With summer just around the corner, we’ve drawn up a list of our favourite city beaches. From surf-heavy Mediterranean shores to pumping beach bars in Miami, these are the places where sand meets city – and some have sun year round.

1. Barcelona, Spain

La Barceloneta is the main beach in the Catalan capital and is backed by tapas and paella joints. A 10-minute stroll along the shore and you hit the glitzy marina of Port Olimpic. To avoid the glitterati, grab some cold cervezas and sit on the beach watching the super-yachts float by.

2. Cape Town, South Africa

Blessed with miles of coastline, each of Cape Town’s beaches are distinct in character. The surfers’ corner at Muizenberg, or “Muizies” as it’s known to locals, is a beautiful spot on the shore of the Cape Peninsula. For penguin watching, Boulders Beach is the place, while the best whale-sighting spots are at False Bay, Hermanus and Cape Agulhus. If you prefer the comfort of a beach club over a jet ski or surfboard, head to Glen Beach; a wind-protected stretch with the backdrop of Table Mountain.

3. Lisbon, Portugal

Portugal’s hilly capital boasts a string of Atlantic beaches. For a combination of history and ocean-side glamour head to the town of Belém and visit the iconic 16th-century Torre de Belém – a symbol of trade and nod to Portugal’s seafaring past. For beaches, Portinho da Arrábidais is the winner. Mirroring the crystal waters of the Algarve coast, it is easily accessible from the city. Nearby Sesimbra offers two beaches which don’t require descending down a sharp cliff face to reach.

4. South Beach, Florida

South Beach may not be a secluded idyll but in a city buzzing with nightclubs, Latin dance halls and seductive cocktail lounges, the beach does offer relative respite. The heart of the beach runs from fifth to 15th street along Ocean Drive and is filled with a patchwork of sun loungers, luxury hotels and buzzy bars. If the micro-bikinis and tanning oil become too much, the trails along Key Biscayne offer a quick escape.

5. Tel Aviv, Israel

A city as famed for its nightlife as its beaches, watch as tiny souks turn into shisha bars as soon as the sun falls. For a combination of partying and chilling, Jerusalem beach – known as the “matkot” beach – is popular among both locals and tourists. Alternatively, head to Ha’Maravi to hawk over both the sunset and the surfers…

6. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Gravitate towards these shores if a side of samba on the waters edge is what you’re after. The iconic Copacabana beach – a four kilometre stretch of flaxen sand – is still a prime spot for long walks, competitive volleyball matches and caipirinha sundowners. It’s sister beach, Ipanema, is generally filled with scantily clad playboys, favela kids playing soccer and tanned bodies soaking up the rays. The city itself is just as vivacious as the beach scenes.

7. Santa Monica, California

Fringing Los Angeles, the beaches of Santa Monica, Venice and Malibu are perhaps LA’s most notorious stars. In the creatuve district of Venice, skaters mix with eccentric bladers heading down the board walk, stubby in hand. On Santa Monica’s world-famous pier, you’ll catch a health-conscious crew probably watching the sunset with a poké bowl. Just north of the city, Malibu offers a quieter alternative to LA’s city beaches. When you’re sick of the sand, the arts district is full of thrift stores, yuppie coffeehouses and art galleries.

8. Vancouver, British Columbia

With waters full of orcas and sea lions alongside world-class hiking, Vancouver has natural beauty in spades. Stanley Park Seawall, an 8.8km trail downtown, is the city’s best outdoor spot with thick forest canopy on one side and mountains on the other. In the blistering heat, Kits Beach pulses with locals and tourists alike, while Savary Island on the northern Sunshine Coast has been deemed a laid-back “Hawaii of the north”.

9. Honolulu, Hawaii

Renowned Waikiki beach is a neighbourhood where former surf heroes bypass designer stores and cocktail bars on Kalakuaua Avenue in pursuit of the perfect wave. The guidebook crowds are often hard to bear here, however, so head to the island’s north shore to the Malaekahana State Recreation Area – a long stretch of relatively secluded white sand. In summer when the waves are small, this magical spot surrounded by tropical woodland is unbeatable. Alternatively, Ke Iki beach, home to bohemian beachfront bungalows and cafés offering açaí bowls, is a figurative surfers paradise.

10. Sydney, Australia

Whether you’ve got two days or two months, the seductive shores of Sydney never get tiresome. Packed with attractive bronzed locals, Bondi is the undisputed beach hub of the city. Reliable waves draw surfers year-round, alongside health-conscious yogis sipping iced matcha lattes or backpackers trekking the Coogee Coastal Walk. The creamy sands often draw huge crowds, so for more seclusion than socialising, Wattamolla Beach along the Royal Coastal Walk offers a more isolated space.

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