The new year is already here and we would love to present the best beach holidays you should seriously consider to visit in 2021. It’s a perfect mix of well-known destinations and underrated places which are not known for beautiful beaches. Places you might never consider as beach destinations. As we wanted to provide as much value as possible, we teamed up with other awesome travel bloggers to give you the BEST OF THE BEST.
And why Part 1? Well as you can guess there are many beautiful places which we highly recommend you to visit. And that’s why we created two parts. Altogether over 50 BEST BEACH HOLIDAYS FOR 2021.
As in the best beach destination Part 2, this guide is a mix of tropical paradises, unexplored islands, extraordinary destinations spread over 5 continents. Both articles have places from Asia, Africa South America, North America, Oceania, and Europe.
Hope you will enjoy it and you will find inspiration for perfect beach holidays in the new year. Thank you to all talented bloggers who helped us put this amazing piece together. Ready for the best beach holidays? Here we goooooo.
THE BEST BEACH HOLIDAYS FOR 2021
Bohol is one of the most diverse islands in the Philippines. Exploring Bohol is so much fun and will keep you there for days. At first, you need to visit the famous Chocolate hills, considered as one of the Philippines’ natural wonders. There are around 1776 hills spread over an area of 50 sq km. After, head to visit one of the world’s smallest primates, tarsiers living in the Tarsier Conservation Area. Rent a scooter and enjoy driving around green rice fields, tiny villages, and small hidden waterfalls. Make sure you pass by through the Bilal man-made forest surrounded by beautiful mahogany trees. The best time to visit Bohol is between December to March.
Panglao Island has to be on your list of best beach holidays for 2021. Panglao Island is located just southwest of Tagbilaran City. In fact, we planned to stay only for 1 night to check out this place. However, we had to prolong our stay the picture above explains why. This beach is called Dumaluan Beach and it will take your breath away. Panglao Island is home to outstanding white beaches and many other things you can do there. Panglao is a part of an island called Bohol.
By Greta from Greta Travels.
Sardinia is blessed with white sand beaches, the clearest turquoise water and definitely needs to be on your radar as a destination for the best beach holidays in 2021. Why is it such a beautiful place? All along the coast you will find secluded coves and beaches. This is where you can spend the day snorkelling, tanning, relaxing, and in general enjoying the sea.
One of the things I love most about Sardinia is how wild it still is, despite the growing tourism masses that visit every summer. Unlike other beach destinations in Italy, you won’t find endless rows of sun beds, beach umbrellas and kiosks on Sardinian beaches. Most beaches might have a small bar close to the parking lot. Make sure to buy all the food and water for the day so you don’t have to walk back under the sun later on!
Sardinia is a very windy destination which makes it extremely popular for all sorts of water sports. In the north of the island, there is a beach called Porto Pollo, which is famous for windsurfing, sailing, and kitesurfing. Porto Pollo is also famous for its chill beach bars. There you can have an Italian “aperitivo” and unwind after a long day of windsurfing, sipping a mojito as you watch the sun go down over the sea.
WHEN TO VISIT SARDINIA?
The best times to visit Sardinia are either June or September. These are considered the start and end of the busy summer season. You can expect lower prices for flights, accommodation, tours and much more, while still benefitting from warm and pleasant weather. You will also have the beaches for yourself, away from the crowds of Italians that swarm to Sardinia during the school holidays. My personal favorite is June since the days are longer. However, the water can be a bit cold and it will be hard to swim in the sea for long periods of time. In September the seawater will be warmer but the days are much shorter.
JEJU ISLAND, SOUTH KOREA
By Marie from Be Marie Korea.
South Korea is not really famous for being a beach destination. This is a shame as Jeju Island has some of the most beautiful beaches with clean blue water, white sand, and stunning cliffs. The island was formed during a volcano eruption 2 million years ago. This is why the island consists mainly of basalt and lava.
Jeju Island is often referred to as the Maldives of Korea because of its exotic features and stunning beaches. The best and most popular beach to visit is Hamdeok Beach in the northeast of the island. A 45-minute drive away from Jeju City and easily accessible by rental car or public transport. The beach is free to enter, has a bus stop and paid parking located at the entrance.
