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Cheap beach holiday deals: The best beach destinations

If you're dreaming of having a beach holiday for your next trip, then you're in the right place. After all, when the sun's out this summer, there's no better place to be. Check out our hottest beach deals for the UK, Europe and more far-flung destinations. And if you're not quite sure where you want to go yet, you'll find plenty of beach holiday inspiration right here.

Whether you're planning to go solo, as a couple, with your family or as part of a larger group, we've got you covered. No matter the type of holiday you're after, there's an ideal beach destination waiting for you.

Although you can save lots of money if you book an early bird beach holiday, especially during the school summer holidays, you can always find a decent last-minute beach holiday too. Already booked? Check out our beach holiday packing list, which is full of useful tips!

The best beach holiday destinations in Europe

When it comes to planning a sunny beach holiday in Europe, you'll be spoiled for choice. There seems to be an endless supply of pristine coastlines, idyllic islands and action-packed beach resorts to choose from - which makes it easy to find the dream beach holiday destination you've been searching for.

Most travellers head to Europe's beaches from June to September, but July and August are the peak months, so it's best to book in advance if this is when you want to travel. Here are some of our favourite destinations for a beach holiday in Europe.

Spain

Not only is Spain a convenient choice for travellers from the UK, thanks to short flight times, but it's also extremely popular for family-friendly beach holidays. That's because Spain offers a wide range of accommodation types, including all-inclusive beach resorts, to suit all budgets.

For some island fun, head to the Balearic Islands or Canary Islands; Majorca, Tenerife and Ibiza are some of the big-hitting destinations here. If you'd prefer to stick to the mainland, Costa del Sol, Costa Dorada, Costa Brava and Costa Blanca are all home to beautiful beaches with top-notch facilities, including equipment hire for watersports.

Turkey

Belonging officially to both Europe and Asia, Turkey is another popular choice in the summer months. This country offers so many different experiences for travellers - and a memorable beach holiday is definitely one of them. Although you'll need to take a slightly longer flight to get to Turkey, it's well worth it as you can find some of the best beaches out here.

Some of the best beach holiday destinations in Turkey include Antalya, Bodrum, Marmaris, Side and Ölüdeniz. Home to a wealth of historical attractions and family-friendly activities, Turkey is a particularly good choice for travellers wanting plenty of things to do during their beach holiday.

Portugal

A summer beach holiday in Portugal never disappoints. Yes, this part of Europe is firmly on the tourist trail, but that also means that you'll have everything you could possibly need while you're there. Flight times are reasonable - usually under three hours depending on your UK departure airport - so you'll be on the beach with sand between your toes in no time at all.

The most popular beach spot in Portugal has to be the Algarve, where most travellers choose to base themselves in Faro, Albufeira or Lagos. Other great beach destinations include the Portuguese islands of Madeira and the Azores, as well as the mainland cities of Porto and Lisbon.

Greece

If turquoise water and hot, dry summers sound like your ideal combination for a beach holiday, then Greece will deliver every time. Filled with ancient historical attractions and home to gorgeous beachside towns and islands, the hardest part about having a Greek beach holiday is choosing where to go.

This is another European destination that'll take a little more time to fly to, especially if you opt to visit one of the more far-flung islands. While Corfu, Santorini, Halkidiki and Zakynthos are some of the more popular beach destinations in Greece, you can even find some top beaches not too far from Athens.

Italy

Perhaps more famed for its rambling countryside villages and delicious cuisine, Italy also happens to be a stellar choice for your next beach holiday. The short flight time - two and a half hours - is an additional bonus, but it's the beachside locations themselves that really steal the show.

Sardinia, the Amalfi Coast, Sicily and Ischia are all fabulous choices for a summer beach holiday, but you can find beautiful beaches all along the Italian coastline, even near the major cities of Genoa, Rome and Naples. Italy also conveniently caters for all budgets, so it'll be easy to find ideal beachside accommodation for you and your travel companions.

The best beach destinations in the UK

If you're craving some beach time but don't want to deal with the hassle of a flight, then a UK beach staycation may be exactly what you're searching for. After all, the UK is home to some truly memorable beaches - even some that look positively tropical - and you may be surprised by what you can find right on your doorstep.

