Where to find the best beaches in the world – Stuff.co.nz

Yasawa Island, Fiji, is secluded and romantic.

Yasawa Island, Fiji, is secluded and romantic.

Sun, sand, sea. It’s a combination that never goes out of fashion, and one that can be dressed up or down to suit your mood.

Ready to take it slow? A deserted beach, where waves gently wash the shore while the wind whispers through the palm fronds, fits the bill. Looking for something a bit more lively? Then head for a stretch of sand where beach bars dish up tropical cocktails to the accompaniment of a reggae soundtrack.

But how do you find a beach that fits the bill? We turned to 10 experts, asking hotel and resort professionals who work right next door to some of the planet’s most celebrated beaches as well as experts for whom the beach plays an integral part of the working lives, to provide their picks. Their choices are surprisingly diverse – ranging from Rio to the Red Sea, Spain to Hawaii – and offer plenty of holiday inspiration.

Just don’t forget to pack the sunscreen.

BEST BEACH FOR A ROMANTIC GETAWAY
Yasawa Island, Fiji

Yasawa Island.

Yasawa Island.

“Relocating to the Fiji Islands last year gave my wife and I the opportunity to explore its 333 islands.  From the main island of Viti Levu, many outer island beaches are within easy reach by boat, seaplane or helicopter. We found one of the most secluded and breathtaking beaches on Yasawa Island. We arrived with picnic and books in hand to find not a single man-made noise, just the gentle lapping of waves and palm fronds in the breeze.” Martin Rogers

Read more:
* Stunning country no one visits

BEST BEACH FOR NATURE-LOVERS
Caves Beach, New South Wales

My family have gone to Caves Beach, near Lake Macquarie in NSW, for holidays for years. It’s like a second home and I love to stay there when I have time off and just relax. The beach is named after all the caves on the coastline and at low tide you are able to walk through and explore all the caves. Phoebe O

BEST BEACH FOR SUNSETS 
Arpoador, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Hundreds of people watching the sunset in Arpoador Stone.

Hundreds of people watching the sunset in Arpoador Stone.

“Arpoador in Rio is one of the first beaches I ever put my feet on as a young child. What I like is the different “tribes” co-existing and sharing the same piece of land, from fit senior citizens practising tai-chi-chuan to a crowd of surfers patiently waiting for the perfect wave that will make their day. Summer evenings in this spot are special, featuring nocturnal swimming, jam sessions and picnics. Locals come here to wait for the sunset, and when the sun sets behind the mountain in orange skies, it’s time to applaud.” Cristina Kastrup

BEST BEACH FOR GETTING ACTIVE
Ala Mana Park Beach, O’ahu

“While living and working on Hawaii’s beautiful island of O’ahu, I’ve found that one of my all-time favourite beaches to visit is Ala Moana Park Beach. Often frequented by locals, Ala Moana Park Beach is just a quick walk or bike ride from Prince Waikiki and offers everything that I love when it comes to beaches. It’s clean, well protected by the reef making the water ideal for swimming and it’s an amazing place for a sunset stroll on the sand.” Charles Abbott

BEST BEACH FOR GETTING AWAY FROM IT ALL
Makena Beach, Maui

“Some of the best beaches in Maui are found on its south-western shores, and Makena is my favourite. It’s a long, secluded beach – I have been told it has more than 900 metres of sand – and it has huge surf and great snorkelling. I love to walk this beach and simply take in the beauty. In fact, I love it so much, I named my dog after it.” Ilse Harley

BEST AFTER-HOURS BEACH
Seminyak, Bali

Seminyak beach at dusk.

Seminyak beach at dusk.

“While you need to be a strong swimmer to brave the water, there are plenty of stylish shops, bars and restaurants that line its street. Sometimes what’s around the beach is just as important as what’s on it! For a nice dinner near Seminyak Beach or for late-night drinks, I personally enjoy Starfish Bloo or 1 Below conveniently located at the nearby W Bali.” CB

BEST BEACH FOR AN EXOTIC FAMILY HOLIDAY
Red Sea Coast, Egypt

“Egypt wouldn’t be top of mind for many people as a beach destination, but its marine and coastal environments are incredibly beautiful. On our first visit we were awestruck by the whitest of sands and crystal clear aqua water. The diving and snorkelling is among the best in the world. You only need to wade in the shallow waters to see a rainbow of coral and fish species. It inspired two of the children became certified divers.” MR

BEST BEACH FOR PEOPLE WATCHING
South Beach, Miami, US

People-watch in South Beach, Miami, Florida.