WHEN TO VISIT JEJU ISLAND?
If you want to escape the crowds then the best time to visit is in spring and autumn. Especially during weekdays as on weekends and during Korean holidays this beach is jam-packed.
Apart from admiring this stunning beach and swimming, you’ll find a couple of cafes and restaurants with stunning views. If Jeju Island sounds like a place for you, make sure to put it on your list of destinations for the best beach holidays.
SAN ANDRES, COLOMBIA
After spending some time exploring palm tree heaven Salento and colorful Guatape on the mainland of Colombia, we were looking forward to San Andres. A well-hidden Caribbean island close to Nicaragua, that belongs to Colombia in South America. This is one of the best paradise islands which has a very different vibe than mainland Colombia. We really enjoyed our time and it was one of the best beach holidays we ever had. San Andres has some of the best beaches in Colombia. Even though it is a small island, you can do many exciting things in San Andres. Rent a scooter and drive around to explore the island on your own. San Andres has many beautiful beaches, don’t forget to check out the city beach. It is a beautiful place. There are a couple of smaller islands around San Andres such as Acuario, Haynes Cay, and Jhonny Cay. We really enjoyed the island hopping. Because of clear turquoise waters, San Andres is a perfect place for scuba and snorkeling.
The best time to visit is before or after the wet season: April, May, and November, December.
San Andres belongs to one of the most beautiful places we have seen in South America. We guarantee it won’t disappoint you. So go ahead and add it to your list for your next best beach holidays’ list.
SEE MORE: HOW TO SPEND 2 WEEKS IN COLOMBIA
By Lisa from Rebellious Tourist.
It’s hard to talk about the Cook Islands without using all the paradise clichés. The island of Rarotonga has several beautiful beaches, but it’s Aitutaki that leaves you speechless. A series of islets dotted around a lagoon so postcard-perfect that it’s often ranked alongside Bora Bora as the world’s best. The prettiest beach on Aitutaki’s main island is Ootu, at the end of its eastern peninsula. But the best way to see the lagoon is on a boat tour. Most take you to a couple of snorkeling spots and three or four islets, where long sandbanks offer endless photo opportunities and walking-on-water fun. Even better, get your ‘own private island’ experience by kayaking or hiring a water taxi to drop you off for the day. Bring a picnic and lots of sunscreen. On Rarotonga, Muri Beach is best for watersports and people watching, Titikaveka in the southeast is best for snorkeling, and the west is best for sunsets. Wilson’s Beach Bar and the Shipwreck Hut are fun spots for a few cocktails and sunset views.
The weather is changeable, so there’s no guaranteed good time to go to the Cook Islands. In general, it’s warm but rainy from November to April and dry but cooler from June to September. The months in between are a good bet when it’s 21-26°C in Rarotonga and a few degrees warmer in Aitutaki.
By Jeremy & Kate from Our Escape Clause
From the trendy, party-heavy atmosphere of Cancun to the scuba paradise of Cozumel to the exploding Instagram favorite of Tulum, Mexico’s iconic Yucatan peninsula is absolutely packed with stunning beaches to explore–no matter what you’re looking for and has to be on your list of best beach holidays. Go swimming with turtles at Akumal, or with whale sharks on Isla Holbox. Hop into the water for a snorkel or scuba excursion. Take photo after photo at the ridiculously photogenic (and pricey) beach bars of Tulum. The possibilities are endless–and that’s just on the beach itself! While you’re visiting the beaches of Yucatan, be sure to also leave time for exploring some ruins, including the incredible Chichen Itza. Be sure to leave time for swimming in cenotes, and, if you’re up for a bit of a road trip, consider heading to the pink lakes of the Yucatan peninsula.
WHEN TO VISIT YUCATAN?
There’s really no such thing as a bad time to plan a trip to the Yucatan peninsula, as its warm year-round, but if you don’t want to contend with a single rain cloud, the dry season from November to May is your best bet. Of course, prices will reflect that as well–the most popular time to visit the Yucatan peninsula is over the holiday season, December – January, and you’ll see the highest prices of the year then. If you are concerned about hurricanes (they’re inherently unpredictable, of course, but can certainly disrupt a trip!), it’s best to avoid trips between August and October.
