The love of the sea has inspired both poets and fishermen alike. A day on the beach feeling the warm sun on your skin is an exhilarating experience. Some dislike beaches in the sun, preferring them windswept and interesting. Ever been in a beach house when there's a massive storm? Perhaps you've sat around a log fire on the beach at night ready to escape before the sun arrives. Here are some of the best beaches in the world that fulfil any desired experience.
Anse Lazio on Praslin in the Seychelles
The sand, the rocks and the green of the Tropics are able to stun even Italians, who are lucky to have the Mediterranean on their doorsteps. Anse Lazio is a most exquisite beach and one of the most popular in the Seychelles. This beach appears in a large variety of travel books and tourist guides.
The 730 steps long Anse Lazio lies in the beautiful Baie Chevalier and is framed by large granite rocks on both ends. Coconut palms and several Takamaka Trees arch towards the ocean, keeping the beach immaculately shaded. Very fine sand and clear blue water provide a white and turquoise glittering setting with gently rolling waves and an island in the background. The Chevalier Bay Restaurant right on the sand offers Creole food seven days a week. Hidden paths take you to the Chevalier Bay with its row of densely grown palm trees.
Mossel Bay, Garden Route, South Africa
24km of undisturbed beach, the whitest of sand, and a hub for wild oysters (not the cultivated, small ones but the real McCoy), make Mossel Bay the most desired beach of the decade. Santos Beach and De Bakke Beach, two north-facing beaches make up this beautiful stretch with its warm Indian Ocean. This region has the second most temperate climate in the world after Hawaii with more than 320 sunny days a year on average.
Travel to Mossel Bay and experience the Bay of Attractions: dolphins and whales are often sighted frolicking in the clear blue waters; good scuba diving is on offer as well as deep-sea fishing, angling, and boating. Regattas from small to keel boats plus catamaran races often fill the bay. Awesome sunsets set the tone for cocktails and barbecues on the beach and in this climate you can enjoy the beach late into the evening.
There is stunning horse riding on the edge of craggy coastal cliffs, for an entirely different view of life in the water below. The Oyster Catcher Trail stretches along the coast from Mossel Bay to Gouritz Mond. This exhilarating beach walk will take you to those melt-in-the-mouth oysters.
Bathsheba Beach, Atlantic Coast of Barbados
The rugged Atlantic coast offers some excellent coastal walks, many of them passing through small fishing villages. Bathsheba Beach is a great place to start your beach walk. Bizarre and unusual shaped giant boulders scattered along the coastline are an awesome sight, especially on a wintry day. One of the most interesting sections is around the area known as "The 16-mile long stretch" from the lighthouse at Ragged Point to Bathsheba. Pico Tenerife can be tackled as a single stretch, though many people prefer to break it up into short segments.
From Ragged Point to the fishing village of Consett Bay is about four miles and a two-hour walk one-way. Consett Bay to Martin's Bay, another small fishing village is 3 miles (two hours). From Martin's Bay to Bathsheba is also 3 miles (90 minutes); and from Bathsheba to The Choyce and Pico Tenerife is 4 miles (about 4 hours). Pico Tenerife is a 300-foot high hill that overlooks the rugged Atlantic coast and provides some magnificent views. A great way to end your trek.
St George's Caye in Belize, The Caribbean
This small caye, nine miles north-east of Belize City is steeped in history and was once the home of buccaneers and pirates. Between 1650 and 1784, it was the first capital of the British settlement. It is a relatively small Caribbean island, twenty minutes by boat from the mainland of Belize, lying next to and protected by one of the world's longest barrier reefs, so the sea is warm and mild. Unspoilt and secluded, this sun kissed tropical hideaway is bathed by the warm, soothing trade winds and the rustle of coconut palms.
No town, no traffic, no people, no harassment. The morning sunrise is a highlight as well as moonlit walks along the beach. Take your pick of fresh fruit and fish as you enjoy the palate of turquoises that infuse the Caribbean. Tropical cocktails and swaying palms provide a scenic backdrop to the gentle surf of the barrier reef with its sea life of turtles, dolphins and manatee.