As summer in the northern hemisphere is upon us, many people are looking for the best beach destinations. Whether it is for a one-week holiday or a two-month workation, finding the perfect beach destination is an art!

You need sunny, warm, and dry weather to enjoy the sand and waves, but you don’t want it to be so hot that you are suffering from sunburn and heat stroke. You want the beach to be popular so that it has great facilities and a vibrant atmosphere, but you don’t want it to be so popular that it feels overcrowded, and you can’t find a private spot. Affordability matters, but so does convenience.

Do beaches that tick all these boxes exist? Yes! We have come up with a list of 20 fantastic beach holiday destinations for 2024. You won’t find any of the usual suspects – Bali, Phuket, or the Bahamas – since you already know about them. These are fantastic yet unusual beach destinations to enjoy in 2024.


1. Capo Vaticano, Italy

Capo Vaticano is located in the Calabria region of Italy and is still under the radar for most foreign tourists. But it is popular with locals, so you can expect to find plenty of restaurants and bars serving excellent food at a good price. Stay in Tropea for the best facilities. Across the whole peninsula, which is on Italy’s west coast, you can hike scenic cliffs to descend to white sandy beaches. Rent a car to explore south down the coast towards Sicily.


2. Symi, Greece

If you have your heart set on a Greek island, head to Symi, which sits between Rhodes and the Maramis peninsula. It feels like a living ancient village with colorful architecture and unbelievably blue waters. The island features lots of small beaches, so you can find a new spot to explore every day. There are also great hikes taking you to ancient chapels and the famous Panormitis monastery.


3. Portoroz, Slovenia

Sandwiched between Croatia and Italy, Slovenia doesn’t get the attention to deserves, especially since it has a very short, but very beautiful, coastline in the Gulf of Trieste. Enjoy everything you would expect of the beaches in the two neighboring countries, but with fewer tourists and lower prices. As well as spectacular beaches, turn inland for herb farms and wineries.


4. Istria, Croatia

Croatia is becoming an increasingly popular summer beach destination and hotspots like Dubrovnik, Split, Makarska, and Hvar can feel overrun in the summer. For the same vibes but a less crowded market head to Istria, which feels like Dubrovnik’s little sister with better beaches. Located in the north, as well as gorgeous sandy beaches, it is a green oasis with deep valleys supporting ancient villages.


5. Budva, Montenegro

From Croatia, you are just a skip and a jump from Montenegro, where you will find the beautiful Montenegro Riviera. But since Montenegro is not yet in the EU, it is less visited than many of its neighbors and less expensive. Even in the main city of Budva you can find affordable accommodation and secluded beaches. Hit Richard’s Head Beach in the middle of Old Town, join the party at Mogren Beach, or find tranquility at one of the 30 smaller beaches.


6. Black Sand Beach, Iceland

Iceland actually has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world with stunning black sand, but they are a bit too cold to enjoy for most of the year. But the summers are dry, and the temperature can reach as high as 20 degrees Celsius. Still, it is not for the faint of heart. The views are dramatic with towering cliffs and sea stacks, and the contrast between the crashing waves and the black sand. There is also a lot of unique wildlife and hikes. The surf is also good but bring a full wetsuit.


7. Lake Bafa, Turkey

Turkey has some amazing beaches, but they do get busy in the summer. Enjoy a unique beach experience without the crowds by heading to Lake Bafa, a salty lake that was once part of the sea and is now a slightly inland and tranquil beach paradise. As well as being a great place to swim and soak up the sun, a Byzantine castle sits in the middle of the lake, there are Neolithic wall paintings to discover, as well as Roman sites and Christian monasteries.


8. Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

If you are in Asia, Phu Quoc Island, which is off the west coast of Vietnam and the south coast of Cambodia, is a summer treasure. It has 150 kilometers of coastline that support both traditional fishing villages and surfing. Long Beach offers 20 kilometers of unobstructed sunsets. You can also head inland for mountain treks that span the length of the island and evergreen forests with waterfalls, rock pools, and caves.


