All of my life I have been a beach bum. From the early days of my parents taking me regularly across the border into Croatia to adulthood where Barbados and Cuba have now seen me for a combined eight times. I love beaches. Being near water makes me feel so much healthier and happier. I have been fortunate enough to visit many beaches in three different continents and I still don't think I've had my fill.
I wanted to do a post of top five beaches I've been to, but then I realized that some of them I never actually took pictures of while there. (yes, that can happen, I didn't see all of them in the age of Snapchat.)
However, I wanted to showcase some of my favourites anyways. I don't like posting other people's pictures so these would only be the ones I have photos of. On a cold day in Toronto - these are the kinds of pictures that keep my mind warm.
Vouliagmeni Beach - Athens, Greece
I had the pleasure of going to this beach with my two best friends in 2015. Although I was not really impressed by Athens, this beach was definitely the highlight of my time there. The water was so cooling for the hot Greek weather in June and there were young people hanging out everywhere. It was a busy beach, but not enough to be bothersome. Many people were there but not really paying attention to anyone aside from those in their group. Biggest regret from going to Athens was not getting a rental place closer to this beach so I could have visited it more than once. Equally relaxing as it was fun.
St. Lawrence Bay - Christ Church, Barbados
Just look at it. What is there not to like? This beach is located upon entry into the funtastical St. Lawrence Gap. I can't imagine there being any 'bad' beaches in Barbados. Between Worthing beach (5 min away) to Dover beach (5 min the other way) it is a great spot to just relax and people watch. I rarely would see it busy but it would always be so picturesque.
Jungut Batu/Jungutbatu - Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia
The beaches in Bali were cool and all, but the waves and current made it almost impossible to just hang out in the water. I consider myself a good swimmer, but not good enough for the tumultuous waters in Bali. This is why going to a beach in the neighbouring island of Nusa Lembongan was a pleasure. After a quick ferry ride, you get to see a serene beach like Jungut Batu. I really liked this beach because not only could I just sit still in the water, if I WAS into surfing and water sports - that was also accessible by just swimming deeper. On the opposite side of the sand there are numerous diving and water sport rental places along with places to get some delicious fruit. Great place to hang out for the day.
Verudela Beach - Pula, Croatia
I love the beaches in Croatia. Not only is there food everywhere to be had, but the water is really refreshing in the hot sun. In places like the Caribbean and in Asia the waters are warmer because they don't go through a cold winter, while in Croatia the seawater does go through the colder seasons and makes it a very different swimming experience. Verudela is just a short bus or taxi ride from the center of Pula and is surrounded by lush forestry and camping areas. The only thing I have a hard time with (because I am a wuss) is the rocks. My foreign family will be super disappointed to read that I required the use of water shoes the entire time I was there.
Road Bay - Sandy Ground Village, Anguilla
Full disclosure - this was NOT my favourite beach in Anguilla. My favourite was actually Shoal Bay Beach. In fact, Shoal Bay remains my #1 beach I have ever been to, so not having pictures of it is super lame. The only picture I have from that beach is 90% me and 10% the beach because I was too busy celebrating turning 29 on the day I was there. However, Anguilla has the best beaches I have ever seen. I like my beaches quiet, with soft sand and perfect water temperatures. That was both Road Bay and Shoal Bay. I promise you that you will feel NO greater happiness than basking in more than 2km of pristine sand and water, with only a handful of people present. Unbeatable.
Cayo Guillermo - Cayo Coco, Cuba
Being on the topic of pristine sand and water - Cayo Guillermo in Cuba would land in the category. One day I walked almost the entire length of the beach and it just kept getting more beautiful. The only negative that it has vs. Shoal Bay is obviously the hundreds of tourists running around on it. The beach is lined with many resorts and therefore has water sports, music blaring and families absolutely everywhere. In the above picture, I was shocked to catch it as empty as I was able to. Otherwise, it is breathtaking to witness. The water is 3-4 different colours depending on where you stand. Well worth the visit and dealing with loud, baking tourists.
I promise to do better going forward with picture-taking at beaches. With my trip to the Maldives next month, I will overrun this blog with crystal clear water pictures. You'll see.