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.
- CanadaWorld class skiing, decadent European style cuisine, ornamental cathedrals, peaceful island life…Canada is a patchwork of thriving cities and majestic wilderness. Montreal beckons travelers with its French charm and booming cultural landscape. In Toronto, the Art Gallery of Ontario is a vision of Frank Gehry architecture and national artistic treasures. The gleaming mountain ranges of Banff set a stunning backdrop for an exploration of the Canadian Rockies.
- 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.
- BelizeA former British colony, Central American Belize is very much Caribbean in spirit. Forty per cent of this English-speaking paradise is protected park and nature reserve land. Enthralling Maya ruins await amid rainforest canopies. Awe- inspiring scuba diving and eco-adventures are on offer along the world's second- longest barrier reef. The 1000-foot-diameter Blue Hole is so big and so blue that it can be seen from outer space. To make the most of your visit, consider domestic flights within Belize.
- 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.
- 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.
- Costa RicaThose looking for stunning but ecologically conscious holidays need look no further. The misty rain and cloud forest teems with toucans. Encounters with rare wildlife, from quetzals to leatherback turtles, await. Activities such as surfing and whitewater rafting are available on gorgeous beaches and splendid rivers. Arenal Volcano puts on mighty shows almost daily, and nearby hot springs soothe stresses away. San Jose, the capital and largest city, is vibrant and packed with Victorian mansions.
- CaribbeanThe Caribbean, with its tropical climate and diversity of islands, is a prominent destination for tourists. Mention the Caribbean and its tropical climate, crisp clear blue waters, and pristine sandy beaches seem to be the biggest draw. Some of the most visited destinations in the Caribbean are the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Aruba.
- PhilippinesWith more than 7,000 islands consisting of rice paddies, volcanos, mega-metropolises, world-class surf spots, and endemic wildlife, the Philippines is one of the most dazzling and diverse countries in all of Asia. Not to mention, it’s home to some of the world’s best beaches, too.
- MexicoWith 26 UNESCO-declared world heritage sites, charming colonial towns and dozens of thrilling cities, there's plenty to explore in this country of 109 million. Outside the cities, stunning Pacific beaches, stark deserts, mangrove swamps and swimming holes provide all you need for a relaxing, romantic or adventurous vacation. Captivating, cosmopolitan and chaotic Mexico City and the 32 states offer an incredible abundance of experiences, from laid-back and leisurely to upbeat to adrenalin-charging.
- Sri LankaKnown by a flotilla of aliases, the Resplendent Isle is one of gorgeous beaches, tea plantations and ancient cities. Scuba dive, visit an elephant orphanage and a lagoon of singing fish, explore dense jungle, shrines and temples. Situated just 20 miles off India, the island formerly known as Ceylon is home to 20 million people and eight World Heritage sites. The country's long, brutal civil war ended in May, 2009, bringing peace, stability and a revival of tourism.
- 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.
- VietnamThe jungles and monsoon forests of Vietnam are diverse ecosystems that are alive with unique wildlife. Trekking is a popular activity here, particularly the mountains of Sapa and the primeval landscape of Cuc Phuong National Park. For a more urban escape, take a guided food tour of Ho Chi Minh City, making sure to squeeze in visits to the historic Hoi Truong Thong Nhat palace and the intricately adorned Emperor Jade Pagoda.
- 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.
- PeruFrom the remoteness of Peru’s Andes Mountains to the unexplored territories of its Amazon rain forest, the country holds a mysticism all its own. It’s the motherland of the Inca civilization and home to Machu Picchu, alpaca products, and more than 4,000 types of native potatoes.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- BavaroHome to palm-lined beaches, tranquil coral reefs, and several top-tier hotels, it’s no wonder why Bavaro is one of the Dominican Republic’s most popular destinations. This resort hub combines convenience and Caribbean culture with an impressive range of activities across its expansive coastline.
- 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.
- San FranciscoWho cares about a little fog (okay, a lot of fog) when there’s so much to do in San Francisco? By day, explore Fisherman’s Wharf and the Aquarium of the Bay, ride a cable car, and stroll around the Presidio; by night, have a fabulous dinner (at a Michelin-starred restaurant or a tiny place in Chinatown), then hit some of the best clubs on the West Coast.
