There’s no better place have some laid back fun or invigorating water sports activities than the beach. But, with a million and one beach destinations in the world, how do you pick the right one? Well, here’s a top ten guide to help you.
10. Mykonos, Greece
Tucked away deep in mystical Greece is the island of Mykonos, a quaint little island seemingly untainted by the outside world, a dazzling all-white town rising from the fishing habour all the way up to the hilltop.
Touted as the most cosmopolitan island in Greece, if not the world, Mykonos rose in popularity in the last several decades, where both domestic and international tourists flock to when summer beckons. The main draw of Mykonos lies in its magnificent and spotless beaches, with waves of clear-blue water licking its shores. Visitors looking for some fun activities can engage in sports like windsurfing, or if you’re not into water sports, simply lie on the beach, or visit the plentiful seaside taverns. Word is that Mykonos has one of the best beach parties, where you can stay out the entire day in the lovely weather, hopping from one funky beach bar to another.
The nightlife in Mykonos is not comparable anywhere else in Greece, and ranks among the best in the world. Small bars are dotted everywhere, catered to every taste, and if you are in for more action, then head to the bigger clubs, but no matter where you go, you will always be greeted with warmth. With non-stop activities from dawn to dusk, Mykonos is the paradise beach if you want to have a summer of non-stop fun.
9. North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii
Oahu, the third largest island of the Hawaiian Islands, is one of the world’s best surfing destinations. The overall atmosphere here is exhilarating, welcoming and refreshing, and it’s at Oahu’s legendary North Shore that you can find the biggest waves, especially during the winter.
In summertime, Oahu’s North Shore is the perfect spot for snorkeling or diving, given its sparkling waters, and the ideal place to laze in the sun, with its sandy white shores and clear blue sea. But it’s really in winter time that the North Shore displays its grandeur. For those who live for surfing, the Banzai Pipeline, also known as the Seven Mile Miracle, is the place to be during winter. Monster waves here leap towards the shore fast and furious from Alaska, where the waves can reach up to as high as 25 feet.
Over at the Sunset Beach, surfers can also expect the same magnitude of waves as the Banzai Pipeline. Diving enthusiasts can visit the Three Tables and Sharks Cove at the Pupukea Beach Park for some diving activities. Yet another hotspot for conquering those gigantic waves on the North Shore is the Waimea Bay. Together with Sunset Beach and the Pipeline, surfing contests are held for surfing daredevils, especially during the winter. If you’re eager to catch that perfect wave, then Oahu’s North Shore is tailor-made for you.
8. Bora Bora, Tahiti
Romance lingers in the air in Bora Bora, Tahiti, an island rich in legends and mysteries, a place overflowing with remarkable natural beauty. It’s almost as if someone had cast a magical spell over the place to give it that mystical feel.
In the centre of the island rests two imposing peaks of black rock, remnants of an extinct volcano, surrounded by a cascading slope of greenery, meeting a sparkling body of clear blue water at the bottom- the enchanting lagoon that almost seems unreal.
And it is this lagoon, which surrounds the island, that provides visitors with barrels of fun, be it windsurfing, jet-skiing, swimming or scuba-diving. Tahiti’s waters are best suited for snorkeling, because the waters are so clear, it allows you to have a clear view of the abundance of fish and corals. Another popular activity is scuba diving, where you can spot countless species of fishes, magnificent corals, and sea crustaceans in the lagoon, all the way to the open sea.
For an evening of romantic splendour, take a sunset cruise of the Bora Bora lagoon and embark on a relaxing journey while enjoying the peace and tranquility of the South Pacific. Marvel at the spectacular view of the setting sun and sip Tahitian cocktails while you learn about the history of the Tahitian islands. For an unforgettable romantic trip of a lifetime, Bora Bora is your choice.
7. Harbour Islands, Bahamas
The sun, sand and the sea are a vision of paradise during the summer time and it can get no more picturesque than the Harbour Islands in the Bahamas, famous for its three and a half miles of famous pink sand beaches, scatted with corals and shells. The magical sand colour is a result of the red corals under the offshore sea, which gets ground up and blends into the sand.
