What elements make up your perfect beach? Pure white sand. Crystal clear water. And a backdrop of palm trees. Yes please!
But what makes a memorable beach? That’s something a little different.
My 10 Memorable Beaches
1. Ostriconi Beach, Corsica
Starting in Corsica, known as the island of beauty, you’ll find many wonderful and secluded beaches here. One of the most memorable for me is Ostriconi, as much for the effort it takes to get there, as the beach itself. The only way to reach it is to hire a car (or bicycle), look for the small turning off the N1197 to the beach and then find a parking space, which is not easy at the height of summer. To get to the beach itself though you then need to find the little track that climbs down the hillside. And at the bottom ford the river and walk across the vast stretch of sand to the water’s edges. It’s no wonder that this beach is never crowded. It truly is beautiful and well worth the effort.
2. Tanji, The Gambia
The sounds, colours, smells, the taste of the salt in the air and of course the people. The beach at Tanji fishing village is unforgettable and a wonderful place to photograph. You can see more of my images from Tanji in my post, A feast for the senses at Tanji fish market.
3. Colva Beach, Goa, India
Early in the morning before my friends had got up I once took a walk along the beach at Colva. Some locals were cooling off in the shallows as it was already quite hot. That evening I returned with my friends for a beer in one of the beach shacks. Kicking off my shoes I felt the cool sand between my toes, sipped my Kingfisher beer by candle light, with the sound of the gently breaking waves and a soft sea breeze on my face. It was a magical moment that I’d love to relive again.
4. Gorée Island, Senegal
As I sat eating lunch in a cheerfully painted restaurant, looking down on the beach of Gorée Island, I watched a ferry dock and a stream of youngsters poured out. They were soon all splashing around in the sea. I’ll never forget the sounds of their laughter and the joyous looks on their faces. See more photos and read about my visit in my post, Echoes from the past on Gorée Island.
5. Lake Bled, Slovenia
I only spent one night here, glamping in a field between the forest and the beach but I do wish I could have stayed longer. How many beaches do you know with a view of a clifftop castle and a pretty church on its own little island?
6. Sanyang Beach, The Gambia
Back to the Gambia and another fishing beach. At Sanyang, also know as Paradise Beach, you’ll find a lovely stretch of golden sand with a beach bar. But what makes this beach so memorable for me is the ladies I met there.
I’d grown restless of sitting around and relaxing and went for a walk towards the row of fishing boats I could see in the distance. Before I knew it, not only was I getting some great photos, but I found myself deep in conversation with the local ladies about what types of fish their husbands caught, how they prepared the fish, smoked the fish, even how to cook the fish. I’ve no idea how long I was there chatting, laughing and snapping away with my camera but it was an afternoon I’ll never forget.
7. Kamari, Santorini
The beach at Kamari, on the east coast of Santorini is made of volcanic black sand. Rising up behind and to one side of the beach is the massive rock of Mesa Vouno, a stunning sight in the early morning light. I well remember, having visited the ancient ruins on the top of the rock, climbing down it, via a narrow track, to the beautiful beach below.
8. Santa Maria, Sal, Cape Verde
The islands of Cape Verde have some of the most stunning beaches I have ever seen but it’s the beach on Santa Maria that I remember most fondly – sharing a cool beer with friends and learning to play the ancient traditional West African game of wuri. Actually it wasn’t until a number of years later that I finally figured out how to play it but it was fun never-the-less. Find out more about wuri in my post, The Rules of Wuri.
9. Bognor Beach, England
On a chilly winter’s morning I awoke to find more snow had fallen in the night than I had ever seen in my life, in Bognor Regis at least. We’re really not that used to it here.
There was no way to get into work so instead I had a memorable walk in the snow with friends, through the park and to the beach. The deck chair hut surrounded by snow made me chuckle. When we had had enough of the cold we found a warm pub serving a full English breakfast and tucked in. I think what makes that morning so memorable was that it was an unexpected treat to have this time with friends and my sister. Seeing the beach covered in snow was magical.
10. L’Ile Rousse, Corsica
And back to the island where I began, Corsica.
The first time I visited this wonderful Mediterranean island I stayed in a little villa at the end of this beach with the countryside in one direction and the beach and the pretty town of L’Ile Rousse in the other, with its cobbled streets and fabulous restaurants. I can remember swimming near this very spot at one o’clock in the morning and floating in the cool water with the stars twinkling above me. So many stars.
I took this photo, however, many years later, while on assignment for Corsican Places. All I wanted to do was dive straight in but of course I couldn’t. But the visit had reminded me of just how wonderful Corsica is and I returned not long after, this time on holiday. When I got to L’Ile Rousse I walked out to sea and when the water was up to my neck, I could still see my feet as if looking through glass. No stars shone above me this time as I floated in the sunshine but I’ll never forget it. L’Ile Rousse is one of my favourite beaches in the world and most definitely memorable.
[bctt tweet=”L’Ile Rousse in #Corsica, one of my top ten memorable #beaches around the world”]
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I’m a Corsica fan too, but more for the mountains! I’m sure a few Scottish beaches should appear on the list too, assuming it’s not weather dependent :-;
Weather is immaterial, unless it was the weather that made the beach memorable. I’ve yet to visit Scotland but hopefully one day I’ll make a part 2 that may well include a Scottish beach or two.
Love the photo of Goree Island – such a colourful sight! And I never realised Bognor got snow like that!
Nor did I! Apparently the last time we had snow like this was in 1963.
I absolutely LOVE that curveball you’ve thrown in at No. 9 (Bognor Regis) – partly because we often lose sight of those hometown delights, but also because of the wintery angle!
Love that you chose more off the beaten path beaches, that I for one have never heard of most. I have been to the black beach in Santorini and have a teeny vial of sand to prove it. You’ll have to come to the east coast so we can add a few of our pretty, sandy spits to your list.
I’ve yet to make it to the US but I will one day I’m sure. It’s such a huge country though I wouldn’t know where to start.
Interesting post! I haven’t seen most of these beaches appear on any list before.
I’m not surprised, Stephen. Few of them would make a list of the most beautiful beaches. These are some of my favourite beaches because of the memories I made there.
Gasp, no Cornish beaches? Porthcurno would be my no.1.
You have some beauties there – the Cape Verde beach is a stunner!
I haven’t really seen any Cornish beaches. I went there for the first time last weekend to the Eden Project and then one night in Falmouth. It rained. A lot. But I did tick off one other bucket list item – the train ride along the coast at Dawlish. I thought I’d read about it on your blog but couldn’t find the article. I’d love to go back and see some of Cornwall properly, preferably with a bit of sunshine.
Yes! Bled, Slovenia is the best! I visited in the winter so no swimming but I would love to come back in the summer time to jump in the water. That would be so epic.
It wasn’t really beach weather when I was there. I’d love to go back and stay a little longer in the camp site in warmer weather and swim in the lake. Sounds wonderful.
And I thought I’d been to a lot of beaches ! (I’ve only been to the Santorini one). Love this list, it’s not your usual list. That Senegal beach experience looks memorable indeed! Full of life.
It was! A joy to behold 🙂
I pinned this because I have NOT been to any of these beaches! Crazy town. Our list is very different to yours 🙂 But Greece is on it for sure. You must get to Australia.
Oh yes, I’d love to visit Australia. Preferably for at least a month (or ten).
You really seen some amazing and exotic beaches, what amazing destinations and colorful places to travel. I would love to visit some of these wonderful places.
I’m sure you’ll get to some of them one day Noel, and I hope you love them as much as I do.