A UK beach holiday is an especially solid choice if you're wanting to go away as a family; you can find holiday parks and campsites all along the coast, as well as other types of beachside accommodation. Here are some of our favourite places for a UK beach holiday.

1. Cornwall

Come summertime, the whole southwestern tip of England seems to draw in the crowds, especially during the UK school holidays. And that should come as no surprise. There is so much to do and see in this part of the country, such as the Eden Project, the Lost Gardens of Heligan, Minack Theatre and St Michael's Mount - to name but a few.

Many holidaymakers base themselves in St Ives, Newquay, Padstow and Perranporth, but the must-see beaches are Constantine Bay, Gwithian Beach, Porthcurno Beach and Kynance Cove. Whether you book a weekend or a week in Cornwall, we guarantee that you won't want to leave.

2. Brighton

With a travel time of just under an hour by train from London, Brighton provides an easy way to escape to the beach this summer. Not only is this seaside city packed with things to do and attractions to visit, but the beach itself is a popular and fun place to be when the sun is out.

The top attractions are right near the water too, such as the colourful and busy Brighton Palace Pier, family-friendly SEA LIFE Brighton and the otherworldly British Airways i360. The busiest beaches are found right near the pier, but you can find quieter spots if you venture further away from this hotspot.

3. Pembrokeshire

Located in southwest Wales, the county of Pembrokeshire is home to Pembrokeshire Coast National Park - as well as some astoundingly beautiful beaches. From hidden coves and bays that are popular for coasteering to picture-perfect sandy beaches, you couldn't choose a more varied spot for a UK beach holiday.

Even voted as the best beach in the entire world, Barafundle Bay is the most famous beach in these parts, but you can also find amazing beaches at Tenby, Broadhaven and Saundersfoot. When you want to step away from the sand, Pembroke Castle, the Castell Henllys Iron Age Village and Skomer Island are all top attractions.

4. Isle of Wight

Endlessly popular with all sorts of travellers, especially families, the Isle of Wight is an island located off the south coast of England and it's packed full of charming towns to explore and attractions to visit. And - of course - beaches.

Thanks to the island's small size, you can base yourself just about anywhere and still be able to access any beach or attraction you'd like. Some of the best beaches in the Isle of Wight include Ventnor Beach, Yaverland Beach, Compton Bay and Shanklin Beach. If you'd like to do some sightseeing away from the beach, Osborne House, the Needles and Carisbrooke Castle are all worthy stops.

5. Jurassic Coast

Stretching from Exmouth in Devon to Studland Bay in Dorset, this stretch of English coastline is famous for its fossils - as suggested by its name - as well as its many magnificent beaches. There are bucket-list coastal landmarks to visit along the Jurassic Coast, like Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove and Old Harry Rocks, as well as must-see towns and villages, including Weymouth, Lyme Regis and Corfe Castle.

The beaches will keep any holidaymaker busy; some of the best beaches can be found at Lulworth Cove, Charmouth, Lyme Regis and Chesil Beach. If you keep an eye out, you may even just find your own fossil to take home as a souvenir.

6. Isle of Harris

Although this destination is much more off the beaten track than the other places on our list, we simply had to include the Isle of Harris, which is home to some of the best beaches in the whole of the UK. Forming the southern end of Lewis and Harris, you'll need to catch a ferry or a flight to explore this Outer Hebrides island.

Once here, though, you'll feel like you've stumbled upon paradise during the summer months. With vivid azure water and vast stretches of unspoiled sand, Harris' beaches look like they belong in the Caribbean - not Scotland! The most popular beaches are Luskentyre, Seilebost, Scarista and Huisinis.

The best beach destinations in the world

For those seeking adventure and who are happy to fly long haul, there are so many wonderful beach destinations to visit around the world. From glittering island hideaways to bustling luxury beach resorts, all you need to do is pick your perfect match for a beach holiday abroad.

A beach holiday is a go-to for anyone busy planning their honeymoon, as well as anyone looking for a bit of relaxation and luxury during their time away. If you need a little inspiration, we've highlighted some of the best beach holiday destinations below.

Thailand

A popular choice for all sorts of holidays and for travellers of all ages, Thailand is a beachgoer's haven, with plenty of beaches that can be found on the mainland as well as the islands. Whether you fly into Bangkok or Phuket, you won't have to venture too far to find your own piece of beach bliss.