While its sandy beaches are of a mellow pinkish hue, its waters are sparkling aquamarine, providing the ideal spot for swimming, diving and snorkeling, or if you are in the mood, do a bit of fishing or boating and explore the surrounding areas. The people of Harbour Islands are friendly and hospitable; which makes getting around and exploring the place easy. One of the ways to discover the island is by golf carts, making the whole experience both relaxing and fun.
If good food that you’re looking for, rest assured that Harbour Islands has one of the best cuisines around. Choices are plentiful, ranging from international fare to local delights. Most restaurants exude a Bahamian atmosphere, complete with a captivating view of the island, making dining a memorable experience. With the glorious pink sand and the turquoise waters serving as backdrop, a perfect beach holiday the Harbour Islands is totally unique.
6. Fernando De Noronha, Brazil
If there is a best kept secret beach title, it would have to go to Fernando de Noronha, Brazil, an archipelago located off the coast of northern Brazil. The location of the group of volcanic islands is remote, adding to its secrecy and exclusivity.
The Brazilian government takes much pride in conserving these islands, and to ensure that the islands are in pristine condition, only 420 visitors are allowed to visit at one time. The trip there might not be easy, but it’s definitely worth it. Being a national park, nature on the islands is well taken care of, and not taken for granted. Environmental officers patrol the beaches to ensure that fragile parts of the beaches are not damaged by visitors. There are plenty of beaches and bays to visit in Fernando de Noronha, and one of the most magnificent is the Leao Beach, lauded as the third best beach in Brazil. The sand here is a dazzling white, overlooking the clear blue sea. This is also the place where the turtles come to lay their eggs.
Some of the beaches are more suited for diving, whereas some are more conducive for swimming or surfing. The beaches found on the protected side of the main island are great for diving and swimming during April through November, due to the calm sea. The other months of the year, surfing is the best, because of the changing conditions of the sea.
The Dolphin Bay is yet another must-visit spot. Dolphins flock to this protected spot every October, and are free to wander around, because the bay is off limits to visitors. If there’s a beach that is kept at its most natural state, where the clearest blue sky meets with sparkling blue-green waters, creating a simple yet magical picture, then Fernando de Noronha is the place you would want to go.
5. Palm Beach Aruba
The beach is not just for couples or singletons out to have fun, it’s for kids too, and Palm Beach in Aruba understands that kids want to have fun too. The island on the Caribbean isle exudes a kid-friendly atmosphere, from its resorts to restaurants; everything is done with kids in mind.
Even the beaches on the island is kid-friendly; baby powder-like, the sand on Palm Beach is perfect for building sand castles, allowing kids imaginations to run wild, creating works of masterpiece with the fine white sand while the adults chill out under the tropical blue sky while admiring the beautiful shimmering turquoise sea before them.
Other places of fun for the kids on the island include the Kibaima Miniature Village and Park. Here children can explore miniature Aruban-style houses and buildings, and to observe animals and plants. There are also playgrounds like the Neptalle Henriquez Playground and the Tira Koochi Park to provide non-stop entertainment for the little ones.
Parents need not fret about having to keep an eye on their kids all the time, escape to a romantic dinner or take a short excursion of the island while the kids are being taken care of by baby-sitting services provided by the beach’s hotels and resorts. A beach getaway for a young family cannot get better than Aruba’s Palm Beach, where every member of the family can experience a whole lot of fun, no matter what age you are.
4. Tulum, Mexico
If you yearn to truly return to nature, to a place completely untainted by the modern world, for total leisure, serenity and seclusion, then Tulum in Mexico is your perfect choice.
Located on the Caribbean coast, one of the highlights of Tulum is its ancient ruins, which is the third most popular archeological site in Mexico. Of course, another attraction is its scenic view of the Caribbean. Tulum is basically divided into three zones- the archeological zone, the “hotel” zone and the beach zone.
The archeological site in Tulum is definitely worth a visit. Dating back to 1200 A.D., the ruins of Tulum are stunning works of artistry, and the Mayan temples here are the only ones built by the sea. At The Castillo, the peak of the site, you can get an imposing view of the surrounding area, and of course, the gorgeous coastline.
