With a breadth and depth that few Europeans can fathom, the States hosts some of the most dramatic scenery around. Vast deserts – check! Towering mountains – got ‘em! Thousands of miles of sandy coastline – there! Rare and unusual national parks – most definitely! An endless array of world class cities with fabulous cuisine, night life, theatre, shopping, and so on and so forth – ditto…!
However, that said, some of us are born with plain itchy feet. We love our home, sure, but we yearn to see the rest of the world and what better location to start with than the beach?
Below are five of the world’s finest beaches which are just calling out for all you adventurous combers, loungers and tousle-haired beach bums.
If you like your beach with a dash of diving, Barra is the place for you. A stunning peninsula on the southeast of Africa, Barra will hold you spellbound with its warm water and white sand. Once a Portuguese colony, this place is an absolute haven for divers and no matter what your level, you will find adventure at every turn. Palm trees complete the picture of this perfect beach and fortunately for you, Barra won’t leave a huge dent in your bank account.
Manzanillo, Costa Rica
Costa Rica appears in many a “best of” list and it’s not difficult to see why. With an enviable environmental record, Costa Rica is a country (and beach) you can feel good about visiting. Manzanillo, a fishing town located on the Caribbean, is so remote that at the time of writing, they still have no ATMs (nearby Puerto Viejo has them instead). You will revel in the beauty of the beaches and if that isn’t enough, the Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge will keep you amused with its vast array of wildlife. If you want an adventure trip that is off the beaten path, Manzanillo is your place.
Come discover what Europeans have known for years; If you seek beaches, Croatia is your land. In the classical European town of Dubrovnik, you can discover magnificent architecture placed conveniently near beaches such as Lapad and Banje. In this part of Croatia, known as “The Pearl of the Adriatic”, you can involve yourself with the beach or the ancient town as much or as little as you want. Sailing and boat trips might divert your attention so make sure you get to the beach first. Surprisingly, Croatia is easy on the travel budget, another reason to check out this gem.
Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Thailand’s beaches come in a plentiful variety but none are so special or as far away from it all as Koh Phi Phi. Don’t let the name put you off; the beaches are amongst the best in the world. Imagine steep and cloud-like rock faces plunging singularly into the clear blue green Andaman Sea. Got it? You’re almost there. In Koh Phi Phi, you can scuba dive, kayak, rock climb, or hire a long-tail boat to whisk you away to a tiny secluded beach. In the ‘Land of Smiles’, almost anything is possible. In Koh Phi Phi, your ideal beach vacation is close at hand.
Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand
Ah, New Zealand. No other land seems so remote, so different…so downright beachy. It’s an island, after all, and the best beach, by a long shot, is somewhere around Kaiteriteri down to Wainui Bay. If a beach vacation is what you’re looking for, this is it. Located on the South Island, this area is bordered by the Abel Tasman National Park, home to wildlife, forests, rocky cliffs, and, yes, beaches. Think about it: miles of golden sand, crystalline water and sunshine. Plus, there are loads of activities like hiking, cycling, and kayaking.