Happy New Year!
The start of another year is a good time for must-see and must-do this that and the other lists, including places and experiences from around the world.
If you’re already planning a 2019 getaway somewhere special, online travel agency Flight Network has helpfully identified the top beaches across all continents with the support of 1,000 travel professionals. Judges included journalists, editors, bloggers and agencies. I was kindly asked for my own nominations. Being the well-seasoned traveller that I am, I was happy to oblige.
The index of 411 beaches is topped by perennial postcard favourite Shipwreck Beach in Zakynthos, whose eye-searingly blue image has adorned office screensavers for decades (probably).
Shipwreck Beach is followed by Whitehaven Beach in Queensland, Hidden Beach in El Nido, Praia do Sancho in Pernambuco, and Tulum Beach in Quintana Roo – all suggesting that we all love a beach in the tropics more than anywhere.
Maya Bay in Phi Phi, Thailand, is curiously ranked 9th – while stunning, it’s currently closed to tourists, a victim of its own success.
A great beach needn’t be palm-fringed perfection, however. A suggestion of mine, Qixingtan Beach in Taiwan, was ranked 23rd among Asian beaches. It’s spectacular location, where 3,000 metre mountains drop sharply to meet crystal-clear waters of the Pacific, make it a winner in my eyes.
In addition to listing beaches by continent, Flight Network has compiled untouched beaches and city beaches – the latter is useful if you’re planning to relocate as a digital nomad or professional this year.
You can see the full World’s Best Beaches for 2018 here.