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Top Beach Destinations in India

[ Edit ] Overview

Incredibly scenic beaches; range from parties and action to romance, solitude, sleepy little villages. 

Most people think of the great beaches as being in the west coast of India, but

beautiful, romantic, amongst the longest coastlines in the world, ideal as a honeymoon destination

 

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Highlights

[ Edit ] # 1. Vakarla

 

Relatively unspoilt by tourism, Varkala in Kerala is located close to Trivandrum or Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam. The beach town of Varkala has the only unique geographical setting in Southern Kerala- cliff shaped structures situated adjacent to the Arabian Sea.

This sunny sea shore town is located on the shores of magnificent waters of the Arabian Sea, where one can enjoy both swimming and sun bathing. Since the place is still unknown to the larger tourist crowd, the beaches remain more or less uncrowded. Varkala therefore fits neatly into the slot for romantic beach destination and offers the couple solitude amongst the various settings of nature that maketh the town.

The most popular attraction is the Papanasam Beach or Varkala Beach which is said to contain holy waters and a dip in the waters helps to wash away one’s sins. The waters of Papanasam Beach are also said to have medicinal properties due to water from a mineral spring that flows into the sea from the southern edge of the cliff . One can therefore enjoy here a relaxing ayurvedic massage at one of the many ayurvedic treatment centres lined up close by.

The cliffs known as Varkala Foundations are the most prominent feature of Varkala.  These cliffs are considered a geological monument as declared by the Geological Survey of India. At the bottom of the cliff lies the white soft sands of the beach that can be reached by steps leading down from the cliff top. The footpath along the cliff is bordered by coconut grooves and has quaint local shops, beach shacks and restaurants from where one can enjoy the marvelous sunset. There is even a lighthouse from where one can watch the setting sun near the horizon. Many of the restaurants, hotels and resort on the cliff also hold a traditional Kathakli performance in the evenings for their guests.

One can also enjoy a romantic boat ride on Kapil Lake, an estuary that runs through dense groove of coconut trees and finally merges with the Arabian sea. Another boat cruise ride can also take one to the close by Ponnumthumut Island.

Since Varkala receives rainfall from both the south west and north east monsoon winds, the best time to visit Varkala is between December to March

State: Kerala

Key Attractions: Papanasam Beach, Varkala Foundations and Varkala Tunnel, Anjengo Fort, Shivagiri Mutt, Janardana Swamy Temple, Kapil Lake, Ponnumthumut Island, Sarkara Devi Temple, Kadu Vayil Juma Masjid

The beach town of Varkala can be visited with your family or with your spouse for a romantic interlude. The best months to visit Varkala is during December to March, although from September onwards the tourist season begins after a heavy monsoon season. more

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[ Edit ] #2. Daman & Diu

The sea side towns of Daman and Diu are two different towns located by the Arabian Coast and encompassed within the state of Gujarat. Daman and Diu were formerly Portuguese colonies that were declared as Union Territories after the Portuguese finally left Indian shores after independence.

Both Daman and Diu are family beach destinations and the best time to visit them is almost throughout the year.

Daman located close to the border of Gujarat and Maharashtra is divided into Moti (Big) Daman and Nani (small) Daman by the Daman Ganga River flowing between them. The long shoreline of Daman includes the Devka and Jampore Beach which are safe for swimming and have an amusement park located on its sands. Families with children come here in large numbers for fun and frolic especially from neighbouring towns of Silvassa, Billimoria and Vapi. Daman is also a popular weekend getaway from Mumbai which is just about 120 kms away.

Daman is also called City of Twin Forts with a big and small fort located in Moti and Nani Daman each. One can also visit here the Gothic style churches and other historic monuments and enjoy a panoramic view of the horizon at the sea from the lighthouse.

Diu on the other hand is a small island located off the southern tip of Saurashtra or Kathiawar in Gujarat along the Arabian coast. As compared to Daman, beaches in Diu are less crowded and unspoilt by mass tourism.