The beaches resemble a picture-perfect postcard, completely flawless and visitors can relax under the sun, or just simply stroll along the strip of beach and go cabana hopping.
Even the underwater world of Tulum is a sight to behold. Experience a whole other world when you dive into the ancient Mayan underworld, where all sorts of magnificent formations, aged more than eight thousand years beckon, extremely ancient and utterly beautiful.
The most stunning of the Mayan sites, Tulum is where you can seek privacy, gain total relaxation, and experience a lost world.
3. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, Spain’s second biggest city, is located along the Mediterranean coast. The city is bursting with vibrancy, filled with good looking people, and best of all, it has over four kilometers of sandy beaches within ten minutes from the city centre for all sun lovers out there.
There are four main beach areas in Barcelona and the one common thing among them is that there’s never a quiet on these beaches. At the Barceloneta beach, popular activities to engage in are windsurfing and kite surfing. Beach huts are dotted all over the place, at visitors’ convenience. If you’re not into any sporting activity, then pick a spot on the beach, and lie down with a good book. It’s world renowned that Spain is filled with interesting architecture, and this applies even to the beach, wander along the Barceloneta beach and you’d come across some magnificent looking structures. Over at the Icaria beach, things are bit less hectic.
This strip of beach is more for those who want to take it slow and bask in the warmth of the sun. The Marbella beach, known for its ultra fine sand, is popular for beach sports and offers a number of beachside bars for relaxation. The Stiges beach has great food and even better beach bars. It’s also one of the most popular gay resorts in Europeans.
For those who want the comfort of the city right within the vicinity, Barcelona’s numerous urban beaches are here for you to pick.
2. Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda
Located in the Atlantic Ocean, Bermuda is the perfect beach spot, surrounded by the gorgeous sea, and if you want to have a picture perfect beach holiday, then the Horseshoe Bay with its famous pink sand beaches and magnificent view of the sea beckons to you.
With an endless stretch of pale pink sand, resulting from crushed shells, coral and calcium carbonate, the beach at Horseshoe Bay is an alluring picture for beachgoers. It’s currently one of Bermuda’s most popular beach areas, thanks to its ample facilities, equipment rental shops and lifeguards.
The pink beaches of the Bay are shaped like a horseshoe, hence its name. Couples seeking to steal a bit of romance can find secluded spots on the Bay easily. Just wander to places like the isolated Astwood Cove, Somerset Long Bay, or the sheltered Longwood Cove.
The turquoise waters lapping up the pink beaches are sparkling clear, perfect for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts, who can spot a variety of fish and colouful corals.
There’s nothing more beautiful than the sun rising on the Horseshoe Bay in Bermuda to make you feel weak at the knees, totally in awe of this magnificent scene.
1. Anguilla, Britush West Indies
Over at the British West Indies lies a small island called Anguilla, a tropical Caribbean paradise that you can kick back, relax, enjoy Mother Nature or partake in some water sports. Whatever you want, you can be sure to find it in Anguilla, an all-around beach.
With 33 glittery white, baby-powder sand beaches at your disposal, Anguilla provides the perfect spot for any sort of vacation, be it a honeymoon, a de-stressing trip, a romantic getaway, a family vacation or even a wedding ceremony.
The beaches in Anguilla refresh your mind, body and spirit. For the mind, Anguilla offers art galleries and museums for your viewing and educational pleasure. Or simply sit find a quiet spot on one of the many beaches and spend some time on reflection or contemplation.
For the body, dive into the clam sea and take a slow swim, admiring the picturesque view surrounding you and relax your tense body. Or go diving, and explore underwater wreck and caves to some adventure. You can also go snorkeling at the marine parks for some gorgeous corals and swim among the fishes. Families can also some sports together, like fishing or boat sailing.
For the spirit, the island offers some excellent spas where you can pamper yourself, and enjoy the massage services provided by the resorts and hotels provided by the friendly locals.
Described as “tranquility wrapped in blue”, Anguilla is your choice for a beach holiday if you want to have a rejuvenating experience.