Ilica Beach – Alacati, Turkey
Month Visited: April
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that I’d never seen a calmer or more peaceful beach than Ilica. A week after the Herb and Vegetable Festival, Alacati is empty. The locals are waiting for summer to start and tourist to come in. The weather is already warm with a few stray cool breezes now and then. I think spring in alacati has its own charm- a variety of fruit and vegetable produce is sold along the sides of the beach, fresh off the farms.
Ilica beach is known for its mineral-rich water, a consequence of the numerous thermal springs inside the sea.
The beach is usually busy in the summer, bustling with tourists involved in water activities, wind surfing enthusiasts splitting the water and kids playing all over the beach. A bunch of food trucks spring up to take advantage of this. Turkish music floats in the air and the dance moves get steamy.
The day I was at the beach was nothing like any of the above. It was just me along with couple of other friends, a handful of locals school boys and a whole lot of serendipity.
We went crazy over the hula hoops, teamed up against the school boys to play a series of beach volley ball matches (they won), took warm sunset dips and went back home, laughing out loud over how horribly we lost the volley ball game with the kids.
Bandos Beach – Bandos island, North Male Atoll, Maldives
Month Visited: July
The cloudy monsoon skies of the Maldives looked like baked marshmallows. We stepped out of our resort, excited to go island hopping in our humble motor boat. It started raining as we reached Bandos island. It was a pleasant rain and did nothing to alter our plan to explore the island, thanks to the lovely colourful umbrellas spread across the area. After scrambling within the island, we reached a pathway lined by tall, thick bamboo trees on either sides. Before us was a breathtakingly beautiful beach; an old tree bent from the shore towards the sea and there was a swing tied to it. It was a post card come to life! The turquoise-blue water was so inviting we ran into the ocean and took several dips despite the rain.
It stopped raining after a few minutes, leaving a soothing breeze in its place. I collected some shells and corals on the shore and relaxed on the swing. The waves seemed to rock my feet rhythmically, for and backwards. A few colourful fishes and stingrays popped up now and then, as if to say hello.
It was a respite from mundane life in the cities.
It was pure rejuvenation.
Thalane Bay island beach – Krabi, Thailand
Visited month: September
Sure Thailand has got some amazing warm beaches but it gets too crowded at times. One has to search for spots to swim or snorkel. So I decided to go a little far from the touristy towns of krabi to explore some pristine beaches and guess what!! I found one all for myself.
Thanks to the locals who suggested this place, I hired a bike earlier that day and started to Thalane bay. It takes about an hour from Aonang, krabi. The entire stretch is beautiful, with hills on one side and backwaters on the other. when I reached Thalane Bay, there were hardly any tourists. At one of the kayaking centers, I met Mr. A (yes his actual name was just “A”!) – My skipper, photographer and guide for rest of the day.
He quickly went to get one of the smallest boats he owned and started sailing as soon as I settled in. We cruised between the thickly populated thickets of mangroves; away from the concrete jungle. I could only hear the musical tilt of water and the screeching of bats deep in the mangrove forest. It Sarted raining after a while as we kept sailing to some of the best & untouched islands to reach this serene beach.
Also read : An Alternate guide to Thailand
The Capri Island Beaches – Capri, Naples, Italy
Month Visited: May
People call me insane for saying that I found Rome a little boring and felt like leaving after spending two days there, but it wasn’t my cup of tea with its crowds and long lines. There are thousands of tourists around the Trevi fountain, pushing each other just to get one perfect picture, and you can’t actually see a single step of the Spanish steps, it’s just people everywhere.
I ran away to Naples to eat pizza and catch up on a football game. I went to Capri rather unexpectedly upon a local’s suggestion and almost immediately fell in love with it. It was one of the best recommendations I ever had. An hour and a half of a ferry ride from Naples port takes you to this chic island of Capri.
Located in the middle of the Tyrrhenian Sea, it’s a small island with numerous beaches, both named and unnamed. The beaches here are cosy little coves nestled between cliffs and rocks.
The water is clear, blue and contrasts with the silvery-white sand.
Swimming in the blue grotto is mesmerising. Out of all the blue lagoons I’ve ever visited, this tops the list. The water is deep; you can either dive or use the ladder to get into the water.
The Marina Grande Beach and Faraglioni Beach are my top recommendations too.
Tip: Don’t miss the breathtaking view from the chair lift – Anacapri.
Half Moon Beach – Gokarna, Karnataka, India
Month Visited : December
Gokarna is a hippy heaven; a paradise for beach lovers. With the freespirited souls staying in Gokarna for extended periods of time, this beach town has a euphoric vibe. Along the beach, playing frisbee, doing yoga, artists playing guitar and drums, art exchange meet ups in the pretty shacks are fairly common scenes.
Lately, camping on the Om beach has been very popular. Troops of tourists and youngsters come here for camping, hang around a campfire and play music.
Half Moon Beach, just a hike away from here, is a serene, clean, warm water, golden sand beach which only a handful of people trek to. It is a stretch of about one kilometre situated in a cove between two high cliffs, giving you the feeling of having a private beach all to yourself.
I went to this place with Hyderabad trekking club. People from anywhere in India and abroad can book this trip. I recommend going with good trek clubs who are experienced with the do’s and don’ts of the place.
It’s your turn now. let me know your what are your favourite beaches & recommendations 🙂