Top 100 beaches on Earth 2022: Ranked

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The definitive list of the best beaches in the world. Think powder white sand, turquoise seas, permanent sunshine and only the lightest of breezes wafting through the palms that fringe the beach and you're there. But that's not the whole story; we've also included some of the most amazing beaches on earth that don't tick all the usual boxes...

From the endless white sands of remote Australian beaches to palm fringed tropical idylls we have compiled (with your help) the finest beaches on Earth. Whilst some might argue there is a fair and accurate way of ranking the World's best beaches into some kind of order we have chosen our very own system. Basically, as far as we are concerned, the more mentions of words and phrases such as crystalline, azure, fine sand, turquoise, pristine, etc, the better!

But it doesn't stop there. We have left the final decision up to you, the users of the World Beach Guide. You too can rate every beach we have listed on the website with our infallible, patented five star rating system. So you can forget your Blue Flag awards, Trip-Advisor polls and whatever else you might have read on the internet. If you want to know which is the finest, greatest and downright coolest beach on the planet, look no further!

  • #100. Maho Beach // St Maarten

    Maho Beach
    © alljengi / CC BY

    The small beach of Maho on the western shore of St Maarten is a pleasant enough although by Caribbean standards, fairly unremarkable. Yes, there is white powder sand and yes, the water is crystal clear aquamarine - but around these parts that doesn't make it anything special.

    What puts Maho beach on the map is that it sits right at the end of the main runway of St Maarten's Princess Juliana… read more »

  • #99. Four Mile Beach // Australia

    Four Mile Beach
    charlotteinaustralia

    As the name suggests, this golden strip of sand stretches for roughly four miles along North Queensland's tropical coastline.

    The biscuit-coloured sands are wedged between sparkling blue waters and a tropical backdrop of palm trees, which separates the beach from the adjacent town of Port Douglas.

    Unlike some of Australia's better known beaches, such as Bondi and Surfers Paradise, this one's not so tourist-focused, and as such there's not a… read more »

  • #98. Tunnels Beach // USA

    Tunnels Beach
    © Sekar Balasubramanian

    Tunnels beach is set on the north coast of Hawaii's most northerly main island, Kauai. Originally known as Makua beach, the name Tunnels could be from one of two possible sources; most likely is it comes from the maze passages that wind their way through the big coral reef which sits just offshore. Alternately, it could be from the shape of the waves that make it popular with surfers.

    The… read more »

  • #97. Ke'e Beach // USA

    Ke'e Beach
    Ben K

    Located at the end of the road, Ke’e Beach is the last accessible beach from the north shore of Kauai. This stunningly majestic beach is a prime spot for snorkeling and sightseeing, with spectacular views of the entire coast. 

    The beach connects to the Kalalau Trail, an infamously treacherous route spanning 11 miles along the coastline. The rugged trail is widely acclaimed as one of the most beautiful and dangerous hikes… read more »

  • #96. Playa Varadero // Cuba

    Playa Varadero
    © Dalgis Lopez

    Within easy reach of the Cuban capital, Varadero Beach is just two hours west of Havana along good roads. The near-white sand stretches out into the Caribbean Sea on a thin peninsula of land for a staggering 20 kilometres (12 miles).

    Also known as Blue Beach (Playa Azul) because of the colour of the sea at this point, which laps it with warm waters all year round. No surprise then that… read more »

  • #95. Honopu Beach // USA

    Honopu Beach
    dronepicr

    Honopu Beach is a remote and secluded beach on Kauai's spectacular Na Pali Coast. The only way you can get there is by boat or swimming to it. The incredible beach is backed by 1200-foot high sea cliffs, and they are separated by the Honopu Arch. There is a huge waterfall that comes down the sea cliff and goes through to arch on its way to the ocean.

    The word… read more »

  • #94. Ocracoke Beach // USA

    Ocracoke Beach
    Ole Bendik Kvisberg

    Ocracoke beach is amongst the best in North Carolina, and some say the whole of America. It is indeed a beautiful stretch of pristine coastline and forms part of the protected Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

    Set on the 16-mile long Ocracoke island which froms part of the Outer Banks, the beach is accessible only by boat. This secluded, unspolit cast is perfect for fishing and beachcombing. The Atlantic Ocean beaks… read more »

  • #93. Seven Commandos Beach // Philippines

    Seven Commandos Beach
    Allan Ascaño

    Located in El Nido, Seven Commandos Beach has beautiful white sands, turquoise waters, and dramatic limestone cliffs. Fringed with coconut palms this is the archeytpal tropical Southeast Asian beach.

    Before continuing, it is worth explaining the name, as I know you are probably wondering! They say that the name comes from World War II, when seven commandos were stranded here. There isn't really any more information than that, or whether it… read more »

  • #92. Corong Corong Beach // Philippines

    Corong Corong Beach
    © Galeja

    Corong Corong Beach is located in the El Nido area and is home to some of the stunning scenery that Palawan Island has become known for. The prefect sandy beach is fringed with tall coconut palm trees and limestone rock formations tower above the crystal clear water at the northern end.

    The beach at Corong Corong is generally not as crowded as El Nido's other beaches. It also has more… read more »

  • #91. Lucky Bay // Australia

    Lucky Bay
    Stan Feldman

    Lucky Bay is reputed to be Australia's whitest beach, making it an idyllic beach to visit with its pristine sand and aquamarine water. Views from the beach look out across the Recherche Archipelago, adding further to the natural beauty.

