Most Popular Beach Resorts in the World
Discover the most popular destinations for the world's beach resorts
Popular Continents and Regions
- EuropeFrom the mighty fjords in the north to the ancient Greek ruins in the south, all the way to the volcanic Azores in the west and the monumental architecture in the east, Europe's unique blend of history, landscapes, and cultures must be seen to be believed.
- ItalyFrom the silvery crests of the Alps to the sparkling Mediterranean Sea, Italy’s beauty is unparalleled. A visit could mean marveling at the Colosseum after a tender plate of pasta, or drifting lazily down a canal, your belly full of local Sangiovese. Explore Tuscan vineyards and olive groves or drool over boutiques in fashionable Milan. Look for mermaids from the cliffs of Sorrento or nibble on Parma’s famous cheese and prosciutto. Anywhere you choose, the country will captivate you.
- CroatiaCroatia has had a turbulent history but is establishing itself as an exciting destination great for all the family. Among other things, you may not be aware that the small Central European country pioneered fountain pens and invented the necktie. Aside from the pub trivia side of things, however, Croatia is a fantastic country steeped in history, and benefiting from the hot summers and mild winters of a Mediterranean climate.
- SpainFrom sun-drenched archipelagos and bustling urban cities to snowcapped mountains and semi-arid deserts, Spain epitomizes geographical diversity. As the meeting point of the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, this vast country offers some of Europe’s most dramatic landscapes, as well as some of its tastiest cuisine.
- IrelandWoven with wild greenery and Gaelic legends, the Emerald Isle is one of Europe’s most prized jewels. Rugged Atlantic beaches and mystery-shrouded sites rub shoulders with the cosmopolitan cities of Belfast and Dublin, where literary history and warm Irish hospitality are always in abundance.
- MoroccoThe fragrant air of Morocco seems spiked with local spices. Cradled by the dunes of the Sahara, the Kingdom has been inhabited for hundreds of thousands of years. And from the bustling Medina of Marrakech to the mosaic of leather tanning vessels in Fes, Moroccan culture is still steeped in rich tradition. The collection of blue-bottomed boats in Essaouira has become a monochromatic hallmark of the city, while the cafés of Casablanca will invoke your inner Bogie or Bergman.
- PortugalPortugal’s Mediterranean charm is most prominent on the golden beaches of the Algarve; in the wilderness of the Azores islands; among the vineyards of Douro Valley; and on the cobbled streets of Lisbon and Porto, where old-world culture meets cosmopolitan bars and restaurants.
- GreeceGreece is one of those rare places where ancient history is still very much a part of modern life. Visitors are as much drawn to the country’s epic intellectual history as its beauty and charm. Make time for the iconic features of the Acropolis of Athens, which include the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike. Mythology buffs will appreciate Crete, Olympia, Samos, and Naxos for their mythological significance. For a peaceful beach holiday, the island of Santorini is perfect.
- FranceThere's much more to France than Paris—from the fairy-tale châteaux of the Loire Valley to the lavender fields of Provence, and the French Riviera's celebrity-studded beaches. World-famous gastronomy and fine wines provide the perfect complement to the country's alpine views and architectural masterpieces.
- ThailandThailand is a country of many contrasting facets, with glorious beaches as well as forests, jungles and mountains. Whether you want to swim, sunbathe or explore the wildlife, a family holiday in Thailand will never be dull.If you're looking for seaside relaxation, visit the beaches and bay of Hat Karon in Phuket with sand dunes and palm trees. The island of Ko Tao has coral reefs and is the place to go if you want to learn to dive, but you can also go mountain biking or just sunbathe on the beach. The Royal Barge National Museum in Bangkok houses several barges built for Thailand's kings; the beautifully detailed carving is quite breathtaking. Doi Suthep-Doi Pui National Park in Chiang Mai has a wealth of flowering plants and ferns as well as three hundred species of birds. If you're in the mood for a quiet spot, try the town of Sangkhlaburi; from there you can set off on an elephant trek or jungle tour. For mountains and forests, visit the north-western province of Mai Hong Son.
