Here in the UK the school summer holidays are coming to an end; for some, they ended a while ago. With the busy autumn term ahead, the memories of fun family beach days will fade as the evenings draw in and the temperatures drop. But we’re not ready to say goodbye to summer just yet. Oh no! We want to embrace every last sun-kissed wave, every last sunset over a calm sea, every last sandcastle, shell hunt and ocean swim that made our summer holidays simply the best ever!
This A-Z, over 9 days, showcases the very best, most incredible, add-to-bucket list beaches around the world – according to my travel blogging friends. Today we cover letters S to U, showcasing beaches from Anguilla, The Netherlands, Scotland, the USA, US Virgin Islands, Galapagos Islands, Sri Lanka and Poland. Kick off your flip flops, pop on your sunglasses, relax on your lounger, and drink in these heavenly contributions …
S – Shoal Bay, Anguilla
Shoal Bay has the whitest sand I have ever seen. It was so fine and soft, perfect for walking along the 2 mile stretch of beach. The water is so clear you don’t need even need to stick your head in the water to see the fish. It’s calm so you don’t have to worry about getting hit by a big wave, ideal for snorkeling, kayaking, or swimming. A float would be fun too.
Shoal Bay is located on the northern coast of Anguilla, which is an easy day trip from St. Martin. Peak season is from December to April, but this beach is so big, it won’t ever feel too crowded. Shoal Bay has several restaurants, beach bars, and hotels. I enjoyed the lunch we had but found the food and drinks to be a bit overpriced. If you are on a budget, it’s a good idea to bring your own. Overall, though, for a beach to spend a relaxing day, it would be hard to find a more beautiful beach than Shoal Bay.
Submitted by, and thanks to, Two Traveling Texans
S – Scheveningen, The Netherlands
Scheveningen is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Netherlands. Many people are shocked when they find out that the Netherlands has beaches. Indeed, there are some amazing beaches along the North Sea. Scheveningen was a village first, however it became the most popular beach resort in the Netherlands… The beach resort part of Scheveningen was founded about two hundred years ago when someone decided to harness the sea for baths. Now, you’ll find lots of lovely cafes to relax at after a nice day at the beach before dancing the night away! Don’t miss seeing the Pier, the boardwalk, and the historic Kurhaus.
Submitted by, and thanks to, Wanderlustingk
S – Sandwood Bay, Scotland
Sandwood Bay is one of my favourite beaches, due to its remoteness. The beach is located on the northwest coast of Scotland, in Sunderland. It is considered to be one of the cleanest and most unspoilt beaches on mainland UK.
Maintained by the John Muir Trust Sandwood Bay is part of the Sandwood Estate. With no road access the only way to this unspoilt beach is by a 4 mile path, which starts in Blairmoore. The path takes you past Sandwood Loch and over sand dunes, before the wild beach comes into view. The beach has almost 1.5 miles of pink sand that faces the Atlantic. Flanked by cliffs, with the sand dunes behind, you really feel cut off from the rest of the world. When I visited there was no one else there. I love the wild remoteness of Sandwood Bay, plus the walk was beautiful.
Submitted by, and thanks to, natpacker
S – Siesta Key, Sarisota, Florida, USA
Siesta Key was named a few times as the number one best beach in the US by TripAdvisor – what’s there not to love it? Powder white sand that doesn’t get warm (your feet never burn when you step on it, even on the hottest of days!), and a thriving beach scene with local shops and restaurants (Siesta Key Village). It’s heaven during winter, while most of the US is under snow, the weather in Sarasota is still nice enough to walk around the beach in Siesta Key. It’s also a well-known secret. There’s not as many tourists who flock to Siesta Key, so you can find a spot to yourself on non-peak season (i.e. not summer!)
Submitted by, and thanks to, A Journey We Love
T – Trunk Bay, St John, US Virgin Islands
The ideal Caribbean beach is without a doubt Trunk Bay on St. John. This paradise in the US Virgin Islands has white sand and crystal clear turquoise waters. Trunk Bay is located inside the Virgin Islands National Park, making it a bit of a rarity in that it’s not surrounded by hotel towers or chain restaurants. Your view from the water is only the lush green mountain of St. John, you’re surrounded by nature. There is fantastic snorkeling so bring your flippers, or just bring a book to lounge with on the sand. St. John is the perfect destination for honeymooners or families alike. If you’re concerned about the damage from the 2017 hurricane season, the island is recovering and rebuilding. The beaches are as beautiful as ever, making it the perfect beach destination for nature lovers.
Submitted by, and thanks to, Sol Salute
T – Tortuga Bay, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
While people don’t generally go to the Galapagos Islands for their beaches, this famous island chain is nonetheless home to some of the most stunning beaches we’ve ever encountered.
One of the more accessible, and beautiful, is Tortuga Bay on Santa Cruz Island. To reach it, visitors must take a 45 minute walk from the main town of Puerto Ayora. The path opens out onto a wide expanse of shimmering white sand and turquoise water interspersed with black lava rocks. The icing on the cake at Tortuga Bay is the numerous marine iguanas strolling along the sand or sleeping under the trees at the far end. The main beach, Playa Brava, is a popular surf spot but the lagoon at the far end, Playa Mansa, has calm waters that are perfect for swimming and snorkeling. They also have kayak rentals if you prefer to explore above the water. Within minutes of entering the water here we had already seen turtles and even a couple of sharks! Tortuga Bay is definitely a must see in the Galapagos Islands.
Submitted by, and thanks to, Past The Potholes
T – Tangalle Beach, Sri Lanka
Tangalle is one of the nicest beaches in Sri Lanka and overall one of the nicest places to visit in the country. What makes this beach a must visit isn’t so much the place itself – which is actually pretty, with nice fine sands and clear waters – but the fact that it is a favorite of locals and hence a really nice place to observe a bit of local action. People from the area love going there to spend a day with the family, jumping and playing in the water – typically fully dressed. The beach is located right outside Tangalle, which is at about 1 hour bus ride from Mirissa. It’s an interesting place to explore, certainly not a major tourist hot spot.
Submitted by, and thanks by, My Adventures Across The World
U – Ustka Beach, Poland
Poland’s north coast boasts so many fantastic beaches that it can be hard to choose the best one. I recommend Ustka as it’s a little off the tourist trail yet still very lively and with gorgeous golden sands and scintillating views. Sip cocktails from the beach bars at sunset, play sports of all types and devour some truly delicious Polish Baltic ice cream. This beach also has its own kindergarten in summer months so parents can leave their kids off for the day and enjoy a day of pure relaxation. Summer temperatures range between 22 and 32 degrees. Ustka is split into two beaches – east and west with the lighthouse in the middle. The west beach is the less busy, the most wild and also the widest one so it comes heartily recommended.
Submitted by, and thanks to, Northern Irishman in Poland
Thank you to all our fabulous contributors. We hope you’ve enjoyed our trip around the world to some amazing beaches. Please come back tomorrow for our next instalment, V-X, that will visit India, Greece, Hawaii, Australia, China and Mexico. You can read yesterday’s post here.