Leisure & Travel
by Aspect County

This Summer’s unusual beach activities

Moonlight paddleboard yoga, Greece
The Skiathos Princess: Participants can awaken their senses by performing YOGAqua (Yoga on Stand up Paddle Boards) on the glistening, moonlit waters of Skiathos with stars sparkling overhead – a truly idyllic and unforgettable atmosphere. Days with a full moon are revered in the Ashtanga yoga tradition due to the understanding that the moon affects tidal rhythms. As humans are made up of seventy percent water, the moon is said to have a similar effect, amplifying energy levels. www​.san​tikosho​tels​.com

Splash about with Portuguese water dogs, Quinta do Lago, Portugal
Styled like a Portuguese palace and located close to the beautiful natural park of Ria Formosa, 5‑star Conrad Algarve is offering a very unique beach activity this year – families will have the chance to play and even splash about with Portuguese water dogs. The Obamas chosen pet, this interesting breed were originally taught by the Romans to herd fish and retrieve nets, companions to fisherman, with their webbed feet powering them through water. Now found amongst many homes in the Algarve, these faithful creatures can also be found at a nearby park to the hotel, giving guest the opportunity to meet with the breeder then depart on a scenic boat trip with the dogs. www​.con​radal​garve​.com

Snorkelling and scuba-diving to see rare coral spawning, St Lucia
Coral spawning happens once a year and is one of nature’s most spectacular and rare performances. A handful of guests at Anse Chastanet, St Lucia, are lucky enough to witness this marvel annually as the natural wonder occurs right off the beaches of this charming resort. This year it is predicted to take place from 24th26th August. www​.scubastlu​cia​.com

Beach cinema and planet-gazing, Maldives
Mirihi Island, a bare-foot luxury, boutique hotel located in the South Ari Atoll, only a 30 minute sea plane from Male, Maldives, runs a beach cinema every Friday evening. As the sun sets guests can get cosy under an increasingly starry sky. Munching on popcorn guests will relax into serene island life whilst watching one of their favourite films on the big screen. The resort is also home to one of the country’s largest Telescopes, so once night has fallen and the film been put to bed guests can take their turns marvelling admiring the rings of Saturn and moons of Jupiter. www​.mir​i​hi​.com

Blind dining on the beach, Maldives
As part of a 24-hour gastronomic feast of epic proportions Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa is offering guests a chance to bombard their senses while experiencing blind dining on the beach – the ultimate sensory experience. Before the epicurean extravaganza at the 50-villa retreat begins guests will meet with the resort chefs to discuss their favourite ingredients and dietary requirements. Armed with this information, chefs will then craft a menu guaranteed to please. Once sufficiently merry after a cocktail and canapé tasting, guests will then be escorted to a private location on the waterfront, upon arrival at which they will be blindfolded. With senses heightened and flavours intensified guests will experience a three-course banquet crafted from their favourite ingredients. The sounds of the waves lapping at the shore, the feeling of the gentle breeze on the skin and the rubbing of sand between the toes will be the sole accompaniment to the dinner in the dark. www​.mal​dives​.hada​haa​.park​.hyatt​.com

Night snorkelling with UV lights, Maldives
At Per Aquum Niyama guests can plunge into the ocean at sunset and enter the world beneath the waves where a flurry of activity awaits. As the busy diurnal fish are rushing to find shelter from the night nocturnal fish come out to frolic. Lionfish, lobster and octopus make up the evening’s luminescent gallery. www​.minorho​tels​.com/​e​n​/​p​e​r​a​q​u​u​m​/​n​iyama

Chapman’s Challenge at Pangkor Laut Resort in Malaysia
Pangkor Laut Resort has crafted a unique experience named The Chapman’s Challenge to honour Colonel Freddy Spencer Chapman, a British commando who made his last escape from Emerald Bay in 1945 from the occupying Japanese. The Chapman’s Challenge comprises of a 6.2km run around the private island roadways and through the two-million-year-old rainforest including a 1km swim out at the award-winning Emerald Bay before concluding at Chapman’s Bar. www​.pangko​r​lautre​sort​.com

Hire a private island with up to 100 friends with a team of private staff
For the ultimate in exclusivity and privacy, look no further than Conrad Maldives Rangali Island which is available for private hire. Located in the South Ari Atoll and reached by a 30-minute seaplane flight, adult-only Rangali Island boasts fifty luxurious water villas, accommodating up to 100 guests. The island has three restaurants, an over-water spa, an infinity-edge pool and is fringed with white sandy beaches and aquamarine seas. A team of island experts at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island will be on hand to go the extra mile to create magical memories to last a lifetime.

Kite surfing on a private island, Seychelles
Wilderness Collection’s North Island, Seychelles: When the maritime breezes pick up a few white-caps, then it’s time for adrenaline junkies to hit the ocean to catch a wave and ride it all the way in to the Piazza, or carve some air while kite-surfing. The combination of excitement and sheer natural beauty is hard to surpass – North Island’s resident expert will soon have you defying gravity. Extreme ocean sports add a new dimension to the North Island experience, and let you contrast the rush of temporary flight with the more relaxed pace of life back on shore. www​.north​-island​.com

Secret beaches, Tuscany
Near a number of secret beaches, the Luxury Travel Book’s seven-bedroom Villa Porto Ercole in Tuscany, is ideal for a family or group of friends looking for a seaside holiday with a little seclusion. Two local islands, Giglio and Giannutri, each about three to four miles out to sea offer incredible sand beaches with nobody on them and a sea that is a clean bath, crystal clear. The gorgeous villa is situated on a hillside with views over the sea, Feniglia Beach, the Cala Galera Yacht Club and the Orbetello lagoon. Surrounded by woodland, and just below a terraced vineyard and olive grove, the location is quiet and idyllically Mediterranean with the pretty seaside resort of Port Ercole, just 4 kms away. The main villa, Villa Porto Ercole, has its own gym, sauna and infinity pool. www​.thelux​u​ry​trav​el​book​.com