Must-visit Caribbean beaches

Even the word “Caribbean” conjures up the idea of a beach fringed with coconut palms, azure waters and brilliant sunshine. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the best? Here’s our guide to a few unforgettable Caribbean beaches.

Ask any seasoned sailor who has spent their life dipping in and out of every Caribbean island and cove which are the best beaches to head for, and they will all scratch their heads. With turquoise waters, sugar-fine white sands, fresh barbecued fish, cocktails and glorious sunshine – it’s hard to pick a standout beach amongst the many archipelagos that make up the Caribbean.

But there are a few, and they vary for different reasons: awesome sunsets, secluded coves, and crystal-clear waters, surrounded by turtles or even swimming pigs. You just need to know where to look.

“As a general rule, the beaches on the east coasts of the islands are a lot more exposed to the trade winds, so they get bigger and are more ocean beaches,” says Richard Broadhurst, skipper of the 82ft luxury yacht SY Agneta, who has extensive sailing experience all around the Caribbean. “On the western side, it’s usually much more sheltered from the prevailing winds so the beaches are more tranquil.”

“My top tip is to visit Tobago Cays in the Grenadines; all the beaches there are beautiful, protected by a reef and often have locals BBQing lobsters for sale – and you can snorkel and swim with turtles. Barbuda, which got wiped out form a hurricane last year, is often said to have the whitest sand and most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, and I agree. There is very little tourism there which is probably why the beaches are so nice.”

Best beaches in the Bahamas

Bahamas beaches are all spectacular, but one that is often described as one of the best in the world is Pink Sands, named after its pink-hued sand, on Harbour Island, which has to be seen to be believed. Half a mile long and 3 miles wide, this beach protected by offshore reefs keeping the waves low and the water calm. If you’re staying on Nassau or The Exumas, you can’t miss Pig Beach – where you can literally swim with a group of pigs in those turquoise waters surrounding the Exuma Cays. No one knows quite how the pigs landed up there – either from a shipwreck or taken there by sailors years ago – but they are a favourite among tourists and sailors alike, and love to be fed.

Nearest Club Med Resort: Columbus Isle, 170 miles from Pink Sands and 100 miles from The Exumas.

Best beaches in Guadeloupe

There are more than 200 beaches in the French West Indian island of Guadeloupe, ranging from quiet, wild and secluded bays to more lively and social beaches with watersports and bars. If you’re after seclusion, Grand Anse beach on the small island of Îles des Sante is fairly hard to beat – it’s wild and natural and reached by boat. The uninhabited beaches of Petite Terre, fringed with spectacular azure waters, are also teaming with wildlife, including hermit crabs and iguanas.

Nearest Club Med Resort: La Caravelle, 36 miles from Grand-Anse

Best beaches in Dominican Republic

With 800 miles of coastline, it’s hard to pick a standout beach in the Dominican Republic; but there are three particular beauties. Kite Beach is the go-to for kite-surfers, while the pebble beach of Playa Bahoruco (on the west coast) is famous among serious surfers. If you’re learning to surf, a better bet is Playa Macao, which has a gentler swell and no undertow. One of the most beautiful – and isolated – beaches in the Caribbean is the 8km “Bay of Eagles” or Bahia de las Aguilas, part of the National Jaragua Park on the south-west of the island.

Nearest Club Med Resort: Punta Cana, 314 miles from Bahia de las Aguilas and 235 miles from Playa Bahoruco.

Best beaches in Martinique

Also in the French West Indies, Martinique is a rugged Caribbean island known for its secluded coves and stunning scenery. Grande Anse des Salines is well regarded as one of the best beaches on the island – with waves occasionally big enough for body-boarding, and local restaurants, shops and snack bars to enjoy a little local life and pick up some souvenirs. For an unforgettable view of Martinique’s Montagne Pelée volcano, head to Anse Turin – also known as Sea Grape Beach – near the town of Saint-Pierre; it has black volcanic sand and offers a different type of Caribbean beach experience well worth seeing.

Nearest Club Med Resort: Les Boucaniers, 4 miles from Grande Anse des Salines and 50 miles from Anse Turin.

Best beaches in Turks & Caicos

The 12-mile stretch of white sand that is Grace Bay, in Providenciales, is one of the most famous of the Turks & Caicos beaches and has been voted one of the best beaches in the world for its white, soft sand and turquoise waters. On the opposite side of the British West Indies island, Long Bay is a beach where sky blends to sea, and shallow waters that is perfect for young children to learn to swim. Watch kite-boarders perform their tricks or take a horse ride along the sand. This has to be one of the Caribbean beaches to remember.

Nearest Club Med Resort: Turkoise is situated right on Grace Bay and Long Bay is 3 miles away.

Club Med offers a range of premium resorts across the Caribbean. From beach holidays in Guadeloupe, to watersports holidays in Martinique.

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