Editor’s note: The following is a guest post from Nick and Dariece, two intrepid travelers currently undertaking an amazing trip!
Lazing around on a beach, swaying back and forth in a hammock and listening to the waves with nothing more than a book & a beer…is there anything better than that?! The routine of tan, swim, read, drink and repeat is so relaxing and so enjoyable that it’s hard to pull yourself away.
We know that we haven’t seen every beach in the world. But, based on the ones we have seen, these are our favourites in terms of peacefulness, seclusion, colour of the sand, clearness of the water and the all around vibe. Our top 5 are:
1. Koh Rong, Cambodia: This unbelievable beach, about a 2 hour boat ride outside of Sihanoukville, is a dream come true. From what we’ve been reading about our hidden gem (maybe not so hidden anymore) is that there are plans to make this “Asia’s first environmentally planned resort island”, complete with an airport, casino, golf course, resorts, etc. For the time being, there’s a couple of companies with huts/bungalows on different beaches on the island. The beach we’re talking about is one that is 8km long, where the water is so incredibly clear that it literally looks like you’re in a swimming pool. There’s not a rock or speck of seaweed in the water, it’s just sand. Looking back at the beach from the water, you’ll see nothing but sand, jungle and the odd buffalo who got lost on his way to the village. The sand is so blindingly white and powdery soft that it looks like it just snowed right there in Cambodia! You have to go now before the huge resorts take over.
2. Matemo Island, Mozambique: This beach in the Quirimbas Archipelago is stunning. Imagine rounding the corner of this island in your boat and seeing nothing but a very long stretch of perfectly white sand littered with shiny shells, a sandbar jutting out into the sea, palm trees swaying in the wind, crystal clear turquoise waters shimmering like glass and not a person in sight! There’s one exclusive resort on the island that you have to fly into, other than that, there’s just one local village at the other end. This archipelago is stocked with amazing islands and beaches, but the beach at Matemo Island is our favourite!
3. Kuta Beach, Lombok Island, Indonesia: The main beach in Kuta town is fairly popular and not all that good for swimming. However, if you rent a motorbike and set off to explore the area, you’ll drive down a very steep, very rocky road, pass by villages, rice plantations and herds of buffalo and then BAM! You’ll find yourself staring face to face with a beautiful beach and you’ll be one of the few people there. The water here is turquoise-blue, the sand is white, it’s surrounded by cliffs and the gradient is steep into the water, which makes for perfect swimming.
4. Balos Beach, Crete Island, Greece: This beach is pretty difficult to get to but oh so worth the effort! You walk down a steep, rocky pathway and as you round the bend in the mountain you’ll be staring in awe at a beautiful bay of turquoise, royal blue waters. The sand here is pure white, the water is very calm and there’s nothing more than a few beach chairs with umbrellas. One word: stunning.
5. Haad Rin, Koh Phangan, Thailand: We’ll admit that this beach is hardly secluded, but outside of the Full Moon Party you can have the place virtually to yourself. It’s one of the nicest we’ve seen. It has it all: white sand, crystal-clear water, a good gradient into the water for swimming, some restaurants and bars on the beach for entertainment & an all around fun vibe. That’s why it’s at #5, because it’s not secluded or difficult to get to, but that’s one of the reasons why we love this beach and we think you will too!
This list could go on and on and on…there’s so many fabulous beaches, some we’ve seen and others we have yet to see. We hope this list helps you find your dream beach, whether it’s somewhere off the map or somewhere planted firmly on it. There are many stretches of coastlines, islands and coves waiting to be discovered, so what are you waiting for?
Feel free to comment below and add your favourites!
Nick & Dariece have left everything behind in search of cultural experiences, beautiful beaches and off the beaten path adventures. Their website for budget backpackers encourages other backpackers to do the same and shows them how to do it.