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Top 10 beach holidays for families

Sun, sea, sand — beaches are a natural holiday destination for many families where everybody, big and small, can have fun.
Image: Durban
Visitors view the fish tanks at the Shaka Marine World in Durban, South Africa.Kim Ludbrook / EPA file
/ Source: Reuters

Sun, sea, sand — beaches are a natural holiday destination for many families where everybody, big and small, can have fun.

Lonely Planet's "Travel With Children" book lists what it believes are the world's most child-friendly beaches. This list is not endorsed by Reuters.

1. Costa Del Sud, Sardinia, Italy
Although you have to drive to the beaches, the water is clean, the sand is white and there aren't too many people: Sardinian beaches are far better than many on the Italian mainland.

2. Cottesloe, Australia
Just north of Fremantle and west of Perth in Western Australia, Cottesloe has a beautifully safe beach for kids to swim or snorkel at, and the weather always seems to be perfect.

3. Durban, South Africa
Washed by the warm Indian Ocean, Durban's city beaches have plenty of free children's swimming pools and lots of family entertainment such as Sea World and Ushaka Marine World.

4. Karon Beach, ThailandFamily-friendly Karon, with its Flintstone-themed fun park, is a great base for exploring Phuket's beaches and reserves, including Phuket Gibbon Rehabilitation Center.

5. Kauai, HawaiiHome to plenty of beaches where children can snorkel in very shallow waters and an excellent Children's Discovery Museum.

6. Aitutaki, Cook Islands
Soft sand beaches edge a turquoise lagoon filled with tropical fish. Kayaking, snorkeling and boat cruises are also part of the picture.

7. Noosa, AustraliaRecommended by lots of parents at Lonely Planet's head office as a wonderful place to take the kids. Great beaches, beautiful natural environment (Noosa National Park) and very child-friendly.

8. Tavira, Portugal
At the eastern end of the Portuguese south coast, this quiet town has a magnificent untamed beach that goes on for miles. And, best of all, you take a boat to get to the beach.

9. Sayulita, MexicoA safe, laid-back beach town full of hip North American and European families where you and the kids get "back to basics." Every evening both local and gringo kids congregate in the town square to eat ice cream and play games.

10. Sanur, Bali, IndonesiaA quiet little town close to the "happening" area of Bali with a great little collection of warungs (outdoor restaurants) lining the beach at both ends; full of friendly local people.