The beaches of Diu are famous for enjoying various water sport activities. Goghala Beach is the largest and gentlest beach of Diu and safe for swimming, sunbathing, parasailing and surfing. Nagoa Beach lined with palm and Hoka trees is also where water sports are a regular feature. The other beach in Diu is Jallandhar Beach named after the Jallanadhar temple situated on a hillock nearby.

The Portuguese influence in Diu is expressed in its churches such as St Thomas Church, St Paul’s Church and St Francis Assisi and the Diu Fort which was built by the Portuguese to support the Sultan of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah when he was attacked by Mughal emperor, Humayun. The fort is located on the coast and surrounded by the sea on three sides.

One popular attraction, informative for both adults and children is the Sea Shell Museum of Diu which is the first museum in Asia with maximum sea shells ranging from 2500 to 3000 in numbers. Shells of various types and sizes can be found here.

State: Union Territory located within the boundaries of Gujarat state more

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[ Edit ] Alibaug & Beaches South of Mumbai

The Alibaug beach is one of the most popular weekend getaways from Mumbai and Pune. This beach town located in Raigad district along the Konkan coast in Maharashtra can be reached by road or by a ferry or private boat from Gateway of India in Mumbai.

There are many beaches in and around a two hour drive from Alibaug. In fact as one goes south, the beaches become less crowded and more and more secluded. The weekends are normally crowded and Alibaug and the other beaches here portray a perfect destination for holidays with family and friends. However during weekdays, the crowd is to its most minimal and can be a quite a romantic destination for couples to spend quality time with each and explore the place without interruption.

Alibaug and its other beaches include Akshi Beach, Nagaon Beach, Kihim Beach, Mandwa Beach, Kashid Beach, Varsoli Beach, Awas Beach, Sawane Beach, Murud-Janjira and others. There are even tourist ports out here where ferry services are available. In addition there are a number of temples as well as forts, some of which are surrounded by water on all sides such as Kolaba Fort, Janjira Fort and they can be approached by walking or on a horse or by a cart during low tide.

State: Maharashtra

Key Attraction: Akshi Beach, Nagaon Beach, Kihim Beach, Mandwa Beach, Kashid Beach, Varsoli Beach, Awas Beach, Sawane Beach, Murud-Janjira, Palace of Nawab in Murud-Janjira, Kolaba Fort, Khanderi and Undheri Forts

The best time to visit Alibaug and other beaches are during the months of November to February. The monsoons arrive with heavy rainfall but bring their own charm to these beaches- a taste of Mumbai monsoon.

One however cannot travel to Alibaug via ferry during the monsoons as they are closed for the rainy season. more

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[ Edit ] Alleppey and the Kerala Backwaters
more

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[ Edit ] Andaman & Nicobar Islands

The blue aquamarine waters of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands landing at the long white sandy beaches of its various islands are a treasure of rich and varied marine life including the technicolour fishes, turtles and a vast range of shells and corals.

Behind the beaches are the swaying coconut palm trees which hide behind them the tropical jungles which again are secretive of their varied flora and fauna. From the jungle in the silent retreat of the night one may often hear the beat of the drums coming from tribal groups which are considered to be amongst the most ancient and primitive in the world.

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a group of 572 islands which are connected together by a long and narrow broken chain of crescent shaped beaches. The islands which are located off the east mainland coast of India are situated in the Bay of Bengal and the exclusiveness of the natural beauty of this place; the islands are rightly referred to as the “Garden of Eden” which mirrors the paradise that man seeks.

An aerial view of these islands depicts shimmering emeralds in a vast expanse of captivating blue. The beauty, the solitude and the alluring quality of the place makes the Andaman and Nicobar Islands an attractive option for a honeymoon destination in India.

