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Our Top 10 Gorgeous Beaches

By Amanda Marks

It’s hard to limit the gorgeous beach we know around the world to just ten, but here goes … By the way, this is in no particular order (as they say on quiz shows) as we really couldn’t make our minds up without coming to blows in the office.

Lopez Mendes beach


Lopez Mendes beach on Ilha Grande, a couple of hours drive south of Rio de Janeiro, has powder-white sands, clear turquoise waters and no beach bars or anything else – it’s simply backed by wilderness. You have to get a boat here from hotels mostly on the other side of the island.


Stay at: Asalem
A small friendly lodge on Ilha Grande.

Best time to come:

November to May


Bazaruto Archipelago


The Bazaruto Archipelago is off southern Mozambique. It is a string of idyllic tropical islands off the southern coast of Mozambique with superb beaches and wonderful opportunities for snorkelling and diving.


Stay at: Azura Benquerra Island
A luxury boutique eco-retreat with 17 villas and a spa.

Best time to come:

May to November



Neeleshwar Hermitage


Neeleshwar Hermitage is in northern Kerala. It’s a comfortable, elegant retreat next to a lovely coconut palm-lined beach, and also has a very good ayurvedic spa.


Stay at: Neeleshwar Hermitage.



Best time to come:

October to April


Fanjove Private Island


Fanjove Private Island is a truly tiny island south of Zanzibar and Mafia in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Tanzania. Not many people know about this place and its 6 beach ‘huts’, yet here you have a whole island to yourself, including an amazing beach, excellent snorkelling and cool pond-dipping!


Stay at: Fanjove Private Island



Best time to come:

December to March, June to October


Diani Beach


Diani Beach, south of Mombasa, is one of Kenya’s best beach spots.


Stay at: Afro Chic.
A beautiful 10-room boutique hotel on the beach. Gorgeous.



Best time to come:

December to March, June to October


Likoma Island


Likoma Island is in Lake Malawi. OK this is not on the coast, but being next to Lake Malawi feels like being by the sea, and it’s really pretty here.



Stay at: Kaya Mawa
A gorgeous rustic-luxury romantic lakeside lodge on a sandy bay.



Best time to come:

April to October


Ngapali Beach


Ngapali Beach is Burma’s best beach. It’s a lovely tropical palm-lined beach on the Bay of Bengal, complete with occasional ox-carts and small fishing boats heading off from here.


Stay at: Ngapali Bay Villas.
A stylish beachfront hotel.



Best time to come:

November to March


Playa Manuel Antonio

Costa Rica

Playa Manuel Antonio is one of the best beaches in Costa Rica. It’s a long sandy beach fringed by incredible rainforest. Beautiful and great for swimming and sunbathing.


Stay at: Parador Resort and Spa
A top quality eco-hotel a short distance from Manual Antonio Park and close to the beach.



Best time to come:

December to April


Belle Mare Beach


Belle Mare Beach is a stunning 2 kilometre beach on a sheltered bay on the east coast of Mauritius.


Stay at: Belle Mare Plage
A large luxury beach hotel with lots of facilities.



Best time to come:

May to December


Copacabana Beach


Copacabana Beach in Brazil is known worldwide of course. It’s where you come to watch the beautiful people of Rio and enjoy beach life in this most beautiful bay.


Stay at: Copacabana Palace
One of Rio’s most iconic luxury hotels.



Best time to come:

December to March is high season.
May to October is cooler and less busy.


If you’d like some more good beach holiday choices, have a look at our page showing all our beach holidays.

suggested beach holidays
Kaya Mawa, Lake Malawi
Lake Malawi Holiday
8 days from £2750 pp

Escape to the beaches of Lake Malawi to chill out and enjoy watersports. 

Rio and the Costa verde
Rio and the Costa Verde
8 days from £2630 pp

Enjoy the excitement of Rio before arriving at your own private paradise on the Costa Verde.

Mozambique Beach Holiday
Mozambique Beach Holiday
7 days from £1345 pp

Experience the pristine coast and dunes of the Santa Maria Peninsula in southern Mozambique. 

Ngapali Beach
Ngapali Beach Extension
4 days from £255 pp
Azure ocean, miles of white sand, sundowners on the beach & delicious seafood - what better to end your holiday in Burma? 
Costa Rica coast to coast
Costa Rica Coast to Coast
12 days from £2105 pp

Traversing this small country you'll be amazed by the richness and variety of the scenery and wildlife. 


Cruise the Galapagos
Costa Rica Specialists
Botswana Specialists

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