Instead of ‘keeping calm and thinking of the beach’, you can plan a vacation to a beautiful beach that promises memories for a lifetime. Here are ten spectacular ones to get you started.
Waipio Valley Beach, Big Island, Hawaii
Most of Waipio Valley is privately owned, all permitted tours do not operate on Sundays, and the road to the valley is very steep, which means you need a 4WD vehicle to get there. But these obstacles are worth it once you make it to Waipio Valley Beach, a mile-long black sand beach flanked by lush rainforest and towering cliffs. The Hi’ilawe Stream flows into the ocean from the back of the valley. The Waiulili and Kaluahine waterfalls flow dramatically down cliffs at the south end of the beach. Though the water current can be strong and swimming is advised only if you’re a proficient swimmer, a picnic at the beach is bound to be an unforgettable experience.
Treasure Beach, Jamaica
Treasure Beach lies on Jamaica’s south coast, a six mile stretch of golden sand surrounded by sleepy villages and an authentic laid-back Jamaican vibe that makes it particularly special among the island’s busy beaches. The landscape is rustic and lazy, and the aquamarine waters aren’t teeming with people, save for a few swimmers, surfers and snorkelers who can be seen enjoying the unspoilt rock shorelines. Just walking along the shoreline is a wonderful experience and once you’ve worked up an appetite, you can look forward to delicious cuisine, Red Stripe beer and reggae music at nearby cafes and restaurants. Treasure Beach is a hidden gem inhabited by many artists and writers, so the opportunity for cultural experiences and engaging conversations are plenty.
Source d’Argent, La Digue, Seychelles
Seychelles’ best-known beach is one of the most beautiful in the world, defined by golden sands, clear waters and dramatic granite formations. It offers excellent swimming and snorkeling opportunities during high tide. As a highly photographed beach, Source d’Argent can get pretty crowded past 10 am. Don’t leave without digging into delectable Creole cuisine served in the nearby restaurants.
Sunset Beach, Brunswick islands, North Carolina
NC’s Brunswick Islands stretches from the Cape Fear River to the South Carolina border. Known for its beautiful sunrises and sunsets over the water, quiet beaches, seafood and golf courses, Brunswick Islands is home to Sunset Beach, which has featured in National Geographic’s ’21 Best Beaches in the World’ list. The beach is the gateway to the 1,300 acre Bird Island Coastal Reserve, a nesting area for various bird species and loggerhead turtles. On the inlet side of the beach, there are a number of golf courses. To the west end of the tranquil beach stands the ‘Kindred Spirit’ mailbox where people leave notes on their innermost thoughts, which are believed to range from deep grief to ecstatic happiness.
El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
El Nido has 50 white sand beaches, each promising pristine waters and scenic views of lush cliffs and limestone formations. Nacpan Beach’s fine sand and big waves equal lots of fun; you can also walk further to its twin, the Calitang Beach. Cudugnon Beach, once a significant archaeological site for Neolithic burials, is best known for its small cave with a narrow opening that you can get through by lying down and where you can also enjoy the company of fruit bats! Papaya Beach is a tropical heaven with limestone karsts and azure waters, Secret Beach is flanked by towering rock formations, and Big Lagoon’s calm waters make it excellent for kayaking.
Tortuga Bay, Galapagos
The long walk to the beach is worth the beauty of aqua blue Pacific waves, soft white sands and marine iguanas strolling on their territory! Surfing is pretty good here as is snorkeling at the far end of the bay. Swimming can be an exciting if slightly scary encounter as you’re likely to spot baby sharks and stingrays. Your kids will love spotting pelicans, blue herons and sea turtles arriving to lay eggs in the sand.
Dreamland Beach, Bali
Located in Bukit peninsula, Dreamland beach is a picturesque white sand beach overlooking a white stone cliff, offering panoramic views of the Indian Ocean. Its turquoise blue waters and powerful waves beckon experienced surfers, while beach lovers can be seen relaxing under the cliffs and sometimes, couples can be spotted taking pre-wedding photographs against the beautiful sunset that bathes the beach in a lovely glow. Despite its relative popularity and strategic location close to luxury villas and world-class golf courses, Dreamland is quieter than other Bali beaches. If you’re an avid surfer, you’ll love the challenge and the charming beach shacks and bars serving fresh juices, smoothies and chilled beer.
Matira Beach, Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Matira Beach is regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful beaches and it is certainly Bora Bora’s most popular public beach, surrounded by lush palm trees and green hills. The expansive stretches of white sand slope into a sandy-bottomed lagoon with shallow waters, making it ideal for kids looking forward to swim or snorkel. The waters are incredibly blue and the sunsets are glorious. There are a number of shops and cafes in the vicinity, and if you’re staying at the Hotel Matira, the beach is just a one minute walk away.
Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The 2-mile beach is famous for its pretty mountain views, cobalt waters, toned bodies and electric parties! Though people-watching is understandably a favorite activity here, you can play a local version of tennis but without nets, called frescobol, walk or cycle on the boardwalk, groove to the samba rhythms and take in the buzzing atmosphere that doesn’t seem as commercialised as Copacabana. You also have the opportunity to immerse in the local culture thanks to the many art galleries, restaurants and shops nearby.
Dune du Pyla, France
One of the most interesting beaches in the world, at more than 100 meters, Dune du Pyla is Europe’s tallest dune offering stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. Climbing the dune is not very easy, but once you get to the top, you’re treated to majestic views of Arcachon Bay, Cap Ferret and the the Banc d’Arguin bird reserve. On the other side lies a large and dense pine forest. Visitors usually relax on the dune, while expert swimmers brave a swim in pretty fierce waters. Many can be seen feasting on oysters, prawns and wine at oyster cabanes set up by local fishermen.
Honorable mention: Druidstone Beach, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Feel aristocratic galloping on a horse or cute pony across Druidstone Beach, nestled between Newgale and Broad Haven. The long stretches of fine sand and expansive space for football, volleyball or cricket make it ideal for a picnic. Alternatively, you can head to the restaurant on the clifftop above the beach for delicious food and a lovely setting.
Author: Josh Hayett
Josh is a retired comic book artist who never made it to the big leagues (to be fair- he never really tried) so now he’s here writing stuff about what other people are doing with their talents.
Always with an opinion about TV shows, Movies and especially why Marvel is the best ever,