To most of us a holiday means a beach; those two weeks on soft, golden sand looking out over the ocean with a good book and a cocktail to hand are what gets us through the year.
Good beach holidays are a chance to rest and refresh ourselves after busy day-to-day life. Choose the right place to go and you’ll enjoy two weeks of heavenly seafront relaxation.
Here’s a selection of the 10 of the best beaches in the world:
Es Trenc, Majorca
With over 120 beaches, Majorca holidays are a beach-lover’s paradise. The south of the island is where you’ll find the most picturesque beaches, and of those Es Trenc is a contender for the best.
With its bright white sand and turquoise waters, as well as a close proximity to Palma, Es Trenc can’t be described as a well-kept secret. However, you’ll find much quieter sections of this popular beach if you prefer.
Only a short flight from the UK, Majorca is the perfect destination for long or short beach breaks. Fly to Palma and you can be at Es Trenc beach in less than half an hour.
Bondi Beach, Sydney
Those who like to people watch on the beach will be in their element at Bondi. From the cool surfer community to the immaculate bikini clad posers, wherever you look on Bondi Beach there’s a hive of activity.
Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
The beaches of Playa Del Carmen feel a world away from the high-rises of busy tourist hub Cancun. Still enjoying a fun beachfront scene, Playa Del Carmen boasts a 10-mile stretch of white sands looking out to the shimmering, deep blue Caribbean ocean.
Shell Beach, Isle of Purbeck, Dorset
You’ll need to take a short ferry ride from the mainland to get to this unspoilt beach, which makes it more exciting and magical. Protected by the National Trust and largely left alone, you’ll enjoy a taste of a real, rugged beach when you visit the Isle of Purbeck.
Turtle Bay, Kenya
Although busy, the white powder sand of Turtle Bay is still one of the world’s best beaches. A four-mile stretch of brilliance, fringed by a jewel-like coral reef, you can sunbathe or snorkel in paradise at this beach.
Anse Lazio, Seychelles
For somewhere a touch quieter, this beach in the Seychelles doesn’t often register on the main tourist radar. With no hotels to spoil the other-worldly combination of pink sands and lush, green rainforests, Anse Lazio is the very definition of hidden gem.
Golden Sands, Bulgaria
This beach has won numerous awards for its environmental awareness, and boasts the softest golden sands imaginable.
Pentrez Plage, Brittany
A beautiful French beach complete with organic rock pools and miles of white sand, this is a great beach for active families who want space to run and play in the sand and surf.
Sagres, Algarve, Portugal
An undeveloped beach on the Portuguese coast is a valuable find, and Sagres has a dramatic feel to it. Flanked by rugged orange cliffs and boasting some great wave action, Sagres’ beach is a fine, clear spot away from the tourist hoards.
Turquoise Coast, Patara, Turkey
This 19 km stretch of soft sand is protected from development due to its national park status. A great place to spot the endangered loggerhead turtle, the Turquoise Coast is a real Turkish delight.
With so many stunning sandy beaches to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to head to for the most magical, relaxing and revitalising stay. However, with these coastal hot spots it’s impossible to make a bad choice.
Whatever beautiful beach you choose for this year’s holidays 2011 can be the year you take a trip you’ll never forget.