the Ultimate Guide to the Top 20 Beach Destinations in the World

The Ultimate Guide to the Top 20 Beach Destinations in the World

As an avid beach lover and travel enthusiast, we've had the privilege of exploring some of the most breath-taking beaches around the world. From tranquil shores to vibrant coastal paradises. Mike was never much of a sun worshiper. He preferred European vacations in winter when the weather was cooler and tourist destinations a little quieter. I on the other hand would trade snow and Christmas markets in a flash for snorkel gear, swim shorts, cocktails and suntan oil. I think it was our first trip to Thailand that converted Mike, now we are both devout beach bums! Here is my ultimate guide to the top 20 beach destinations in the world that left an indelible mark on our hearts.

The Ultimate Guide to the Top 20 Beach Destinations in the World

Bora Bora boasts crystal-clear turquoise waters, pristine white sandy beaches, and overwater bungalows offering unparalleled luxury accommodations. Snorkeling, scuba diving, and romantic sunset cruises are just a few activities that will keep you busy.

Matira Beach:
Matira Beach is often hailed as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and rightfully so. Its powdery, flour-like sand stretches along the western coast of Bora Bora, offering a postcard-perfect setting. The water here boasts mesmerizing shades of blue, ranging from turquoise near the shore to deeper sapphire hues further out. The gentle slope of the seabed makes it an ideal spot for swimming and wading, making it family-friendly. As the sun sets, the beach transforms into a romantic paradise, making it a perfect spot for a leisurely evening stroll or a beachfront dinner.

Motu Tapu:
Located just a short boat ride away from Bora Bora’s main island, Motu Tapu is a small, private islet that exudes exclusivity and seclusion. With its soft, white sand and crystal-clear waters, this tiny island embodies the epitome of a tropical oasis. Many resorts offer excursions to Motu Tapu, providing visitors with a chance to indulge in a private beach experience, often accompanied by a gourmet picnic or champagne toast. The island’s intimacy and unspoiled beauty make it a favorite for honeymooners and couples seeking a romantic getaway.

Matira Point:
Nestled on the southern tip of the main island, Matira Point is a serene haven that boasts stunning coral formations and vibrant marine life, making it a fantastic spot for snorkeling. As you explore the underwater wonders, you’ll encounter a kaleidoscope of tropical fish and, if you’re lucky, graceful rays gliding through the shallows. Additionally, the area around Matira Point is known for its vibrant coral gardens, adding an extra dimension to your underwater adventure.

To’opua Beach:
Situated on the eastern side of Bora Bora, To’opua Beach offers a unique perspective of the island’s landscape, with the imposing Mount Otemanu serving as a dramatic backdrop. The beach’s tranquil waters make it an excellent location for stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking, allowing you to bask in the island’s beauty while gliding over the lagoon’s clear surface. Snorkeling is also a popular activity here, as the marine life is abundant and the coral formations are breathtaking.

Faanui Bay Beach:
Faanui Bay Beach provides a more rustic and secluded experience compared to some of the other beaches on the island. Surrounded by lush greenery and swaying palm trees, this beach offers a peaceful retreat away from the crowds. The shallow waters near the shoreline create a natural lagoon, ideal for leisurely swims and sunbathing. Exploring the nearby Faanui Village, known for its warm hospitality and traditional Polynesian culture, is an added bonus.

The Maldives, a collection of picture-perfect coral islands, offers a true sense of seclusion and serenity. Staying in a private villa perched over the ocean is a once-in-a-lifetime experience which is why the Maldives comes in at number two in the Top 20 Beach Destinations in the world.
Veligandu Island Beach:
Veligandu Island, surrounded by a vibrant house reef, boasts an exquisite white-sand beach that gently slopes into crystal-clear turquoise waters. The island’s tranquillity and secluded atmosphere make it an ideal destination for honeymooners and couples seeking a romantic escape. Snorkeling right off the beach allows you to discover a kaleidoscope of colorful fish and intricate coral formations, making every moment in the water an underwater adventure.

Cocoa Island Beach:
Cocoa Island, a small private island in the South Malé Atoll, offers a stunning beach that curves like a crescent moon. White sands and swaying palm trees create a serene and picture-perfect setting. The island’s house reef is known for its diverse marine life, making it a paradise for snorkelers and divers alike. After a day of underwater exploration, indulge in a rejuvenating spa treatment at one of the luxurious water villas with direct access to the sea.

Reethi Beach:
Located on Baa Atoll, Reethi Beach boasts a long stretch of white sand surrounded by crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life. It’s a fantastic spot for beachcombing, beach volleyball, or simply lounging in a hammock with a book in hand. At night, you might be lucky enough to witness bioluminescence, as the plankton in the water emits a magical glow when disturbed.

Nalaguraidhoo Beach:
Situated on the South Ari Atoll, Nalaguraidhoo Island is home to a captivating beach that epitomizes the Maldives’ idyllic beauty. The beach is fringed with palm trees and offers direct access to coral reefs, making it an excellent spot for snorkeling and diving. With a rich marine ecosystem at your doorstep, you can encounter an array of colorful sea life.

Hulhumale Beach:
As the main island of the Maldives’ capital, Malé, Hulhumale offers a lively beach experience with a mix of modernity and tropical allure. The long sandy beach is a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike, perfect for relaxing under the sun or playing beach sports. For a unique experience, take a sunset stroll along the beach and witness the changing hues of the sky over the city skyline.

