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Forget the Maldives and the Seychelles. In this list I pick 5 beach destinations for 2017 that you’ve never thought of visiting. Let me inspire you into doing something different for 2017.

1. Zanzibar

This beautiful island is often left off “top 10” lists as it has yet to become a mainstream destination and yet the beaches and reefs here match and even beat many beaches in the Maldives. The Park Hyatt Zanzibar is a great starting point for exploring this island, but for a true bare foot paradise experience, you should try the exclusive Diamonds Star of the East, a luxury sanctuary set on the north-western tip of Zanzibar.

2. Nicaragua

This up and coming destination offers miles and miles and miles of unspoilt beaches. Hacienda & Ecolodge Morgan’s Rock is located on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua, on the edge of a 4,000 acre expanse of Nicaraguan jungle and on the shores of the most perfect beach. At this kind of unique resort you will experience the best of jungle wildlife as well as an expanse of beach which is hard to beat.

3. Croatia

You have to pick your resort or island carefully if you want to get a good beach in Croatia, there are many picture perfect islands but the beaches themselves can be small and rocky. A great option here is to hop on a yacht and to sail around the coastline. Then you have your pick of the bays and beaches in this region.

4. Tuveuni

The South Pacific is well known for its amazing beaches but have you ever heard of Tuveuni? I am always a champion of luxury boutique hotels that are hidden away and difficult to get to, over a big chain hotels. The recently built Tides Reach Resort, is just a few steps from the Pacific Ocean and offers the perfect boutique experience in paradise. For something completely top of the range, The Brando is also worth a peek.

5. Japan

The Japanese don’t shout about their beaches, but if you know where to look, you’ll find semi-tropical beaches of pristine white sand, with water as clear as any beach in the Maldives. Yonehara Beach, only 75 miles off the coast of Taiwan, has its own language. English is rarely spoken here and few visitors to Japan make it this far out, despite a direct flight from Tokyo.

The volcanic coastline is interspersed with stretches of porcelain-white sand, framed by dwarf pine trees. Kariba Bay is the most well-known beach, with uninhabited jungle-covered islands mushrooming from the sea beyond. In truth you don’t go there to swim. Instead, you can marvel at the underwater corals, exploring the surrounding reefs (and their population of manta rays) by glass-bottom boat. For swimming head to Kondoi Beach on the island of Taketomi. The water here is an inviting shade of jade and meanders around the sandbanks that lie a short distance from the shore.

You may be interested in which beaches top my list as the top 5 beaches in Cambodia and my top 5 beaches in Crete.

Disclosure: Our property, service and product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own and are in no way influenced by the sponsor.