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Best Beach Holidays - Anywhere

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1Sharm El Sheikh, South Sinai, Red Sea and Sinai, Egypt
Beckoning alluringly from the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, the clear, calm waters and dramatic reefs around Sharm el Sheikh offer spectacular snorkelling and scuba diving. Ras Mohammed National Park contains sensational Red Sea dive sites, considered some of the best in the world.
2Cancun, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Cancun calls with its stunning aqua-blue waters and white-sand beaches. Despite its reputation as a spring-break paradise, anyone will find plenty to do here, too. Explore ancient Mayan ruins, the Xel-Ha waterpark and the thrilling Interactive Aquarium, or just enjoy beautiful beaches.
  • Also recommended for:
    • Romance
      Cancun
      Blessed with a bounty of beaches, youthful, exuberant Cancun offers options for those seeking all sorts of romantic holidays. The resort city manages to boast both an energetic pulse and a laid-back ambience, with both party beaches and sands suitable for people preferring solitude and some time alone.
    • Family Fun
      Cancun
      Cancun is one of Mexico's most famous destinations, and despite its reputation as a spring-break paradise, families will find plenty to do here, too. Explore ancient Mayan ruins, the Xel-Ha waterpark and the thrilling Interactive Aquarium, or just enjoy beautiful beaches.
  • Find: Hotels in Cancun | Flights to Cancun | Holiday Rentals in Cancun
  • MORE BEACHES & SUN - MEXICO, CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA
3Playa del Carmen, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Bring your sunglasses and cool clothes to Playa del Carmen, where the hot sun lights up the white-sand beaches. This is heaven for beach-loving kids and those who enjoy swimming or just lounging under the sun.
  • Also recommended for:
    • Romance
      Playa del Carmen
      On the beautiful Mexican Riviera, Playa del Carmen is a place where you can spoil each other with an indulgent romantic getaway. Strolls or sunbathe on its alabaster-white beaches, swim or dive in sparkling clear waters, explore ancient Maya ruins and enjoy quiet sunsets together.
    • Family Fun
      Playa del Carmen
      Playa del Carmen, on the Mexican Caribbean, is home to sandy beaches, Mayan archaeological sites and child-centred theme parks. Kids and adults enjoy clambering through Discovery Jungle Park's authentic rope bridges and exploring Xcaret's underground rivers, butterfly pavilion and aquarium.
  • Find: Hotels in Playa del Carmen | Flights to Playa del Carmen | Holiday Rentals in Playa del Carmen
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4Phuket, Thailand
Phuket is Thailand's most popular island destination, and one reason is that its coastline is divided into bays that form intimate beaches. You can get a soothing massage right on the beach, the scuba diving is spectacular and the locals greet you with smiles.
  • Also recommended for:
    • Wellness
      Phuket
      Recently discovered as a spa haven, Phuket now offers a plethora of pamper palaces, such as tranquil Cheraim Spa Village, one of the continent’s largest such complexes, and acclaimed Banyan Tree. Try modern treatments or Nuat Phaen Boran, Thai massage, which features stretching and deep tissue massage.
  • Find: Hotels in Phuket | Flights to Phuket | Holiday Rentals in Phuket
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5Barbados, Caribbean
Turquoise waters, fine and soft sands and picturesque rows of palm trees make the beaches of Barbados a true pleasure. Stick to the south and southwest coasts for calm waters and good swimming; for a surfing thrill, don't miss the massive, competition-calibre waves off the south and east coasts.
  • Also recommended for:
    • History & Culture
      Barbados
      Jacobean and Georgian buildings built from pink and white coral, Gothic churches and pirate castles with ornate ceilings dot the Barbados landscape. Two of the must-see buildings are stately St. Nicholas Abbey in St. Peter and the sugar plantation Drax Hall in St. George, both dating to the 1650s.
    • Romance
      Barbados
      Romance is in the air on this lush West Indian island in the Caribbean. Your getaway to Barbados can include a lazy day on the beach, afternoon tea-British style, listening to the pulsating sounds of reggae or calypso, sipping rum and chilling out under a star-studded Bajan sky.
  • Find: Hotels in Barbados | Flights to Barbados | Holiday Rentals in Barbados
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6Ko Samui, Surat Thani Province, Thailand
Koh Samui's myriad beaches present everything you could ever dream of in a tropical beach. Picture-perfect sands, coconut trees and palm fronds adorn each one, but there the similarities end. Choose from busy beaches, teeming with vendors and cafes, or secluded strips with not another person in sight.
7Corfu, Ionian Islands, Greece
Villages of whitewashed houses, Byzantine churches, Venetian fortresses and vibrant nightlife lure visitors from the resorts and beaches of the most popular Ionian island. Ermones beach attracts many from Corfu town, while picturesque Paleokastritsa, 17 miles Northwest, is definitely worth the drive.
