Want to guarantee yourself a white Christmas? Then forget trudging through the snow and pad your way along one of these white-sand beaches instead…
Thailand racks up an impressive number of beaches – you’ll find some of the best white-sand stretches around Krabi and Khao Lak on the west coast. Christmas temperatures here nudge 28°C, so you’re pretty much guaranteed beach-perfect weather for the big day. But you won’t find turkey and all the trimmings here. Instead, you can tuck in to coconut curries, fragrant jasmine rice and spicy noodle dishes. And dessert? Stodgy Christmas puds are swapped for sticky rice puddings and crunchy fried bananas.
Mauritius is the poster girl for the Indian Ocean – creamy-coloured beaches, turquoise lagoons and glossy palms all put in appearances. It’s a prime spot for snorkelling and scuba diving, too, thanks to its colourful corals. So instead of sinking onto the sofa in a wine and mince pie-induced haze, you can sink below the surface of the Indian Ocean.
Mexico’s Caribbean Coast is trimmed with grade-A beaches, from Cancun’s mammoth runway of white sand to the more secluded stretches along the Riviera Maya. And you can also hop across to the hideaway island of Holbox (pictured below), where the sands come edged with hammocks strung between palms. Mexico’s Pacific Coast is also worth a glance. While you won’t find white sands, you will get huge golden beaches, thick rainforest, and a dose of real Mexican culture – think tequilerias and handmade Huichol crafts.
Jamaica’s new Sensatori resort has landed itself one of the Caribbean’s most sough-after postcodes, right on Negril’s famous Seven Mile Beach. Bedrooms here are made for Christmas morning lie-ins, with super-squishy king-size beds. And once you’re up and about, forget slumping in front of Dr Who with a selection box. Instead, you can sip rum punches at one of the swim-up bars or treat yourself to a massage on the sand. And of you really want to push the boat out next winter, you can combine a stay in Jamaica with a visit to places like Honduras and Panama thanks to Thomson Cruises’ new Central American itineraries.
Head south once you touch down in Goa and you’ll find that life slows right down – there’s no queuing in John Lewis, frantic turkey-sourcing or last-minute present wrapping here. Instead, you’ll find a Caribbean-style mix of spotless white sand, coconut groves and luxurious hotels. It’s still unmistakeably Indian, though. Benaulim’s beach is just moments from pea-green paddy fields, and you can smell curry spices wafting from the snack shacks on the sand.
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Author: Laura Weeden
Published: December 10, 2013
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