From ancient times, harbors have served as prominent roles in the world’s trade business as well as the fusion of international cultures. Below are ten of the most scenic and interesting harbors from around the world.
1. Georgioupolis, Crete, Greece
Photo by Clare Bell, Leeds, UK
Nestled on the edge of a charming seaside village in Crete is the harbor of Georgioupolis. Named after Prince George of Greece in 1899, Georgioupolis dates back as early as the Minoan and Venetian times. Flanked on both sides by a lovely stretch of beach, the harbor is only a five minute walk from the main village square. One of the most popular attractions in the harbor is the Church of St. Nikolaos where visitors can enjoy a scenic walk and capture great photos of the stunning scenery. Travellers looking for great villa holidays in Greece can rent beautiful villas in Georgioupolis.
2. Galway Harbor, Ireland
Photo by Eoin Gardiner, Clarinbridge, Ireland
Located on the west coast of Ireland, Galway Harbor dates back as early as the thirteenth century when Anglo-Normans invaded it and subsequently established a prosperous sea trade. Over the next few hundred years, Galway gained prosperity from its sea trading industry with Spain, France and the West Indies. Then in the 1800′s, Ireland’s Great Famine took a huge toll on Galway’s maritime business. In recent decades, Galway has regained much of its earlier success.
3. Aci Castello Harbor Sicily, Italy
Photo by gnuckx
Established by the Normans, Aci Castello was destroyed by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions only to be rebuilt again. Nearby in Aci Trezza, three tall rock islands rise from the sea. The locals call them the “islands of the Cyclops”. Legend has it that these rock islands were the stones that were thrown at Odysseus in Homer’s epic, Odyssey. Visitors looking to experience new and unusual holidays certainly might consider checking out the site.
4. Havana Harbor, Cuba
Photo by Randolph Croft
The capital of Cuba, Havana also serves as the island’s main port. Founded by the Spanish in 1519, Havana’s beautiful architecture and history attracts over a million tourists every year. The harbor was the site of conflict during the Seven Years War and once again during the Spanish American War. Some of the nearby attractions are the original city, Old Havana, the fortress Castillo del Morro and the Malecon, the popular walkway running along the harbor where incredible sunsets are often admired.
5. Lindau Harbor, Germany
Photo by Clemens v. Vogelsang, Liechtenstein
Located in southeast Bavaria of Germany, Lindau is well worth a visit. The beautiful harbor was constructed in 1856 featuring a huge Bavarian lion at its entrance as a reminder of its former Bavarian domination. Visitors can climb the nearby 185 foot high lighthouse to see stunning views of the surrounding island.
6. Sydney Harbor, Australia
Photo by Brad Hinton, Canberra, Australia
Vibrant blue water, colourful sailing boats and an impressive bridge all make Sydney harbor one of the most beautiful natural harbors in the world. The harbor is the site of many annual celebrations and yacht races. Visitors can enjoy day trips to see some of the harbor’s popular attractions such as The Opera House, the Rocks, The Botanical Gardens and Fort Dennison, a former convict settlement.
7. Bryggen, Norway
Photo by Lahti Finland
Founded in the 11th century and used as a major import and export centre by German merchants, Bryggen is the oldest part of the city Bergen. The old harbor of Bryggen is now a designated UNESCO Heritage site. Bryggen attracts visitors every year to its colourful and charming old timber buildings, restaurants, shops and museum.
8. Boston Harbor
Photo by SteveR
Discovered by John Smith in 1614, Boston Harbor has played an important role in American history from the 1774 Boston Tea Party to the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and even World War Two. The harbor contains numerous islands and lighthouses and is the location for many celebrations, events and festivals every year.
9. Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong
Photo by Azwari Nugraha, Jakarta, Indonesia
Victoria Harbor is one of the world’s busiest ports with over 200,000 ships visiting each year. The harbor is one of Hong Kong’s most popular attractions, world-wide known for its spectacular panoramic night view. Cruises are available day or night where visitors can admire the harbor’s dazzling skyscrapers.
10. Grand Harbor, Valletta, Malta
Photo by John Haslam, Dornoch, Scotland
Dating back to Phoenician times, Grand Harbor is a lovely old harbor with a rich history. The harbor was desolated by a tornado in the sixteenth century, damaged in the bloody Siege of Malta in 1565 and heavily bombed during World War Two. Though still active, the harbor is much quieter today.