These are the best beach vacations in the world for families and couples that we visited!
I have a friend who hates treading on the sand. This was a great surprise to me as a beach-obsessed person. This article is not for you if you despise sandy beaches, clear water, and well-mixed drinks. Seeking for the sea scent and golden sands? I curated this list of the best beach vacations in the world for families and couples.
Hint: The 1st was a former pirate hideout…
Because all of them are stunning in their own way, the ranking is not from greatest to worst. I divided it by continents.
Europe’s and Asia’s Most Beautiful Beaches
Cyprus — Nissi Beach & Protaras
Nissi Beach and Protaras are two beaches in the same region of Cyprus. Both have warm and clear seas, convenient access to wonderful (and nutritious) Greek-Cypriot food, and enough activities to keep you entertained for an entire week.
Those two beaches are one of those spots in the world that, no matter how gorgeous the photos are, still will leave you speechless when you arrive.
No photographer can do this location justice.
The distinction between the two is that Nissi Beach caters to youthful travelers with its beach bars and thumping electronic music. Protaras is a family-friendly destination.
Malta — Mellieha
Mellieha is a tiny town on the Maltese island’s northwestern region. It is close to Cirkewwa, from where boats to Gozo depart. We visited in September, and it was not busy. The weather was perfect for a beach vacation, and the city, despite its tiny size, has lots of good eateries and bus stations to get across Malta.
I stayed at the Solana Hotel & Spa, a pleasant hotel with a good price-to-benefit ratio and a tasty breakfast and dinner buffet. To top it off, they offer a rooftop swimming pool with one of the best views I’ve ever seen.
While wandering about the city, you often need to climb stairs or steep streets, but the scenery is breathtaking.
Thailand — Koh Larn
This little island is just a few hours — or minutes if you take a speed boat — away from Pattaya’s party scene, yet it is the polar opposite. The few miles of water that separates it from the mainland are enough to convert Koh Larn into a tranquil haven where you may interact with wild monkeys. It is a well-preserved islet with enough infrastructure to accommodate visitors during day visits.
The island contains two beaches, both resembling natural swimming pools. Ideal for families or couples.
I suggest the hot mango salad provided by the beachside food vendors. It’s excellent for the warm weather and tropical mood.
Africa’s Most Beautiful Beaches
South Africa — Knysna Beaches
The neighborhood is already well-known for its park routes, oyster dishes, and frequent dolphins. The beaches are also worth mentioning.
Knysna, unlike some of the other destinations on our list, is accessible once in South Africa (by the way, a complete guide for honeymoon in SA is here). In this list of the best beaches in the world for vacation, Knysna is one of the two (the other is Paria do Cedro in Brazil) that is not on an island. Travel from Cape Town on the N2, a well-maintained national route.
Zanzibar — Nungwi Beach
This area of Zanzibar provides an untouched and rustic environment, together with everything necessary for a beach trip. They built lodges and cottages using natural materials. There are no large glass structures blocking the sun, nor are there any loud highways with heavy traffic. Nearby, Paje beach is a great place to practice sports like Kiteboarding.
The beaches are only one of the many reasons to visit Zanzibar and Tanzania.
In the seaside restaurants, the islanders provide local seafood prepared in their unique manner. I’ll never forget how delicious those were. If you are unlucky, the waters may be dark because of the seaweed, as it happened during one of our days there. It did not impede my positive view of this African island.
Latin America’s Most Beautiful Beaches
Ubatuba, Brazil — Praia do Cedro
Love hiking? To get to this beach, you’ll have to walk for around a kilometer. But you don’t have to be an athlete. You also don’t need to worry so much about violence, since it is not Rio and São Paulo is not that dangerous.
Once you’ve walked downhill far enough, your reward will be the first glimpses of the most beautiful of Ubatuba’s over 80 beaches. The walk ends with an emerald-water sea in front of you and the Atlantic rainforest in behind.
The Praia do Cedro is the closest to the notion of a wild beach on our list, although it may draw many people on weekends. Arrive early if this is the case.
Punta Cana, Republica Dominicana — Bavaro Beach
With most of its lodgings centered on large hotels, Bavaro stands out from the other names on our list because of its resort-oriented nature. It’s your average Caribbean beach, complete with all-inclusive resorts, sparkling water, sandy beaches, and pleasant weather. All at a fair price when compared to other places.
Isla Mujeres, Mexico, Playa Norte
You could assume I’m obsessed with islands at this point. Isla Mujeres, once a pirate hideaway, now has beach bars, restaurants, and resorts — yet the cost-benefit ratio of staying in Cancun and going there by boat may be better.
From diving and touring nearby coral reefs to just sipping beverages under the Caribbean sun, Isla Mujeres has something for everyone. Unless you are on the path of a storm.
What’s the Best Beach in the World?
Or, in other words: what’s on your list of the best beach vacations in the world for families & couples?
I had yet to visit Jamaica or the Maldives. So I’m interested to know YOUR favorite beaches so I may include them in my future rankings 🙂
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Levi Borba is the CEO of expatriateconsultancy.com, creator of the channel The Expat, and best-selling author.