A picture of a sea turtle in maui swimming through the ocean.

These 18 Best Beach Beaches in the World Are Perfect For Your Next Vacation

Imagine sinking your toes into soft, powdery sand while the gentle sound of waves lulls you into a state of pure relaxation. The world is home to countless beaches, each offering a unique slice of paradise. Whether you’re dreaming of crystal-clear waters, dramatic cliffs, vibrant coral reefs, or secluded coves, there’s a perfect beach out there waiting for you.

Enjoy the best beaches in the world that – maybe – you’ve never heard about and will provide new vacation opportunities in your future!

1. Anse Source d’Argent beach, Seychelles

Credit: Alina Kaplanov, TheLuxuryTravelers.com

Anse Source d’Argent beach on La Digue Island in the Seychelles is famed for being the world’s most photographed beach. Its shallow turquoise waters, white sand, and stunning massive granite rock boulders are truly magnificent. The beach entrance comes with a fee and gives you unlimited access during that day. Use it and visit Anse Source d’Argent beach also at sunset for the most picturesque scenery. Don’t miss how the unique boulders are illuminated with orange colors, and the sky turns purple.

Anse Source d’Argent Beach is a very popular beach in Seychelles, to avoid the massive crowds, go early in the morning, or later in the afternoon. Furthermore, it is a long strand and you might find it less crowded as you go further south. Due to its shallow waters, swimming will be impossible when the tide is low, so check out the tide times before you go.

Le Domaine de L’Orangeraie Resort & Spa is a great option for your stay on La Digue Island, located on Anse Severe Beach with breathtaking views of Praslin Island. Anse Source d’Argent Beach is just a short bike ride away. Bicycles are the main means of transportation on La Digue island, adding a special tranquil vibe to the island.

2. Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach

black beach iceland
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

One of the very best beaches in the world is Reynisfjara, a black sand beach found near Vik, Iceland. While there are numerous black sand beaches found across Iceland, Reynisfjara is one of the most famous and is a popular stop on the Ring Road. 

I’ve been to this beach on three different trips to Iceland, and each time, it has been a slightly different experience. 

Not only is Reynisfjara famous for its stunning black sand, but you can also find a large number of basalt columns here, including a basalt column cave! You can also spot Reynisdrangar from this beach, which is a formation of multiple sea stacks located just off the coast. 

Although this beach is beautiful, please be aware that it is extremely dangerous, with sneaker waves constantly in the way. You can safely visit the beach by following all rules and paying attention to the posted warnings based on the tides. Also, it’s important to never turn your back on the ocean and pay close attention at all times for sneaker waves. 

Don’t let the dangers scare you off completely, though. Reynisfjara is absolutely stunning and should be on everyone’s Iceland bucket list!

You can stay very close by at the Black Sand Beach Suites, where we were lucky enough to spot the Northern Lights during our most recent visit! 

Recommended by Janae of Adventures With TuckNae

3. Lukentyre Beach

Credit: Kristin, Scotland Less Explored

Visiting Luskentyre Beach is one the best things to do in the Isle of Harris, an island northwest of mainland Scotland. The beach is often voted one of the top beaches on TripAdvisor beach rankings and it is easy to see why.

The sand is bright white, and when the sun is shining, the waters are turquoise. Luskentyre Beach is worth visiting at any time of the day, but it is best viewed at low tide when you can walk for miles across the white sand. You get fantastic views from the beach itself, but nothing beats the panoramic scenery seen from the top of Beinn Dhubh, the hill behind the beach. It is a steep climb but well worth the effort.

Most people choose to stay in rental cottages, so there are not many hotels on the island. Tarbert is the largest village, and it has the best choice of hotels and restaurants. For a top-end hotel, try the Harris Hotel or stay at Ceol Na Mara Guest House. Both are close to Tarbert. 

To get to the Isle of Harris, you have to take a ferry from Skye or travel via the Isle of Lewis. Since Lewis is larger than Harris, it has an airport and a ferry from mainland Scotland.

4. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod

Photo Credit: Samanta Hamilton

Located on the Cape Cod peninsula along the coast of Massachusetts, Coast Guard Beach is absolutely one of the best beaches in the world to visit. While I’ve been to beaches on the Amalfi Coast and Thailand, this one continues to be one of my absolute favorites (although I may be a bit biased since I’m a local northeastern!).

Nestled along the shoreline of the protected Cape Cod National Seashore, Coast Guard was the starting point for author Henry David Thoreau’s famous coastal walk that inspired his collection of essays titled Cape Cod, so you know there’s something very special about it. 

But even if you’re not a Thoreau fan, the unspoiled New England beauty at this beach is hard to not be impressed by, and even most locals will agree it’s one of the best in the region. In fact, Conde Nast Traveler and other publications have even named it one of the best in the U.S.!

Not only is there over a mile of sandy shoreline to walk on, this is also one of the most fun places to spot seals on Cape Cod, and you’ll often see them swimming in the water during your visit. If you walk further south down the beach, you’re likely to see even more, as groups of them tend to hang out in this area where it’s quieter.

Coast Guard is located nearby to some other wonderful sites in the area, including Nauset Lighthouse, which is one of the best things to see in Eastham during your visit (it’s also the lighthouse pictured on the Cape Cod potato chips bag, so be sure to bring your camera!).

If you’d like to stay near the beach, the Inn at the Oaks in Eastham is the closest place to stay that offers cozy and traditional New England-style accommodations, and is less than a 10-minute drive to the beach.

It’s good to know that if you visit this beach in the summer season, you’ll need to park your car in a designated off-site lot a mile from the entrance and hop on the free open-air shuttle to get there.

5. Whalers Bay

Credit: Pamela Drager

One of the best beaches in the world is the cold but unique beach of Whalers Bay on Deception Island, Antarctica. Deception Island is one of the few places where ships can sail directly into a submerged caldera.

Deception Island is home to an active volcano which is what formed the caldera. The beach is a mixture of ash and black sand. There is also thermal heat below, meaning there is minimal snow around the harbor. It’s the perfect beach for a polar plunge in Antarctica since you can easily walk out to the water and swim with penguins!

Another thing that makes this a unique beach is that the whaling building ruins are still here as a memorial to the whalers of Antarctica. You’ll find large buildings and silos that were used for the only land-based whaling station in Antarctica. Hunting whales was common in the early 1900s throughout the Southern Ocean. Today, the beach is home to penguins and seals.

While you won’t get tan at Whaler’s Bay, you’ll be able to walk through history, be inside a volcano, and swim with penguins all at the same time! 

Recommended by Pamela The Directionally Challenged Traveler

6. Mazatlán, Mexico

Credit: Lisa Garrett from Waves and Cobblestones

The sunny Mexican Riviera is blessed with many beautiful beaches, and this is especially the case in Mazatlán!  With over 20 miles of beaches, you’ll have a hard time exploring them all, from Playa Norte to the Golden Zone’s Playa Gaviotas.

I love these beaches in Mazatlán because they are shallow, making them the perfect place for a long walk on the beach in the surf!  And they are especially romantic at the end of the day, when you’ll be treated to a stunning sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

Take a stroll along the Malecón – this oceanfront boardwalk is one of Mazatlan’s top attractions.  For a relaxing day at the beach, rent beach chairs and umbrellas.  For a more active beach day, you can rent boogie boards or jet skis.

There are plenty of restaurants, shops, and hotels to enjoy along the beaches of Mazatlán.  Stay at the Hotel Playa Mazatlan, a 4-star hotel with a spa located on Playa Gaviotas.

And when you’re worn out from a long day on the beach, just flag down a pulmonio.  These are local open-air taxis (kind of like a golf cart on steroids) that can be found all along the Malecón and are the easiest way to get around Mazatlán.

Recommended by Lisa Garrett from Waves and Cobblestones

7. Sugar Sand Beaches along Florida’s Gulf Coast

Credit: Michael Lynch

Head to Florida’s Gulf Coast for miles of white, sugar-sand beaches with breathtaking views of the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. From sleepy beach towns to fishing villages to a thriving nightlife scene, this stretch of 200 miles offers every traveler a chance to find their paradise!