State: Union Territory of India

Key Attraction: Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Jolly Buoy Island, Red Skin Island, Barren Island, Havelock Island- Radhnagar Beach and Vijaynagar Beach, Ross Island, Viper island, Corbyn’s Cove, Hut Bay Island-Harminder Beach, Karmatang Beach, Ramnagar Beach, Cellular jail

The islands are an adventure lover’s dream come true. One can try all possible water sport activities here including snorkeling, scuba diving, under water surfing as well as other activities such as trekking, island camping, elephant rides and others.  more

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[ Edit ] Goa

Goa the world famous tourist destination of India is synonymous with the word beaches. Ranging from crowded to secluded, Goa has a wide range of beaches that covers the spaces in between.

Situated in the Western Ghats, Goa, India’s smallest state is a biodiversity hotspot. But there is more to the personality of Goa then just long white sandy beaches along the coast of Arabian sea. Goa was a Portuguese colony for more than 500 years and the influence of the Portuguese culture is still evident in many of the cities of the state. The architecture especially with its bright colour buildings ranging from purple to sunny yellow to bright shocking pink is a perfect foil for the expanse of dense green that dominates most of the state and hides within itself a variety of flora and fauna.

National Parks and sanctuaries, lagoons, the backwaters, spice plantations, lily covered lakes, forts and the Churches of Goa complete the state’s character. The beaches however remain the core reason for Goa’s tourist appeal.

Some of Goa’s most famous beaches are Calangute Beach, Baga Beach, Vasco-da Gama Beach,  Arjuna Beach, Vagator Beach, Bogomella Beach, Fort Aguada Beach and others.

State: Goa

Goa is a tourist destination that can be visited all round the year. The state has its uses for all sorts of occasions ranging from friends and family beach destination, honeymoon destination, Christmas and New Year party destination and many other occasions. more

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[ Edit ] Gokarna

Gokarna is a temple town, but the attraction of its beaches is a different story altogether. Gokarna means cow’s ear and it is named so as the one street town is located at the ear shaped confluence of two rivers; Gangavali and Aghanashini. Gokarna which is characterized by wooden houses is located close to the Karwar coast in Utara Kannada district facing the Arabian Sea in Karnataka.

This town which has its mythological connection with Lord Mahableshwara in the form of Lord Shiva has four beaches- Kudle or Kutle Beach, Om Beach, Half Moon Beach and Paradise Beach. The beaches are located south of Gokarna town and as one moves southwards, the beaches become more and more remote, and less populated.

With blue waters that wash along the sandy white beaches that are lined with innumerable number of palm and coconut trees, the beaches especially Half Moon and Paradise provide the much needed seclusion away from prying eyes and a pefect getaway as a romantic beach for couples to enjoy. Both beaches can either be approached by a treacherous and rocky road or by boat.

State: Karnataka

Key attractions: Lord Mahleshwar’s Temple and other religious places, Kudle or Kutle beach, Om Beach, Half Moon Beach, Paradise Beach

The best time to visit Gokarna is during the months of January to March owing to both good climate and the colourful celebrations of a religious festival

One can enjoy boat rides among the four beaches, longer the distance, higher the fare.  more

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[ Edit ] Gopalur

The deep blue waters of the Bay of Bengal come running towards the white sand beach, deserted and pristine in its secluded beauty. The afternoons especially are a lovely light on Gopalur beach. The fishermen are coming back to the shores with their early morning catches, while,the local women fill their baskets with the catch to be sold aff at the local markets. Gopalur also called as Gopalur on Sea is a beach town in Ganjam district on the coast of Bay of Bengal and located near the town of Behrampur in the state of Orissa, close to the border of Andhra Pradesh.

Gopalur was once an important trading centre during the time of the British East India Company. The ruins of the ancient commerical port still stand proud with some symbols signifying the glorious past. The old lighthouse on the Beach is still a prominent landmark, blinking lights to show direction to the ships deep at sea.

A popular beach side for the people of Behrampur, the beach still remains secluded in parts and at various times of the day. The long line of coconut grooves, casuarinas and cashew nut trees provide shade and comfort to the beach stalker. While Gopalur beach may not ecactly fit the bill of a honeymoon destination, it still can still be classified as a romantic beach and definitely fits the bill for as a family beach destination.

