Summer Guide 2013: Beaches

 

Explore the coral beaches and white-sand shores of Connemara in Ireland on a new sea-kayaking adventure. The guided ocean trek is based on the tales of Granuaile, a 16th-century Gaelic pirate queen. It traces her route along the Atlantic coast from Connemara to Achill Island, staying at waterfront B&Bs along the way. The price is €1,250 (£1,058)pp, based on two sharing, with Wilderness Ireland (01479 420020; wildernessireland.com), including six nights' B&B, some meals, equipment hire and the services of a guide. Travel to Connemara costs extra. Departs 1 June and 7 September.

Imagine lying back on a sunlounger and losing yourself in a good book without fear of being disturbed by screaming children, mobile-phone conversations or music blaring out of the nearest beach bar. Now the Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay (00 90 252 3110303; kempinski.com/bodrum), near Bodrum in Turkey, has turned that fancy into a reality: an adult-only "silent beach" on a strip of sand at its resort on the Aegean. ITC Classics (01244 355550; itcclassics.co.uk) offers a week from £1,059pp, based on two sharing, including return flights with easyJet from Stansted or Gatwick to Bodrum, transfers and B&B.

Pack your bucket and spade and head for the beach at Westward Ho! on the Devon coast this summer with a break at Nirvana, a new apartment sleeping four on the edge of this vast stretch of sands. When you're not out on the beach, admire it from this vantage point – the open-plan living room offers sea views through its wall of windows and there are two balconies on which to take in the salty air. From £656 to £990 for a week in summer through Marsdens Cottage Holidays (01271 813777; marsdens.co.uk).

INSIDER TIP

James Daley, money expert at Which? (which.co.uk)

"If you're flying abroad this summer, one of the best ways to get a great rate on foreign currency is to order online with a provider that has a bureau at your departure airport. The rate is better in advance – and it's more convenient to collect your money at the airport."

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