Al-Mamzar Beach, Dubai

Al-Mamzar Beach is more than just a succession of beautiful, curving, white sandy beaches, it is also a park and recreational area that covers over 247 acres (100 ha) on a small headland to the north of central Dubai. Opened in 1994, the parklands include beaches, swimming pools, a stunning amphitheater, picnic areas, barbecue facilities, and children’s playgrounds, set amongst acres of lush green lawn, palms, coconuts, and other trees. The five beaches together make up the longest beach area along the coast of Dubai and there is always a lifeguard on duty on at least one. Al-Mamzar Beach and Park is open daily but Wednesdays are for women and children only.

Amager Beach Park, Copenhagen

Amager Beach Park is made up of a series of beaches and a 1-mile- (2-km-) long artificial island, opened in 2005 and linked to the original Amager Beach by three bridges. The mainland beach is divided by a headland. The northern area has a natural, untamed feel and its broad, sandy shoreline is backed by low-lying, grassy dunes. The beach to the south, known as the “city beach,” has more facilities, including coffee shops, a pier, and a marina. The addition of the island has created a natural lagoon that is popular for water sports, and the shallow waters are calm and safe – perfect for children.

Non Nuoc Beach, Danang

Just south of Danang, at the foot of the Marble Mountains, Non-Nuoc (also known as China Beach) stretches for 3 miles (5 km) in a white, sandy arc that slopes gently into the clear blue waters of the South China Sea. The beach is lined in part with an ancient forest of casuarina trees, and there are restaurants serving local seafood specialties. A day at the beach can be combined with a visit to the nearby village of Non-Nuoc (where skilled craftspeople have been carving white, rose, and gray marble since the 15th century), or a trip to the spectacular mountains.

Cheltenham Beach, Auckland

A series of beaches extends north on the eastern side of Devonport, each with its own merits, but Cheltenham Beach is the closest. Popular with families on a day out from Auckland, it is a safe, tidal beach with picnic grounds. It is worth a walk to North Head, a headland that actually lies at the southern end of the beach. From here, the spectacular panoramic views extend 360 degrees across the sweeping length of Cheltenham Beach, the harbor, Rangitoto Island, and back across to Auckland. As lovely as the beach is, be sure you leave enough time to enjoy the trendy town of Devonport, with its beautiful architecture and great cafés.

Muizenberg Beach, Cape Town

This once-popular and prestigious destination for Capetonians is experiencing a renaissance. The beach lies on the Indian Ocean side of the Cape Peninsula, so the waters are much warmer here than at the beaches on the Atlantic Oceanside. The wide sweep of white sand and gentle surf is ideal for families as well as surfers. Watch for the dolphins that sometimes come in quite close to the shore, and the whales that pass during their migration season. At lunchtime, stroll up to the popular picnic area at the northern end of the beach, in the Zandvlei Nature Reserve.

Gordon-Frishman Beaches, Tel Aviv

The whole of Tel Aviv’s west side is one long beach, facing west over the Mediterranean Sea. At its northern end is the Tel Aviv Marina and what was, at one stage, the Gordon Swimming Pool, which was famous as a meeting place for Tel Aviv celebrities and other notable figures. At the southern end is Frishman Beach, where you can rent lounge chairs and umbrellas. At weekends the beach is a gathering place for the city’s young, hip crowd. Slim, suntanned bodies pack the bars, sands, and volleyball courts, and can overwhelm tourists, older locals, and families. During the week things are much more peaceful. After a day of sun and sand, take a stroll along the boardwalk, choosing a café or restaurant from which to enjoy a spectacular sunset view.

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