There are few things better than a lazy seaside getaway. Stretching out on the sand, swimming in the sea and enjoying a few sundowners on a warm summery evening; could you ask for more? Unfortunately, where I live, it’s just about winter – rain is lashing at the window panes as I write this– so for me, sunny, salty, beachy bliss is pretty much not going to happen for the next few months. To sustain myself on this cold morning, and perhaps to inspire some of you who are planning a summer vacation, I’ve done a little reading and put together a list of 8 fabulous coastal holiday destinations.
1. Koh Samui
This breathtakingly beautiful island is in the Gulf of Thailand and about an hour’s flight outside Bangkok. It’s pretty much the definition of ‘tropical paradise’ and boasts Asia’s whitest beaches, along clear, turquoise water, palm trees and surprisingly few rampaging tourist hordes. Travel mags recommend Koh Samui to those looking for an authentic beach resort getaway, but one that isn’t too commercial.
2. Bondi Beach
From a not-so-touristy Thai island to one of the world’s most famous stretches of sand: Bondi Beach in Australia is a vibrant, busy piece of the continent’s coastline, and hundreds of thousands of international visitors flock to see it every year. If you’re lucky and you book early, you can stay literally minutes from the ocean, otherwise accommodation is available in Sydney which puts you around half an hour away from the coast. Keep your celeb spotting goggles firmly in place: the trendy strip of bars and restaurants are jam-packed with Oz’s glitterati.
Bali is fast becoming one of the world’s favourite beach destinations. It offers tourists a wide variety of coastal vacation spots, some with sparkling sand and azure sea, and others a little wilder with pebbly beaches and crashing breakers. You’ll find convenient accommodation easy to find: the beach fronts are lined with places to stay.
4. The French Riviera
If you’re keen to rub shoulders with the rich and famous, then Nice is the place to be on the Riviera. While it is a favourite with the world’s upper crust, its stony beaches, entry tariff policies and the extortionate price of accommodation put it among the more difficult places to spend a holiday. Head South for St Tropez; it’s (slightly) cheaper, with sandier beaches and quite enough beautiful people to keep the celeb spotters happy.
There are so many gorgeous beaches in the Carribean, but Barbados has an atmosphere that recommends it particularly. This is a relaxed, friendly vacation spot, with stunning tropical beaches – judged to be among the best in the world – and plenty of affordable, convenient accommodation.
A beautiful walled city located on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast, Dubrovnik is famous for its spectacular scenery and unparalleled oceanic vistas. The city gives way, next to the old harbour, to lovely, honey-coloured beach, and visitors can also nip over to one of the nearby islands. From there it’s possible to stretch out on the shore in the sun, and enjoy views of Dubrovnik’s amazing architecture from across the water.
Over the years, the Greek Islands have become increasingly popular so that today, they are almost invariably buzzing hives of tourist activity. This doesn’t detract from the sheer beauty of the coastal scenery, or render the climate anything less than gorgeously warm, however, and it’s easy to see why so many people choose to holiday in Greece. Santorini is among the most celebrated of the isles; its great food, vibrant village life and crisp, coarse sand beaches make it a wonderful place to spend a vacation.
Located in the middle Italy’s fantastic Amalfi Coast, Positano is widely known as one of the most beautiful beach destinations in the world. It offers visitors a great combination of flawless, warm coastline and lively, authentic Italian atmosphere. There are fishing boats in the harbour, pavement café’s lining the quays and great sweeping slopes of mountain scenery dappled with peach and ochre coloured houses: it’s amazing.
To me, there are few things better than a long, lazy day at the coast. Couple sun, sand and sea with great food, a vibrant atmosphere and beautiful scenery, and you can’t but have described a fabulous vacation spot. That concludes my list of 8 coastal holiday destinations; do you have any exciting contributions to add to it?
Top Photo Credit: jonrawlinson