From popular surfing spots to pristine white sands, good beaches hold a special place in the hearts of travellers. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it’s true – but whether you’re a romantic at heart, a nature-lover of the highest order or an adventurer who’s always up for trying something new, there’s something about the beach that will put a smile on your face. We’re pretty lucky to have nearly 3000kms of coastline right on South African shores, but here’s a collection of dreamy beaches that are enough to get you planning your next sand, sun and sea-filled holiday right now. Rugged and wild, safe and sheltered, or deserted and bright blue, there’s a perfect beach out there for you somewhere!
For something a little different
Harbour Island, Bahamas
Of course the Bahamas would make the list! Even though they have plenty of white sand and turquoise waters to choose from, this beautiful beach with its pink hues is like a sunset on the sand. It’s unlike any other beach you’ve seen before and remarkably, it’s also very quiet! Instagram:
For amazing sunsets
Hawaai, home to Lilo and Stich and world renowned for grass skirts, ukeleles and brightly-coloured shirts, couldn’t be further removed from mainland USA. If you’re looking for a special holiday or honeymoon destination with picturesque sunsets that look like they belong on a movie set, you’ll definitely want to make a visit to Makena. The sunsets are simply spectacular and you’ll be in awe of the salmon and citrus tones that paint the sky and the sand as the light slowly fades away. Pack a bottle of champagne and drink it in (the sights, that is!). It’s split into two separate bays - Little Beach is a bit of a nudist spot though, so if that isn’t your scene, stick to Big Beach! Instagram:
For pristine white sands and clear water
Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays (Australia)
To the uninitiated, Australia might see an unlikely place to find travel brochure kind of beaches, but the Whitsundays are like the Aussies’ own little slice of paradise. The Whitsunday islands lie between the Queensland coast and the Great Barrier Reef. They’re largely uninhabited and unspoilt, and are famed for bright white beaches and crystal blue seas. Really, you could be forgiven for thinking you’d accidentally landed in Bora Bora. Instagram:
For surfing paradise
When you think of surfing spots, Europe doesn’t immediately come to mind. Surprisingly though, Hossegor is a big deal. From the shoreline you can watch the top pros navigate supertubes and heavy waves. It’s a bit like J-Bay or Hawaii but, you know, with more croissants and less sun.
For an off-the-beaten-path experience
Baia do Sancho, Brazil
Voted best beach by multiple publications across multiple years, Baia do Sancho is not for the feint of heart. It forms part of the archipelago known as Fernando de Noronha, but this secluded bay is accessible only by boat or via a hair-raising path through the cliffs consisting of old ladders, tights crevasses and slippery sand-covered steps. Once you get there though, you’ll be handsomely rewarded. It’s an absolute dream for divers and snorkelers, with cliffs towering around the bay, dolphins frolicking amongst the brightly coloured tropical fish, which happily swim through well-preserved coral reefs. Instagram: