The 50 Best Beaches in the World
The votes are in! According to 600 top travel professionals surveyed by FlightNetwork, these beaches all share one thing: they stand apart from all the rest. Be it the best place to kitesurf or see nesting sea turtles, these are the must-visit beaches around the globe.
Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos
Locals know it as “Provo.” Providenciales, the most developed island in Turks & Caicos, is 38 miles long and has some of the best beaches in the world, with Grace Bay consistently ranking tops. Don’t miss these under-the-radar gems found only in the Caribbean.
Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Islands, Australia
Australia has amazing surfing and diving off its shores, so it’s no surprise that Whitehaven Beach consistently tops lists of best beaches in the world. It’s a part of the Whitsunday Islands National Park and is located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. While you’re there, be sure to visit the most popular travel destinations in Australia.
Anse Lazio, Praslin, Seychelles
This honeymoon hot spot draws travelers from around the world because it’s secluded and beautiful. The Seychelles are located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, north of Madagascar and east of Zanzibar. Anse Lazio beach is nestled in the northwest of Praslin Island and boasts some of the best diving in the world.
Pink Sands Beach, Harbor Island, Bahamas
While Nassau and Paradise Island attract tons of tourists—many coming for the casinos and family-friendly hotels—Pink Sands Beach beckons those looking for a quieter, more romantic stay. There are three miles of pink, yes it’s actually pink, sands. The water is temperate and swimmable all year and the coral reef surrounding the beach serves as a protector against the Atlantic Ocean waves. Here are more of the most gorgeous pink sand beaches in the world.
Navagio Beach, Zakynthos, Greece
This beach is often referred to by its local name, Shipwreck Beach or Smugglers Cove. It’s home to a famous shipwreck, called Panagiotis, which makes it ideal for diving and snorkeling. Another reason it’s considered one of the best beaches in the world: Since it’s an exposed cove, it gets gentle balmy winds. If you’re thinking of visiting Navagio Beach, you’ll need to book an excursion in order to get there.
Baia Dos Porcos, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
It’s a hike to get there, but this beach is well worth it to see the rock formations. Fernando de Noronha is an archipelago in Brazil, South America, and its beauty has been recognized by UNESCO, which named it a world heritage site.
Playa Paraiso, Tulum, Mexico
This beautiful Mexican beach is located in Tulum. Playa Paraiso ranks as one of the best beaches in the world because of the Mayan ruins located right on the beach. While you are in this region, maybe stay in a Riviera, or head to nearby Coba, which boasts the tallest climbable Mayan ruins in all of Mexico.
Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay, Australia
This sleepy seaside town is home to a population of fewer than 200 people. Located in New South Wales, this beach is covered in some of the whitest sand in the world. It’s also great for dolphin and seal spotting, so bring some beach binoculars.
Hidden Beach, Marietas Islands, Mexico
The real name is Playa del Amor, but everyone calls it Hidden Beach. Located in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, the beach is one of the draws to the Marieta Islands. It’s very photogenic with the blue waters of the Pacific and a wall of rocks protecting the beach. Don’t miss more of the must-see spots on Mexico’s Pacific coast.
Trunk Bay, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Part of the Virgin Islands National Park, one of the most popular activities is snorkeling the 225-yard-long underwater trail of reefs. It’s a good spot to try your hand at underwater photography, as there are plenty of colorful fish and reef.
Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi Ley, Thailand
This beach was made popular by the book The Beach by Alex Garland (and turned into a movie of the same name that starred Leonardo Di Caprio). The beach is gorgeous and attracts many tourists; get here early to beat the crowds. It’s located in the Phi Phi archipelago, in the Strait of Malacca in Thailand.
Pig Beach, Big Major Cay, Bahamas
This beach attracts tourists from around the world because it’s populated by a group of feral pigs. The unique wildlife of Pig Beach makes it one of the best beaches in the world, though human visitors may not be best for the pigs’ habitat. The island is located in Exuma, in the Bahamas and is uninhabited (outside the pigs, that is).
Blue Lagoon, Yasawa Islands, Fiji
Made famous by the 1980s Brooke Shields movie of the same name, the Blue Lagoon is a great place for snorkeling and diving. Stay at the Yasawa Island Resort an all-inclusive property which includes, food, drinks, hikes, paddle board, snorkeling and a trip to the famous blue lagoon caves.
El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
El Nido beach is located on the island of Palawan and has some of the best coral reefs in the Bacuit archipelago, a group of islands known for their photogenic steep cliffs. Not only is the beach amazing, but it boasts world-class fishing and underwater caverns that are great for diving.
Muri Beach Rarotonga Cook Islands
Pacific Resort Rarotonga sits on a beautiful stretch of Muri Beach and it’s one of the best places on the island to get active in the water with kayaking, paddle boarding, and snorkeling. The resort even has its own glass-bottom boat for lagoon cruises.
