Love the beach, hate the crowds? This list is for you!
We’ve scanned the coasts of the globe to share with you seven of the best beach break destinations where you can truly get away from it all and not have to compete for a patch of sand to pitch your umbrella or struggle for elbow room when you take your dip in the ocean.
And don’t worry — not every place listed here is too terribly far-flung or remote to reach during a normal vacation timeframe or on a typical travel budget.
Skeleton Coast, Namibia
If you don’t mind sharing the beach with thousands of seals and dozens of shipwrecks (and virtually nothing else), or taking a few hours to drive there through the desert (while spotting elephants, lions, and giraffes along the way), then the rugged and remote Skeleton Coast of Namibia in southwest Africa should rank high on your list of dream destinations.
A bona fide tropical paradise in the midst of the South Pacific, the island of Savai’i is Samoa’s biggest island but is largely unpopulated. It’s mostly wild too with amazing landscapes and lots and lots of beautiful spots for playing in its crystal clear water. We’re talking sandy beaches, tide pools, broad and shallow lagoons, and jutting cliffs with crashing waves, weird rock formations, blow holes, and sea arches.
Spain’s northwestern region of Galicia has some of the country’s least explored beaches. They’re also among its most beautiful. The region even boasts its own mini “Caribbean” at Cies, a small chain of islands amid turquoise waters.
Beyond the resorts and touristy hot spots, the Islands of Hawaii offer a real off-the-beaten-path escape with seaside wilderness hikes (think Kauai), vast expansive coastlines (think the Big Island), and your pick of climates and topographies – hot and dry, tropical and balmy, big surf or tide pools – often less than an hour’s drive away from each other (think Molokai).
Summer is short in Maine but the coastline is long with hundreds of islands dotted along it. A dream come true for lovers of the great outdoors, you’ll find easy access to the North Atlantic with next to nobody getting in your way.
The shoreline of Brittany in western France seems as if it were drawn by a trembling hand on an uneven and bumpy surface. With its many coves and islets, broad sandy beaches, and vast expansive bays interrupted by snagged cliffs and rocky shallows, it’s a gorgeous place with plenty of room for an invigorating and unpopulated beach break.
Emerald Coast on the northeastern shore of the island of Sardinia is one of Italy’s most celebrated vacation destinations and is famous for its glitterati guests and celebrity sightings. But much of the rest of this huge island is just as stunning and minus all the people.
If you don’t mind the temperamental weather, Pembrokeshire in the far west of Wales is ideal for days at the beach all to yourself – especially if you like taking long walks. And when the sun is out (which really isn’t that uncommon), this part of Britain is one of the most gloriously beautiful places in the world.
How about you? Where’s your favorite secret beach (if you don’t mind sharing)?