People-watch in South Beach, Miami, Florida.

“Miami’s social scene revolves around the water, and South Beach is the centre of it all. It’s worth the visit just to soak up the lively atmosphere from the bustling crowds, from rollerbladers and cyclists zooming along Ocean Drive to people plunging in for a swim. On a perfect day you can float and see straight to the bottom. But South Beach is as much about the action out of the water as in it. The art deco buildings lining Ocean Drive are home to lots of stylish bars and restaurants, which are busy all day and into the night.” Robert Lowe

BEST FOR CRYSTAL-CLEAR WATER
Vivonne Bay on Kangaroo Island, South Australia

“Vivonne Bay [on the south coast of Kangaroo Island overlooking the Southern Ocean] has natural clear water that is that a wonderful turquoise colour, and the long sandy beach curves around the bay. It’s a beautiful place.” Shane Daw

BEST BEACH FOR KEEPING IT SIMPLE
Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera, Spain

“Unlike its sister-island Ibiza, tranquillity is the name of the game in Formentera. Cars are rarely seen, people commute on bicycles and scooters. There is not a lot of tourism infrastructure, but the laid-back hippie vibe gives this beach a special place in my heart. The landscape is stunning, with velvet white sand and clear water; people are never in a hurry; and the scent of salt permeates the island. A beachside dinner of pescado al sal – salt-baked fish – is divine.” CK

BEST BEACH FOR WHITER-THAN-WHITE SAND
Lucky Bay, WA

Lucky Bay, Cape Le Grand National Park, Coral Coast, Western Australia.

Lucky Bay, Cape Le Grand National Park, Coral Coast, Western Australia.

“The sand at Lucky Bay, which is located in Cape Le Grande National Park [631 kilometres south-east of Perth] in Western Australia is the whitest in Australia and the turquoise water is crystal clear. The kangaroos on the beach also make for that picture-perfect image.” Sean Scott

TAKE ME THERE: FIVE BEACHES I WANT TO VISIT
NAVAGIO BEACH, GREECE

“I’ve actually been to Navagio Beach [Shipwreck Beach] on the coast of Zakynthos, Greece, but I would love to return. This beach can only be reached by boat as it is enclosed between large cliffs. There is a famous shipwreck you can roam around on the beach, and combined with the beach’s remoteness, its crystal-clear water and white sand, it is a spectacular experience.” Phoebe O

RAINE ISLAND, PAPUA NEW GUINEA

“Raine Island, towards the border with Papua New Guinea. It is probably the most important green turtle nesting island in the southern hemisphere, where hundreds if not thousands of green turtles nest every year. Unfortunately this turtle population is under threat from fishing nets, from pollution and from climate change.” Dermot O’Gorman

AMALFI COAST, ITALY 

Positano, Amalfi coast.

Positano, Amalfi coast.

“The beaches on the Amalfi Coast. The whole scenery there looks incredible. I do think we have the best beaches in the world but for something a bit different the Amalfi Coast appeals to me.” Sean Scott

STARFISH BEACH, PANAMA

“There are hundreds of them. I love beaches that are unspoiled, with not too many visitors. Some of the beaches in the Seychelles look amazing, but I saw a picture of Starfish Beach in Panama that makes it look magical.” Shane Daw

A REMOTE TROPICAL ISLAND

“The beach I’d most love to visit is any beach on any remote tropical island. There’s absolutely nothing better than being able to lie on soft white sand in the middle of nowhere, or sit in the line-up and have all the waves to yourself and your friends. It doesn’t get any more perfect.” Nikki Van Dijk

WHAT MAKES A GREAT BEACH?

“When we are on holiday with our children and grandchildren, it’s never-ending white sand, crystal waters and the buzz of happy beach goers. When my wife and I are travelling alone, it’s a small, secluded bay, rock pools or reef to snorkel and only the sounds of nature.” Martin Rogers

WHAT MAKES A GREAT BEACH?

