The Wanderlist: Best Hidden Beaches Around the World
Eschew overcrowded beaches and hit these hidden tropical enclaves for some genuine R&R.
Koh Lanta, Thailand
Many fans of ‘The Beach’ might assume that no idyllic, isolated Thai beach truly exists anymore, but you’ll be pleased to know that there are some hidden-ish shores, if you really look for them. Koh Lanta in the Krabi province is by no means undiscovered. However, due to its remote location (think planes, trains, automobiles and then maybe a ferry), you can still find unspoiled stretches of white sand beach, particularly on the south end of the island. Hire a bike and get away from the tourists on Long Beach for virtually uninhabited spots south of Relax Bay.
Happy Bay, St. Martin
If you don’t mind going on a ramble through the shrubs to reach a truly secret beach, Happy Bay in St. Martin ticks a lot of boxes. Its white sands are the perfect place to while away an afternoon in virtual privacy. Given the uncommercial nature of the beach, pack a picnic so you don’t have to make a trek when your belly rumbles. Don’t forget to throw a snorkel in your bag; Happy Bay is one of the best spots for it on the island.
Of course, the rest of the world is well aware of the Costa Blanca coastline, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still find seclusion on some of its beaches. Torrevieja is a seaside city in Spain’s southeastern Alicante province set between two salt lagoons (pink and emerald). It’s not unchartered territority, but beaches like La Mata offer a smaller, unspoiled version of some of the busier resort spots on the Mediterranean coastline. There are no high-rise skyscrapers, just warm water and a beautiful strip of sand. Visit the many nearby coves (Ferris Cove, the Zorra Cove and the Mojón Cove) for some peaceful snorkelling in crystalline water.
Tamarama Beach, Australia
The Bondi to Coogee coastline walk, a six-kilometre clifftop stretch in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, is a tourist favourite. But between the well-trodden path sits Tamarama. A popular spot among locals, the 80 metres of shoreline makes for a shorter but no less impressive place to stop and catch your breath. While it’s known for its great surfing, it can be pretty dangerous for swimmers with swells that produce some serious riptides. Stay between the flags if you’re planning on taking a dip.
Kerama Islands, Japan
Japan may not spring to mind when you think of white sand beaches but the bustling island nation lays claim to some beautiful coastline. The Kerama Islands is a group of 22 islands located southwest of Okinawa Island and was designated a national park in 2014. Nagannu Island is an uninhabited beach destination just a 20-minute boat ride from Naha. Spend the day exploring the coral and swimming among tropical fish. Despite its lack of tenants, you can still find food, drink and snorkels to rent.