  • Also recommended for:
    • History & Culture
      Corfu
      From the Peloponnesian War to World War II, Corfu has been in the middle of military conflicts since ancient times. Walk in the village of Kassiopi where great emperors have set foot, see art and artefacts at the archaeological and art museums and explore the fort of Paleo Frourio.
    • Romance
      Corfu
      Start a love affair with the most popular Ionian island. Basking off the Albanian coast, captivating Corfu is a beguiling place for romance. The passionate island is dotted with villages of whitewashed houses, Byzantine churches and Venetian fortresses. Corfu town offers exciting nightlife in its charming, cobbled streets.
  • Find: Hotels in Corfu | Flights to Corfu | Holiday Rentals in Corfu
  • MORE BEACHES & SUN - EUROPE
8Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
Part of the Canary Islands, Tenerife is largely a resort island with brilliant man-made beaches of fine black shingle or golden sand. With calm, clear waters and an almost constant wind, Tenerife in a windsurfer's dream. You can also sunbathe, swim, snorkel and scuba dive along the beautiful coastline.
9Maldives
More than two dozens Indian Ocean atolls and thousands of islets comprise the Maldives. Idyllic beaches, such as South Ari Atoll on Nalaguraidhoo and the Sun Island, are a dream comes true for sand lovers. Swim out to the barrier reef - or from some parts of the island, admire the reef right from the gorgeous white beach.
10Dominican Republic, Caribbean
Distinguished by long stretches of glowing white sand and gorgeous blue water, Dominican beaches rank among the best in the world. From Puerto Plata to Punta Cana to Barahona, these beaches cater to bar lovers, sunbathers, jet skiers and scuba divers.
  • Also recommended for:
    • Family Fun
      Dominican Republic
      Experience the Caribbean and get back to nature in the Dominican Republic. Families can swim with sea lions, dolphins--or sharks for the truly adventurous--at Ocean World, or go into the tropical island jungle on a Jeep safari.
    • History & Culture
      Dominican Republic
      The New World starts here: The first cathedral, university and hospital in the Americas opened in Santo Domingo, on the Dominican Republic's south-central coast. Numerous city sights pay tribute to the isle's rich history, including the Castle of Columbus and the museums of the Cultural Plaza.
  • Find: Hotels in Dominican Republic | Flights to Dominican Republic | Holiday Rentals in Dominican Republic
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11Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda, Caribbean
With as many beaches as there are days in the year, Antigua and Barbuda make quite a splash. The northwest coast jostles with beach resorts, while harder to find, secluded spots dot the south and southwest coasts. Amazing pink and white sand beaches confetti the family-popular southeast coast.
  • Also recommended for:
    • Romance
      Antigua
      Behind a nearly unbroken coral reef, Antigua basks in balmy Caribbean breezes. With 365 beaches, one for every day of the year, secluded romantic strolls under the palm fronds are guaranteed. Shirley Heights offers breathtaking views out over English Harbour.
    • Family Fun
      Antigua
      From the world-famous beaches of St. John's to the megaliths of Greencastle Hill, Antigua offers families both adventure and relaxation. Swim in clear waters, build sand castles and explore ancient geological formations, petroglyphs, nature trails and plantation ruins.
    • History & Culture
      Antigua
      In the capital, St. John's, the baroque towers of an 1845 cathedral dominate the skyline; an 18th-century courthouse holds a museum of island artefacts. Antigua's historical district unfolds around English Harbour, the world's only Georgian dockyard, and Shirley Heights, a colonial observation post.
  • Find: Hotels in Antigua | Flights to Antigua | Holiday Rentals in Antigua
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12Palma de Mallorca, Majorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
Palma, the economic and cultural hub of Majorca, is a delightful base for exploring the island's many beaches. Considered one of the best places in Spain to live, Palma offers you picturesque beaches of gold sand as well as alabaster-white beaches bustling with activity.
13Cozumel, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Going to the seashore at Cozumel is fascinating because of the island's diverse beach offerings. Although it has its fair share of typically beautiful white-sand beaches, it also boasts a number of rocky beaches that are not great for sunbathing or swimming but are ideal for snorkelling.
14Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
With dozens of stunning ocean beaches within half an hour of downtown, there are few better urban beach destinations than Sydney. Famed Bondi Beach sees up to 40,000 on busy weekends. If quieter beaches appeal, take the coastal walk past smaller strands all the way to Coogee's calmer sands.
  • Also recommended for:
    • Shopping
      Sydney
      Boisterous Sydney offers every kind of shopping for visitors, with the heart of the action centred on the tourist-thronged Rocks district and along George and Pitt Streets. A distinctive Sydney shopping experience can be had at the Queen Victoria Building, where 200 boutiques compete for attention.
