Feel the sand trickling in between your toes? Are sunrays gushing out of the sky to brighten your face? Is a cool, crystalline sea calling out your name as the waves gently crash on the shore? If not, it’s time you get packing for your next beach holiday, as the summer eases in. Beaches are classic… as, what else would you want to be doing on a hot summer day?
There is little less rewarding that laying out in the sun, listening to the soothing rhythm of the water. It’s about unwinding, letting go and allowing yourself the great pleasure of just wallowing on any of these top amazing beaches around the world, that we have rolled out here… to make it just that much easier for you to decide!
Cradled in the Carribean Sea lies the island of Barbados. Roughly 400 square kilometres of land are bordered by coral reefs, giving birth to luscious lagoons and soft sand. The four cardinal points of the island are blessed with Nature’s most bountiful: white beaches and blue seas.
Picture postcards are what you are likely to find anywhere, whether you prefer the sound of ‘Miami Beach’ – the popular type, favourite to tourists and locals – or the romantic notion of ‘Cattlewash Beach’, where you will find yourself like in the middle of a piece of art… as strong winds brush your hair and push you along a long stretch of fine, solitary sand.
Punta del Este, Uruguay
Punta del Este is deemed as the Uruguayan Riviera, even coined as the South American ‘St Tropez’. What you can expect there is sophistication and finesse when it comes to a seaside getaway. Punta del Este hosts marinas, resorts and restaurants of renown to the local gentillerie, but also to tourists from further away who wish to enjoy the glitz and glamour of this energetic part of the iconic Rio de la Plata.
Beaches not to be missed include La Chiverta, San Rafael, La Draga and Punta de la Barra. For those that want to get off the beaten track, the coast boasts an exotic local cuisine, courtesy of the ‘paradores’ or ‘food stops’. But Punta is also about class and culture… and if you’ve sailed the silvery seas, get a tour of any of the local museums or gallerias to probe into the range of riches this city has to offer.
Lizard Island, Australia
Lizard Island, on the Australian Great Barrier Reef, offers scales of blue hues, mixed with whitewash sunshine. The island, tucked on the reef, is a National Park, therefore enhancing its natural superiority and uniqueness. It three islets, Lizard, Osprey and Palfrey, nestle several creeks which offer safe anchorage for visitors who have sailed in from the mainland.
The beauty of these beaches are that they are inherently private. To reach them is sheer luxury, but one worth it in effort and essence. The islands not only boast cozy nooks of fine coral sand, but also a lush fauna and flora, which have even been observed by Captain Cook in the 18th century. So whether you’re in it for the wild or the whites… your desire to exude in Nature’s entirety are most likely to be served!
The Carribean is home to 54 square kilometres of heaven, in the name of Bermuda… also a piece of British Overseas Territory. Close to the mythical Bermuda Triangle, the island is sure to leave anyone mesmerized, if not completely absorbed in the mystery of Creation at its finest. Beaches boast names such as Horseshoe Bay, Tobacco Bay, Warwick Long Bay orJacob’s Cove … but names need not inspire the visitor unless he has seen it, and has believed it.
Volcanic greys, coral whites, aqua blues and grasses green make up the palette of perfection. Summer in these parts are as eternal as they are ethereal… you can catch them all year round. And as author Mark Twain put it so many years ago, “You go to heaven if you want – I’d rather stay here in Bermuda.”
Off the beaten track of the done and dusted beach destinations is Mozambique. The former Portuguese colony lies on the channel which bears its name, between continental Africa and Madagascar. Quirimbasin and Bazaruto, north and south of the country respectively, are the best beach locations alongside the sweeping 2500 km of virtually untouched coastline.
If in the north, the Zambezi flows out into the sea, permeating into thousands of smaller islands of rugged silhouette. This area is also known for the Mozambique Island and the historical Fortaleza de São Sebastião, which is laden with historical character, for those who want to conjugate culture and leisure. Or you may just stay south, where the mix the Lusophone culture blends into the East African wilderness, likely to make Mozambique your most untested, unrevealed and unforgettable experience yet.
Multi-award Boracay Island lies roughly 300 km from the Filipino capital, Manila. It is a large patch of white sand, sitting in the middle of the Philippine Sea. It’s the typical lovebird nest, but also one for those avid of adventure.
Snorkeling and surfing, including kite-surfing, are preferred activities on the island, whose Bulabog Beach is one of the venues of the Asian Windsurfing Tour. But this is only one of the many sporting events available on the island. The rest is up for discovery… from the shores to the sea, to nightlife or nuzzling up at any of its heavenly hotspots… the choice is yours only!