“The best beaches are those that are clean, relaxing, peaceful and a great place to walk.” Charles Abbott

WHAT MAKES A GREAT BEACH?

“Somewhere that invites you to sit back and relax. Ideally, with white sands and clear blue water and palm trees that offer shade.” Robert Lowe

WHAT MAKES A GREAT BEACH?

“The landscape obviously plays a big part – fine white sand, clean and clear water, the surrounding nature. However, intangible features such as the atmosphere, the crowd, the vibe, are what really makes a great beach.” Cristiana Kastrup

WHAT MAKES A GREAT BEACH?

“Soft sand, beautiful blue waters, and beautiful views.” Ilse Harley

Traveller.com.au

Where to find the best beaches in the world | Stuff.co.nz – Stuff.co.nz

Yasawa Island, Fiji, is secluded and romantic.

Yasawa Island, Fiji, is secluded and romantic.

Sun, sand, sea. It’s a combination that never goes out of fashion, and one that can be dressed up or down to suit your mood.

Ready to take it slow? A deserted beach, where waves gently wash the shore while the wind whispers through the palm fronds, fits the bill. Looking for something a bit more lively? Then head for a stretch of sand where beach bars dish up tropical cocktails to the accompaniment of a reggae soundtrack.

But how do you find a beach that fits the bill? We turned to 10 experts, asking hotel and resort professionals who work right next door to some of the planet’s most celebrated beaches as well as experts for whom the beach plays an integral part of the working lives, to provide their picks. Their choices are surprisingly diverse – ranging from Rio to the Red Sea, Spain to Hawaii – and offer plenty of holiday inspiration.

Just don’t forget to pack the sunscreen.

BEST BEACH FOR A ROMANTIC GETAWAY
Yasawa Island, Fiji

Yasawa Island.

Yasawa Island.

“Relocating to the Fiji Islands last year gave my wife and I the opportunity to explore its 333 islands.  From the main island of Viti Levu, many outer island beaches are within easy reach by boat, seaplane or helicopter. We found one of the most secluded and breathtaking beaches on Yasawa Island. We arrived with picnic and books in hand to find not a single man-made noise, just the gentle lapping of waves and palm fronds in the breeze.” Martin Rogers

Read more:
* Stunning country no one visits

BEST BEACH FOR NATURE-LOVERS
Caves Beach, New South Wales

My family have gone to Caves Beach, near Lake Macquarie in NSW, for holidays for years. It’s like a second home and I love to stay there when I have time off and just relax. The beach is named after all the caves on the coastline and at low tide you are able to walk through and explore all the caves. Phoebe O

BEST BEACH FOR SUNSETS 
Arpoador, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Hundreds of people watching the sunset in Arpoador Stone.

Hundreds of people watching the sunset in Arpoador Stone.

“Arpoador in Rio is one of the first beaches I ever put my feet on as a young child. What I like is the different “tribes” co-existing and sharing the same piece of land, from fit senior citizens practising tai-chi-chuan to a crowd of surfers patiently waiting for the perfect wave that will make their day. Summer evenings in this spot are special, featuring nocturnal swimming, jam sessions and picnics. Locals come here to wait for the sunset, and when the sun sets behind the mountain in orange skies, it’s time to applaud.” Cristina Kastrup

BEST BEACH FOR GETTING ACTIVE
Ala Mana Park Beach, O’ahu

“While living and working on Hawaii’s beautiful island of O’ahu, I’ve found that one of my all-time favourite beaches to visit is Ala Moana Park Beach. Often frequented by locals, Ala Moana Park Beach is just a quick walk or bike ride from Prince Waikiki and offers everything that I love when it comes to beaches. It’s clean, well protected by the reef making the water ideal for swimming and it’s an amazing place for a sunset stroll on the sand.” Charles Abbott

BEST BEACH FOR GETTING AWAY FROM IT ALL
Makena Beach, Maui

“Some of the best beaches in Maui are found on its south-western shores, and Makena is my favourite. It’s a long, secluded beach – I have been told it has more than 900 metres of sand – and it has huge surf and great snorkelling. I love to walk this beach and simply take in the beauty. In fact, I love it so much, I named my dog after it.” Ilse Harley

BEST AFTER-HOURS BEACH
Seminyak, Bali

Seminyak beach at dusk.

Seminyak beach at dusk.

