It’s a picture of paradise; chalk white sands lapped by a turquoise sea.
The image is so perfect that Thailand’s tourism chiefs used it to promote the country’s Kai Bae Beach.
There was just one problem. The photograph was taken on Berneray Island in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides.
They had mistaken the location as their own and it was only the telltale hills in the distance that gave the game away.
With beauties like this at home, it makes you wonder why we holiday abroad.
So with summer on its way, we’ve come up with five idyllic beaches to escape to, chosen from the best that Scotland has to offer.
Traigh Mhor, Barra
This breathtaking, mile-long, white shell sand beach is surrounded by a profusion of wild primroses in spring.
Stretching between the villages of Ardmhor and Eoligarry on the north tip of this idyllic island, it is arguably one of Scotland’s most captivating beaches.
But if you see an orange windsock flying down on the shore you will have to choose somewhere else to sun yourself. A plane is coming. Yep, this little piece of paradise also doubles as the island’s airport.
It lays claim to being the only beach runway on the planet to handle scheduled airline services and has been voted the world’s most spectacular landing. Loganair flights land directly on the beach at low tide.
There are usually two flights from Glasgow per day from Monday to Saturday and one on Sundays. And you can watch them from the café in the little terminal building while enjoying a meal and a drink. A little bird tells us the delicious seafood served therein is plucked straight from the beach in front of you.
CalMac ferries also run to the island from Oban. This spectacular crossing usually takes just under five hours.
Sands of Morar, West Highlands
Deserted, starched-white sands, an aquamarine sea and endless skies; it’s mindboggling to think that from this pristine beach the next landfall is America. But that’s what you get when you bury your toes in the Morar sand – the sense of being miles from anywhere.
Featured in the cult film Local Hero, it’s also one of the best Scottish beaches for camping. There’s nothing better than lighting a fire and settling down to watch a spectacular sunset.
And it’s a great place for trips to the picturesque isles of Eigg, Rum and Muck.
You’ll need a car or camper van to reach Morar, about 40 miles from Fort William.
Port Ban, Iona
All of the beautiful beaches on this pretty little island can be reached on foot. But our favourite is Port Ban. And getting there is pure joy.
A stroll through the Machair takes you to some little hidden coves with Port Ban just beyond. This tiny, sheltered bay, hugged by steep-sided cliffs, can be a suntrap on good days with hot sand and sparkling crystalline waters offering some of the warmest swims on the island.
You could almost be fooled into believing you’re in the Caribbean. And with so many bays to explore, you’ll be spoiled for choice.
CalMac operates ferries to Iona from the Isle of Mull. Visitors cannot drive their cars on this island, an idyll of tranquillity.
West Sands, St Andrews
We challenge you not to break into a run as you step on to the vast, golden sands of this iconic beach with Vangelis’s Oscar-winning Chariots Of Fire soundtrack playing in your head. The south end of this two-mile-long beach featured in the classic 1981 movie.
And we can see why. It’s glorious.
The north end is pretty special, too. It’s a mecca for kite surfers and overlooks Eden Estuary Nature Reserve, a haven for birds and seals.
West Sands lays claim to being one of the driest and sunniest places in Britain – so you’re sure to land a good day. And it has a pretty dramatic backdrop – St Andrews’ historic town centre, with its spectacular ruined castle and cathedral.
Stagecoach buses run from Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Dundee.
Calgary Bay, Mull
Heaven on earth is how we’d describe this dreamy bay in the Inner Hebrides. Here, the Atlantic ocean washes sands so white they dazzle, so take your shades.
Beyond the beach is beautiful grassland, known as Machair and designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Holidaymakers can camp in an area set back from the dunes with a public loo close by.
Calgary Bay faces west towards Coll and Tiree and is the perfect spot for watching jaw-dropping sunsets. There’s nothing better than watching that big orange orb slip from the horizon into the sea.
Mull offers the only island Munro outwith Skye, as well as a challenging section of the Stevenson Way. And a visit to Tobermory, with its pastel-painted houses, will stay with you long after you’ve left.
CalMac runs regular ferries from Oban.