Whether they’re blessed with blindingly bright white sands or located in the most idyllic setting imaginable; the world is truly home to a staggering array of beautiful beaches, each more breathtaking than the last. While some of them are to be found at the heart of world-famous cities, others are nestled away on tropical islands or tucked away deep inside national parks.
Whether they are backed by impressive rock formations, rugged cliffs, or gently swaying palm trees, these beautiful beaches really need to be seen to be believed.
10. Navagio Beach[SEE MAP]
Backed by dazzling white limestone cliffs that loom over its sandy shores, Navagio Beach, and the sparkling turquoise waters that border it certainly paint a pretty picture. Located on the Ionian Island of Zakynthos, the gorgeous beach regularly features in travel magazines and is one of the most beautiful natural settings in the whole of Greece.
Despite being nicknamed ‘Shipwreck Beach,’ due to the rusty remains of a shipwreck that lies upon its sands, Navagio Beach is ironically only accessible by boat. Skimming across the sparkling waters towards the secluded cove is an unforgettable experience; the scenery gets better and better as you approach.
9. The Baths[SEE MAP]
The Baths are situated at the southern tip of Virgin Gorda, the third largest island of the British Virgin Islands. Huge granite boulders lie in piles on the beach, forming spectacular tunnels and grottoes that are open to the sea and flood at high tide. The sandy beaches are lined with tropical palms, adding to the dramatic effect.
8. Tapuaetai[SEE MAP]
Tapuaetai (One Foot Island) is a small islet in the Aitutaki atoll of the Cook Islands. It offers the visitor some great views of the Aitutaki lagoon and depending on the tide one is able to walk on a sandbank a decent distance away from Tapuaetai. The beach was awarded “Australasia’s Leading Beach” at the World Travel Awards held in Sydney in June 2008.
7. Zlatni Rat[SEE MAP]
Nicknamed the ‘Golden Horn,’ Zlatni Rat juts into the Adriatic and changes shape and length depending on the current, tide, and wind. Located on the south coast of the Island of Brac, the white pebble beach can be found just a short distance away from the peaceful harbor town of Bol.
Regularly featured on the front of travel magazines around the globe, Zlatni Rat is one of Croatia’s most popular tourist destinations due to its magnificent scenery and sparkling turquoise waters. In 2009, it was named as one of the top ten best beaches in the world by Lonely Planet.
6. Oludeniz[SEE MAP]
Tucked away on the delightfully named Turquoise Coast of southwestern Turkey, Oludeniz is an increasingly popular beach to visit as word spreads about its considerable charms. Meaning ‘dead sea,’ Oludeniz boasts some fantastic snorkeling and scuba diving due to its calm crystal clear waters and amazing marine life.
While its long sandy beach is perfect for relaxing on, the gorgeous scenery all around it certainly warrants exploring. Ringed by beautiful mountains, the dazzling ‘Blue Lagoon’ for which Oludeniz is famed is a must-visit, while many people go paragliding to enjoy the view of the beach from above.
5. Trunk Bay[SEE MAP]
Trunk Bay is a National Park beach on St. John in the United States Virgin Islands. Rated as one the world’s most beautiful beaches by the National Geographic Society it attracts hordes of cruise ship passengers. Amenities on the beach include a snack bar, showers and restrooms, a lifeguard, and, most famously, an underwater trail for snorkeling its coral reef.
4. Maya Bay[SEE MAP]
Since having shot to fame in the 1999 film The Beach, Maya Bay in Thailand has been one of the most sought after beaches in the world. Such was its popularity, however, that Thai authorities had to shut the beach in 2018 and limit the number of visitors to 2,000 a day to help protect and preserve the environment.
Surrounded and sheltered by towering limestone cliffs, Maya Bay’s white sand beach and inviting waters make for one of the most stunning settings imaginable. Located on the island of Ko Phi Phi Le, which lies in the Andaman Sea, Maya Bay is a treat to visit. Visitors can enjoy kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving around the bay.
3. Whitehaven Beach[SEE MAP]
Whitehaven Beach in Queensland, Australia, regularly features among the most attractive beaches in the world, and it is easy to see why. Boasting some of the purest sand on Earth, it stretches some seven kilometers, with brilliant turquoise waters lying alongside its secluded coves and lagoons.
Due to its remote location in the Whitsunday Islands, the beach sees relatively few visitors. You can lounge on the sand, go kayaking, or enjoy a barbecue with barely another soul in sight. Only accessible by boat, helicopter, or seaplane, Whitehaven Beach lies right at the heart of the Great Barrier Reef.
2. Tulum[SEE MAP]
Lying on Mexico’s Caribbean coastline, Tulum is not only home to one of the country’s best-preserved Mayan ruins, but one of its best beaches too. It once served as the major port of the Mayan city of Coba.
Tulum was built around 1200 AD when the Mayan civilization was already in decline and therefore lacks the elegance of some other famous sites. The tropical beach backdrop however makes this one of the most popular tourist destinations in Mexico that is a heaven for the photographer or artist.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Tulum
1. Anse Source D'Argent[SEE MAP]
While the Seychelles is famed for being an idyllic and luxurious beach destination, one name stands out from the crowd – Anse Source D’Argent. Located on La Digue island, it is one of the most photographed beaches in the world and featured in countless travel magazines.
One of the world’s top beaches, Anse Source D’Argent contains a winning combination of large granite boulders studding the coastline, coupled with pink sand beaches and coconut palms. With the warm waters of the Indian Ocean lapping at its shores, pristine and untouched nature all around you, and exotic birds flying overhead, it really does make for an island paradise like no other.