5 Alternative Beach Holiday Destinations You Need to Visit
Beach holidays are the ultimate way to unwind. Whether you’re lazing by the sands of Ibiza or soaking up the sun in Santorini, a coastal getaway captures relaxation at its best. Why not take a break with a difference for your next trip, and go off the beaten track of well-known travel hotspots? To help you find something new, here’s our list of five alternative beach holiday destinations that you should visit.
1) Azores, Portugal
The stunning Azores archipelago, with its lava tubes, crater lakes and calderas, has a luscious, subtropical feel similar to that of Hawaii. Each island has a different charm and character, so we’d recommend exploring a few to get a better feel for the destination. Once you’re done sightseeing, cool off in the ocean beside Blue Flag beaches, or grab a pair of binoculars and try spotting sperm whales and dolphins. Best of all? You can fly there from the UK in a little over four hours!
2) Outer Hebrides, Scotland
When people think of Scotland, beaches aren’t exactly the first thing that springs to mind. Yet, the Outer Hebrides offers travellers a rare opportunity for total seaside solace, along with a good few placid beaches at the same time. Snorkel with seals, learn to surf or explore coastal Neolithic ruins – regardless of your interests, you’ll find something here to float your boat.
The fine white sands of the Outer Hebridean islands of Lewis and Harris have previously been compared to Caribbean beaches. When you visit, it’s easy to see why. In general, though, the only thing to consider about the Outer Hebrides is that the weather can be unpredictable, so pack for all conditions!
3) Maine, USA
The US state of Maine offers visitors breathtaking natural beauty. It’s got everything you need for an unforgettable summer getaway – think spectacular beaches, iconic lighthouses and, perhaps best of all, delicious seafood. Spend your evenings here sipping drinks at distinctive Portland venues after long days at Scarborough beach state park, a coastal spot popular with both locals and tourists. In the warmer months, temperatures in Maine can creep into the mid-20s and some days are even hot enough for a dip in the cool Atlantic Ocean!
4) Lazy Lagoon, Tanzania
Reconnect with a more serene style of life and visit Tanzania’s Lazy Lagoon. You’ll need to access it by boat. Made up of a nine-kilometre-long stretch of glistening white sand, protected by a thriving coral reef, the Lazy Lagoon is completely inaccessible by land.
The island is home to bushbabies, Suni antelopes and a colourful array of birdlife, amongst other animals, while the nearby waters see starfish, sea urchins and crabs all making their way around the shallows. Spend your days here looking for natural wonders, then lose yourself to dreamy Indian Ocean views as the sun sets.
5) Iceland, Vík í Mýrdal
Skip the shores of Santorini for the iconic, Instagram-worthy coasts of Iceland. Many people may not associate this Nordic nation with beaches, but it is actually home to some of the finest in the Northern Hemisphere. Vík í Mýrdal, with its remarkable black sand, soaring cliffs and rock formations, is one such beach and is worth a visit whenever you get the chance. It’s situated on the southeastern coast of Iceland and is within driving distance from Reykjavik, the country’s capital. As you’d expect, though, temperatures here tend to be quite cool, so pack appropriately.