For more than a half century the South of France has been an amazingly popular destination for European beach holidays. Even today many holiday-goers flock to glamorous destinations like Saint-Tropez, Cannes and Nice, leading their main beaches to be completely packed. However, there are still a number of more secluded beaches along the coast which offer those who are willing to seek them out a peaceful hideaway in this beautiful, but busy vacation spot.

Calanque d’En-vau, Cassis

It would be difficult to talk about the hidden beaches of the South of France without mentioning the famous calaques found between Marseille and Cassis. This breathtaking stretch of coastline features unique rocky inlets of white cliffs towering up from small arched beaches flanked by pines. While they aren’t a complete secret, they are definitely hidden… and challenging to reach, as aspect which keeps a certain number of crowds at bay. This particular calanque is one of the prettiest, though it can only be reached by daring down a very steep path or by the much easier means of a kayak, which also grants you exceptional views of the cove from a distance. There are no shops, so be sure to bring a picnic and water.

Calanque d’En-vau beach

La Plage Mala. Photo Patrick Janicek

La Plage Mala. Photo Patrick Janicek / Flickr

Plage Mala, Cap d’Ail, Alpes-Maritimes

Along the Cap d’Ail just west of ritzy Monaco is this lovely hidden beach of the French Riviera. Since the only way to reach it is down some very steep steps and protected by trees, it attracts many fewer people than most other nearby beaches. The semi-circular bay is covered in sand and pebbles and is protected by trees. You would almost not even guess you were on one of Europe’s busiest stretches of coastline. There are a few restaurants down on the cove to offer refreshments and food, plus you can even reserve your own sun lounger in advance here.

Plage de Gardanne. Photo Nanel4 / Flickr


Plage de Gardanne, Point de L’Aiguille

On the other side of the Golfe de Napoule from the crowded beaches around Cannes, you’ll find several pretty, secluded beaches dotting the coast around la Pointe de L’Aiguille between Theoule-sur-Mer and Agay. These will require some walking, but your efforts will be well worth it! Within the Parc de la Pointe de l’Aiguille is the lovely secret cove of the Gardanne Beach. Surrounded by jagged boulders, here you’ll also find a cave, though very little else! The perfect hidden spot for adventurers.

Calanque de Saint-Barthélémy

While the Calanques around Cassis are the most famous of the South of France, this on near Saint Raphael is also very beautiful and remains more offbeat than the ones further to the west. It plunges down 20 meters from the Rocher de Saint-Barthélemy on the massif de l’Estérel of the Corniche d’Or area. There’s small, normally deserted pebbled beach border by sparkling turquoise waters, perfect for swimming or snorkelling to discover its impressive array of water life.

Cap Taillet. Photo Akunamatata / Flickr


Plage de la Bastide Blanche, Cap Taillat

With such a gorgeous coastline, it’s no wonder that Saint-Tropez became a Cote d’Azur vacation hotspot. On its outskirts, you can already escape some of the crowds at nearby l’Escalet beach of the charming village of Ramatuelle, from the more adventurous can either set out on foot or by kayak to track down the even more remote Plage de la Bastide Blanche. It takes about an hour, but the journey is part of the fun. Plan to pack a picnic to spend the day on this rather long beach, doing nothing much other than relaxing to the sight of the shimmering crystal waters of the Mediterranean.

Plage de Bonporteau, Cavalaire-sur-Mer

Another nice option not far from Saint Tropez, the charming fishing village of Cavalaire-sur-Mer, has a beautiful, long sandy beach, but if you drift a little further you can discover this scenic cove. Hidden by pines and lined with a layer of fine sand, sit back and enjoy the gentle breeze, minus the boisterous beach mobs found on the crowded beaches.

Plage de Léoube. Photo Phileole / Flickr


Plage de Léoube, Bormes les Mimosas

Spectacular aquamarine waters drawn many to the half-moon Plage de l’Estagnol, however, it’s hard to savor its beauty due to the swarms of other sunseekers packed on the beach. Experience the same stunning scenery at this lovely beach hidden down a small footpath about a twenty minute walk or five minute drive away from Estagnol. Sip on some crisp local rosé and gaze out at the small Léoube Island, floating off the coast.


Plage de l’espiguette. Photo Guah / Flickr

Plage de l’Espiguette, Hérault

The western side of the South of France isn’t as much on the radar of foreign visitors to the country, therefore, it’s lovely beaches tend to be frequented mainly by locals and inevitably fewer people. There are several lovely beaches on this rather unspoilt stretch, this particular beach, located near the Camargue National Park, east of Montpellier, makes for a pleasant choice thanks to its large size extending almost 10 kilometers as well as its sand dunes, both of which ensure more space and privacy.

If you’re looking for the best luxury accommodation in the South of France, the perfect oases away from the tourist masses, contact one of our local villa experts here.

There’s nothing like the feeling of walking barefoot on powdering white sand, the sight of an endless horizon of aquamarine waters and the sound of crashing waves to make you feel like you’re truly on holiday. You can have these sensations all to yourself, or almost, at these sublime secret beach destinations across of Asia and Australasia.


Vatuvara Private Islands, Fiji

Many of hundreds of islands that make up the Fijian archipelago are rimmed with beautiful beaches, however, it’s hard to beat those found on unique Vatuvara Island, situated in the Lau group. According to our Fiji expert Krystel Gough of Vatuvara Private Islandsthe island offers more than “legends of gold” hidden amongst the razor sharp outcrops of the intriguing hat shaped island.

“It has one of the most stunning beaches in Fiji having been uninhabited since the early 1900’s,” explains Krystel. “Currently maintained by Vatuvara Private Islands as a Marine and Nature reserve, the island is home to several rare and endemic species of sea and shore birds. It has a pristine, well-preserved reef system, where dive enthusiasts can view a thriving aquatic environment.”

With only three one-bedroom villas, Vatuvara Private Islands provides ultimate privacy. Each spacious villa is outfitted with luxurious appointments and has its own private infinity pool. Guests are able to reach the island’s secret beach on a well-timed wave over the reef, easier during a high tide, as there is no open passage in the fringing reef.

Walk the gorgeous sands of Vatuvara by contacting Krystel at this link.


Tahapuke – Bay of Islands, New Zealand

For some of the best secret beaches in New Zealand we travel to the beautiful Bay of Islands in Northland. Our first stop is to the three-bedroom Tahapuke villa by Touch of Spice, a hidden treasure located in the heart of the township of Russell. Guests benefit from a private bay and beach, as well as their very own private island with a complimentary dingy to get there.

“Decorated with contemporary decor and furnishings, with doors opening onto picture perfect sea views,” explains Jacqui Spice, founder of Touch of Spice. “This property allows you to relax in complete privacy promoting a balance between luxury and nature.”

“A five-acre backdrop of native bush cascades down to the beach and two tracks lead upwards from the lodge arriving at two peaceful Maori Pa sites elevated at each end of this property. Boasting total privacy with no neighbours in sight, it’s just a gentle five-minute walk from the lodge to Russell’s wharf, waterfront, restaurants and services. There are also fishing and sailing charters are also available nearby.”

Wake up to the stunning and serene views of the Bay of Islands by staying with Touch of Spice here.


Oke Bay Beach House – Bay of Islands, New Zealand

We continue our tour of the best beaches of New Zealand’s Bay of Islands with the Oke Bay Beach House, by MajorDomoBoasting two private beaches and spectacular views of Hauai bay and Oke Bay, it’s the perfect secret beach holiday retreat.

“The two fabulous beaches below the house are on sheltered bays which are perfect for kayaking, sunbathing, swimming, fishing and rock-hopping,” says Lisa Hayden, co-founder of MajorDomo. “There are moorings for your charter fishing or sightseeing launch to pick you up and drop you home from.

“The house is spread over two levels. The top level has four oversized bedrooms, all with beautiful en-suite bathrooms and spacious wardrobes. The lower level has its own living area and large deck plus two generous bunk rooms, each with one double and five single beds. There is a full bathroom with shower, bath, heated towel rails and toilet, plus an additional powder room.