“While you need to be a strong swimmer to brave the water, there are plenty of stylish shops, bars and restaurants that line its street. Sometimes what’s around the beach is just as important as what’s on it! For a nice dinner near Seminyak Beach or for late-night drinks, I personally enjoy Starfish Bloo or 1 Below conveniently located at the nearby W Bali.” CB

BEST BEACH FOR AN EXOTIC FAMILY HOLIDAY
Red Sea Coast, Egypt

“Egypt wouldn’t be top of mind for many people as a beach destination, but its marine and coastal environments are incredibly beautiful. On our first visit we were awestruck by the whitest of sands and crystal clear aqua water. The diving and snorkelling is among the best in the world. You only need to wade in the shallow waters to see a rainbow of coral and fish species. It inspired two of the children became certified divers.” MR

BEST BEACH FOR PEOPLE WATCHING
South Beach, Miami, US

People-watch in South Beach, Miami, Florida.

People-watch in South Beach, Miami, Florida.

“Miami’s social scene revolves around the water, and South Beach is the centre of it all. It’s worth the visit just to soak up the lively atmosphere from the bustling crowds, from rollerbladers and cyclists zooming along Ocean Drive to people plunging in for a swim. On a perfect day you can float and see straight to the bottom. But South Beach is as much about the action out of the water as in it. The art deco buildings lining Ocean Drive are home to lots of stylish bars and restaurants, which are busy all day and into the night.” Robert Lowe

BEST FOR CRYSTAL-CLEAR WATER
Vivonne Bay on Kangaroo Island, South Australia

“Vivonne Bay [on the south coast of Kangaroo Island overlooking the Southern Ocean] has natural clear water that is that a wonderful turquoise colour, and the long sandy beach curves around the bay. It’s a beautiful place.” Shane Daw

BEST BEACH FOR KEEPING IT SIMPLE
Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera, Spain

“Unlike its sister-island Ibiza, tranquillity is the name of the game in Formentera. Cars are rarely seen, people commute on bicycles and scooters. There is not a lot of tourism infrastructure, but the laid-back hippie vibe gives this beach a special place in my heart. The landscape is stunning, with velvet white sand and clear water; people are never in a hurry; and the scent of salt permeates the island. A beachside dinner of pescado al sal – salt-baked fish – is divine.” CK

BEST BEACH FOR WHITER-THAN-WHITE SAND
Lucky Bay, WA

Lucky Bay, Cape Le Grand National Park, Coral Coast, Western Australia.

Lucky Bay, Cape Le Grand National Park, Coral Coast, Western Australia.

“The sand at Lucky Bay, which is located in Cape Le Grande National Park [631 kilometres south-east of Perth] in Western Australia is the whitest in Australia and the turquoise water is crystal clear. The kangaroos on the beach also make for that picture-perfect image.” Sean Scott

TAKE ME THERE: FIVE BEACHES I WANT TO VISIT
NAVAGIO BEACH, GREECE

“I’ve actually been to Navagio Beach [Shipwreck Beach] on the coast of Zakynthos, Greece, but I would love to return. This beach can only be reached by boat as it is enclosed between large cliffs. There is a famous shipwreck you can roam around on the beach, and combined with the beach’s remoteness, its crystal-clear water and white sand, it is a spectacular experience.” Phoebe O

RAINE ISLAND, PAPUA NEW GUINEA

“Raine Island, towards the border with Papua New Guinea. It is probably the most important green turtle nesting island in the southern hemisphere, where hundreds if not thousands of green turtles nest every year. Unfortunately this turtle population is under threat from fishing nets, from pollution and from climate change.” Dermot O’Gorman

AMALFI COAST, ITALY 

Positano, Amalfi coast.

Positano, Amalfi coast.

“The beaches on the Amalfi Coast. The whole scenery there looks incredible. I do think we have the best beaches in the world but for something a bit different the Amalfi Coast appeals to me.” Sean Scott

STARFISH BEACH, PANAMA

“There are hundreds of them. I love beaches that are unspoiled, with not too many visitors. Some of the beaches in the Seychelles look amazing, but I saw a picture of Starfish Beach in Panama that makes it look magical.” Shane Daw

A REMOTE TROPICAL ISLAND

“The beach I’d most love to visit is any beach on any remote tropical island. There’s absolutely nothing better than being able to lie on soft white sand in the middle of nowhere, or sit in the line-up and have all the waves to yourself and your friends. It doesn’t get any more perfect.” Nikki Van Dijk

WHAT MAKES A GREAT BEACH?