- CyprusThe legendary birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite, Cyprus has been coveted and fought over by a succession of admirers: Mycenaeans, Egyptians, Assyrians and Persians, to name a few. The former British colony was most recently fought over by the Turks and the Greeks. A result of this turbulent past is an impressive range of cultural treasures, from Crusader castles to the tomb of Mohammed's aunt. The island's geography - plentiful coastline with a mountainous centre - ensures plenty of activity all year round.
- GermanyFrom the fairy-tale castles and medieval villages of Bavaria to the Rhine Valley's UNESCO-listed landscapes and the storied monuments of Berlin, Germany has many faces. Steeped in history, cities like Cologne, Frankfurt, and Hamburg are also among the coolest cultural hubs in Europe.
- The NetherlandsDiscover the real Holland and experience the true essence of Dutch culture for yourself. Admire the stunning tulip fields bursting with vibrant colour, taste award-winning cheese, take a relaxing canal cruise around the city or explore the pretty, flat landscape like the locals do - by bike.
- TunisiaOnce home to ancient Carthage and now governed from its capital, Tunis, Tunisia’s historical significance and cosmopolitan charm is world-renowned. Bookended by the Mediterranean Sea and Sahara Desert, the country’s fertile landscape, coastal resorts, and warm temperatures draw holidaymakers in search of sights, sea, and sun.
- JapanIn the Land of the Rising Sun, ancient temples sit alongside neon wonderlands and shinto shrines offer pockets of peace amid metropolises. Add tea ceremonies, snow monkeys, sushi, kimonos, and karaoke to the mix, and you’ve got one of the world’s most fascinating countries.
- BrazilThe wealth of flora and fauna and opportunities to observe them are unparalleled in the Amazon. Riverboats ply the waters of this fascinating wilderness, home to pink river dolphins, clamorous howler monkeys and raucous toucans. Photograph your adventure, run the rapids or stalk elusive jaguars by night.
- ValenciaSpain's third-largest city, Valencia basks on the Mediterranean coast south of Barcelona. Amid rugged mountains and glorious orange groves, the city boasts impressive futuristic architecture, neon-lit fountains, a colorful old town and a bustling beach. The easiest way to explore the city is on the fast, efficient metro trains or, in the central areas, on foot. For a real taste of Valencia, try its famous nightlife, arrive during March's Las Fallas festival or try local firewater, Agua de Valencia.
- BarcelonaStroll Las Ramblas and enjoy Barcelona's unique blend of Catalan culture, distinctive architecture, lively nightlife and trendy, stylish hotels. You'll find Europe's best-preserved Gothic Quarter here, as well as amazing architectural works by Gaudi. La Sagrada Familia, considered Gaudi's masterpiece, is still under construction (your entrance fee helps to fund the project). Feel like a picnic? Look no further than the rambunctious La Boqueria market, where you can stock up on local delicacies.
- DubrovnikDubrovnik, in the extreme south of Croatia, is known as the Pearl of the Adriatic. A rich and powerful city state until 1806, the proud city once known as Ragusa has a population of over 120,000. Structural damage suffered during the siege of 1991 and 1992, at the hands of the Yugoslav People's Army, has been repaired and visitors once again flock to this tranquil city, nestled between the Adriatic and Dinaric Alps. A wealth of sites lies within the walls of the pedestrian-only Old Town.
- Chania TownMuch of the old town district of Chania was developed around its harbor, which was built by the Venetians during the 14th century. Its lighthouse still proudly overlooks the Mediterranean. Here you’ll find several cinemas and historical attractions like the Archaeological Museum, a collection of Minoan and Roman artifacts that’s housed in the former Monastery of Saint Francis. Word nerds will especially enjoy the Museum of Typography.