Not many people would add Myanmar to the list of their best beach holidays. To be honest I had no idea Myanmar has one of the most beautiful beaches in Southeast Asia. The most popular and the best-known beach in Myanmar is called Ngapali. This beach is located in Rakhine State and is a long stretch of 3 km pure white sand with the clear waters of the Bay of Bengal. So if you are looking for your future best beach holidays, Ngapali should be on your list. Legend says that the name Ngapali comes from a homesick Italian living there for many years and reminiscing about his hometown Napoli. There is not much to do, but relaxing, swimming and going for walks along the beach with barely any people around. And of course, watching beautiful sunsets. We recommend staying at River Top Lodge. One of the best hotels we stayed in Southeast Asia.
WHY AND WHEN TO VISIT MYANMAR?
Myanmar is such a beautiful country and we want you to visit it, so if you hesitate whether you should visit Myanmar or not, here is a little teaser. Myanmar got plenty of amazing temples and the most kindly-hearted people we have ever melt. I am sure, you have seen hundreds of stunning photos of Bagan, one of Southeast Asia’s most known sights with its temples and flying balloons. If this doesn’t convince you, then, head to the world’s largest book in Mandalay which consists of 729 stone “pages”, organized into rows. A little hint, it is not a conventional book. We won’t say more. Go ahead and explore on your own. The best time to enjoy this place is between November and February.
By Ayngelina from Bacon Is Magic.
No doubt Cuba is one of the most popular beach destinations. Not only is it warm all year long but also it is located in the Caribbean, which means white-sand beaches and turquoise water.
Although many travelers worry about the internet in Cuba, the government has pledged to have WiFi in all hotel rooms in 2019. It’s not as fast as the US but who needs to be online all day when you have wonderful beaches.
Varadero and Cayo Coco are the most popular beaches for tourists but Playa del Este is my favorite. It is only 30 minutes from Havana so you can stay in Havana and experience the city life, but also head out to the beach for the day. Umbrella and lounge rentals are only $2/each and there is a convenience store to buy drinks and plenty of food stalls with tasty food.
If you’re feeling more adventurous you can rent a banana boat or a kayak and a catamaran ride is only $12.
If you are traveling to Cuba, make sure to check beautiful colonial Trinidad and historical Santa Clara.
SEE MORE: HOW TO SPEND 10 DAYS IN CUBA
WHEN TO VISIT CUBA?
The most popular time to visit Cuba is between November and April. However, my favorite time of year is July and August as there aren’t as many tourists. It is also when Cubans visit the beach and so it’s a very different experience with a local vibe with lots of rum and plenty of music and dancing.
PERHENTIAN ISLANDS, MALAYSIA
By Alan from More Passport Stamps.
Two small islands just off the East coast of Malaysia, the Perhentians are a lesser-known gem. Not one for huge crowds, I wanted to avoid Langkawi and other over developed islands. The Perhentians are perfect for this. There are two islands.
Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil
Perhentian Kecil is where I stayed, it is slightly easier on the wallet and has two definitive sides. Coral Bay along the West Coast is as described, and as such has the most wonderful snorkeling just inches into the water. The other side, Long Beach, is a more backpacker-friendly, softer sand beach, complete with bars that open until late.
Perhentian Besar does have beaches but they are much larger. They are better known for hiking through its thick jungle during the day and relaxing at a 5-star resort in the evening. My recommendation is to stay at Senja Bay Resort. It has the best views in Perhentian, and for a very reasonable price, you can book a room right on the beach. There are many great places to eat on Perhentian Kecil. But you may want to bring your own drinks as many establishments are Muslim owned. If excursions are your thing, then a snorkeling trip to Shark Bay, Turtle Point, and Fish Point cannot be missed. These are available for a small fee from most resorts, and they really are worth it. I witnessed thousands of tropical fish, several majestic turtles and even a few large reef sharks swimming just feet away from me. If you are planning to do diving in Perhentian Island, you will have a great time.
