– French beaches are now suddenly cheap(ish) and cheerful as the bling set leave the Côte d’Azur though St Tropez is still stuffed with porky North Europeans; Corsica beaches are gorgeous; Cannes is small, sandy and pretentious; Nice‘s huge stony bay, while not cuddly offers great shoreside attractions.
– Spain’s beaches are low cost and now that August’s tourists have staggered back to the dole queues and temperatures are perfect it’s looking pretty good. The Balearic Islands – Majorca, Minorca and Ibiza – are cheap to reach with package deals, less expensive than most of Europe enjoy a superb climate with plenty of sun and host some of the Mediterranean’s best beaches.
– Italy: Not a country of great beaches but the translucent waters, golden rocks and culture of Sardinia and Lampedusa islands are worth the trouble to get there while the mainland’s Versilia Coast offers a lot of sand though much of it occupied by pay-parasols.
– Sidi Abdel Rahman or Marsa Matrouh, Egypt, offer long strands of brilliant white sand along the coast west from Alexandria, but not a lot of facilities so adventurers required (stay in Alex and rent a car for day trips? ).
– it’s winter and water is chilly in southern Australia, so go north-east or north-west but don’t expect much surf. Beyond Brisbane on the east coast, due to toxic jellies and the odd shark tourists tend to be either dressed in wetsuits or swim in free, attractive, salt-water lagoons. The north-west shores above Perth are home to the amazing Ningaloo Reef and massive stretches of dazzling, people-free sand.
Man o’ War Bay, Dorset, on England’s warmer south coast, not exactly the Atlantic Ocean but close, the English Channel.
– UK: The shores can be impressively rocky or comfortably sandy, the water temperature is at its best now and British beaches are looking tempting, especially those on the warm south coast such as Dorset and Cornwall or even stony Brighton though the weather is unreliable.
– Portugal, hosts numerous soft-sand beaches; on the Atlantic coast for surf and size, Algarve for warmth, facilities and toddler-friendly surf.
– Spain’sCanary Islands, enjoy endless sunshine and beaches of all types – activities, nudist, family, surfing, wild town sand, back-to-nature coves. Fuerteventura and Lanzarote are the sunniest and La Palma the wettest.
– Morocco: Essaouira’s beaches are huge though a little plain, high surf and wind-swept (so brilliant for windsurfers and surfers), but the town is gorgeous, culture-rich and popular with independent travelers.
– Brazil is blessed with many massive, fine beaches, such as Rio’s magnificent Copacabana – perhaps the world’s best city beach, and life is lively and low cost though the seas are usually rough and cold.
– Berjaya Tioman Beach Resort, a secluded, palm-fringed beach, or Kampung Juara for serenity, Tioman Island.
– Long Beach, Kecil Island, Perhentian Islands, popular with budget travelers.
– Redang Island, Redang archipelago, with a superb marine park is perfect for scuba and snorkel folk.
– Turtle Beach and Golden Beach, Similajau National Park, Sarawak. A pain to get to but some of Malaysia’s best beaches.
– Indonesia: Bali’s beaches range from big, busy and easy to reach but lacking in character (Kuta/Legian/Seminyak) to awesome surf and swimming beaches (such as Bingin and Padang Padang) and calm upscale resorts with outdoor dining (e.g Jimbaran, Bingin, Sanur and pricey resorts in Nusa Dua region), but getting around is a pain in Bali these days with seriously bad traffic so don’t plan on travelling much unless you’re traffic-tolerant. Ubud is particularly disappointing!
– Madagascar: Ile Sainte Marie is an idyllic island resort fringed by peaceful beaches.
– Mauritius: Flic en Flac, Trou aux Biches and Paradis beach. Less fantasy and much less costly than the neighbouring Seychelles but with high quality resorts that look after romantics as well as families.
– Tanzania: Zanzibar’s best beaches are on the north and east coasts, though experienced travellers often enjoy neighbouring Mafia Island’s isolation. A perfect way to end the holiday after doing a wildlife safari.