- MalagaMalaga, Pablo Picasso's birthplace and the gateway to the Costa del Sol, is a hectic, sometimes unruly city of 550,000. An impressive number of museums and monuments, including the 11th-century Alcazaba fort and Museu Picasso Malaga, provide plenty of diversions for those who opt not to spend all their time on the coast's famed beaches and in their accompanying bars. The old city bustles with taverns and bistros. The generous Paseo del Parque offers a delightful stroll past banana trees and fountains.
- San Sebastian - DonostiaWhile many visitors come for the beaches, arts celebrations and fiestas, San Sebastian-Donostia is serious about its food and drink. The Old Quarter’s narrow, winding streets are full of bars and restaurants, and in the modern city, sidewalk cafes are all around. The city specialises in seafood. Just make sure you know not to expect dinner at 6 or 7 p.m.—that’s much too early in Spain. Instead, tide yourself over with tapas, and enjoy eating and drinking late into the night.
- AlicanteFrom urban beaches to epic nightlife, Alicante offers a Mediterranean mix of action and relaxation. Add in a palm-lined esplanade snaking along the harbour and a Moorish castle looming above, and it’s one of the most dynamic spots on Spain’s sun-drenched Costa Blanca.
- SorrentoLand of Mermaids. Land of Orange and Lemon Groves. Land of Colors. This small city in Campania has earned a plethora of alluring names. Famed for its sea cliffs, the town's steep slopes look out over azure waters to Ischia, Capri and the Bay of Naples. The birthplace of Limoncello liqueur offers some good diving, great sea fishing, boat cruises and appetizing restaurants. Excellent hiking trails cross the peninsula. Rent a car or take a taxi if the steep streets look too intimidating.
- Los AngelesModern myth has it that these days everyone in Los Angeles has written a screenplay, is writing a screenplay or is just visiting. For those in the latter category we offer a road map of ideas to help make a trip to this ultra-hip, ultra-happening haven easy, fun and exciting. While LA will always be associated with movies and movie stars, it is also a culturally vibrant city that boasts a range of interesting attractions from prestigious art museums and galleries to fabulous theatre, both well-known productions and smaller fringe shows. Art enthusiasts will be stunned by the extensive collections at the J. Paul Getty Center and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Visit the La Brea Tar Pits on Museum Row, then investigate the trendy shops on Melrose Avenue. Families will not want to miss the zoo or the action at Universal Studios Hollywood. Of course, no trip to LA would be complete without a stop at the Venice Beach Boardwalk or a visit to Mann's Chinese Theater and the Walk of Fame.
- AntalyaSteep cliffs, mysterious caves and balmy temperatures serve as a siren call to the resort town of Antalya, which sits proudly on a bay bearing its name like a Turkish beauty queen. In this Mediterranean enclave, beaches and a lovely marina vie for attention with the picturesque streets of Kaleici, the old town center. The 18th-century Fluted Minaret of Seljuk origin, with its 90 steps to the top, is a towering symbol of the city, while Hadrian's Gate provides an archway to its ancient past.
- LagosMoorish and Renaissance influences abound in South Portugal's Lagos, from its fortress to its plethora of magnificent churches, such as the Medieval São João Hermitage, the 16th-century Santa Maria of Misericrida, the Baroque Santo Ant-nio and the 17th-century São Sebastião. While Lagos' history is rich, it is the area's fine beaches and beach bars, such as Bahia Beach Bar and Retiro do Marujo, which attract many of today's visitors. Frequent buses serve Lagos, making it the easiest way to get around.
- BiarritzA stylish beach town on France’s southwestern coast, Biarritz was once the holiday spot for nobility and is now Europe’s surfing capital. It’s experienced a tourist renaissance—summers are busy. Biarritz lacks the Riviera’s glitz, but you’ll see affluent holiday-makers in designer gear and surfers in flip-flops, and hear French, Spanish and Basque. The Grande Plage is the centre of the action. Behind it, visit the restored, Art Deco casino and wander the streets down to the old port to the west.