On the Western edge of Flordia’s Panhandle, Perdido Key is a serene beachfront community, a haven for families with young children. Here, you can bask in the sun, frolic in the waves, and even indulge in a bit of crab-catching just after sunset on the beach. Perdido Key’s proximity to Gulf Shores, AL, ensures that visitors can easily enjoy a fun night of mini-golf and delicious ice cream, adding a touch of excitement to their tranquil getaway.

Pensacola Beach, the home of the US Navy Blue Angles East Coast demo team, offers a unique thrill. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Naval Aviation Museum and get up close to the aircraft that defend our skies. If you’re lucky, you might find yourself just yards from the runway during a Blue Angles practice session. These flyboys are so skilled that you won’t even notice “it’s just practice” a truly exhilarating experience!

Highway 30A is a mainstay of the Destin, FL, and Panama City Beach areas. Fabulous beach homes back up to the Gulf of Mexico and provide families the chance to live their best lives a week at a time in this North Florida Paradise. Panama City Beach becomes Spring Break central as the weather turns warmer. The clubs and nightlife provide hours of fun after the sun goes down. 

Visiting Florida’s Sugar-Sand beaches is best during the late spring and fall. The summer can be very muggy. We enjoy visiting during Christmas Break.

8. Porto Cesareo (Maldvies of Salento)

Credit: Ruba Shahzada

One of the best beaches in the world, which is world-pronounced for its crystal clear waters and soft white sandy beaches, that the locals refer to as the “Maldives of Salento.” This beach is located in Southeast Italy, in the Puglia Region (Salento), in a small town that comes to life every year from May to October near the town of Porto Cesareo.

How to get to Porto Cesareo?

To get to Porto Cesareo, you can either hop on a domestic or international flight to Brindisi International Airport, which is a 1-hour drive. Tip: renting a car is your best option to navigate in Puglia.

Porto Cesareo beaches are stunning, stretching for over 4 km at the Ionian Sea. The water is so shallow and clear that you would think you are swimming in a giant swimming pool, for those who have been to the Maldives can relate to how similar the beaches look.

What to do in Porto Cesareo?

Sit and relax at the stunning Maldives-like beaches, which are well-serviced with cafés, restaurants, and affordable beach clubs.

Tip: During peak season (June-August), it’s best to arrive before 9:00 a.m. to guarantee your spot. Do not underestimate how crowded this beach gets during the peak season.

Best Places to Stay and Eat?

My top recommendation for the best seafood lunch is at Conchiglia Azzurra, which also has a nice resort and spa facilities.

Recommended by Ruba Shahzada

9. San Juan del Sur beach

Photo Credit: Alex Brown

One of the best beaches in the world is San Juan del Sur beach in Nicaragua.

It’s the perfect place to relax and experience something a little different after seeing the fascinating Volcan Masaya or enjoying the wildlife at Charco Verde. The beach is located in San Juan del Sur (SJDS), a town on west coast of Nicaragua, just 45 minutes from Rivas which is the primary connecting point between SJDS, Ometepe island, Granada and the Costa Rica border.

It is one of the best beaches in the world for its stunning orange sunsets. Get here in the late afternoon around May, and the sights are spectacular. It is also a famous base for surfers. SJDS has several great spots which attract surfers from across the world. The majority will stay within a few minute’s walking distance of San Juan del Sur Beach.

The hostel I stayed in is Surf Town. It has a bar, a swimming pool, a pool table, DJ nights, free coffee, places to chill, and more. They also help you arrange a wide range of activities, including surfing, partying, and tours.

The beach is also a fun little hiking spot. A statue of Jesus overlooks the bay that San Juan del Sur Beach surrounds. It takes around 40 minutes to hike up to the statue from the beach. In many ways, it feels like a mini Rio de Janeiro.

10. Nerja

Photo Credit: Cristina Reina

Nerja, situated in the province of Malaga, has some of the most beautiful beaches in Southern Spain. They are characterized by crystal clear waters where you can see what’s underneath.