    Stretching for 5km, Lucky Bay is one of a series of beaches and coves along the Cape Le Grand National Park coastline. You'll usually have the beach almost to yourself, making it… read more »

  • #90. Xpu Há // Mexico

    Xpu Há
    BrunoSchalch

    Xpu-ha Beach (pronounced Shpoo-Ha) is a typical crescent of white sandy lapped by gentle aquamarine waters on the Yucatan peninsula. It's just off Hwy 307, tucked between the popular resort of Playa del Carmen (17 miles away) and Akumal, but it's rarely overcrowded.

    The offshore reef is excellent for snorkelling, but you need to wade through patches of algae that occasionally form along the shoreline - it's a pervasive problem… read more »

  • #89. Grace Bay // Turks and Caicos

    Grace Bay
    © BlueOrange Studio / 123RF

    Grace Bay rightfully ranks as one of the world's most alluring beaches, with an idyllic tropical setting playing its part. It is at the western end of the Turks and Caicos Archipelago, on the north shore of the island of Providenciales, known less formally as Provo. Cuba lies to the west and Miami to the northwest. At Grace Bay, the placid turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean gently caress dazzling… read more »

  • #88. Trunk Bay // US Virgin Islands

    Trunk Bay
    © Sean Pavone

    Trunk Bay is considered one of the best beaches in the Caribbean, if not the world. A regular contender for the best beach spot in Condé Nast Traveler magazine and cited most beautiful beach in the world by the National Geographic Society, Trunk Bay certainly has a lot to live up to.

    Trunk Bay has everything you would expect from a Caribbean beach, and a little bit more. The sand… read more »

  • #87. Aguas Blancas Beach // Spain

    Aguas Blancas Beach
    © lunamarina / CanStockPhoto

    The often quiet, secluded Aguas Blancas beach is a far cry from the resort towns on the south of the island. This long beach of fine sand gets its name (meaning "white water") from the white horse's that frequently crest the waves on choppy days. However, these prevailing winds that blow throughout the year become a welcome breeze in the summer months when this beach comes into its own.

    Aguas Blancas… read more »

  • #86. El Cofete Beach // Spain

    El Cofete Beach
    © eyewave

    Cofete Beach is located just around the headland from the southern tip of Fuertaventura. The bright lights and resorts to the north of the island will do nothing to prepare you for the awe-inspiring scale and wildness of this beach. The beach is a wide expanse of golden sand that continues for as far as the eye can see. Directly behind the beach the dramatic mountains of Jandia rise hundreds… read more »

  • #85. Calanque d'En-vau // France

    Calanque d'En-vau
    © Michmuch06 / CC BY

    Set on the 10 mile stretch of coastline between Marseille and Cassis in southeast France are various stunning beaches, inlets and hidden coves. The calanques are fjord-like inlets carved into the white limestone by ancient rivers that have long since disappeared underground. Of all these deep inlets none is more beautiful than Calanque d'En-vau.

    Set at the end of a deep canyon is a small stretch of pristine white pebbles… read more »

  • #84. Plaka beach // Greece

    Plaka beach
    Random_fotos

    Generally regarded as the best beach on Naxos, Plaka is a huge stretch of fine white sand backed by low sand dunes. The waters of the bay at Plaka are calm and clear with a definite green tint. 

    Whilst there are areas of the beach with the familiar straw umbrellas and sun-beds, much of the beach still retains a relatively wild feel and is largely unspoilt. 

    The southern end of the beach… read more »

  • #83. Bondi Beach // Australia

    Bondi Beach

    Bondi is possibly Australia's most famous beach and to many sums up the Australian way of life. This iconic Sydney beach is every bit as cosmopolitan as the city with a beach scene encompassing everything from surfing to cafe society to lively nightlife. As long as you know what to expect Bondi will not disappoint - it's busy, it's bold and it's brash, but most importantly Bondi is what you… read more »

  • #82. Navagio Beach // Greece

    Navagio Beach

    The island of Zakynthos is home to one of Greece's finest and most easily recognisable beaches. It is not just the beach of Navagio itself that is unique but the fact that it is home to a shipwreck.

    The ship in question was the Panagiotis and it is believed that it was a smugglers ship that ran aground in stormy weather whilst trying to elude the Greek customs. Now the wreck… read more »

  • #81. Sinemorets // Bulgaria

    Sinemorets
    © Marcin Szala / CC BY

    Set close to the Turkish border Veleka Beach is one of two beaches in Sinemorets, and by far the nicest. In fact it is one of the most striking and iconic beaches in Bulgaria consisting of a narrow strip of soft white sand which juts out across the mouth of the Veleka River as it empties into the Black Sea. This creates a beautiful beach with the… read more »

  • #80. Guincho Beach // Portugal

    Guincho Beach

    Guincho beach, near Cascais, is not what many people imagine when thinking of the archetypal Portuguese beach. Despite being within an hour of the capital, Lisbon, Guincho has a wild desolate feel. Well, except for the summer months when it doesn't!

    This wide stretch of fine, golden sand sits in the shadow of the forested hills of Sintra, one of Portugal's most beautiful towns. To the north are high cliffs… read more »

  • #79. Coffee Bay // South Africa

    Coffee Bay
    © matejh

    Coffee Bay is situated on the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape and the beach's name in a way reflects this. The story goes that in 1893 a ship carrying coffee beans was driven ashore here during a storm. Somehow a fair few of these beans managed to take root and so the bay was named. Unfortunately you'll be wasting your time looking for said plants as the soil was… read more »

  • #78. Santa Rosa Beach // USA

    Santa Rosa Beach
    © Barbara Reddoch

    Powdery white sand and the clear waters of the Gulf are all par for the course along Florida's Emerald Coast and Santa Rosa beach is no exception. Situated less than ten miles away from the ever popular beaches of Destin, what you get at Santa Rosa is a more laid back, and dare I say, upmarket experience. You can instantly tell there is money here from the fine beachfront properties… read more »

  • #77. Henne Strand // Denmark

    Henne Strand

    Situated on the west coast of Denmark's Jutland peninsula is the infeasibly long sandy beach of Henne Strand.

