Number 1 – Weston Super Mare!
Just kidding, although they do some damn good fish and chips- which is probably why all of the seagulls look like they need to go on a diet.
I’ve visited some pretty incredible stretches of coastline during my travels over the last 13 years or so; from remote Pacific hideaways with sunsets that will blow your mind, to world famous South American behemoths which have had songs written about them.
Whilst it’s grey and miserable here in the UK, here are a few of my favourite beaches form around the world to make you think about booking some flights, or just sob with wanderlust into your keyboard.
Wizard Beach, Isla Bastimentos, Bocas del Toro – Panama
It’s a bitch to get to, but it’s worth it when you finally get there. To even get to Isla Basimentos (the 2nd biggest island around Bocas) you need to take a series of local buses and boats to the island. Once there a 30-minute hike awaits you from the village, through a narrow kind of jungle back alley, via local huts and houses. Then – BINGO – your own paradise awaits in the form of a long white sandy stretch of beach, nestled into a quiet cove of cliffs and jungle. The sea is choppy, so boats rarely come here, meaning that by proxy not too many travellers do either.
Mantaray Island – Fiji
A beauty of an island secluded from most of the world, where you can go snorkelling with Manta Rays; there’s basically nothing to dislike about Manta Ray Island. Located a 2-hour boat journey from Nadi, in the remote Yasawa islands – there are No ATM’s, no shops, actually there’s hardly anything you might associate with the 21st century to be fair, but that’s part of its attraction; just pristine beaches, crystal clear water, and some of the most breath-taking sunsets I have ever seen. In fact, why am I still here? *books flights*
Cottesloe Beach – Australia
It’s not Bondi, but that’s a good thing. People who live near Perth are spoilt for choice, but my personal favourite is Cottesloe. It’s not exactly quiet, or remote, but has a consistently great, friendly vibe. It’s one and a half kilometres long, and is straddled by a tree lined esplanade if you’ve accidentally gone a bit lobster in the sunshine. Being Australia, there some top notch (and top budget) restaurants and bars nearby, and even a golf course if that’s your thing. Their fish and chips offering is NEARLY as good as Weston Super-Mare.
Railay Bay – Thailand
As if Thailand didn’t have enough going for it, the coast near Krabi is dotted with scenery straight out of the film The Beach. Literally actually, if you head over towards Ko Phi Phi. You get off your boat, wander through a gaggle of small tourist restaurants and souvenir shops, out onto an inlet surrounded by small mountains emerging from the clear blue sea at every angle. There are mini caves to explore, rock climbing to take part in (if you like that sort of thing) or just park up and soak it all in.
Cabo San Juan, Tayrona National Park – Colombia
A one of a kind national park, full of wildlife and idyllic beaches, that just happens to be located on the Caribbean Coastline. There are multiple beaches that you can hike through the surrounding jungle to go and find – even a nudist beach – but Cabo San Juan is by far and away the most iconic. Aim to spend a few days here if you have time, because once you arrive you won’t want to leave. Hire one of the many hammocks on offer, or stay in one of the pre-erected tents, complete with questionable foam/plastic mattress from the 1980s. Don’t let that put you off though, just make sure you have a thorough wash in the morning.
Copacabana, Rio De Janiero – Brazil
Yes it’s busy, yes you might need to keep an eye on your belongings, yes there are people constantly walking past trying to sell you shit, but it’s Copacabana! It’s excused. Is there a more famous beach in the entire world? Embrace the craziness; grab yourself a sun lounger, and tuck into some grilled cheese, beers, and caiprinhas – all of which are available in abundance. Screw it, buy yourself a pair of fake sunglasses too whilst your there. One of the most iconic beaches on the planet is so for a reason, just take a look around at your surroundings and you’ll soon see why. An ideal place to wind down (or, wind back up) after some of the very late night parties that Rio has to offer.