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Best Beaches in the World

 

Palm beach, Aruba, Caribbean Islands.

Compact information and pictures of the world's best beaches

Criteria: weather, water, sand, facilities, access, visitor numbers. Not shopping or hotel quality!

 

Bugbog

 

Asia   Pacific   Caribbean   Atlantic Ocean   Indian Ocean

Mediterranean   Red Sea   UK   USA   Diving

 

ko phi phi beach, thailand

Ko Phi Phi beach in Thailand.

Asia

Philippines   Thailand   Malaysia   Vietnam   India   Goa  Bali   Singapore

 

Bora Bora island, south pacific

Bora Bora island in the South Pacific.

Pacific

 

South Pacific   Tahiti   Moorea   Bora Bora   Rarotonga   Fiji

 

Australia   New Zealand   South Africa

 

Hawaii   California   Costa Rica   Mexico

 

seven mile beach, grand cayman island, caribbean

Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman island in the central Caribbean.

Caribbean

 

Best Caribbean budget islands   Caribbean information   Cuba    Maya Riviera

 

Dominican Republic   Jamaica   Puerto Rico   Aruba   Bonaire   Curaçao

 

Barbados   Tobago   Grand Cayman     Tortola    St Thomas

 

United States Virgin Islands    British Virgin Islands

 

Cheap Caribbean Beach Hotels

 

 

Langre beach, Costa de Cantabria, Spain's Atlantic coast

Langre beach, Costa de Cantabria, Spain's Atlantic coast.

Atlantic Ocean

 

Brazil   Canary Islands (Spain)    Spain (mainland)   USA east coast

 

A  beach bar in Zanzibar, Tanzania

A very comfortable Zanzi-bar, Tanzania.

Indian Ocean

 

Mauritius   Seychelles   Maldives IslandsSouth Africa   Zanzibar

 

Super Paradise Beach on Mykonos island, Greece

Super Paradise Beach on Mykonos island, Greece.

 

Mediterranean (or thereabouts!)

 

Spain   Balearic Islands (Majorca etc)

 

France   Corsica   Biarritz

 

Côte d'Azur   Villeneuve-Loubet  Cagnes-sur-Mer  Nice  Antibes   Cannes

Greece beaches guide   Greece beaches photos

 

Turkey beaches photos   Turkey beaches guide

 

Italy   Portugal   Croatia   Monaco

 

whale shark in red sea, egypt

A Whale Shark in Egypt's Red Sea.

Red Sea

 

 

brighton beach, england, uk

Brighton beach, England, UK.

UK

Britain/UK   Bournemouth   Brighton   Dorset   Cornwall

 

hawaii body boarding, usa

Hawaii body boarding, USA.

 

USA or nearby

 

Hawaii beach photos   Hawaii beaches information   California

 

East Florida   Florida West Coast   Florida Keys   Mexico

 

 

scuba diving in Maldives, pacific

Maldives diving.

Diving

Maldives   Florida   Caribbean   Tobago   Bonaire   Grand Cayman

 

 

Check the best months on the world's beaches

 

January   February   March   April   May   June   

 

July   August   September   October   November   December

 

Water quality   Jellyfish   Dangerous Rips   Sunbathing   Mosquitoes

 

Bugbog

 

Wet seasons, particularly in the tropics: cheaper yes, but they do stuff beach holidays up!

Many tour operators and even guide books are pretty casual about recommending best beaches in any season, reasoning that during the rainy season it only pours down for a short time. This is true, but unfortunately there are other side effects to wet season weather that can change a great beach holiday into a dismal waste of time and money. e.g.

* High winds can make seas choppy, inter-island travel and fishing trips unpleasant, snorkelling waters murky with drifting sand and windsurfing or sailing impractical for all except pros. Even swimming becomes an exercise in battling muddy blue waves rather than floating tranquilly in clear turquoise waters. Furthermore, flotsam, jetsam and seaweed blown onto shores makes even the best beaches look grubby and unattractive.

* Constant clouds ruin the sunny seaside ambience, sunbathing possibilities shrink and photos look dull and dreary.

* High humidity creates an uncomfortably damp environment in rooms that are not well air-conditioned.

* Stagnant pools of water create the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, though high winds may prevent them from flying.

* Not often but occasionally it will rain for several days at a time, and then your beach paradise is really down the tubes and your bed, book or a bar are the only solution.

So, the moral is to check the best/worst seasons before you book your expensive trip and pay attention to the information!

Whether you buy the guide book first, check the Best Beaches calendar recommendations on the Bug's Destination Finder, don't risk the rainy season unless you have no choice!

