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Date: 02/04/2013

Top 5 Beach Holidays

With British weather becoming colder and wetter, many of us are dreaming about jetting off to a sandy beach this spring - but how do you decide where to go?

Porta da Barra, Brazil

You can't beat this beach for its stunning location - overlooked by a tiny white hillside church and an old colonial fort, the beach is a bustling haven of activity - young couples snorkelling, beach volleyball contests and local fishermen unloading their catch.

This west-facing beach has some of the most spectacular sunsets you will ever see and lazing on its white sandy shores with a cocktail in one hand and a book in the other, you may never want to come home.

Arambol, Goa

Think of Goa and you think of crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches and expansive jungles - Arambol is a beach lover's dream. Whilst parts of Goa are overrun by a hedonistic, hippie tourist set,

Arambol remains peaceful and beautiful enough to tempt even the most jaded holidaymaker. This vast expanse of coastline is largely empty, so it's easy to find a private corner of the beach, lay back and day-dream your cares away.

Remember to take out travel insurance, especially when heading to exotic destinations - you don't want to risk being ill or having an accident so far from home.

The Palawan Islands, The Philippines

The inspiration for Alex Garland's book 'The Beach', this group of islands in the Philippines has a small fraction of the number of tourists that head to Thailand's beaches; it's isolated, tropical and undeniably exotic.

If you're looking for your very own desert island - this could be it! It's easy to rent a boat and head for one of the empty stretches of sandy coastline for a day doing nothing more energetic than reading and swimming.

Las Isla Cies, Spain

Once home to pirates, this stretch of stunning coastline is now a national park, home to calm, azure waters and a white sandy beach.

Camping here is popular, shaded by pine trees and enjoying beautiful views of the ocean, you can enjoy dining at the local seafood restaurant, which serves a range of Portuguese specialities.

Nungwi, Zanzibar

It might seem like an unlikely destination, but the beaches of Southern Kenya offer stunningly white, clean sand and calm waters, perfect for swimming.

Zanzibar has around 30 beaches and with the old town just a short stroll away, there's no excuse to be bored! Nungwi beach slopes gradually towards the sea, offering a perfect spot for sunbathing or swimming, or why not explore the tiny fishing villages dotted around the nearby coastline to soak up some local culture.

This is just a taste of some of the most beautiful beaches you could discover this summer - get packing and remember your sun tan lotion.