    • History & Culture
      Sydney
      Home to indigenous people for tens of thousands of years, Sydney's European history began when Captain Cook laid eyes on Botany Bay in 1770. The discovery of gold in 1851 led to massive growth and Sydney has blossomed into a thrilling, glittering, modern city with world-class arts and culture institutions.
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15Rhodes, Dodecanese, Greece
Crystalline waters, golden sand and the blessing of the sun god Helios make Rhodes a spectacular island for sun-worshippers 300 days a year. Pack plenty of reading material for a lazy holiday, or explore the countless treasures left from centuries of invaders.
  • Also recommended for:
    • History & Culture
      Rhodes
      Conquered, re-conquered and perennially fought over since its beginning more than 3,000 years ago, the Rhodes teems with ancient history and modern culture. Attractions include the ancient acropolis, the medieval city's streets and walkways and the site where the famous Colossus reputedly once stood.
    • Romance
      Rhodes
      Enjoy a truly romantic idyll in the sunny Greek island of Rhodes, which is steeped in ancient history. Soak up the rays, marvel at the unique Valley of the Butterflies, wander through cobblestoned streets or relax at a friendly local taverna in this pearl of the Aegean Sea.
  • Find: Hotels in Rhodes | Flights to Rhodes | Holiday Rentals in Rhodes
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16Maui, Hawaii, United States
Tropical trade winds cool Maui's thirty miles of glorious black, white and red sand beaches. With a constellation of splendid sandy spots ranging from secluded secrets to bustling beaches with restaurants and board hire, Maui has a beach to suit beachcombers, surfers, picnickers and swimmers.
  • Also recommended for:
    • Romance
      Maui
      The second largest Hawaiian Island, Maui is a tropical paradise. Explore the volcanic zenith of Haleakala, drive the curvy Road to Hana or just cool off at the black-sand beaches of Wai'anapanapa State Park. Stunning sunsets lure you into romantic evenings of beach strolls and candlelit dinners.
    • Family Fun
      Maui
      Whether on beautiful island beaches or volcanic craters, families will have a hot time enjoying all that Maui has to offer by foot, bike, car, helicopter or submarine. Kids will especially enjoy a Trilogy trip to Lanai, exploring Haleakala crater and visiting Maui Ocean Centre’s Turtle Lagoon and Hammerhead Harbour.
  • Find: Hotels in Maui | Flights to Maui | Holiday Rentals in Maui
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17Nice, French Riviera - Cote d'Azur, Provence, France
Although some of Nice's beaches are owned privately by hotels and resorts, there is also a good offering of public beaches. No need to worry about getting sand in your hair--there is no sand on these beaches, only pebbles. Nice's seaside is just another taste of France's diversity.
  • Also recommended for:
    • Romance
      Nice
      With its cosmopolitan Riviera air, fabulously fashionable stores and restaurants and azure Mediterranean backdrop, Nice is the perfect location for love. Cours Saleya flower market and the inspiring Matisse Museum add colour to romantic rambles round the city, and the plethora of marinas, galleries and Roman ruins add further interest.
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18Marbella, Costa del Sol, Province of Malaga, Andalucia, Spain
On the southern coast of Spain, Marbella is a favourite resort town for beachgoers who want to see and be seen. Miles of sunny beaches, casinos and marinas circle the glamorous and cosmopolitan Costa del Sol. Enjoy sunbathing and every possible sporting activity.
19Santorini, Cyclades, Greece
While most of the beaches on these geologically new Greek islands are black due to their volcanic creation, Santorini's most famous is probably Red Beach near Akrotiri. Perissa Beach on the main island’s west and Kamari Beach on the east are both long, black, spectacular and very popular with tourists.
20Ibiza, Balearic Islands, Spain
Well-known as a fun and exciting place to party, Ibiza boasts more than 100 miles of coastline with some 50 beaches. Larger beaches offer restaurants, bars and an enviable array of water sports while more tranquil beaches let visitors relax in the sun or shade.
21Crete, Greece
Although Crete is Greece's biggest island, its popularity has caught up with it and caused some overcrowding on its east coast. Those who venture farther west and south will find unspoiled beaches, low-key resorts and 300 days of sunshine to worship each year."
22Nerja, Costa del Sol, Province of Malaga, Andalucia, Spain
Positioned at the eastern tip of the Costa del Sol, Nerja boasts nearly 10 miles of powdery beaches featuring activities like water skiing, scuba diving and sailing. Although tourist-oriented, it hasn't been overtaken by high-rises, and its huge promenade delivers panoramic Mediterranean views.
23Jamaica, Caribbean
Blessed with miles of stunning natural coastline, Jamaica is a paradise for beach-lovers. Among the island's best offerings are Negril's Seven Mile Beach--rife with great snorkelling and diving, Treasure Beach on the South Coast and Doctor's Cave Beach in Montego Bay, which has sand that looks like sugar.
