You won’t find flying Frisbees and cooler-toting frat boys on these tucked away blankets of sand, where the only amenities are provided by nature, and your only company may be each other. Just keep in mind, before all that intimacy tempts you into various stages of undress, that it’s always a good idea to consider local sensibilities—and laws.
PLAYA SOLEDAD, COSTALEGRE, MEXICO
This is one spot where you can pretty much get as intimate as you want without fear of jail time. The nearly two-mile-long vanilla shoreline is the private property of Las Alamandas resort, and the insane dirt road leading to it makes it likely you’ll have it to yourself. Guests who reserve Playa Soledad in advance are shuttled there via Jeep, along with two pink umbrellas, a picnic lunch, and a walkie-talkie, for summoning a ride back; you can even request a pair of horses to be delivered in the late afternoon for a canter in the surf.
FIRST BEACH (AKA TWO RIVERS INLET), NEW BRUNSWICK, CANADA
Canada might not find its way onto many beach-lovers’ lists, but this beauty on the northern Bay of Fundy lures with some spectacular scenery. At high tide, the inlet looks like a vast lake, with a pine-scented curve of beach that catches the afternoon sun. At low tide, the lake vanishes, replaced by marsh grasses and mud flats, fossil-pocked rock formations, and plenty of wildlife—blue herons, bald eagles, and the occasional moose. Keep walking to your right and you’ll find Second Beach; beyond that lies Nude Beach.
Fortunately for the two of you, few tourists take the trouble to claim their own scoop of beach on this talcum-shored island. It’s even more surprising when you consider that you can get to it it via public transportation. Take bus route #7 to Horseshoe Bay, avoid stepping on snoozing sunbathers as you trek down to the water, then start walking to the left. At the beach’s end, wade through waist-high waves, tip-toeing around a couple of limestone outcroppings as you balance your belongings above your head. The reward: Stonehole’s scallop of pink sands, fronted by baby blue sea.
If you’re sticklers for solitude, it would be hard to beat this stunner on Fregate Island, one of the Seychelles’ poshest resorts (and the only resort on this island). Thanks to palm trees lining one side and granite formations on the other, there’s almost zero chance of being interrupted by another human; Anse Macquereau even has a Beach Occupied sign, in case some clueless wanderer doesn’t get the message. Not that you’ll find many wanderers; the 17th-century pirates who used the island as a hideout have been replaced by a handful of the world’s wealthiest serenity seekers.
Pinpointing perfect spots on Anegada is like finding smiling faces at a wedding—this “drowned island” (it’s barely above sea level) is rimmed with empty beaches as soft and white as cake flour. The island claims a population of only 200, including tourists, which means the challenge is finding a beach that actually does have another set of footprints. Drive the sandy roads to Loblolly Bay or Cow Wreck Beach when you’re feeling ambitious, but even when you don’t go farther than the little thatched umbrella in front of your rental cottage, chances are you won’t see a soul.
Here’s the thing: On an island as popular as Maui, you’re never going to be truly alone. But if you don’t mind a few fellow escapists, Eden awaits. After a two-hour drive along the notoriously curvy Hana Highway(not as bad as it sounds), you’ll scramble down a slippery cinder path that slides through an ironwood forest (worse than it sounds). Pacific rollers pound a lava rock outcropping that creates a natural swimming pool; on the shore you’ll find sea grapes and a scattering of like-minded explorers—some unclothed—reclining on the rust-red ash from a long-ago volcano.
Something like 200 islets—here, called motus—dot Bora Bora’s lagoon, and almost as many tour agencies offer private excursions to them. It’s worth the splurge, because, for at least a few hours, you can literally command your own piece of paradise. You’ll travel by motorboat, sail, or outrigger; once on “your” motu, a guide will prepare lunch (fish, mai tais), then take a nap in his boat while you snorkel, sip, and lounge under a palm tree. Tip from one who’s been there: Before closing your eyes, be sure you are not sitting directly under an overhanging coconut.