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    Beach holidays – off the beaten track

    Beach holidays – off the beaten track

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    Who doesn’t love a good beach holiday or getting off the beaten track? All that warm clear water, those tree-fringed sandy beaches, a gentle tropical breeze to alleviate the endless sunshine: it’s a pretty picture that can be personalised by adding as many or as few activities as you choose. If you’re considering a beach holiday, we have a few suggestions that may help you look beyond the tried and trusted favourites.

    1. Mauritius

    Set in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar, the island of Mauritius is continuing to increase in popularity, thanks to its tropical climate, varied flora and fauna, warm clear waters and of course, those beautiful sandy beaches (150 kilometres of them, fringed by the world’s third largest coral reef). Visit the family-friendly Trou aux Biches for clear, calm shallow waters and a great range of street food stands, or head to Flic en Flac to watch the sun set with a tropically-inspired cocktail.

    1. Vis, Croatia

    Croatia has been on the tourist radar for quite some time now, but for every Split, Hvar and Dubrovnik, there are plenty of less popular islands that offer the same unique beauty. The island of Vis, which lies just a two-hour ferry ride from Split, is one to watch in 2018, given its location as a stand-in for Greece in the soon-to-be-released second Mamma Mia movie. Rather than your classic, postcard sandy beaches, like most islands in Croatia, the beaches of Vis are rocky, but the resulting water clarity more than makes up for this. Arguably the most picturesque of the many bays that dot the coastline of Vis is Stiniva, whose rocky cliffs almost entirely encircle the tiny cove, which is best reached by boat. Be sure to try some of the signature fresh local seafood dishes while you’re on the island.

    1. Hawaii

    If you’re planning a Hawaiian holiday in 2018, it’s well worth thinking beyond the high rises of Waikiki and exploring Oahu’s many other beautiful beaches. If you’re a surfing fan, head for the famous North Shore and if your timing is right, you’ll see some of the world’s best surfers riding iconic breaks like the Banzai Pipeline, Sunset Beach and Waimea Bay. If you want somewhere more sedate, head for the east coast beaches like Kailana, or just a short bus ride from Waikiki you’ll find tiny Hanauma Bay, which featured in the movie, ‘From Here to Eternity’. Alternatively, the other Hawaiian islands have some equally fabulous beaches, including Wailea Beach on Maui and the uncrowded Hanalei Bay on Kauai.

    1. Krabi, Thailand

    Visitors to Thailand are probably already very familiar with popular beach destinations like Phuket and Koh Samui, but will be pleased to find that there are plenty of other options that offer the same natural beauty but with less of the crowds. One example is Krabi, which sits on the edge of the Andaman Sea on Thailand’s south western coast, and serves as a great base for exploring the many beautiful beaches and islands that make this region such a drawcard. Hire a longtail boat and spend the day at stunning Railay Beach, climb the 1,237 steps to the mountaintop temple of Wat Tham Sua for incredible views of the Andaman Sea and sample some amazing Thai cuisine at the Krabi night markets.

    1. Samoa

    Roughly a six-hour flight from Sydney, Samoa is made up of two main islands: Upolu and Savai’i, both of which have plenty of beautiful beaches to choose from. There’s also a great choice of accommodation options on offer, ranging from luxury resorts where you can enjoy all the usual perks and comforts you’d expect, to simple open-sided beach fales where all you need to worry about is whether it’s time to swim or take a nap. Manase Beach, at the northern end of Savai’i, is a wonderful location for a fale-based holiday, while Lalomanu Beach at the southeastern tip of Upolu is set on a marine reserve that’s brimming with colourful sea life. To truly experience authentic Samoan culture, attend a Fiafia night, which showcases the best of traditional Samoa.

    Talk to your local personal travel manager here who can find the ideal beach holiday for you.

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