“The house offers expansive indoor and outdoor living with fireplaces and a fabulous kitchen for cooking that freshly caught fish! If you can bear to leave the villa for a great coffee fix or provisions, the township of Russell is only a 25-minute scenic drive away.

“This is a fabulous place to base yourself to enjoy all that the Bay of Islands has to offer such as scuba diving, fishing, hiking, visiting important New Zealand historical sites and experiencing fabulous Maori cultural activities.

“Guest Mary and her family recently stayed at Oke Bay Beach House and we at MajorDomo asked what she thought of her stay:

“I think this is a 6-star villa with the real feeling of being in the back and beyond yet an easy 30-minute drive to town if you wish. We drove from Auckland in a convertible car which was a great start to our adventure! It you don’t want to see anyone you don’t have to. The fabulous private beaches are great for swimming, collecting shells and long evening walks.”

Spend your holiday in breath-taking Oke Bay with MajorDomo by reaching out to their team here.


Otaha Beachfront Lodge -Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Enjoy your own private piece of the Bay of Islands with undisturbed views across the ocean at Touch of Spice’s Otaha Beachfront Lodge. Perched in the centre of New Zealand’s most historically rich environment, it combines exceptionally well curated and presented contemporary New Zealand design with the calming views of the ocean.

“Built from the timber of local trees, Otaha Beachfront Lodge is a piece of New Zealand history both physically and geographically,” reveals Jacqui Spice. “The indoor feel of Otaha Beachfront is clean, spacious and encourages refined relaxation. With internal furnishings from Simon James and other internationally renowned designers, the villa’s design has been considered from the front door to the back.

“Five bedrooms, five ensuites and an additional room for a nanny or caregiver ensures you have optimal space for a family or group of travelling friends. From the inside of the house with its floor to ceiling windows, there is no mistaking that you are in the middle of the Bay of Islands. The main living space has an internal facing outdoor decking area perfect for curling up and reading a book or for those summer evenings where you are looking to entertain outside. There is also an external beach facing deck for those mornings and evenings of contemplation with a coffee or glass of wine.

“The house is only a two-minute walk to the beach where you can enjoy surfing, floundering, walking tracks and a private area for friends and family. Enjoy total privacy and immersion into your natural surroundings whilst still only being 15 minutes from the heart of Keri Keri.”

Learn more about this private beach paradise through Touch of Spice at this link.

amara-oceanAmara Ocean Resort – Ngapali, Myanmar

You’ll practically have the whole beach to yourself at Amara Ocean Resort, situated on three-kilometers of pristine beach near Ngapali, Myanmar. Since tourism is still rather new to the country, you can truly achieve a secluded beach experience without the crowds found on some of its Southeast Asian neighbors.

The small resort has 26 comfortable and elegant teak bungalows, surrounded by palm trees and facing the beach. The friendliness of the staff, the tasty local cuisine and the country’s rich cultural heritage all complement your stay in this unique part of the world.

They have also recently opened an outdoor spa with several stations where massages and other beauty treatments are offered. The generously spaced open bungalows are slightly hidden behind some mangrove trees, have an unobstructed view and direct access to the beach. Therefore your beachtime can be extended by a heavenly massage followed by a refreshing freshly pressed fruit drink – it doesn’t get more relaxing than that!

Reserve your beautiful beachside bungalow at Amara Ocean Resort.


Amilla Fushi – Baa Atoll, The Maldives

The Maldives are famous the world over for their phenomenal beaches and there’s no better place to enjoy the country’s pristine sands and crystal waters than at Amilla Fushi. The luxurious resort is set on its own private island in Baa Atoll, one of the 26 natural atolls in the Indian Ocean and a UNESCO declared World Biosphere Reserve.

Accessible by a short 30-minute seaplane ride from Malé International Airport, the resort features eight sleek and spacious Beach Residences of four, six or eight bedrooms. Located directly on the beach, they each have individual pools, fully equipped kitchens, expansive living spaces and a private sanctuary that either hovers over shimmering waters, cling to the treetops, or hug the island’s shores. The resort also features 59 one and two bedroom houses along the lagoon, beach or ocean reef.