Velassaru Island Beach:
Velassaru Island, known for its luxury resorts and pristine beaches, offers a slice of paradise just a short boat ride from Malé. The island’s beach is fringed with palm trees, and the gentle lapping of the waves creates a soothing ambiance. With ample opportunities for water sports, including snorkeling, diving, and windsurfing, Velassaru Island ensures a memorable and adventurous beach vacation.

The Ultimate Guide to the Top 20 Beach Destinations in the World

Maui is a dream destination for surfers, sun seekers, and nature lovers alike. With golden beaches, lush rainforests, and stunning waterfalls, a paradise to any traveler.
Ka’anapali Beach:
Ka’anapali Beach, located on Maui’s west coast, is one of the island’s most famous and vibrant beaches. The soft golden sand stretches for three miles, providing ample space for sunbathing, beach games, and romantic walks. The clear waters are ideal for swimming and snorkeling, and you might even spot sea turtles near the rocky outcrops at the northern end of the beach. As the sun sets, the nightly cliff diving ceremony at Black Rock adds a touch of Hawaiian culture to the experience.

Wailea Beach:
Situated in the upscale resort area of Wailea, Wailea Beach is a postcard-perfect paradise with its crescent-shaped shoreline and clear azure waters. The beach is flanked by luxury hotels, providing easy access to beachfront amenities and water activities. Snorkeling around the rocky outcrops on either end of the beach reveals colorful marine life, and during whale-watching season (December to April), you might spot humpback whales breaching offshore.

Napili Bay:
Nestled in the northwest corner of Maui, Napili Bay is a hidden gem renowned for its calm waters and pristine snorkeling conditions. The bay’s protected cove is perfect for families with young children, as the gentle waves make swimming and playing in the water safe and enjoyable. The snorkeling here is exceptional, with vibrant coral reefs teeming with tropical fish just a short distance from the shoreline.

Ho’okipa Beach Park:
On Maui’s famed North Shore, Ho’okipa Beach Park is a haven for surfers and windsurfers. Known for its powerful waves and consistent winds, it attracts some of the world’s best water sports enthusiasts. Even if you’re not a surfer, watching the acrobatic maneuvers of skilled wave riders is a sight to behold. The beach is also a popular spot for sunbathing and picnicking, with sea turtles occasionally making appearances close to the shore.

Makena Beach (Big Beach):
Makena Beach, also known as Big Beach, is a vast expanse of golden sand bordered by rocky cliffs, located in Makena State Park. Known for its impressive size and powerful waves, which attract experienced body boarders and body surfers. It’s important to exercise caution while swimming here due to the strong currents, but the picturesque setting and epic sunsets make it a favorite spot for beachgoers and photographers alike.

Honolua Bay:
For a different kind of beach experience, venture to Honolua Bay on Maui’s northwest coast. This pebble-strewn beach is not ideal for sunbathing, but it is a haven for snorkelers and divers. The bay’s marine reserve is teeming with colorful coral formations and a diverse array of marine life, including schools of tropical fish, eels, and even the occasional turtle.

Whitehaven Beach Australia

Located in the Whitsunday Islands, Whitehaven Beach stands out with its pure white silica sand and azure waters, making it a true gem of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. While Whitehaven Beach itself is a breathtaking destination, there are several other stunning beaches nearby that you can explore during your visit to the Whitsundays.
Chalkies Beach:
Chalkies Beach is situated on Haslewood Island, just a short boat ride away from Whitehaven Beach. This hidden gem offers a tranquil and secluded escape with crystal-clear waters and powdery white sand. Snorkeling around the fringing coral reefs reveals vibrant marine life, making it an excellent spot for underwater exploration.

Hill Inlet:
While not a traditional beach, Hill Inlet is a natural phenomenon that offers one of the most iconic views in the Whitsundays. It’s a stunning swirling blend of aqua waters and shifting white sands, creating a mesmerizing blend of colors. The best way to experience Hill Inlet is through a guided tour or hike to the Hill Inlet Lookout, where you’ll witness this breathtaking sight from above.

Tongue Bay:
Tongue Bay, located near Whitehaven Beach, is another picturesque spot that often serves as the starting point for the walk to Hill Inlet Lookout. The beach itself is small and usually not crowded, providing a serene environment to enjoy the beauty of the Whitsundays.

Catseye Beach (Hamilton Island):
Hamilton Island, one of the main gateway islands to the Whitsundays, is home to Catseye Beach. This vibrant and family-friendly beach offers a wide range of water activities, including paddle boarding, kayaking, and snorkeling. With the island’s resorts and amenities nearby, Catseye Beach provides a perfect blend of relaxation and recreational opportunities.

Cid Harbor (Whitsunday Island):
Cid Harbor, on the northern side of Whitsunday Island, is a popular anchorage spot for boats and yachts. The beach offers a peaceful and picturesque setting, surrounded by lush greenery and rocky cliffs. It’s an ideal spot for a quiet picnic or a leisurely swim.

Langford Island:
Langford Island is a tiny sand island located close to Whitehaven Beach. During low tide, a beautiful sandbar emerges, connecting Langford Island with nearby Hook Island. This natural phenomenon creates a unique opportunity to walk along the sandbar and enjoy the shallow turquoise waters on both sides.

The Seychelles is a tropical paradise comprised of 115 islands scattered across the Indian Ocean. With its pristine white-sand beaches, clear turquoise waters, and lush tropical landscapes, the Seychelles offers an array of breathtaking beaches. Here are some of the must-see beaches in the Seychelles:
Anse Source d’Argent (La Digue):
Anse Source d’Argent is one of the most famous and photographed beaches in the world. Located on the island of La Digue, this beach is renowned for its stunning granite rock formations, shallow turquoise waters, and powdery white sand. The unique interplay of boulders and palm trees creates a dreamy and exotic setting. Snorkeling along the coral reef just offshore reveals a kaleidoscope of marine life.