9. Ngapali Beach, Myanmar

If you are looking for Thailand beaches without the crowds, then neighboring Myanmar is a beautiful choice. While it has become more dangerous in recent years, it is still safe to travel if you aren’t involved in journalism. It hits the right balance of developed tourist infrastructure and solitude for its stunning beaches.


10. Yunokaw Hakodate, Hokkaido, Japan

While Japan may not be well known for its beaches, it actually has some amazing ones, like this one on the tip of Hokkaido Island. Among the best are Shumamu Beach, Shiretoko Beach, Otsu Beach, and Itanki Beach. In addition to the beaches, there are famous healing hot springs.


11. San Juan, Puerto Rico

Some of the best beaches in the United States are just a short flight away in Puerto Rico. If you’ve not been before, San Juan makes an excellent base. As well as relaxing on some of the island’s best beaches, you can wander the scenic old town, eat fresh seafood in one of the many excellent restaurants, and hike the beautiful green interior.


12. San Juan Islands, Washington

The San Juan Islands is an archipelago featuring beautiful beaches, sustainable farms, and attractive Airbnbs. Staying there feels a bit like traveling back to the 1950s. It can be pretty busy in the summer but never feels overrun. Expect whale watching, hiking, kayaking, and diving to occupy your days.


13. Gulf Shores, Alabama

Escape the hot temperatures of the south of the United States, then head to the beautiful white sand shoes of the Gulf Shores in Alabama. Extending 51 kilometers along the coast, the beaches are perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and beachcombing, plus there are lots of watersports and fishing opportunities. You are also close to the Gulf State Park, which covers 6000 acres and includes a freshwater lake.


14. Tulum, Mexico

If you want a Mexican beach break but want to avoid the busiest beaches while getting the Mexican party vibe, head to Tulum, south of Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Expect sugar sands, cobalt waters, and balmy breezes. You are close to some incredible Mayan ruins to explore, and the village has great food and a hippy party vibe.


15. Manuel Antonia, Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a natural paradise that is beautiful year round and it is hard to find a corner of the country that isn’t stunning. But for beaches, head to Manuel Antonia. Expect soft white sand beaches with clear blue waters and one of the country’s most famous national parks with lush rainforests, diverse wildlife, and gorgeous hiking trails. In the local village experience delicious cuisine and a rich culture of music and dance.


16. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is one of the most affordable islands in the Caribbean, making it an ideal summer getaway destination. More affordable than the capital, expect powdery white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters a popular spots like Bavaro Beach, Macao Beach, and Playa Blanca. There are quite a few affordable all-inclusive resorts, plenty of water sports and adventure activities, and treasures to discover like a replica of a 16th-century Mediterranean village.


17. Arembepe, Brazil

While it may technically be winter in South America, if you visit the north of Brazil you will find some of the beach temperatures for the year. Head out of busy Salvador to the village of Arembepe. The village itself is full of restaurants and bars lining the beach that turns into a swimming pool at low tide. You are also just a short walk from the Aldeia Hippie, a famous hippy village founded by Janis Joplin and others.


18. Skeleton Coast, Namibia

If you fancy an African adventure, the Skeleton Coast in Namibia is an unforgettable experience. The landscape is hauntingly beautiful with stretches of desolate desert towering sand dunes, and a rugged coastline. If you fancy diving, there are a number of shipwrecks dotted along the coast. The coastal region is also home to fascinating wildlife including desert-adapted elephants, lions, and seals. But one of the best things to do is stargaze out over the visa, since light pollution is extremely low, it is spectacular.


19. Mauritius

Mauritius is another perfect African destination that is the perfect combination of tropical paradise and rich cultural experiences. The entire island boasts pristine white powder beaches, many of which are excellent for diving. While there are many traditional villages, you will also find luxurious resorts if you feel like treating yourself.


20. Whitsundays, Australia

Australia is another country that may be in winter, but it is one of the best times to visit the northern regions as the temperature is more manageable in the mid-20s degrees Celius. With 74 islands to explore, it is also the best time to visit to avoid summer storms and stingers in the water. It is perfectly located for exploring the famous Great Barrier Reef. Here you will find mostly exclusive resorts that cater to your every need.