Everyone loves to sit and relax on the beach, watching the waves rise and crash against the shore, lying in the sand with the sun beating down and tanning, the ocean breeze whistling past. For some, the reality of a beach getaway is more straightforward than for others. Those of us in colder climes like the UK and Canada rely on everyone else’s beach paradise and yearn to be sitting on the golden sands of beaches far, far away.
There are hundreds, maybe thousands of beautiful beaches all around the world. Some of vast expanses of sand and sea, dotted with tourist and watersports far off into the distance, while others are more secluded and private, unknown and untouched, nameless.
There are the tropical white sands of Thailand and much of Southeast Asia. Further West (or East, depending on which way you want to travel) is the diverse landscapes of Costa Rica and, somewhere in between the two, the beaches of the Mediterranean are lapping at the shore and calling your name.
Thailand, the base camp for travellers galore, with their buckets of alcohol, cheap cigarettes, and curiosity about how a fried scorpion will taste, is famed for its pristine beaches. The upper half of the country is landlocked between Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, but further south, down the peninsula, beaches spring up all along both east and west coasts.
In the Gulf of Thailand, the island of Koh Samet, just a thirty-minute boat ride from the pier and three hours from Bangkok can provide you with a little taste of paradise with beaches that stretch as far as you can see. Furthermore, other islands such as Koh Lanta, Koh Phi Phi, and more will make you feel as if you are living in the movies The Beach – just without any of the DiCaprio drama.
But it is not just the islands of Thailand that can give you this feeling. Coastal towns such as Krabi, Ao Nang and Railay, only accessible by boat, even though it is part of the mainland can gift you the beachy sunset scenes you’ve seen on postcards or at the end of cheesy but must-watch movies. From these shores, you can kayak over calm and bobbing waves to discover hidden coves and mini private beaches to laze the day away, before the tide comes in.
Furthermore, Thailand also boasts some less-known pieces of paradise. Some of these don’t even have a name but are typically found down the east coast, in particular, the province of Prachuap Khiri Khan, where visitors can rent bungalows complete with porches that step right onto the sand and just a few yards from the ocean. If you’re looking for an opportunity to feel completely secluded and away from the business of Thailand’s big cities, an adventure into the unknown could prove to be the solution.
While it may have a reputation for being a hotspot for American retirees and wealthy families taking their summer vacation, Costa Rica still has plenty of beaches for you to kick back and relax on. The Rich Coast, with beaches across both the Caribbean and Pacific coastlines is sure to have something for whatever type of beach experience you are looking for.
Whether it be the party beach atmosphere of Jaco or the more reserved and relaxed attitudes of Manuel Antonio, there is so much choice; it can become a bit overwhelming. For the surfers among us, Costa Rica is famous for its surfing opportunities that are sure to get the heart racing. And if surfing isn’t your thing, some of these beaches are found right next to mangrove forests, where you can effortlessly glide through and spot all sorts of wildlife; from iguanas to turtles to monkeys to crocodiles. The ecosystem is such a small area is so dense it is impossible to walk away disappointed.
Should you feel more inclined just to laze the day away with a book, some tunes, and a cocktail, there are calmer reaches of sand that will do the job. Santa Teresa and Puerto Viejo – a place famous for black sands and peaceful shores – has a number of small, secluded beaches where you can lie and listen to the waves lap against the sand throughout the day, even if some of them may be a bit difficult to find.
Everyone already knows about Bali and the surrounding Gili islands, but Indonesia has so much more to offer than what you see on every Lonely Planet ‘Best Of’ post. Comprising of over thirteen thousand islands, there is no way that anybody could be left wanting more.
Indonesia is awash with beaches both great and small, and some have been classified as World Heritage Sites, meaning that their pristine appearance will live long for future generations to enjoy, as well as us. One of these is the Derawan Beach, found in East Kalimantan is perfect for diving and snorkelling, where you can see some of the world’s most unique and diverse ocean life such as dolphins, turtles, and coconut crabs. Quite the tourist spot, it is number one on many travellers lists of beaches to visit.
Should you prefer less tourist-y locations, Lombok Island, sister-island of Bali, has wildlife and nature in abundance. Complete with volcanoes, Lombok has a little bit of something for every type of traveller. Furthermore, Komodo Island, famous for its local Komodo Dragon inhabitants, is sure to tickle the fancy of animal lovers and fantasy fans alike.
Additionally, Indonesia offers tourists and visitors the opportunity to live there. Should you find you love the country as much (or more) than the beach itself, services such as rumahdijual.com/bekasi/perumahan-murah allow you to rent or purchase property, meaning that you can come and go as you please, and always have a slice of paradise just a plane journey away.
Ignore the monetary problems the country may have faced over the past couple of years, on the beach, the only gold that matters is the sand. Whether you want to just relax or experience a little bit of ancient history, Greece has it all.
Pristine beaches can be found both on the mainland as well as the many islands that surround the coast. Zakynthos, in particular, contains beaches that boast shipwrecks to explore in Navagio Beach, along with Porto Limnionas, considered one of the best beaches on the continent, not merely the island.
Just off the mainland, Santorini, and Mykonos can provide extensive culture and relaxing views over the Mediterranean to wind down the day with a cocktail and some authentic Greek food. While Athens, though not strictly on the coast, is not far from plenty of beautiful beaches if you ever need to get out of the big city.
Wherever you choose to top up your tan, catch some waves, or get the heart racing with some extreme water sports., there are locations all across the globe that will offer something for you. Finding your piece of paradise for you to rest the day away with your favourite book or tunes or activities will be difficult to leave, but making the most of being there will give you memories for the rest of your life.
Any well-versed traveller knows the ins and outs of making the journey as easy as possible and allowing the scenery and the culture to guide you could very well end up as one of the best decisions you’ve ever made. Don’t lament over where you want to be while you are scrolling through travel pictures on Instagram, get out there and find your paradise before anyone else claims it.