WHEN TO VISIT PERHENTIAN ISLANDS?
I visited in October and not only was the weather perfect, but my flight from Kota Bharu to Kuala Lumpur was just £9. Top tip: search for an airline called “Firefly”. Overall, the Perhentians offer the complete beach getaway and I can’t recommend them enough!
By Hayley from Ms Blissness.
To say that the Algarve stole my heart would be a huge understatement. Why? Well, it got a lot to do with the stunning beaches, warm climate and unbelievable natural beauty of the region. Praia da Marinha is one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever laid my eyes on! The natural beauty here is enchanting. But while the beach is beautiful, it was the view from the walking trail, gazing down over the cliffs and onto the beach that took my breath away.
You can’t visit the Algarve without experiencing the Benagil cave. Do you know that classic hole in the rock photo that you see all over the internet when you google the Algarve? Well, that is Benagil cave. The best part is that if you feeling adventurous you can swim to the cave from Benagil Beach – it’s literally around the cove. But it’s not advised to swim, so if you not up for it you can book a boat tour. Vilamoura is a modern, sophisticated, and lively area of the Algarve. At the heart of this small town, you will find the marina, which is one of the jewels of the region. It’s a hotspot for celebrity sightings during the summer months. But aside from that, there’s a fabulous mix of cafes, restaurants, and bars to enjoy a cocktail and a hearty Portuguese meal if you feel like it.
WHEN TO VISIT ALGARVE?
The Algarve is a brilliant all year round destination. The winter is mild and the spring and summer months are long. But just like any other “trendy” place, it’s best to try to avoid high-season. July and August are the most crowded months so if you want to make the most of your summer try to go in June or September.
EASTER ISLAND, CHILE
By Michael and Halef from The Round The World Guys.
In the middle of the South Pacific, on one of the most remote islands in the world, lays one of the most unique beaches you’ll ever experience. Easter Island is not exactly a beach destination as there are no famous beaches. But it definitely has one of the most unique beaches you’ll come across. The entire island is mostly formed from black volcanic rocks, and this tiny island has two isolated white sand beaches that visitors can access. The bigger of the two, Anakena Beach, is definitely a must-visit beach to add to your best beach holidays list.
Other than relaxing on the white sand and swimming in the amazingly clear water, most visitors come to Anakena Beach for its reconstructed Ahu (altar) platform. On top of this ahu, seven remaining moais, the famous Easter Island heads, still stand and guard against the vast ocean. Although Easter Island is a small, isolated and underrated beach, Anakena Beach is a popular destination where you can find vendors serving food and drink. So stop here for a unique experience on a unique island before continuing on to your next Easter Island destination! Check here to find out what else to do on Easter Island.
By Claire from Claire’s Footsteps.
Western Australia is an amazing place to visit for beach lovers; especially those who like their own space. While the east coast sees a lot of tourists annually, the west is home to unspoiled beauty, with brilliant blue waters, golden sands and a red outback that rolls from the shoreline for thousands of kilometers. It’s a very off-the-beaten-track destination, but it is perfect for those doing a road trip through Australia as there is a highway hugging the coastline and lots of camping spots along the way.
There are so many amazing beach spots in Western Australia. But my favorites have to be: Hangover Bay which is an interestingly named beach and nobody’s really sure how it got this name. But it’s pretty much deserted and really beautiful. It can be accessed with a 4WD vehicle. Ningaloo Reef is Western Australia’s answer to the Great Barrier Reef. It is home to all sorts of tropical fish, turtles and (at certain times of the year) whale sharks and blue whales. And then there is Broome, which is home to many spectacular sunset spots. Cable Beach in Broome is a really special one. Again, you can drive along the beach and you are pretty much guaranteed a spectacular sunset every single night.
WHEN TO VISIT WESTERN AUSTRALIA?
The best time to visit Western Australia is autumn/winter. Perth stays warm until April, and the dry season finishes in the tropics at around this time. June is whale shark season on the Ningaloo Reef – so timing a trip through Western Australia for this time of year is a great idea.
