Ah, the humble beach holiday: that all-too ephemeral getaway you manage to bag once or twice a year if you're lucky. The one where you lie around doing absolutely nothing but sweating, swimming, chilling and (if you're anything like us) constantly re-applying SPF50 sun tan lotion. It's up there alongside the city break for the favourite type of holiday in the good books of travelling Brits, but that doesn't mean we're going to let you get away with doing it 100% conventionally.

Here at Escapism, we think travel is about more than just hopping off the flight and plonking yourself on the nearest sun lounger. And that's why we've pulled together some of the finest beach breaks in the world right now, for your sun-soaked delight.

From lesser-known haunts on America's west coast, to secluded islands in southern Japan, we've got you covered for all types of beach holiday, but that doesn't mean we're not prone to sharing the odd classic, too. Whether it's the famous UK beach resort you should be visiting this summer, or the specific inch of Greek beach you should be laying down your towel, we've got your more than covered. Just make sure you remember that factor-50.

Looking for some winter sun? Try these places for size, instead.