2014 is fast approaching and what better way to bring in the New Year than plan an amazing trip to one of the best beaches in the world for sunshine, sand and seclusion?

1. El Matador Beach, Malibu

Just off the East Pacific Coast Highway you will find the tranquil El Matador Beach which is just North of the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles and five miles away from Malibu; this beach is the perfect place to take time out from the city. Unique rock formations, beautiful sunsets and magnificent cliff top homes make El Matador Beach the perfect place to explore and enjoy some sunshine and relaxation. Although there are no facilities, Malibu is a short drive away so stock up on a picnic and enjoy the beautiful views across the bay.

2. Meelup Beach, Dunsborough, Western Australia

It's hard to avoid the numerous beautiful beaches which pepper the cost of Western Australia but if it's seclusion, sunshine and clear waters you're after then Meelup Beach is hard to beat. The beach is shouldered at each end of the small bay with rocks which are home to schools of fish and the area's famous blue swimmer crabs, a local delicacy, making it the perfect place for a spot of snorkelling. There aren't many facilities at this beach but there is a toilet block with showers and picnic benches are nestled among the gum trees on the grassy foreshore. You might even see kangaroos and kookaburras as this area is renowned for its wildlife.

3. Holbox Island, Mexico

Holbox Island is a tropical paradise well-known for its seclusion, even though it's just three hours North West from Mexico's prime party location Cancun. The island is just 26 miles long and golf carts and mopeds are the main means of transportation to explore the island, meaning the island's wildlife such as pink flamingos can thrive. Situated in the Caribbean Sea, the island is surrounded by a beautiful beach with soft white sand. The pace of life is very slow so Holbox Island beaches offer the perfect excuse to relax and enjoy drinks and local food from one of the many sun bleached wooden restaurants.

4. Phra Nang Beach, Ao Nang, Thailand

Phra Nang beach by kallerna

Phra Nang beach by kallerna

The breath-taking Phra Nang Beach is just a 20 minute boat ride away from the resort town of Ao Nang in the province of Krabi. The Krabi region is known for its stunning scenery thanks to the limestone hills and outcrops which give the landscape a dramatic look and which make Phra Nang Beach so unique. The beach is everything you would expect from a paradise location – white sand, clear water and lush vegetation on the shore. Boat vendors sell local food and drinks including shakes and beers for a pick-me-up. This beach is a real winner for anyone wanting to really get away from it all as the facilities are scarce but some would argue the beach is all the better for it. Don't forget to pack a picnic and take a cover-up with you such as a kaftan as temperatures can soar to 36⁰ in March and April and there's unlikely to be any shade on the boat to and from the island.

5. Singing Beach, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts

Singing Beach is a hidden gem on the North East coast of the USA and is ideal for anyone who likes to mix a visit to the beach with a bit of culture. This area captures the charm of New England beautifully and the walk to the beach down the aptly named Beach Street, takes in palatial wooden homes and leafy gardens which are synonymous with this area and which look like they could be straight out of a movie. The beach itself is spacious and clean and is the ideal place to walk along the seashore and collect shells as the beach is so long. You can watch the sunset across the bay in beautiful, peaceful surrounding.

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