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Atlantic Ocean Beaches


The Canary Islands:
La Gomera
A totally different experience from the usual Canaries [especially Tenerife] holiday. This unspoiled and peaceful island is for people who seek real tranquility and relaxation. There are good black sand beaches in Valle Gran Ray. Best time is Nov-May, but it's crowded from Christmas-Feb and Easter time.

Bakau, Fajara, Kotu and Kololi
Winter sun is guaranteed in this value for money, minimal-hassle African experience. The hotels can be basic so try to stay in more upmarket places. Beware of malaria. Best Nov-March. OK Late Sept-Oct. Rains June-Sept.

A tranquil fortified town popular with independent travelers. The sand stretches 10 km down to the sand dunes of Cap Sim. Relaxed atmosphere with local colour and far less hassles than Agadir. Best June-Sept. OK May & Oct. Avoid winter time and Ramadan [Oct 15 - Nov 14 '04, Oct 5 - Nov 4 '05].

Excellent beaches though not attractive away from the seaside. Bugbog's picks are Ilha de Tavira for massive sand and little old town, and Lagos area for varied superb beaches with sophisticated old town in support. Albufeira is popular with low cost sun-seekers.
Portugal's east coast also has many huge soft-sand stretches, though the waves are often brutal so it's very popular with sufers and wind surfers. Guincho, near Cascais is beautiful and popular, and beaches around Ericeira deliver a lot of white water in memorable surroundings, though the town has lost its cool.

South Africa:
Camps Bay.
A big city beach just a few minutes from lively Cape Town, with more than a hint of the south of France. It has scattered shady palm trees, grass picnic areas and nearby restaurants and caf├ęs. There's soft light brown sand, azure water and surf in some places encouraged by a frequent breeze. There is a current, but lifeguards are present. Spectacularly backed by Table Mountain, it's beautiful, relaxed and relatively safe, though the water, being from the Atlantic, is, err, invigortaing!
Best time is Oct-March, but busy at Christmas and Easter.

USA, Florida:

Miami South Beach
A huge, well tended beach just off the funkiest part of Miami, so it's loaded with flash folk, facilities and access to excellent bars and restaurants. The weather is generally good, apart from the occasional hurricane, but the sea is chilly.
Best Nov-May.

Grayton Beach [not the Atlantic but not too far away and where lese can we put it?]
Ranked as America's best beach in 1994 by 'Dr.Beach'. One of the most scenic areas along the Gulf coast, with sugar white dunes and aquamarine seas. Surrounded by protected areas of pine forest and marsh, it also has plenty of marine life [dolphins and sea birds]. Best Nov-May. Hot , sticky and rains June-Sept.


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