In addition to its contemporary accommodation designed to make the most of the awe-inspiring natural environment, Amilla Fushi has several original “destination dining” options which can be held on the beach. Choose from their carefully crafted set menus or tailor a special experience with the help of a private chef. Imagine a picnic lunch for two on a secluded sandbank or a gastronomic sunset dinner feasting on a selection of the resort’s chef Luke Mangan’s signature dishes. A delicious and divine way of savoring their secret beaches.

Design the menu of your heavenly beach holiday with Amilla Fushi.


Ranawara – Sri Lanka

Admire the amazing turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean while strolling along the virtually uninhabited stretch of coastline in front of the gorgeous Ranawara villa in southern Sri Lanka. The relaxed yet sophisticated villa is nestled within 23 acres of tropical gardens next to a small coastal fishing village, 15 kilometres south of Tangalle and only two hours from Galle.

There are five elegant suites within the main villa, which comprises a total of 46,000 sq.ft. of open plan living, and a further two single-suite chalets located on the estate grounds. Each of the air-conditioned bedrooms feature four-poster king size beds, Indonesian rugs and have spacious ensuite bathrooms. The property also features a library, TV room, bar area, open plan kitchen & dining room, al-fresco dining pavilion, a spa as well as a 100 ft long swimming pool. There is a dedicated resident team of staff who cater to guests needs during their stay.

Besides taking incredible walks or lounging on the beach, you can spend hours meandering through the grounds dotted with hundreds of coconut trees as well as an abundance of tropical fruit trees including dragon fruit, green oranges, papaya, bananas, mango and wood apple.

Leaving the villa, various excursions can be arranged to visit nearby villages, observe turtles laying their eggs in Rekawa, take whale and dolphin watching boat trips or to tour the historic Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site built in 1588.

Add some cultural explorations and sightseeing to your beach holiday at Ranawara. More information here.


Whitsunday Estate – Australia


Australia’s Great Barrier Reef features some of the region’s most stunning beaches and our global expert Sylvia Delvaille Jones of Villas and Apartments Abroad has the perfect place to stay to make the most of this fabulous coastline.

“This “Thatched Palace” boasts six South-Sea style thatched luxury cottages in full view of the aqua marine Pacific Ocean and a necklace of white sandy beaches and reefs to explore – exclusively yours,” details Sylvia. “Each of the six cottages or a total of seven suites, has its own style and feel and include artwork from around the world; an antique Russian chest, tiles from palaces in India, cool limestone floors, uniquely handcrafted African, Balinese and Mexican art including wall hangings/lighting and carvings.

“The main Pavilion with its gabled roof, is the focal point of this magical place where guests can gather, especially in the evenings to recap the day’s events. It boasts broad verandahs with day beds and lounges, a living room with special lighting effects, a siesta bedroom, the chef’s kitchen, indoor and outdoor dining areas and entertainment facilities.

“The main house takes in the impressive views of the lake, the sea, the pool and gardens. Enjoy activities like water skiing, fishing or bathing in your own private lake or just laze around your own oversized pool, pamper yourself with a massage on the wooden candle lit deck overlooking the purple lily pond, or practise some yoga with a private instructor in the meditation tower. Explore on your mountain bikes or quad bikes through the miles and miles of bushland trails.

“Escape on a river safari or discover a rock pool where you could spread your picnic lunch of cold “catch of the day” seafood salad and some crisp Aussie wine. Take a bushwalk deep into the rainforest to discover a hidden waterfall and a remote beach. Or arrange for a day of Game fishing, a seaplane launch reef trip, jet skiing, paragliding and scuba diving, tandem parachuting and windsurfing.

“For a special evening, enjoy some live entertainment at a beachside barbecue. If you are traveling with children, arrange for the circus to “come to town” to entertain them. But for sure, the friendly kanga will make her house-call each morning to say G’day.”

Enjoy all the delights of this spectacular private beach estate by contacting Sylvia at Villas and Apartments Abroad here.