8 of the best beaches for summer 2019
1. Cala Llombards, Majorca – return flights in August from €58*
This sheltered Majorcan cove of shimmering sand and azure waves is protected by rocky headlands studded with pine trees. It’s the perfect Mediterranean beach – with the added interest of some great snorkelling up against the rocks. Once you’ve had your fill of tanning and making friends with the fish, wander round the headland to Cala Santanyí to see the remarkable rock arch, Es Pontàs, which stands with both feet in the sea.
Where to stay in Majorca
Hotel Pinos Playa nestles on the edge of a nearby cove. Doubles with sea views start from about €120* in August.
We’ve put together a list of the best secret beaches in the Mediterranean Sea – along with tips on how to reach them.
2. Falsterbo, Sweden – return flights in June from €46*
Scandinavia probably isn’t your first thought for a beach break, but Sweden‘s southernmost province, Skåne, is a natural paradise of rocky coves and white sandy beaches. Fly to Copenhagen, then make the short hop across the Øresund Bridge (aka The Bridge in the TV series). The beach at Falsterbo serves up several kilometres of perfect sand, lapped by clear waters and backed by dunes and picture-perfect pastel-hued beach huts. Mid-summer, the temperatures hit the mid-20s. So, what are you waiting for?
Where to stay in Falsterbo
Simple chalets snuggle beneath the fir trees at EFS Höllviksstrand and are moments from the beach. Rooms from about €50* a night in June.
3. Hossegor, France – return flights in August from €63*
At Hossegor, north of Biarritz, it’s not so much the sand that will blow your mind, as the ocean. Here, the Bay of Biscay generates big swells and, when conditions are right, they create some of the best beach-breaking waves in the world. The displays of strength, courage and skill from local and visiting surfers will leave you speechless. Whenever the sea is quieter, you can take a surf lesson at Plage Centrale, too. In late summer the water’s so warm you don’t need a wetsuit.
As for the sand – well, there’s nearly 7km of it, stretching north and backed by a forest. Sunbathers will love the privacy you get here if you’re prepared to walk away from the main hubs. However, with beach-volleyball, yoga and stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) all on offer – as well as the waves – it’s a destination that suits busy people best.
Where to stay in Hossegor
Oskar is a simple and friendly hotel with a brilliant location, two-minutes walk from the beach, as well as several surf schools. Doubles cost about €125* a night in August.
Planning a staycation? Here are the best places for surfing in Ireland in 2019.
4. South Beach, Miami, USA – return flights in June from €402*
Of course, beach life doesn’t have to be about peace and tranquillity. If you like your sun, sea and sand combined with sophistication, then head for happening South Beach, Miami. A perfect stretch of sand blanketed with perfectly-toned bodies, it’s the place to sun and be seen. Once you’ve had your fill of checking out the talent and chilling with a cocktail or two, put on your glad rags and head out to sample the legendary nightlife. There are hip hotels a-plenty, too.
Where to stay in Miami
The Art Deco Chesterfield Hotel on South Beach has a funky safari-themed bar to spend happy hour. Rooms from about €110* a night.
Miami Beach, Art Deco, Little Havana – from clubbing to museums, here are our top 10 things to do in Miami.
5. Thong Nai Pan Yai, Thailand – return flights in June from €464*
On the east coast of Koh Pha-ngan, Tong Nai Pan Yai is a quiet and lovely cove with a gaggle of lazy bars and restaurants right on the beach. The soft white sand shelves very gently so it’s perfect for little ones. It’s ideal for sitting with the warm sea lapping your toes and reading a book, but the most memorable moments come as darkness falls. That’s when the bars set up seafood barbecues and you dine on the sands by candlelight.
Where to stay in Thong Nai Pan Yai
Right on the beachfront, the friendly Havana Beach Resort has double rooms from about €45 a night in June.
When is the best time to visit Thailand? Skyscanner’s quick guide gives you an idea of when to visit Northern, Central and Southern Thailand in 2019!
6. Playa Blanca, Cahuita, Costa Rica – return flights in June from €677
Nestled in Cahuita National Park on Costa Rica’s southern Caribbean coast, this part of the country gets hardly any visitors. The beach is beautiful: a typical slice of soft Caribbean sand and clear blue waters. But what makes it special is the wildlife. Here, the rainforest comes right down to water’s edge so sloths and birds of paradise will be your neighbours. You’ll hear howler monkeys too, who certainly live up to their name.
Where to stay in Playa Blanca
Bungalows Ache has simple but lovely wooden bungalows, set in leafy gardens moments from the beach – from about €45 a night.
From active volcanoes to tropical rainforests, here are our top 10 things to do in Costa Rica – in pictures.
7. Akumal Beach, Mexico – return flights in June from €535*
Away from the hubbub of Cancun and Playa del Carmen, Akumal is a small beachfront town a little further down the coast. It’s the archetypal paradise beach with white sugary sand, palm trees bobbing gently in the breeze and an aquamarine sea. The name Akumal means ‘place of turtles’ in Maya, which tells you what the other big draw is. Rent some snorkelling gear, flop into the water and go see if you can find them. They’re often found snacking on the sea grass just off shore.
Where to stay in Akumal
Hotel Akumal Caribe is right on the beach and plays an active part in protecting sea turtles and hatchings. Doubles start from about €157* a night in June.
8. Rottnest Island, Australia – return flights in June from €799
Hop on the ferry to this tiny island and you’ll discover a wonderful world of spectacular white-sand beaches and coral coves. There are dozens to choose from, but the best of the bunch is The Basin. Here, the coral is fringed by a large, sandy depression, shallow enough to walk in. In effect, it’s one of Australia’s most visitor-friendly fish tanks. Although in June it’s effectively winter here, there are plenty of ways to enjoy nature – and the water remains warm at around 19°C. You can swim if you like or just sit on in the crystal-clear water watching the sea-life shimmering in the sunlight around you.
Where to stay in Rottnest Island
The Indian Ocean Hotel has bright rooms around a small pool, a short walk from the beach, for about €52* a night in June.
8 beaches that will blow your mind in 2019
|1. Cala Llombards, Majorca|
|2. Falsterbo, Sweden|
|3. Hossegor, France|
|4. South Beach, Miami, USA|
|5. Thong Nai Pan Yai, Thailand|
|6. Playa Blanca, Cahuita, Costa Rica|
|7. Akumal Beach, Mexico|
|8. Rottnest Island, Australia|
*Updated April 2019. All flight prices mentioned in this article are estimates of the cheapest prices as found using Skyscanner’s flight search tool, for return flights from Ireland, 1 person, economy. These are subject to change and were correct at time of writing on 23th April 2019.