Hogging the promenade of this genteel resort like a flamingo among sparrows, Morelli’s is so kitsch it’s cool. First opened in 1932, its decor is authentic late 1950s America, with chewing-gum pink leatherette banquettes, dainty white wicker chairs, juke box, soda fountain, and an extraordinary pink cut-out suspended from the ceiling like a spacecraft.
It feels as if Olivia Newton-John and John T. might come jiving in any minute for a hot fudge sundae. Sundaes are baroque affairs laden with wafers and fandangles, while cornets are available in over 30 flavours, including banana, mango, coconut Bounty and tiramisu. A Morelli’s counter in Harrods sells the ice cream for those who can’t manage the schlep to Kent.
14 Victoria Parade, Broadstairs, Kent. Tel: 01843 862500. Open: 8am – 5pm, daily.
Rabbit Island's a fantastic, huge beach which all of the locals go to (I'm from Nelson). Loads of room to spread out for lounging, beach cricket, safe swimming, and huge picnic areas under the pines.
Past Richmond on the road towards Motueka/Abel Tasman.
Katharos Beach - one of the best beaches in Santorini. Follow signs out of Oia village and it is a 15 minute walk.
It is hidden away between rocksides and cliffs of the island, with some amazing layers of stones acting as your backdrop. Never crowded and no annoying umbrellas/deckchairs to rent. Black sand and amazing waves.
On the way down to the beach there is the Katharos bar, a great relaxed and unpretentious place. Not tacky, not commercial or overstyled (unlike the rest of the island) - open bar, canvas roof, lots of cushions and chilled music. Again, I've never seen it crowded. Great place to have a drink after the beach.
The whole area makes a great change from the rest of Santorini - busy, busy, busy. Those famed sunsets of Santorini refer in fact to those at Katharos beach.
We're here at the moment and although the Indian government pulled down the majority of beach huts in the palm groves, it is still the most idyllic beach on the Goan coastline. It is far more relaxed than the northern beaches.
We stayed at the Cosy Nook on Palolem Beach which was fantastic - stilted
huts right on the beach. Admittedly, ours was by a rubbish heap which seemed to attract cows day and night time...
But the beach was clean and there were loads of good bars and restaurants with fantastic seafood. If a bar wasn't playing Bob Marley, you were treated to either a chilled Ibiza or Café del Mar compilation as you settled down for the evening. The soundtrack should give you an idea of the place!
Palolem Beach is about 2 km west of Chaudi, Canacona District. Cosy Nook is at the northern end of the beach.
Tel: 0832 264 3550
Costa de la Luz is a beautiful, as yet unspoilt part of Spain on the Portuguese border. If you go off-peak you can still find hidden, deserted beaches, traditional fishing villages, and unlike the Costa del Sol, Spanish people!
Costa de la Luz stretches from Huelva in the west to just short of Algeciras in the south.
Nearest airports are Seville or Faro.
Relax on the beach in style by day – rent a sun lounger, get a massage and have food and drinks brought out to you – then party by night. Great place to watch the sunset from the beach bar, which then has DJs and dancing til late. Also has restaurants if you want a fix of western food (Indian, Italian etc).
72 Tran Phu, Nha Trang;
tel (84-58) 826 528;
Yesterday I took my family to Southsea for the day. The weather was glorious and the people so friendly. The highlight of our visit though, was the couple of hours we spent at Clarence Pier. It has a Wimpy, penny arcades, an indoor kiddie play area but best of all about a dozen amusement rides. We bought a family bag of tokens for twenty pounds and were given another five pounds free. It was a great afternoon and money well spent. I would recommend it to anyone.
Clarence Pier, Southsea
It is a short drive from San Francisco. A place of serene beauty. Sit on the beach, listen to the roar of the surf (if you have a board catch some waves), chill, watch the sun set over the bay. Then retire to a B&B or enjoy the drive back to the bright lights of the city.
Half Moon Bay is 30 miles from the city.
Four tunnels carved through the cliffs lead to a secluded beach and tidal pool. Very safe for children and bliss for adults over the crowded summer. Snacks available from the cafe so you can make a whole day of it.
Open all year. July and August, 9am-7pm; the rest of year, 10am-5pm or 6pm;
Entrance fee: £1.75 for adults and £1.25 for children.