There are a couple of beaches within Nerja that stand out from the rest. Playa Burriana is one of them. This beach has been awarded blue flags for its facilities and cleanliness many times. However, Playa de Maro has to be the most idyllic beach. It is a short drive from Nerja’s old town, and it is famous for its water activities like kayaking and snorkeling.

I highly recommend booking a kayak tour to see impressive small cliffs and Maro waterfall. They are worth seeing! This beach is very popular in summer; however, avoid visiting it on weekends, especially Sundays, when most locals are off. You will find fewer crowds on weekdays and in September.

In addition to the beaches, there are other great activities in Nerja, such as visiting Nerja Caves and exploring the nearby white-painted town of Frigiliana.

Finding accommodation in Nerja in summer isn’t easy. Therefore, I would book months in advance or be open to staying in nearby towns like La Herradura, Almuñecar, or Torrox. Also, it is worth renting a car to move with ease and explore other beaches and towns.

By Cristina of My Little World of Travelling

11. Ao Nang Beach

Photo Credit: Josh Band

Ao Nang Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Southeast Asia. There are lots of reasons to visit Thailand, but one of the biggest reasons is the beaches.

There are thousands of beaches in Thailand to choose from, and one of the most popular and iconic is Ao Nang Beach in the province of Krabi. 

Before visiting Thailand, I had seen pictures of this beach everywhere, and seeing it in real life did not disappoint. It’s stunning. It’s so picturesque with the limestone cliffs, trees, longtail boats, golden sand, and blue waters. 

The water is also really warm, which makes it perfect for swimming. Top Tip: Make sure to swim in the designated area so you don’t get in the way of the longtail boats that go to and from Railay Beach. 

You can easily spend a full day here relaxing and soaking in the sun. The sunsets at Ao Nang Beach are also unreal, as the sun sets over the sea, which is so pretty. As soon as the sun goes down, there are fire shows all along the beach.

Ao Nang is a small town, as is the beach, and there are lots of accommodation options. Holiday Style Ao Nang Beach Resort, Krabi, is a great option, just a short walk from the beach.

12. Princess Diana Beach on Barbuda

two people snorkeling under water
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Sand like talcum powder, the softest sand we’ve ever felt between our toes.  As you walk along it, it’s like floating on a fluffy mousse.  And incredible turquoise waters and views out to sea – and hardly a soul in sight. 

We’ve been to some incredible beaches around the world, from Thailand to Mexico, however, the sand on Princess Diana Beach on Barbuda is like nothing else.  Previously known as Coco Point Beach, it was renamed in honor of the late Princess Diana, who loved vacationing there, to mark what would have been her 50th birthday in 2011.

Reaching Barbuda isn’t straightforward, but that’s what gives it such a remote beach feeling. You won’t see many other people on the beach.  

From Antigua, you’ll need to either take a ferry, join a tour, take a helicopter, or take a short flight. Since Hurricane Irma in 2017 significantly damaged the island, there aren’t any big resorts – the main place to stay, called Belle Barbuda, has just a small selection of waterfront bungalows. 

If you’re there for the day, there are a few cool places for lunch (unless you bring your own). The first is Nobu, a beachside venue that brings with it some of the SoHo vibes and tastes that it’s known for. 

On the other end of the scale, you have Enoch, a local guy that you can call up, and he’ll grill you a fresh lobster on the beach.  Super fresh lobster, as Barbuda is famous for it!  We’ve tried both – and definitely recommend Enoch if you’re looking for chilled-out Caribbean island vibes.

13. Bimini Beach, Bahamas

Photo Credit: Eleanor

Bimini, Bahamas, is one of the best beaches in the world! First and foremost, the crystal clear turquoise water is breathtaking. It’s so blue! Lining the beach is nearly untouched powdery white sand. The entire island and stretches are exceptionally clean and well-kept. It’s the perfect destination for a beach getaway.

The island is also well known for its fantastic snorkeling. Travelers can see vibrant coral reefs filled with colorful fish, manta rays, and nurse sharks. Dolphins and sea turtles are also common—I’ve seen them on Bimini! The most popular snorkel spot is Sapona Shipwreck.

