A beach for every season

Travel Destinations — By on August 17, 2010 at 11:42 am
Ko Lanta Yai Beach Thailand

Ko Lanta Yai Beach in Thailand's Krabi province.

It’s still the height of summer in North America, although not for much longer. But maybe it helps to remember that it’s always beach season someplace in the world. BootsnAll recently published an article about that topic, with a rundown of some of the best beaches to frequent by month. A few of their selections:

December – Krabi Beach, Thailand: While most of the world is making snow angels, drinking egg nog and celebrating the holidays, travelers to Krabi have their feet kicked up on the beach, drinking a Pina Colada. Krabi features multiple tranquil beaches that offer the type of ambiance you’d expect in the Caribbean, but on the other side of the world and often with fewer people. Most of the villas and hotels are located on the waterfront and travelers don’t typically need to have their own transportation, such as a motorbike, unless they are taking an extended vacation and wanting to see some of the outlying areas. Kayaking, rock climbing and snorkeling are all popular activities at Krabi Beach.

April – Copacabana, Brazil: Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Beach is easily one of the most famous beaches in the world, mixing a beautiful beach with a large metropolis and vibrant nightlife, and visiting in April puts visitors right in between the peak beach seasons.Beach soccer is a popular event at Copacabana Beach, as the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup has been held here in the past, though tournaments occur throughout the year. Located along the famous Avenue Atlantica, the beach is a short walk from Rio de Janeiro’s best restaurants and nightlife, with many beach bars even staying open 24 hours a day.

October – Clifton Beach, South Africa: In one of the most beautiful cities in the world, lies arguably one of the most beautiful beaches in the world – Cape Town’s Clifton Beach. The chic and upscale beach is actually not one, but four beaches. Each beach offers a distinction that’s set apart from each other, though the fourth beach is the most popular. Though people often do swim at Clifton Beach, it’s much more typical to find people walking down the shore, throwing Frisbees and laying out in the sun. Overlooking the beach, there are a number of swanky restaurants and bars, which are hopping most nights of the week. The thrill seeker might try kloofing, which is a combination of outdoor activities, like canyoning, bouldering and swimming, that take place on land and in the water.

If you’re hungry for more beach-themed stories, meanwhile, then check out Lonely Planet, where there was a story on the “best beaches to swing a hammock.” Some of their choices:

Dahab, Egypt – Dahab means ‘gold’ in Arabic – a name given to the area because of its golden sands. With a unique location on the edge of the Sinai desert, Dahab certainly remains an untapped treasure; budget accommodation almost on the beach means you can virtually roll out of your sleeping bag and into the water. Backed by mountain ranges, Dahab’s Bedouin settlement, Assalah, is a favoured beach-bum haunt, with unspoilt charm and chilled beachside cafes, while up the coast are favoured and famous diving spots. (Note: Here is a Riel World photo of Dahab.)

Kerala Coast, India – Beachy types generally don’t hop up and down with glee when India is mentioned, but those in the know are enraptured. Tucked in along India’s 600km-long Kerala coast is a string of coconut-palm-fringed beaches adjoining lulling surf and bluest-of-blue waters. There are the larger resorts, such as Kovalam, but also many more unspoilt delights where your hammock will be overworked as you gaze at rub-your-eyes-raw semicircular bays, or expanses of sand so long you’ll think they’re a mirage. Thrillingly, there’ll be no one else around to pinch you and tell you you’re dreaming.

Punalu’u, Hawaii, USA – Hawai’i’s black-sand wonderland has won a few ‘best beach’ awards in recent times, and it’s truly an astonishing sight: Punalu’u’s startling blue waters lap up against the jetblack beach, which is backed by rows of deep-green coconut palms. This is one place where your hammock will really come in handy – it’s scenery that demands your constant, supine contemplation – and you might even spot a hawksbill turtle wandering onto the sand to lay its eggs.

There are seven more beaches in the Lonely Planet story, and nine more in the BootsnAll piece. Go check them out and start dreaming about which ones you’d like to visit next.

Photo credit: Jens-Petter Salvesen via Wikimedia Commons.

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