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BEST BEACHES IN… SCANDINAVIA

BEST BEACHES IN… SCANDINAVIA Scandinavia We’re wrapping up and venturing north for the scenery, the sunsets and the liberal attitude to swimwear (though the latter might be irrelevant at this time of year). Sitting on some of the most underrated coastlines in the world these beaches in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland are our best picks for a Scandinavian sand experience – whether you want it hot or cold. Hit the arrows to flick through…

Degersand Beach, Aland Islands, Finland Take a flight from Helsinki up to the Aland Isands. This self-governing, Swedish-speaking archipelago in the Baltic Sea, consisting of more than 6,000 islands is Finland’s smallest province – and in Eckerö on the western part of the main island sits delightful Degersand Beach. With generous sweeps of blustering south winds and sky-high waves, these waters are a winner amongst kite-surfers and kayakers. For those who favour dry land, enjoy a stroll across the surprisingly fine beads of sand and stay for the Ansel-Adams worthy sunset over the archipelago. You won’t want to leave – so don’t. You’re allowed to pitch your tent and set up camp anywhere, so stay and feast upon the midnight sky.

WHEN: Hot or cold, we love these Scandi beaches any time of the year, but if it’s tantopping weather you’re after then follow the sun below…

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COCAL BEACH, NICARAGUA

COCAL BEACH, NICARAGUA

Cocal Beach, Little Corn Island, Nicaragua Oh, we’ll just go for a couple of nights, you say. After all, there’s nothing much to do there, you say. Fast forward 48 hours and it’s a different story: Shall we stay a little longer? Shall we book a few more nights? It’s quite nice not actually doing anything… And this is the charm of Little Corn Island – and in particular its sandy showcase, Cocal Beach – where the not-doing-anything is all part of its subtle seduction technique. Days can turn into weeks and, in some cases, much longer. Around 70km off the Eastern coast of Nicaragua sits Little Corn Island, a rambunctious boatride away from its big sibling, Big Corn Island and as perfect a beach paradise as you’re likely to stumble upon. Unsullied by sprawling resorts, this isn’t one for travelling divas. Spend your nights in cute beachside bungalows and your days on the soft white sand where lazy, leaning palms are almost as horizontal as you and falling coconuts provide near fantastical beach fare. Though you arrive at the port on the west of the island, it is a short walk over to the east where the beach gems lay. Cocal Beach is the centre piece of this sandy sprawl. It has a creamy wheat-coloured complexion and is totally blemish-free – no sun loungers, no parasols. Instead there are shacks selling fresh $5 lobster and dive boats heading out to some of the best spots on the reef. The night dives are particularly amazing, but if night swimming isn’t your thing, spend your evening drowning in one of the buzzy local bars, and raise your rum glass to this Creole beach classic. WHEN: year round but best months are Dec and Jan

WHAT TO PACK: Heading to the castaway Corn Islands, load a Chloe Madeleine tote with Paulo Coelho’s

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Heading to the castaway Corn Islands, load a Chloe Madeleine tote with Paulo Coelho’s Aleph, Benefit’s lip plump for post-swim puckering up and go native with Mara Hoffman’s Aztec print bikini.

the bag: Chloe Madeleine leather tote, £1335 the swimwear: Mara Hoffman Aztec print bandeau bikini, £180 the products: Benefit lip plump, £14.50 and Cowshed spearmint exfoliating sea scrub, £40 the playlist: Band of Horses, Is There a Ghost Sufjan Stevens, Concerning the UFO sighting Salem Al Fakir, It’s Only You, Pt II E.S.T, Believe Beleft Below the read: Paulo Coelho, Aleph, £7.50 Is this whetting your beach appetite? Let our beach pros help you plan the beach trip of a lifetime, just click below and one of our experts will be back in touch.


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TAKE ME TO MAURITIUS

TAKE ME TO MAURITIUS

The Big Picture The holiday experts here at Beach Tomato have hand-picked the Mauritian hotel 20 Degres Sud for your relaxing island break. Relax in the lap of colonial-inspired luxury with a seven-night stay at one of the most luxuriously stylish addresses on the island, right on the Grand Baie – but miles away from some of the big budget, brash hotels on the beach. Rooms at the boutique hotel are breezy, decorated with a mixture of antiques and contemporary furniture; four-poster beds are hung with gauzy white drapes and, our favourite detail, all of the rooms feature an old fashioned bath for languorous soaking.

The Beaches

Mont Choisy: With over a mile of soft white sand curving around the tropically turquoise bay, head here to take a stroll along the island’s longest beach. Cap Malheureux: Perched on the northern tip of the island and just stone’s throw from the peaceful fishing village after which it was named, Cap Malheureux has mesmerising views of the nearby islets. La Cuvette: Take a dip in the impossibly clear waters at La Cuvette, where locals like to unwind. It may become a little crowded on a busy weekend afternoon, so go in the

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unwind. It may become a little crowded on a busy weekend afternoon, so go in the morning, in the middle of the week.

The Stay

Nestled in a coconut grove, boutique hotel 20 Deges Sud sits on the water’s edge with all the grace and poise of French colonial good taste – and the unfaltering five-star service to go with it.

