There are many amazing things to see while traveling, but few beat the feeling of arriving at a beautiful beach. Picture palm trees, coral reefs, beach bars, and sea turtles – all the best beach characteristics. Whether you want an inner city spot to sunbathe and play volleyball or a remote haven for marine life, the good news is that the world is a big place with many options. The best beaches in the world are spread far and wide and full of surprises.
Top Beaches in the World
Ready to hit the beach? This guide will cover the 21 best beaches in the world. These are the best places to enjoy around the globe, from Hawaii to Greece.
1. Matira Beach, French Polynesia
This beautiful white sand beach is one of the best beaches in the world. The sandy beach is surrounded by lush vegetation and palm trees, with vibrant turquoise water and distant views of jagged mountains. The water is calm and shallow. Matira Beach is stunning, that’s for sure.
If you are looking for a beach with luxury accommodation nearby, Matira Beach ticks the box. This beach is next to a gorgeous selection of overwater bungalows – perfect if just a daytime visit sounds like too little time to spend in such a beautiful place. Matira Beach is situated on the southern coast of Bora Bora. It is a fantastic beach to visit in the South Pacific Ocean.
2. Eagle Beach, Aruba
Eagle Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and is situated on the northeastern coast of Aruba. While surrounded by many other beaches, this beach stands out for its bright white sand and crystal-clear blue water. As a protected marine zone, it is a haven for animals like sea turtles, who sometimes nest in the sand. It has a paradisical vibe yet also caters to the more adventurous with watersports like jet skiing.
The postcard image of Eagle Beach is a gnarled tree growing out of the sand. While it is relatively touristy, the beach retains that sense of natural identity. It is a must-visit when visiting Aruba.
Read more about Aruba and its surrounding areas
3. Horseshoe Bay Beach, Bermuda
Ready to spice things up? Forget about white sand beaches and visit a pink sand beach. Bermuda has many tropical beaches, but Horseshoe Bay Beach is extra special. The beach is a bright pink, backed by limestone cliffs, and spread out in a unique horse shape. The sand is turned pink by a tiny invertebrate called homotrema rubrum, which extracts calcium carbonate from the seawater and uses it to form red skeletons. These invertebrates are then crushed up over time and have created the distinctive sands of Horseshoe Bay Beach.
The beach is located on the south coast of Bermuda and is scenically backed by South Shore Park. Horseshoe Bay Beach is a beautiful beach to visit and definitely one for your bucket list.
Read more about Bermuda
4. Grace Bay Beach, Turks and Caicos Islands
Grace Bay Beach is where to visit for that tropical paradise aesthetic in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The beach is not only one of the best in the world but is also frequently hailed as one the best beaches in the world – a weighty claim and big enough to earn it a spot on our list. Grace Bay Beach has that classic white sandy beach and turquoise bay allure. It is also backed by luxury resorts like the Royal West Indies Resort.
The Turks and Caicos Islands are situated north of Haiti and west of the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean. Grace Bay Beach is located in Grace Bay, part of one of the smaller islands in the archipelago. The ocean surrounding Grace Bay Beach is part of the Princess Alexandra National Park (aka Princess Alexandra Marine Park). Thanks to its protected status, you’ll find colorful fishes and beautiful marine life like sea turtles thriving offshore.
5. Playa Punta Uva, Costa Rica
Playa Punta Uva is one of the best beaches in the world if you want to adventure away from the main beaches. The beach is set in a secluded cove and offers a ‘hidden beach’ experience in the quiet fishing village of Punta Uva. Its shallow waters have many coral reefs – perfect for snorkeling or scuba diving. Its waters are also extremely calm, given its location in a sheltered bay. We rank Playa Punta Uva as an idyllic place to spend a few hours and a calming spot to interact with Costa Rican marine life. Full of nature and a peaceful atmosphere, you should definitely add Punta Uva to your bucket list.
Playa Punta Uva is located on the southern coast of Costa Rica, near the Panama border. It opens onto the Caribbean Sea and is surrounded by serene nature areas like the Gandoca-Manzanillo wildlife refuge.