- AlbufeiraWith its prime vantage point atop multi-hued cliffs in Portugal's southern Algarve region, it's easy to imagine Albufeira's eighth- century Arab occupants calling the city "Castle of the Sea." Brightly painted fishing boats, stunningly white houses with Moorish flair and remnants of its old fortress provide echoes of earlier days, while lively nightlife accentuates its modern resort charms. Spend time sunbathing on the more than 20 diverse beaches that hug the coast or venture inland, where almond trees blossom and local handicrafts are abundant.
- PondicherryBlossoming bougainvilleas, crumbling cathedrals on leafy boulevards and 18th-century colonial buildings colour the former French colony of Pondy, which sits on the Bay of Bengal. But it's also unmistakably Indian, with colourful festivals throughout the year, several mosques and the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Quiet beaches stretch north and south from town, good for swimming and sunrise strolls. Pondy is a popular weekend getaway destination from Chennai and is easy to navigate on foot or by bicycle.
- NerjaPositioned at the eastern tip of the Costa del Sol, Nerja boasts nearly 10 miles of powdery beaches featuring activities like water skiing, scuba diving and sailing. Although tourist-oriented, it hasn't been overtaken by high-rises, and its huge promenade delivers panoramic Mediterranean views.
- MahabalipuramJust 45 minutes out of the city, the East Coast Road first stops at the historic town of Mahabalipuram. The 7th century erstwhile port city is famous for its rock-cut shore temples. A lone lighthouse on a hill watches over a group of temples below. Mahabalipuram also has some great cafes that serve good sea food. A backpacker’s delight, one can find cheap accommodations and plenty of activities.
- CasablancaToday Casablanca is a large, modern city, but the former French colonial post still allows myriad movie moments for those who want to revisit love in the medina and Old City. Casa (as locals call it) isn’t too touristy, but it’s the most cosmopolitan and Western-feeling city in Morocco. Visit the King Hassan II Mosque and Casa's Medina.
- New York
New York is the ultimate city break destination as far as millions of tourists are concerned. There's fantastic shopping, wonderful restaurants, bars, theatres, museums and world famous landmarks. In the winter you can go skating in Central Park, in the summer you can hire a boat and go rowing on the lake. And all year round there's a great zoo.
Regardless of your family's interests, you will have no trouble filling a week's holiday in New York. The Empire State Building, the United Nations, Central Park with its wonderful zoo, Time Square and its various shops, the bright lights of Broadway and dozens of museums and art galleries. If you get even slightly bored, you can wander around Central Park looking for locations for famous scenes from films, and if you wander a little further you'll usually bump into a film crew. If you're interested in money saving, take care with sights such as the Statue of Liberty. You can spend a lot of money on a boat trip past the statue, but given that boats no longer land on Liberty Island, you might as well just take the Staten Island Ferry. It's free and you still get a great view. While looking at Liberty Island, many tourists will now also take in a trip to Ground Zero to pay their respects at the former World Trade Centre.
- FloridaNot just for retirees and theme park enthusiasts, the Sunshine State offers beautiful beaches, pristine diving conditions, and sizzling nightlife. Salsa the night away in a smokin’ hot Miami club, or swing away at one of Kissimmee’s many premium golf courses. An airboat tour of the Everglades is an unforgettable adventure – just look out for alligators! For the risk-averse, a lazy day spent on the soft sands of an Emerald Coast beach is as rejuvenating as a spa treatment.
- CaliforniaCalifornia is a fertile, peaceful place where you’ll find a near-equal balance of vineyards and deserts, beaches and mountains, hippies and traditionalists. Catch an epic wave in Big Sur or swirl a glass in Napa Valley. Be dazzled by the Joshua Tree night sky or just star-gaze in Hollywood. Swish down the slopes of a Tahoe ski resort, or cruise across the Golden Gate Bridge with the top down and the music blasting. Above all, don’t forget to soak up some Golden State sunshine.