“When we are on holiday with our children and grandchildren, it’s never-ending white sand, crystal waters and the buzz of happy beach goers. When my wife and I are travelling alone, it’s a small, secluded bay, rock pools or reef to snorkel and only the sounds of nature.” Martin Rogers

WHAT MAKES A GREAT BEACH?

“The best beaches are those that are clean, relaxing, peaceful and a great place to walk.” Charles Abbott

WHAT MAKES A GREAT BEACH?

“Somewhere that invites you to sit back and relax. Ideally, with white sands and clear blue water and palm trees that offer shade.” Robert Lowe

WHAT MAKES A GREAT BEACH?

“The landscape obviously plays a big part – fine white sand, clean and clear water, the surrounding nature. However, intangible features such as the atmosphere, the crowd, the vibe, are what really makes a great beach.” Cristiana Kastrup

WHAT MAKES A GREAT BEACH?

“Soft sand, beautiful blue waters, and beautiful views.” Ilse Harley

Traveller.com.au

Threat for Britons in Spain as jihadis plot ‘strike to kill’ – Ex-SAS sent in – Express.co.uk

It is not clear which tour operators are behind the operation – Thomas Cook and Thomson have both said they were not aware of the move.

Spain is seen as a prime target this summer which attracts around 12 million British tourists a year, according to security experts.

Anthony Glees, Professor of security and intelligence at Buckinghamshire University, told the Daily Star Online: “Spain is very vulnerable because the weather is lovely there, the sea is warm and the vino cheap.

Threat for Britons in Spain as jihadis plot ‘strike to kill’ – Ex-SAS sent in – Express.co.uk

It is not clear which tour operators are behind the operation – Thomas Cook and Thomson have both said they were not aware of the move.

Spain is seen as a prime target this summer which attracts around 12 million British tourists a year, according to security experts.

Anthony Glees, Professor of security and intelligence at Buckinghamshire University, told the Daily Star Online: “Spain is very vulnerable because the weather is lovely there, the sea is warm and the vino cheap.

Where The Vogue Editors Are Holidaying This Summer – Vogue.co.uk

Somerset basks in warm spring weather with temperatures higher than in Ibiza – Somerset Live

It’s been a real scorcher this afternoon, with temperatures soaring across the county.

However, while some of you have been reaching for the factor 50 and dreaming of those far-off beaches in the Costa Brava, you’re better off in sunny old Yeovil it seems.

It's one degree hotter in Yeovil than Ibiza
It’s one degree hotter in Yeovil than Ibiza
It’s one degree hotter in Yeovil than Ibiza

Yeovil is today hotter than Ibiza, with temperatures topping 24 degrees, 1 degree higher than the party island.

With Glastonbury just around the corner, let’s hope the weather keeps up to make it a truly glorious few days.

But if you are heading to the beach, bear in mind the weather can change quickly. The coastguard has warned people visiting the coast after a couple were caught in mud in foggy conditions on Wednesday.

Here’s the Met Office weather forecast

This Evening and Tonight:

Clear spells will develop overnight and it will stay dry across the region, however mist and fog may persist for a time along southern coasts. A very mild night across the board. Minimum Temperature 9 °C.

Thursday:

Another dry and warm day, with any coastal fog clearing soon after dawn. Skies will be partly cloudy in the east, but it will be largely sunny in the west. Maximum Temperature 23 °C.

Outlook for Friday to Sunday:

Dry, sunny and very warm on Friday. However, an increasing risk of heavy, thundery showers spreading slowly in from the west from Saturday morning onwards, with fresher weather following.

Bali and Ibiza are the most popular holiday destinations this year – Metro

Bali and Ibiza are the most popular holiday destinations this year
Apparently, we’re still in 2004 (Picture: Raquel Maria Carbonell Pagola/LightRocket via Getty Images)

You might think we’re all becoming wildly adventurous when it comes to holidaying abroad.

But apparently, we’ve fallen into some kind of early 2000s hole, because Ibiza and Bali are the places to be this year.

