When it’s this cold outside and the only thing on the horizon is more cold, sitting on a warm beach with a drink in hand seems like a distant fantasy – but it doesn’t have to be.
If you can’t put up with one more snowy day and are sick of layering up until you resemble the Michelin Man, leave the ski jacket behind and head to one of these standout beaches. Just don’t forget the sunscreen.
Anse Lazio – Praslin, Seychelles
The beach to hit up if you’re looking for likes. The blinding white sand, azure sea and lush backdrop give you an excuse to do it for the ‘gram.
It’s also an amazing place to hike, so make sure to pack your Timberlands along with your selfie stick.
Glass Beach – Kauai, Hawaii
There’s no shortage of beautiful beaches on Hawaii’s least developed island. But if you’re sick of sitting and staring into the breathtaking distance, Glass Beach should be on your itinerary.
It’s covered in multicoloured glass pebbles (especially at low tide), which make for a one-of-a-kind place to explore; and the glass also makes impressive (and inexpensive) souvenirs.
El Castillo – Tulum, Mexico
History nerds need relaxation time too. El Castillo should please, with sand beaches and clear water surrounded by some of the best preserved 13th-century Mayan ruins.
Along with climbing the pyramids, you can snorkel, scuba and salsa all within a stone’s throw from the shore. Get tanned and cultured.
Ipanema Beach – Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
If Ibiza is too tame (and too clothed) for your tastes, then Ipanema Beach should be more your scene.
Surrounded by bars, come for the outstanding ocean views and stay for the never-ending party. And, naturally, the ridiculously attractive locals. It is the land of Brazilian bikinis, after all.
Mosquito Bay – Vieques, Puerto Rico
Also known as Bioluminescent Bay, to do it right requires some planning – but the pay-off is big.
Sign up with a tour guide and make sure to get a clear kayak (swimming is illegal in these unique waters), then prepare for a light show that puts Pink Floyd to shame.
Long Beach – Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
It’s hard to beat Long Beach in terms of romance. If you’re looking to impress, perfect sunsets, top-notch snorkelling and secret alcoves will definitely do the trick.
There’s also always a party going on in the nearby Tonsai Village if drinks and dancing are needed to seal the deal.
Horseshoe Bay – Bermuda
Despite what most people think, Bermuda is not in the Caribbean. But with beaches like Horseshoe Bay, it’s easy to understand the confusion.
With Bermuda’s iconic pink sand and crystal blue water, you’ll find it pretty hard to believe that you’re only an hour and a half flight away from New York City.
Just wait until it gets a little warmer to visit. Bermuda might have Caribbean calibre beaches, it definitely doesn’t have Caribbean calibre temperatures.
Barnes Bay – Anguilla
If you’re in the mood to drop some serious cash for some serious relaxation, make a reservation at the five-star Viceroy Anguilla hotel and spend your days at Barnes Bay.
There are 33 near-perfect beaches in Anguilla, but you won’t find one with softer sand or better service.
Bells Beach – Victoria, Australia
For surfers, Bells Beach is Mecca. It’s been home to the Rip Curl Pro surfing competition since 1961, but also offers some stunning views for those that aren’t trying to re-enact Point Break.
Make sure to get there at the beginning or end of this hemisphere’s winter, when the waves are biggest and the surfers the best.
South Beach – Miami, Florida
Don’t hit up South Beach intending to plough through your reading list – this is a place that takes partying seriously.
While it’s technically illegal, day-drinking on the beach is a must and the best way to ease yourself into South Beach lifestyle. Make sure to check out one of the beach-side hotel pool parties. They’re the best way to have the ultimate South Beach experience, while still doing irreparable damage to your liver.