 

a Parrot Fish eating coral.

A Parrot Fish nibbling tropical coral.

White sand, it's sh*t!

Little known fact - fine white powder sand in the tropics is mostly composed of fish poo with a pinch of decayed sea critters. This is due to coral reef-grazing fish, in particular Parrot Fish (photo above) scraping and biting off chunks of coral in search of algae and coral polyps. The fish excrete the inedible coral skeleton as fine white grains which then wash up on the beach for visitors to play in. Nice!

Beaches outside the tropics usually have coarser yellow sand which is formed from rock or sea-shell degradation over millennia, or black sand which is often ancient volcanic remains. These kind of sands retain the sun's heat so can be tough to walk over in bare feet whereas the coral poo variety remains cool even under intense sunlight. No sh*t!

 

Swimsuits:

Kid's swimwear in seriously sunny environments should be be UV protected to UPF50 standards, whether suits, shorts or shirts, as well as sunscreen on other exposed parts. The early years are when children's skin is most vulnerable and may trigger problems later in life. But don't go mad, some sunshine is good for the body which needs the Vitamin D for solid bones and healthy growth. More.

 

a dangerous sea current, a rip, on a Mexican beach

Multiple white foam rips on a Mexican Pacific beach.
A safety rope is just visible on the right but sensibly no one is swimming.

 

Dangerous sea currents, otherwise known as rips

A couple of years ago three parents drowned in a whirlpool off Tonel beach on Portugal's Atlantic coast.
Whirlpools are an extreme example of dangerous currents but fundamentally need to be handled in the same way as any undertow - also known as a rip; they rarely drag people down, only around and around.

Monster waves are clearly visible but powerful rips that cycle wave water back to the ocean are equally dangerous, can easily take swimmers out with them and are invisible to the inexperienced eye. Resistance is futile.

Parents should exercise caution on unfamiliar beaches. Beaches that are monitored by life guards around the world generally flag safe areas to swim - which may be narrow and crowded - as opposed to surf zones which can seem attractively uncrowded but conceal dangerous rips.
Most surfers are strong swimmers, know how to handle rips, and of course have a board to hang on to, so don't think you can share their space.

What to do if caught in a rip

DO NOT PANIC. Desperate and exhausting thrashing is the killer as rips don't usually drag swimmers under, even the whirlpool version, just away from the beach. If you fight the current you will tire rapidly and may lose the ability to keep your head up.

Rips do not flow indefinitely, they lose power within 5-40 metres though this may seem a long way when you're trapped there, but just go with the flow. When the drag loosens, swim a few metres parallel to the beach i.e. perpendicular/away from the rip and then a safe return will be relatively easy.
Alternatively, calmly wave a hand and call for help, perhaps from a surfer.

 

 

Gay beaches

Europe:

UK. Brighton on the south coast of England and an hour's train ride from London is a famously colourful and bohemian gay town, perhaps the UK's most LGBT-friendly region. Brighton's main beach and pier are a popular, down-market but fun tourist destination while the beaches are covered by smooth pebbles. Gays tend to head south of the Kemptown area to a nudist beach, West Beach, Telscombe Cliffs Shoreham and Duke's Mound.

 

Spain. Sitges, on the coast just south of bouncing Barcelona, is a busy little area that's been gay for many years. Playa de la Bassa Rodona is one gay drop zone though it's shared with the straight community. Nudists are better off at Playa del Muerto (playing dead?) or Playa de las Balmins.
Spain's Ibiza island in the Mediterranean is another wild place. Party central since Beatles roamed the earth, Ibiza also hosts some fine beaches including Es Cavallet's nude and gay-populated strand in the south of the island, Port des Torrent, and Ses Salinas for beach bars.

 

Greece's Mykonos island is another superb, well-known gay holiday destination and the lovely Super Paradise beach is where to hang out, even if it is a bit remote and stony, while Elia further along the coast is positively awash with gays. Personal transport is useful, whether cars or scooters though little ferry boats make runs from main towns - but not much past sunset.

 

France. Nice on the Côte d'Azur is apparently the country's second LGBT destination after Paris, though it's a city visibly busy with regular tourists but also hosting some lively LGBT clubs and bars. Nice is large but attractive with pleasant shopping areas in both new and old towns, plenty of magnificent eating spots and of course the superb Promenade des Anglais lined with pebble beaches.
Coco and Castel beaches are the best known gay strips.

 

 

Hazards on and around the world's beaches    EU Blue Flag beaches

 

Mosquitoes   Shark Attacks   Jellyfish

 

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