Harbors, a place of haven for boats in stormy weather, can also provide some wonderful vistas. Here are our top ten Harbor views.
Easily the most recognizable harbor in the world with the Opera House almost always in view, Sydney Harbor is also one of the prettiest. If you have a head for heights one of the best views has to be from the famous steel girders of the iconic Harbor Bridge. Otherwise, the exterior observation deck of the InterContinental Hotel Sydney is hard to beat.
Cape Town, South Africa
A cable car to the summit of Table Mountain is easily the best way to take in the fabulous views of Cape Town and its harbor. Second to this would be a stay at the Cape Grace, which has an enviable location and has a reputation as one of the best hotels in the world.
Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong Harbor, or Victoria Harbor as it should be called, is situated between the mountains of Kowloon and the skyscrapers of Hong Kong Island. There are several ways to admire it, such as from the Star Ferry or Victoria Peak high above Hong Kong, but the most comfortable way is to stay in a hotel like the InterContinental Grand Stanford Hotel.
Large no, beautiful yes. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, the views of Seward's tiny harbor compare to any. To see it stroll along the quay where the boats unload their daily catch, or take a day-long excursion by boat to view nearby glaciers, whales and other wildlife along this part of Alaska's coastline.
Regularly used as a stopover en route to Southeast Asia or Australasia, Singapore is the ideal city break. In terms of accommodation, Singapore’s most famous hotel is the opulent Raffles but for views of the harbor you can't beat the Fullerton.
With its glorious natural setting, surrounded by the Coast Mountains, Vancouver should be in anyone's list. For the best views take a short 20 minute panoramic tour by float plane, which takes off from Coal Harbor itself. If you fancy something a little less strenuous then an evening meal in one of the many restaurants overlooking the harbor is a pleasant and relaxing experience.
Auckland, New Zealand
Known as the 'City of Sails', Auckland is New Zealand's largest city and often turns up in various 'best cities to live' surveys. The best view (certainly the highest) is from the revolving restaurant atop the Sky Tower. Alternatively, The Hilton is in one of the best locations, offering guests beautiful views across Auckland's inner harbor.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Well, not strictly a harbor, Botafogo Bay nestles at the foot of the iconic Sugar Loaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro. The calm waters of the bay mean it is a haven for water sports. Best viewed from its charming small beach, or if you want, via a small boat from the nearby marina.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Although not in the same league as a Sydney or Cape Town, this natural, deep harbor allowed Mumbai to flourish into India's commercial capital. For the best views either stay at the five start Taj Mahal Hotel, or take a boat trip to see the caves on Elephanta Island, which date from around the 7th century.
Panama Canal, Panama
Not you archetypal harbor but to experience the magnificent Panama Canal is many a traveler’s sole reason to visit the country and there is really nothing quite like watching the huge ocean liners navigate through the locks. Visitors can join a boat tour to travel the entire length of the canal, or there is even the option to take a train trip offering a different perspective.
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