  • Also recommended for:
    • Family Fun
      Jamaica
      Whether petting crocodiles, feeding hummingbirds or bobbing down the Rio Grande on a bamboo raft as calypso bands play bankside, families can have a wonderfully wild time in laid-back Jamaica. Adventurous souls can hike by waterfalls and coffee plantations, clamber up Dunn's River Falls, or splash and sun on glistening beaches.
    • History & Culture
      Jamaica
      Island heritage overflows in Jamaica, from the former seaside banana capital of Port Antonio to reggae legend Bob Marley's former Kingston home. Even natural attractions come with cool history: The age of stalagmite-filled Green Grotto Cave at Runaway Bay is estimated at 500,000 years.
    • Romance
      Jamaica
      Looking for a destination where the two of you can tempt each other without the distractions of tours, tourist traps and too many other travellers? Couples can enjoy long stretches of beautiful beaches and waterfalls, joyous rhythms of reggae and the natural beauty of a tropical island.
  • Find: Hotels in Jamaica | Flights to Jamaica | Holiday Rentals in Jamaica
  • MORE BEACHES & SUN - CARIBBEAN
24Margarita Island, Coastal Islands, Insular Region, Venezuela
Tropical Margarita Island is Venezuela's main Caribbean resort, with a few dozen white-sand beaches leading into turquoise waters. Nearby Los Roques archipelago is a pristine coral atoll that offers unparalleled scuba diving.
25Lagos, Faro District, Algarve, Portugal
More than a half-dozen beautiful beaches line the shores of Lagos in Portugal's Algarve region. Quiet sandy coves sandwiched between dramatic cliffs and calm, clear water have natural appeal, while Meia Praia offers a 2.5-mile expanse of sand and facilities for every imaginable water sport.
26Bali, Indonesia
With some of the best waves in the world and reliably great weather, Bali is a surfing paradise. Beach lovers can take their pick from a wide array of choices from crowded to deserted, with white sand or black.
  • Also recommended for:
    • Romance
      Bali
      A romantic paradise awaits you on the Indonesian island of Bali. From inviting beaches, terraced rice-fields and lush green highlands to a spiritual Hindu culture and village traditions that have remained unchanged over the centuries, not to mention fabulous resort hotels - this is a mystical experience to last a lifetime.
    • History & Culture
      Bali
      Inhabited since prehistoric times, an influx of Indians in the 1st century gave the island its predominantly Hindi culture. Bali's exotic and distinct Indian-influenced culture can be experienced during dance performances, near daily festivals or by visiting its horde of centuries old temples.
    • Adventure
      Bali
      Take in the lush, volcanically active landscape of Bali while whitewater rafting on the Ayung and Unda rivers. Or get the heart pumping off-shore with an ocean-rafting sightseeing and snorkeling tour in boats that reach 44 miles per hour. Surfers hit the island's western side for big-time swells.
  • Find: Hotels in Bali | Flights to Bali | Holiday Rentals in Bali
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27Brighton, East Sussex, England, United Kingdom
One of the first seaside resorts of Europe, Brighton has a long history of entertaining holiday-makers with its pebble beach and Brighton Pier, an amusement park that extends over the sea. Eat, drink, play carnival games or just soak up some sunshine on deck chairs.
28San Diego, California, United States
Beaches and bays dot the coast of California's second-largest city. Top-rated, family-friendly Coronado Beach is set among turn-of-the-century mansions. Other gorgeous sandy spots include Blacks Beach, where sunbathers go au naturel, and La Jolla Shores, popular for snorkelling and kayaking.
29St. Lucia, Caribbean
Most St. Lucian hotels are right on the island's best attraction--its beautiful beaches. Visitors will find sands that vary from white to gold in colour, waters that range from calm and placid to rough and dangerous and locales that can be crowded and lively or peaceful and romantic.
  • Also recommended for:
    • Romance
      St. Lucia
      Lovers adore the intriguing island of St. Lucia, with its intoxicating melee of beaches and activities. Sparkling waters contrast with palm-fringed beaches, elegant former plantation homes thrill with the aromas of spicy flavours of cooking and waterfalls tumble through forest rich with rare parrots and magnificent flashes of colour.
  • Find: Hotels in St. Lucia | Flights to St. Lucia | Holiday Rentals in St. Lucia
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30Malaga, Costa del Sol, Province of Malaga, Andalucia, Spain
A flotilla of decidedly different beaches line port city Malaga's coastline on the Costa del Sol. Stretching 25 miles and ranging from bustling city sand strips to remote strands, this Andalucian destination has been popular with British and German sun seekers since being developed in the 1950s.
31Key West, Florida Keys, Florida, United States
Key West's beaches are at once diverse and similar. Each one has a unique flavour, and some cater more to water sports than others. Almost all are perfect for sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling, and they are, without exception, beautiful.
