Not all beaches are the same but all that sand and the coastlines and the water has some mystical power to erase reality and hook you into a force greater than yourself. I have listed the world’s most beautiful beaches. They are all treated to your senses with its distinct characteristics.
Blue Lagoon, Oludeniz, Turkey
Its 10 miles from the town of Fethiye. Lush green peaks border perfectly clear turquoise water, with a peninsula separating one stretch of beach from another. The beach is a national marine sanctuary.
Highlights: You will find great diving opportunities here with some fascinating caves and an abundant marine life.
The Baths, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
How this garden of perfectly smooth granite boulders ended up on the shores of Virgin Gorda is unknown. It’s a backdrop against palm-filled mountains, making the place a mystical-pirate-hideaway.
Highlights: You can through the boulders and swim into secluded grottos, where the sun peeps in through the rocks and creates some good photographic environment.
Zakynthos Island, Greece
This crescent beach, accessible only by boat, is surrounded on three sides by dramatic, sheer cliffs. People steadily stream in, to soak up the striking beauty of the cove’s white sands and the azure water of the Ionian Sea.
Highlights: In the middle of the beach you will find the rusted hull of a freighter that ran around here in 1980, rumoured to be smuggling wine and other contraband. The beach derives its two nicknames from it: Shipwreck Beach and Smuggler’s Cove.
Grace Bay Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands
The light aqua waters over here are not found anywhere else in the world. This epic stretch of white sand is just a stone’s throw from the big resorts. It looks just as spectacular from the water as from the sand, so you can rent a little sailboat and explore it from both angles.
Highlights: Coral Gardens, a small snorkelling trail at Grace Bay, is a great place for scuba diving with abundant marine life.
Makena, Maui, Hawaii
The blue water and the contrasting orange sand creates a mind-blowing palette of colour. From the sand you see the white-capped Pacific leading out to other Hawaiian islands.
Highlights: There are two beaches here, Big Beach and Little Beach.
Cala Deia, Mallorca, Spain
Cliffs surround the sapphire water, and even though villas are built into those cliffs the place still feels like a hidden paradise.
Highlights: There are two seafood restaurants where dining is almost-on-top of the water.
Hidden Beach, The Marieta Islands by Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Though its no longer ‘hidden”, stories are that this beach has been formed in the 1900s by the Mexican military detonating test bombs.
Highlights: There's a water tunnel you have to pass through to get there.
Anse Source d'Argent La Digue, Republic of Seychelles
Pink sand and towering cliffs are the most distinguished features of the beach. It is the most photographed beach in the world.
Highlights: La Digue, specifically its Veuve Nature Reserve, is the last place on earth where you can find the rare black paradise flycatcher bird, of which there are only about 100 left.
Piha Beach, Piha, New Zealand
25 miles north of the city lies the beach. It’s home to Lion Rock, a massive 16-million-year-old stone that’s made appearances on both the Auckland phone book and postage stamps. Green hills line the shore, with streams and tributaries running out into the Tasman Sea.
Highlights: Formed by volcanic minerals it’s a black sand beach, and the harsh breaks make it one of the top surfing spots in the Pacific.
Ora Beach, Maluku, Indonesia
The most overwhelming beach in the country is in Maluku. The actual stretch of sand isn’t particularly large, but the overall setting of emerald ocean flowing through jungle islands is the stuff of South Pacific fantasies.
Highlights: Known as the Maldives of Indonesia, for the reason that you can rent little tiki huts that sit on stilts in the water, making your patio a de facto private beach.
Maya Bay, Ko Phi Phi, Thailand
This is a lush tropical beach.
Highlights: Once you get there you might be tempted to extend your stay. Ko Phi Phi is one of the world's most best beach cities where you can live comfortably for dirt cheap.
El Castillo, Tulum, Mexico
This white sand beach has Mayan ruins at one side and on the other side, it has clear water and colourful fishing boats; and locals salsa dance on nearby Playa Esperanza.
Highlights: Climbing pyramids, swimming in cenotes, kitesurfing, and eating fish tacos.
Tofino, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Crystal clear water, white sandy beaches, and unparalleled surfing, it has all that plus towering mountain views. Highlights: You can spot bears sometimes enjoying this beach, too. Baia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil With its turquoise waters and coral reefs it is super secluded.
Highlights: It's a must for divers and snorkelers, with impressive reefs and tons of sea creatures to spot.
Siesta Key, Siesta Key, Florida
This jewel on the Gulf Coast is the kind of beach that gives you a sunburn because you can’t pull yourself away. The calm, azure waters of the Gulf of Mexico lap up on a powdered-sugar shoreline with minimal development and spectacular sunsets.
Highlights: You can spot dolphins swimming.
Bahia Gardner, Espanola Island, Galapagos
These are 4-million-year-old volcanic islands famous for endemic species.
Highlights: Bahia Gardner is filled with sea lions, red lava lizards, and Española mockingbirds. The entire world population of waved albatrosses breeds here, as does the fun-to-say blue-footed booby.
Praia da Marinha, Lagoa, Portugal
The turquoise water the twin arches makes it an iconic beach. You can take a boat out and explore the grottos and caves nearby.
Highlights: Marinha is just one of several beaches in Algarve, Portugal’s southernmost region, vying to be named the most beautiful in the country. There is quite literally “more where that came from” so rent a car and make an adventure of it.
Rabbit Beach, Lampedusa, Italy
This nature reserve is accessible only by the beach. Rabbit Beach is consistently rated one of the top four beaches in the world on TripAdvisor.
Highlights: Dolphins frolicking in the water and the nearby volcanic isle of Linosa, which has an incredible black-and-red beach.
East Beach, Santa Barbara, California
Santa Barbara has got all the warm, sunny weather Southern California’s famous. East Beach epitomizes that quintessential California scenery that caused early settlers’ jaws to hit the sand: the deep blue Pacific, along the meandering beachfront drive lined with palm trees, and the Santa Ynez Mountains at the back.
Highlights: Beachgoers, rollerblades, and runners who are every bit the picture of Southern California beauty, making this one of the best spots in America for all kinds of scenery.