If you crave Sun, Sand and Sea then you will want to visit the best beaches
When you think of a relaxing holiday, odds are there is a beach somewhere in that thought. Beaches can often be hit or miss. Chances are you will be travelling to a sandy paradise or a stony landscape by the sea reminiscent of a Father Ted holiday in Bray.
If the highlight of your holiday is the beach, here are the best beaches around the world that you need to put your towel down on.
1: Anse Lazio, Praslin, Seychelles
Anse Lazio, on the northwest tip of Praslin Island, is known widely as the most beautiful beach in the Seychelles and is by far the most photographed. It’s no wonder: The beach is long and broad with velvety sand and shocking blue water, and it’s fringed with swaying palms and leafy takamaka trees. To add to the drama, it’s also framed by enormous granite boulders on either side.
2: Bora Bora, Tahiti
This is one of the magical islands that make up French Polynesia in the South Pacific. Just 18 miles (29 kilometers) long, this lush little slip of land lies in a protected lagoon edged by white sandy shores, the best being at Matira Point. Bora Bora boasts the nickname the “Romantic Island,” a moniker easy to appreciate with its isolated beaches, intimate hotels, and quiet atmosphere.
3: Torre Lapillo Bay, Porto Cesareo, Puglia, Italy
In Salento, southern Puglia, the Porto Cesareo area enjoys a coast of white sand and shimmering turquoise waters. Known as the Maldives of Italy, there are lots of beautiful beaches to choose from but Torre Lapillo Bay is a particularly eye-catching spot where you’ll also find the 16th-century Tower of St Thomas. The town of Porto Cesareo, which runs alongside a lagoon, makes a good holiday base with its wide range of hotels
4: Banana Beach, Phuket, Thailand
Phuket has a reputation for being one of Thailand’s rowdier enclaves, but even though most of the popular beaches are busy and well-developed for tourists, there are still some peaceful hideaways. Banana Beach is one of these. Just a couple of hundred metres long and with crystal clear water, the beach is can’t be seen from the road, with only a wooden sign and local knowledge to suggest its existence. Not far from the attractive Naithon Beach, Banana Beach can be found off the road running from Andaman White Beach and Trisara Resorts, and is catered by a small restaurant selling seafood beneath the palm trees.
5: Winnifred Beach, Portland, Jamaica
The sand is soft and white and the calm turquoise water perfect for swimming as it’s protected by a coral reef. Watch the local lads catch angelfish with their bare hands. Go on the weekend and see Jamaica at play: reggae pumping out, the sweet, smoky aroma of jerk chicken in the air, beach shacks selling cold beer, families hanging out, and football matches you might be able join in.
6: Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand
While it’s beautiful, paradise-like beaches are newsworthy enough, Ko Pha Nagn – and more specifically, Sunrise Beach, on the island’s peninsula Hat Rin – has become globally notorious for its raucous drink- and drug-fueled Full Moon parties, which take place on the night of a full moon each month.
7: Aharen Beach, Tokashik Island, Japan
Although most of the islands in the Okinawa chain, south of the Japanese mainland, have magnificent beaches, Aharen is particularly special for its extraordinarily clear waters sheltering a rich marine life, including over 400 types of coral, majestic humpback whales, manta rays, five types of sea turtles and huge army of colourful tropical fish.
8: Whitehaven Beach, Australia
The largest and finest island in the Whitsundays, National Parks-run Whitsunday Island is home to Whitehaven Beach, with its startling – almost blinding – white sand. It handles plenty of day-trippers and campers (there’s a campsite at the southern end of the beach) but it’s still admirably clean for it.
9: Lanikai Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
Small, at just half a kilometer long, Lanikai Beach has clear waters perfect for snorkeling and panoramic views out over the bay. It’s accessed by foot only, through upmarket Lanikai, a residential cluster of outrageously expensive homes.
10: Tulum, Mexico
Tulum is one of the most picturesque of all Maya sites, an ancient and ruined walled city sitting on rocky cliffs overlooking a stretch of beautiful beach. With hordes of tourists visiting every day, the area is not exactly private, but the broad white-sand beach and mesmerising turquoise Caribbean waters more than make up for it.