There’s no better feeling than getting the sand between your toes and the salt water in your hair. Here in Australia, we are lucky to be home to some of the best beaches and most enviable coastlines in the world. Whilst our shores are undeniable gorgeous, the beauty of beaches is that all across the world, the differing water, sand and atmosphere can create some beautifully unique spots.
Nazaré, Portugal – Tiffany Dunk, Deputy Editor
This was an almost accidental stop on a trip I took with my brother over 10 years ago. Formerly a fisherman’s village, today Nazaré is most known for its enormous waves – it’s a mecca for surfers and has seen plenty of records broken during the winter competition season.
Very much a non-surfer however, I went in summer when the Atlantic Ocean (while still incredibly bracing) is a touch warmer and a lot calmer. The long stretch of sandy beach is dotted with tents which you can hire from locals for the day. Not only does it offer sun protection, you can safely leave your beach bags behind when you head for lunch at your pick of bars, cafes and restaurants along the main strip. We feasted on freshly-caught clams, cockles, mussels and more over a glass of local Portuguese wine before heading back for the last dip of the day.
The food, the views and the people we met were a delight and we ended up extending our day trip for a few more before heading onto our next destination. It’s a holiday my brother and I still reminisce about today and one I hope to take again.
North Mollymook, NSW, Australia – Nicole Hickson, Deputy Copy Editor
There’s no better beach than North Mollymook, on the NSW South Coast. On a perfect summer day the water is crystal-clear and the waves gently roll towards the shore.
At low tide the rock pools are the perfect place for toddlers and kids to explore, and there’s plenty of space for a game of beach cricket. After your dip, Rick Stein at Bannisters is footsteps away for a seafood feast, or you can jump in the car for the quick trip to Milton for a coffee and browse through clothing and homewares shops.
Hvar, Croatia and Cinque Terre, Italy – Jessica Frost, Social Content Producer
Both of these seaside spots had blue and green, crystal clear water with multiple rocky cliff faces to jump off into the ocean. They also had trees and shade around, bobbing multi-colour tinnies and people lazing on Turkish towels scattered around the rocks. It was something straight out of a travel commercial. Each swimming spot is close to restaurants and bars to seek shade and an afternoon aperitivo.
Jervis Bay, NSW – Jennifer Mullins, Senior Designer
Jervis Bay is renowned for the whitest sand in the world and super clear water. Truly beautiful place to swim. Also home to many dolphins – not unusual to be swimming with pods of dolphins behind the wave break – most of the year.
Playa Puerta De Tierra, Puerto Rico – Georgia Weir, Senior Content Producer
The only solace from the glaring humidity and heat in Puerto Rico is a dip in the ocean. We were staying in a charming pastel-coloured hotel in Old San Juan when we decided to venture down the peninsula in search of the perfect beach spot when we came across Playa Puerta De Tierra.
With dreamy white sands, crystal blue waters and lined with palm trees, this beach was the highlight of my stay in Puerto Rico. The water was so enticing and refreshing that I accidentally ended up spending close to four hours just soaking up the tropical sun.
Cylinder Beach, North Stradbroke Island and Fingal Beach, Northern NSW – Maddy Wilson, Editorial Co-ordinator
A favourite beach of mine is Cylinder Beach, which is on the north eastern side of North Stradbroke Island. It reminds me of family holidays when I was young, with stretches of endless sand and the clearest, freshest water I’ve ever seen – so clear you can be neck deep and still see your toes! From the headland you can see turtles, dolphins and even some humpback whales if you’re lucky enough. It’s the perfect island getaway!
Fingal beach is on the Northern NSW coast and is one of the most peaceful beach visits you’ll ever have. The beach stretches on for what seems like forever, so it’s perfect for those who love a beach walk. The water is clear and calm, with plenty of space to swim or relax!
Gordon’s Bay, Sydney – Joshua Beggs, Creative Director
What better reward after the Bondi to Coogee coast walk than stopping by Gordon’s Bay for a dip off the rocks. Located just after Clovelly Beach, the Bay is usually calm and clear, hugged by a rocky outcrop and its iconic boat racks which give it a European feel. There are plenty of places to find a quiet place to sunbake or read away from the crowds of the nearby sandy beaches.
Gordon’s bay is best known for its protected underwater nature trail, you can snorkel or just dive in with your goggles and try to spot the big blue groper and other underwater delights hidden below the surface. It’s only accessible by foot, which makes it feel like a true hidden oasis.