    Despite being one of the most popular beaches on this stretch of North Sea coast it never gets crowded here. In fact, outside of sunny days in the summer holidays it is generally quiet allowing you to appreciate the vast open space here.

    The beach is backed by an extensive network… read more »

  • #76. Manuel Antonio Beach // Costa Rica

    Manuel Antonio Beach
    © Luis Cesar Tejo

    While the central Pacific coastal region of Costa Rica may not rank uppermost for its beaches, the four found in the Manuel Antonio National Park are definite exceptions. Manuel Antonio Beach is the best of them from a safe swimming view and is certainly one for your beach bucket list. It is a short and scenic drive south of the regional city of Quepos.

    Picture a dazzling white sandy… read more »

  • #75. Playa Paraiso // Cuba

    Playa Paraiso
    © sergey02

    Playa Paraiso is a fabulous stretch of beach where soft, powdery white sand runs parallel to a turquoise sea, all under an almost eternally clear blue sky. It is sandwiched between Playa Blanca and Playa Sirena beaches to the east and west respectively. These and a number of other top-rated beaches are dotted around the resort island of Cayo Largo, just off the Cuban southwest coast. Access to the island… read more »

  • #74. Turquoise Bay // Australia

    Turquoise Bay
    Dan Nevill

    The white sands and stunning aquamarine waters that Turquoise Bay is known for, make this one of the best places for relaxing in Western Australia. About 60 km northwest of Exmouth, it's part of the Ningaloo Marine Park.

    The clear waters make it is a top spot for snorkelling with an amazing diversity of corals, fish and marine life reasonably close to shore. The best time to snorkel on the… read more »

  • #73. Baia do Sancho // Brazil

    Baia do Sancho
    Hans von Manteuffel

    The volcanic archipelago of Fernando de Noronha off the north eastern coast of Brazil is home to many fantastic beaches. However, it is Baia do Sancho that takes the crown of, not only the finest beach on the island, but possibly the best beach in Brazil. That's pretty good going considering there are well over 2,000 other great beaches in Brazil.

    What gives the beach at Baia do Sancho a… read more »

  • #72. Baker Beach // USA

    Baker Beach
    UltraView Admin

    Situated between San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge to the north, Baker Beach is a flat, wide expanse of golden sand approximately 800 metres in length.

    In the city's Presidio area, its natural vistas are improved by views of the entirety of the Golden Gate Bridge on all but the foggiest of days. Within Golden Gate National Recreation Area, it also boasts a coastal trail that leads up onto… read more »

  • #71. Kaputas Beach // Turkey

    Kaputas Beach
    © Umit Ozkan

    This tiny, but perfect stretch of sand sparkles against the beautiful,clear turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea. It is surrounded by steep golden cliffs, and the views out over the beach are something to behold. You do need to climb down a long set of steps to reach the beach, but it is worth the effort.

    Once you reach the beach itself you'll want to cool off in the sea.… read more »

  • #70. Porthcurno Cove // UK

    Porthcurno Cove

    Porthcurno is one of the most westerly beaches in mainland Britain, just a few miles around the coast from Land's End. This cove is stunning in so many respects; the near white sand which is made from ground up sea shells, the clear turquoise water and the rugged granite cliffs that form a natural amphitheatre. The cove is not only a natural gem but is overlooked by the Minack, an… read more »

  • #69. Ramla Beach // Malta

    Ramla Beach
    DXR

    The beautiful and pristine Ramla beach is situated on the north coast of the island of Gozo. Its full name is Ramla il-Ħamra, which is Maltese for "Red Sands" - this refers to the rich fiery golden hue of the beach which contrasts beautifully with the bright blue waters of the Mediterranean.

    The wide, gently curving Ramla Bay is bookmarked by rocky headlands while the back of the beach gradually slopes… read more »

  • #68. Laguna Beach // USA

    Laguna Beach
    © Joe Belanger

    Located midway between Los Angeles and San Diego, Laguna Beach is the archetypal Southern Californian beach town. This is one of the most fashionable seaside towns in Orange County and as such has attracted the wealthy and famous for many years. Laguna Beach has a long established reputation as a cultural hotspot and is home to any number of art festivals, most notably the Pageant of the Masters. 

    But it is… read more »

  • #67. Primorsko // Bulgaria

    Primorsko
    © www.vacacionesbulgaria.com / CC BY

    One of Bulgaria's premiere beachside resorts, Primorsko also has an illustrious history stretching back to the Bronze Age. The town also served as a medieval fortress and valuable port between Western and Ottoman traders. That legacy of international exchange remains vivid in Primorsko's vibrant café and nightlife culture.

    Regardless of the areas historic credentials, these are just a backdrop to Primorsko's natural beauty. Long stretches of verdant green frame… read more »

  • #66. Garie Beach // Australia

    Garie Beach
    © Maurice van Creij / CC BY

    The Royal National Park, just south of Sydney is home to more than ten beautiful, pristine beaches of which Garie beach is widely recognised as the finest. A one km stretch of golden sand backed by the steeply rising forested vallies of the park this beach has changed little over the centuries.

    Despite its stunning natural beauty Garie Beach is not without its dangers and strong rip currents can make swimming unsafe.… read more »

  • #65. Las Teresitas // Spain

    Las Teresitas
    © Victor Pelaez Torres

    Sitting at the foot of the Anaga mountains in the north west of Tenerife is Las Teresitas beach. Despite the mile long sweeping curve of golden sand Las Teresitas manages to just slip under the tourist radar - strange when it has probably featured on more postcards than any other beach on the island! 

