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 dreamy 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 coral sand, bath-warm waters and some spectacular sunrises, too. 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, meaning ‘free and flat land’ 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. The water is so clear here that you’ll be treated to first-class views of the fish and coral reefs. 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, and a handy 20 minutes from Anse La Raie and the TUI SENSIMAR Lagoon Mauritius.
Everyone knows about Cuba’s colourful capital Havana, from the 1950s Cadillacs to the 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 with our Multi-Centre holidays. You’ll be able to relax and recharge in the secluded beach resorts and then get your culture fix on a day trip or overnight stay in the famous capital.
Find out when the best time to visit Cuba is
In Krabi, our Centara Grand Beach Resort And Villas Krabi is right next to a secluded beach, backed by dramatic limestone cliffs and only accessible by boat – so the VIP experience comes as standard. You can switch between beach and pool easily here, with a spectacular two-tiered pool that comes with widescreen views of the sea. Krabi is also the ideal place to go beach hopping to find some peaceful coastal strips, too. Railay Beach in Krabi is one of the world’s best, and it’s well-known for its towering limestone cliffs. Phra Nang Krabi is another great beach which you can get to via kayak from Railay Beach, stopping off at a cave shrine filled with monkeys on the way.
Over on Khao Lak, you’ll be able to explore Thailand’s unspoilt beauty. Hotels here are designed to blend into the landscape, so you can expect camouflaged villas surrounded by tropical greenery. The Khao Lak Merlin Beach Resort has a beach right on its doorstep and is set among 16 acres of lush garden. Meanwhile the JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort is only footsteps from the beach and boasts the longest pool in the whole of South-East Asia. For a luxurious family getaway head to the TUI FAMILY LIFE Mai Khao Lak which is set on its own footprint-free sliver of sand and offers accommodation in private garden villas. Phuket is where you’ll find Thailand’s livelier beach resorts. Patong Beach is packed with bars and restaurants, and it’s closed to vehicles post-sunset to make way for crowds dipping in and out of the bars and clubs.
This Italian island’s known for its stellar stretches of sands – 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 tourists and world-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 packed full of 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. 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 loads of tiny fish, it’s also the ideal place to introduce your brood to the joys of snorkelling. Eagle Beach and Palm Beach regularly top polls of the ‘world’s best beach’, in case you need any more reasons to visit. Both are long strips of powder-soft sand backed by calm, clear waters. Palm Beach tends to be a little busier, while Eagle Beach is a low-key spot with thatched beach huts serving cocktails and the famous slanted divi divi trees.
It’s not just locals and tourists 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 won’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. You can even do this on a day trip from Orlando, as Cocoa Beach and Daytona Beach are just an hour’s drive from the resort.
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 dolphin-spotting, speedboat rides and Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise. Down in Miami, there’s the famous South Beach – an iconic party spot known for its non-stop nightlife, long stretches of sand and high-octane activities like jet-skiing. If you’re after a quick culture fix, you’ll find lovely Art Deco architecture along the strip. And finally, the award-winning Siesta Key Beach offers shallow, paddle-friendly turquoise waters and year-round lifeguard protection.
There are so many beaches along Spain’s mainland coast, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands, it’s difficult to know where to start. On the mainland, the famous ‘Costas’ are where you’ll find the best stretches of sand. 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, Chiclana de la Frontera. Costa del Sol is of course the most famous of the Spanish resorts, and lines up luxury hotels, glitzy beach clubs, tapas bars and a lively vibe. 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.
Find out more about our Spain, Canary Island, and Balearic Island holidays
Over in the Balearics, Ibiza is where you’ll find one of the best sunset spots in the world – rocky 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.
Which beach takes your fancy?
Browse our full list of beach holidays and destinations.
Liked this? Read all about our favourite destinations for this year, why running on the beach is better for you , or check out our list of the best family holiday destinations.
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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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