Read more about Costa Rica
6. Rialto Beach, USA
Rialto Beach is one of the most dramatic-looking beaches in the world. The beach has quite a gothic appeal, with characteristically overcast and drizzly weather, dense pine forests, and black sand combining to create a dark effect. Rialto Beach is famed for its sea stacks, which jut out from the sea at high tide like tiny island towers. It is also known for its driftwood, which often washes up intact as colossal tree trunks.
Rialto Beach is located right next to the USA/Canada border, underneath Vancouver Island. It is well-combined with a hike to Hole-In-The-Wall – a rock with a huge hole sculpted by a volcanic eruption. Of course, you will also want to visit the nearby Olympic National Park.
Read more about Rialto Beach and its surrounding area
7. Clearwater Beach, USA
Clearwater Beach is one of the best beaches in the world and we had to include it in this guide. Florida beach lovers flock to this calm-watered spot for almost year-round watersports and sunbathing. A little quieter than the iconic Miami Beach, Clearwater Beach still offers some Florida buzz and is lined by beach bars and leading hospitality venues. If you want watersports and a step down from the Miami Beach intensity, Clearwater Beach is our top recommendation in Florida.
Clearwater Beach is located just outside of Tampa on Florida’s west coast. The beach is situated on a long barrier island connected to the mainland by a scenic causeway. On the island’s north, there is also Caladesi Island State Park, where you can head for a more rural experience.
Read more about Clearwater Beach
8. Miami Beach, USA
We can’t talk about Florida without giving Miami Beach its well-earned appreciation. Miami Beach is the bread and butter of the city beach experience in the USA. It is mainly known for its skyscraper backdrop and artistic surroundings. The city’s art deco influence spills out onto its white sand beach with brightly painted beach architecture like lifeguard huts. Miami Beach (especially the South Beach section) is famed as a cultural beach getaway destination.
Miami Beach is great for surfers and those wanting to combine a city break with a beach holiday. Another winning factor of this beach is that it is just a short walk away from fantastic attractions like ARTECHOUSE Miami and The Bass.
Read more about Miami Beach and Florida
9. Praia de Copacabana, Brazil
Praia de Copacabana is a golden sand hotspot outside Rio de Janeiro. It is a 2.2-mile beach lined with action – be it food stalls, beach bars, or hotels – and a constantly busy promenade. It is well-suited to those who want to experience a cultural beach with plenty going on and a slightly hectic vibe. If you get bored on your average beach day, Praia de Copacabana is for you.
While Praia de Copacabana is situated outside Rio de Janeiro, it is still lined by skyscrapers and has that city beach appeal. However, there are also distinctive mountains surrounding the beach that give it a natural atmosphere as well. And when you’ve had enough time at the beach, you can head to the nearby Christ the Redeemer statue or Tijuca National Park.
Read more about Brazil
10. Whitehaven Beach, Australia
Whitehaven Beach is another one of our best beaches in the world for you to explore. It might also be one of the most photographed beaches in the world, thanks to its unique swirled pattern of sand and turquoise water offshore. The pristine sand and offshore view make it one of Australia’s most spectacular beaches and caught our attention while preparing this list. You can relax on Whitehaven Beach, take a helicopter ride over the phenomenon, or visit Hill Inlet Lookout for a vantage point over gorgeous beaches.
Whitehaven Beach is part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Area. It is located on Whitsunday Island, off the coast of Queensland. Whitehaven Beach is the place to go if you want something more impressive than powdery white sand.
Read more about Australia
11. Skeleton Beach, Australia
Skeleton Beach is stunning, with bright turquoise water and chalky white sand. It is on an eye-catching outlet, jutting out from the mainland as its own little headland. Its remote location is its biggest draw, surrounded by nothing except sand until you reach the small town of Coral Bay. Skeleton Beach is fantastic for snorkeling and is home to plenty of baby reef sharks in spring and summer and tropical fish all year round.
