Just a short bus ride or walk further up the coast from the town’s main beach, Malvarrosa - but is usually a lot less crowded. And it’s further away from the unsightly cranes and gantries of the city’s busy port.
Malvarrosa beach: buses 1, 2 or 19, or take the tram (metro line 4) from Pont de Fusta station. Alboraia beach: get off the tram at La Cadena and take the 31 bus from the corner
Just 20 minutes by taxi from Old Havana there are perfect Caribbean beaches – fine white sand and inconceivably turquoise water — which are the perfect escape from the heat of city. There are a few beach bars serving decent fried fish, etc. Swimming pools are a rarity in Havana, but there is a good one in the lovely Hotel Sevilla — cocktails available.
If you're in La Rochelle and need a quick beach trip then Les Minimes is the best option. Take the cosy little harbour boat (bus du mer - 1.70 euros each way) from the Old Harbour (near the La Chaine tower) to the Les Minimes port and the beach is a hundred metres from the quay. It isn't massive but its proximity to La Rochelle makes it attractive. And it is cleaner than the beach on the La Rochelle side.
Les Minimes Port itself is the largest pleasure boat harbour in France with room for 3500 yachts.
10 minutes by harbour boat from the Old Harbour in La Rochelle.
A rocky island rearing out of the Aegean, a short boat ride and a world away from Santorini and Mykonos. Hora is the picture-perfect sugar cube Cycladic capital of Folegandros, all narrow alleys and painted balconies, clinging precariously to the edge of the cliff.
Friendly, laid-back and well off the beaten track, Folegandros also boasts some great secluded beaches, though you may need to do some mountain-goat style scrambling to reach them. Not sure why I'm sharing this tip, actually ... shush, don't tell!
Regular ferry services operate from Santorini, the journey takes around 1 and a half hours.
If you want to learn to Kitesurf I would highly recommend Cumbuco.
Cumbuco has a stunning white sandy beach, with year-round temperatures of 27-33 degrees with the sea always around 26 degrees. The wind in the Ceara state, and particularly around Cumbuco is the BEST in the world for kitesurfing, particularly learning.
From June until February you can kitesurf nearly everyday, it's also very steady and always blows cross-onshore from the South-East, making it a very safe place to learn.
Sunday is definitely the best day/night of the week to go out in South Beach. After you drag yourself off the beach, head over to Nikki Beach for mojitos on the sunloungers. When it gets dark, head upstairs to Pearl (though don't forget to glam up on the way upstairs). If you can afford to, buy a bottle and go VIP if not, the bar is always busy and you can watch the bunny girls and salsa queens glam it up on the bar.
1 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach
An interesting beach town just north of Miami, it has more funky character than South Beach and a relaxing beachfront filled with French Canadians. Well worth the drive up A1A or Route 1 - in fact, just stay there instead.
A 40-minute drive north of Miami on A1A for the beach area, or Route 1 goes straight through the centre of town at Young Circle with its arts galleries, restaurants and so on.
To really get a feel for the Californian surfing lifestyle, spend a week at Ocean Beach, the epitome of laid back cool. A small beach community populated by artists, surfers, families, hippies and bikers alike, it isn't unusual to see a man walking his iguana down the main street to the beach.
For a mere $6.20 (about £2.50/45-minute journey) catch the train south from central Sydney to the lesser known beachside suburb of Cronulla. Often overlooked in favour of its northern cousins, Cronulla beach is the longest stretch of sand in Sydney, and makes a refreshing change from the crowded city beaches.
After submerging yourself in the south Pacific, head across the road to Northies pub, to quench your thirst, whilst enjoying stunning sea views. Get here early on a Sunday, as the place gets packed, especially during the summer months when things can get quite rowdy.
If your on a budget or just want to make the most of the perfect climate and coastel location, follow the cliff path to south Cronulla beach and continue about 500 metres past Cronulla Point until you get to the tranquil Shelly Park. Here you can take advantage of the communal barbecue area, whilst enjoying the ocean views with a beer.
An essential Sydney experience.
Catch the Bondi Junction to Cronulla train from any city station. (It's the blue line, by the way.)
The light in Rio is spectacular, especially on the beach. Take a walk from Arpaodor to Leblon which takes about 45 minutes. Do this when the sun sets. It sets just behind the Dois Hermanos (two brothers) and the light is light blue/pink most of the time. The sound of the waves, people and Ipanema to your right make this a very special walk and keeps you fit. In the morning the sun comes up from Copacabana, so a walk from Arpoador - do check out the fish market - towards the Copacaban Palace is lovely too. Locals doing morning exercise, fishing boats coming back. I want to be there now!
