10 Beautiful Beaches for a Sun-kissed Christmas

10 Beautiful Beaches for a Sun-kissed Christmas

How about skipping a white Christmas this year? Go for some year-end fun in the sun instead!

Anyone who celebrates Christmas will know this song and might even sing it instead of just read it: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” And anyone who celebrates Christmas will agree.

For many people, December really is the most wonderful time of the year. Aside from the religious aspect of the holiday, there’s a lot to look forward to — there’s gift-giving and there’s at least one non-working holiday in most countries. In fact, the yuletide season is synonymous to Christmas breaks and extended vacations in breathtaking winter wonderlands covered with snow.

But some people skip “dreaming of a white Christmas” altogether. They prefer to go somewhere tropical instead — some getaway where people have fun under the sun all year round. If you’re one of those people, you’re in luck. Here are beaches you can head to for a satisfyingly sun-kissed Christmas.

1. Grace Bay Beach, Turks and Caicos

Image credit: John Voo

I’m going to give you a moment to just look at that photo and take that heavenly scene in. It’s so serene and unreal — perfect for a relaxing year-ender with friends and loved ones. Grace Bay Beach in Turks and Caicos Islands is a highly rated beach, so much so that it was named the world’s best beach last year in a poll conducted by Canadian travel agency Flight Network.

It boasts of clear sunny skies, pristine waters, and 19 kilometres of the softest, finest white sand you’ll ever come across. The best part? It stays like this the entire year. You might just share the beach with other tourists escaping the winter’s cold, but its peak season is still in the summer, so December’s a pretty good time to visit.

2. The Baths, Virgin Gorda

Image credit: daveynin

Tucked along the shores of the British Virgin Islands’ Virgin Gorda is a little sanctuary called The Baths National Park. Its crowning glory and most popular spot is a cluster of granite boulders that’s quite the geographical wonder. Surrounding the group of boulders are clear waters with refreshing temperatures; the boulders serve as strategic shelters for people wading in the sea pools.

While December is a good time to visit the area, do note that tourists should always be mindful of the weather situation. If you plan on visiting the baths during the latter part of the year, be sure to check advisories on sea currents and strong winds. When the weather is bad, The Baths is usually closed off to the public.

3. Pink Sands Beach, Bahamas

Image credit: Rüdiger Stehn

Not in the mood for a white Christmas? Then how about a pink Christmas? Come on, who doesn’t love pink sand beaches? Seeing them somehow reminds you of the out-of-this-world beauty of our Earth.

Most pink beaches owe its colour to microorganisms in the sand. In the case of our top recommendation, Harbour Island’s Pink Sands Beach, the sand is pink because of microscopic coral insects called Foraminifera. Thanks to the presence of these microorganisms, the sand at Pink Sands Beach stays cool all day, too. Now don’t go worrying about the presence of these teeny weeny organisms — they’re harmless! Nearby reefs also make Pink Sands Beach a popular snorkelling site, while equestrians will be glad to know that horseback riding along the pink shore is offered here. But all we really want to say is: It’s in the Bahamas AND it has pink sand. ‘Nuff said.

4. Big Island, Hawaii

Image credit: Gabriele Biselle

What respectable beach list would this be if we didn’t include one from Hawaii? I daresay it’s the world’s quintessential tropical paradise — with surfing, beaches, hula girls, and all that. If you want a piece of island life for Christmas, Hawaii won’t fail you. Just remember that some areas are rainy during this time of year.

Image credit: Robert Lindselle

That said, your best bet would be Big Island, where the weather stays deliciously warm all year round. December is considered by many Hawaii’s wettest month and they say Big Island is the only exception. Here, you can even visit the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. There are many beaches to go to, but we recommend Kailua-Kona’s Mahai’ula Bay Beach, which is still largely considered a hidden gem untouched by commercial establishments. It would be best to rent your own vehicle going there. Don’t forget: Clean as you go. We wouldn’t want to spoil any of the world’s natural beauties.

5. Koh Lipe, Thailand

Image credit: WIL

Thailand is also home to many pretty beach destinations. Among those that are a bit more secluded is Koh Lipe, an island in Southern Thailand that’s part of the Adang Archipelago. The place is popular especially in December, but Koh Lipe’s small, private beaches and three main beaches — Sunrise Beach, Sunset Beach, and Pattaya Beach — are enough for all visitors. At Koh Lipe, you can expect crystal-clear waters, powder-soft sand, and verdant mountains in the background. Koh Lipe is also the perfect base for visiting neighbouring islands as well as the Tarutao National Park, a protected marine sanctuary. If you’re lucky, you can also spot Langkawi in Malaysia from Sunrise Beach on a clear day.