- Santa MonicaEverything about Santa Monica sizzles, from hundreds of funky shops and restaurants to more than three miles of white sandy beach, to the multitude of celebrities zipping into the local airport and out on Montana Avenue. The subject of popular songs, movies and television shows ("Baywatch" was one of many filmed here), the city has a vibe like no other. Hollywood haute couture meets surfer chic meets hippie casual, and somehow it all works. A word of advice: ditch the car and walk everywhere. Santa Monica is small and prides itself on being pedestrian- and environmentally friendly. You won't need wheels at the auto-free Third Street Promenade, a stroller's paradise known for its multitude of cinemas, restaurants and street performers. Or at the famous and historic Santa Monica Pier, home to tempting smells from fast-food stalls and the solar-powered, nine-storey high Ferris wheel that has long been a symbol of the city. If your feet start to fail, hop on the electrically powered Tide Shuttle, a bus service that runs along the beach offering great views plus a ride to the artsy Bergamot Station and the Santa Monica Museum of Art, or your next spirited Santa Monica destination.
- Daytona BeachEscape to Daytona Beach, and discover a destination where new adventures for all ages are around every corner — whether you’re strolling along 23 miles of uncrowded, white-sand beaches or reeling in a new discovery at the Main Street Pier. Greet the morning by soaking in the salt air on a paddleboard tour or by rounding the famed Daytona Beach International Speedway at top speed. Then get a taste of local culture at the Riverfront Shops and the fantastic Museum of Arts & Sciences.
- KelownaLocated on the sunny Lake Okanagan, Kelowna offers a cure for whatever ails you. Spend the weekend golfing, relaxing on the beach or exploring a nature trail. The Okanagan Valley is chock-full of orchards, while many local vineyards offer wine tasting and tours. Stop at the mid-19th-century Father Pandosy Mission for a glimpse of Kelowna's history, then plan a moonlit cruise on the lake to end your day.
- Davao CityDavao City is a gateway to Mindanos, one of the Philippines’ largest islands, and home to Mt. Apo, one of the highest mountains in the archipelago. In Davao City, lovers of durian can eat their fill beneath a sculpture dedicated to the pungent fruit.
- HolguinSet in rugged, mountainous territory in the east, Cuba's fourth largest city is known as the City of Parks. Columbus called the area the most beautiful land eyes have ever seen and much of the surrounding area hasn't changed. Officially called San Isidro de Holguin, the city's elegant plazas, scatter of colonial buildings and few museums make for a pleasant daytrip. More wonders lie offshore. Swim with dolphins in Bahia de Naranjo Nature Park. Dive to sites off Playa Esmeralda and Guardalavaca.
- Santo DomingoSanto Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic and a UNESCO world heritage site, is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the Americas and one of the most populous cities in the Caribbean. The city is a mix of old world charm and modern Latin flair. Its medieval palaces and fortresses mix with nightlife and shopping to rival any modern city in the world. You'll find pristine beaches and hidden gems like a salsa/merengue club set inside a huge underground cave.
- CartagenaCartagena, a gorgeous fishing village on Colombia's Caribbean coast, has excellent beaches, a historic old town (that's entirely walkable) and beautiful colonial architecture. It's also one of the safest places in the country, so it's no wonder it's a popular port of call for cruise ships. Need a break from exploring the cobblestone streets? Stop at an outdoor cafe for excellent pastries and people-watching.
- 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.
- KovalamA beach town on the Arabian Sea in southern India, Kovalam features three spectacular crescent beaches. The most popular and largest beach is Lighthouse Beach, aptly named for its 30-metre lighthouse, which features a stunning site - the Vizhinjam mosque. For a less crowded beach, visit Samudra Beach, with ample coconut trees and great views of the local fishermen at work.
- LagosThere is rich and beautiful history within Lagos’ 14th century walls, from its fortress to picturesque churches like mediaeval São João Hermitage and the 17th-century São Sebastião. But that’s all appetiser. People come here for a main-course coastal buffet featuring more than a half-dozen beautiful beaches. Quiet sandy coves are sandwiched between dramatic cliffs. The sandy 2.5-mile stretch of Meia Praia caters to every water sport imaginable. And when you’ve had your fill, you can digest your day with some of the best nightlife in the Algarve region.