Anse Lazio (Praslin):
Considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the Seychelles, Anse Lazio on Praslin Island boasts dramatic granite cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and lush vegetation. The beach’s gentle slope and calm currents make it ideal for swimming and snorkeling. With its pristine surroundings and serene ambiance, Anse Lazio offers a true escape into paradise.

Anse Georgette (Praslin):
Accessible by a scenic hike or through the Constance Lémuria Resort, Anse Georgette is a secluded beach that epitomizes the Seychelles’ natural beauty. The beach is backed by a dense tropical forest, and the turquoise waters invite you to swim and relax in blissful seclusion. Due to its limited accessibility, Anse Georgette remains a tranquil and unspoiled gem.

Beau Vallon (Mahé):
Located on Mahé, the largest island in the Seychelles, Beau Vallon is a lively and popular beach known for its vibrant atmosphere and stunning sunsets. The beach stretches for about two kilometres and offers a wide range of water activities, including snorkeling, jet skiing, and parasailing. The nearby beachfront hotels and restaurants provide a variety of dining options, making it a fantastic spot for both relaxation and entertainment.

Anse Intendance (Mahé):
Anse Intendance, on the southern coast of Mahé, is a secluded beach cherished by surfers and nature lovers. Its wild and unspoiled charm is complemented by massive waves that make it less suitable for swimming, but perfect for watching experienced surfers ride the waves. The beach is also a nesting ground for hawksbill turtles, making it an important conservation site.

Anse Takamaka (Mahé):
Named after the Takamaka trees that line its shores, Anse Takamaka is a postcard-worthy beach on Mahé’s southwest coast. The beach’s shallow waters and gentle waves create an inviting environment for swimming and sunbathing. The surrounding cliffs and lush vegetation add to the beach’s allure, making it a great spot for a peaceful retreat.

Anse Cocos (La Digue):
Accessible via a scenic hike from Grand Anse, Anse Cocos is a hidden gem on La Digue. The beach is secluded, with no facilities, providing an untouched natural escape. The journey to Anse Cocos takes you through dense forests and rocky terrain, adding an adventurous element to the experience. Once there, you’ll be rewarded with a tranquil and picturesque beach, bordered by imposing granite boulders and swaying palm trees.

Anse Major (Mahé):
Anse Major is a remote and secluded beach accessible either by boat or via a challenging hiking trail. The journey through the Morne Seychellois National Park offers breathtaking views of lush landscapes and the sea below. Once you reach Anse Major, you’ll be greeted by a tranquil cove with crystal-clear waters and an inviting shoreline. The peaceful atmosphere and unspoiled surroundings make it a perfect spot for relaxation and exploration.

Phi Phi Islands

The Phi Phi Islands in Thailand are an archipelago of stunning islands with some of the most picturesque beaches in the world. Each island in the group offers unique features and attractions, making the Phi Phi Islands a dream destination for beach lovers and adventure seekers. Thailand was one of our most inexpensive vacations and most of these beaches and be seen by a fast boat tour. These tours can see the beaches crowded with tourist, so if you want a slower paced/quieter experience, hire a private boat to explore these beaches and take in the sun at your leisure.
Here are some of the must-see beaches in the Phi Phi Islands:
Maya Bay (Koh Phi Phi Leh):
Maya Bay is undoubtedly the most famous and iconic beach in the Phi Phi Islands. Located on the uninhabited island of Koh Phi Phi Leh, this beach gained worldwide recognition after being featured in the movie “The Beach.” Surrounded by steep limestone cliffs and with crystal-clear turquoise waters, Maya Bay is a postcard-perfect paradise. The beach is usually bustling with tourists during the day, but you can experience its true beauty by visiting early in the morning or late in the afternoon when day-trippers have departed.

Long Beach (Koh Phi Phi Don):
Long Beach, situated on the main island of Koh Phi Phi Don, is a serene and beautiful stretch of sand offering a more laid-back atmosphere compared to other beaches on the island. The beach is easily accessible from Tonsai Bay by a short walk or a quick water taxi ride. With its tranquil waters, Long Beach is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. The stunning sunsets here are an absolute delight.

Loh Dalum Bay (Koh Phi Phi Don):
Loh Dalum Bay is a vibrant and lively beach located on the narrow isthmus that separates Tonsai Bay and the eastern side of Koh Phi Phi Don. The beach is lined with restaurants, bars, and shops, making it a hub for nightlife and entertainment. During the day, you can indulge in various water sports activities, such as kayaking and paddleboarding. At night, Loh Dalum Bay transforms into a party spot, with beach parties and fire shows that continue until the early hours.

Ao Pileh (Koh Phi Phi Leh):
Ao Pileh, a stunning lagoon on Koh Phi Phi Leh. The emerald waters of the lagoon are perfect for snorkeling and swimming, allowing you to discover an underwater world filled with colorful marine life and coral reefs. The serene and secluded ambiance of Ao Pileh makes it a great spot to escape the crowds and enjoy the natural beauty of the Phi Phi Islands.