I am sure everyone knows Krabi in Thailand and many people go there to have the best beach holidays ever. Krabi is very convenient to travel to as it is easy to reach. Since Krabi has its own airport, tourism exploded. But don’t worry, it is still not that bad, just be ready to share the favorite beaches with others. We stayed in Ao Nang which is a perfect gateway to one of the best island hopping tours and the best beaches in Krabi. If you want to have privacy start earlier to beat the crowds and go for a private boat tour. It will give you the freedom to decide where and when you want to go.
We started off with visiting cute Tup Island. Here you can cross to another small island called Koh Mor. Afterward, we continued to Chicken Island which actually looks like a chicken 😀 However nothing can beat Koh Poda. Usually the bigger boats do not go there, so we were lucky to have a great guide who showed this paradise and Secret Beach. Our next stop was Ao Phra Nang Beach with the weirdest cave ever (when you go, you will know what we mean). At last we stopped at one of the most famous beaches in Thailand: Railay Beach. Railay is filled with people but I have to say there you can take the iconic Thai pictures with traditional boats. Ao Nang or Krabi Town are also good places to visit the other famous islands around like Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta.
The best time to visit Krabi is in dry season which is from the end of December to April.
MILOS ISLAND, GREECE
By Dave from Dave’s Travel Pages.
When it comes to beaches, Greece is often recognized as one of the best beach holiday destinations in the world. Within Greece itself, the island of Milos has some wonderful beaches. This relatively small Greek island has over 80 incredible beaches. Whether you’d prefer a small secluded bay, or a vast stretch of golden sand, Milos has a beach for every taste! My top three suggestions are a sailing trip around Milos. The best way to admire the island’s beauty, check out inaccessible beaches, and swim in beautiful places such as Kleftiko. Visit Sarakiniko Beach! The smooth white volcanic rock of Sarakiniko Beach is unique, and a must-see when visiting Milos. It’s just like a lunar landscape! Milos island 4WD tour – Take a day tour across the island to look at a different side of Milos, visit an old sulphur mine, and of course, spend time on even more beaches!
WHEN TO VISIT MILOS?
Milos is best visited in June and July, and September and October. The only reason to avoid August is because of the number of other tourists visiting at that time of year! It’s a perfect destination for families and couples seeking a week or two-week vacation, and there’s plenty to see and do.
By Lora from Explore With Lora.
Sri Lanka has recently become one of my favorite countries that I’ve traveled to. It’s growing in popularity but isn’t overly crowded or touristic compared to other nearby destinations. It’s budget-friendly, full of friendly locals, and home to incredible landscapes, including world-class beaches that can be found all throughout the countries coastline. Sri Lanka is a perfect beach holiday because it has something for everyone, from the party beaches of Mirissa to the sleepy beaches of Tricomalee.
There are a number of things you can do in Sri Lanka that revolve around the beach. For the best surfing head to Akumal Bay on the East coast or Weligama in the south. Visit Trincomalee where you go whale watching or even snorkel with the largest mammal on the planet. If you want more of a party atmosphere check out Mirissa, which has a lively nightlife and also offers whale watching and surfing during the day. Sri Lanka is a paradise for scuba diving lovers. There are many wrecks, beautiful coral reefs, and an extremely rich marine life. From coast to coast, Sri Lanka’s beaches offer something for everyone.
WHEN TO VISIT SRI LANKA?
Sri Lanka has a tropical climate, with two different monsoon seasons, affecting different parts of the island at different times. This is actually a good thing because it means it’s dry somewhere on the island at any time of the year. From October to March the South coast is in season, and from April to September the season shifts to the East coast.
GARDEN ROUTE, SOUTH AFRICA
By Campbell & Alya from Stingy Nomads.
The Garden Route is one of the most beautiful areas in South Africa and one of the favorite places to visit for both locals and foreigners. The combination of beaches, lush forests, beautiful towns, and national parks is just perfect for a great in nature holiday. Because there are hundreds of kilometers of sandy beaches it’s still possible to find a non-crowded beach during peak season, in the Christmas holidays. The best beaches can be found in Plettenberg Bay, Sedgefield, Knysna, Mossel Bay, and Storms River National Park.