    That isn't to say it doesn't get busy; it is popular with locals and plenty of visitors… read more »

  • #64. Querim Beach // India

    Querim Beach
    © Jo Kent / CC BY

    Querim Beach, often referred to as Keri Beach, is the northernmost beach in Goa. As such it has something of a remote feel to it and never gets busy like nearby Arambol Beach to the south. Querim Beach is a place you can enjoy relaxing walks on the beach, sunbathe, go surfing and watching the sunset. This is the place you head to for peace, tranquility, and natural beauty.

    It… read more »

  • #63. Caleta Cóndor // Chile

    Caleta Cóndor
    © Jfbustos / CC BY

    Sitting at the mouth of the Río Cholguaco river in the Los Lagos region of Southern Chile is what is possibly the most stunning beach in the country. A crescent of bone white sand meets the turquoise waters of the Pacific Ocean, all backed by thick, lush forest. Caleta Cóndor certainly has the appearance of a paradisical tropical beach, however the temperature doesn't quite support this and it can be distinctly chilly(!)… read more »

  • #62. Vestrahorn Beach // Iceland

    Vestrahorn Beach
    © Ludovic Charlet

    Vestrahorn, on the Stokksnes peninsula is one of those extremes of natural beauty that make Iceland such a fascinating destination. A wide, flat plain of volcanic black sand, backed by the still waters of a lagoon, suddenly rises up to the phenomenal heights of a series of jagged peaks of snow-capped gabbro rock. This is a photographer's paradise and even if you are not familiar with the name you will… read more »

  • #61. Venice Beach // USA

    Venice Beach

    When thinking of Los Angeles it is hard not to picture the city's iconic Venice Beach. Whilst many beaches are exactly that, and nothing else, Venice Beach is much more than that; a beach, cultural institution, vibrant community and international tourist destination to name a few. What goes on along the beach front is as important to Venice beach's character as the sand,ocean and palms trees that physically define it.

    read more »
  • #60. Nudey Beach // Australia

    Nudey Beach

    Nudey beach is the archetypal tropical beach; pristine powder white sand, crystal clear azure water and coral reefs teaming with marine life. Behind is a verdant backdrop of rainforest containing Nutmeg, Tamarinds, Turpentine, Sheoak and Indian Beech whilst dotted along the beach are time-worn granite boulders which create the feeling of an ancient paradise.
    It isn't hard to see why Nudey beach has made it to the top spot on several surveys… read more »

  • #59. Cossies Beach // Australia

    Cossies Beach
    © David Stanley / CC BY

    The Cocos (Keeling) Islands are a remote goup of 27 tiny islands located nearly 1000km off the coast of Western Australia in the Indian Ocean. Made up of two coral atolls the islands are known for their white­-sand beaches, palm trees and lagoons. They are in essence the very picture of paradise.

    Of all the beaches on the Cocos Keeling Islands it is said that "Cossies" beach is the lovliest of… read more »

  • #58. Hout Bay // South Africa

    Hout Bay
    © Werner L

    Hout Bay (in English, it means 'Wood Bay') is a picturesque resort and fishing port that lies 25 kilometres (16 miles) south of the city of Cape Town. Surrounded by magnificent mountains on all but one side, Hout Bay backs onto the famous Table Mountain National Park to the north and majestic Chapman's Peak range to the south. The dramatic Sentinel watches over proceeding to the west and protects town… read more »

  • #57. Crane Beach // Barbados

    Crane Beach
    © Filip Fuxa /123RF

    Crane beach is everything you expect a Caribbean should be. A stretch of pristine white sand with clear, azure waters; it is little wonder this palm-fringed idyll is frequently cited as one of the best beaches on earth. The name of the beach dates back to the days when the beach was used as a harbour and a large crane was located here to load and unload the ships.

    read more »
  • #56. St Paul's Bay // Greece

    St Paul's Bay
    © Oliver Taylor

    Despite its diminutive size, Saint Paul's Bay is one of the most popular beaches on the Greek island of Rhodes. Located on the edge of the historic village of Lindos, St Paul's Bay is almost entirely enclosed by rocks on all sides with just the smallest of gaps for boats to come in and out of. This spectacular setting is further enhanced by a small, typical Greek Orthodox chapel down… read more »

  • #55. Clifton Beach // South Africa

    Clifton Beach
    © Philip Massie

    Sitting right next door to Cape Town's other premiere beach (Camps Bay) is Clifton beach. The backdrop here is equally stunning with one of Cape Town's best known mountains, Lion's Head, rising up directly behind and the Twelve Apostles looming to the south. The sugar-white sand that forms Clifton is dived up into four, just about distinct, beaches. These are rather imaginatively named 1st to 4th beaches and are basically… read more »

  • #54. La Concha // Spain

    La Concha
    © Keta under this license

    The beach of La Concha is a large crescent of fine golden sand with the city of San Sebastián as a backdrop. The beach is set in a spectacular semi-circular bay between the forested headlands of Monte Urgull and Igueldo. This vista is further enhanced by the tree covered Isla de Santa Clara rising out of the middle of bay. La Concha is often cited as one of the best… read more »

  • #53. Cannon Beach // USA

    Cannon Beach
    © Stacey Andrew McClain

    Look for Cannon Beach on a map of Oregon and you'll find its not only the name of a stunning stretch of west coast shoreline, but also a city in Clatsop County. Named one of the world's most beautiful places by none other than National Geographic (and they should know), Cannon Beach also featured in the last scene of the 1991 cult classic Point Break.

