Everyone loves a beach holiday, where days can be spent reclining on golden sands, expending only the barest amount of effort in order to top up your sun cream and margarita. Alternatively, it can be a place to experience something totally new; snorkelling, windsurfing, even diving if you’re feeling particularly adventurous.
We’ve put together this list of beaches from around the world which will appeal to everyone, no matter what your thing is.
BEST BEACHES FOR SURFING
MEIA PRAIA BEACH, LAGOS
Tucked in the southwest corner of the Algarve, Lagos is perfectly situated for surfing adventures. With breaks fit for all levels of surfer, Lagos is a great choice whether you’re a surfing pro or just beginning to dip your toes into the water.
PALM BEACH, GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA
Australia is arguably the surfing capital of the world, and Palm Beach is particularly notorious for its waves. Perhaps not suited to beginners, more experienced surfers will find themselves surrounded by plenty of company.
ZURRIOLA BEACH, SAN SEBASTIAN
The adaptive Zurriola Beach is renowned for its romantic atmosphere, but it’s also a great choice for surfers, too. Its nearby cafes and bars make it a popular choice if you enjoy a cold beer after riding some waves.
BEST BEACHES FOR FAMILIES
With its yearlong good weather and shallow waters, Elafonisi beach is perfect for families with smaller children.
BOPHUT BEACH, KOH SAMUI
Koh Samui is steeped in beauty, and is one of Thailand’s most rapidly expanding tourist destinations. Graced with miles of stunning coastline, days can be frittered away topping up your tan on one of Koh Samui’s beaches.
Bophut Beach is especially exquisite, and perfect for families, thanks to its calm waters and nearby shops.
CALETA DE FUSTE, FUERTEVENTURA
With a chilled out vibe, Caleta de Fuste is a great option for families looking to relax on the beach together.
BEST BEACHES FOR COUPLES
FORT LAUDERDALE BEACH, MIAMI
This sandy strip is everything you would expect from the lively Miami; powdered sands, cobalt blue waters and an electric atmosphere that ensures you never suffer a dull moment.
When you’re not soaking up the sun, the street parallel to the beach is lined with restaurants, bars and clubs.
PALM BEACH, ARUBA
If you’re looking for that postcard-perfect beach to take a selfie on, Palm Beach in Aruba is just the ticket. This two mile stretch is particularly beautiful at sunset, when the sun slowly sets over the horizon.
LAS CANTERAS, GRAN CANARIA
One of Gran Canaria’s less appreciated beaches, Las Canteras boasts 3.5km of golden sands, calm waters and lava rock reefs. It’s also a marine reserve, which means you can expect some great snorkelling.
BEST BEACHES FOR SNORKELLING
MALDIVES, INDIAN OCEAN
The Maldives is renowned for its natural beauty, both above its turquoise waters and below. Nearly all of its hotels offer snorkelling, allowing you to explore the local reefs which teem with all manner of sea life.
PORT DOUGLAS, GREAT BARRIER REEF, AUSTRALIA
When it comes to snorkelling in Australia, it’s go big or go home. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the Seven Natural Wonders for a reason, after all; the 2,300km-long ecosystem is comprised of multiple coral reefs and islands, where countless species of sea life live, including turtles and dolphins.
If you’re looking for a launch pad to snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef, head to Port Douglas.
PINK BEACH, KOMODO ISLAND, INDONESIA
Although famous for the eponymous Komodo dragon, Komodo Island also boasts great snorkelling opportunities, with its aptly named Pink Beach the perfect diving point.