A reader writes:
What a beautiful setting! This is too dry and scrubby to be tropical, so most Pacific islands are out. I see roof water tanks and clotheslines, indicating it's not a particularly affluent location. I think those are crop tarps in the background, but I can't be sure, and even if so, I have no idea what they might be growing. Overall, I'm thinking Baja. Loreto, perhaps?
The first thing that struck me was obviously the desert coastal environment. What appears to be a newish Ford pickup would seem to put it somewhere in North America. And the general view and topography reminded me a lot of the area around Cabo San Lucas, where we had a not-so-pleasant vacation way back in 2004. Also, the nearness of the mountain range across the water would have to be some sort of bay or island, as the Gulf of California is way too wide to be that visible from the opposite shore.
So a bit of Google Earthing led me to the area east of La Paz, where there's some lightly developed vacation areas, looking across the water to Isla Cerralvo. There's a lot of options along that short stretch of coast, but it appears that the most developed is La Ventana, so I'll go with that as my final answer.
When I stayed in La Ventana, I slept in a tent in a hurricane-washed-out arroyo (nowhere near as nice as this cute little porch), but the island across the water looks to be the same one toward which I headed out on countless tacks while windsurfing in winter 2007-08.
I have no idea where it is, but I want to move there.
My initial reaction was it had to be Baja California. But I have not been there for over 40 years, so I cannot locate the specific site the photo was taken. It brings back many memories of my late father, who dove in this area for a month at a time on several occasions in the late 1950s with two diving friends from San Diego. Back when scuba diving was in its infancy, he and his “Bottom Scratcher” friends developed their own regulators, compressors, diving equipment and spear guns to enter this amazing underwater world. He died while scuba diving with me near La Paz in August of 1959, doing what he loved to do the most.
This looks to me like a view of Isla Danzante in the Sea of Cortez as seen from Danzante, Baja California Sur, Mexico. On the back side of that island feed are waters that blue and other whales migrate to in the winter. We spent a week there one winter, and traveled by small fishing boat (panga) to the back side of that pictured island every day to see the largest vertebrates that have ever existed. On our first boat outing, we were disappointed because we could not find any of them after searching for hours. Then we found out why - a pod a blue whale predators, orcas.
But not to worry; after a few hours the orcas scattered, and we saw many blue whales lifting their flukes high above the water.
At first I thought this was somewhere in the Mountain West, like Nevada or Utah. But the railing, the little road, the wires, and the water tank on the building below all said this is not North America. Also the truck on the street below doesn't look like a recent North American model, but does resemble a Toyota Hilux sold in Argentina. And I was at Lago Argentino last year. It's really blue! So that's my answer - El Calafate, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina.
Good lord, this could be anywhere from California to Australia to the Mediterranean. For no good reason I am torn between Baja California and South Africa. Since I've been to South Africa, I'll say False Bay, South Africa.
This reminds me a lot of the view of the mountains in western Jordan from across the Dead Sea. This might be a view from the town of Ein Gedi, which I seem to remember being up an incline, perhaps near the youth hostel.
This VYFW contest looks Mediterranean. The mountains across the water could be one side of the Dead Sea, but there are too many trees in the picture, so I assume that's not it. So I'm thinking the water is the Nile River, as Google Image searches come up with similar mountains in the background.
I'm pretty sure it is in Luxor, Egypt. I could be wrong (and it could be the other side of the Nile), but I spent too much time trying to find the exact address to no avail.
I'm going to guess Lisbon, Portugal. I'm not nearly as savvy as your readers who recognize and google the different types of plants that grow in the area, but this looks really similar to the scenes and sights I took in when I visited a friend in Lisbon a couple years ago. This scene just makes me think of the pretty cafes in Lisbon, where I'd chill out, drink vinho verde, and gaze at the scenery. I'm sure I'm a continent off, but here's hoping.
Right continent. Another:
This looks remarkably similar to the view from a hotel we stayed at in 2003 between Mesokampos and Psili Ammos on the Greek isle of Samos. If so, the hills you can see across the incredibly blue water are in Turkey. (I wouldn't recommend trying to swim it though; it's a lot further than it looks. Plus you might have some problems with Turkish immigration.)
Right country. Another:
A Greek colleague suggested Thermopylae (and will be awarded the book if she's correct). She thinks the mountain range across the water could belong to the island of Evia (Euboea).
My guess is the island of Mykonos, Greece. That view looks a lot like an area in the Agean Sea that we spent our honeymoon at.
Almost there. Another:
Unless I am completely wrong, that picture is taken just to the east of Kissamos, Crete looking east toward the Rodopos peninsula. I have failed miserably with the previous pictures, though I feel decently confident about this one only because of my ancestry. My grandparents are from this island, and I have been there multiple times.
The photo was taken from Kalyviani village in Crete, but Kissamos is close enough for a free Blurb book. Congrats to the winner! And thanks to everyone for another round of great guesses.