State: Orissa

Gopalur is named after an 18th century Krishna Gopal temple  situated in the fishing village.

The best time to visit Gopalur on Sea is during the months of September to March.

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[ Edit ] Kochi

The city of Kochi formerly called Cochin is today one of the major ports of India. Situated in the Ernakulam district of Kerala, it is the second largest city of the state and is called as the Queen of Arabian Sea. Kochi lives up to its name with its harmonial blend of heritage, modernism and nature.

Flanked by the Western Ghats to the east and the Arabian Sea to its west, the city is famous for its backwaters, small islands such as Bolghatty Island and Wellingdon Island (located a little away from the mainland), Fort Kochi Beach with Chinese fishing nets; a feature unique to Kochi and churches, synagogues and palaces.

One of the most enjoyable activities in Kochi is a stroll on the beach side during early morning or sunset with the nets and sailing boats in the background and a boat ride in the backwaters which are dotted with small islands. The city can be one of the ideal honeymoon destinations in India.

The best time to visit Kochi is during the months of October to February when the climate is dry and cool.

State: Kerala

Key attractions: Fort Kochi Beach, Fort Kochi, Group of Islands scattered in Vembanad Lake, Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary, Chinese Fishing Nets, Jewish Synagogue and Jew Town Matancherry, Willingdon Island, Bolghatty Island, Marine Drive, Vasco House, Santa Cruz Bascilla, St Francis Church, Dutch Palace, Hill Palace, Palliport, Museum of Kerala History, Cherai Beach, Veega Land, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium

Kochi has featured in national Geographic Traveler’s “50 Greatest Places of a Lifetime” more

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[ Edit ] Kovalam

It was the Maharaja of Travancore and a few European guests that reversed the fortunes of Kovalam a small fishing village and turned it into one of the mostpopular tourist destinations, especially among European tourists.

Kovalam is lined endlessly, even beyond sight with coconut trees and is thus is named aptly. Kovalam means a groove of coconut trees and is characterized by a crescent shaped long white sandy stretch formed by three beaches; Lighthouse Beach, Hawah or Eve Beach and Samudra Beach that are separated by rocky outcroppings over a 17 kms distance. Kovalam which faces the Arabian Sea is located just about 13 kms from Thiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum in Kerala.

The best time to visit Kovalam is during the months of September to May.

This beach town which is famous as a centre for yoga, ayurvedic treatments, herbal toning massages, sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling and surfing attracts a large crowd of hippies.

State: Kerala

Key Attractions: Lighthouse Beach, Lighthouse, Hawah Beach, Samudra Beach, Ashoka Beach, sea port of Vizhinjam, city of Trivandrum,

A cliché as it may sound, but the Hawah or Eve beach is a sight to behold during moonlit nights, a romantic beach in the true sense. more

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[ Edit ] Lakshadweep Islands

The crystal clear sea water showcases shades of blue to a delighted traveler. Ranging from palest aquamarine to turquoise and deepest sapphire to lapis lazuli, the water around the 36 islands that together comprise the Lakshwadeep Islands or Laccadives are just a pleasure to watch.

Located off the western coast off the mainland, Lakshwadeep Islands are 220 to 440 kms away from the Malabar coast in Kerala and can be reached either by ship or by air from Kochi airport.

The islands are believed to have been formed by coral activity and one can find snow white coral reefs lining around each of the islands. The islands which are remote, uncrowded and so peaceful that on some days one may find themselves as lone occupants of the beach. The islands have some of the best beaches worth visiting in India and are a perfect spot for a romantic beach. It is inviting for a newlywed couple and is one of the best honeymoon destination in India. Away from civilization, secluded and where privacy is certainly guaranteed.

The waters around various islands such as Agatti Island, Bangaram Island, Kavaratti Island and many others are rich in marine life including flora and fauna and contain treasures waiting to be discovered. The long white sand beaches and lagoons dressed with dense coverage of coconut trees complete the romantic picture.

