Run water run !

Article published on Nov. 2, 2006
community published
Article published on Nov. 2, 2006

This article has not been vetted by an editor at Paris HQ

Deserts, rivers, salty lakes… Discover some hidden beauty spots in Europe and in the Mediterranean

The river Tinto in Spain - Photo, Sml!-Flickr

The river Tinto

The River Tinto, in the south of Spain, was born in a copper mine. The water is coloured like red wine, and was baptised ‘Rio Tinto’, Red River. The water is not contaminated but only certain types of bacteria and fungi survive here. You can reach the river using the mining train of Nerva (Huelva), constructed in the XIXth century by the English who exploited the copper mines.

Photo: Sml – Flickr

The Aswan desert in Egypt - Photo, DrFloyd-Flickr

The Aswan desert in Egypt

Deserts cover 90% of Egypt. In the surroundings of Aswan, near the Nile river, the sands of the deserts are copper-coloured and seem to light up in the evening.

Photo, DrFloyd – Flickr, Asuán

The gorges of Plitvice, Croatia - Foto, Nóra Farkas

The gorges of Plitvice, Croatia

The spectacular gorges of Plitvice, near Zagreb, Croatia, present some 24 lakes and cascades. They are a short car drive from Zagreb and the cascades are a favourite among amorous tourists from the Balkans. At luchtime, the water turns turquoise and reminds one of the Caribbean coasts. The UNESCO has included this site in its World Heritage list.

Photo, Nóra Farkas, Budapest

The island of Conejos - Foto, Perrine Malaud

The island of Conejos in Lebanon

Facing the coast of Lebanon, the greenest country of the Middle East, the Island of Conejos welcomes the travelling sailor. You can reach this little paradise from the town Tripoli. Not only does the island boast some splendid sandy beaches, it also has many sources of water. When it was a French protectorate, rabbits were bred for hunting here.

Photo, Perrine Malaud, Beirut

The Lagoons of Krakow, Poland </p><p> - Foto, Jan Scharlau

The Lagoons of Krakow, Poland

In Zakrzowek district, inhabitants of Krakow love to bathe in 40-metre deep lagoons. These are a twenty-minute walk away from the town centre.

Photo, Jan Scharlau, Berlín

Deserts and salty seas in Chott El Herid, Túnez - Foto, ValeO - Flickr

Deserts and salty seas in Chott El Herid, Túnez

On the edge of the Sahara desert, Chott El Herid is especially strange place. Its dry salty lakes generate numerous mirages and shallow pools of changing colours (red, black and pink). No life thrives here but the site boasts beautiful roses of the desert.

Photo, ValeO – Flickr, Túnez

The gorges of the Verdon, France - Foto, Jan Scharlau

The gorges of the Verdon, France

Three hours from Nice, the lonely traveller enters the gorges of the Verdon. The gorges were only discovered a century ago but today you may cross them with a canoe in one day. The site can be reached by car.

Photo, Jan Scharlau, Berlín

The dunes of Kursius Spit, Lithuania </p><p>

The dunes of Kursius Spit, Lithuania

The Lithuanian coasts are covered with enormous dunes which threatened the coastal inhabitants in earlier centuries. In the XIXth century, enormous programmes of reforestation stopped the dunes from reaching the interior lands. Today though the dunes run the risk of sliding into the sea.

Photo, Michal Drab, Bratislava

The Tabernas desert, Spain - Foto, Egaldu - Flickr

The Tabernas desert, Spain

Near Almeria, in the South East of Andalucia, you will find Europe’s only official desert. It’s horizons appear in many North American Westerns with actors such as John Wayne and Sergio Leone, in the sixties and seventies. The old decors of these productions may be visited and are situated 30 minutes north of Almeria.

Photo, Egaldu – Flickr, Almería