10 best winter beaches – a black bird's guide!

  • The plethora of holiday ads offering tempting summer deals can't compete with birthdays and New Years topping up my tan in winter sunspots, a ticket to tranquillity...

    • Gunjur Beach, Gunjur, Gambia

    Djembe drumming at the Pacific's edge, deserted during my month-long stay with a friend, one week in a 4-star beach hotel then eco-huts, soul food and more drumming deep in the jungle.

    • Sinquerim Beach, Goa, India

    A peaceful, deserted part of the Arabian Sea, comfy sunbeds and fresh coconut juice on tap, three wonderful weeks. Constant background music didn't bother me, but bothered the ex! 

    • Sámara Beach, Sámara, Costa Rica

    Barely a soul around apart from a couple of sport fishing boats, emerging from my Pacific swim was a Halle Berry moment, what a pretty picture she is...

    • Sunrise Beach (Haad Rin Nok), Koh Phangan, Thailand

    Mango salad for breakfast, water volleyball in the Gulf by day (easier than it sounds), Full Moon Parties by night, green curry prawns day AND night!

    • Hurghada Beach, Hurghada, Egypt

    With windsurfing partner and tour group hanging out for warm breezes to blow their way, I swung in my hammock, swam in the Red Sea, back to hammock, book...

    • Prainha Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    On overcast January days, few ventured to this quieter part of the city, ideal for simply gazing over the Atlantic, and conversations in broken Spanish with Portuguese-speaking bar staff.

    • Venice Beach, Los Angeles, California

    You stand out on the Pacific boardwalk if you're not roller-skating backwards, wearing the teeniest pink bikini, or cradling a cutely bow-tied pet pooch – and that's just the guys!

    • Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia

    Bit too crowded to call it relaxing, but cool sipping smoothies higher up the hill looking down on the Pacific's picture-postcard landmark.

    • Arenal Beach, Jávea, Spain

    Twenty-five years ago, my first January in Spain, a welcoming 20°C, big shock. Out of the Med rather than in it, a great place to amble along the seaside, meeting point for eating, drinking and dancing.

    • Virgin Gorda, Spanish Town, British Virgin Islands

    Heart of the tropics, I did a double-take sailing into this Caribbean harbour, stunning is an understatement. Someone below deck asked, “Is it hot?” Doh.

     

    Caribbean, Here We Come! www.amazon.com/TALES-FROM-THE-TOWER-Caribbean-ebook/dp/B00X4NF0ZA

    © Chris Dove   dovechris1@gmail.com   Twitter @dovechris1