32Mykonos, Cyclades, Greece
Famous for its golden sandy beaches and its crystalline waters, Mykonos offers something for every type of beach-goer. The populated south beaches are perfect for partying, while the secluded north beaches offer quiet and relaxation. Enjoy a wide variety of activities from skiing, jet-skiing and windsurfing to horseback riding and parasailing.
33Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
Acclaimed for its clean and impeccably maintained shores, Fort Lauderdale has no shortage of beaches--23 miles, to be precise. Be sure to check out the famous promenade at Fort Lauderdale Beach, plan a picnic at Hallandale Beach and walk the sand dunes at Hollywood Beach.
34Aruba, Caribbean
Spectacular for water sports or just sitting on the sand and admiring the tides, Aruba's beaches are truly special. Swimmers and sunbathers will enjoy the calm waters and white sand at Palm Beach, while water-skiers and surfers love the surf at Eagle Beach.
  • Also recommended for:
    • Casinos
      Aruba
      Aruba has a good hand to play, with fine powder sand beaches, amazing surfing and big-name casinos. High-rise hotels house such casinos as Allegro Aruba Beach, Aruba Concorde and the vast 8,000-square-foot Alhambra Bazaar, where Caribbean Stud Poker is the big draw.
    • Family Fun
      Aruba
      Clear waters and great weather are merely two of Aruba's draws. A smorgasbord of activities, from snorkelling to banana boating, entertains families above and below the waves, while jeep safari and quad racer tours are offered inland. A glimpse of the island's personality and past can be viewed at the Aruba Panorama.
    • Romance
      Aruba
      Aruba offers a delightful mix of daytime activities, nightlife and world-class dining to attract couples to its scenic shores. Indulge yourselves in romantic sunset walks on warm, sandy beaches and private coves, or explore the natural beauty or cultural attractions that make Aruba a popular honeymoon destination.
  • Find: Hotels in Aruba | Flights to Aruba | Holiday Rentals in Aruba
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35Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Perhaps nowhere on earth is the beach so crucial to a big city's culture as in Rio, with its two most popular strips having even been immortalized in song. Of the two, Copacabana is bigger and livelier, Ipanema a bit more upscale and relaxed. For even greater Žlan, try Leblon just to their west.
  • Also recommended for:
    • Romance
      Rio de Janeiro
      Lively, exuberant Rio de Janeiro is an excellent choice for an active romantic escape. The city pulses with the throb of sensual samba rhythms, the beaches teem with life, the nightlife scene is searing hot and there's a palpable air of excitement in this vivacious city of seven million.
    • Shopping
      Rio de Janeiro
      A proliferation of malls makes shopping a breeze in affordable Rio. Try Barrashopping, a vast complex of more than 600 stores. At Galleria River in Arpoador, a dozen stores cater to surfers and skaters. Alternatively, get a taste for Brazilian beach life and score souvenirs from vendors strolling the sands.
  • Find: Hotels in Rio de Janeiro | Flights to Rio de Janeiro | Holiday Rentals in Rio de Janeiro
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36Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
On the second-largest natural bay on the continent, Puerto Vallarta has miles and miles of world-class beaches. The coastline is dotted with quiet coves and spectacular islands, and the water caters to all sorts of beach activities, from sunbathing to snorkelling to windsurfing.
  • Also recommended for:
    • Romance
      Puerto Vallarta
      Puerto Vallarta has the ideal setting for a luscious romantic escape. Banderas Bay, the site of Elizabeth Taylor's and Richard Burton's big romance, offers fabulous beaches, some of the country's best restaurants, proximity to Old Mexico and boat rides to the charming fishing village of Boca de Tomatlan.
    • Shopping
      Puerto Vallarta
      Thanks to the steady stream of cruise ship passengers passing through its harbour, Puerto Vallarta is geared toward the shopper, with virtually anything Mexican-made being readily available. The marina boardwalk, its nearby market, and the surrounding streets are full of shopping opportunities.
    • Family Fun
      Puerto Vallarta
      All the right ingredients for a fabulous family getaway are on offer in, Puerto Vallarta; wonderful weather, beautiful beaches, great resorts and welcoming people. Perched between the ocean and the jungle, PV offers all the sports and activities of a perfect Pacific playground.
  • Find: Hotels in Puerto Vallarta | Flights to Puerto Vallarta | Holiday Rentals in Puerto Vallarta
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37Clearwater, Florida, United States
Swimming in the warm blue waters on Clearwater's Gulf Coast is a refreshing pleasure for kids and grown-ups, and the wide shores here provide ample room for playing on the beach, too. Volleyball, parasailing and water-skiing are all great, but relaxing on the sand and sunbathing aren't bad either.
