Seven beachy Christmas crackers…
© Sydney by Dan Freeman
Prefer sun to snow and beachside seafood feasts to stuffed turkey and roast potatoes? These sea-sprayed destinations could be the setting for your perfect Christmas. Forget reindeers: let Singapore Airlines, the world’s best airline, whisk you there in style from Singapore. Just don’t forget to notify Santa about your change of address…
White-sand beaches, shimmering sea, spectacular sunsets and unabashed relaxation. Doesn’t that sound like the Christmas combo you truly deserve?
Beach bunnies have long flocked to Bali for its sensational stretches of sand: Kuta Beach, Crystal Bay, Jimbaran Bay, Mushroom Bay Beach and more. Want to discover fascinating culture and experience a buzzing nightlife, too? You’ll find it all here.
Perhaps all you want for Christmas is maximum relaxation (under the sun, of course). Lombok has unspoiled beaches, warm and welcoming locals and natural adventures galore. From Lombok, you can easily reach the gorgeous Gili Islands. Go swimming with turtles and gem-bright fish, then feast on succulent grilled fish by the waves.
Malaysia is your golden ticket to tropical islands with sun-bleached beaches and pampering resorts, where the only items on your to-do list are: relax and unwind.
If you want added beach for your buck, head to Kota Kinabalu: the colourful capital of Sabah, located directly on the coast. Here you’ll discover miles and miles of glorious beaches.
Langkawi is home to some incredible beaches, particularly on the northern side of the island. Don’t miss Pantai Cenang, Pantai Rhu and Burau Bay.
If you’re after a Christmas holiday that goes beyond the beach, with delicious food, fascinating culture and welcoming locals, Penang could be the one for you.
You can’t talk about beautiful beaches without mentioning Thailand – no wonder the box-office smash ‘The Beach’ was filmed here. It’s impossible to give airtime to all of Thailand’s sea-and-sand highlights, but here are two places worthy of waking up to on Christmas Day…
Koh Samui is almost too good to be true: a natural paradise of beautiful bays, palm trees, white sandy beaches, coral reefs and clear waters. The most popular beaches can be found on the north and east sides of the island; for privacy and tranquility, head west.
Patong Beach is the largest and most popular beach on the island of Phuket, with plenty of outdoor activities including jet ski rides and snorkelling. If you’re after something quieter, you might prefer rugged Kata Beach, whose powerful waves attract thrill-seeking surfers.
While still managing to remain relatively off the radar, the Philippines is becoming increasingly popular with discerning adventure-seekers, drawn here by the promise of sparkling waters, peaceful beaches and dazzling underwater worlds. Join them.
Bounty Beach is an eye-blinkingly beautiful spot where you can go swimming and snorkelling in an Instagram-worthy setting. The welcoming city of Cebu offers plenty to do back on dry land; prime eating and shopping, for starters.
Davao is the capital of Mindanao island, with more than its fair share of beautiful beaches. Don’t miss the island of Samal: a popular beach and diving destination on the Davao coast.
Kalibo – Boracay
Boracay can easily be reached from Kalibo, where SilkAir flies directly to from Singapore. White Beach is the jewel in Boracay’s beachy crown, frequently topping ‘world’s best beaches’ lists.
Adventurous Vietnam has natural charms galore, including some amazing, untouched beaches – particularly in Da Nang, a coastal city in central Vietnam. The famous food scene means you won’t be missing your roast turkey and gravy on Christmas Day…
China Beach (aka My Khe) is said to be the most beautiful beach in Vietnam. This pale-gold stretch of sand is only 5km away from the center of Da Nang. You’ll be hungry after all that sea air: luckily, China Beach is home to some delicious dining options and stylish resorts.
© Sydney, photo credits: Silas Baisch
How about a festive barbecue on the beach? Australia is a classic choice for a sun-kissed Christmas, with plenty of sea-and-sand-shaped surprises up its sleeve.
Join the sun-worshiping locals on Glenelg Beach, situated about 20 minutes from the city. While you’re here, dip into the city’s tempting food and wine scene.
It’s practically illegal to not visit a beach when you are in Brisbane. Surfers Paradise (the clue’s in the name) can easily be reached by bus or train. If you prefer your Christmas holidays on the lazier side, the Sunshine Coast might be for you.
For natural drama and oceanic adventures, it’s hard to beat the Great Ocean Road. Drive along this iconic coastal road to Bells Beach and visit the 12 Apostles, pausing for foodie pit stops at Lorne and Apollo Bay. Closer to downtown, sociable St. Kilda Beach is Melbourne’s answer to Sydney’s Bondi Beach.
If you fancy ticking off multiple bays and coves on an alternative Christmas beach crawl, Perth’s Sunset Coast won’t let you down: pick from more than 30 beaches, each with its own look and feel.
Bondi Beach in Sydney is the most famous beach in Australia – for good reason. Originally known for its surf crowd, it now attracts beach bunnies of all persuasions. Post-swim, enjoy a meal at one of the mellow restaurants and cafés. Stroll off your Christmas feast by going for a stroll along the lovely coastal path to Tamarama Beach, often referred to as ‘Glamarama’.
Indulge your inner Gollum or Gandalf in breathtaking New Zealand: a mighty double-act of two islands (North and South), each with its own character. Christmas landscapes don’t get better than this…
Piha is the most popular beach among the Aucklanders – especially with the younger crowd. We’re talking thrills galore for surfers and multiple reasons to stay up late, thanks to the lively nightlife. For something quieter, Te Henga or Bethells Beach will more than do.
From Christchurch, head to Abel Tasman National Park, where stunning beaches beckon. You’ll also want to visit the beaches of Nelson, Dunedin or Kaiteriteri. The climate on the South Island is a little cooler compared to the North Island, so you can expect refreshing sea breezes.