Mauritius has 330 kilometres of pristine coastline, so you’re almost certain to find a secluded spot all to yourself. Best of all the sand here is silvery white, flour soft, and lapped by dreamy turquoise waters full of colourful fish.
Belle Mare on the east coast is a strong contender for best beach on the island. It stretches over several miles and boasts white coral sand, bath-warm waters and some spectacular sunrises, too. It’s quiet here during the week if you’re after a relaxing sunbathing session, and much more lively on the weekends. Over on the west coast, Flic en Flac, meaning ‘free and flat land’ is another picturesque spot lined with Casuarina trees and backed by mountains. Our five star Sugar Beach Resort and Spa hotel is set right on Flic en Flac, and the whole resort has been styled like an old sugar plantation with colonial-style villas and lush, green lawns.
If you’re keen to get your adrenaline fix in Mauritius, you’ll love the watersports on offer at Le Morne, which is a haven for surfing, windsurfing and kiteboarding. Or, if you want to explore the island’s kaleidoscopic population of fish, Blue Bay Beach is where you can get stuck into some Finding Nemo-esque snorkelling. The water is so clear that you’ll get amazing visibility of all the fish and coral reefs. More than 50 species of coral reef have been found here, and even really rare Blue Tang fish (commonly known as ‘Dory’) which you’ll be able to spot.
If you’re travelling with little ones in tow, there’s also Trou aux Biches beach which has calm, shallow waters, gently shelving sands and family-friendly activities like glass-bottom boat trips. It’s a great snorkelling spot for beginners too, and a handy 20 minutes from our resort Anse La Raie and the Sensimar Lagoon Mauritius.
Everyone knows about Cuba’s colourful capital Havana – from the 1950’s Cadillacs to the movie set-style architecture. But, the island has some pretty amazing beach credentials, too. Cayo Santa Maria– one of the Caribbean’s biggest secrets – is a tiny island off the north coast of Cuba which has an eight mile long sandy number, and the world’s second largest barrier reef. So you can switch between relaxing on the secluded shores and going beneath the waters to spot turtles, angelfish and barracudas. It’s the perfect place to try out watersports, like kayaking and windsurfing, which are handily included with your stay at the adults-only Royalton Cayo Santa Maria.
Cuba’s biggest beach resort in Varadero, which is also on the north coast, and combines 20 kilometres of sand with plenty of watersports, seafood and salsa dancing on offer. It was Al Capone’s stomping ground back in the 1930’s, and now this resort is the ideal spot for snorkelling, relaxing and trying freshly-made seafood at the beachfront restaurants.
To get the best of both worlds, it’s easy to combine a beach holiday to Cuba with a trip to Havana with our Multi-Centre holidays. You’ll be able to relax and recharge in the secluded beach resorts and then get your culture fix on a day trip or overnight stay in the famous capital. Find out when is the best time to visit Cuba to plan your holiday.
Thailand is famously known as the setting for Leo DiCaprio’s movie of the book The Beach. But, in reality, it’s not all about one beach – that would get a bit crowded, after all – and there are so many to choose from, including unspoilt beauties, locals’ favourites and bustling resorts. Many of the beaches are right next to our resorts too, so you’ll be footsteps from the sand for the duration of your stay.
In Krabi, our Centara Grand Beach Resort And Villas Krabi is right next to a secluded beach, backed by dramatic limestone cliffs and only accessible by boat – so the VIP experience comes as standard. You can switch between beach and pool easily here, with a spectacular two-tiered pool that comes with jaw-dropping views of the sea. Krabi is also the ideal place to go beach hopping to find some peaceful coastal strips, too. Railay Beach in Krabi is one of the world’s best, and well-known for its towering limestone cliffs which you can watch brave rock climbers scale. And Phra Nang Krabi is another amazing beach which you can get to via kayak from Railay Beach, stopping off at a cave shrine filled with monkeys on the way.
Over on Khao Lak, you’ll be able to explore Thailand’s native side and unspoilt beauties. Hotels here are actually designed to blend into the landscape, so you can expect camouflaged villas surrounded by tropical greenery. The Khao Lak Merlin Beach Resort has a beach right on its doorstep and is set among 16 acres of lush garden, while the JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort is not only footsteps from the beach but boasts the longest pool in the whole of South-East Asia. A luxurious family getaway can be had at the TUI FAMILY LIFE Mai Khao Lak which is set on its own unspoilt slither of sand and offers accommodation in private garden villas.
Phuket is where you’ll find Thailand’s livelier beach resorts. Patong Beach is packed with bars and restaurants, and it’s closed to vehicles post-sunset to make way for crowds dipping in and out of the bars and clubs – you can even catch a Thai boxing match here. And, if you want to see the actual beach from The Beach, you can take a trip to Maya Bay in Koh Phi Phi Leh on our Full Day Phi Phi Island by Speedboat excursion. On this trip you’ll be taken to some of the best snorkelling spots, enjoy a stop off at Monkey Island to see the small population of primates, and finally snap some selfies on the impossibly-white sands of Maya Bay where it was filmed.