38Santa Monica, California, United States
Good for beach bums and active tourists alike, Santa Monica's shores are what Southern California is all about. Those who prefer to nap and sunbathe can enjoy ocean views from the soft sand; those who want exercise can swim and surf in the Pacific or walk and rollerblade on land.
39Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, United States
Myrtle Beach boasts some of the best beaches on America's East Coast, which are distinguished by panoramic views of the Atlantic, calm waters and soft white sand. Ideal for swimming and sunbathing, Myrtle Beach also offers plenty of family attractions, making it perfect for beach-lovers with kids.
40Tulum, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Nature, sun and history unite at Tulum's sugar-white beaches, which are calmly lapped by the crystal-clear Caribbean Sea. Maya ruins, tropical forest and affordable hotels are an easy amble from the sands, making this Yucatan beauty a hit with those seeking relaxation and spiritual retreats.
  • Also recommended for:
    • History & Culture
      Tulum
      Although it has its share of coastline, Tulum offers a taste of the Yucatan that is different from the touristy beach resorts at Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Here visitors find the startlingly well-preserved remains of ancient Mayan civilization, the only preserved ruins on the sea.
    • Wellness
      Tulum
      Traditional Maya spas have become yet another reason to visit ruin-rich Tulum. Today’s spas offer Westernized takes on the mystical, spiritual Maya massage rituals. Acclaimed Yucatan health haven Maya Tulum offers the blissful combination of palapa rooms on a sandy spit and soothing holistic treatments.
  • Find: Hotels in Tulum | Flights to Tulum | Holiday Rentals in Tulum
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41Cannes, French Riviera - Cote d'Azur, Provence, France
The crowning glory of the French Riviera, Cannes is the place to be seen on the beach even when it's not film festival time. Inviting sands and 300 days of sunshine a year make sunbathing a popular sport, and you can even rent a yacht for a week if you're really out to impress.
  • Also recommended for:
    • Romance
      Cannes
      You might feel like Hollywood royalty as you promenade along La Croisette, but mind the media frenzy that engulfs Cannes in May during the famous film festival. Many of the world-class hotels in this delightful Mediterranean town on the French Riviera offer romantic holiday packages that combine glamour with seclusion.
  • Find: Hotels in Cannes | Flights to Cannes | Holiday Rentals in Cannes
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42Perth, Greater Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Perth's active beach scene is dominated by two main stretches: Civilized Cottesloe, just south of town, is the choice for families, swimmers and snorkelers. More lively Scarborough, just north of town, is by day popular with surfers (via water, wind and kite), and by night is a spirited beachside club scene.
43Boracay, Visayas, Philippines
During dry season, there are few better beaches to be found in this part of the world than the famed White Beach, a sparkling stretch of pristine, powder-white sands on the west of the island. Cafes and restaurants nestle demurely behind palms, providing tasty delights for hungry beach-goers.
44Costa Rica
For a beach holiday, Costa Rica is hard to beat. Some of the world's best sands sit on its coastline where water remains a delicious temperature year-round. Don't miss Manuel Antonio's picture-perfect crescent of sand, with its azure waters and jungle at its back or, for surfing, Playa Dominical.
45Amalfi, Amalfi Coast, Campania, Italy
Precipitous limestone cliffs plunge into the blue-green Mediterranean along the Amalfi coast, better known for views than its pebbly, gray-sand beaches. Among the best basking spots are the sunbed-lined beach at Maiori and the tiny, more charming sandy nook at Minori, an easy boat trip from Amalfi.
46Santa Barbara, California, United States
Santa Barbara's beaches have palm trees, wide shores, world-class surfing and annual beach volleyball tournaments--what's not to love? Families should fire up a grill at Leadbetter Beach, swimmers should take a dip in East Beach's calm waters and couples should share a view of the sunset at Butterfly Beach.
  • Also recommended for:
    • Family Fun
      Santa Barbara
      Santa Barbara's picturesque coast and architecture make a fun backdrop for your family's holiday. Parents and kids enjoy riding the 3.2-mile bike path on bicycles or quadracycles, examining native marine life at the Sea Centre, or just exploring the beaches and parks along Cabrillo Boulevard.
    • Romance
      Santa Barbara
      Pamper yourself and someone special in Santa Barbara. Give yourselves over to the care of luxurious spas, take a day trip though California's "other" wine country, taste the pleasures of world-class dining by candlelight or treat yourself to unique shopping experiences.
  • Find: Hotels in Santa Barbara | Flights to Santa Barbara | Holiday Rentals in Santa Barbara
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47Puerto Rico, Caribbean
Blessed with crystal-clear waters and gorgeous white or golden sands, Puerto Rican beaches have a lot to offer. Swimming is great at Luquillo Beach and Playa de Ponce, Playa Higuero is perfect for windsurfing and the breathtaking scenery and vegetation is everywhere.
