By Norire Arakelyan

Beach holidays at a glance

Whether it's the castaway charm of a distant tropical atoll, or the promise of cocktails, sunsets and sand underfoot, there's nothing better than a luxury sun-soaked beach escape. But, choosing the perfect location that measures up to the fantasy can be somewhat difficult, particularly with so much choice. Below, we've turned to our experts for a little guidance. From Greece to the Maldives, they have scoured the globe in search of their top eight beach destinations. And, whether it's close-to-home to the faraway, there's plenty to get you inspired for your next holiday.


From the calm Aegean waters of trendy Mykonos to some of the world's best sandy beaches in Crete, Greece's myriad of islands throw up endless miles of inviting shores, making beach breaks plentiful and easy to come by. And, just a 4-hour flight from the UK, you can enjoy some much needed rest and relaxation without the dreaded jet lag. What's more, if you love combining a day by the beach with a spot of sightseeing, then it doesn't come much better than Greece and its plethora of cultural sights and rich history. When it comes to hotels, you name it, we'll find it. From enchantingly traditional hotels to ultra-modern white-washed resorts there's a perfect spot for all tastes.

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Navagio Beach, Zakynthos


Barbados has long been a Caribbean favourite of ours and our clients. It's not hard to see why with its spectacular beaches, luxury world-class resorts and unique island cultural. And, if the abundance of pristine beaches aren't enough to bring you to its famous shores, its distinctive culture, colonial history and wealth of activities surely will. Experience the sheer joy of live music and traditional Barbadian street-food at the seaside fish market in Oistins, or experience the thriving nightlife at Saint Lawrence Gap. Either way, one thing is for sure – Barbados' sugar-soft sand and impossibly clear waters cannot be beaten.

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Bottom Bay, Barbados


Conforming to most people's idea of paradise, the Maldives is a home-from-home for honeymooners and romantics. With some 1,190 low-lying coral islands spread across 26 atolls in the middle of the Indian Ocean, there's no shortage of palm-dotted beaches, exclusive luxury resorts and romantic hideaways to choose from, offering everything from overwater bungalows to private beachfront massages. And, if you can draw yourself away from the powder white sands – undoubtedly some of the best in the world – the islands also offer world-class diving and snorkelling with extraordinary marine life.

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Water villas, Maldives


Undoubtedly Asia's most popular spot for a beach holiday, Thailand has long been a favourite among those looking for an exotic break. Think gorgeous clear waters, impressive cliffs and endless tropical views. But, the real reason Thailand makes it on to our list is that it plays host to some of the world’s finest beach-side accommodation, with the likes of private beachfront villas and hidden island resorts competing for your attention. Add to that the fact that you can pair your beach escape with all manner of experiences – from the cosmopolitan city lights of Bangkok, to authentic elephant adventures in its dense rainforests – there's no shortage of experiences to be had beyond its idyllic beaches.

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Boats in Krabi, Thailand


With crystal-clear waters and palm-backed shores, the island of Mauritius is a perfect destination to take a break from busy life and relieve stress. But despite its reputation for being home to some of the world's finest beaches, there is far more to a holiday in Mauritius than simply powder-white sands and cocktails – though it has these in spades. With verdant tropical forests and impossibly scenic waterfalls, those heading inland are rewarded with endless hiking and biking routes, as well as plenty of hidden cultural attractions. Back to the shores, boat trips to secluded islets and some of the world's best diving and snorkelling sites make this Indian Ocean gem one not to be missed.

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Underwater waterfall, Mauritius


There’s no doubt about it – Portugal is a superb destination for beach-lovers. No matter where you go in Portugal, you're never too far from its beautiful shores, whether that's in the mainland, Azores or Madeira. But when it comes to truly special beaches, the Algarve is the place to be. Among them, you'll find some of the country's most famous resort towns, from Albufeira to Lagos and Vilamoura. What's more, you’ll find family-friendly beaches with tranquil waters as well as more romantic numbers for a quiet sunset stroll. Add to that the country's exceptional food and wine, charming cities and fine selection of luxury properties, it's easy to see how so many return to its shores year on year.

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Beach in Algarve, Portugal


Consisting of 115 dreamy paradise islands scattered in the south Indian Ocean, Mother Nature was somewhat kind when she created the Seychelles. Arguably the most untouched of the Indian Ocean's big-hitters, a beach holiday here will see you among exquisite swathes of powdery-soft white sands and warm turquoise waters, backed by palm-covered hills and iconic granite boulders. And, there’s plenty of luxury here too, showcased across a dizzying array of secluded island retreats and family-friendly options, each offering its own unique blend of gourmet dining, indulgent pampering and laid-back island living. And, if you choose to embrace the islands' nature, you'll witness everything from its famous giant tortoises to teeming tropical fish in topaz-blue seas.

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Anse Source d'Argent, Seychelles

St Lucia

With calm sandy shores, great cocktails and a vibrant cultural zest, there's not much that hasn't been said about the Caribbean. However, often overlooked for some of the more famous islands, St Lucia serves up its own lesser-known blend of relaxation and adventure, not to mention its picture-postcard beaches. Across the island, you’ll find a collection of boutique hotels and wellness retreats fronted by some of the West Indies’ best beaches, ideal for a slice of sun-worship. And, if you're looking to break up your beach days, you'll find plenty of hiking trails, tracing routes between volcanic cones, while zip-line routes chart verdant rainforest canopies, perfect for working up an appetite before tucking into the island’s flavoursome Creole cuisine.

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Pitons, St Lucia