- TexasTexas is one of the largest states in America. As such, there is some variety of potential holiday destinations in Texas. Among the most notable holiday destinations in Texas is that of South Padre Island. South Padre Island is located at the tropical tip of Texas, by the Gulf of Mexico. The beaches of South Padre Island are some of the best and widest in Texas. Here you can also find some of the state's most innovative water-parks such as Schlitterbahn BeachWater Park. Or alternatively, take a break away cruise for fishing, eco tours, and snorkelling around South Padre Island. Texas also has some highly rated golf courses such as Cliffs at Possum Kingdom at Grayford, and La Cantera - Resort Course in San Anotonio, which is a fun and scenic golf course that is regarded as one of the best golf resorts in the United States.
- KeralaIndia’s millennia-old natural medicine, Ayurveda, is the guiding force in southern state Kerala’s famed health resorts. To rejuvenate in luxurious surrounds, try 50-acre oasis Kairali Ayurvedic Health Resort’s authentic ayurvedic healing with aromatherapy, massage, essential oils and yoga.
- HawaiiFrom volcanic landscapes to hidden waterfalls… active adventures to an energetic nightlife… a holiday on the Hawaiian Islands offers infinite experiences in one destination. Each of the six major islands – Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and the island of Hawaii – has its own distinct personality, but no matter which ones you choose, you’ll discover endless opportunities for adventure, dining, culture and relaxation.
- Costa Blanca
Costa Blanca is the name given to Alicante's coastline in Spain, which stretches over 200 kilometres. It is an incredibly popular holiday destination for tourists from the UK, because of the marvellous weather and beaches, and low-price flights have been operating to the region since the late 1950s! Costa Blanca is both UK friendly and family friendly, thanks to the huge range of activities available there from beaches and golf to museums and parks.
You can do just about anything you can think of in Costa Blanca, which is why it's so great for kids. Obviosuly there are the beaches, such as Los Náufragos in Torrevieja with its volleyball nets, golden sands and Blue Flag status, or smaller beaches like Serragrosa with its crystal waters, ideal for swimmers. But there are also golf courses (particularly the Villaitana club de golf near Benidorm) and watersports facilities and cultural sites like museums and galleries, such as the La Asegurada Municipal Museum in Alicante which has extensive collections of Spanish art. You will need a couple of weeks on the Costa Blanca just to scratch the surface of its entertainment potential.
- New Jersey
Whether you are looking for sun-drenched beaches or outdoor activities in beautiful countryside, New Jersey has plenty to offer. Those who love the great outdoors should head for the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, which runs along the Delaware River for forty miles. Here you can go rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking or fishing, or simply admire the stunning waterfalls. There is a huge range of hiking trails to choose from as well as historic sites to visit. In winter, you can enjoy cross-country skiing near Blue Mountain Lakes, and birdwatchers might be lucky enough to catch sight of bald eagles. If you are looking for a change, visit one of New Jersey's eleven lighthouses that are open to public, such as the one in Cape May. For art and history enthusiasts, New Jersey State Museum in Trenton has historic artefacts and American fine art from the nineteenth century to the present day as well as a Planetarium.
- ConnecticutConnecticut is a study in attraction and contrast. In one small state, you’ll find miles of sandy oceanfront shoreline, acres of forested hiking trails, and world-class museums, art and theatre. Here family-friendly adventure parks and aquariums are just minutes from dynamic casino resorts and quaint, historic small towns — offering experiences that range from culinary to cultural, luxurious to laid-back. It’s the perfect place to unwind and recharge, all at the same time.