- TulumTulum is relaxation and romance with an ancient angle. Guests can enjoy modern takes on traditional Mayan massage and spa treatments, or sunbathe on gorgeous Yucatan beaches within site of well-preserved ancient ruins. A rare mix of beach, archeology and village, Tulum is a romantic getaway like no other.
- 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.
- MaineMaine has several unique regions, each with its own distinctive culture and activities. With miles of coastline, thousands of lakes, endless rivers and deep forests, visitors can find their perfect vacation spot, whether it's on a sandy beach, at a family campground or walking along Main Street in a bustling city or town. Maine is also known for abundant outdoor recreation opportunities in all four seasons, from swimming and boating in the warmer months to excellent skiing in the winter.
- Nova ScotiaFrom Yarmouth to Sydney, Nova Scotia is full of scenic landscapes, rich history, and interesting local culture. Sights and fun experiences abound in Nova Scotia, and there is a little bit of something for everyone. Soak up the beauty and serenity to be found in the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens, or head to Cape Breton Highlands National Park for the stunning landscape and wildlife. Explore the history of the area at Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, or hike the Skyline Trail.
- Prince Edward IslandThe landscape that inspired Anne of Green Gables entices legions of lovers to Canadaâs smallest province. Peaceful P.E.I. is a slow paced haven, full of distinctively Maritime delights. Red sandstone cliffs rise above gentle beaches. Lonely lighthouses dot rocky bluffs. Deserted trails beckon for romantic roaming.
- 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.
- 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.
- VirginiaVirginia can make American history come alive. Visit Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, tour Civil War battlefields, explore the living history museum at Williamsburg… the possibilities are endless (if the kids object, break up the historical sightseeing with a visit to Busch Gardens). Arlington, site of Arlington National Cemetery, is just across the Potomac River from all the major sites in D.C. In addition to beaches and historical attractions, Virginia has plenty to offer outdoor enthusiasts. Active families will love the Blue Ridge Highlands, where hiking, canoeing and tubing are just a few of the activities offered. Couples might enjoy a romantic mountain cabin in Virginia after a day of hiking in Shenandoah National Park.
- 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.
- North CarolinaNorth Carolina has something for everyone, with the highest mountains in the eastern U.S., 300 miles of pristine coastline, quaint towns and vibrant cities. From the mountains to the sea, explore the natural, scenic beauty, discover outdoor adventure or try one of 500 golf courses, including the legendary Pinehurst No. 2. Discover a favourite among 100 wineries and 60 craft breweries, tour historic and cultural treasures, sample farm to table delicacies and get the thrill of motorsports in the "home" of NASCAR.
- 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.
- Rhode IslandWith the perfect combination of great seaside views, colorful local culture, and endless family activities, Rhode Island is a big vacation 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.
- New HampshireIf you are looking for diversity, you will certainly find it in New Hampshire. From lakes to beaches, waterfalls to woods and mountains to sea coast, the state has huge potential for outdoor holidays, including downhill or cross-country skiing in winter.
With no less than seventy-five state parks that offer natural areas, hiking trails, beaches and historic sites, New Hampshire caters for a variety of tastes. Crawford Notch State Park in Harts Location has picturesque waterfalls, wonderful mountain views and opportunities for viewing wildlife. You can go hiking and fishing there as well as pay a visit to the historic Willey House. Monadnock State Park, unlike some other state parks, is open all year round for hiking. Want to go swimming? You will find five state park beaches along the coast of New Hampshire, such as Wallis Sands with its view of the rocky Isles of Shoals. On North Hampton State Beach and Jenness Beach you can have a picnic as well as a swim. When you've finally had your fill of fresh air, head for the Museum of New Hampshire History in Concord with exhibits focusing on heritage and traditions; children should enjoy them just as much as adults.
- 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.
- MaldivesWant to make your co-workers insanely jealous? Just casually drop "I’m holiday making in the Maldives this year" into conversation, preferably in the dead of winter. Or better yet, go there without mentioning it to anyone—then send them a "Wish you were here!" postcard.
- 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.
