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What’s summer without the beach? The thought of golden sand and crystal sea is enough to make anyone drunk with wanderlust – but you’ve got to do it right. Ditch the tourist traps and search a little harder to find a paradise all of your own. We’ve chosen a few of our favourites to get you inspired.

1. North Bay, Lord Howe Island, Australia


A World Heritage-listed paradise with only 400 visitors allowed at a time, Australia’s Lord Howe Island is already a secluded heaven on Earth. But, venture to the north of the island and you’ll discover the jewel that is North Bay. With white sands, out-of-this-world snorkeling and Mount Eliza’s summit mere footsteps away, North Bay may only be accessible on foot or by boat, but is more than worth it.

2. Rauðasandur, Iceland


Rauðasandur literally translates to “Red Sand”, and couldn’t be more accurate. 10km of beach stretches out before the brave few who seek it, and the sand’s colour appears different each time depending on daylight and weather. A perilous gravel road, 1km hike and wade across a wide river stand between you and this unique wonder – but brave it and you will be rewarded.

3. Adam and Eve Beach, Perhentian Kecil, Malaysia


Accessible only by boat, then a walk via a jungle trail, Adam and Eve Beach is the perfect spot to lose a day in total solitude. This large expanse of a beach, with plenty of shade, never feels crowded and offers some of the best snorkeling in the Perhentians. And if this still isn’t remote enough for you, there are a host of smaller beaches you can swim to that are so under-the-radar, they don’t even have names.

4. Papakōlea Beach, Hawaii


Green. Crystal. Sand. Papakolea has to be seen to be believed. Olivine crystals give this unforgettable beach its distinctive look, but when you look closer (which you won’t be able to resist), you’ll also see black lava and white shell pieces. Arrive early to experience Papakolea without a crowd – and to undertake the hike from the car park while the weather is still cool.

5. Playa del Caballo, Mexico


This untouched, palm-shaded beach may be tucked alongside bustling tourist resorts, but it feels like another world. Hike the beach trail from Boca Tomatlan towards Las Animas, and you’ll encounter this hidden gem along the way. Surrounded by two cliffs more than 150m high, and with clear turquoise waters and calm surf, Playa del Caballo is everything a hidden beach should be.