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Beach cities offer the best of both worlds. Days can be spent lazing and playing in the surf, while evenings present the perfect opportunity to party and sample the diverse culinary choices you would expect from a great urban escape. Here are 5 of our favourite urban beach destinations.

Cape Town

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Separated by a mountainous ridge on the Atlantic seaboard; Cape Town sprawls on a peninsula that divides the Atlantic from the Indian Ocean, putting some 20 beaches within close proximity to one another and the city. Clifton Beaches are popular with the fashionable crowd who hang out at the high-end eateries, a great place to enjoy the dramatic views and sunsets. Sheltered from the regions strong winds by the ridge, if you are a water sport enthusiast then head further north to Milnerton and Blouberg. These beaches are also favoured by families and generally those who prefer the warmer water being fed in by the Indian Ocean.

Sydney

Bondi Beach
Australia’s beaches are synonymous with the laid back antipodean lifestyle we have all come to know and love. While the country’s centre of commerce is fringed by dozens of alcoves it is Sydney’s Bondi Beach that has come to represent the country’s favourite national pastime of good living. Stretching over one-kilometre of golden sand, crowds flocks here in their droves to lap up the world-class, sun, sea and surf, and equally impressive people watching and dolphin spotting!

Vancouver

Kits Beach, Vancouver
Vancouver can be easily overlooked as an urban beach destination but don’t be fooled. This Canadian metropolis is indeed home to at least ten beaches boasting 18 km of rustic outdoor space to eat, swim and play. The beauty of the British Columbia coastline is that it offers something for everyone from the sport centric Kitsilano or “Kits, to the family-preferred Jericho Beach all the way to the quirky Wreck Beach – where clothes are optional – Vancouver has a beach to suit everyone.

Rio de Janeiro

Copacabana BeachArguably the most famous stretch of coastline on the planet, the Copacabana and Ipanema beaches have inspired many a song. Synonymous with the party atmosphere Rio is so renowned for, the buzzing beach town stretches over 25 miles of shoreline with the famous beaches acting like book ends. The Copacabana is the place to head for that classic Brazilian experience, of skimpy swimwear and bronzed bodies a plenty. Those looking for something a bit upscale should head to Ipanema, framed by the famous Rio Skyline and peaks of Dois Irmãos.

Valencia

View of the Peniscola town Valencia, SpainValencia is home to the Orange Blossom Coast, where the Turia River meets the Mediterranean Sea. Just 15 minutes away from the centre of Valencia are the urban beaches of Las Arenas, Malvarrosa and El Cabañal. Valencia’s untamed rustic beaches lie just 10 km away from the vibrant Spanish city, preserved in their natural state and surrounded by sand dunes and pristine vegetation, best experienced at the beach of El Saler and those in the heart of the Albufera Natural Park.

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