Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Looking for the world's best beach

My search for the world's best beach is endless... In my travels I keep looking for and stumbling upon amazing beaches but I just can't get enough!

CNN recently came out with their list of 100 best beaches. I love their introduction by the way:
Is it possible to rank the world's best beaches?
- Of course it is. This is the Internet.
Will everyone agree with our ranking, murmuring respectfully among themselves about how perfectly accurate every placement is?
- Maybe not. This is the Internet.
You'd think people love the same things about such a simple thing as beaches but probably not... Some like it hot, some shady. Some love to people watch, some want utmost privacy. Some like that it's isolated and hard to reach, some like the convenience & the amenities. Some want pristine sand or lounge chairs, some want playgrounds and beach volley fields. Some want to snorkel, some surf, some swim, some won't put their toes in the water.

I've been to beaches in as north as Iceland, as south as Tierra del Fuego and traveled to world famous beaches in Brazil and Australia... and still looking for my favourite one! But I put together some of my favourites, only for you my friend! ;) I've tried to be "fair" and list lots of different types of beaches to make it interesting...!

* By the way: if you're looking for the ultimate beach to dance zouk then you definitely need to head to Porto Seguro, Brazil!

My top ten beaches (so far)

10. Kata Yai, Phuket island, Thailand. There are surely many many more beautiful, quiet, idyllic, beaches in Thailand and South-East Asia but as I'm a freak for sunsets I have to say I've enjoyed some of the most beautiful ones here. Lots of snorkeling places right off the beach and some more secluded beaches can be found closeby. Rent a motorcycle and tour the island!

9. Santorini Island, Greece. This volcanic island has lots of interesting beaches, such as the red and black beaches. Best to hire a small car or a quad bike and go around to all the different beaches and see the beautiful vistas along the way. Ia town is also famous for its sunset!

8. San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. I visited Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye, both of them have funky beaches. In a way I liked the beach in San Pedro - it wasn't a beach to swim or sunbathe really but has lots of cool bars and a Caribbean vibe quite unlike the beaches just a bit up north in Mexico - not to bash the Mexican "Riviera Maya" either!

7. Vík, Iceland. The beach in front of the town Vík has also amazing black volcanic sand and in its mystical surroundings is a sight to see! Not the best for tanning or swimming but if you want to see something different this is it!

6. Byron Bay, NSW, Australia. I was struggling between Sunshine Coast beaches, Cape Tribulation and Manly beach when thinking about the best beach I've been to in Australia. But it came down to Byron's beaches. Byron Bay is a very popular surf destination but has also great beaches with possibly the nicest, soft, white sand I remember to have encountered. You'll also get to enjoy amazing sunsets here. Lots of services are closeby but if you're big on privacy then this won't be your place.

5. Anjuna Beach, Anjuna, Goa, India. This is pretty laid back beach with some nice bars and lots of shopping just around the corner. Be prepared for some of the most beautiful sunsets.

4. Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I've paid more than a few visits to this beach and it's amazing every time - best for people watching and shopping all kinds of stuff the passing by vendors are selling. Also happens to be next to one the most interesting cities in the world!

3. Praia do Miguel, Ilha do Mel, Brazil. Ah Brazil, the home of beaches! I've been to so many glorious stretches of sand there but if I would have to name one I would pick the island of honey, Ilha do Mel. There are lots of nice beaches in this island and the best thing you can do there is walk around and enjoy a sunny day and swim in the warm sea. Best to be there during off-season. (This picture is from the lighthouse at Ilha do Mel.)

2. Maldives. I can't really put my fingers on which was the best beach there (also since I can't remember the names) but I dare you to find a bad one at the Republic of Maldives and their over 1000 coral islands!!

1. Paloma beach, Tarifa, Spain. There was just something about this beach that made it to the top of the list. I guess I was lucky with the timing but the massive dunes at this beach were almost empty, we had the whole place to ourselves. There's just something about running up and down endless piles of white sand!

I'm sure if I look at this list a couple years later there will be many beaches to add to the list - even a new #1. My ideal beach would be closeby but isolated, with some services but no other people. With crystal clear & warm water, sun, palm trees, white sand that squeaks under my feet, preferably a beach facing towards west so I can see the sunset.... Anybody want to tell me where that is?

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