Hawaii needs no introduction… and its beaches are legendary. Crooners and honeymooners alike have enjoyed the hospitality of the local culture, which only adds to the exquisiteness of this destination. Waikiki, Ho’okipa, Panalu’u, Lanikai and Poipu are among some of the popular beaches spread across the archipelago’s famous landscapes.
Known for being the source of surfing, the historical and traditional Hawaiian sport, the 50th American state is a must, for couples or families alike. Whether you’re wanting to sail into the sunset, or perfect your tan… discover the volcanic nooks and crannies or just take Nature in your stride, it’s definitely a place to suit all sea-loving tastes!
San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan is the capital of the U.S. Commonwealth state of Puerto Rico. The unique political status of the island has given it the advantage of easy access, a good influx of tourism and commodities envied by neighbouring island states. San Juan is colonial, classy and conspicuously cradling the San Cristóbal and San Felipe del Morro forts… if the Hispanic history of the island rouses your interest.
Primarily, of course, you would head to the beach… and with reason, since any of the Ocean Park, Isla Verde, Condade or Escambrón beaches are the most enjoyed. So once you’re there, sit back, relax, stick your feet in the warm tropical water and just bask in the serenity and sunshine!
This Carribeanisland is perhaps not best known for its beaches… but it’s time this changes. If one thing the island is indeed blessed with, it is beaches. Pristine, pretty… even precious are only some of the adjectives which can describe their quality. Creole names such as Chouchou Bay, Ile-A-Rat or Labadie add to the exotic blend present there.
Creole is also not only the name given to the local dialect, but to the cuisine and to everything that has been mixed and meddled centuries, cultures and clans there. Haiti will enchant you with its voodoo practices… and if you’re looking for even more magic, then the coast most definitely calls!
Modernity is Miami. Whether it’s the renowned Miami Beach itself, or its equally fashionable counterpart South Beach… you cannot get away from a sensational experience there. Food, fiesta, fashion and fun are only some of the themes you’ll get to explore on this holiday.
Miami isn’t your standard beach destination; it’s a city which is a confluence of people of different origins, particularly Latin America. This is where you can gulp down a ‘burrito’ or ‘salsa’ the night away… unless you’re just there to ‘chillax’ or even to party like spring-breakers. All in all, Miami is not for the faint of heart… but you are sure to lose your heart to its remarkable rhythm and soul.
Tobago is the smallest of the two islands which make up the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Its particular charm are the slopes which tend to dive into the lagoons around the island. Whether King Peter’s Bay or Castara Bay, green waters and green hills seem to join together, singularly separated by a strip of sand.
Coconut groves complete the character of the island, giving its slow, sensual and simmered feel. Watch fishermen pull in their pirogues, or lie down to the hum of the calypso drum. Tobago is just to be enjoyed as it is:a true tropical delight… uncomplicated, unfettered and un-spoilt.
Lanzarote is one of the Islas Canarias (Canary Islands), part of the Spanish territory, lying west of the African continent. Volcanic and voluptuous, it is a popular destination for those in seek of the wild and wonderful. If Famara, north of the island, is bordered by rosy-hued cliffs, so is Papagayo – acclaimed to be its most breath-taking spot.
Las Conchas aligns gentle sand dunes whereas Playa Quemada, bears well its ‘burnt’ sobriquet, by offering a baroque-type black gravel beach… almost too picturesque to portray in words. Lanzarote’s beaches are everything, from diving centres to surfing schools. Many professionals train there… but amateurs are also offered the chance to master the waves and sails. En route to any of your preferred places, be sure to indulge in local gastronomy… being an island, seafood is said to be superb. Pretty much like everything else!
Curacao, Dutch Carribean
It’s blue… but it’s not the drink. But do expect to be inebriated by the beauty of the Dutch Carribean territory of Curacao. Beaches there are classical… blue, white, green… halos and hues anyone would expect from a top beach destination. What is unexpected however, is the piece of old Europe that colours the seafront of Willemstad, the island’s capital. Beautifully bizarre, it gives the 400 square kilometre strip of land its unique appeal amongst its Carribean counterparts.
Curacao is definitely for the ones looking to be intoxicated by colour, character and coast. Look out for things– or absolutely nothing – to do, on any of the popular spots, such as Mambo, Barbara, Kalki, Knip or Daaibooi beaches.
Todos Santos, Mexico
West of the Baja California state of Mexico is Todo Santos. Still wild by comparison to counterpart Baja towns, Todos Santos is a must-see, at least before rampant tourism development takes over. Dark blonde beaches are brushed by bold Humboldt currents of the Pacific.
