Lonely Planet Best Beaches Review


Reviewed by Fiona Jones

I love travelling and have always found the Lonely Planet books invaluable in helping me to plan and prepare for a trip away. The Lonely Planet books are well organised with clear sections, either for different areas or for different types of trips, and extremely informative with well-researched advice.

Lonely Planet’s ‘Best Beaches’ book is divided into sections based on location, with highlights of beaches from Oceania (15), Africa (5), Asia (14), Middle East (3), Europe (30), and the Americas (32), with a final section on the ‘Top 5 Best Beaches Lists’.

I think it is excellent that the book is categorised in this way, as it allows the reader to get a flavour for beaches all across the world whilst flicking through the book, or allows them to home in to a particular section if they know it is somewhere they are planning to travel soon. Whilst all areas of the world are represented, the book is biased towards Europe and the Americas, which I suspect is to reflect the target audience for where this book is available. This is useful if you are planning on travelling in these continents, but potentially frustrating if you’d like to see more of the other areas.

The ‘Top 5 Best Beaches Lists’ at the end is great if you are looking for something in particular with categories including Best Family-Friendly Beaches, Best Beaches to Snorkel, and Most Remote Beaches.

For each beach included in this book, there is at least one stunning photograph accompanied with a short description and information on ‘Getting There’. The descriptions include information about the size of the beach, facilities, and activities available, and best seasons to visit. The ‘Getting There’ section is really useful for anyone who is wanting to visit the beaches, to know whether a car is needed or if public transport is a viable option.

Whilst the writing in this book is interesting and informative, the best feature of the book does have to be the absolutely incredible photography. For this reason, it is not just a book for travellers and seasoned Lonely Planet users, but for anyone who likes to appreciate the natural beauty of our world. The range of photographs included means that you are not just viewing photographs of the traditional beautiful sandy beach with crystal clear water (of which there are many), but so much more. Different angles chosen for the different photos allow for different features to be highlighted: photos taken from a birds-eye-view demonstrate the scale of the beach and show off its surroundings, whilst underwater photos highlight the clarity of the water and the fish that can be seen if choosing to snorkel when there. And fish are not the only animals featured: look out for the penguins, camels, kangaroos, horses, and even an elephant! Photographs taken at different times show the beauty of sunrises, sunsets and everything in between. There is also a wonderful photo of the Northern Lights taken from Norway’s Haukland Beach.

The book itself is a sturdy hardback with 272 glossy pages. It measures approximately 28cm × 24cm × 2cm. Mine arrived with slight damage to the top right corner of the front cover, but due to the thickness of the cover, this had no impact on the pages inside.

I would recommend this book to anyone, like myself, who is interested in travelling and looking for new places to explore: or to anyone who enjoys looking through photographs of natural beauty. It is an excellent book to have on your coffee table or your bookshelf.

Rating: 4.5/5

RRP: £27.99

You can buy the book here:

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