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Barbados

Beach holiday destinations

Gagging to hit the beach? Here are four top spots selected around the world to satisfy those cravings, selected by Time Out and British Airways

By Time Out in association with British Airways
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Everyone needs to head to the beach once in a while. Whether you want to try out some watersports, travel untrodden coastlines, party all night on the sand or simply soak up some rays and sip cocktails from a coconut shell, beach holidays have a lot to offer.

And whatever you’re searching for, you’ll find it in one of the destinations below, picked by Time Out and British Airways, and boasting all the different beach vibes you could possibly need.

Malta
Malta
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Be immersed in history in Malta

This tiny nation has a disproportionately fascinating past

Don’t miss: The neolithic temples that date back to 5200BC, which are believed to be among the oldest freestanding buildings in the world.

Famous for… Changing hands more often than a juggling ball. Over the centuries Malta has been under the control of France, Italy, Spain and Britain, among others, all of whom have left their mark.

Flight time from London: Three hours from Gatwick.

Go island hopping in Croatia

Short attention span? Head for the Adriatic coast

Don’t miss: Heading south from Pula to Split is a tried and tested route, but misses out the adorable fishing port of Rovinj to the north. Its picturesque Old Town and truffle-centric cuisine make it worth the detour.

Famous for… Being one of Europe’s best-kept secrets, which is ironic, if you think about it. Even so, parts of Croatia’s coastline – and the 1,000-plus islands off of it – remain wonderfully unspoilt.

Flight time from London: Two hours, 20 minutes from Heathrow (to Pula).

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Mykonos
Mykonos
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Dance in your sandals on Mykonos

Everyone’s welcome (except party poopers) on this fun-first Greek island

Don’t miss: Sounds obvious, but the beaches. The aptly named Paradise Beach in the south is the big one, offering watersports and diving by day and all manner of hedonistic shenanigans after the sun sets.

Famous for… Its colourful, LGBT-centric nightlife, which sees outdoor venues transformed into glitterballed party palaces. Whatever you do, don’t pick a hotel where breakfast stops at 9am.

Flight time from London: Three hours, 45 minutes from Heathrow (from May 2018).

Barbados
Barbados
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Get into the spirit in Barbados

The Caribbean’s easternmost island remains a world-class chillout spot

Don’t miss: While attempting to become a pro surfer in a fortnight simply isn’t going to happen, pretty much anyone can get to grips with stand-up paddleboarding in just a few hours. Lessons, tours and even paddleboard yoga are available all along the island’s 60 miles of coastline.

Famous for… One word: rum. Whether you drink it neat, from a coconut at a beach bar or straight from the source at one of the island’s three distilleries, you’d be a fool to order anything else.

Flight time from London: Nine hours from Gatwick.

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