Also read: Top 10 Beaches With The Clearest Waters

6. Gili Meno, Indonesia

Image credit: yeowatzup

Gili Islands — perhaps one of Indonesia’s most beloved beach destinations and definitely one that’s popular to tourists. Among the three islands in this cluster, Gili Meno is the smallest and quietest. Those who want to escape the constant buzz of hip island life will find Gili Meno quite charming. The place is known for being laid back and quite unpopulated but visitors must also prepare themselves for simple board and lodging. You won’t find any of Gili Trawangan’s five-star accommodations here. If it’s a tranquil holiday you’re after, though, then you’re looking in the right place. Gili Meno also boasts of breathtaking diving spots, so that’s another plus.

7. Anse Intendance, Seychelles

Image credit: dronepicr

Hands down, Seychelles is home to the world’s most photogenic beaches. In fact, it houses what is known as one of the world’s most photographed beaches, Anse Source d’Argent. If you have the time and the budget, you should visit the famous spot. But if you’re only planning to spend some part of the yuletide season in Seychelles, we recommend Anse Intendance. It offers the perfect balance of lush greenery and the ocean’s deep blue hues. Throw in fine sand that’s the colour of toffee and cream combined, and you’ve got yourself an IG-worthy getaway.

8. Bantayan Island, Philippines

Image credit: Mike Gonzales

Those who’ve fallen in love with the white, powder-like shores of Boracay should definitely consider heading to Bantayan Island in Cebu, Philippines. It’s like what Boracay was back in the day when it wasn’t so crowded yet. Bantayan is known for fair weather and sweet diving spots, too.

Image credit: Foodista

Another advantage of going to Cebu in December is that you get to taste succulent lechon! Lechon is readily available all year round especially in Cebu, but it’s more commonly served during special occasions such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Since Cebu is known for this crispy roasted pork dish and most parts of the Philippines is livelier in December because of nationwide Christmas celebrations, you’re guaranteed some holiday fun!

Also read: Top 20 Things to Do in Cebu for First Time Visitors

9. The Maldives

Image credit: Alan_Morris

If you’re a water baby who hasn’t heard of the Maldives, where have you been all this time? This extremely famous beach destination is what most honeymoon fantasies are made of. It’s on numerous travel bucket lists, for sure. A quick Google search will tell you why: The Maldives is a tropical paradise that’s characterised mostly by its cool, turquoise waters, world-class accommodations, and thriving marine life. If you’ve ever dreamed of spending Christmas with the sea literally just outside your doorstep, look no further. Between its main beaches and its 1,200 coral islands and sandbanks, you’ll have plenty of the ocean to yourself and your loved ones. We won’t even tell you where to stay; it’s beautiful from any spot!

10. Perhentian Islands, Malaysia

Image credit: Chris

Tucked deep on the other side of the Malaysian peninsula, opposite tourist go-to Langkawi is the Perhentian Islands. Sure, the sand is fine and the surrounding mountainscapes are quite the sight to behold, but can we just talk about the striking blues of the Perhentians’ waters? Have you seen water more mesmerising than that?

There are several coves and beaches to discover at the Perhentians, which has two islands: Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil. Those who just want to do away with city life can take comfort in the fact that there is little development in the area. If you’re in the mood for more lavish accommodations, then go for Perhentian Besar. Backpackers and the budget-conscious will still be able to find homey stays at Perhentian Kecil.

So what’s your top pick on this list? Maybe seeing these beautiful beaches will make you rethink the lyric — sing it with me! — “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” What do you think your Christmas adventure will be this year?

Also read: Not Your Usual Holiday: Have You Been to These Underrated Destinations?

About Author

Alyosha Robillos
Alyosha Robillos

In Russia, Alyosha is a boy's name popularized by literary greats Dostoevsky and Tolstoy—but this particular Alyosha is neither Russian nor a boy. She is a writer from the Philippines who loves exploring the world as much as she likes staying at home. Her life's mission is to pet every friendly critter there is. When she isn't busy doing that, she sniffs out stories and scribbles away on the backs of old receipts. She is an advocate of many things: culture and heritage, the environment, skincare and snacking, to name a few. She will work for lifetime supplies of french fries and coffee. Or yogurt. Or cheese, preferably Brie.

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