    Face out from the soft sands… read more »

  • #52. Lanikai Beach // USA

    Lanikai Beach
    © Tomasfoto

    Situated on the windward coast of Oahu in Hawaii is Lanikai beach, which translates as "heavenly sea". With its fine white sand and brilliant aqua blue water this name seems quite fitting. Lanikai is fringed with palm trees and with water temperatures rarely dipping below 75° F (24° C) there is no mistaking you are in the tropics. Unlike many of Oahu's other great beaches, Lanikai is not designated a… read more »

  • #51. Hoddevik // Norway

    Hoddevik
    © Frode Inge Helland / CC BY

    Set at the foot of a green valley between towering cliffs on the far western coast of Norway is Hoddevik. This little fishing outpost with its weatherboard huts sits in front of one of the regions finest beaches. With almost a mile of fine white sand and clear blue waters this is an idyllic spot to (literally!) chill out and relax.

    Hoddevik is widely considered to be Norway's best surfing… read more »

  • #50. Zapallar // Chile

    Zapallar
    © David Zipper / CC BY

    The small town of Zapallar is located on Chile's Central Coast a few hours drive north of the capital, Santiago. This is where Chile's wealthy and famous like to spend a weekend by the sea in any one of the fabulous old villas which cling to the hillside overlooking the beach. As a result visitors are particularly well catered for with some good shops and cafes. The town has something… read more »

  • #49. Cala Saona // Spain

    Cala Saona

    Small but perfectly formed Formentera is known for its superb beaches and being a relaxing getaway from its noisy neighbour Ibiza.

    The beach of Cala Saona sits within a small bay surrounded by red rocks where the soft white sands are gently lapped by the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean. It is very much a haven for peace and relaxation, although there are a few beachside restaurants.

    read more »
  • #48. Big Beach // USA

    Big Beach
    dronepicr

    As the name suggests, Big Beach is in fact the largest beach on the south coast of Maui. There is nearly a mile of golden sand along this section of Makena Beach State Park which unlike neighboring beaches is largely undeveloped.

    Backed by lush tropical forest this Big beach feels a lot more remote than it actually is; in fact it is right next door to the resort of read more »

  • #47. Varkala Beach // India

    Varkala Beach
    © Navaneeth Krishnan S / CC BY

    Set in the south of Kerala Varkala Beach is a truly beautiful spot. From the long stretch of cliff there are views out over the Arabian Sea and the beach below. This stretch fine white sand is outlined in coconut trees and bamboo huts giving it a totally tropical feel. Whilst there are plenty of hotels, restaurants, and shops nearby this is still less commercialized beach than many others in… read more »

  • #46. Byron Bay Main Beach // Australia

    Byron Bay Main Beach
    © Karl Lundholm

    Byron Bay is situated in the far north of New South Wales and on the very eastern tip of Australia - Cape Byron is the easternmost point of mainland Australia. This small beach town was put on the tourism map back in the 1970s when it was on the hippy trail later becoming a popular backpacker destination. It is to a large extent the legacy of Byron's early days that… read more »

  • #45. Arashi Beach // Aruba

    Arashi Beach
    © agustavop / iStock

    Located on the west coast of Aruba, towards the northern tip is the small, but lovely Arashi beach. Unlike much of the west coast the area around Arashi is virtually undeveloped with few facilities. Combined with the fact it is a little out of the way this is a perfect get-away spot. Arashi is well known among divers with the calm crystal clear water perfect for swimming and snorkeling too.

    read more »
  • #44. Oludeniz Beach // Turkey

    Oludeniz Beach
    © Anastasia Tsarskaya / 123RF

    Ölüdeniz or Olu deniz is the Turkish for "Dead Sea" and this refers to the still waters of the lagoon that lies behind the beach. A more fitting and commonly used translation is the Blue Lagoon.

    The lagoon has crystal clear waters and provides an ideal safe place for children to play. It is separated from the sea by a curving spit of sand which is backed by pine… read more »

  • #43. Beit Yanai // Israel

    Beit Yanai
    © yoni leibtag Pikiwiki Israel / CC BY

    Beit Yanai ("House of Yanai") is a small settlement and community of farmers with a population around 450. Formed in 1933 by settlers from Poland and Lithuania, this settlement is in the Sharon plain in central Israel. Known for its beach of the same name, this coast ranks among the best in Israel thanks to its long and wide stretches of white sand along the eastern shores of the Mediterranean… read more »

  • #42. Bottom Bay // Barbados

    Bottom Bay
    © Richard Semik / 123RF

    Located on the south-east coast of Barbados, Bottom Bay is just along the coast from the ever popular Crane beach. Unsurprisingly it shares many features with Crane beach; the fine white sand, abundance of palm trees, and azure waters. It can also have powerful waves. Where it differs is in the high coral cliffs which the beach backs onto, giving the beach a more enclosed feel. Sightings of turtles and… read more »

  • #41. Red Beach // Greece

    Red Beach

    Red beach, so named because of the pinkish hue of the sand, is located just south of the better known beach of Matala. Both were firm favourites on the 1960s and 70s hippy trail and whilst Matala may have gone mainstream, Red beach still retains some of its laid back credentials.
    It's a lovely little beach set at the base of arid hillsides and limestone cliffs. The red sand is… read more »

  • #40. El Castillo // Mexico

    El Castillo

    The beach at Tulum is pretty much your standard Caribbean coast beach; crystal clear turquoise waters, soft white sand and low limestone cliffs draped in tropical vegetation. However, the beach at El Castillo can do even better than this.

    Located on what has been dubbed the Riviera Maya, the beach here is backed by the ruins of an ancient Mayan port of Zama. The Tulum ruins are believed to date… read more »

  • #39. Psarou Beach // Greece

    Psarou Beach
    © hansche

    Golden sands and family-friendly shallows of clear blue waters have made Psarou Beach a Mykonos favourite for decades. Just ten minutes' drive time south from Mykonos International Airport, its large protected bay often plays host to the yachts of the rich and famous anchoring immediately offshore.

