...and 10 of the rest exotic beaches
• Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands: One of the most famous beaches in the Caribbean, Seven Mile Beach is actually 5.5 miles long and comprises a broad expanse soft sands where you can laze, paddle in the crystal-clear waters or indulge in a multitude of water sports. www.caymanislands.co.uk
• Loblolly Bay, Anegada, British Virgin Islands: This pristine, white-sand beach winds snake-like around the north side of Anegada, the only coral atoll in the volcanic BVI chain. Kick back and relax on one of the Caribbean’s best beaches, then enjoy a lobster lunch from one a beach-side snack bar. www.bvitourism.com
• Vilu Reef Beach & Spa Resort, Maldives: Located in South Nilandhe Atoll in the far south of the Maldives, tiny and remote Vilu Reef Beach & Spa Resort is surrounded by lush green vegetation, tall coconut palms and a beautiful beach of sugar-white sand. A stunning lagoon one side and a reef the other makes it perfect for beach bums and ideal for snorkelling and diving. The gently-sloping beach also has a thriving turtle population and guests staying there in spring can see hatchlings emerge at night. Operators offering packages include Thomson. www.thomson.co.uk
• Macaroni Beach, Mustique, St Vincent & the Grenadines: The picture-postcard cove of Macaroni beach lies on the east coast of Mustique, a private Caribbean island of deserted white sandy beaches surrounded by protected reefs and clear aquamarine seas that attracts celebrities but also appeals to couples and families looking for an idyllic setting. Macaroni Beach is the island’s most famous beach and is sheltered between two jutting headlands and provides the perfect hideaway. www.mustique-island.com
• Denis Island, Seychelles: Set in the northernmost part of the Seychelles archipelago, Denis is a private tropical paradise island encircled by a glorious white-sand beach protected by a reef and lagoon with a luxuriant forest that echoes to the call of land and sea birds. When guests are not sunbathing on the beach or bathing in the calm lagoon waters, they can go diving or snorkelling in the teeming Indian Ocean waters, wander through the forest, join resident experts on a bird feeding or nature tour, browse the old village craft workshops or visit the giant tortoise colony. www.seychelles.travel
• Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka: Lapped by the Indian Ocean, the endless stretches of beach on Sri Lanka’s south-west coast are legendary and Hikkaduwa’s sands are among the best. A small fishing village until the early 1960s, Hikkaduwa is now a popular resort with its palm-fringed sands one of the top attractions. Offshore coral reefs teeming with fish offer excellent diving, while November to March brings good surfing waves during the dry season. www.srilanka.travel
• Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia: Refurbished in March, 2011, the award-winning Lizard Island is an idyllic retreat located on the spectacular Great Barrier Reef and fringed with pristine coral reefs, crystal clear waters and 24 powdery-white beaches. Guests can make the most of the secluded beach hideaways, by “disappearing” for the day in one of the resort’s motorised dinghies with a gourmet picnic to relax in the soft sand and sun completely on their own – with staff co-ordinating who is going where to ensure they remain undisturbed! Book through Tailor Made Travel. www.tailor-made.co.uk
• Cathedral Cove, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand: Looking more like a tropical beach straight from Thailand or Vietnam with its limestone rock formations and luxuriant vegetation, stunning Cathedral Cove is a favourite with locals and visitors alike. It is reached by a long cliff-top walk from the nearest car park, but the views alone are worth it. There are two beaches linked via a rock arch, the more secluded even offering a natural shower in the form of a gentle waterfall tumbling off the forested, protecting cliff. www.newzealand.com
• Nungwi, Zanzibar: The island of Zanzibar, just off the coast of Tanzania, has been attracting travellers since Arab traders discovered it in the 8th century and made it a Muslim enclave. They may not have come for its beaches, but today’s visitors can savour its dazzling white sands and undersea life-rich waters as well as its history. Nungwi, in the far north of the island, has some of the best beaches and is the centre of its traditional dhow-building industry. Stay at the Sunset Kwenda resort with Acacia Africa. www.acacia-africa.com
• Patara Beach, Lycian Coast, Antalya, Turkey: One of the most beautiful and unspoilt beaches in the Mediterannean, Patara is also one of its longest – with 11 miles of golden sands on the Turkish Riviera’s Lycian Coast backed by towering sand dunes and the Taurus Mountains. Buildings are banned under strict conservation laws that also protect the loggerhead turtles which return each spring to lay their eggs. Patara is also the home of Santa Claus; it was the birthplace of St Nicholas. Stay at Patara with Exclusive Escapes. www.exclusiveescapes.co.uk
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