Skeleton Beach is located on the north coast of Western Australia. It is easily combined with a visit to the nearby Ningaloo Reef, which is famous for whale sharks. And, while Skeleton Beach takes the title, there are numerous nearby beaches to add to your itinerary – including Five Fingers Reef, where you can go 4WDing on the beach.
12. Camps Bay Beach, South Africa
Camps Bay Beach is another popularly photographed beach. It is the beach in Cape Town and is dramatically backed by lush mountains. The beautiful beach is easily one of the best white sand city beaches in the world. Iconic and deservedly so, Camps Bay Beach is a brilliant place to appreciate Cape Town’s beautiful geographical layout. Hire a deck chair and enjoy the views.
After you’ve experienced Camps Bay Beach, head to Table Top National Park for some hiking and more incredible views. Alternatively, spend a day in the city center, which is full of attractions and museums, if you want to get indoors and out of the sun.
Read more about South Africa
13. Nungwi Beach, Tanzania
Nungwi Beach is gorgeous, with soft white sand and beautiful clear waters of the Indian Ocean. Backed by palm trees and lined with traditional fishing boats, Nungwi Beach is a lovely place to visit. It also has plenty of culture, with vendors selling handicraft goods and fresh catch for sale straight off the boat. You can relax on the soft sand, get involved in laidback beach activities, or enjoy the water. There are plenty of colorful fish to spot.
This beach is located on Zanzibar, a highly sought-after island off the coast of mainland Tanzania. Nungwi Beach is on the island’s northern tip and is surrounded by a selection of luxury resorts.
Read more about Zanzibar’s beaches
14. Le Morne Public Beach, Mauritius
Le Morne Public Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The beach is a relatively narrow strip of golden sand, but its dramatic backdrop is its selling factor. The large hill behind the beach is home to Le Morne Cross and is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can hike it or enjoy the view from Le Morne Public Beach – whichever is your style. The beach is also perfect for snorkeling, thanks to its calm waters.
Le Morne Public Beach is located on the southeast coast of Mauritius and is well combined with a visit to the Black River Gorges National Park, Underwater Waterfall, and the fascinating Chamarel Seven Colored Earth Geopark. Le Morne Public Beach’s spectacular surroundings are a testament to all Mauritius has to offer, which is a lot.
Read more about Mauritius
15. Anse Source D’Agent, Digue Island, Seychelles
In a guide on the best beaches in the world, what would our list be without Anse Source D’Agent? Anse Source D’Agent is one of the most famous of the world’s beaches and is most known for its granite boulders and white sand – a beloved photoshoot spot. The palm-lined beach is one of the most striking beaches mentioned so far. Anse Source D’Agent is an excellent choice for anyone wanting a bucket list beach setting. And, if you need more persuading, this beach also has turtles.
La Digue Island is located northeast of the Seychelles mainland. The island offers an unspoiled atmosphere and works hard to protect its natural beauty. It is easily reached by ferry from the mainland.
Read more about Seychelles
16. Kelingking Beach, Indonesia
Kelingking Beach is a dramatic strip of sand at the bottom of a cliff face, accessed by a photogenic set of wooden steps. The limestone cliffs and rock formations around the island are extremely characteristic. Kelingking Beach has become infamous on social media – popularly coined as Nusa Penida Beach. The beach is a photogenic and adventurous destination and is full of wildlife, so keep your eyes out for manta rays and monkeys. For adventurous beach goers, Kelingking Beach is our top recommendation in Asia.
Kelingking Beach is on Penida Island, which is best reached from Bali by ferry. If you have time, stay on the island for a few days, as it has lots to see and do. Teletubbies Hill, Diamond Beach, and Paluang Cliff are great attractions, to just name a few. Kelingking Beach itself deserves at least half a day to explore.
Read more about Indonesia
17. Saud Beach, Philippines
Saud Beach is one of the best beaches in the world if you are chasing an uncrowded tropical beach. Saud Beach has gentle waves and shallow water, and its sands outstretch in a huge arc – leaving you plenty of room to find a space for your towel away from other people. Backed by quiet resorts and vegetation, Saud Beach is a peaceful spot and easily one of the world’s most beautiful beaches.