Garden Route is a great place for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure lovers with tons of activities to do in the area. The best is paragliding in Sedgefield with great beach views; whale watching and snorkeling with seals in Plettenberg Bay; shark diving in Mossel Bay; lilo and kayaking in the Storms River National Park and of course famous bungee jumping from Bloukrans Bridge, the highest bridge bungee in the world. There are many stunning hiking trails along the coastline, past unspoiled beaches, one of the most beautiful and famous ones is the Otter trail. For those who want to combine beach holidays with visiting safari parks and seeing African animals, there are several game lodges on the Garden Route to visit.
WHEN TO VISIT THE GARDEN ROUTE?
The best time to visit the area is January – March and after the Christmas holidays; warm weather, little rain and not too many people.
By Maureen from Life On The Mediterranean.
The beaches along Nice, France and the Cote d’Azur in general, are some of the nicest beaches in the South of France. In Nice, you will find mainly pebble beaches, which means you won’t be dragging a lot of sand home on your towel. But if you hop to the neighboring towns of Villefranche-sur-Mer or Cannes, you’ll find lovely stretches of sand. The water along this entire coast is a crystal blue because of the pebbles and it’s really inviting.
You could literally walk out of the airport in Nice and the 5km stretch of beautiful beach starts right there. There are a number of hotels and beach clubs lining the seafront where you can rent a lounger and umbrella for the day, have a superb lunch and sip rose. Then you have the entire city of Nice behind you for shopping and exploring. No car is needed. Another fun thing to do is take a ride on a to paraglide attached to the back of a speedboat. It’s a great rush and the views from the Mediterranean toward Nice and the mountains are amazing. From the Nice port, you can also book a boat excursion to Villefranche and Monaco, or go in the other direction toward Cannes, Antibes, and St Tropez. Glitzy and chilled at the same time.
WHEN TO VISIT NICE & COTE D’AZUR?
The best time to go is May/June and September/October. This is when it’s not major tourist season, hotels can be cheap and flights to Nice are economical.
HALONG BAY, VIETNAM
By Priyanko from Constant Traveller.
It’s a shame if you choose to visit Halong Bay just for a day trip from Hanoi. Vietnam’s best-known attraction deserves more time to enjoy its pristine natural surroundings and appreciate the innumerable rock formations jutting out of the sea, various of them having intriguing names given by the locals. Staying on an overnight boat affords you the chance to go kayaking and take occasional dips in the ocean when the captain deems the tide and water to be safe enough.
The best experience is reserved for those who give Halong Bay for three days. The second night should be spent on Monkey Island Resort located over a small strip of land that is only accessible by boat. Lan Ha Bay is a sliver of tropical paradise is open for activities like paddling, kayaking, and snorkelling. Else, spend your day playing beach volleyball with the locals, sharpen your pool skills or simply drink in the views from the bar located on top of the property. Making friends is the easiest thing here as the unofficial agenda is all about having fun.
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL
By Hadas from The Fashion Matters.
Even though some might know it, Israel is an amazing beach destination. Located at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea, Israel has a beautiful coastline of 273 kilometers on its west side. Tel Aviv, especially, is the best city in Israel to enjoy a combination of gorgeous white sandy beaches, buzzing nightlife and amazing food. People on the beach in Israel also love playing “Matkot” which is similar to tennis but played at the beach. If you are into water sports you will be happy here, too. One thing is for sure, you’ll never run out of things to do.
WHEN AND WHERE TO VISIT TEL AVIV?
The beach in Tel Aviv is an experience in itself. Being so popular and busy in the summertime, it feels like a huge beach party. Along the boardwalk by the beach in Tel Aviv are many hotels and restaurants. During the summer weekends, it is definitely the most interesting and buzzing place to be. If you’re into a more quiet beach experience just head to other beaches around the coast of Israel, north or south of Tel Aviv. For example, there are some less “popular” beaches stretching anywhere from Netanya to Haifa, all equally beautiful.
20. BALABAC, PHILIPPINES
By Katherine from Tara Lets Anywhere.
