When you’re born a beach-lover, you don’t have to think about it. It’s just instinct; an innate response that lures you to powdery sands and palm-fringed coves.
The planet’s best beaches are also a beacon for solo travellers, providing infinite space for self-growth and a cocktail or two in the most sublime settings known to man.
Read more: where in the world is your ultimate beach?
So, whether you’re flying fully alone or travelling with fellow solo souls (à la Flash Pack), come join us as we boat around five of the world’s finest coastal havens.
Each destination comes with another bonus beach nearby, for you to really go to town on the sand-and-sunshine theme. Ice-cold Mojitos coming right up…
Off-radar: Bacuit Archipelago, the Philippines
The Bacuit Archipelago lies off the coast of Palawan in the western Philippines. It’s positively littered with remote sandy beaches that call to the wandering nomad. Tap into your inner Robinson Crusoe as you zip through a maze of limestone karsts, caves and hidden lagoons by private boat. Whether you want to paddle amid shoals of tropical fish or simply lounge in the crystal-clear shallows – beer in hand – this wonderland won’t fail to delight. The Flash Pack version comes with two nights’ glamping on a secret island, complete with beach BBQs and a private chef. Just sayin’…
Bonus stop: Alona Beach, Panglao Island
Bucket list: Tayrona National Park, Colombia
Tayrona National Park on Colombia’s Caribbean coast is the stuff that dreams are made of. Let your souls sing as you amble through this sacred stretch of rainforest and mangroves, once home to the pre-hispanic Tayrona tribe (descendants still live in the area). Navigate your way through egg-like boulders and thick green bush to track down deliciously secluded coves, with warm waters populated by over 100 types of coral. Then, kick back on the hazy sands and muse on life from the vantage point of your very own slice of paradise. Flash Pack’s trip here comes with a beach picnic, for added thrills.
Bonus stop: the Rosario Island lagoons
Party central: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
You don’t really know the meaning of a beach party until you’ve hit Ipanema and Copacabana on Rio de Janiero’s legendary Atlantic coastline. These two iconic coastlines are a microcosm of Brazil’s exuberant and fun-loving spirit. From the moment you hit the sands, you can’t fail to be swept up by the palpable sense of joie de vivre – whether you’re playing volleyball, skimming through the surf or people-watching at the bar shacks in true Cariocan style (these are beaches you go to be seen on). Flash Pack’s foray here comes with lunch at a juice bar and caipirinha-making at sunset.
Bonus stop: The coast of Paraty
Europe flyby: Hvar Island, Croatia
You know a beach is good when you reach it via catamaran – as is the case with this Croatian gem. Hailed as “the new St Tropez”, Hvar Island is a chic little sanctuary tucked away in the Adriatic Sea. You get here via boat from the city of Split, on a picturesque voyage of turquoise seas and sun-dappled coasts that will only sate your appetite for the pleasures ahead. Hvar Town is a delight of orange roofs, ancient streets and tranquil cypress gardens. Its pretty pebble beach lies just outside, overlooking a 17th Century home and with clear, sheltered waters that are perfect for snorkelling.
Bonus stop: the beaches of Dubrovnik
Off-grid: Gili Air, Bali
If it’s some proper head space you’re after, look no further than the tiny coral isle of Gili Air. One of three islands nestled off the northwest coast of Lombok, this relaxed beach hub is all about easy living. There’s precisely zero traffic, and islanders get around on horses and carts (yes, really). Mobile signal and wi-fi are both sort of patchy here, so you have every excuse to unplug and unwind. Embrace the vaguely hippy vibe of this laid-back community, as you find your spot on powdery white beaches. Grab a fresh mango smoothie from one of the nearby thatched bars, flip-flops in hand, and settle into beach life.
Bonus stop: Seminyak, Bali’s hip beach hub
Images: Flash Pack and Shutterstock