Some of the best beaches can be found in well-known spots like Krabi and Phang Nga; you can also find beautiful beaches on Ko Lanta, Ko Samui and Ko Phi Phi. Just keep in mind that Thailand goes through its rainy season between July and October.

Mexico

With the Caribbean Sea on the one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other, a beach holiday in Mexico means that you have thousands of miles of sun-soaked coastline at your fingertips.

Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, Cozumel, Playa del Carmel and Oaxaca are all hotspots, with a wealth of beach resorts and other accommodation types to choose from. In terms of unmissable beaches, Balandra, Playa del Amor, Akumal and Playa Mazunte are all worthy of a leisurely day near the water.

South Africa

There's so much to love about a holiday to South Africa: the mountains, safaris, the vineyards - we can go on and on. But this country is also home to some seriously magnificent beaches, making it a very worthy contender as a destination for your next beach holiday.

Both Cape Town and Durban are popular bases for a beach holiday, and both of these cities have a wide range of beaches to choose from, from buzzing cosmopolitan beaches to peaceful bays. That said, you can find spectacular beaches all along the South African coast; some of our favourites are found along the West Coast, the Garden Route and in the Eastern Cape.

The Maldives

The long wooden boardwalks and waterside luxury chalets that have become synonymous with a Maldives holiday have graced just about every social media channel out there, but this place really does feel like heaven on Earth. And, yes, it can be pricey to get out here, but there are also plenty of fantastic deals too.

Formed of some 1,200 islands, there's no shortage of memorable beaches here, but some are only accessible to guests staying at the resorts that own them. That said, there are many beaches that are open to all, with some of our top choices being Hulhumale, Fulhadhoo Island, Thulusdhoo and Omandhoo.

The Bahamas

If you're looking for a holiday destination that has some variety when it comes to its beaches, then the Bahamas sounds like your ideal fit. After all, this country is home to 700 islands, cays and sandbars, meaning that you have heaps of choice. Some of the most popular places to stay include New Providence, Paradise Island, Grand Bahama, the Exumas and Bimini.

But there are so many bucket list beaches to visit, no matter where you choose to stay. Visit the famous residents of Pig Beach, marvel at Pink Sands Beach, soak up the good vibes at Cable Beach and swim in the clear waters of Treasure Cay Beach.

Australia

With a total landmass that's often compared to continental Europe in terms of size, you'll need to set aside a fair bit of time to explore Australia and its many gorgeous beaches. Many of its most famous cities are located on the coast: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

All these cities boast their own scenic beaches, but you can find jaw-droppingly beautiful beaches in many other spots along the coastline. If you need some inspiration, you can never go wrong with a beach holiday to Byron Bay, Fraser Island, the Whitsundays or Noosa.

Top tips for your next beach holiday

Whether you're going on your very first beach holiday or if you go every year, we've rounded up our top tips and hacks so that you get the most out of your next beach holiday.

From safe swimming to sun protection, here are our go-to recommendations for any beach holiday:

  1. Select the best beach destination for you: Consider who you're travelling with and what you're hoping to do once you get to your destination. Want to do plenty of (safe) swimming or do you just want to laze on the beach with a cocktail in hand? Make sure that you choose a beach destination that offers what you're looking for!

  2. Bring sun protection: It may seem like an obvious one, but it's one of the most important. Make sure you bring along high-SPF, water-resistant sun lotion and protective clothing - especially for any little ones that might be coming along!

  3. Consider safety: If safety is your number-one concern, make sure that you only go to beaches that are known for safe swimming conditions and decent lifeguard presence. Choosing a Blue Flag beach, which always have good safety features and top facilities, is an excellent idea.

  4. Get the right gear: We're talking beach outfits, wetsuits for the kids, shade and any extra comfort you might need. Make sure that you consider all the clothing and equipment you might need to make your beach holiday extra special.

  5. Pack a first aid kit: Although any lifeguards on duty will have their own first aid supplies, it's worth bringing along your own kit just in case. If your beach destination is known for insects or mosquitos, remember to bring along any sprays and antihistamines you might need too.

  6. It's not all about summer: Most people associate a beach holiday with the summer season, but you can still find plenty of sunshine throughout the year - if you know where to look! Save money this year by considering a winter sun destination!