By Megan Murray
Summer is a time for escapism. And with its arrival comes all the usual thoughts of sun, sea, and sand. But where to go? There are so many beautiful places, but sometimes it takes an insider's knowledge to make a trip truly special.
Indeed, when visualising the perfect sunshine break, a travel photographer's perspective is invaluable. So, we asked three women from the creative industries to share their favourite beaches to escape to this year.
Here, Lucy Laucht, Nina Brooke and Renée Kemps describe the places that epitomise summer for them. Drawing on their experiences, they recall the sights, tastes and memories that make these destinations worth dreaming about.
Ischia, Italy – Lucy Laucht, travel photographer
'Ischia, a small island off the gulf of Naples, will be the first place on my list when I next travel. I've been fortunate enough to go to Italy for work over the past few years and, for me, it has a magic alchemy that makes all the senses sing.
'One of my favourite things about Ischia is the scent of jasmine that carries in the air. This, mixed with sun on hot skin, is heavenly. The food is also incredible - think pasta, pasta, and more pasta. I'd recommend trying the Scialatielli at La Baia, Mezzatorre.
'While you're in Italy, you should also visit Praiano, which is a little cove tucked away near Positano on the Amalfi Coast. It's smaller and less crowded, and much better for people-watching.'
Kleine Knip, Curaçao – Nina Brooke, ariel seascape artist
'My mum is from an island in the Caribbean called Curaçao and so I spent a lot of time there as a child. There's one beach that, no matter how much I travel, has always stayed incredibly special to me and stands out as being extremely beautiful. It's called Kleine Knip and has perfect crystal-clear, turquoise water. Seriously, it doesn't get more crystal-clear and turquoise than this. The sea temperature is lovely, so you can stay in it all day, and the sand is so white. You'll find lots of turtles on this beach, and I just love following them around and seeing where they go.
'Knip is a small place, but there's a big community feel. The smell is like tropical air mixed with a local snack, which is like a pasty with sweet and salty pastry wrapped around chicken and amazing spices. There's often someone serving them in the car park or on the sand under a huge straw parasol, too.
'Curaçao is a special place for me, because it inspired a lot of my early paintings. When I started painting aerial seascapes, I created them from memories and imagination. It was really fun and interactive - much more abstract. I'd take a bunch of photos on the beach, go home to England, and then transport myself back mentally.'
Schouwen-Noordstrand, Holland – Renée Kemps, travel photographer
'There's a little hidden beach on the Netherlands' North Sea island of Schouwen-Duiveland, called Schouwen-Noordstrand, which is really special in summer.
'I first went to this beach after I was born and I've been every summer since. It's a place where you can feel calm and connected to nature. Being there reminds me of summertime, salty skin, wet hair, cycling with no shoes on, picnicking, and being in the sea from sunrise until sunset. It's what I long for during the year.
'Whenever I'm there, I cycle to De Zoete Kers - a little farm shop where they sell the plumpest cherries, which have been picked straight from the trees outside. There's also a lovely tea garden called Het Kaslokaal. You can sit in the sun with a glass of wine and enjoy homemade farm-to-table food. To buy the freshest fish that's been caught the same morning, go to Proef Zeeland. I'd also recommend trying any local ice cream - it's the best.'