Not the prettiest part of Dorset's Jurassic coastline, but you're not here for the photo album; you want dinosaurs. You'll find tips on fossil collecting at the Heritage Coast Centre next to the beach: there's a short film on what to look for, or ask one of the wardens what to do. Alternatively, there are regular guided walks. Best check for tides before you go and rest assured: you WILL find fossils.
tel: 01297 560772; www.charmouth.org
Great hotel located on the front with a good view out to sea. Friendly staff, nice cocktails, comfortable beds and nice touches in the rooms.
Close proximity to the centre, Lanes, etc.
44 Marine Parade, Brighton;
tel: 01273 696934;
Lovely town, despite being the capital. Stroll along the quayside in the evening and enjoy good and plentiful food at reasonable prices in the many tavernas.
In the day wander over to Loutsa beach (20 minutes easy walk). Nice bar, ice-cold beer and good beach food, sheltered cove providing good swimming. If you fancy something more substantial try Dennes (the Australian) which you pass going to or from the beach. Good food with lovely views towards Vathy.
You need a car to get to the lovely Skinos or Sarakiniko beaches. If you go to Skinos take the footpath over the hills to Gidaki beach on the east coast; a delightful walk with stunning views as you climb.
Bus service runs twice-daily between Kioni and Vathy (though not during school holidays), and taxis can be expensive, so it's best to hire your own transport.
A typically Ionian, small pebble beach which looks unpromising. But as lunchtime approaches, a tiny beachside taverna opens up serving a menu of locally caught fish and fresh vegetables that changes every day.
Take the coastal path uphill from the village with fine views of the bay to your left. When the path runs out you'll find a track down to the beach.
Salema is a village tucked away on Portugal's south-western tip. It is a wonderful beach town with a sandy and gently-sloping beach that sits between golden cliffs, and is ideal for families with children. On the beach it's easy to find the perfect location, near the cliffs, or in the shade, to spread your towel and settle in for a day of lounging.
But what truly makes this village a wonderful beach town is the open-hearted approach of the friendly, kind Portuguese people.
Catch a bus to Salema from Lagos.
An enormous windswept beach. Fabulous view with Cape Roca and Sintra hills as a backdrop and some of the best surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing in Europe.
15 miles west of the centre of Lisbon. Take the train to Cascais then catch a bus or get on the free hop-on hop-off bike.
Cascais, about 50 minutes by train from Lisbon, has fine sandy beaches - where men in wet suits dive for octopus - and an impressive fish market, where all the fish-sellers are elderly women.
There are frequent trains from Lisbon's Estação Cais do Sodre;
Turismo de Cascais: Rua Visconde da Luz, 2750 Cascais;
tel: 21 486 82 04
If you like sun and want to feel like you are three hours away from a busy city you have to go to Praia Morena in Costa da Caparica or Guincho, just after Cascais. They both have great beach bars with good food and nice music.
Morena Beach is south of Lisbon. If you rent a car it's very easy, it only takes 20 minutes otherwise you will have to get in public transports and that will take a little over an hour.
To get to Guincho from Lisbon just take the train to Cascais, which goes along the river Tejo and then the ocean. Once you get to Cascais, get in a cab as ask to go to Guincho. It shouldn't be more than 10-15 euros. If you have time visit Cascais, a very pretty town just by the sea. Once again, if you have a car will only be 30 minutes driving.
You can also go out at night for a drink, dinner and dancing in "Bairro Alto". I'm sure you will meet someone there who can give you a ride! Lisboetas are crazy for the beach!
Bora Bora is situated in the middle of Playa d’en Bossa, and it’s a crazy place. A beach with a wicked bar, and people dancing on tables while the sun is up. This place is legendary, and if you’re into the club scene it’s an Ibiza must-do, if only for the fact that everyone gets involved!
In the middle of Playa d'en Bossa;
Formentera is a very small island with a few wonderful shops and eating places but it is the beaches that are most memorable. Beautiful white sand and crystal clear waters. It's a little bit naughty but camping out over night on one of the otherwise deserted beaches to await the sunrise is a truly wonderful experience.
There are regular ferries from Ibiza Town to Formentera. The journey takes 20 minutes.
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