State: Union Territory of India

Lakshwadeep Islands have one of the most spectacular tropical island system in the world. The best time to visit these islands is during the months of November to March.

All kinds of water sport activities are available here including snorkeling and scuba diving to experience the pleasure of discovering of coming close to the world of underwater life, a truly humbling experience on the whole. more

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[ Edit ] Mahabalipuram

The sea side town of Mahabalipuram is like an open air museum of architectural splendor. The town located on the Coromandel Coast along the Bay of Bengal in Kanchipuram district in Tamil Nadu is about 60 kms from Chennai.

While Mahabalipuram offers a range of silver sand beaches lined with casuarina trees, the most famous attractions here are the rock cut and monolithic structures. The best time to visit Mahabalipuram is during October to March. This little town is also a perfect weekend getaway from Chennai, especially if one has to enjoy a family holiday.The sculptures and architecture are quite a new advent of learning for children.

Mahabalipuram was the second capital of the Pallava Kingdom and a 7th century port during their dynasty. The Pallavas were very secretive and possessive of their belongings and never showed of their wealth. Thus the “wealth” of Mahabalipuram was a close guarded secret for many years. Mahabalipuram was originally named after after a myth where the cruel and arrogant King Mahabali was killed by Lord Vishnu. Mahaballipuram was named after King Mahabali. The name of the town is also derived from “Maha Malla” meaning the City of Great Wrestler or Great Bali as wrestling was the favourite sport of the Pallavas.

The Shore Temple is the most famous attraction of Mahabalipuram. The temple, a five storied structure is built against the background of the blue water of the Bay of Bengal and thus the name. The Shore Temple is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is a classic example of rock cut architecture, a constructional style which was at its peak in decorative beauty and intrinsic quality during the Pallava rule. It is the oldest rock cut temple in South India. Recent excavations near the Shore Temple have revealed new structures under the sand.

Mahabalipuram is known to be a learning school for young sculptors. One may therefore find here many such sculpted structures. Apart from the Shore Temple, Mahbalipuram is also famous the Five Rathas, each ratha sculpted in a different style such as a processional chariot and others from a single piece of granite in situ.

State: Tamil Nadu

Key Attractions: Beach, Shore Temple, Five Rathas, Mahishasuramandini Mandapa, Varaha Mandapa, Thirukadalamallai Temple, Vishnu Sayana Mandapa, Temple of Rivage

Mahabalipuram is a family beach destination best visited during the months of October to March. more

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[ Edit ] Pondicherry

The trace of France still lingers largely in the character of Pondicherry city. A former French colony, Pondicherry fondly referred to as ‘Pondy” is located along the Coromandel Coast facing the Bay of Bengal and is about 160 kms from Chennai, capital of Tamil Nadu.

Pondicherry which is capital of the Union Territory of Pondicherry has some of the best beaches known beaches in South India, clean and uncrowded. The natural beauty of the beach and its surroundings is hardly marred by the development of the city, so well is the city’s planning and structure.

While Serenity Beach and Promenade beach are located in the centre of town, the other beaches such as Auroville Beach, Puducherry Beach, Lighhouse Beach and Paradise Beach are located a little away from the centre of the town.

The Paradise Beach especially offers visitors many other activities apart from swimming, sun bathing and surfing. One can enjoy here water sports or tree house accommodations and even go for a dolphin spotting ride.

Apart from the beaches, other places worth visiting are some streets, most of which have retained their French names and churches, many influenced by the French architecture, mosques, temples, museums and others.

State: Union Territory

Key attractions: Puducherry Beach, Promenade Beach, Serenity Beach, Paradise Beach, Auroville Beach, Aurobindo Ashram, Notre Dame Des Agnes, Church of Capuchins, Jamai Mosque, Meeran Mosque, Church of Lady Lourdes, Kuthba Mosque, Manakula Vinayagar Koli Temple, Thirukameswara Temple, Raj Niwas, Pondicherry Botanical Garden and Aquarium, Anglo French Textile Mills, Vedhapureeswarar Temple and others.

The best time to visit Pondicherry is during the months of November to May.

