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British Airways High Life


The top 50 beaches in the world

April 2010

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BVI's Virgin Gorda has one of the Caribbean's best natural wonders: granite boulders called the Baths
BVI's Virgin Gorda has one of the Caribbean's best natural wonders: granite boulders called the Baths
Johanna Huber/SIME/4Corners Images

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Cape Tribulation, Cairns
‘The Australian east coast north of Cairns offers one fabulous beach after another, but if you stick it out to the very end of the tarmac road, Cape Tribulation beach itself is a sweeping semicircle of silver sand lapped by crystal sea, which will make you think you’ve reached paradise. There’s so much space that anyone can make it their own — it’s the perfect place for strolling hand-in-hand along the water’s edge with the one you love, or for setting out in a kayak to explore the bay at sunset. And boats leave from here for the Great Barrier Reef.’
Marina Lewycka, author
Best for kids who want to escape and parents who want to relax.
Get there BA flies to Sydney from London Heathrow and from Sydney to Cairns as a codeshare with Qantas.

Adventure Bay on Bruny Island, Tasmania
‘This is a stone’s throw south of Hobart, the capital of Australia’s island state of Tasmania. Perfect white sand even if the water is a little chilly, but it’s the roll call of naval visitors which make this beach so interesting. HMS Adventure anchored here in 1773. Four years later it was Cook with the Resolution and the Discovery, followed in 1788 by William Bligh on HMS Bounty, en route to Tahiti and a famous mutiny.’
Tony Wheeler, co-founder, Lonely Planet
Best for history buffs who like some outdoor activity — kayaking, seal and dolphin spotting, bushwalking and Australia’s most southerly pub.
Get there BA flies to Singapore from London Heathrow and from Singapore to Melbourne as a codeshare with Qantas.


Carlisle Bay
‘One of the most perfect beaches I’ve ever sat on. It’s not freakishly long and the sand is pure white. Not a yellow grain in sight.’
Claudia Winkleman, TV presenter
Best for spotting starfish, hunting for baby hermit crabs and splashing about in clean, warm waves.
Get there BA flies to Antigua from London Gatwick. BA offers seven nights at the five-star Carlisle Bay in Antigua from £1,569 per person including flights and B&B. Visit or call +44 (0)844 493 0758.

Pigeon Point Beach
‘Quiet, unspoilt and local. Restaurant Bumpkins at one end of the beach cooks simple lunches while at weekends at the other end of the beach a local Antiguan fries up outrageously good fishcakes that are peppered with onion seeds and other spices, and the best jerk chicken on the island. The bay is tiny but with enough boats to make great swimming excursions out for some light exercise.’
Thomasina Miers, chef and co-founder of Wahaca
Best for families wanting to chill out.
Get there BA flies to Antigua from London Gatwick.

Cotton Bay
‘Being on the less popular side of St Lucia means Cotton Bay has retained a rugged charm that a lot of Caribbean beaches have lost. Waves crash in and horses gallop by.’
Tristan Gooley, author of The Natural Navigator
Best for those who like their sand unraked.
Get there BA flies to St Lucia from London Gatwick. BA offers seven nights at the five-star Cotton Bay Village, St Lucia, from £1,219 per person including return flights and B&B. Visit or call +44 (0)844 493 0758.

Turtle Beach
‘On the tip of St Kitts’ southeast peninsula, Turtle Beach is everything you’d want from the Caribbean. Shell-pink sands lined with palm trees? Tick. Sparkling aquamarine waters? Tick. There are even some resident, friendly monkeys. The calm, balmy waters make it a perfect spot for swimming and it is also home to The Beach House, one of the best restaurants on the island.’
Angelina Villa-Clarke, associate editor, High Life
Best for a day trip. Catch the live steel band that plays on Sundays and watch the amazing sunsets.
Get there BA flies to St Kitts from London Gatwick.

Virgin Gorda
‘Not only does Spring Bay on the British Virgin Islands’ Virgin Gorda tick all the beautiful beach boxes — powder-fine, glinting white sands lapped by a peppermint sea — but it comes packaged with one of the Caribbean’s great natural wonders. To reach the beach you thread your way, Indiana Jones-style, through the Baths, a fairy-tale labyrinth of pinky-grey granite boulders, and an amazing creation of grottoes, caves and seawater Jacuzzis.’
David Wickers, editor,
Best for adventurers.
Get there BA flies to New York from London Heathrow and then on to San Juan as a codeshare with American Airlines.

‘Three hours off Grenada by ferry is an island called Carriacou. Half an hour’s walk from the ferry port, you go through a clutch of shacks that passes for the biggest village on the island then I think it’s south of there. After about three or four miles, you’ll find a dead tree in the middle of the sand. There is nobody else there. Not far away is a place called the Green Roof Inn, which has, or had, a Swedish chef who served me smoked lobster and gravad barracuda — two dishes that neither Gordon Ramsay nor Heston Blumenthal has ever eaten. I know, because I asked them.’
Giles Coren, restaurant critic
Best for foodies.
Get there BA flies to Grenada from London Gatwick.

Plage De Grande Riviere
‘Plage de Grande Rivière is a very quiet beach and one of the most stunning places I’ve been. A river forms a delta and natural water pools on the beach flowing from the mountains behind. Wild horses and tortoises reside here.’
Mourad Mazouz, founder of Momo restaurant
Best for eco tourists.
Get there BA flies to Port of Spain, Trinidad, from London Gatwick. BA offers seven nights at the four-star Hilton Trinidad from £895 per person. Visit or call +44 (0)844 493 0758.


Zighy Bay
‘Zighy Bay, on Oman’s wild Musandam Peninsula, is just an hour’s drive from the bustling beaches of Dubai but it couldn’t feel more different. An amble along its shore line at sunrise is the best way to appreciate it: glorious stretches of deserted beach framed by rugged mountain peaks and desert fjords on one side and the extraordinary emerald waters of the Gulf of Oman on the other.’
Francesca Syz, travel writer
Best for the glamorous crowd.
Get there BA flies to Muscat from London Heathrow. BA offers four nights at the five-star The Chedi, Muscat, from £725 per person including flights and B&B. Visit or call +44 (0)844 493 0758.

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