This chain of several dozen islets immediately north of the city, is administratively part of Jakarta and usually an oasis of quiet. Speedboats take visitors to basic but comfortable hotels an hour or so from the city, where one can snorkel, dive or just lie on a white sand beach with a friendly turtle.
Forget expensive coach or taxi tours along the Amalfi coast - take the public bus from Sorrento bus station, and head out towards Positano. For a few euros return you will have one of the best scenic trips of a lifetime - try and get to sit on the entry step looking out. They even run to time. Magic!
Main bus station - Sorrento.
Asha Cottages is a small hotel right on the glorious sandy beach an hour south of Mombasa. Run on eco-friendly lines and set among a veritable arboretum of native trees and shrubs, it offers a relaxing tropical seaside holiday with plenty of activities for those who prefer snorkelling, SCUBA-diving, sailing or fishing to sunbathing. There is also bird and animal life aplenty. We were well looked after and entertained and the facilities are excellent and family friendly. Strongly recommended!
Asha Cottages, Dinai Beach, Ukunda, Kenya
Take a 30 minute ferry from Circular Quay to the surfers’ community of Manly! Away from chaotic downtown Sydney, there’s a bit more privacy and great views over the ocean. It’s still vibrant though – from the Quicksilver shops to the busy Manly Beach.
For the views, go right along the beach from the Corso around Fairy Bower to Shelly Beach.
Google map: tinyurl.com/lgoplc
The stunning Las Islas Cies in Galicia is an uninhabited and pristine national park with loads of wildlife and a perfect crescent of soft pale sand, backed by small dunes sheltering a calm lagoon of crystal-clear (but freezing) sea.
The water is turquoise and the sand fine and white.
The only place to stay on the island is an idyllic campsite shaded by pine trees. It has a decent shop, bar and cafe and, this being Spain, even a proper restaurant that serves great seafood.
The park is open to the public only in summer.
00 34 986 43 83 58, campingislascies.com, open Easter week and June to September.
Superb location - plus riding on a beautiful beach! Caters for all abilities including children. Good local accommodation, history and legends, good local pubs in the area where you can enjoy fueling up for the next day!
After a hard day swimming, drinking caipirinhas and watching the beautiful people, come off the gay area of Ipanema beach and head directly up Farme de Amoeda to the Bofetada.
This is a little historic bar that's great for people watching and enjoying an ice cold beer. No need to dress up. Just turn up in your trunks like the local boys do!
Rua Farme de Amoeda
Although "Goa trance" isn't really my music scene, I enjoyed Anjuna immensely. There are a whole lot of freaks out there and most of them travel into Anjuna at some point. There's a good choice of places to eat ranging from Tibetan, Indian and Chinese to Western.
Lots of bars abound on and around the beach areas and there's plenty of cheap accommodation for those on a tight budget.
The local nightclub is pretty impressive, even if it's all bang-gnab trance all night long.
The beach is medium sizee but really nice (just expect a lot of hawkers) and locals are as friendly as the tourists.
This is a really good place to relax on the beach by day and party by night. You also have a lot of options for exlporing the rest of Goa once you get there.
Anjuna beach, north Goa
Palolem in south Goa is a fantastic laid back beach. You can check out how beautiful it is by watching Matt Damon run along it during the opening 10 minutes of the Bourne Supremacy.
There are some great beach huts to rent (average price £7 per day). My favourite has to be Dreamcatcher at the north end run by Jacky and Walter. Jacky is from Liverpool via the asteroid belt while Walter is an ex Kerelan wrestling champion. They make you feel so welcome it feels like home after about 10 minutes.
The food the cook serves up is fresh and tasty (prawns the size of bananas and curries that are far tastier than anything you've had in the UK) while the bar will serve you anything from a lasi to a Kingfisher.
If yoga is your thing, Wayne (yes I know not the most mystical sounding name) does a sunrise (well 9am) class and a sunset one. There's also a variety of massage too.
The place is magical at night as it is lit by candles. You can either sit around the campfire or relax on a daybed by the bar.
If you're going to Goa and want a place that's not commercial, Palolem and Dreamcatcher is where you should head to.
The Port of Call Hotel is situated by the sea front with a luxurious beach. They offer bed and breakfast service which is fairly reasonable.They also assist with transport if required.
Port of Call, Black River, St. Elizabeth
Tel: 876 965 2410
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