Super strong waves crash on some shores, while others are simply stroked… offering variety to those in search of something different, or less familiar and lesser known. It is dubbed as the ‘New Age’ hotspot… thus potentially emitting some rather healthy vibes. Punta Lobos, Playa La Poza, Playa La Pastora, Playa Las Palmas or Playa Pescadero all have their distinct appeal. While you’re there, try and catch a wave… or even (the sight of) a whale!
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
The Yucatan Peninsula, east of Mexico, homes the prestigious Playa del Carmen. Trendy is the term for this destination. It delights any visitor looking for sophistication in the sunlight and a feel of charm or luxury under luscious palms. The spot is hot! Walking down the main avenue is a somewhat red-carpet experience, although that may be done in a bathing suit.
Once you’ve worked on your tan or taken a dip, you can wine, dine or just buy anything fine in the up-and-coming resort town. Since the Yucatan peninsula is known for its impressive biosphere, a dip into the green is also possible… or just deeper into the forest to the Mayan ruins… for a step back in time, history, mythology…
“Trust me, it’s Paradise… This is where the hungry come to feed,” Alex Garland says about Thailand in The Beach, his famous novel-turned-movie. Feed on idyllic landscape of granitic sea-soaked rocks and aqua blue lagoons… feed on surreal scenery. South of the Thai territory, bathed into the Andaman sea, this province is abound with tourists and travelers.
The hungry for “something they haven’t tried before” can expect to indulge in idleness, water wonders, fantastic food or anything else that strikes their imagination. Phuket is romantic and regal. So come and feed your soul in Paradise!
White roses of Corfu, Greek singer Nana Mouskouri praises. White walls… white limestone boulders… or white shores of Corfu, she could equally say. Mythology claims it is named after Poseidon’s beloved, Korkyra. Thus is the love of the Sea God… one that is blessed and bountiful. Byzantine churches, but also Italian fortresses illustrate the rich cultural history of the island… adding to the mystical quality of mythology.
Food is also on the menu… as the local lagoons proliferate with many things exquisite to the palate. Corfu is more than lazy sunbeds and blue parasols. It is a colourful arrangement of creeks and crests, villages lining hillsides to the brim, superseded by church towers or prominent promontories. Needle-pines adorn its hidden caves, or less hidden ones… which travelers are urged to see. Corfu, the Beloved, is one whose mystery is just waiting to be unveiled.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Corcovado, Ipanema, Copacabana, Cristo Rendentor…. the favelas, the samba and the Cariocas. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s iconic coastal city, home to the Sambodrome and the world’s most famous carnival. It is a concoction of the dazzling, the daunting and the delightful. Exuberance is this city’s keyword on the beaches. Copacabana and Ipanema are the better known, attracting hordes of visitors every year, throughout the year.
Botafogo and Leblon are the lesser familiar, but equally popular with tourist and locals alike. In Brazil, the kingdom of football, everything is a sport… and so is going to the beach. Expect to be involved in some beach volley, or ‘futevolei’… or look into skating or stand-up paddling. Sit in any of the ‘postos’ drawn out by locals. Have some beach food. Chill… relax… let yourself unwind, much like the sound of the Bossa Nova.
[Click here to know about 45 of the most beautiful waterfalls in India]
Exclusive and exquisite… the Seychelles are characterized by both words. The Indian Ocean archipelago is home to a string of islands and islets… all offering granite-bordered, white-washed beaches of supreme beauty, and possibly supremely exclusive. If you cannot own an island there, you can very well enjoy any portion of the some of the best beaches in the region.
Beau Vallonis cradled in a quiet, green creek, allowing you to walk a few miles on soft sands… but the most iconic beaches are potentially La Digue, AnseBoileau, Turtle Bay, Anse Lazio or Anse Source d’Argent. The rather small population of the island means you are unlikely to be disturbed in your quest of an untouched patch of sand. Waters are pure… crystalline and rhythmical. Local culture is a melting pot you cannot miss, lest you’d miss a pot of gold!
This is the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean. Mauritius is adorned by coral reefs, making its lagoons not only some of the safest in the world, but also some of the most beautiful. Beaches are found at its four cardinal points. Tourists flock to the north, locals to the west, a mix of both in the east… and seekers of solitude to the south. Grand Bay, Blue Bay, Flic enFlacor Belle Mare are some of the island’s favourite public beaches.
The island equally boasts and array of water sports, from scuba-diving to under-sea walking. You can be ferried across to outer islands if you’re looking for some peace and quiet. But if you’re intent on a multi-fold beach experience, then you may want to try Ile aux Cerfs… whether it is to parasail, golf or sunbathe. The island, as a crossroad of cultures, will also draw you away from the beaches… into the tea plantations or near its Ganga Talao (sacred lake). Whether your aim is serenity or spirituality, fun or feast… Mauritius is definitely a place to be!