The best way to escape the winter blues? Get on a plane and head for summer! Here you can swap your winter coat for a T-shirt and cosy socks for flip-flops.
Sun, sand and sea - for many, this is the epitome of relaxation. When it's cold and dark in Central Europe, we long for a beach holiday the most. We present the most beautiful places to celebrate Christmas in a bikini!
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Aruba - the Caribbean dream
Alabaster-coloured beaches and turquoise blue sea are the main attractions of the ABC island of Aruba. The beaches of this popular honeymoon destination are among the most beautiful in the entire Caribbean. The water is pleasantly warm all year round and the powder-fine coral sand never gets too hot for barefoot beach walks.
Palm trees and the wind-swept Divi Divi trees provide shade and form a paradisiacal backdrop. The best place to swim is on Aruba's west coast, while divers and snorkellers will find fantastic underwater worlds on the rocky east coast.
Oman - Swimming in the desert
Oman, in the south of the Arabian Peninsula, is mainly known as a desert state with camels and Bedouins. Nevertheless, a bathing holiday in Oman is highly recommended - all year round. The average air temperature never drops below 25°C and the sea is coolest in January - but then it is still a pleasant 23°C.
The bathing possibilities in Oman are more varied than many might think: deserted, fine-sand bays await here on the coast of the Persian Gulf, kilometres of hotel beaches and hidden pools that create wonderful green oases in the midst of parched wadis.
Cape Verde - Sun, Sun, Sun
On the Cape Verde Sal Island the conditions are similar. If you really only want to swim, this is the place to be. The flat, dry island of Sal is also considered a desert island with hardly any shade or greenery - but it offers plenty of sun and fantastic beaches. The most beautiful is near the tourist stronghold of Santa Maria, where you can also party.
Also Boa Vista is considered a wonderful bathing island. Its 55 kilometres of beaches are among the most beautiful in Cape Verde. Shipwrecks, water sports and diving stations make a bathing holiday on Boa Vista a real experience. Or simply relax in a hammock at sunset!
The third Cape Verdean bathing island is Maio. On this remote island, there are hardly any sights apart from lots of sand and sea. But in our opinion, that is quite enough. The sleepy villages in the middle of coconut and acacia forests offer simple accommodation and keep their promise of peace and solitude. The heavenly tranquillity is ideal for thoughtful minds, bathing vixens and bookworms.
Thailand - Bathing Holidays in the Land of Smiles
There is hardly a place on the dreamlike coast of the Andaman Sea that would not be perfect for a beach holiday in Thailand. White beaches under emerald-green palm trees on the crystal-clear sea make those seeking relaxation in the land of smiles shine.
The most popular bathing destinations in Thailand include the magical Phi Phi Islands in Krabi Province, the enchanting rocky islands of Ao Phang Nga National Park or the dream islands of Koh Pha-ngan and Koh Samui.
Brazil - from party mile to romantic bay
If you are planning a beach holiday in Brazil, you can hardly go wrong. Almost the entire coastline of Brazil consists of wonderful, picture-perfect tropical beaches.
There are 150 kilometres of dream beaches (!) to discover on the Linha Verde, the "real Brazilian life" pulsates around Salvador da Bahia, Natal and its surroundings attract visitors with more than 300 days of sunshine a year, and near Manaus there is a fantastic freshwater beach, Praia Ponta Negra.
Mauritius - Pearl in the Indian Ocean
Mauritius is considered one of the world's most beautiful destinations for beach holidays. Above all, no Mauritius holidaymaker can miss the magnificent beach of Flic en Flac. Today, the most beautiful (and most expensive) hotels on the island are also located in the once sleepy coastal village.
The enchanting lagoon is protected by a magnificent coral reef that makes divers' dreams come true. No wonder that Flic en Flac is the most popular destination in Mauritius after Grand Baie.
Maldives - Diving in Paradise
The paradise of the Maldives consists of 54 different islands. Lhaviyani Atoll of the Maldives. It is the smallest atoll in the Maldives and stands above all for peace and relaxation far away from mass tourism. Wonderful diving spots on the outer reef provide variety under water if swimming and sunbathing become boring.
By the way, there is even more seclusion on the Alimatha Island. This tiny island is home to only one resort directly on the ivory-coloured sandy beach - rays and sharks on the house reef included.
Seychelles - the most beautiful beaches in the world
The beaches of the Seychelles are indisputably among the most beautiful in the world. Their trademark is the extremely photogenic granite rocks that lie seemingly randomly scattered in the fine sand. The turquoise blue sea and the lush green palm trees complete the epitome of a tropical holiday paradise.
Every island in the Seychelles has its advantages and there are dream beaches everywhere. The main island of Mahe is the busiest, but if you just want to enjoy the sun and the sea, Praslin or La Digue are the best places. The latter is also home to the famous Anse Source d'Argent, known worldwide from Raffaello and Bacardi commercials.
Australia - feeding tame dolphins
The vast Australia, an entire continent as an island, has a multitude of breathtaking beaches. The Australian winter from April to September is usually described as the best time to travel Down Under, as neither heat above 35°C nor heavy rainfall is to be expected here. Popular bathing destinations then are Noosa, Broome or Cairns on the fantastic Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef in the world.
However, this applies primarily to the east and north. In the west and especially in the south, the climate is perfect for a winter bathing holiday, even in the Australian summer (October to March), with temperatures around 30°C. Highly recommended are the secluded bays along the Great Ocean Road or Tin Can Bay in the UNESCO World Heritage Site Fraser Island, where dolphins eat out of your hand on the beach.
India - with the sacred cows on the beach
In the European winter, the coasts of the Indian Ocean attract visitors with wonderful bathing weather. Once the monsoon is over, sunshine dominates in southern India from October to April.
A wonderful destination then, for example, are the Beaches of Goawhich are famous for the high quality of their sand. The 100-kilometre coastline of finest sand is also called the "Indian Riviera" and is interrupted only by 7 rivers that pour into the Arabian Sea.
Formerly populated mainly by hippies, the beach houses, hotels and bars of the paradisiacal beaches are now bustling at all times of the day and night. Nevertheless, there are some almost untouched spots to be found here, such as Betul Beach or Palolem Beach.