All winter, people all over the country have inevitably been fantasising about their dream beach holiday, soaking up hot sun in perfect quiet but for the gentle breaking of waves. We definitely have been. But the only thing better than a beach holidays are alternative beach holidays in a destination few know of or travel to, so that you can revel in that feeling of pure luxury, as if you have your own private piece of land that’s been preserved for your daydreams.

In this blog, we’ll outline a few different beach holiday destinations, where you can achieve that off the beaten track feel, throw in a few different activities to your week of otherwise pure relaxation, and enjoy that sensation of pure escapism – just for a while.

1.     Cambodia

beach in cambodia

A country known for its stunning jungles, beautiful ancient temples and a chequered past, Cambodia is also home to hundreds of hidden gem beaches, which easily rival those of the better known beach holiday destinations Thailand and Vietnam.

In places like Sihanoukville, the area around Kampot and Koh Rong Sanloem, you can find white sand beaches with tropically warm seas, and far fewer crowds than you might find elsewhere in Asia. You may have to search a little harder, but it can be hugely rewarding when you’re relaxing on a paradise island, knowing you’ve escaped the crowds to soak up some winter sun on the other side of the world.

2.     Greece

shipwreck on a beach in greece

Whilst Greece might not exactly be a particularly alternative destination for those hunting for beach holidays, it does boast a huge number of hidden gem beaches amongst its countless islands that can only be found with the knowledge of a local.

When island hopping with Not In The Guidebooks, you’ll discover the alternative beaches most tourists miss. Tucked away in misty coves, with little beachside tavernas and beautifully warm Mediterranean seas, you’ll have access to some of the best beaches in Greece, with some even only accessible via boat, for that feeling of real exclusivity.

3.     Mauritius

boat and sunset in mauritius

For those tired of Spain, France or Portugal, a beach holiday in Mauritius is one of the very best alternatives out there. An island gem in the sapphire blue Indian Ocean, it is a country known for its tropical climate, stunning stretches of pristine, palm-fringed sand, and world-class scuba diving.

And for those that want to explore away from the beach, there’s a fascinating culture and cuisine to discover that blends French, Africa, Creole and Asian influences, stunning mountains and rushing waterfalls, and the bonus of Mauritius being a winter sun destination makes it all the more appealing as an alternative beach holiday spot.

Alternative Beach Holidays

Ultimate Sri Lanka Off the Beaten Track

Sri Lanka

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Paros, Naxos and Santorini Island Hopping – Join a Small Group

Paros, Greece

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An Authentic Immersion into Mauritius


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4.     Sri Lanka

person on a beach in sri lanka

On to another island paradise in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is a great example of an alternative beach holiday destination, particularly for those who want to explore a little further than the limits of their beach resort.

On a beach holiday in Sri Lanka, you’re not limited to relaxing in a hammock, drinking in a vista of perfect white sand and gently crashing waves against the backdrop of a technicolour sunset, but that’s always on offer. Magical wildlife, a fascinating history and culture and jaw-dropping jungles and mountains also await on a complete Sri Lankan experience.

5.     Scotland

oldshoremore beach in scotland

Probably not the country you would expect to see in a list of the world’s best alternative beach holidays, but you’d be amazed at some of the hidden gem beaches sitting right on our doorstep at the north end of the British Isles.

In fact, it’s fair to say wild, untamed beaches like Oldshoremore Beach, Sandwood Bay and Cape Wrath are as beautiful as any in the world, and while they might take some getting to, the rewards are truly spectacular. On a camper van adventure of the world-famous NC500, you can comfortably discover all these beaches and more.

Here at Not In The Guidebooks, we work hard to find you alternative experiences, unique things to do and authentic, local activities all over the world, from Greenland to Greece, Norway to Namibia. Whilst you can expect to see the very best of a country with us, you can also expect the unexpected, the little hidden gems and local interactions that make travel truly memorable, so that you return home having not just visited a place, but having experienced it.

If you enjoyed these ideas for alternative beach holidays, why not take a look at our favourite winter sun destinations or our unique summer holiday inspirations for 2023?

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