If you’re a beach lover, you’ll definitely want to visit the Philippines with its 7000 islands and hundreds of tropical beaches. Balabac is a municipality in the south of Palawan province. It’s composed of several islands, and a few of these are open for island hopping. You’ll need 2-3 days to explore the islands, or more depending on whether you want to stay longer. You can beach bum, snorkel or freedive — whichever you prefer! There’s also the Mansalangan Sand Bar, a picturesque stretch of white sand.
ISLANDS IN BALABAC
Candaraman Island, an island with clear light-blue beach and what we call starfish alley. Camiaran Island, pinkish-sand beach hours away from residential communities. Punta Sebaring, an island which has one of the finest, whitest sands we’d seen and finally Onuk Island, a private island with an amazing beach and a sanctuary for turtles and giant clams. There are tour operators offering full packages including lodging and boat rental to visit the islands. The best time to visit Balabac is during summer which is March to May.
By Karolina from Lazy Travel Blog.
There is no need to look far for a relaxing getaway – Gdansk, as the best beach holidays in 2021, has invested heavily on its beaches for sea-loving holidaymakers offering countless of exciting things to do and see. There are four main beaches to choose from in Gdansk that are clean, relaxing, and with endless views of the sea. Stogi and Brzeźno are both guarded beaches while the other two, Jelitkowo and Sobieszewo are not. All beaches feature white sand and clean seawater ideal for swimming.
The beaches offer different activities and facilities. Visitors can relish on beach volleyball and football. Waterslides are also available in Stogi, Brzeźno, and Jelitkowo that are made for the young and the young at heart. There are also walking and biking routes along the coast for anyone who wants to be active while enjoying the views. Along the beach are numerous cafes and hotels with spas for people to indulge on. Many tour agencies offer kayaking or canoeing tours through the city’s canals. Discover Gdansk’s stunning architecture and rich history while kayaking. The route will enable anyone going to see Long Bridge with the Crane, inevitably, one of Gdansk’s most famous structures because of its history. Visitors will also pass through old moats, fortifications, ports, and mills.
WHEN TO VISIT GDANSK?
Because Gdansk lies on the Baltic coast, it has a milder climate than the cities away from the sea. Still, the best time to visit Gdansk and enjoy its warm beaches is from June to August during the summer season. Expect to see a lot of tourists though and hotels fully-booked during this time.
COSTA BRAVA, SPAIN
By Amber from Only in Costa Brava.
When looking for an alternative best beach holiday, the Costa Brava in Northeastern Spain is a must-see. With approximately 160 kilometers of coastline, there’s no shortage of beaches at the Costa Brava. The Costa Brava is a prime summer destination for the Spanish and for travelers from around Europe. It’s best to avoid the high season of July and August. The best Costa Brava beaches are those that can be visited during spring or fall, in order to experience the true Catalan and Mediterranean spirit.
One of the best towns to visit is Cadaques, which was once home to Salvador Dali. It’s a perfect place to learn about the history and influence of Dali in Spain and the world. A little farther down in the town of Roses, with amazing seafood restaurants and soft sand beaches. There are loads of water sports, or for wine travelers, many of the best Catalan wineries are only a few kilometers away. The tiny village of Tamariu is a picture perfect cove, dotted with a few fishermen’s shacks and a handful of restaurants, all nestled within the rock cliffs of the Costa Brava. Although the water can be chilly in the spring, by the fall the water is simply lovely. Regardless, there is so much to eat and drink and experience along the Costa Brava that it surely should be on your list for the best beach holidays.
By Mary from A Mary Road.
Fortaleza is not the first place you will think of for a beach holiday in Brazil. But what I think makes it a great place is that it is not very touristy. This beach town is mostly filled with locals. If you walk along the beach, you will see many bars and restaurants to dine and drink without crazy high prices. A nice place is Pirata Bar. You will easily find a spot to tan and to read your book. You can walk around the town without people bothering you trying to sell you things. What I like most is how people, especially women, feel very free. If you are worried about not having that “beach body”, this beach has no place for body shamers. Everyone wears a bikini regardless of their body size, how awesome is that?
