My daughter Jasmine and I recently went to Cambodia and one of our highlights was taking a snorkelling trip to a (virtually) untouched island where we swam in clear warm waters and…well, that’s what we did all day. It wouldn’t quite make my Top Ten list of the best beaches that I’ve been to, but it was certainly up there. There are so many other wonderful beaches in the world that I’m yet to go to, but in my travels so far here are (in no particular order) my favourite beaches:
Alofi, Wallis and Futuna
I had the entire island to myself for two days (besides a few wild pigs). I slept on the beach and lived on Sao biscuits and tins of tuna. Heaven.
In photos of Whitehaven the sand is so white and the water so blue that it looks like its been retouched in Photoshop. But, it really is that white and blue.
Hanauma Bay, Hawaii
Yes, Hanauma Bay can be absolutely swarming with tourists, but I got there first thing in the morning and had the amazing beach to myself. Oh, except for a couple of Germans because they are always there first.
Baucau, East Timor
There was only one room available on the whole beach (in fact, about four beaches) and I had the water all to myself (although the large man-eating crocodile in the water that I only learned about when I was leaving probably kept the locals away).
Nilaveli, Sri Lanka
Nilaveli Beach Resort not only sits on a gorgeous palm-fringed beach, but there are no other resorts within kilometres of it (oh, except the burnt out shells of resorts that had been blown up by the Tamil Tigers).
Pelican Beach, Australia
Pelican Beach is actually a tiny island about twenty minutes by boat from Hervey Bay in Queensland. My brother Bruce (along with his family) took us out there on the way to Fraser Island. And, best of all, we had the entire island to ourselves. I could wax lyrical about the perfectly white sand and perfectly aqua water, but I think this photos will give you a good idea…
Blue Lagoon, Malta
Boatloads of daytrippers pour into Blue Lagoon, but I was staying at the only hotel on the island of Comino and I got up ridiculously early for someone on holidays to have it to myself for a couple of hours.
Paleokastritsa was the first beach I’d ever seen out of Australia. I was staying by a tiny muddy bay and hired a scooter to zoom across the island to get there. It was off-season, so without the crowds it was truly magical.
Lizard Island, Australia
Lizard Island is so exclusive that you get your own beach. You are given a little chug-chug boat and a map and sent to your own beach (there is one for every guest!). You also get a huge hamper full of food and amazing coral and fish only metres off shore. And you can go to a different beach every day you are there.
Ipanema Beach, Brazil
Yes there are crowds, but boy what a nice crowd – girls wearing barely anything, skilled footballers and oh so cool Cariocas. And the beach is beautiful, too – If you can keep your eyes of all the hot bodies.
And there are plenty of other amazing beaches out there that I haven’t been to yet (Seychelles, Mauritius, Maldives, most of the Caribbean islands just to name a few).