    Although Psarou Beach is a good size at 150 metres in length, this means it still gets crowded during the peak summer season. There can… read more »

  • #38. San Josef Bay // Canada

    San Josef Bay
    Rick McCharles

    Located at the northern end of Vancouver Island within Cape Scott Provincial Park, San Josef Bay boasts a beach of near-white sand in natural unspoiled surrounds. Lacking cell phone coverage, you'll need to be prepared for all eventualities, which include a 45 minute easy hike along a well-maintained gravel trail from the nearest parking, as well as regularly sightings of bears and wolves.

    The most accessible of Cape Scott's beaches, it… read more »

  • #37. Horseshoe Bay // Bermuda

    Horseshoe Bay
    Captain-tucker

    Backed by South Shore Park, Bermuda's Horseshoe Bay Beach is the best of a string of beaches which line the island's Atlantic coast. Gently curving from one end to the other for about 300 metres, entry into the waters from the pinky-white sands is gentle, making it ideal for families.

    In the summer, when Horseshoe Bay Beach is at its busiest, there is also a manned lifeguard station, café and toilets… read more »

  • #36. Chesterman Beach // Canada

    Chesterman Beach
    Imogene Huxham

    Chesterman Beach is on the west side of the Tofino peninsula on Vancouver Island, just south of Tofino town. It is divided into two main sections, Chesterman Beach South (or "South Chestie" as the locals call it) and Chesterman Beach North. Totalling 3 km in length, Chesterman Beach is divided in the middle by Franks' Island, a tombolo which is an island attached to the mainland by a narrow causeway… read more »

  • #35. Cala Gonone // Italy

    Cala Gonone
    Unukorno
    read more »
  • #34. Hidden Beach // Mexico

    Hidden Beach
    Christian Frausto Bernal

    The Marietas Islands, off Mexico's west coast are home to one of the most unusual beaches you will find anywhere. Whilst it wouldn't rank on a top 10 list of beaches for its modest stretch of (albeit very nice) sand it is has to get a mention just because of how weird and wonderful it is.

    Imagine a large cave with a beach in it - difficult I know! Now imagine… read more »

  • #33. Crystal Crescent Beach // Canada

    Crystal Crescent Beach
    Ben MacLeod

    Roughly 30 kilometres south of Halifax, Crystal Crescent Beach sits at the mouth of the provincial capital's harbour within a provincial park. But this does nothing to take away from the natural beauty of this area of coastline.

    Crystal Crescent Beach is actually formed of three white sand beaches dotted with oversized pebbles, each of which are backed by low shrubs. This gives them a sense of privacy and seclusion. Boardwalks… read more »

  • #32. Poipu Beach // USA

    Poipu Beach
    © Ellen Smile

    Poipu is the most popular beach on Kauai's South Shore and by all accounts one of the most highly rated in all Hawaii (or at least according to Dr Beach). The island of Kauai itself is the least developed and with its abundantly lush interior is often referred to as the Garden Isle. So, despite the fact Poipu borders a number of resorts it still has plenty of pristine, tropical… read more »

  • #31. Zlatni Rat // Croatia

    Zlatni Rat
    © Kelovy

    The beach of Zlatni Rat is one of Croatia's best known with the most familiar view probably being from above. From here you will be left in very little doubt as to why the beach is often referred to locally as the "Golden Horn". Zlatni Rat juts out into the Adriatic Sea forming a triangle of beach fringing pine forest which is home to the ruins of a Roman villa.

    read more »
  • #30. Elafonisi Beach // Greece

    Elafonisi Beach
    © Halina JasiÅ„ska

    The beach here is a strip of sand that just connects the tiny island of Elafonisi off the far western coast of Crete. This area has a wild, unspoilt feel to it and development has been restricted leaving the pristine beaches a beautiful spot to unwind. Whilst the sand at Elafonisi appears white at first glance you may notice a pink hue. This is due to it containing traces of… read more »

  • #29. Yyteri Beach // Finland

    Yyteri Beach

    Yyteri Beach is a magnificent 6-kilometre stretch of golden sands on Finland's west coast. It looks out over the chilly waters of the Gulf of Bothnia, which merges with the Baltic Sea at its southern end. Backed by extensive sand dunes, and woodland beyond, the beach at Yyteri has a wild feel.

    This beach resort is one of the most popular summer destinations with Nordic residents, thanks to its position… read more »

  • #28. Torrent Bay // New Zealand

    Torrent Bay

    Set within the Abel Tasman National Park, Rākauroa / Torrent Bay consists of not one, but two sandy beaches. The main beach is a curving spit of sand which goes some way to separating a large lagoon from the sea. However, there is also a beach on the lagoon side of Torrent Bay.

    Torrent Bay is a lovely spot, backed by the lush, forested landscape of Abel Tasman. If it… read more »

  • #27. Lopes Mendes Beach // Brazil

    Lopes Mendes Beach
    Nathan Chor

    Of all the beautiful beaches on Ilha Grande, it is Praia de Lopes Mendes that is perhaps the closest to perfection. Making regular appearances in World's best beaches articles, the beach is something of a darling of the travel media. But does it live up to the acclaim? We think so.

