While I have traveled over 50 countries a lot of that travel included a trip to the beach. So please find here my totally subjective pick of 10 favorite beaches in the world.
1 Bali – Balangan While Bali is not so much known for having amazingly beautiful beaches I do think there are some really nice ones. My favorite is Balangan on the Bukit peninsula. The fact that it is not in the Kuta/Seminyak area already means that it is less crowded. And if you add to the so Bali vibe some nice waves for surfing, white sand and a stretch of approximately 1 km of beach, you understand why this is one to put on the list.
2 France – Saint Tropez, Ramatuelle I already confessed about my love for Saint Tropez so this list wouldn’t be complete with this location being mentioned. While the Pampelonne stretch in Ramatuelle has all what is required to get on my list e.g. white sand, amazing views, sunny days, the beach clubs make it this bit extra. The restaurants here are often institutions on their own rights and while people come to enjoy the sun and beach, a lot of them just pop by to have a 2 or 3 hours lunch. And they don’t just ‘pop by’ they arrive with impressive yachts from which they are picked up by the smaller transportation boats from the restaurants, or use the helicopter to get to the restaurant of choice.
3 Thailand – Koh Lipe I intended to not mention a number 1 in my top 10, but I can’t help to admit that I think Koh Lipe in Thailand is my all time favorite beach. When I went there I needed to come from the other side of Thailand and it required a taxi drive, boat ride, mini van drive, boat ride, and another mini boat ride, which was approximately a 14 hours journey. I was exhausted when I arrived and thought ‘this better be good’! And it was all and more than I expected. The last mini boat ride was to get us from the larger ferry to the island, which is also one of the reasons why it is not too overcrowded: large ferries can not embark directly. And this was also one of the reasons why there are no cars, the couldn’t possibly get to the island without a lot of effort. So you either walked or used bikes and scooters. It brought a piece of calm to the Island which is just perfect for a beach break. And then on top of it all it has the most pristine white beaches and sand I have ever seen. You wouldn’t believe it until you have seen it, but I think these photos show a little bit what I mean (btw these are not reworked).
4 Costa Rica – Montezuma Montezuma is located at the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, and has that lazy vibe of a town dominated by surfers, windsurfers, divers and backpackers. When I was there ages ago it was pretty unspoiled, but I think by now it will have gotten a bit more crowded and developed. Mangroves and dense tropical forest give it this roughness that is so typical Costa Rica. I remember hanging out in a hammock after a lazy beach day deliberating whether to hang out a bit more or hit the surfer spot in town where a video on a bigger TV intended to be the cinema scene for that evening.
5 The Netherlands – Noordwijk Yes, the Dutch have some wonderful beaches and beach clubs! I’m pretty biased on this one as Noordwijk is the beach close to my home town Leiden. The coast line in The Netherlands pretty much runs for 290 kms, and 60km is protected by dunes or dams, which is needed as 30% of The Netherlands lays below sea level. We have white sand and a funky vibe in the beach clubs along the coast. While the summers can be unpredictable a good week or weekend can go up to 25 to 30 degrees Celsius and will make you feel like in the South of Europe. Noordwijk is a typical beach village which doubles in inhabitants over summer. It doesn’t go too crazy though and with some nice beach clubs it is definitely a place to go.
6 Mexico – Tulum Don’t go to Playa del Carmen, but check the little bit further up north place Tulum. Have you ever been to a beach where when you put your head up from your beach towel history calls up on you with an ancient Maya city? Tulum is the site of a Pre-Columbian Maya walled city serving as a major port for Cobá. The ruins are situated on 12-meter tall cliffs, along the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula on the Caribbean Sea. The beach stretches for a few kilometers, is white, great for a winter break (December to February) and has a lovely sea for cooling down.
7 India – Goa, Agonda beach With low cost carriers offering direct flights to Goa from main European locations it is difficult to say how long this one will stay on my list to go for a chill beach break. My recommendation is to find a location at Agonda beach in Goa. You’re close enough to get to the more touristy area like Palolem if you feel like it, but this beach has still a calm to it and a typical Indian feel. There will be enough yoga places for you to check out, curries to taste and holy cows on the beach to stay away from.
8 Spain – Ibiza, Benirras beach Ibiza is crazy, over the top and certainly crowded with people, but there are still a few places for a cool and relaxed beach vibe. Go to the North and try to find Benirras beach. You will need to drive a curvy road, but persist and you will get to an oasis of calm and lovely hippy beach vibes. Benirras is a medium sized beach with rocky, grainy sand and almost unbelievably clear water.There are just a few beach clubs/tavernas here and my suggestion is Elements which has wonderful food, and plays groovy tunes throughout the day. Book this one in before or after peak season as you still would like to do the utmosts to avoid the crowds.
9 England – Cornwall Another country where checking out beaches wouldn’t be first on your list. Cornwall in the very South of England is known though for having the most sunny days and real summer vibes. I even saw dolphins when out there on an April trip! Cornwall has a unique and magical coastline with over 400 beaches that are accessible on foot. Collectively they are the most varied in character of anywhere in the UK and arguably in the world. It has iconic sandy beaches backed by either high windswept cliffs or sand dunes and exposed to the Atlantic swell and wind which produces outstanding surf. Add to this some unique British villages and you have the perfect reasons to plan your next beach break in the UK.
10 Greece – Mykonos, Kalo Livado beach Going to a place pretty much every year while there are still so many other places to see?! That might happen when you go to Mykonos. It has a diverse set of beaches, all white, all clear blue water, all (almost all) with beach clubs with great service to your beach bed. My favoriate is Kalo Livado beach and Barbarola beach club. It has all of the above and some nice tunes in the background. You might want to give the Barbarola team a call before going to reserve you some front row beds, to roll straight into the sea from when you feel hot.
I’m curious to hear whether I missed any that I should check out next time!