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Beach bliss

Our top 10 beaches of 2016

Hayes and Jarvis November 3, 2015

Every traveller has their own idea of the perfect beach holiday. Whether you’re after watersport activities for all the family, jungle-clad beaches to feed your sense of adventure or stretches of sand beside luxury resorts, we’ve got the perfect beach for you.

1. Railay Beach     

Where: Krabi, Thailand

Why we love it: At Railay Beach, why sunbathe when you can dive, rock climb, sea kayak, jungle trek, white water raft, quad bike or snorkel? There’s no excuse to feel bored on this stunning Thai beach. 

Best for: Adventure seekers who know beaches aren’t just for lying on. 

2. Copacabana Beach    

Where: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Why we love it: Arguably the most famous beach in the world, this magnificent, scalloped beach is enlivened by a flurry of activity. Non-stop beach parties and sizzling locals, this busy stretch of sand in Brazil’s party city is the place to kick back with lithe, tanned bodies. Join a game of football or volleyball on the beach and once the sun has set, dress in your finest and sample some of the city’s best nightlife at one of Copacabana’s vibrant nightclubs. 

Best for: People-watching while nursing a hangover. 

3. Le Morne     

Where: Mauritius 

Why we love it: Tucked away on the quieter side of
the island, Le Morne is the place for romance and relaxation. You can bathe in the sparkling lagoon,
have a go at windsurfing or swim with dolphins. If your perfect holiday is stepping out from your luxury suite right onto the white sand beach, check into the
five-star LUX* Le Morne hotel. 

Best for: Five-star hotels next to their five-star beaches. 

 

4. Phi Phi Islands   

Where: Phi Phi, Thailand 

Why we love it: It will be love at first sight when you reach the beach fronted jungle of these islands. There are few places on earth this laid-back, and of the two islands one is completely uninhabited by humans whilst the other is without roads. Enjoy a stay at Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort, with no hustle and bustle; there’s no need to be in a hurry and every reason to relax.  

Best for: Those who’d rather not share their sunshine.

5. St. Pete Beach    

Where: Florida, USA

Why we love it: There’s a reason St. Pete Beach is regularly voted the best beach in the States. This much-loved, family friendly beach is a great place to try a new watersport like paddle boarding or parasailing, take a cruise to spot the friendly dolphins or explore a coastal community that’s bursting with character. 

Best for: Families looking for fun in the sun. 

 

6. China Beach (Mai Khe Beach)     

Where: Da Nang, Vietnam 

Why we love it: Once a hidden gem on the backpacker route, China Beach is now home to a luxurious resort scene. Not only is the sandy shore postcard-perfect but the World Heritage Sites of Hoi An, the Phang Nga Caves and imperial city of Hue are located within easy reach. 

Best for: Lazy days and laid-back sightseeing.

 

7. The Exumas    

Where: Bahamas

Why we love it: An archipelago of 365 cays and islands, the sapphire blue water makes the Exumas a dream destination for anyone looking to escape reality. Footprint-free beaches, flawless coastlines and exotic wildlife are just a few of the things to expect when you finally step into this tropical paradise. 

Best for: Holiday snaps to make your friends jealous. 

 

8. Darkwood Beach     

Where: Antigua

Why we love it: This stunning white stretch of sand is where the Antiguans go to escape the crowds. You’ll have no trouble finding a quiet spot to catch some rays and watch the sunset. Stay at Sugar Ridge and enjoy panoramic views from Carmichael’s, which overlooks this heavenly beach. 

Best for: Hanging with the locals without the crowds.  

9. Saadiyat Beach     

Where: Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi

Why we love it: With nine kilometres of pristine, private and public beach bordered by opulent hotels and glamorous beach clubs, Saadiyat is a place to feel indulgent. Stretch out on white sands, take a dip in the turquoise Arabian Gulf and watch the sunset over the ocean from fine-dining restaurants. 

Best for: A spell of over-the-top indulgence. 

 

10. Pantai Dalit Beach    

Where: Borneo, Malaysia 

Why we love it: It’s impossible to feel stressed out
on Pantai Dalit Beach. A secluded stretch of beach 30 minutes north of Kota Kinabalu, Borneo, this expanse of powdery soft sand is perfect for couples and families alike. Head inland and take a stroll through the lush jungle for a furry encounter with the resident Orang-utans at the Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort and Spa nature reserve.

Best for: Those seeking an idyllic beach hideaway. 

Visit our holiday types pages for further inspiration for some of the best beaches in the world.