    The beach itself is a gorgeous expanse of fine golden sand which stretches for 3 Km along the clear,… read more »

  • #26. Diani Beach // Kenya

    Diani Beach
    Roma Neus

    Regularly riding high in polls to find Africa's top beaches, Diani Beach stretches for a generous 11 miles. A short distance south of Kenya's second largest city, Mombasa, it is a quintessential Indian Ocean beach. Verdant forest, which is home to all manner of native monkeys and birds, gives way to a phenomenal ribbon of near white sand that appears totally untouched by man. This in turn slopes gently… read more »

  • #25. Miami South Beach // USA

    Miami South Beach
    © sborisov / 123RF

    South Beach is perhaps the ultimate urban beach. It has it all; history, style, quirkiness, class and as much partying as you want, not to mention a vast swathe of white sand beach bordering clear blue ocean. This is where the beautiful and rich come to play in the sunshine before hitting the nightlife of Ocean Drive after dark. South beach is brash, colorful and even a little crazy -… read more »

  • #24. Ffryes Beach // Antigua

    Ffryes Beach
    © Michael Utech / iStock

    Considering the relatively small size of the island of Antigua (footprint is 108.5 mi² about the size of a small city), it boasts a remarkable 365 beaches, yes - one for each day of the year, and they are all public spaces. What more could a beach lover ask for?! Ffryes Beach is one of the more popular, with Sundays and holidays busy times for family picnics and local musicians… read more »

  • #23. Gjipe Beach // Albania

    Gjipe Beach
    © Ross Helen

    Gjipe beach is set along the same stretch of the Albanian coast as some of the other most popular, highly rated beaches on the Riviera. Located between the resort beaches of Drymades and Himara the beach at Gjipe has barely been touched by development.

    Obscured by the mountainous terrain, the beach here sits at the end of the Gjipe Canyon, an impressive natural feature with the rock formations reaching up to 70… read more »

  • #22. El Bollullo Beach // Spain

    El Bollullo Beach
    © Tono Balaguer / 123RF

    El Bollullo beach is located on Tenerife's north coast, a world away from the package-tours and resorts the island is often associated with. This small cove has a wild, natural feel right down to the black volcanic sand - there's no sprinkling golden sand imported from the Sahara here like on some of Tenerife's beaches.


    Set in the island's picturesque La Orotava Valley, the journey to El Bollullo involves navigating… read more »

  • #21. Kynance Cove // UK

    Kynance Cove

    It is a surprise not to see Kynance Cove in Cornwall on more best beach lists. It isn't exactly a secret and can be summed up in one word - stunning!

    Situated just along the coast from Lizard Point (the most southerly point in Britain) this beach has been painted and photographed countless times over the past couple of hundred years. With near white sand, turquoise waters and incredible serpentine… read more »

  • #20. Šunj (Lopud Island) // Croatia

    Šunj (Lopud Island)
    dronepicr

    Located on the island of Lopud, one of the Elaphite Islands close to Dubrovnik, Šunj Beach offers an enticing tranquillity amid rich blue waters, Mediterranean forest, and appealing sands with a shallow draft into the sea. Famously, visitors to Šunj can have to walk up to 100 metres to reach a depth where it is possible to swim, making the beach a tip-top destination for families with younger children, as… read more »

  • #19. Ile aux Cerfs // Mauritius

    Ile aux Cerfs
    clry2

    Île aux Cerfs, or Deer Island, is a small 87-hectare private island off the east coast of Mauritius. If you thought the beaches of the main island where stunning, wait until you see Île aux Cerfs Beach for yourself.

    While Île aux Cerfs Beach has the white sands typical of Mauritius, backed by indigenous casuarina trees and fronted by warm turquoise waters of a lagoon, its private nature means it is… read more »

  • #18. White Beach // Philippines

    White Beach
    © Angelo Juan Ramos / CC BY

    They call it White beach for a reason - several kilometers of brilliant white sand to contrast with the swaying palms behind and the turquoise ocean in front.

    Now, many people will say that Boracay has been somewhat spoiled by too much tourism. Whilst there is no arguing that it is probably the most popular tourist destination in the Philippines, I think White beach still has plenty of charm. One thing… read more »

  • #17. Freedom Beach // Thailand

    Freedom Beach
    BlueEyeTea

    Freedom Beach is one of the most beautiful with a 300m crescent of soft white sand and clear blue water backed by lush green mountains. Located on the west coast of Phuket, you can reach this private beach by longtail boat from Patong which lies just to the south. You can also take a strenuous hike down the cliffs path from the beach parking lot at the top of Patong… read more »

  • #16. Radhanagar Beach // India

    Radhanagar Beach
    © Bishnu Sarangi

    Radhanagar Beach also takes the alternative name of Beach No 7. Its white sands, which gently slope into the waters of the Bay of Bengal to a backdrop of verdant forest, are regularly voted one of the best in Asia and the world.

    Radhanagar Beach lies on the western side of Swaraj Dweep, which is still often known by its colonial era name of Havelock Island, part of the Andaman… read more »

  • #15. Anse Lazio // Seychelles

    Anse Lazio
    Bjørn Christian Tørrissen

    Anse Lazio in the Seychelles is the archetypal tropical beach that sets the standard for all others. 

    Set in Chevalier Bay on the north western tip of Praslin island, Anse Lazio is a broad swathe of soft white sand flanked by granite boulders at each end and a thick fringing of palm and takamaka trees behind. The inviting clear blue water is perfect for swimming and snorkelling. Often cited as one… read more »

  • #14. Reynisfjara beach // Iceland

    Reynisfjara beach
    © Felix Lipov

    Reynisfjara is one of Iceland's most iconic and spectacular beaches. Located around 2 hours from the capital Reykjavik, Reynisfjara is near the village Vik in Myrdalur on Iceland's South Coast. To the southern end of the beach is the 120 meter high promontory of Dyrhólaey, Iceland's most southerly point.