The Must-Dos

The Hidden Gem: Venture to the island’s untouched south coast wander through the unspoiled town of Mahébourg for a real sense of traditional Mauritian culture. All Aboard: Don your deck shoes and take a glass-bottomed boat trip to one of the idyllic neighbouring lagoons. You’ll wish you could float forever in these turquoise waters. Shopper’s Spree: A trip to Port Louis’s central market is a must to load your suitcase with local souvenirs (our tip: colourful local textiles, especially cushion covers). Step Back in Time: For a unique dining experience, sit down for an exclusive dinner aboard the island’s oldest motor boat, the M/S Lady Lisbeth. Built in 1929, she has been lovingly restored to her former glory and sets sail for a culinary cruise around the bay every evening. With room for just eight diners, this is a truly special meal.

It’s easy, either fill in the form below, or give us a call (we’d love to chat) on +44 207 426 9888 (UK) or +1 888 341 9663 (US). Beach Tomato is the part of award-winning travel company Black Tomato and we have a team of travel experts on hand to organise your bespoke beach holiday.


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TAKE ME TO MALAYSIA

TAKE ME TO MALAYSIA

The Big Picture Thinking about a holiday in Malaysia for 2012? We’ve thought long and hard about it and, well, how does this sound: After touching down in Kuala Lumpur, you will connect on a short flight to Kuala Terengganu where you’ll be transferred to gorgeous Tanjong Jara Resort for a pampering spa break. Situated on the east coast of the Malaysian peninsula, the hotel is designed to reflect the grandeur of Malaysian palaces and is the perfect place to let all your stresses go. Be welcomed to a healing haven of tranquillity steeped in spiritual tradition and emerge yourself in ancient Asian holistic traditions at the hotel’s blissful spa. Weave your way through the lush backdrop and feel the force of nature’s elements up close and personal with the impressive Chemerong waterfall. Sun yourself on untouched beaches and explore the coral gardens of South China’s big blue. Finishing on a high, you’ll spend your final night at the king of KL crash pads – the Mandarin Oriental, which boasts the best views of the Petronas Towers in the city.

The Beach

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Set on a long sweep of soft white sand, you won’t need to stray far to find a sunny spot lapped by calm blue waters. If you do fancy exploring, head up the coast to Pantai Batu Buruk for a sunset walk on the pine-lined sandy stretch.

The Stays

Tanjong Jara Resort: Experience six nights at the Orient-inspired holistic heaven, which sits serenely on Malaysia’s east coast. Truly fit for a king, the retreat’s architecture strongly echoes the opulence of 17th century Malaysian palaces – think airy rooms with tasteful interiors and tropical gardens. The Mandarin Oriental: Make the most of your last night in Malaysia night at the luxurious MO, with priceless views of the iconic Petronas Towers that dominate the skyline.

The Must-Dos

Pampering Perfection: reawaken your senses with Tanjong Jara’s Raindrop Retreat spa package, which will see you spoiled with a relaxing daily massage. A Meal to Remember: allow acclaimed in-house chef Ann to rustle up the dish of ‘your’ day, in which you create a personal mouth-watering menu during a private consultation with one of Malaysia’s best chefs. Take the Plunge: Malaysia’s east coast is famed for its colourful underwater world. Armed with flippers and mask, emerge yourself in the South China Sea. Turbo Shop: spend your last night in Malaysia shopping in KL’s famous Golden Triangle district before bedding down at the super-luxe Mandarin Oriental.

It’s easy, either fill in the form below, or give us a call (we’d love to chat) on (UK) or (US).


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BEST BEACHES FOR…

BEST BEACHES FOR… Following in Great Footsteps Inspired by those explorers and adventurers, from both past and present, who sailed in search of foreign shores, we unleash or inner Columbus/Cook/Benedict Allen and voyage to the beaches where the intrepid have ventured before us…

La Cuvette, Mauritius Dressed as a boy, feisty French lady Jeanne Baret was probably the first female to ever circumnavigate the globe. In November 1768 her expedition landed on the shores of Mauritius, and we can only hope she discovered the sparkling little cove of La Cuvette beach. Offering some of the calmest, clearest swimming waters you’re likely to come across, this bijous beach of golden sand may get a little squished with sun-seekers on a busy day, but it’s still a less crowded option than its famous charmingly chaotic neighbour Grand Bay. WHEN: Dec – May for sun, diving and fishing

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BEST BEACHES FOR…

BEST BEACHES FOR… Following in Great Footsteps Inspired by those explorers and adventurers, from both past and present, who sailed in search of foreign shores, we unleash or inner Columbus/Cook/Benedict Allen and voyage to the beaches where the intrepid have ventured before us…

White Beach, Suriname Modern adventurer, John Goddard, has achieved more in one lifetime than most of us would do in five. He has climbed almost every major mountain in the world, was the first man to navigate the entire length of the Nile in and has studied indigenous cultures from the Congo to Alaska. Along the way he stopped off at the smallest independent country in South America – Suriname. Here he witnessed, amongst other things, traditional fire walking ceremonies. We, however, will settle for the warm river waters, soft white sand and blue-on-blue views of the beautiful White Beach. Though not entirely authentic – the sand was transported from elsewhere in Suriname – it is one of the only sandy beaches that’s given over the tan-seekers as opposed to native turtles, and as faux paradises go we’re fairly convinced. WHEN: Feb – April or Aug – Dec

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