13 Most Photogenic Beaches in the World
These jaw-dropping stretches of sand will make you want to book your next vacation pronto!
Elafonissi Beach, Crete, Greece
Once a beach secret to the locals on Crete, Elafonissi was put on the map by TripAdvisor in 2014 as one of the world’s top 25 beaches. Connected by a sandbar to an island nature reserve, it’s actually an island where you can discover little coves and plop down on pockets of sandy beach.
Stay: Libyan Princess is a 4-star mountain-view hotel surrounded by olive trees. Getting to the beach requires a mere 3-minute walk.
Eat: To avoid touristy cuisine, go to just-off-the-beaten-path Innachorion for genuine Cretan traditional flavors.
Do: If you are keen on hiking, don’t go to the beach by road from Chania, but rather go to Paleochora instead, where you can take the hiking trail to the beach, enjoying an uncrowded view of the stunning landscape from above. Locals like to keep their beaches to themselves! Check out the best secret beaches in Florida.
Ujung Genteng Beach, West Java, Indonesia
Facing the Indonesia Ocean, this breathtaking beach features white coral sands and crystal clear water. With broken corral scattered along the beach and shallow water filled with rock formations, Ujung Genteng is incredibly photogenic.
Stay: Turtle Beach Hotel is a laid-back beachfront hotel with its own private beach.
Eat: Take a day trip outside of Ujung Genteng Beach to Cikaso waterfall, where you’ll find a small restaurant called Dapur Iga featuring a cozy and casual setting.
Do: When you’re not playing in the waves, check out Green Turtle Conservatory at Pangumbahan Beach, where you can watch either green turtles lay eggs at night, or release turtle hatchlings at sunset.
Blue Lagoon, Oludeniz, Turkey
This little slice of heaven in Turkey features clear turquoise water encapsulated by lush green peaks. Meander between the two stretches of beach situated on either side of a peninsula among the Aegean and Mediterranean seas.
Stay: Montana Pine Resort is an all-inclusive posh accommodation for a luxurious getaway.
Eat: For amazing, authentic Turkish food, check out Ottoman Restaurant.
Do: Scuba divers will relish in the topnotch visibility here, discovering incredible caves and getting up close and personal with the marine life.
The Baths, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
These stunningly smooth granite boulders mysteriously made residence on the shores of the Virgin Gorda, and the result is something out of Pirates of the Caribbean. Beneath statuesque palm trees and a mountainous backdrop, it truly is one of the most photogenic beaches in the world.
Stay: Mango Bay Resort features 26 sleek villas lining a picturesque beach. The atmosphere is ideal for those looking for peace and quiet.
Eat: Check out Bath and Turtle for relaxed vibes on the water, delicious conch soup, and the sounds of local musicians performing Wednesdays and Sundays.
Do: Swim through the secluded grottos for a mystical experience, and when not at the beach hike up to the top of Virgin Gorda Peak to take in the views of the island, or scuba dive to the Wreck of the Chikuzen, the remains of a Korean refrigerator ship. Don’t miss the 13 secret gems found only in the Caribbean.
Praia da Rocha, Portimão, Portugal
Located in Portugal’s Algarve region, the beachy southernmost region of the country, Praia da Rocha offers cliffs with vast views of the sparkling turquoise Atlantic ocean.
Stay: Bela Vista Hotel & Spa is perched atop a cliff overlooking Praia da Rocha below. Breakfast on the terrace makes for a picturesque and relaxing experience you’ll look forward to each morning.
Eat: NoSoloÁgua Club is equal parts dance club, restaurant and pool party, so plan to stay here for a while!
Do: Because the beach is close to various cafés, restaurants, and bars, you won’t find a lack of opportunity to mingle with locals and tourists alike, so strike up a conversation and learn the best spot for a beer or late night dance party. These are the 12 European islands you never thought to visit, but totally should.
Hidden Beach, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
This beach used to be a secret paradise, but today it has become one of the most photogenic beaches in the world. The beach is rumored to have been created by Mexican military who were testing bombs in the early 1900s. In order to get there, you’ll have to pass through a water tunnel—how adventurous!
Stay: Puerto Vallarta is known for its beachside all-inclusive resorts. Keep it classy at Casa Velas, an adults-only 80-suite accommodation.
Eat: Gaby’s Restaurant is a tourist and local favorite that you’ll definitely be visiting more than once.
Do: Surf, swim, and explore the cobblestone center of Puerto Vallarta with its range of boutique shops, restaurants, and bars. These are the other most popular spots in Mexico that are definitely worth a visit.
Navagio, Zakynthos Island, Greece
Also referred to as Shipwreck Beach, Navagio is only accessible by boat. Tucked within sheer cliffs, its mesmerizing white sands and azure waters entice. But perhaps the most alluring aspect of all is the rusted hull of a freighter situated right in the middle of the beach!
Stay: For an affordable sea view from your bedroom, check into Iakinthos.
Eat: Situated peacefully in the garden of a hotel, Zakanthi Bar Restaurant is known for high-quality Greek cuisine and lively music.
Do: When you’re not swimming and sunning, check out the Venetian Fortress. It’s located in the place of the ancient Acropolis of the island. According to 600 top travel professionals surveyed by FlightNetwork, these are the best beaches in the world.
Sunrise Beach, Koh Lipe, Thailand
Located along the west side of Thailand’s Koh Lipe, Sunrise Beach is home to an abundance of exotic marine life swimming in the crystal clear water, making it an ideal location for snorkeling.
Stay: For large and elegantly designed rooms directly on the beach, stay at Anda Beach Resort. Set in a Thai-style building with wood cabins and thatch-roof huts, it provides a more authentic experience to the country’s aesthetic than other lodging options.
Eat: For authentic and reasonably priced dishes, seek out Nee Papaya. Here you’ll find grilled fish with fresh leafy greens and sticky rice noodles as well as plenty of vegetarian options.
Do: Because Koh Lipe is so tiny (under two miles), your best bet is to explore the island by foot. The main street is called “Walking Street,” home to many restaurants, massage parlors, and shops.
Punalu’u Beach, The Big Island, Hawaii
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While the other beaches on this list are renowned for white, pink, or yellow sand, Punalu’u Beach stands out for its black shores. The sand is made of basalt and created by lava flowing into the ocean.
Stay: Colony I at Sea Mountain in Pahala offers direct access to the beach, is 0.6 mi from Punalu’u Beach and is within 12 miles of Ka’u Coffee Mill and Wood Valley Temple.
Eat: Check out Kenichi Pacific for Japanese Pan-Asian cuisine and sushi in a contemporary yet relaxed ambiance.
Do: The beach is home to endangered green sea turtles, who choose to lay their eggs here. Ogle at the sight, snorkel in the remarkable water, camp, picnic and just relax! Don’t miss the most gorgeous pink sand beaches in the world.
McWay Falls, Big Sur, California
Big Sur is just one of those places that makes your jaw drop and McWay Falls certainly doesn’t disappoint. Here you’ll find an 80-foot-tall waterfall that empties directly into the ocean, flowing year-round from McWay Creek in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. The enchanting cove beneath the waterfall offers a pristine slice of beach you can’t miss.
Stay: Camping is always ideal in Big Sur, but if you want to perch yourself high above the ocean for unmatchable views of the Pacific Ocean, there’s really no better place than Post Ranch Inn.
Eat: Order up a big steak and take in the sunset views of the faraway ocean from the comfort of the forest at Ventana’s The Sur House.
Do: Hike, take a ridiculously beautiful photo of the surrounding nature, hike, take another photo …you get the picture. Check out these animals who love the beach more than you!