Are you after a beach holiday this year but not sure where to go? Here is Beach Tomato’s essential guide to the beaches you absolutely must visit in 2012. Whether you see yourself star gazing in Bora Bora, exploring Vietnam’s finest beaches or diving to the depths in Belize, these are the places those in the know will be visiting over the coming twelve months.
Positioned in the south-east of Europe, with Adriatic waves lapping the shoreline, what’s not to love about Montenegro? The coastline receives plenty of Mediterranean sun but is often overlooked as a holiday destination. Not for much longer as the crowds have finally begin to wise up to the country’s many charms and the opening of two luxurious new resorts – the Aman resort on Sveti Stefan and the Porto Montenegro residential marina – has ensured that this section of the Dalmatian coast will be a hotspot not just in 2012 but for years to come…
When to go: Glowsticks are a must at this August’s Entrance dance music festival, which has previously played host to the likes of Benny Benassi. And if high octane music doesn’t tickle your fancy, there are plenty of idyllic beaches and islands to relax on during the summer.
Squeezed to the east of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia, Vietnam has attracted the attention of worldwide airlines making this exotic destination easier than ever to get to. Vietnam has a lot of beach – nearly 3,500km of coastline to be precise – but our favourite stretch has to be Mue Ne. An upgraded version of the neighbouring Phan Tiet, the Anatara Resort is set to open here in May, infusing the area with a spot of beach-luxe – we cannot wait.
When: Coincide a hotel opening with the annual Whale Festival. The biggest water festival in the Danang province is held in May and sees locals adding beautiful decorations to their homes and temples whilst celebrating with boat processions and offerings to the Whale God. Book this bespoke Beach breakaway now with Beach Tomato.
Buried on the Central American coast, next to Guatemala and Mexico, Belize’s unspoilt coastline is picture-perfect and exciting. Lucky for us, English is the native language (alongside five other local languages), so no need to lug around the dictionary to order your ice-cold beverages. If diving is your things then we highly recommend a visit to Half Moon Caye in Lighthouse Reef, in the Caribbean Sea, where you can plunge to the depths of divine turquoise water or alternatively catch some rays on the white sandy beach.
When: Visit the ancient site of Caracol, on Belize’s mainland, for some Mayan magic during the vernal equinox which falls on March 20, or the summer solstice on June 21.
Concealed in the archipelago of French Polynesia in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, this far-flung island has it all: piercing blue waters and postcard-perfect sandy shores, and to top it off it’s home to an extinct volcano. If you want to escape the tourist honeypot head to the motus (islets) in Bora Bora – we recommend Motu Tautau – for some paradisiacal seclusion, Polynesian-style.
When: Land in time for June 5-6 to catch one of the rarest planetary alignments. Venus’ transit across the sun last happened in 2004 and won’t be witnessed again until 2117 so this really is an experience not to be missed.
Vibrant Colombia may be tucked into the northwest corner of South America but it is overflowing with both sunny sandy stretches and exotic green jungle. Playa Blanca (White Beach) on Baru Island features on our list of all-time favourite beaches. Journey there for a rustic beach break and treat yourself to some excellent local grub.
When: Between January 23-29 Cartagena will host the Hay Festival, celebrating literature and the arts so if you’re a bit of a culture vulture why not add a civilised twist to your holiday?