Saltwhistle Bay, Mayreau, St. Vincent & Grenadines
This beach is considered one of the best beaches in the world and one of the most beautiful in the Caribbean. A good way to see another great spot on the island is to pack some trail mix and hike from Mayreau’s Saltwhistle Bay to Saline Bay; along the way, you’ll be rewarded with amazing views of the Tobago Cays.
Half Moon Bay, Antigua
Antigua is chock-full of stunning beaches, including this one. A luxe, yet family-friendly resort, Blue Waters Resort will make your stay everything you dreamed of.
Lucky Bay, Western Australia, Australia
Lucky Bay is rated one of the top beaches because with zero waves, the swimming is near to perfection, plus it has beautiful white sand and clear water. Located in Western Australia’s most idyllic national park this is also a great place for adventurous people—there’s plenty of hiking and camping to be had. Find out about more of the 10 most extreme travel adventures in the world.
Flamenco Beach, Culebra, Puerto Rico
This public beach is located in a horseshoe-shaped bay and borders the Culebra National Wildlife Refuge, one of the oldest wildlife preserves in the United States. If you take a boat excursion out to this beach, you can see plenty of beautiful Caribbean aquatic life, including parrotfish, blue tang, and wrasse.
Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland
What makes this spot so unique is that it’s a volcanic beach, with black sand, lava formations, towering cliffs and, of course, amazing views. Iceland is one of the most expensive countries in the world for tourists, so be sure to know how much money to pack with you.
Ile Aux Cerfs, Mauritius
Île aux Cerfs is a privately owned island, located near the Trou d’Eau Douce in the largest lagoon of Mauritius. Make sure to eat at one of the many beach restaurants and then spend the day snorkeling, diving and lounging on the pristine beach. Enjoy your privacy? Don’t miss these 30 other secret island escapes around the world.
Fulhadhoo Beach Maldives
Located on the Baa Atoll in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the island is long and skinny and the soft breezes mean mosquitoes are kept at bay. Plus, there’s amazing surf and sand. Unfortunately, the Maldives is on the list of islands that may disappear in the next 80 years.
Vaeroy, Lofoten, Norway
The beaches located on the island of Vaeroy, which is part of the Lofoten Islands, has warm waters even though it’s located within the Arctic Circle (the warm waters are due to the Gulf Stream). Beautiful warm beach located in the Arctic? What’s not to love.
Cayo Coco, Cuba
Cayo Coco is a beach located on an island by the same name, nestled in the Jardines del Rey chain, off central Cuba. There are plenty of all-inclusive resorts nearby such as the Melia Cayo Coco, and people come from all over the world to see the native colony of pink flamingos.
Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman
Consistently making the list of the world’s top beaches, this crescent coral-sand beach is located on the western end of Grand Cayman island in the Caribbean. There are plenty of high-end hotels, including the Ritz-Carlton and restaurants nearby.
Anse Source d’Argent, La Digue, Seychelles
This one of the most photographed beaches in the world and the reason many honeymooners come to the Seychelles. La Digue is the third largest inhabited island in the Seychelles.
Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda
Andrew F. Kazmierski/Shutterstock
Located in Bermuda’s south coast, in the parish of Southampton, this pink-sand beach has limestone rocks along its boundary line. You can see a number of colorful aquatic species when you snorkel including parrot and angel fish.
Honokalani Beach, Hawaii
Located in Maui, this famous black sand beach is located in Waianapanapa State Park, which is a short drive from the town of Hana (the famous Road to Hana highway). Not only is the beach beautiful, but this is considered a sacred place according to Hawaiian legends. Find out 20 more reasons Maui is often considered the best Hawaiian island.
Turquoise Bay, Australia
Consider one of Australia’s best beaches, this bay is near the town of Exmouth in Western Australia, near the Ningaloo Reef. A popular activity here is drift snorkeling—swimming out to the reef on the southern part of the beach and letting the current gently pull you back to the sand bar in the north. More than 500 species of fish can be found here.
Elafonissi Beach, Crete, Greece
Elafonisi beach, which is located on the southwestern side of Crete. This Mediterranean beauty has pink sand beaches and some of the best snorkeling in Greece because the island is protected by a nature reserve. It’s a popular honeymoon spot. Discover 12 European islands that are almost secret.
Champagne Beach, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu
Located in the South Pacific, this island beach is a big hit in part because the water is shallow and calm, not to mention crystal clear. Many people stay in the nearby town of Luganville and drive over to the beach, taking in the scenes of coconut plantations, cows, and small villages. Find out 10 more beaches with the clearest water in the world.
Tunnels Beach, Kauai, Hawaii
This crescent-shaped bay is surrounded by palm and ironwood trees and the jungle and mountains serve as a beautiful backdrop. Due to the winds, kite surfing and windsurfing are popular activities here. Stock up on Hawaiian shirts, and get yourself to Tunnels beach.