  • Also recommended for:
    • Casinos
      Puerto Rico
      The chances of a good gambling trip to Puerto Rico are high, as elegant, atmospheric casinos abound. Considered the most enjoyable gaming destination in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico has hotel and resort casinos across the island, from old San Juan to Dorado and Mayaguez.
    • Family Fun
      Puerto Rico
      Rich with history, Puerto Rico offers countless sightseeing and learning opportunities for the entire family. Visit El Faro--a 316-acre ecological reserve, shop Fortaleza Street, tour the Mayaguez Zoo or visit the largest radio telescope in the world at the Aricebo Observatory.
    • Romance
      Puerto Rico
      Steeped in Spanish tradition, Puerto Rico offers more than beautiful beaches, spectacular views and clear waters. You can wander trails leading to dramatic waterfalls, shop along the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan and even try your luck at one of the island's elegant casinos.
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48Bora Bora, Society Islands, French Polynesia
Although a fairly small island, Bora Bora offers visitors a multitude of activities. Go on a 4x4 safari, sunbathe and swim on white sandy beaches, dive in a natural underwater park among fish and corals, experience thrilling shark feedings or circle the turquoise lagoon by boat.
49Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos, Baja California, Mexico
Cabo's beaches are not just beautiful, they're also incredibly diverse. On the Pacific Ocean, the waves are delightful to watch, but often too dangerous for swimming. On the Sea of Cortez, the waters are sheltered and calm and the sand is white and warm.
50Essaouira, Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region, Morocco
Couples and families stroll the undeveloped sands of Essaouira, skirting soccer players and kite surfers. The strong north-eastern winds that sweep the palm-fringed playground make it an ideal beach for wind surfing. Most popular beach spots include Cape Sim, Sidi Kaouki and Mouley Bouzertoune.
51Saint Pete Beach, Florida, United States
For a relaxing and entertaining beach holiday, Saint Pete Beach has a lot to offer sun-worshippers. Go dolphin watching, swim, snorkel or dive into the blue waters, enjoy every variety of water or sunny sport, or just lie back and soak up the sun on sandy Florida beaches.
  • Also recommended for:
    • Family Fun
      Saint Pete Beach
      For a relaxing and entertaining beach holiday, Saint Pete Beach has a lot to offer young families. Play around at the Pier's Fun Centre arcade, test your driving skills on the go-kart track, go dolphin watching or dive into the blue waters, or get involved with the hands-on museum exhibits at Great Explorations.
    • Romance
      Saint Pete Beach
      Nestled on the tip of a peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, Saint Pete Beach is perfectly situated for romantic strolls and pier dining. Fort De Soto and Caladesi Island are two of the country's best beaches, and Clearwater Beach's sunsets are breathtaking.
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52Bahamas, Caribbean
Whatever you look for in a beach, the Bahamas has it. With sands that range from pink to white to sugary, waters that are blue or crystal clear, waves that cater to water sports or swimming and sunsets that are always romantic, the Bahamian shores are brilliant and unforgettable.
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    • Casinos
      Bahamas
      The Bahamas boasts an enticing array of gambling destinations. Grand Bahama's big draws include Freeport's Bahamia and Lucaya's Isle of Capri, while Paradise Island, adjacent to Nassau, boasts the thrilling, glittering Atlantis Resort, a fairy-tale destination with a 7-acre lagoon, towers, glass sculptures and fantastic gaming.
    • Family Fun
      Bahamas
      The Bahamas offers families 700 islands of fun, sun and nature. Marvel at the tropical wildlife, plunder away at Pirates in the Bahamas, or explore the Adventure Learning Centre's petting farm, planetarium and nature trail. Of course, there are always relaxing beaches for family fun.
    • Shopping
      Bahamas
      Unique shopping opportunities can be found across the Bahamas' many islands, but the biggest concentration is along and around Bay Street in downtown Nassau, where you'll find department stores, boutiques and duty-free shops, as well as a lively straw market selling art, crafts and designer knock-offs.
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53Miami Beach, Florida, United States
At the shore in Miami Beach, visitors can swim, surf and jet ski in the warm and crystal-clear Atlantic waters. You can also nap on the white sands, work on a tan or simply watch the beautiful people, especially at South Beach, a favourite of models and celebrities.
  • Also recommended for:
    • Shopping
      Miami Beach
      The epicentre of cool has all the shopping options a fashionista could ever want. The Collins Avenue Fashion District boasts designer labels from Armani to Versace. Ocean Drive caters to the younger, funkier beautiful people, while Lincoln Road draws the artistic crowd to its galleries and boutiques.
    • Romance
      Miami Beach
      Miami Beach makes an utterly irresistible destination for those with romance on their holiday itinerary. Fabulous famed beaches, celebrity-owned eateries, alfresco dining, legendary bars, star spotting and spectacular shopping offer inspiring opportunities to indulge with loved ones.