Could banning laptops and tablets on UK flights be good for us?

According to TripAdvisor, the White Isle is still our favourite short haul destination, thanks to the amazing clubs, beaches and weather.

Meanwhile more and more of us are heading out to Indonesia for a mix of relaxation and culture.

So you might want to prepare yourself for an onslaught awful people saying: ‘This one time in Bali…’.

Bali and Ibiza are the most popular holiday destinations this year
Temples, yoga and beaches – Bali’s got it all (Photo: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)

And when we’re not chomping through rice paddies, we’re holidaying at Disneyland Orlando or chasing full moon parties in Phuket.

Here are the other top holiday destinations for 2017, according to TripAdvisor:

Top 10 short-haul destinations

  1. Ibiza
  2. Crete
  3. Majorca
  4. Santorini
  5. Cyprus
  6. Malta
  7. Barcelona
  8. Benidorm
  9. Madeira
  10. Gran Canaria
Bali and Ibiza are the most popular holiday destinations this year
We still love Benidorm…even if the beaches are ridiculously rammed (Photo: David Ramos/Getty Images)

Top 10 long-haul destinations

  1. Bali
  2. Orlando
  3. Las Vegas
  4. Maldives
  5. New York
  6. Bangkok
  7. Dubai
  8. Marrakech
  9. Phuket
  10. Barbados
Bali and Ibiza are the most popular holiday destinations this year
Dubai – great for shopping, high buildings and extremely hot weather (Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images)

MORE: Loads of us are starving ourselves before we go on holiday and it’s nonsense

MORE: 35 pictures that prove Devon is the perfect summer holiday destination

Hotter than MAGALUF! UK to bake in 32C heatwave starting TOMORROW – with NO END in sight – Daily Star


“It is of the highest confidence that multiple and major heat surges will occur throughout this summer”


James Madden, forecaster for Exacta Weather

James Madden, forecaster for Exacta Weather, said: “From this week things are looking like hotting up for most of the country as an extended period of dry and warm weather develops.

“This is also likely to extend into the start of the meteorological summer and temperatures could be not far away from 30C within the coming weeks, particularly, in the south.”

He added: “Despite any unsettled periods, it is of the highest confidence that multiple and major heat surges will occur throughout this summer.”

Win flights to Ibiza with easyJet – Evening Standard

It might be the lively club scene that first springs to mind, but this beautiful Balearic island has much more to offer. Scratch beneath the surface and you’ll find yoga retreats, whitewashed towns and rolling green hills, as well as quieter sandy coves. 

If it is the clubs you want, head to Ibiza Town and San Antonio during the summer where the super-clubs play host to world-renowned DJs and famous faces. Then recover at one of the 50 or so beaches across the island or enjoy some tapas in the Old Town. 

Whether you’re a party goer, yogi, foodie or anyone else in between, Ibiza is sure to inspire you. What’s more, with near perfect year-round weather, it’s a great destination for both summer and winter breaks.

 

Terms & Conditions: Promotion closes at 23:59 on Sunday 28 May 2017. There is one prize of a pair of return, standard easyJet flights from a UK airport of the winner’s choice to Ibiza. Flights are subject to availability and blackout dates apply, including all UK Bank Holidays. The winner and their travel companion must be booked on the same flight. Flights must be booked within six months of the prize notification date, and may be booked up to one year in advance. The flights may be used four weeks after the prize notification date at the earliest. The winner and their travel companion are entitled to one piece of standard hold baggage per person each way for the flights. Accommodation and all other expenses are not included. If a winner cancels one or both of the flights, no alternative or further flights will be provided. The winner will be responsible for ensuring that they, and their travel companion, are available to travel and hold valid passports, any necessary visas and travel documents for the flights. The booking and use of the flights is subject to easyJet’s standard terms and conditions available at www.easyjet.com/en/terms-and-conditions The winner will be the first entry selected at random after the closing date and will be contacted 9 June 2017. The prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative. One online entry per person. Usual promotion rules apply, see www.standard.co.uk/rules. For further information, please write to Customer Care, Evening Standard Limited, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, London, W8 5TT. Promoter: easyJet Airline Company Limited.

<![CDATA[
*/
]]>

  • More about:
  • Easyjet
  • Competitions
  • Ibiza