This Italian island regularly tops polls of the world’s best beaches. And, best of all, its Caribbean-esque coastline is just a two and a half hour flight away. Olbia’s Porto Cervo, also known as the Emerald Coast, is a firm favourite with tourists and world-famous celebs alike. The gem of a resort has been visited by Hollywood heavyweights Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow and Leo DiCaprio, to name a few. So, you can top up your tan on the coast’s soft fine sand and then go celeb-spotting at the glamorous Porto Cervo Marina which is packed full of gigantic yachts. There’s even a pink beach in Sardinia called the Spiaggia Rosa Beach, which can be found on Budelli, one of the islands of the La Maddalena Archipelago near Olbia. If you pick your destination based on its Instagram credentials, this one should be a front runner.
Aruba has a beach for just about everyone – whether you’re an adventure-seeker, an animal lover, or even a baby. Yep, the appropriately-named Baby Beach is great for families with young children thanks to its calm, shallow waters which are perfect for paddling. With loads of tiny fish, it’s also the ideal place to introduce your brood to the joys of snorkelling.
All the beaches in Aruba are public so you can sand hop as you please. The two frequent award-winners are Eagle Beach and Palm Beach, which regularly top polls of the ‘world’s best beach’, in case you need more reason to visit. Both are long strips of powder-soft sand backed by calm, clear waters. Palm Beach is the more popular resort, while Eagle Beach is a low-key spot with thatched beach huts serving cocktails and the famous slanted divi divi trees.
It’s not just locals and tourists who love hanging out on Aruba’s beaches, flamingos love it, too. Yes, really – there’s a whole island full of the tropical pink birds, as well as a family-friendly lagoon where iguanas roam freely. It’s called Renaissance Island, and is reserved for guests of the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino hotel. But, you can buy day passes to the island even if you’re not staying there, so you won’t have to miss out on this extraordinary sight.
It’s arguably the fun capital of the world, but there’s more to Florida than just theme parks. In fact, after you’ve spent several days whizzing around on rollercoasters, there’s no better way to unwind than having some downtime on the beach. You can even do this on a day trip from Orlando, as Cocoa Beach and Daytona Beach are just an hour’s drive from the resort.
Further afield, you’ve got Clearwater Beach which has racked up plenty of well-deserved awards for its silky shores and bath-warm waters. This family favourite has loads of activities going on like dolphin-spotting, speedboat rides and Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise. Down in Miami, there’s the famous South Beach – an iconic party spot known for its non-stop nightlife, everlasting stretches of sand and high-octane activities like jet-skiing and powerboat rides. The water is enticingly clear, and if you’re after a quick culture fix, you’ll find lovely Art Deco architecture along the strip. Finally, the award-winning Siesta Key Beach is the one for luxury lovers with its fine quartz crystal sand. Shallow, paddle-friendly turquoise waters and year-round lifeguard protection make this one perfect for families, too.
There are so many beaches along Spain’s mainland coast, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands, it’s difficult to know where to start. These range of course, from the bustling well-known resorts that tourists have been travelling to for decades, to the quieter little-known spots.
On Spain’s mainland coast, the famous ‘Costas’ are where you’ll find the best stretches of sand. Costa de Almeria is home to untouched beaches and quiet, whitewashed villages, while Costa de la Luz is another sleepy, traditional Spanish resort with a stunning six-kilometre beach, Chiclana de la Frontera. Costa del Sol is of course the most famous of the Spanish resorts, and lines up 5T hotels, glitzy beach clubs, tapas bars and a lively, bustling atmosphere. The Costa Brava’s iconic Benidorm is still a firm favourite with Brits, and has managed to shrug off its brash stereotype in recent times. Alongside nature reserves, stunning waterfalls and a lively town, there’s one of Spain’s best stretches of sand, the award-winning Levante Beach, with six kilometres of pristine golden sands for you to stretch out on. You can even stay in the hotel where the TV show Benidorm was filmed which gives you easy access to the best shops, restaurants and bars in New Benidorm.
Over in the Balearics, Ibiza is where you’ll find one of the best sunset spots in the world, and Cala Conta beach, if a little rocky, is one of the top places to experience this. There’s also the famous Las Salinas beach which is a long stretch of sand where the Ibizan hipster crowd hang out. In the Canaries, Playa del Inglés in Gran Canaria boasts seven miles of honey-coloured sand and Playa Blanca in Lanzarote is a low key number in the south of the island that’s ideal for families.
You’ll be just two minutes’ walk from a sandy beach when you stay at the Port Benidorm.
The adults-only Hotel Riu Le Morne is right on a white sand beach and near some of the island’s best snorkelling spots.
With two swim-up bars, seven restaurants and a sandy beach on the doorstep, the Grand Memories Varadero has all bases covered. Plus, it’s a two-hour drive away from Havana’s salsa bars.
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