Monkey Beach (Koh Phi Phi Don):
As the name suggests, Monkey Beach is home to a playful troupe of long-tailed macaques that are often seen frolicking along the shore. Located on the southwestern tip of Koh Phi Phi Don, the beach is accessible by boat or a short hike through the jungle. While the monkeys are a popular attraction, be cautious with food and belongings, as the monkeys can be mischievous. The beach itself offers a beautiful setting for swimming and snorkeling, surrounded by lush greenery and turquoise waters.

Nui Beach (Koh Phi Phi Don):
Nui Beach is a hidden gem tucked away on the eastern side of Koh Phi Phi Don. Accessible by a challenging hike or by boat, this secluded beach offers a peaceful escape from the crowds. The absence of major tourist facilities adds to its natural charm. Relax on the soft sand, swim in the clear waters, and enjoy the tranquillity of this secluded paradise.


Santorini, a mesmerizing island in the Cyclades of Greece, is renowned for its breathtaking caldera views, stunning sunsets, and unique volcanic landscapes. While Santorini is famous for its iconic cliffside towns like Oia and Fira, it also boasts some fantastic beaches.
Here are some of the must-see beaches in Santorini:
Kamari Beach:
Kamari is one of the most popular and well-organized beaches on the island. Located on the southeast coast, Kamari Beach features dark volcanic sand and crystalline waters. The beach is lined with beach bars, tavernas, and sunbeds, making it a lively spot with a vibrant atmosphere. Kamari Beach is a great choice for families and water sports enthusiasts, as it offers various activities such as jet skiing, paddle boarding, and beach volleyball.

Perissa Beach:
Perissa Beach is neighboring Kamari Beach and shares similar characteristics with its volcanic sand and clear waters. It is a long and spacious beach flanked by dramatic cliffs, offering a beautiful contrast of colors between the black sand and the blue sea. Perissa Beach is known for its water sports facilities and beachfront restaurants serving fresh seafood. Additionally, the nearby Ancient Thera archaeological site provides an opportunity for cultural exploration after a day at the beach.

Red Beach (Kokkini Paralia):
Red Beach is one of Santorini’s most unique and iconic beaches. Located near the village of Akrotiri, it stands out with its striking red cliffs and red volcanic pebbles. Access to the beach requires a short hike along the cliffs, but the extraordinary scenery is well worth the effort. Due to its popularity, the beach can get crowded during peak season, so consider visiting early in the morning for a more tranquil experience.

Perivolos Beach:
Adjacent to Perissa Beach, Perivolos Beach offers another beautiful stretch of black sand and clear waters. Perivolos is known for its laid-back and relaxed vibe, making it an excellent spot for those seeking a quieter beach experience. The beach is dotted with beach bars and tavernas, providing plenty of options for refreshments and delicious Greek cuisine. It’s also a fantastic place to unwind with beachfront yoga sessions or a leisurely stroll along the shore.

Vlychada Beach:
Vlychada Beach, located on the southern coast of Santorini, is famous for its unique lunar-like landscape. The beach is flanked by massive white cliffs and peculiar rock formations created by volcanic activity. The serene ambiance and natural beauty make Vlychada Beach an ideal spot for those seeking a more secluded and unspoiled beach experience. There are some sunbeds and umbrellas available, but it’s best to bring your essentials for a peaceful day by the sea.

Amoudi Bay:
While not a traditional sandy beach, Amoudi Bay is a hidden gem worth mentioning. Located below the town of Oia, the bay offers a picturesque swimming area with crystal-clear waters surrounded by dramatic cliffs. You can access Amoudi Bay by descending a steep staircase from Oia, making it a serene escape from the bustling streets above. After a refreshing swim, treat yourself to a seafood meal at one of the charming tavernas along the waterfront.

Copacabana Beach

Copacabana Beach, located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is one of the most famous and vibrant beaches in the world. While Copacabana is undoubtedly a highlight, there are several other beautiful beaches nearby that you can explore during your visit to Rio.
Ipanema Beach:
Adjacent to Copacabana, Ipanema Beach is another iconic beach in Rio de Janeiro. Known for its laid-back atmosphere and stunning sunset views, Ipanema attracts locals and tourists alike. The beach is divided into different “postos” (lifeguard towers), each with its own unique vibe. Posto 9, in particular, is popular among young crowds, artists, and LGBTQ+ communities. Ipanema’s charming neighbourhood is filled with trendy boutiques, restaurants, and bars, making it an excellent spot for shopping and people-watching.

Arpoador Beach:
Located between Copacabana and Ipanema, Arpoador Beach offers a picturesque setting and a relaxed ambiance. It is famous for being one of the best spots in Rio to witness breathtaking sunsets over the ocean. The rocky outcrop of Arpoador Point offers a panoramic view of both Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, making it a popular gathering place for locals and tourists alike during the golden hour.

Leblon Beach:
Continuing south from Ipanema Beach, you’ll find Leblon Beach, another inviting stretch of golden sand and turquoise waters. Leblon is known for its upscale atmosphere and is a favorite among Rio’s wealthier residents. The beach’s tranquil waters and well-maintained promenade make it a peaceful spot to relax and enjoy the sun. The neighbourhood of Leblon offers a variety of upscale dining and shopping options, providing a sophisticated experience for beachgoers.

Leme Beach:
On the northern end of Copacabana Beach, you’ll find Leme Beach, a more tranquil and less crowded section of the coastline. With the iconic Morro do Leme (Leme Hill) serving as a backdrop, this beach is popular among families and those seeking a quieter escape. The beach offers stunning views of Sugarloaf Mountain, and the waters are ideal for swimming and relaxing.

