Mauritius has 330 kilometres of pristine coastline, so you’re almost certain to find a secluded spot all to yourself. Best of all the sand here is silvery white, flour soft, and lapped by turquoise waters full of colourful fish. Belle Mare on the east coast is a strong contender for best beach on the island. It stretches over several miles and boasts white sand, bath-warm waters and some spectacular sunrises. It’s quiet here during the week if you’re after a relaxing sunbathing session, and much livelier on the weekends. Over on the west coast, Flic en Flac is another picturesque spot lined with Casuarina trees and backed by mountains.
If you’re keen to get your adrenaline fix in Mauritius, you’ll love Le Morne, which is a haven for watersports like surfing, windsurfing and kiteboarding. Or, if you want to explore the island’s kaleidoscopic population of fish, Blue Bay Beach is where you can get stuck into some Finding Nemo-style snorkelling. More than 50 species of coral have been found here, and you can spot rare fish including the Blue Tang, commonly known as ‘Dory’. If you’re travelling with little ones in tow, there’s also Trou aux Biches Beach which has calm, shallow waters, gently shelving sands and family-friendly activities like glass-bottom boat trips. It’s a great snorkelling spot for beginners, too.
Most people know about Cuba’s colourful capital Havana, with its 1950s Cadillac cars and movie set-style architecture. But the island has some pretty impressive beach credentials, too. Cuba’s biggest beach resort is Varadero. This place combines 20 kilometres of sand with plenty of watersports, seafood and salsa dancing. It’s the ideal spot for snorkelling, relaxing and trying freshly made seafood at the beachfront restaurants.
To get the best of both worlds, it’s easy to combine a beach holiday to Cuba with a trip to Havana on a Multi-Destination holiday. You’ll be able to relax and recharge in a secluded beach resort before getting your culture fix on a day trip or overnight stay in the famous capital.
Find out the best time to visit Cuba
Thailand flaunts plenty of pristine stretches of sand, but head to Krabi and you’ll find a 150-kilometre-long stretch of coastline, lined by impressive limestone cliffs. Peaceful spots here include Railay Beach, which is only accessible by boat, and Phra Nang Krabi, which you can kayak to from Railay Beach, stopping off at a cave shrine on the way.
Over on Khao Lak, the hotels are designed to blend into the landscape, so you can expect camouflaged pads surrounded by tropical greenery. You can opt for spots with the beachfront settings, rainforest backdrops, and even a hotel that's home to the longest pool in South East Asia.
Find out more about our Thailand holidays
This Italian island’s known for its stellar stretches of sand – so it's no wonder it’s a firm favourite with beach lovers. And, best of all, its Caribbean-esque coastline is just a couple of hours away by plane. Olbia’s Porto Cervo, also known as the Emerald Coast, is a winner with holiday goers and famous faces alike. So, you can top up your tan on the coast’s soft sand and then go celeb-spotting at the glamorous Porto Cervo Marina, which is dotted with gigantic yachts.
There’s even a pink beach in Sardinia called the Spiaggia Rosa Beach, which can be found on Budelli, an island near Olbia. So if you pick your destination based on its Instagram credentials, this one should be a front runner.
Find out more about our Sardinia holidays
Aruba has a beach for just about everyone – whether you’re an adventure-seeker, an animal lover, or even a baby. The appropriately named Baby Beach is great for families with young children thanks to its calm, shallow waters, which are perfect for paddling. With lots of tiny fish, it’s also the ideal place to introduce your brood to the joys of snorkelling. Or, pick Eagle Beach and Palm Beach – both regularly top polls of the ‘world’s best beach’, in case you need any more reasons to visit. They boast long strips of powder-soft sand backed by calm, clear waters.
It’s not just holidaymakers who love hanging out on Aruba’s beaches – flamingos love it, too. There’s a whole island full of the tropical pink birds, as well as a family-friendly lagoon where iguanas roam freely. It’s called Renaissance Island, and is reserved for guests of the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino hotel. But, you can buy day passes to the island even if you’re not staying there, so you don’t have to miss out.
It might major in them, but there’s more to Florida than just theme parks. In fact, after you’ve spent several days whizzing around on rollercoasters, there’s no better way to unwind than by having some downtime on the beach. Cocoa Beach and Daytona Beach are just an hour’s drive from Orlando.
Further afield, Clearwater Beach has racked up plenty of well-deserved awards for its silky shores and bath-warm waters. This family favourite has loads of activities going on like wild dolphin and speedboat rides. Or, down in Miami, there’s the famous South Beach – an iconic party spot known for its buzzing nightlife, long stretches of sand and high-octane activities like jet-skiing. If you’re after a quick culture fix, you’ll find Art Deco architecture along the strip here, too.
Find out more about our Florida holidays
There are so many beaches along Spain’s mainland coast, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands, you're spoilt for choice. On the mainland, Costa de Almeria is home to untouched beaches and quiet, whitewashed villages, while Costa de la Luz is another sleepy, traditional Spanish resort with an easy-on-the-eye, six-kilometre beach. The Costa del Sol is one of the most famous Spanish resorts, and lines up luxury hotels, glitzy beach clubs, tapas bars and a lively vibe, along with golden stretches of sand. And the Costa Brava’s iconic Benidorm is still a firm favourite with Brits. Alongside nature reserves, sky-high waterfalls and a bustling town, it’s home to one of Spain’s best stretches of sand, the award-winning Levante Beach.
Over in the Balearics, Ibiza is where you’ll find one of the best sunset spots in the world – Cala Conta Beach. There’s also the famous Las Salinas Beach, a long stretch of sand where the Ibizan hipster crowd hang out. In the Canaries, Playa del Inglés in Gran Canaria boasts seven miles of honey-coloured sand, while Playa Blanca in Lanzarote is a low key number in the south of the island that’s ideal for families.
Find out more about our Spain holidays
Which beach takes your fancy?
Browse our full list of beach holidays.
Or for more inspiration, read all about our favourite destinations for this year and the sunniest places in the world, or check out our list of the best family holiday destinations.
Psst. Head to the Discover homepage for our latest articles.
Author: Jessica Houtby
At ROBINSON Club Apulia you can keep busy day and night, with everything from cookery classes to yoga sessions and parties on the beach.
This adults-only hotel is on a peaceful swathe of beach. Here, luxuries like whirlpool baths in the rooms and gourmet dining come as standard.
You get something for everyone at this family-friendly hotel – it has a top pool scene, and a great activities line-up on offer.
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