Some office days we daydream about a deserted stretch of sand, without a single soul for miles. Or perhaps a beach perfect for people watching, with Balearic vibes and cool cocktails. Here we’ve selected 9 of our favourite beach bars worldwide, including the best rustic reggae shacks, city-side oases, to over-the-top luxe beach clubs.
Shimmy Beach Club, Cape Town, South Africa
If you’ve booked flights to Cape Town, look out for Shimmy Beach Club. Overlooking the busy V&A Waterfront against a backdrop of Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain, Shimmy Beach is one of the city’s newest ocean-front destinations. Shimmy’s large outside deck offers panoramic sea views and a 43-foot bar. Guests can watch the ships glide in and out of the busy harbour and even whales during migration season. For an even better view, drinkers can watch the world go by from the bar’s 72-foot infinity pool (it’s heated in winter).
Tabon Te Keekee, North Tarawa, Kiribati, Central Pacific Ocean
If you’re looking to kick-back while gazing over a sparkling turquoise lagoon, then Tabon te Keekee, Kiribati is the destination for you. Enjoy a beverage in Tabon te Keekee’s family-run, traditionally thatched buias (bungalows), swim in the clear waters, or just chill out island-style in a hammock. Making for an even more magical experience, visitors arrive at Tabon te Keekee via a short ride in a traditional canon.
Pelican Bar, Negril, Jamaica
If you have booked flights to Jamaica, a must-visit is The Pelican. Nesting on stilts on a sand bank off the shore of Treasure Beach, the Pelican resembles a Pirates of the Caribbean-type franchise. A short boat trip from the coast, this slice of Jamaican paradise is the perfect place to do a whole lot of nothing. Revellers can sunbathe, swim in the shallow waters, eat freshly fried fish or simply wash everything down with a cool beer or rum punch. What’s more, the inside of the bar is festooned with flags, license plates, t-shirts and various knickknacks left by visitors from all over the world, so make sure you bring your own keepsake to leave behind.
Barasti, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Revellers can dance barefoot in the white sands of Jumeira Beach, at award-winning Barasti bar in Dubai. Overlooking the Arabian Sea, the lively Barasti has become a popular stop on the Dubai social scene offering music, food and delicious cocktails. Lounge around when the sun is up, grab a bite to eat, watch the sunset, and then party through the night. Search for flights to Dubai
Badeschiff, Berlin, Germany
The river’s edge in post-industrial Berlin doesn’t exactly spring to mind, when you picture a fabulous beach location. But that is exactly what you’ll find every summer, along the river Spree. Together with sandy beach and open-air bar, Berlin’s floating ‘beach’ Badeschiff has become a city landmark. In summer, top DJs play the latest tracks while locals drink and make the most of the sun. And Badeschiff isn’t just for summer, as in winter, the area is transformed into a wellness retreat with two saunas, a heated pool and bar. Find flights to Berlin here.
Purobeach, Tivat, Montenegro
Right in the heart of the spectacular Bay of Kotor in the Adriatic Sea, Purobeach Porto Montenegro is a luxurious place to unwind and soak up some rays. Purobeach has minimalist surroundings, contemporary decor and DJs spin the latest chill-out tracks from early afternoon until the small hours. Guests relax on terrace sunbeds, inviting low sofas and in an infinity pool, which looks as though it’s spilling right into the sea.
Flora-Bama Lounge, Pensacola, Florida, United States
Live music, multilevel bars, the Mullet Toss can all be found at this rowdy, but brilliantly fun, beachside bar. The Flora-Bama Lounge and Package (the Bama to the locals) is found on Perdido Key in Pensacola, Florida. A Gulf Coast cultural landmark, it’s known as America’s last great roadhouse. The Flora-Bama takes its name from its location near the state line between Florida and Alabama – officially in Florida, it lays a mere six feet from Alabama. When Flora-Bama opened in 1964, Florida was a “wet” area a while across the line in Baldwin County, Alabama, was “dry.” Hence it quickly became a popular stop for thirsty travellers. While there, make sure you sample the local Bushwacker beverage – a frozen rum-based concoction with a chocolaty, piña colada flavour.
The Beach Pavilion, Hayman Island, Australia
Hayman Island is the most northerly of the pristine Whitsunday Islands, set off the coast of Queensland. Although a private island, everyone is welcome to visit. The Hayman luxury resort is the only structure on this small island at just 400 hectares in size. And the Resort’s Beach Pavilion is the place to be. Guests can enjoy a beer, cocktails, or a glass of award-winning Australian wine right on the beach while taking in the breath-taking view of the Coral Sea.
The Watering Hole, Cornwall, England
Dubbed the only bar on a beach in the UK, the Watering Hole is found on the sunny surfer’s paradise of Perranporth Beach, Cornwall. When the sun’s up and surfers are out, drinkers will feel like they’ve been transported to the California coast or a Southern Hemisphere shore. The ruggedly beautiful Perranporth Beach has been a favourite with travellers for decades and has won a number of traveller’s choice awards. The Watering Hole has been operating on the site since the 1970s. The dress code is flip-flops, cider is cold and music is live, so make sure to leave all formalities at the door and get ready to chill.