Vermelha Beach (Red Beach):
Located near Sugarloaf Mountain, Vermelha Beach is a small hidden gem with red-hued sand, offering a unique contrast to the typical golden beaches of Rio. The beach is surrounded by lush greenery and offers a peaceful environment to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Vermelha Beach is also a great starting point for hiking up to Sugarloaf Mountain for panoramic views of Rio and its beaches.

Joatinga Beach:
A bit further away from Copacabana, Joatinga Beach is a secluded and exclusive spot accessible by car or a short walk from São Conrado. Nestled between steep cliffs, this hidden gem offers a private and tranquil experience away from the crowds. Due to its sheltered location, Joatinga Beach is also popular among surfers looking for consistent waves.

Tulum Beach, also known as Playa Tulum, is a mesmerizing stretch of coastline located along the eastern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. Renowned for its natural beauty and laid-back atmosphere, Tulum Beach has become a sought-after destination for travelers seeking a blend of relaxation, history, and bohemian charm. 
Picturesque Beachfront Hotels and Eco-Resorts:
The beach is lined with a variety of accommodations, ranging from eco-friendly boutique hotels to luxurious beachfront resorts. Many of these properties blend seamlessly with the natural environment and adopt eco-conscious practices to preserve the beauty of Tulum. Staying at one of these beachfront retreats allows guests to wake up to the sound of waves and enjoy stunning ocean views from their rooms.
Bohemian Vibe and Artistic Scene:
Tulum Beach exudes a bohemian and artistic atmosphere, attracting a diverse crowd of travelers. The beachfront is dotted with boutique shops, art galleries, and beach clubs that offer a mix of local and international art and crafts. Yoga studios and wellness centers also add to the holistic and laid-back vibe, making Tulum a popular destination for yoga enthusiasts and wellness seekers.
Beach Clubs and Nightlife:
Tulum Beach comes alive during the day and at night. Beach clubs offer a vibrant scene with live music, DJ performances, and themed parties, providing an opportunity to dance the night away under the stars. Despite the lively nightlife, Tulum maintains a respectful and tranquil ambiance, making it an appealing destination for both relaxation and entertainment.
Close Proximity to Mayan Ruins:
One of the unique features of Tulum Beach is its proximity to the Tulum Archaeological Site. Just a short distance from the beach, the ruins overlook the sea and provide an extraordinary view of the ancient Mayan structures against the backdrop of the Caribbean coastline. Visitors can easily combine a day of sunbathing with a visit to this historical site, immersing themselves in both natural and cultural wonders.
Sea Turtles and Marine Life:
Tulum Beach is also known for its thriving sea turtle population. From May to October, female sea turtles come ashore to lay their eggs in the sandy nests they dig on the beach. Visitors have the opportunity to witness this incredible natural event and participate in responsible turtle-watching tours led by conservation organizations. Snorkeling and diving near Tulum Beach also offer encounters with various marine species, including colorful fish, rays, and sometimes even whale sharks.

Navagio Beach Zakynthos

Navagio Beach, also known as Shipwreck Beach, is a world-famous and iconic destination located on the Greek island of Zakynthos (Zante). This stunning beach is one of the most photographed and recognizable beaches in the world, attracting visitors from all corners of the globe.
Location and Accessibility:
Navagio Beach is situated on the northwest coast of Zakynthos, in an isolated cove framed by towering limestone cliffs. The beach is accessible only by boat, adding to its allure and sense of adventure. Boat tours depart regularly from the nearby ports of Porto Vromi and Agios Nikolaos, providing visitors with the opportunity to approach the beach from the sea, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding cliffs and turquoise waters.
The Shipwreck:
The beach’s name, Navagio, which means “shipwreck” in Greek, comes from the dramatic centerpiece of the beach – the wreck of the MV Panagiotis. The shipwreck is an old smuggler’s ship that ran aground on the beach in 1980, allegedly while carrying contraband cigarettes. The rusty remains of the ship are now an iconic feature of Navagio Beach, adding a sense of mystery and intrigue to the already picturesque setting.
Turquoise Waters and White Pebbles:
Navagio Beach boasts stunningly clear and vibrant turquoise waters, which are a striking contrast to the white pebbles that cover the shoreline. The combination of the azure sea, the white cliffs, and the rusted shipwreck creates a mesmerizing visual spectacle, making it a paradise for photographers and beach lovers.
Cliff Jumping:
The cliffs surrounding Navagio Beach are quite steep, making it a popular spot for cliff jumping. Adventurous visitors can climb up the limestone cliffs and take the plunge into the inviting waters below. However, caution should be exercised, and it’s recommended to only jump from safe and designated spots.
Beach Facilities:
As Navagio Beach is only accessible by boat, there are limited facilities on the beach itself. However, most boat tours provide ample time for visitors to relax, swim, and explore the beach. Some boats also offer snacks and refreshments, allowing you to make the most of your time on this stunning shore.
Best Time to Visit:
Navagio Beach is best visited in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun is not too harsh, and the beach is less crowded. Midday is when most boat tours arrive, so arriving earlier or later ensures a more peaceful experience.