- MauiIf watching the sunrise from atop a 10,000-foot volcano, swimming under waterfalls, hiking through craters and luxuriating on white-, red- and even black-sand beaches sounds like paradise, then Maui awaits. Maui is the place to surf and windsurf. Or hop a catamaran to scuba and snorkel on Molokini Island, a crater emerging from the sea that hosts a wealth of marine life. Golf, fine dining, a winery, museums and sipping a mai tai on the beach round out the perfect tropical holiday.
- Cayo CocoCayo Coco, an island just north of mainland Cuba, has some of the world’s most gorgeous beaches—think superfine white sand and shallow, clear water. It’s popular with European travelers seeking a sunny escape at one of the island’s beach-side resorts. Snorkeling and diving are fantastic.
- GuadeloupeFeaturing white-sand beaches, volcanic peaks, and protected parks, along with some of the most impressive dive spots in the world, Guadeloupe is an island hopper’s paradise. This French archipelago is one of the Caribbean's best-kept secrets, offering a more relaxed alternative to its better-known neighbours.
- MartiniqueThis Gallic toehold in the Caribbean exudes a distinctly French air, enticingly spiced up by West Indian warmth. Local culture and cuisine combine both influences. The stylish isle is dominated by Mount PelÃ©e, which destroyed the city of St Pierre in 1902. Black sand beaches and rainforests are found in the north, with yet more beautiful sands to the south. Sights include La Pagerie, birthplace of Napoleon's Empress JosÃ©phine, and Diamond Rock, a 600-foot pinnacle that was once registered as a British warship.
- JamaicaJamaica is a melting pot of African, Asian, European and Middle Eastern cultures. You'll experience this diversity in its strong crafts tradition, performing arts and distinctive dining options, like ackee and saltfish with roast breadfruit. Take your holiday to new heights at famed cliff jumping spot, Negril Cliffs. Jamaica offers long beaches, protected coves, rugged mountains, waterfalls, caves and sunshine and chances to play in the surf, ride horses and swim with dolphins. Jump in!
- DominicaWelcome to the Nature Island. Remote, affordable and, as yet, unspoiled, Dominica deserves more than a day's visit from your cruise ship. Spend a week (or more) exploring mountains covered by tropical rainforest, endless hiking trails, some 40 dive sites and black-sand beaches. You'll soon be plotting ways to return every year.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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?
- CubaU.S. citizens still need to jump through a few hoops to visit Cuba, but as visitors from around the world know, this island offers some amazing opportunities for cultural exchange. Havana is a mix of old-world architecture and of-the-moment culture. Head out of the capital city to the small town of Trinidad to see more Spanish colonial architecture. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a fantastic home base for a visit to the Valley of the Sugar Mills, a pocket of land that formerly served as the centre of Cuba’s sugar industry.
- ArubaVisit Aruba once and you'll instantly start planning your next visit. The island wins you over with gorgeous weather, serene beaches, exciting land and sea activities (ATVs in the outback, anyone?), and terrific nightlife, from restaurants to casinos and nightclubs. Don't miss the live music scene, featuring Aruba's own Tumba music.
- BahamasThere are no two identical Bahamas holidays. With options as diverse as its 700 islands, the Bahamas may seem schizophrenic: is it a family destination, a place for lovers to sneak away, a gambling mecca, a cruise-afficianado’s chief port of call or a shopper’s world market? The answer is, yes. It’s that, too.
- Florida KeysStretching 126 miles south towards Cuba, the stunning Keys are a perfect escape. Highlights along the way include Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine Key and the irrepressible Key West. Come face to face with an amazing array of fish while snorkelling, diving or fishing in the warm turquoise waters. Creeks, coral and costumed shows are other lures along the way. Highway 1 is a spectacular ribbon tying together the islands and atolls of this paradise between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic.
- Jeju IslandWhere else can you find an azalea-framed volcano to climb, a sisterhood of deep-divers, and ancient stone statues on which to make wishes? Jeju Island. A favourite with newlyweds (and K-drama fans), this popular retreat is also home to miles of golden beaches, winding coastal trails, and Jeju Waterworld, the area’s largest water park. No matter what your fancy, one thing is for certain: a day of sightseeing isn’t complete without enjoying some of the isle’s delicious raw seafood and famed barbecued black pork.
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 travellers.
- 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.