Saud Beach is on the northernmost tip of the main island of Luzon. However, it is worth the extra travel to get there. While you can reach Saud Beach as a day trip from Manila, we recommend staying in the area for a couple of days or more to get the most out of the peaceful environment. You can visit the nearby Kabigan Falls and Patapat Viaduct in the extra time.
Read more about the Philippines
18. Railay Beach, Thailand
Railay Beach is another beautiful beach that is only accessible by boat (we are spotting a trend here). The beach is situated in Krabi, surrounded by lush vegetation and rocky, mountainous outcrops. Railay Beach is perfect for experiencing that classic Thai beach atmosphere you see on social media and in travel advertisements.
For the ultimate experience, you can catch a traditional tail boat ride to Railay Beach. And when you’ve finished enjoying the beach, there is rock climbing, monkey spotting, and massages to enjoy.
Read more about Thailand
19. Navagio Beach, aka Shipwreck Beach, Greece
Navagio Beach is a gem of a beach to visit in Europe. The beach is only reached by boat and has been immortalized by social media (usually with pictures taken from the cliffs above). Its characteristic white limestone cove, rusted shipwreck, and bright blue waters have attracted it. Navagio Beach is a real ‘destination’ beach. It’s probably already on your bucket list if you’ve been researching European beaches.
Navagio Beach is on the north end of Zante. The Greek island is also known as Zakynthos and it’s one of Greece’s most popular islands among tourists. There’s so much to do on the island, so a beach day will be a welcome treat and downtime. If you are hiring a car, it’s worth driving around the north coast after visiting Navagio Beach to see the Blue Caves.
Read more about Greece
20. Praia de Marinha, Portugal
Praia de Marinha is one of the darlings of Portugal’s renowned Algarve Coast. The beach has rich-colored golden sand and rustic beauty, with sandstone arches, sea stacks, and caves. Praia de Marinha is an excellent option if you love a beach that gives you plenty of exploring. You could spend an hour just wandering through and around the rock formations, and you can even walk across one of the sandstone arches. Praia de Marinha is only accessible by steps, so prepare to get a sweat on. Still, it is more of an adventure than extra effort.
Praia de Marinha is located minutes from the famed Benagil Cave, a dramatic sea cave only accessible from the sea by kayak or boat. The cave has a characteristic hole in its roof, which visitors can also peer through from above. If you visit Praia de Marinha, schedule a visit to Benagil Cave next door.
Read more about Portugal
21. Elafonissi Beach, Greece
To round off our guide to the best beaches in the world, we have Elafonissi Beach in Crete. What color Elafonissi Beach is exactly is a topic of debate. In some lights, it appears a cream color, and in others, it appears pink. Finding out what color it is will be part of the excitement when arriving. And either way, the water is a bright blue and perfect for a beautiful swimming spot.
You can walk from Elafonissi Beach to Elafonsi Island during low tide. The island is excellent for hiking and is a must-do for any adventurous visitors to Elafonissi Beach. The beach itself is located on the western tip of Crete and is nearby to the Lissos Archeological Site and Castel Selino.
Best Beaches in the World FAQs
Now that we’ve covered the most stunning beaches in the world let’s look at some quick FAQs.
What is the #1 beach in the world?
The number one beach in the world is Anse Source D’Agent. This famous beach has fantastic scenery, with characteristic granite boulders and white sand.
Where are the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world?
The most beautiful beaches in the world are located in the Caribbean, South Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia, and America.
What are the top 10 beaches in the world?
Miami Beach, Whitehaven Beach, Navagio Beach, Praia de Marinha, Railay Beach, Rialto Beach, Anse Source D’Agent, Le Morne Public Beach, Kelingking Beach, and Praia de Copacabana.
These beautiful beaches are the best in the world. We hope you’ve found your match – whether you want pristine white sand or palm trees and beach bars. Have a wonderful time.