Pondicherry also hosts a number of art and cultural festivals. One can therefore coincide one’s visit to this half French city during such festivals. more

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[ Edit ] Puri

The beach of Puri along the the Bay of Bengal in the state of Orissa is one of the best and one of the most popular beaches long the Eastern Coast of India.

Famous as a Hindu pilgrimage destination, Puri is most famous for the Jagannath Temple and therefore tattarcts a large number of devotees as well as families. Apart from a horde of pilgrims the long, broad and sandy beaches of Puri also attarcts a large number of international tourist.

Some parts of th Puri beach are very wide and lengthy and get big waves. This is where the maximum number of tourist can be found enjoying the sea. One can even enjoy sunbathing and swimming at some parts of the Puri beach.

State: Orissa

Key Attractions: Jagannath Temple, Chilka Lake Bird Sanctuary

Th best time to visit Puri is during the months of November to March. The summers are too hot and the monsoons often bring with them the dangers of cyclones and floods.

The Puri beach is very famous for sand sculpting with some awe inspiring works by various artists. more

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[ Edit ] Tarkarli

A long narrow stretch of beach with a line of fishermen’s boat looking out towards the sea, Tarkarli is a small hamlet located at the confluence of the Karli River and Arabian Sea. Tarkarli is one of the many beaches in the famed Sindhudurg district along the Konkan Coast of Maharashtra.

Trakarli fits the picture for the promotion of a romantic beach destination. So clear is the blue sea water here that on most days one can see the sea bed up to a depth of 20 feet. Plenty of Shuru trees are swaying in the background against the beach. In addition the wide Karli river, the sailboats and the island hamlets situated on the riverbank add to the simple joy and beauty of this place. The perfect picture is completed with dolphin sighting, quite a regular feat in the deep waters of Tarkarli beach. The complete picture is a has a definite appeal to a romantic heart, who may wish to spend a romantic weekend with their partner.

The best time to visit Tarkarli is during the months of October to March.

State: Maharashtra

Key Attraction: Tarkarli Beach, Sindhudurg Fort, Padmagarh Fort, Backwater boat rides, Konkani meals

Tarkarli is famous for water sports such as zorbing, scuba diving, snorkeling conducted by expert teachers and guides. The beach is also a protected zone for female turtles.

Tarkarli has a historical connection with great Maratha warrior, Shivaji Maharaj. Sindhudurg Fort that was built by Shivaji Maharaj can be viewed from here. more

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[ Edit ] Visakhapatnam

A major port and a coastal city on the eastern coast of India, Visakhapatnam also called as Vizag is the second largest city of Andhra Pradesh. This beach city along the coast of Bay of Bengal is also home to the Eastern Naval Command.

Visakhapatnam is a multi sightseeing city with tourist places ranging from beaches  to cliffs, zoological parks to sanctuaries, museums to temples, ancient monuments, valleys, parks, gardens and many others.

Some of the most famous beaches of Visakhapatnam are Ramakrishna Beach, Rushikonda Beach, Gangavaram Beach and Tenneti Park Beach. Most of the beaches have well built gardens, parks and walkways around them.

 State: Andhra Pradesh

Key attractions: Ramakrishna Beach, Rushikonda Beach, Beach Road, Tenneti Park Beach, Visakh Museum, Submarine Museum, Indira Gandhi Zoological park, Buddhist ruins;Thotlakonda, Araku Valley, Bora Caves, Dolphin’s Nose, Gangavaram Beach, Temple of Arasavlli Sun God

The Submarine Museum in the city is the first submarine museum in Asia.

The best time to visit Visakhapatnam is all round the year. Though the best months to visit the city are from September to March. Visakhapatnam is a good destination for family holidays. more

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[ Edit ] Other Information

In addition to the above, there are also numerous beaches including the ones listed below.  Many of them are in beautiful locations and relatively free of the masses of tourists and can therefore be considered as an ideal romantic "Honeymoon Destination", while others are in the heart of a bustling city.

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