Top five places in the world to be a beach bum
Living the lifestyle of a beach bum is a dream for many people who yearn to find that unspoiled beach spot to relax for weeks or even months on end, but what exactly is a beach bum? For most, it is lounging about on a beach where balmy breezes blow on your skin, the hot sun beats down as you sip on an ice-cold cocktail and where gorgeous white sand is available in abundance for you to sink your toes into. The last thing on a beach bum’s mind is planning and rushing around, fitting in as many activities as possible and snapping away at all of the sights, but as most would agree that the perfect solution to living this lifestyle is hot weather and a decent beach, there are different types of beach bum, ranging from the chic to the surfer. Here are some suggestions of the best beaches around the world to unwind and fall into a world where nothing really matters.
Located in the South Pacific Ocean 2,000 km from New Zealand, the archipelago of Fiji consists of 332 exotic islands, meaning there are almost endless possibilities for lounging around on an isolated beach. Fiji suits the beach bum who likes a change, as you could hop around the islands for months and still find more to explore. The beaches on Fiji are not suitable for surfers or avid water-sports fans due to its low tides and coral reefs, but are perfect for stretching out under a coconut palm tree and feeling like you are amongst true serenity. If you want to find a slice of tropical paradise then head over to one of the remote islands which have fortunately been protected from development by the locals who want to retain their villages’ land rights.
Some of the best beaches on Fiji include Prince Charles Beach on the northern coast of Taveuni Island. The island consists of three stunning beaches all within walking distance from each other, but the best is the Prince Charles, which the royal himself once visited, and snorkelling can be done in the warm lagoons here. Another great beach to check out is Volivoli on Rakiraki Island, which has a deep lagoon and panoramic views of Viti Levu’s mountains.
Return flights to Fiji cost from £1,539 per person from London Heathrow with American Airlines, for July 2012.
A beach bum doesn’t always have to sit around doing nothing, and learning how to surf is a great excuse to live on a beach for weeks or months on end, learning a skill and making friends along the way. The tropical coastal town of Montanita in Ecuador is a great place to do so, as it is known for its large and consistent waves that are perfect to surf on. A few decades ago, Montanita consisted only of one or two surfer’s tents during the summer, but it has since grown in popularity with a host of places to stay and some great beach bars and restaurants to sit in. Many accomplished surfers, as well as keen beginners, come to Montanita from all over the world to surf, and the town even hosts and international surfing competition every February during carnival time.
The genera vibe of Montanita is a sleepy, laid-back one, with the locals and tourists alike never taking life too seriously as they stroll through the reggae –infused street corners. With parties on the beach at all hours, it is certainly difficult for the surfer beach bum to even think about leaving!
Return flights to Quito, Ecuador cost from £1,152 per person London Heathrow with American Airlines, for July 2012.
For those looking to release their inner beach bum on European sands, look no further than the island of Elba in Tuscany. This beautiful Mediterranean island is the third largest in Italy behind Sicily and Sardinia, and is famous for being the place where French Emperor Napoleon I was exiled to following his forced abdication in 1814 where he stayed for 300 days. Once you step onto the island and see any one of its beaches with crystal clear waters, you will wonder how he ever managed to leave.
Almost every single beach on Elba looks like paradise, but there is one in particular that stands out – the Capo Sant’Andrea. This little inlet features sweeping chestnut trees which reach down to the coastline and golden, sandy beaches, and the sapphire waters are crystal clear with the seabed being visible even in deeper areas. If you are a beach bum who wants to mix history and culture with relaxation, Elba is the place to do so with its ancient castles, emerald hills and beautiful fishing hamlets, as well as the succulent seafood that definitely needs to be sampled.
Return flights to Elba cost from £686 per person from London Stansted with Air Berlin, for July 2012.
If you see yourself as more of a chic and stylish beach bum, then the beaches of the Indian state of Goa may be more suited to you. A haven for hippies back in the 1960s, Goa still retains that laid back, peaceful vibe and is full of great flea markets for those looking to do a little spot of shopping and haggling as well as sunbathing. Anjuna is the main area but it is a tourist trap and is extremely busy, so a wander off to the nearby and lesser-known Patnem Beach is advised if crowds aren’t your thing. Here, you will be welcomed by friendly locals and much cheaper beach huts and bungalows.
Patnem Beach is the perfect place to unwind and relax, take a yoga class or to just stretch out on a hammock, book in hand. The fresh, Indian air and the sound of silence – apart from the blowing breeze and soft waves, will make it hard for anyone to leave.
Return flights to Goa cost from £787 per person from London Heathrow with Jet Airways, for July 2012.
Black-pencilled Marmoset in Ilha Grande Brazil - Image at top of feature is also Ihha Grande
Ilha Grande, Brazil
The city of Rio de Janeiro itself has many beautiful beaches including the famous Copacabana, but it is a city after all, and you are never too far away from a number of buses whizzing by and tall hotel tower blocks. To really escape and see the tropical paradise of Brazil, head to the nearby island of Ilha Grande, just a couple of hours away.
Ilha Grande is largely undeveloped and is renowned for its rugged hills, tropical beaches, waterfalls and lush forests. The island is home to many endangered species of the world including the maned sloth, red-browed Amazon parrot and brown howler monkey, and because of this, is a hotspot for conservation and biodiversity. If you are fond of nature, sea life and animals as well as lazing on the beach, then a visit to the protected Ilha Grande is a must as penguins and whales can be seen, as well as a host of tropical fish in the blue lagoons. The whole island is tranquil as cars are not permitted, and strolling through the island on foot or bicycle and discovering some of the best beaches in the world can easily be done. As there is so much to see and do on Ilha Grande, a beach bum with a love for nature can easily spend weeks here.
Return flights to Rio de Janeiro cost from £709 per person from London Heathrow with DELTA, for July 2012.
These beaches are just some to whet your appetite and make you think about which type of beach bum you are. The world is full of countless beautiful beaches where travellers can leave the dull monotony of life behind and relax for weeks or months on end in stunning surroundings.
Written by Alice Bzowska. Alice Bzowska is a London-based writer who has written for various travel, theatre and London websites. Keep up to date with her travels on http://aliceinwondaland.blogspot.co.uk/
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