Camps Bay Beach

Camps Bay Beach is one of the most popular and picturesque beaches in Cape Town, South Africa. Situated on the Atlantic Seaboard, this stunning beach offers a combination of natural beauty, vibrant ambiance, and breathtaking views of the Twelve Apostles mountain range.
Swimming and Sunbathing:
The beach is a popular spot for both locals and tourists seeking relaxation and water activities. The gentle waves and shallow waters make it ideal for swimming, and the warm, sunny climate invites visitors to sunbathe on the sandy shore. Lifeguards are present during peak hours to ensure safety for swimmers.
Beachfront Restaurants and Cafés:
The beachfront promenade of Camps Bay is lined with a wide array of restaurants, cafés, and bars. Visitors can enjoy a diverse selection of cuisine, from fresh seafood to international delights, while relishing the panoramic ocean views. Dining at one of the beachfront establishments and watching the sun set over the ocean is a quintessential Camps Bay experience.
Sunset Views:
Camps Bay Beach is renowned for its breathtaking sunsets, which are particularly stunning due to its west-facing position. As the sun dips below the horizon, the sky transforms into a palette of vibrant colors, casting a golden glow over the beach and mountains. Watching the sunset from Camps Bay Beach is a memorable and romantic experience.
Water Sports and Activities:
While swimming is a popular activity at Camps Bay Beach, there are also opportunities for water sports such as stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, and beach volleyball. The beach’s scenic location also makes it a fantastic spot for photography and leisurely walks along the promenade.
Proximity to Other Attractions:
Camps Bay Beach’s prime location provides easy access to other popular attractions in Cape Town. Table Mountain’s cable car station is just a short drive away, allowing visitors to ascend the mountain and enjoy panoramic views of the city and surrounding landscapes. The V&A Waterfront, Cape Town’s bustling harbor area, is also within reach, offering shopping, dining, and entertainment options.
For more idea on what to do in the area see our article on Cape Town and Wine Farms of the Western Cape

El Nido Beach

Known for its stunning limestone cliffs, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and numerous pristine islands and beaches. El Nido Beach, also referred to as the main beach or Bacuit Bay, serves as the town’s primary beachfront and is a gateway to the natural wonders of the surrounding area. 
El Nido Beach offers postcard-perfect scenery with its white sands and emerald waters. The beach is framed by towering limestone cliffs covered in lush vegetation, creating a captivating backdrop. The picturesque setting makes El Nido Beach a popular spot for photography and relaxation.
Island Hopping and Lagoons:
El Nido is famous for its island-hopping tours, which allow visitors to explore the enchanting lagoons, hidden coves, and pristine islands in Bacuit Bay. These tours often take visitors to iconic spots like the Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, and Seven Commandos Beach. Each location offers unique natural beauty, making island hopping a must-do activity in El Nido.
Diverse Marine Life and Snorkeling:
The waters around El Nido are teeming with marine life and coral reefs, making it a fantastic destination for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. Snorkeling tours give visitors the chance to encounter colorful fish, sea turtles, and other marine creatures amid the clear waters and vibrant coral gardens.
Rock Climbing and Adventure Activities:
The limestone cliffs surrounding El Nido offer excellent opportunities for rock climbing and rappelling. Adventure seekers can embark on climbing tours to reach elevated viewpoints, where they can enjoy panoramic views of the bay and surrounding islands.
Nacpan Beach and Las Cabanas Beach:
While El Nido Beach is beautiful, visitors can also explore nearby beaches. Nacpan Beach, located about 17 kilometers north of El Nido town, is a stunning 4-kilometer-long beach known for its pristine and uncrowded atmosphere. Las Cabanas Beach, situated just a short distance from El Nido town, offers breathtaking sunset views and a relaxing ambiance.

Flamenco Beach Puerto Rico

Flamenco Beach is a world-renowned beach located on the island of Culebra, Puerto Rico. Known for its stunning beauty, crystal-clear waters, and majestic white sand, Flamenco Beach has consistently been rated as one of the top beaches in the world.
Marine Life and Snorkeling:
The waters surrounding Flamenco Beach are home to diverse marine life and coral reefs, making it a fantastic destination for snorkeling. Snorkelers can encounter vibrant fish, sea turtles, rays, and other marine species. The calm and clear waters make it an ideal spot for both beginners and experienced snorkelers.
Beach Facilities and Amenities:
While retaining its natural charm, Flamenco Beach offers some essential amenities for visitors’ comfort. You can find picnic tables, shaded areas, and restrooms on the beach, allowing visitors to spend a full day enjoying the beautiful surroundings.
Flamenco Tank:
One of the unique features of Flamenco Beach is the abandoned Sherman tank that stands near the shore. The tank is a relic from the days when the U.S. military used the island of Culebra as a bombing practice site. Today, it serves as a striking and somewhat surreal photo opportunity for visitors.
Campground and Camping:
For those seeking an immersive beach experience, Flamenco Beach offers a designated camping area. Camping on the beach is a popular choice among adventure seekers who want to wake up to the sound of waves and enjoy the beach at its most tranquil moments.
Access to Culebra:
Culebra is a small island located about 17 miles east of mainland Puerto Rico. Visitors can reach Culebra by taking a ferry from Fajardo or by flying from San Juan. The relatively remote location of Culebra helps preserve the island’s natural beauty and contributes to the serene and uncrowded atmosphere at Flamenco Beach.


