Everyone loves a beach, but a crowded beach gets old fast. Luckily, there are plenty of incredible beach destinations across the world where you can escape the crowds and enjoy barefoot luxury in paradise.
If you’re wanting to find that hidden beach destination, avoid the crowds, or dazzle your friends and family with amazing Insta photos in a destination they can’t pronounce, look no further. We’ve got the top five overlooked beach destinations around the world.
Most people will have difficulty placing Mauritius on a map, but trust us, it’s a place worth knowing and visiting on a trip to Africa. This island to the west of Madagascar, in the Indian Ocean, has a fascinating blend of cultures, with African, French, Indian, and Chinese influences. It’s technically an African nation, but there’s really no comparing it to spots like Tanzania and Morocco.
There’s a lot to do on a beach escape to Mauritius. You could spend some time in the capital, Port Louis, to see the colonial buildings and explore Chinatown to get a taste for the cultural diversity, but the real attraction of the island is nature. Black River Gorges National Park on the south of the island will satisfy all your jungle adventurer desires. As for beaches, you’ll find good beaches all around the island. The west coast offers spectacular views of the sunset as well as rich blue lagoons, while the east coast is less developed and offers more privacy.
This small island of the South Pacific doesn’t get the attention that French Polynesia or Fiji does, which is too bad as it has the same combination of ideal climates and white-sand beaches as the more popular destinations of Polynesia. But the fact that it’s not as popular means you’ll never have to contend with crowded beaches or jockey for towel space alongside fellow beachgoers on a trip to Samoa.
There are 11 islands in Samoa and all of them will give you plenty of sand to enjoy, although Upolu is the undisputed centre of the islands. The island of Savai’i is a great place to visit and is the fourth-largest island in Polynesia, after Tahiti and the North and South Islands of New Zealand, but it has a fraction of the visitors of those more popular spots. Regardless of where you stay on a Samoa vacation, you’ll be free to go kayaking, fish off the reefs, explore the on-land villages, try out surfing, and, of course, go snorkelling. Snorkelling is king here, so be ready to explore pristine coral reefs and enjoy the magical world beneath the waves.
Like Mauritius, Seychelles isn’t usually thought of as an African nation, if it’s thought of at all. But you shouldn’t mind as you’ll have these dreamy beaches and sparkling waters to yourself. Seriously, look at an image of a beach in the Seychelles, like Anse Source d’Argent, and tell me you don’t want to spend your next beach vacation there. It looks like a fantasy version of an island paradise! But I assure you, it’s the real thing.
Although there are over 100 islands in the Seychelles, most islands are uninhabited, and the majority of travellers stick to the main islands of Mahe, Praslin, Silhouette Island, and La Digue. With Goway, you can spend a week at an island resort taking advantage of the pristine beaches and clear waters—and we mean clear, as the waters in the Seychelles redefine the term “crystal clear.” Depending on when you go or which island you visit, you may see whale sharks migrating through the waters or spot some giant tortoises wandering across the sands. There’s a lot to like about a beach escape to the Seychelles, not least of which is that you’ll never have to worry about crowds when lying on a towel and soaking in the sun.
In Southeast Asia, Thailand has the monopoly on pristine beach locations, with attractions like Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, and Khao Lak luring travellers to soak up the warm waters and ample sunshine. But don’t sleep on Thailand’s neighbour, Cambodia, which has made a quiet push to become one of the region’s best beach destinations, especially near the coastal city of Sihanoukville. Best of all, Sihanoukville remains something of a best-kept-secret, so you won’t have to contend with the crowds you’ll find in Phuket.
Sihanoukville sits on a large bay and offers easy access to several islands that offer similar experiences to Koh Phi Phi and Koh Samui, but without the same high costs. A Sihanoukville stopover is a perfect add-on to a visit to Phnom Penh or an exploration of the Temples of Angkor in Siem Reap. Furthermore, you can even upgrade your beach stay in Cambodia with a stay on the private island of Song Saa. There, you’ll experience exclusive comforts at a gorgeous luxury resort and have full access to the waters of the archipelago and its many coral reefs and sandy beaches. Sihanoukville won’t stay a secret for long, so take advantage of its hidden treasures while you can.
4-Day Sihanoukville Stopover
Tetiaroa: The Brando, French Polynesia
Lots of people fantasize about having a tropical island to themselves. The Brando in French Polynesia can actually make that fantasy a reality. In 1966, a few years after Marlon Brando filmed a remake of The Mutiny on the Bounty in the islands of French Polynesia, he purchased the lease of the island of Tetiaroa and transformed it into his own personal island hideaway. Following his death, his estate sold the island rights to a popular hotel chain, and thus, today we can enjoy Brando’s own private island estate as if it were our own.
The Brando offers luxury that’s carefully calibrated to respect the natural environment. That means you’ll get all the pampering amenities you’d expect of a luxury resort, but with the assurance that you’re doing your part to protect the natural environment. Electricity comes from solar power, and biofuel supplies whatever other energy needs the resort has. The result is a carbon-neutral stay in paradise. And don’t forget that The Brando takes the word “private” seriously. You’ll have the island to yourself and will be free to try out a Polynesian outrigger canoe, snorkel alongside rays and sea turtles, and take excursions to nearby reefs and islands.
6-Day Tetiaroa: The Brando
We all dream of beach escapes when the weather is cold or want a romantic and leisurely stay in paradise, but the crowds often dampen the fun. That’s why you should look further afield for your next beach vacation. These five destinations offer all the white-sand beaches and turquoise waters you could hope for, but without the crowds. You’ll have more room to yourself and more freedom to take advantage of all the glories of nature.
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