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54Bermuda, Caribbean
Most famous for their pink sands, Bermuda's beaches are so good for swimming and water sports that most visitors will find that the Bermudan waters match the brilliance of its shores. Take a dip in the tranquil waters at Elbow Beach or try snorkelling at Warwick Long Bay.
  • Also recommended for:
    • Family Fun
      Bermuda
      The real Bermuda triangle comprises pink beaches, inspiring marine life and family fun. Even on rainy days, kids love the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo and its 140,000-gallon replica of a living coral reef, as well as the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute's shipwrecks, artefacts and shark cage.
    • Romance
      Bermuda
      The scents of hibiscus and oleander fill the air, balmy Trade Winds blow, secluded pink-sand beaches surround hidden coves, and candles twinkle during intimate dinners on this island made for couples. Horse-drawn carriages, stunning sunsets and moonlit strolls complete Bermuda's romantic ambience.
    • Shopping
      Bermuda
      Bermuda's best shopping is in the City of Hamilton, the capital, where Front Street is the main buyer's drag. Fine British and Irish clothing and tableware are among the better finds, with prices cheaper than in their homelands due to Bermuda's lack of sales tax. St. George also boasts some good shops.
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55Tampa, Florida, United States
Tampa has everything a beach lover needs for a great holiday. Here you can swim in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico or lounge, play or party on sandy white beaches. Then finish the day with seafood over colourful sunsets and balmy breezes.
56Seychelles
This Indian Ocean group of 100+ islands is home to some of the world's most beautiful beaches, including the popular white powder of Beau Vallon on Mahe and Anse Lazio on Praslin. The stunning pink sands and boulders of Anse Source d'Argent on La Digue lead many to call it the most gorgeous beach on earth.
57Key Largo, Florida Keys, Florida, United States
Key Largo's spectacular Sandspur and Caloosa Beaches are a part of protected area Bahia Honda. This divine duo of sandy beaches, with their coconut palms and year-round warm waters, offer marvellous swimming, snorkelling and kayaking in their calm waters. Sandspur is especially popular with families.
  • Also recommended for:
    • Romance
      Key Largo
      Amid tropical hardwoods and winding creeks, with coral clusters off shore, this northernmost of the Florida Keys feels a world away. Sunset sails, dolphin encounters, strolls through the mangrove wetlands and sumptuous meals for two make Key Largo a deliciously romantic destination.
    • Family Fun
      Key Largo
      Home to America's only living coral barrier reef, Key Largo is your family's gateway to the Everglades. Explore the surprising life underwater on a glass-bottom boat, experience the "River of Grass" on an eco-tour, take your kids fishing, or play till their heart's content at Harry Harris Park and Beach.
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58Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Caribbean
Grand Cayman is known as a scuba diving paradise with more than 130 dive sites surrounding the island, including its most famous one, Stingray City. Deep-sea fishermen enjoy the island's "national sport," and the coral reefs can be explored in many ways. The island also contains one of the Caribbean's best strands of sand, 7 Mile Beach.
  • Also recommended for:
    • Family Fun
      Grand Cayman
      Everyone is a kid again in Grand Cayman. Ride a submarine, visit Stingray City on a glass bottom boat, walk the plank or join a sword fight on The Jolly Roger replica, or enjoy the safety of snorkelling and the experience of scuba diving when you snuba.
    • Romance
      Grand Cayman
      Coves and candlelight dinners attract romantics to cosmopolitan Grand Cayman. Sands stretch for miles, world-class restaurants serve sumptuous dishes, and Caribbean breezes lightly ripple across the island. It's a paradise both above and below water, as those who don snorkelling equipment will soon discover.
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59Sanibel Island, Florida, United States
Saunter on the shell-speckled sands of tropical barrier island, Sanibel, on Florida's Gulf coast. Quiet, secluded White Beach, with its scurrying sandpipers, offers a respite from the holidaymaking hordes elsewhere, while Turner Beach lures those with their sights on shells or the day’s catch.
  • Also recommended for:
    • Family Fun
      Sanibel Island
      Fans of seashell-collecting will rejoice on the beaches of Sanibel Island, where it's possible to find specimens worthy of the local Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum. Rent bikes and explore the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
    • Romance
      Sanibel Island
      The wedding wonderland of Sanibel Island lures lovers to its 15 miles of beautiful beaches. Shore strolls and embraces by the lighthouse, as the sun is setting, fill balmy days, while the island's melting pot of restaurants provide memorable menus for romantics.
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60Malindi, Coast Province, Kenya
Actually more white than silver, lovely Silver Sands Beach is just south of Malindi town, and home to several luxury hotels. Snorkelling, diving, surfing and deep sea fishing (for marlin, shark and sailfish) are popular here. Further south lies Watamu Beach, part of Kenya's Watamu Marine National Park.