Tips and advice for finding the perfect beach holiday
Planning your next holiday on the beach? Whether you're after tranquil turquoise seas and palm trees or a rocky coastline, Cheapflights has advice to help with your search.
If you're looking for the ultimate "natural" holiday, you can do no better than finding a nudist beach and stripping off under the sun. Our travel tip on Nude Beaches suggests some of the best locations for naked sunbathing, along with some tips on etiquette. Just don't forget the sunscreen...
If you're travelling with children, a beach full of nudists might lead to awkward giggling. Those in the bucket-and-spade brigade are normally looking for safe secluded waters and clean beaches. Cheapflights travel tip on Family Friendly Beaches has recommendations of some of the best beaches for children around the world.
You don't have to travel the world to find the most amazing beaches. If it's a hot summer's day, visit Brighton for the traditional British beach experience.
Within Europe and only a short flight away, are plenty of hot, sandy beaches. Those in the south of France are best known and include destinations in the French Riviera, such as Nice, St Tropez and Cannes. Spain is ever-popular with British tourists, especially the beaches in the Costa Blanca, Costa Brava and Costa del Sol.
The coastline of Croatia enjoys the warm Adriatic Sea. The island of Hvar is a popular destination, though the beaches themselves are all rocky. Further south Montenegro is fast becoming a popular destination.
In Italy, the western coast is the biggest draw. The area around Amalfi stuns tourists each year with its precarious-looking hillside towns perched atop sparkling seas. The beaches here are often crowded but this is the place to see and be seen. The islands of Sicily and Sardinia are quieter, but enjoy the same excellent sun record as well as some attractive stretches of sand.
Slightly further afield, Greece has a range of islands with more stunning beaches than it would be possible to visit in a lifetime. Hop from island to island or visit one of the favourites, such as Rhodes, Zakynthos or Kos.
Travel over to the north and west of Africa is increasingly easy and can take as little as three hours flying-time. Low-cost airlines have opened up new routes to destinations in Morocco and Tunisia, meaning the beaches are easily accessible.
The Canary Islands, just off the African coast, are well suited both to families and party lovers. There is a resort or a beach to appeal to all tastes. Cheapflights guides outline the varying attractions of the different resorts, take a look at the guides to Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura.
If you've time to travel long-haul, the picture-perfect white sand, palm-fringed beaches can be found in numerous locations. South East Asia has in the past been most popular with backpackers, who have stayed in beach huts on the many islands of Thailand. Recently, however, high end resorts have opened across Thailand and luxury and spa facilities are available in many destinations. Nearby Vietnam offers some more remote beaches and islands along Halong Bay.
If you're looking for winter sun, visit one of the many islands of the Caribbean where the beaches are almost always of white sand. Each island has its own unique flavour. Take a look at the guides on Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, St Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago to choose your ideal destination.
Some of the best underwater life is found in the famous Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The city beaches here, such as Bondi Beach in Sydney, are some of the best in the world. But it's the nearby Cook Islands and Fiji that are best known for paradise beaches: blue skies, white sand and coconut palm trees.
Updated April 2013