- Rhode IslandWith the perfect combination of great seaside views, colorful local culture, and endless family activities, Rhode Island is a big holiday destination in a small package. Whether you are into art and culture, beautiful seaside sights, or great family-friendly activities, there is sure to be something for you in Rhode Island. If you're staying in Newport, try a breathtaking tour of the harbour in the Schooner Madeleine, or enjoy a bit of history at Fort Adams State Park. The Newport mansions are one of the most popular attractions around, and the nearby Cliff Walk is a great place for a hike. Narragansett is home to the lovely Narragansett Town Beach and Point Judith Lighthouse, and if you hop on the Block Island Ferry you are only a short trip away from Block Island, where you can enjoy the sights of the Mohegan Bluffs or party it up at Capt. Nick's Rock and Roll Bar. Take a drive up to Providence for some great shopping at Providence Place Mall and to visit the unforgettable Roger Williams Park Zoo.
- MichiganThink you need an ocean for a beach? Think again. There are miles and miles of sandy lakefront beaches in Michigan (thanks to the four Great Lakes that border it). The west coast of Michigan has especially nice beaches—try a rental in Muskegon, Grand Haven or Saugatuck. You won’t need a car when visiting Mackinac Island. In fact, they’re not allowed—this lovely Victorian resort town is pedestrian-only.
- South CarolinaThe US state of South Carolina, with its extensive east coast, state parks, and historic towns can make for a great holiday. South Carolina has some great beaches along its eastern coast. Among the most notable of these is Myrtle Beach, the hub of the grand strand and the largest resort on the east coast of South Carolina. This silky stretch of white sand is great for water-sports such as sailing and surfing. South Carolina is also regarded as one of the top golfing destinations in America. South Carolina has some notable historic towns which are worth visiting such as Charleston.
- MajorcaAttracting visitors from all parts of the world, Majorca is a dreamy island destination in the Mediterranean Sea, just off the southeast coast of Spain. There's something for every taste—beaches and coves, a spectacular mountain range, romantic fishing villages and a rustic countryside dotted with almond and olive groves.
Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and is a paradise for tourists seeking sunshine, beaches, and culture. Chania lies on the northern coast of Crete. It’s the second largest city on the island and is served by an airport. Upon arrival, hire a car and drive the 30 kilometres up to the White Mountains. This beautiful setting is perfect for relaxing or doing a spot of walking and is also a good base to explore the region’s attractions.
Chania is an old harbour town with a medieval heart and is worth checking out. The seafront quarter includes a little mosque which is a remnant from the 17th century when the Turks controlled the area. These days the mosque’s been converted into a very nice art gallery. Make sure you also check out the Archeological Museum which is full of Minoan artifacts, including a glass display packed with pottery bulls. These were found in a grave site and it’s believed the pottery bulls were included in the graves where sacrificing a live bull would have been too expensive!
Elafonisi features a beach that stretches for miles. The water is very shallow with white sand that gives it its wonderful green/turquoise colour; making it look like a Caribbean lagoon! There’s even an island that you can safely wade out to. Elafonisi is also very popular with the locals and can get very busy at weekends, so it’s best to go during weekdays if possible.
Crete has changed hands several times over the centuries and the Romans occupied it from the 1st century BC to 4 AD. As well as the ruins of the Roman buildings, there is an abandoned monastery which dates back centuries but was only abandoned in 1964.
Driving up the mountain road above Maheri, you’ll see signs for the ancient church called Agios Nikolaos. Along the way the chances are that you will encounter herds of goats, some with bells around their necks. They will determinedly clank their way past you and add a real wild charm to the holiday experience! Agios Nikolaos is nestled in a valley with huge trees in front of it and it is an enchanting place. The church is Byzantine and is famous for having very old frescoes, as well as a graveyard surrounded by rows of orange trees.
- SantoriniGlamourous Santorini is deliciously different. Geographical newness is in part to thank. The island’s popular black volcanic Perissa and Kamari beaches are big draws, as is its arguably most famous Red Beach near Akrotiri (which is the place to go for archaeology buffs). Santorini curves round a giant lagoon in the Cyclades islands, offering stunning views from sky-high towns, eclectic cuisine, lovely galleries, thriving nightlife and excellent wines.