Zanzibar, an archipelago off the coast of Tanzania in East Africa, is renowned for its stunning beaches and turquoise waters. The islands offer a diverse range of beaches, each with its own unique charm and appeal. Here are some beaches to consider visiting if you are in Zanzibar:
Nungwi Beach:
Located on the northern tip of Zanzibar, Nungwi Beach is one of the most popular and vibrant beaches on the island. It is known for its pristine white sand and clear waters, making it ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Nungwi is also famous for its spectacular sunsets, and visitors can take traditional dhow boat rides to experience the beautiful evening views.
Kendwa Beach:
Situated just south of Nungwi, Kendwa Beach is another stunning destination known for its powdery white sand and calm, shallow waters. The beach offers a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere, making it a perfect spot for sunbathing and beachfront dining. Kendwa Beach is also home to the Full Moon Party, a monthly event featuring music, dancing, and local entertainment.
Paje Beach:
Located on the southeastern coast of Zanzibar, Paje Beach is a haven for watersports enthusiasts, particularly kite boarders and windsurfers. The beach enjoys constant winds and shallow waters, creating excellent conditions for these activities. Paje Beach is also a great place to unwind, with its long stretches of sand and numerous beachfront accommodations.
Jambiani Beach:
South of Paje Beach, Jambiani Beach offers a more secluded and tranquil atmosphere. The beach is known for its picturesque fishing village and traditional wooden dhows lining the shore. Jambiani Beach provides an authentic glimpse into local life and culture, making it an excellent spot for cultural exploration and peaceful relaxation.
Matemwe Beach:
Situated on the northeast coast of Zanzibar, Matemwe Beach is famous for its stunning coral reefs and opportunities for snorkeling and diving. During low tide, you can walk out on the exposed coral and explore the marine life in natural tidal pools. The beach also offers a serene and remote setting, perfect for escaping the crowds and enjoying the laid-back ambiance.
Bwejuu Beach:
Further south along the east coast, Bwejuu Beach is a hidden gem characterized by its long stretches of white sand, coconut palms, and crystal-clear waters. The beach offers a tranquil and unspoiled atmosphere, making it an ideal destination for relaxation and romantic getaways.
Mnemba Island Beach:
While technically not on Zanzibar Island, Mnemba Island, located just off the northeastern coast, is a private island paradise renowned for its exclusive luxury resorts and pristine beaches. The island is surrounded by a marine conservation area, making it a fantastic location for snorkeling and diving with abundant marine life, including dolphins and turtles.
For more on what to do and see in Zanzibar see our article.

Costa Navarino Beach

Costa Navarino Beach is a stunning coastal area located in the Messinia region of the Peloponnese peninsula in Greece. It is part of the larger Costa Navarino resort complex, which has gained international recognition for its luxurious accommodations, sustainable practices, and dedication to preserving the natural beauty of the area. 
Navarino Dunes:
Costa Navarino Beach is located within the Navarino Dunes area, which is the first phase of the larger Costa Navarino resort development. The beach is easily accessible from the luxurious hotels and villas within the resort complex, allowing guests to enjoy a seamless beachfront experience.
Watersports and Activities:
The calm and shallow waters of Costa Navarino Beach make it an excellent spot for various water activities, including paddle boarding, kayaking, and snorkeling. The resort offers a range of watersports facilities and equipment, providing ample opportunities for guests to explore the stunning marine environment.
Beach Clubs and Services:
The beach is well-equipped with beach clubs and facilities that cater to guests’ needs. Visitors can relax on comfortable sun loungers and enjoy beachside food and beverage services. The attentive staff ensures that guests have everything they need for a day of relaxation and enjoyment by the sea.

Kauai Beach Hawaii

Kauai, often referred to as the “Garden Isle,” is the oldest and fourth-largest of the main Hawaiian Islands, known for its lush landscapes, waterfalls, and stunning beaches. Situated on the eastern coast of the island, near the town of Lihue and the Lihue Airport Kauai offers a variety of beautiful beaches, each with its own unique characteristics. 
The beach is characterized by its golden sand and clear, inviting waters. While swimming is possible at Kauai Beach, visitors should be cautious of strong currents and riptides, especially during periods of high surf. As with any beach in Hawaii, it’s essential to check for posted signs and guidelines before entering the water.
Kauai Beach is well-known for its beautiful sunrise views. Watching the sun rise over the Pacific Ocean from this vantage point is a captivating experience, making it a popular spot for early risers and photographers.
Resorts and Accommodations:
The area around Kauai Beach is home to several resorts and accommodations, making it a convenient location for visitors looking to stay close to the beach. Some resorts even offer direct access to the beach, allowing guests to enjoy its beauty at any time of day.
Near Lihue Attractions:
Being close to Lihue, Kauai Beach is conveniently located near various attractions and activities. Visitors can explore the historic town, visit the Kauai Museum, or indulge in local dining and shopping options.
Nearby Lydgate Beach Park:
Adjacent to Kauai Beach, you’ll find Lydgate Beach Park, which offers protected swimming areas with rock barriers, making it safer for families and children. The park also has picnic areas, playgrounds, and restrooms, making it an excellent option for a family day at the beach.

Matira Beach is a world-renowned and picturesque beach located on the southern tip of Bora Bora, a stunning island in French Polynesia. Known for its white sands, clear turquoise waters, and stunning sunsets, Matira Beach is often regarded as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
The waters of Matira Beach are incredibly clear and offer a mesmerizing display of hues ranging from emerald green to turquoise blue. The shallow and calm lagoon makes it a safe and enjoyable spot for swimming and wading, especially for families and non-swimmers.
Excellent Snorkeling:
Near the southern end of Matira Beach, there are coral gardens teeming with marine life. Snorkelers can explore the underwater world and encounter colorful fish, rays, and even reef sharks. It’s a fantastic spot for both beginners and experienced snorkelers.
Accessible Location:
Matira Beach is easily accessible from the main resort areas of Bora Bora, making it a popular destination for both visitors staying on the island and cruise ship passengers docking nearby.
Nearby Accommodations and Facilities:
There are several luxury resorts and accommodations near Matira Beach, offering visitors a range of options for beachfront stays. Additionally, the beach has some restaurants and snack bars where you can enjoy local cuisine and refreshing tropical drinks.
Water Activities:
Aside from snorkeling, Matira Beach provides opportunities for other water activities, such as kayaking and paddle boarding. Some tour operators also offer jet ski tours and boat trips to explore more of Bora Bora’s stunning lagoon.