This city is also very budget-friendly, you can find affordable accommodation for as low as $6 in a fun and comfortable dorm in one of the hostels in Fortaleza or an entire apartment for $15 per night on Airbnb (can get $37 off on your first stay). If you are coming from Europe, there are decently priced direct flights from Frankfurt and Lisbon. If you run out of things to do, visit places such as Jericoacoara for sand dunes on the beach or a quick trip to the Amazon river or to Manaus.
EL TUNCO, EL SALVADOR
By Audrey Chalmers from Gumnuts Abroad.
El Salvador is not a place you’d expect to find on a list for the best beach holidays. But tucked away on the west coast is El Tunco a hidden jewel in this often overlooked country. There are plenty of reasons to love this unique beach, from its excellent surfing and friendly locals to the cool beach bars and stunning cliffs. Travelers come from all over the world to enjoy its glittering black sand and see the famous Tunco rock formation that sits proudly in the shore. But there’s more to El Tunco than rocks and sand and there’s plenty to keep you busy. There are shimmering waterfalls you can hike to before diving into the cool water below. At low tide, you can scramble over the rocks along the beach and explore the caves along the steep cliffs.
Playa El Tunco is popular for its surfing and for novices it’s a great place to have a lesson. Just about every waiter, barman or shop assistant offers lessons on the side. All you have to do is ask. The thing that sets Tunco apart from other beaches is its incredible sunsets. Every night the sky lights up in an explosion of color that’s unlike anywhere else. We planned to stay for three nights in El Tunco and ended up staying for three weeks. Even then we had to drag ourselves away.
By Maggie and Michael from The World Was Here First.
The region of Istria located in the northeast of Croatia is a fantastic option for a beach holiday. It is a destination that has plenty of interesting things to do in addition to relaxing on the beach. One of the best things to do in Istria is to explore the beautiful coastal town of Rovinj. There are a number of swimming spots and beautiful pebble beaches dotted around the city. Another great option is to explore the city of Pula which is most famous for the Pula Arena – a structure that looks quite similar to the Colosseum in Rome.
There are several beaches within a couple of kilometers of Pula or you can go on a day trip to the Brijuni Islands where there are a number of beaches and also a wildlife park. Be aware though that a day trip to Brijuni Islands can make your Croatia trip more expensive as ferry tickets are over $30 each. However, the beaches are less crowded than those near Pula. Finally, it’s also worth spending at least one day away from the beach and exploring some of the famous Istrian hill towns such as Buje, Groznjan & Motovun. These hill towns are charming to walk around and are also a great place to sample Istrian delicacies such as truffles, olive oil, and local wine.
WHEN TO VISIT ISTRIA?
If you want your visit to include some beach time then it’s best to travel to Istria between the months of June to September.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, USA
By Emily from Em’s On The Road.
On the coast of Georgia in the southeast of the United States lies a tiny chain of barrier islands ideal for escaping the bitter cold of winter. In the middle of the Golden Isles is St. Simons Island. It is one of the most developed of the islands. It is a perfect beach destination for all types of travelers. Life moves a little slower down South, especially on the coast. The entire island is connected by miles of bicycle paths making it easy to get around without a car. Cruise to the beach for the day and then pedal your way to dinner. No need to change as most everywhere is flip-flop friendly. Rent a beach house on the South end of the island near the village. That way you can ride your bike easily to Coast Guard Beach, the largest stretch of beach on the island.
After a day at the beach jump back on your beach cruiser bike and cruise beneath the majestic oak trees north to Market Street for some of the best shopping on the island. From high-end contemporary fashions from Tibi to eclectic home and garden goods at The Vine. Once your wallet is worn out, head to Redfern Village for the best margaritas and fish tacos at Bubba Garcias. If barbecue is more your style, head to Southern Soul BBQ for excellent pulled pork and all the sides you could ever imagine. After an early, head back to the beach for an incredible sunset.
WHEN TO VISIT ST. SIMON ISLAND?
Fall and winter are some of the best times to visit because the crowds are a lot smaller. You’ll likely avoid the extreme heat and humidity of late spring and summer.
NEED MORE INSPIRATION? Don’t forget to check out BEST BEACH HOLIDAYS PART 2, with more beautiful places from around the world.
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