    This black sand beach is a geologist's wet dream with hosts of incredible rock formations and features. Rising up out of… read more »

  • #13. Cala Goloritze // Italy

    Cala Goloritze
    © Yesuitus2001 / CC BY

    Perhaps one of Italy's most iconic beaches, Cala Goloritzè is beautifully positioned at the base of a ravine on the north eastern coast of Sardinia. As with other beaches in the vicinity, the water here is a brilliant azure blue and crystal clear whilst the beach is bleached white by the sun.

    But it is the stunning limestone cliffside and rock formations that really sets Cala Goloritzè apart. Most notable of… read more »

  • #12. Egremni Beach // Greece

    Egremni Beach
    © Milan Baloun / 123RF

    There is little doubt that Egremni beach is one of the finest on the island of Lefkada, which by default makes it one of the best in Greece. It is a beautiful spot with the long white sand beach backed by high limestone cliffs. However, it is the water colour that sets Egremni apart, a fantastic milky blue yet crystal clear. The 325 steps down to the beach don't seem… read more »

  • #11. Hyams Beach // Australia

    Hyams Beach

    Situated on the northern shores of Jervis Bay, Hyams beach is one of a number of stunning beaches. To put things in perspective, Jervis Bay is around 4 times the size of Sydney harbour and much of it is lined with unspoilt beach.

    Here you will find lush forests spilling onto white sand beaches which are gently lapped by the crystal clear azure waters of the Pacific Ocean. And when… read more »

  • #10. Luskentyre // UK

    Luskentyre
    © anyka / 123RF

    Despite being located on the Isle of Harris in the north of Scotland, Luskentyre beach could almost be Caribbean in appearance. The vast expanse of silvery white sand and the crystal clear aquamarine / turquoise sea all combine to create what is often cited as the best beach in the British Isles. In the distance are the mountains of North Harris which further add to the beauty of this spot.… read more »

  • #9. Railay Beach // Thailand

    Railay Beach
    © PancakeTom

    Railay is a narrow peninsula that is cut off from the surrounding area by high limestone cliffs. Whilst these cliffs are very popular with climbers it means that Railay is only accessible only by a short boat ride from Ao Nang or Krabi. This should be seen as a blessing as it has protected the resort from the tourist frenzy in nearby locations such as Ao Nang. The other benefit… read more »

  • #8. Camps Bay // South Africa

    Camps Bay
    © jborzicchi

    Camps Bay is without doubt Cape Town's premiere beach. Located in an upmarket suburb of this South African city, the beach here is as spectacular as it is popular. The palm fringed stretch of white sand that make up Camps Bay sits between the towering Lion's Head and equally imposing Twelve Apostles. This is the Atlantic coast and the ocean here is both beautiful and powerful; sparkling and turquoise often… read more »

  • #7. Anse Source d'Argent // Seychelles

    Anse Source d'Argent
    © Iakov Kalinin / 123RF

    Located in the North of La Digue island is Anse Source d'Argent beach, a little slice of tropical paradise.

    Powdery white sand is offset by towering granite boulders worn smooth by the passage of time. Palm trees sway gently in the breeze and the water is clear and blue.

    Protected by an offshore coral reef the sea here is always calm making it ideal for swimming. This makes Anse Source… read more »

  • #6. Anakena // Chile

    Anakena
    © Jesse Kraft

    It's not often you get to mix up a day at the beach with a viewing of some of the world's most iconic archaeological monuments, but this is exactly what you get at Anakena beach on Easter Island. 

    Anakena is home to a set of moai; these are the huge carved stone figureheads that Easter Island is famous for. The Ahu Nao-Nao stones at Anakena are a set of 7 such… read more »

  • #5. The Baths // British Virgin Islands

    The Baths
    © BlueOrange Studio / 123RF

    Gigantic boulders and beaches caressed by the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea combine to make this an idyllic setting in what has to be a top tourist destination. We are describing the stunning beach frontage of the fabulous area known as "The Baths", on Virgin Gorda, the third largest of the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean. We forgot to mention caves and caverns, which add to the mystical… read more »

  • #4. El Nido // Philippines

    El Nido
    © softlight69 / 123RF

    El Nido is an unspoilt tropical paradise often referred to as the Philippines' last frontier. Situated towards the northern tip of Palawan island El Nido is much more than just a single beach. In fact it comprises around 50 beaches set among a series of small islands, towering marble cliffs, lush tropical vegetation, ancient caves and enchanting lagoons.

    As if that wasn't enough, El Nido is the largest marine sanctuary… read more »

  • #3. Whitehaven Beach // Australia

    Whitehaven Beach
    © Horst Müller

    Know for its beautiful 7 km stretch of white sand and crystal clear turquoise waters, Whitehaven Beach is without doubt of of Australia's finest. It is located on Whitsunday Island, part of a group of islands just of the tropical Queensland coast.

    Accessible only by boat Whitehaven Beach is never busy but always stunning.

    read more »
  • #2. Matira Beach // French Polynesia

    Matira Beach
    © BlueOrange Studio / 123RF

    Bora Bora is a lush, tropical South Pacific atoll. It lies to the northwest of the bigger islands of Taha'a and Tahiti, in French Polynesia. Encircled by sand-fringed islets, this paradisiacal island is protected from the swells of the greater ocean. A stunning turquoise lagoon holds centre stage as a natural swimming area, within a magnificent coral reef to boot. It is little wonder that Bora Bora claims to be… read more »

  • #1. Koh Kradan // Thailand

    Koh Kradan

    Thailand is well known for its beautiful beaches and to some extent this has meant that many of the most amazing beaches are now over-crowded and heavily commercialised. However, you don't have to go to far off the beaten track to still find a pristine gem and the island of Koh Kradan is home to just such a beach.This stunning stretch of powdery white sand remain a relative haven despite… read more »