Sun, sea and sand. Will you be heading off on a beach holiday this year? Sun-bathing on soft white sand and cooling off in emerald-green waters sounds like my idea of the paradise. With so many beautiful beach destinations to choose from, however, it’s often difficult to decide which ones are worth splashing out on. To give you some inspiration, here are my pick of the best beach destinations to visit in 2018:
1) El Nido – Palawan, Philippines
El Nido is a small town in the northern part of Palawan, Philippines. Despite its geographic site, one should not underestimate the island(s) as it has some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. The towering limestone cliffs, which are its noticeable features, are a sight you won’t soon forget. As high as 200 meters, these natural wonders are one of El Nido’s greatest attractions for good reason.
The popular activities in the area include snorkeling, diving, and trekking. You can also enjoy different island-hopping packages; from a variety of lagoons to different white beaches. Take a day trip to Nacpan Beach, a quieter and more laid-back type of beach in far northern and spend time on idyllic white sand between the twin beaches. For the adventurers who don’t mind spending another day in El Nido, a visit in Taraw Cliff via a canopy walk gives you a bigger picture of the location.
Suggested by Kevin Del Prado, The Outcast Journey
2) Lagos – Algarve, Portugal
No matter how many times I visit the tiny town of Lagos in the Algarve, Portugal, I always end up going back. I’ve been three times now and I’d go back in a heartbeat; I even spent Christmas Day 2016 there!
It’s easy to see why I’ve chosen to include Lagos in my list of the best beach destinations; the town is home to some of the best beaches in the Algarve, including the reputable Meia Praia, Praia da Batata (a.k.a ‘potato beach’), Praia Dona Ana (once named the ‘best beach in the World’ by Condé Nast Traveller magazine) and Praia do Camilo.
If you fancy a break from lying around in the hot Algarvian sunshine, take a stroll along the narrow cobbled streets of the town centre, where you’ll find authentic Portuguese restaurants, gift shops, street performers and abstract street art. Meanwhile, history buffs will be fascinated by Forte da Ponta da Bandeira – an old maritime fortress, now a museum consisting of artefacts from Portuguese discoveries.
3) Emily Bay – Norfolk Island, Australia
Emily Bay can be found on Norfolk Island, a 34.6sq km dot in the ocean and Australian external territory, between New Zealand and New Caledonia. Perfectly protected by a double reef, this secluded oasis Harbour a diverse coral reef system, sea turtles and a plethora of sea creatures.
With sparkling, crystal clear waters, Emily Bay is considered one of Australia’s top 10 beaches (TripAdvisor, 2017). Boasting visibility to depths unrivaled by most, this family friendly beach is one you’ll never want to leave!
If you like history, be prepared to be wooed! Emily Bay is situated in the historic Kingston area, one of the 11 UNESCO convict sites. While floating in her tranquil waters you can gaze upon the old convict ruins, spot the lone Norfolk Pine himself sketched over 200 years ago, or just watch the world go by.
For those a little reluctant to head to the reef for a little snorkeling , a glass bottom boat laps the reef a couple of times a day giving you an opportunity to explore the coral without getting wet!
Norfolk Island can be accessed by plane from Sydney, Brisbane or Auckland.
Suggested by Leah Smileski, The Kid Bucket List
4) Negril – Westmoreland, Jamaica
Jamaica’s ‘capital of cool’, Negril is a friendly, laid back town home to several beautiful beaches. I spent around two and a half months in Negril back in 2014, and it was the time of my life.
If I felt like spending a day at the beach, I’d head to the world-famous 7-Mile Beach. Walk along miles of soft white sand and sparkling turquoise waters, lined with bars and hotels, until you find the perfect spot. Hire a sun-lounger or bring a towel with you to lie on, and relax in the Caribbean sunshine with a piña colada or a rum punch. This has to be one of the best beach destinations in the world!
When I wanted to just chill out and get away from it all, the best place to go was the West End Cliffs, dotted with boutique resorts and rocky beaches, many of which are great for snorkelling and scuba diving. Here, you can visit one of the top ten bars in the world, Rick’s Cafe. A popular cliff-diving spot, adventure-seeing enthusiasts head to Rick’s to make jumps of up to 35-feet tall (at their own risk!) Think that’s scary? Some of the local professional cliff-divers make jumps of up to 80ft!
When darkness falls, Bourbon Beach is one of the best beach destinations for both locals and tourists alike. With a traditional beach bar and plenty of seating, every night you can watch dancers, performers, bands and even fire-eaters take to the stage. If you’re feeling confident, get up on stage and take part in a dance-off, all in the name of good fun!
Every Thailand Island is known for something unique, like world-class resorts, diving, crazy parties, and jungle trekking!
The easiest way to travel between Thailand islands is by ferry-boat, but you can hire private taxi boats for travel between some of the smaller islands, such as Koh Phi Phi Ley. These taxi boats are a staple of visiting Thailand and definitely recommended at least once during your trip!
The breathtaking and world-famous Thai sunsets along the coastlines are incomparable to anywhere else in the world.
Suggested by Bailey Mills, The Gay Globetrotter
No matter what Islands you decide to visit, you will be met with some of the most beautiful scenery, wildlife, crystal-clear waters, and powdery white sand beaches you have ever seen. I honestly cried when I left. Make sure you don’t miss the sunsets!