
  • Cocktail and wine bar Columbus (Faro)

What to do

  • Bus tours
  • Horse riding
  • Kite Surf
  • Surf
  • Diving
  • Yachts and private boats for parties
  • Reef fishing
  • Big game fishing
  • 2-hour boat ride to see the coastline and caves
  • Jeep safaris
  • Karting
  • Museums
  • Theme parks
  • Cooking classes
  • Wine testing
  • Tours
  • Yoga classes

Contact Lionel Hierso - LH Travel Designer to start planning your next expedition or email [email protected]

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