- TenerifeStrongly influenced by the tribal culture of the Guanches (the original inhabitants), Tenerife was conquered by the Spanish 500 years ago. It's home to Mount Teide, Spain's tallest peak, and to the popular beach resort of Los Gigantes. Today visitors flock to Loro Park to see tropical birds, to Tenerife Zoo Monkey Park and to Parque Nacional Las Canadas del Teide's volcanic rock formations. Explore by car or with a "bono bus" ticket, which offers reductions on regular prices.
- LanzaroteIf your kids are sick of the same old beach holiday you take every year, consider taking them to Lanzarote. There are great beaches, to be sure, but this UNESCO World Biosphere reserve has unique attractions and activities. We're talking camel rides on volcanoes (at Timanfaya National Park), or eating at a restaurant in a volcanic cave (at Jameos del Agua). Even the most jaded teens will be impressed.
- Gran CanariaWelcoming, tolerant Gran Canaria offers a little something for everyone. Families flock to the water parks and beaches of Puerto Rico. Those seeking peaceful escape scamper to Mogan's quiet fishing villages. Gay visitors crowd the bars, restaurants and beaches of Playa del Ingles. Urban attractions are on offer in Las Palmas. Three highways open up the island for those with a rental car or a bus schedule. Prime sites to visit include Iglesia de San Juan Bautista de Arucas and Palmalitos zoo park.
- MenorcaAs the first place in Spain to see the sunrise, Minorca is like the country’s ambassador to the morning. Beaches here are beautiful and, surprisingly, relatively empty. The jewel-coloured water is a magnet for waterskiers, windsurfers and sailors. Playa De Binigaus beach is perfect for families, while Cala Mitjana is an idyllic spot for romance. Head to the town of Alaoir to nibble on some fresh local cheese or turn back time in the charming fishing village of Fornells.
- Canary IslandsThe sun-drenched Canary Islands lie close to North Africa and have an exotic flavour of their own. Hundreds of volcanoes, rolling sand dunes, rich forests and rugged cliffs dapple these seven Atlantic gems. Catch a ferry to Lanzarote. Ride a camel through volcanic Timanfaya National Park. Take on Tenerife, home of Mount Teide, Spain's tallest peak. Romp Grand Canary's beaches or hike La Gomera's Garajonay National Park. More adventures await on tiny El Hierro, verdant La Palma and peaceful Fuerteventura.
- CorsicaCorsica is a laid-back French island, with a breezy vibe that’s part European weekend and part tropical honeymoon. The port city of Bastia flings its arms wide open to weary travelers disembarking from a long ferry trip. For a truly charming Corsican experience, catch a train through the mountains to the beach, passing by rustic villages and grazing cows along the way. Take a few hours or even a few weeks to explore the island’s famous walking trails, including the varsity-level GR 20.
- LuzonThe biggest island in the Philippines, Luzon is also one of the most diverse—it’s where mountain peaks and volcanoes meet miles of coastline, and indigenous culture melds with Spanish colonial history. You can relax at the beach in Pagudpud, hike with locals up the Batad Rice Terraces, ride in a horse-drawn carriage in Vigan, and snack on street food and dance the night away in Manila. You’ll need a few days and a bus pass, but you’ll be glad you stayed.
- Dominican RepublicThe Dominican Republic lies in the same waters as Cuba and Puerto Rico, taking up the eastern two-thirds of the island it shares with Haiti. Offering a lush interior with a mix of caves, Victorian gingerbread houses and the lore of pirates, plus 900 miles of coastline along its brim, island highlights include riding a cable car up Mount Isabel de Torres and basking on stunning Saona Island. Oh, and did we mention the D.R. is family-friendly, has just about perfect weather and is affordable?
- Penang IslandFamed throughout Asia for its heady mix of eastern cultures, Penang Island is Malaysia’s prime melting pot. Roadside vendors serve some of the world’s best street food; its national parks offer white-sand beaches and wildlife; and UNESCO-listed George Town is full of colorful heritage houses.
