Rio de Janeiro was my first travel destination during my gap year in 2010 and for that reason is a place that will always live fondly in my memory. Staying in Copacabana meant that the hostel was only situated yards away from one of the world’s most iconic sights and provided a great gateway to one of the finest beaches I had ever encountered before. Beautiful views, people and sunshine are all part of the package in Copacabana, as hours spent on the beach very quickly turn into days. Sat down with a caipirinha in one hand and your travel journal in the other, whilst admiring all the best qualities this fine city has to offer wasn’t a bad way to start my gap year. So for this reason Copacabana definitely makes the cut!
Whitehaven beach is part of the more widely known Whitsunday Islands which are located along the coastline of Queensland, Australia. The real beauty of this beach is best witnessed from above as you look out over its crystal clear water and pristine white sand. The way these two aspects combine together leaves you with a truly breath-taking scene which can be admired for hours. However, after a while temptation will no doubt get the better of you, as you head down onto the beach and relax in its shallow waters. When on the beach we also enjoyed a picnic in what made for one of the best day trips I had during my travels.
3) Cape Tribulation-
In Cape Tribulation, Australia, I stayed at the Beach House resort which is ideally located in the heart of the rainforest and only footsteps away from one of the most stunning beaches you are likely to see. There aren’t many people who can say they have experienced the odd sensation of palming away thick rainforest branches one minute, to then finding themselves sun bathing on a beautiful beach the next. This is a beach with very few people, plenty of wildlife and sensational views which all combine to give you a feeling of great satisfaction. As you step out from the rainforest onto this beach every morning you may, like me, find it hard to tear yourself away come the end of your stay.
Quite often it is the beaches with the fewest amounts of people on that really appeal to me. If you can go several hours having to only speak to the odd person who very occasionally passes by, then in my opinion you’ve found a little pocket of paradise. Chintsa is located along South Africa’s Wild Coast in what could potentially be my favourite stretch of coastline to date. With very few tourists in sight it is basically just you and the local fishermen and surfers enjoying all the delights this beach offers. After the absolute chaos of Coffee Bay further along the coast, I came here for a few days with only some beers and the sunshine for company, bliss!
Boulders Beach is located in Cape Town, South Africa, and for me stands out mainly due to the animals that can be found on this rather unique beach. They are probably the least likely of animals that people may imagine you’d find on a beach in Africa, but here at Boulders you are literally surrounded by penguins. It is quite a surreal experience to be sweating like crazy from the African sun alongside animals you most likely associate with ice, a mineral which both yourself and the penguins are just as likely to be craving in the heat! With a host of beautiful beaches around the world, this one offers a slightly different experience whilst maintaining all the qualities you look for in a beach.