Navio Beach, Vieques, Puerto Rico.

Navio Beach is one of the less-visited beaches on the island, offering a more secluded and unspoiled experience compared to some of the more popular beaches. The beach is nestled between rocky cliffs and is accessible through a short hike, which adds to its off-the-beaten-path charm.
The beach features a dramatic landscape with rugged cliffs and large rock formations, creating a picturesque backdrop against the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. Navio Beach’s unique natural beauty makes it a favorite spot for photographers and nature enthusiasts.
Vieques is a designated National Wildlife Refuge, and Navio Beach is no exception to the island’s abundant wildlife. Visitors may encounter various bird species, including herons and pelicans, as well as other native wildlife while exploring the beach and its surroundings.
Hiking and Adventure:
To access Navio Beach, visitors usually take a short hike through a trail that leads from the main road. The hike itself is an adventure, and the reward of reaching the hidden beach makes it worthwhile. As with any outdoor activity, it’s essential to bring appropriate footwear, water, and sun protection.
Surfing and Bodyboarding:
Navio Beach is known for its waves, making it a popular spot for surfers and body boarders. The swells can get significant, providing an exciting opportunity for water sports enthusiasts. However, swimmers should exercise caution, as the beach’s conditions may not always be ideal for swimming.
Limited Amenities:
Since Navio Beach is less developed than some of the more frequented beaches, there are limited facilities and amenities available. It’s a good idea to bring your supplies, including food, water, and any essentials you may need during your visit.

Bondi Beach is one of Australia’s most iconic and beloved beaches, located in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. It is a world-famous destination known for its stunning scenery, excellent surf conditions, and vibrant beach culture. Bondi Beach boasts a long crescent-shaped shoreline with soft, golden sand that attracts sun-seekers, swimmers, and surfers alike. The beach is backed by a vibrant promenade with grassy areas, picnic spots, and parklands, offering plenty of space for relaxation and recreation.
Surfing Capital:
Bondi Beach is a mecca for surfers, both locals and visitors, who come to ride its famous waves. The beach’s reliable surf conditions and consistent swells make it an ideal spot for surfers of all levels. It’s also home to the Bondi Surf Bathers’ Life Saving Club, one of the world’s oldest surf lifesaving clubs.
Bondi Icebergs Pool:
At the southern end of Bondi Beach, you’ll find the iconic Bondi Icebergs Pool. This ocean pool is perched on the rocks and offers a unique swimming experience where visitors can swim in the pool while enjoying breathtaking views of the ocean.
Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk:
The Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk is a popular coastal trail that starts at Bondi Beach and stretches along the coastline for about 6 kilometers. It takes you past several other beautiful beaches, rock pools, and scenic viewpoints, making it a must-do activity for nature lovers and hikers.
Cultural Hub:
Bondi Beach has a thriving and diverse beach culture. It’s a hub for artists and musicians with various events, festivals, and art installations taking place throughout the year. The beachfront area is also filled with trendy cafés, restaurants, and boutique shops.
Bondi Beach is easily accessible from Sydney’s city center, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists. There are regular buses connecting Bondi Beach with the city, and it’s only about a 30-minute drive from the central business district.

Eagle Beach Aruba

Eagle Beach is a magnificent beach located on the western coast of Aruba in the Caribbean. It is known for its pristine beauty, soft white sands, and clear turquoise waters. Eagle Beach is one of the widest beaches in Aruba, providing ample space for beachgoers to spread out and enjoy the sun without feeling crowded. This vast expanse of sand makes it an ideal spot for long walks along the shore and beach games.
Shaded Palapas:
Eagle Beach is dotted with shaded palapas (palm leaf huts) that offer protection from the sun. These palapas are available for public use on a first-come, first-served basis, allowing visitors to enjoy the beach comfortably.
Divi-Divi Trees: Iconic divi-divi trees, famously bent by the constant trade winds, line the beach, adding a touch of natural beauty and character to the landscape. These trees make for excellent photo opportunities and create a distinct and charming ambiance.
Nesting Grounds for Sea Turtles:
Eagle Beach is a crucial nesting area for sea turtles, including the endangered loggerhead and hawksbill turtles. During certain times of the year, visitors might have the chance to witness sea turtle nests or even turtle hatchlings making their way to the ocean.
Spectacular Sunsets:
Eagle Beach is well-regarded for its stunning sunsets, where the sky is painted with hues of orange, pink, and purple as the sun sets over the horizon. Watching the sunset here is a memorable and romantic experience.
Eagle Beach is family-friendly and welcomes visitors of all ages. The gentle waves and shallow waters make it suitable for kids to splash and play safely.

The world is vast with over 370 000km of coastline, and although this article only highlights 20 of the top beaches in the world, its only the tip of the iceberg. In our travels we have been to amazing destinations offering pristine beaches that do not even make it into the top 100. So wherever your travels may take you, we are sure there is an amazing beach nearby. All we ask is that travellers be respectful to the beauty that mother nature provides us by not damaging coral reefs and picking up trash, be it your own or that of others.
With a growing world population and limited places of beauty we need to preserve what we have left.
Safe travels and be a responsible tourist 😉

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