When I first went traveling – more like going on holiday actually – I returned from every trip with dreams of leaving dreary UK for a beach bar somewhere exotic. As I grew older and travelled more, I learned to appreciate travel for the magical experience that it is; that there is much fabulousness to be gained from so many places on earth and the more places we visit, the richer we’ll be. That however, doesn’t fully stop me from occasionally dreaming of standing behind a beach bar doling out sun downers. There are still plenty of beaches that make me want to quit my day job.
1 La Sagesse Bay, Grenada
La Sagesse Bay is a wonderfully secluded spot just ten miles distance from the bustling resorts of Grand Anse. The nature center and hotel offer stressed-out gals just the right combination of sunbathing, hiking-trail fun and relaxation just 30 minutes' drive from Maurice Bishop International Airport and the fleshpots and nightlife of Grand Anse Bay.
2 Anse Source D’Argent, the Seychelles
A reef protects the pale pink beach of Anse Source d'Argent on the Island of La Digue, one of the 115 islands that form the Seychelles archipelago in the Indian Ocean. Towering granite boulders rise up black and unforgiving in the background, their weather-worn surface a haven for seabirds. Kick off your flip-flops, breathe in deeply and feel the stress fall away. Now flop into pleasantly warm water and float over to the reef for a bit of wildlife spotting and snorkeling.
3 Sancho Beach, Fernando De Noronha, Brazil
Any of the beaches of the Fernando de Noronha archipelago, just over 200 miles northeast of the Brazilian mainland, are worthy of you quitting your job. The jewel among them is Sancho. Here you find a perfect crescent of cashmere soft sand bordered by craggy cliffs that tower 200+ feet in the air and are topped with a carpet of trees where seabirds make their homes. At the foot of the cliffs are lava rock pools that hold schools of technicolor fish. To reach this idyll you have to make your way along a dirt trail, down ladders on rock walls, through a crevasse and down some slippery steps. Then you’ll find sheer bliss!
4 Kauna'oa Bay, Hawaii
Beautifully situated on the Kohala Coast of the Aloha State's Big Island, the crescent shaped beach of Kauna'oa Bay stretches for a quarter of a mile and represents pretty much everyone's dream of a typical Hawaiian beach paradise: white sands, tall palm trees waving their fronds in the gentle breeze, tranquil, crystal clear waters and friendly native serving drinks. It's a good place for snorkeling, as the waters are quite shallow, or going on a boogie board ride. There are no lifeguards, so watch out for currents and manta rays.
5 Matira Point, Bora Bora, Tahiti
Bora Bora is part of the enchanted group of island that make up French Polynesia. The "romantic island", as Bora Bora is often called, is only 18 miles long, but its location in a protected lagoon and sliver of white sandy beaches, especially at Matira Point, make this an ideal getaway. Spend all day lolling on the pristine beach and dipping in the crystalline waters before watching a stunning South Pacific sunset.
6 Fraser Island, Australia
Not really a single beach but an entire island, Fraser Island is the largest sand island on the planet and boasts an amazing beach. Located on the Queensland coast some 161 miles northeast of sunny Brisbane, Fraser Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offering explorers 640 square miles of unspoiled nature with rain forests that are inhabited by 1,000-year-old trees. Accommodation on offer varies from backpacker hostels to eco-friendly lodges and resorts that will fulfill all your needs for some serious pampering.
7 Cayos Grande, Cayos Cochinos, Honduras
Located in the world’s second largest coral reef system (after the Great Barrier Reef), you just know that Cayos Grande is going to be a premier snorkeling and diving spot. And thanks to the limited tourism here, the environment is pristine. This is the only part of Cayos Cochinos that is open to tourists and there is but one place to stay – the Turtle Bay Eco Resort. Sounds like paradise on Earth where you can soak up the sun, dip in the stunning Caribbean Sea and take gentle hikes through lush tropical forests.
8 Rocktail Bay, South Africa
If your ideal beach is one that is not so easy to get to, the stunning South African destination of Rocktail Nay is calling you. To reach the undeveloped coastline of the Maputaland Marine Reserve involves a journey of several plane trips via Johannesburg, Richards Bay and Kwazulu-Natal. Is it worth it? You betcha! It’s another place where tourism is limited, to the point where only one boat is allowed out on the reserve’s waters at one time. But no matter. There’s always the sand for topping up your tan and reading the latest bestseller or you can snorkel from the beach.
OK, time to stop dreaming and get back to work. One day…
Where have you been that made you never want to leave?
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