The sea may be the star of any P&O Cruises holiday, but it’s far from the only beautiful body of water you can explore. From serene crater lakes to restlessly flowing rivers, you choose – still or sparkling?
Godafoss, Akureyri, Iceland
The elemental power of water is on full display at Goðafoss, a 30m-wide waterfall that thunders over a 12m drop in the north of Iceland, carrying a huge volume of water from the Skjálfandafljót River. The falls earned its name – literally ‘Waterfall of the Gods’ – at the time of Iceland’s conversion to Christianity in 1000AD. Wooden idols of the Norse mythology were thrown into the falls in a symbolic gesture, sweeping away the old religion. The falls ice over in the winter months, only to roar afresh with the coming of spring.
Kahanamoku Beach, Waikiki, Honolulu, Hawaii
The best way to see the white sands, blue seas and lush volcanic landscapes of Honolulu is from above. Take to the skies and spot this glorious section at the western end of the two-mile-long Waikiki beach. The beach is named after legendary Hawaiian surfer, Olympic gold freestyle swimmer and master of canoeing Duke Paoa Kahanamoku. When back down to earth, grab a spot on the sand and watch Duke’s successors ride the waves.
Lagoa das Setes Cidades, Ponta Delgada, Azores
Set in the lush crater of a long-extinct volcano, the twin lakes of Lagoa das Sete Cidades are perhaps the most striking sight in the Azores. Legend has it they were formed from the tears of a blue-eyed princess and a green-eyed shepherd when they realised their love was doomed. The result is a deep-blue body of water (reflecting the colour of the sky) bordering an emerald green neighbour (reflecting the vegetation of the crater walls), and a beauty so total you might shed a tear of your own.
Canals of Venice, Italy
Water makes up more than 70 per cent of the earth’s surface, yet few of us have such a constant and complex relationship with it as the people of Venice. Built on an archipelago in a shallow lagoon, the city’s natural waterways have been shaped into picturesque canals and its once distinct islands linked by hundreds of bridges. A gondola ride here is a romantic and relaxing way to see how the ‘Floating City’ lives in unique balance with the water.
El Golfo Lagoon, Lanzarote, Canary Islands
Famed for their subtropical climate and dramatic desert landscapes, the Canary Islands are not often feted for their lakes. But on the coast of Lanzarote lies a lake like no other – one that seems to glow an otherworldly shade of green. Located in a protected park on the west of the island, the 100m-long volcanic crater is filled with seawater and coloured by minerals and micro-organisms. It is surrounded by rugged red cliffs on one side and a jet-black beach on the other, defining the time-worn phrase ‘land of contrasts’ in a single, unforgettable scene.
Cetina River, Split, Croatia
The world’s great rivers were once arteries of trade – powering mills and carrying goods. Today, they are at the forefront of a new economy, as travellers seek out new experiences, from gentle countryside cruising to thrilling whitewater rafting. On Croatia’s stunning Cetina River, visitors can enjoy both, with opportunities to glide past lush canyon scenery, or join an experienced rafting guide for a dramatic zig-zag descent to a well-deserved beachfront lunch.
Bonaire National Marine Park Bonaire, Dutch Antilles
One of the least developed Caribbean islands, Bonaire boasts one of the region’s most extraordinary protected marine environments. The Bonaire National Marine Park is a diver and snorkeller’s paradise. The fringing reefs, which begin at the water’s edge and extend seaward for up to 300m, are a hotspot of biodiversity with more than 340 fish species and every type of hard and soft coral known to the Caribbean.