Kaputas Beach, Turkey
Located in southwestern Turkey on a beautiful road between Kalkan and Kas, the beach at Kaputas can be found by descending a long flight of steps down from the main road (the beach is formed by a gorge that opens out into a stretch of sand). It’s amazing and remote.
Dhigurah Island, Maldives
Dhigurah Island is located on the Alif Dhaal Atoll in the Maldives. This is one of the best places in the world to go snorkeling or diving with the whale shares (they can be found here all year long).
Ile aux Nattes, Madagascar
POZZO DI BORGO Thomas/Shutterstock
Île aux Nattes is a small island south of Île Sainte-Marie, off the east coast of Madagascar. There are plenty of luxury hotels nearby for a high-end getaway.
Cala Goloroitze, Sardinia, Italy
Cala Goloritzé is a beach that is located in the town of Baunei, in the southern part of the Gulf of Orosei, in Ogliastra, Sardinia. It’s famous for its high pinnacle above the cove, the natural arch over the bay, and the fact that the beach is made up of small white pebbles and sand.
Los Roques, Venezuela
Found in Los Roques National Park, this beach is on an archipelago located north of the capital Caracas in the heart of the Caribbean Sea. It’s a protected area and known for sailing.
Long Beach, Vancouver Island, Canada
This popular surfing destination is also the largest and longest beach in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, located in Vancouver Island, British Columbia. While the beach is very pretty, it also has strong rip currents, so a picnic on the sand might be a better plan than swimming during high tide. Never surfed before? It’s never too late to begin.
Grand Anse Beach, Grenada
Grenada boasts 45 beaches, so this one has a lot of competition. Spanning two miles along the southwest coastline, this beach is picturesque with colorful fishing boats dotting the water.
Boulders Beach, Cape Peninsula, South Africa
This area is known for its penguin colony (it’s nearly 3,000 birds strong); the African penguins draw visitors from all over the continent and world. The beach itself is situated between two granite boulders, hence its name. Boulders Beach forms part of the Table Mountain National Park.
Lanikai Beach, Hawaii
Located in Oahu, Hawaii, this half-mile beach is stunning. Plus, due to its position on the east side of the island, Lanikai is considered one of the best places to watch the moonrise over the Mokuluas, especially during the full moon.
Cala Mitjana, Menorca, Spain
This popular beach (it attracts plenty of tourists in the summer) is located on Menorca’s southern coast. The closest parking lot is a 20-minute walk, so make sure you have all your beach necessities before heading out. It’s picturesque, surrounded by small pine trees.
Shoal Bay Beach, Anguilla
The island of Anguilla has some of the best beaches in the world with over 30 beaches, but this one draws a majority of the crowds. This is a popular spot for parasailing and paddleboarding.
One Foot Island, Aitutaki, Cook Islands
You can get your passport stamped at the charming post office on One Foot Island, a boat ride away from Aitutaki in the Cook Islands. The best way to get a feel for the island is to take a catamaran tour around it and have a picnic lunch on the beautiful sandy beaches.
Ao Nang Beach, Krabi, Thailand
Ao Nang is Krabi’s vibrant tourist center and in addition to its amazing beach with sugar soft sand and sparkling clear water, there are plenty of nearby resorts, restaurants, and shops. This region is a big tourist draw in Thailand.
Radhanagar Beach, Havelock Island, India
One of the top beaches in Asia, Radhanagar Beach, situated between Vijaynagar Beach and Dolphin Yatri Niwas, offers the perfect combination of sun and shade. With lush trees that line one side of the beach, this is a great spot for families looking for some shade for the little ones. These are the best beaches to visit with your family this summer.
Eagle Beach, Aruba
Eagle Beach is famous for its Fofoti trees, nesting sea turtles, and a plethora of water sports—kayaking, paddleboard, snorkeling, and windsurfing.
Agiba Beach, Egypt
Agiba means “miracle” in Arabic, and many people believe this to be one of the best beaches in the world, with its location on the Mediterranean Sea. The beach has fine, white sand and turquoise waters.
Diani Beach Kenya, Africa
This African beach is not only a lovely spot (think sand meets forest), but there are lots of places to visit nearby, like the beautiful coral mosques with their archways that overlook the ocean and the monkey sanctuary. Don’t miss these other 10 travel destinations that are getting more popular by the minute.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Cannon Beach, located in northwest Oregon, is a lovely beach that is known for attracting a specific bird: the puffin. Haystack Rock, jutting out into the ocean, is a haven for the tufted species, making this beautiful attraction one of the best beaches in the world. Make sure to take a walk in Ecola State Park to get views of the lighthouse and visit the sea caves in nearby Hug Point. Don’t miss these other amazing beaches to add to your bucket list.