- St. LuciaThere's more than one way to enjoy the spa experience in St. Lucia. One is to book a treatment at any of the luxury spas or resorts on the island. The other is to visit Sulphur Springs, inside the bowl of an extinct volcano, where you're welcome to try a volcanic mud bath or the 31°C/88°F Roman bath.
- MauritiusMauritius is arguably Africa’s wealthiest destination, a tropical paradise with tons to do. Port Louis, the modern capital of this 38-mile by 29-mile island, is a bustling port with a revitalized waterfront and a busy market. But most visitors gravitate toward resort areas such as Mont Choisy, quiet Trou-aux-Biches and the more bustling Flic en Flac, popular with scuba divers. Rivière Noire is ideal for those looking for great deep-sea fishing.
- Bora BoraThe relatively small island of Bora Bora is an activity giant, offering visitors the chance to experience a 4x4 safari, sunbathe and swim at white sandy beaches, dive in a natural underwater park among fish and corals, experience thrilling shark feedings, or circle the turquoise lagoon by boat. And Bora Bora is a superlative romantic spot. Fall captive to this lush gem of a Polynesian island by sharing an intimate midnight dinner on the beach; visiting the Lagoonarium, the Diving Centre, the Coral Gardens or the Leopard Rays Trench; or taking it all in from the lofty heights of 2,300-foot Mount Otemanu.
- BahamasThe Bahamian archipelago of over 700 islands and cays includes the popular cities of Freeport and Nassau. Freeport offers great shopping and casinos. Nassau also offers gambling, plus the Ardastra Gardens zoo. Explore at a pleasant pace on a horse-drawn surrey. Diving with dolphins, swimming with sharks or snorkelling in pristine reefs are just some of the natural encounters available. Those looking to escape the cruise-ship hordes can slip away to Harbour Island, the Exumas or Andros in the Out Islands.
- Vancouver IslandRefer to Vancouver Island as Victoria Island and risk a chorus of eye-rolls from the otherwise-friendly locals. Yes, Victoria is the main city on the island, but there are many distinct flavours to its logging and fishing settlements. Food and wine enthusiasts flock to the Comox Valley farm region, while the more outdoorsy types get their fix along the remote, forested beaches of North Vancouver Island. Visit the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve at Clayoquot Sound and you’ll return full of cocktail-party factoids.
- BaliBali is a living postcard, an Indonesian paradise that feels like a fantasy. Soak up the sun on a stretch of fine white sand, or commune with the tropical creatures as you dive along coral ridges or the colorful wreck of a WWII war ship. On shore, the lush jungle shelters stone temples and mischievous monkeys. The “artistic capital” of Ubud is the perfect place to see a cultural dance performance, take a batik or silver-smithing workshop, or invigorate your mind and body in a yoga class.
Best Beach Resorts
- A beach resort is a vacation destination that offers beachfront accommodations, various amenities, and recreational water activities, all set along a beautiful coastline for guests to enjoy a relaxing and entertaining seaside experience.
- Some of the most popular destinations for beach resorts include the pristine shores of the Maldives, the vibrant coastline of Cancun, Mexico, and the stunning beaches of Bali, Indonesia. These destinations offer the perfect mix of relaxation, adventure, and luxury for all types of travelers.
- Beach resorts often boast unique amenities such as beachfront access, water sport rentals, and on-site dining options offering fresh seafood and tropical cocktails, all designed to enhance your seaside relaxation and enjoyment.
- At beach resorts, you can enjoy a variety of activities such as swimming, sunbathing, beach volleyball, surfing, snorkeling, and indulging in water sports, as well as relaxing at beachfront bars and restaurants.
- Beach resorts are typically located near the beach, but not all of them are positioned directly on the beachfront. Some resorts may be a short walk or drive away from the beach, offering easy access to the shoreline while still providing various amenities and ocean views.