The island of Bimini is very small, and a portion of it is privately owned. Though it’s just 191 miles off the coast of Florida, it’s not widely visited. You can get there via Balearia Ferry, a quick two-hour ride from Fort Lauderdale. You can also take a private boat or ship across.

The Virgin Voyages Bimini Beach Club, owned by Resorts World, is an incredible escape for visitors. Lining the beach, this impressive haven stretches far and wide with two mega resort pools, hammock oases, relaxation stations, and dining areas. For quick access, you can stay at the Hilton at Resorts World.

Altogether, Bimini has fantastic scenery and a welcoming laid-back vibe, perfect for a beach trip!

Recommended by Eleanor of Elevate Your Escapes

14. Kaiteriteri Beach

Photo Credit: Oli from TravelBugsWorld

Nestled on the shores of Tasman Bay, Kaiteriteri Beach is a stunning beach with golden sands and crystal-clear waters that has won the award for Best Beach in New Zealand multiple times and regularly features in international top beaches awards.

There are many exciting activities, such as swimming, snorkeling, or going for beachside walks. Additionally, the beach paradise has many bush trails that offer an ideal blend of adventure and relaxation. 

We adore these activities but also love the charming village shops, where we often sit gazing at the ocean while enjoying a coffee or beer.

For adventure lovers, the Abel Tasman National Park is a highlight. You can go on self-guided scenic hikes along one of New Zealand’s best multi-day walks featuring dazzling coastlines and lush forests. Additionally, guided tours, including bushwalking, kayaking, or cruises, are available, and you can combine all three activities.

Our Insider Tips:

The news has spread about the best beach in New Zealand, and tour buses are now visiting during the day. Visit early in the morning or during the weekdays to avoid crowds. Additionally, consider taking a water taxi or boat tour to explore the secluded coves and pristine beaches along the coastline.

As for accommodation, we highly recommend staying at The Barn Cabins & Camp in Marahau, located at the Abel Tasman National Park entrance. 

It is our favorite base for a perfect beach getaway as we find the vibe very sociable and fun, the lush bush views stunning, and we can get to all the attractions in the area within minutes.  

If you’re a beach lover, don’t miss out on Kaiteriteri Beach. We consider it one of the best things to do in New Zealand’s South Island.

15. Seven Mile Beach – Grand Cayman

Photo Credit: Katarina Komazec

Only when I thought that no place could impress me I got the opportunity to visit one of the most breathtaking beaches in the world – Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman Island.

Voted “The Caribbean’s Best Beach”, this Caribbean pearl is actually 6.2 miles long and stretches along the west coast of Grand Cayman, the largest of the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean Sea.

Nestled along West Bay Rd, a 10-minute drive north of George Town, the island’s capital, Seven Mile Beach ranks among the most visited destinations by tourists and cruisers visiting the Grand Cayman cruise port.

I was lucky to visit this spectacular beach twice on a cruise ship. The first time my friends and I spent a day at Coral Beach Club, where we tasted authentic Caribbean dishes and sunbathed on comfy loungers. The soft, powdery sand, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and welcoming, friendly staff made my day!

Seven Mile Beach is renowned for the dozens of luxurious hotels, resorts, and restaurants that line its shores. We particularly enjoyed the Coral Beach Club, which wasn’t very crowded when we visited.

Snorkeling and scuba diving fans will find its calm waters ideal for underwater exploration. On my second visit to the island, I explored one of the shipwrecks and discovered vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life.

If you’re into water sports –  jet skiing, parasailing, paddle boarding, and kayaking are alternative options!

From swimming in its endless blue waters and relaxing at the beach to the upscale dining experience and more active holidays – Seven Mile Beach has it all!

16. Eagle Beach, Aruba

Photo Credit: Sarah

Eagle Beach in Aruba is by far one of the best beaches in the world; in fact, it was rated as the best beach in the world on TripAdvisor and #2 in the world by CNN! This gorgeous beach is the widest of the beaches in Aruba, and because it’s so expansive, it never feels crowded.

With its powdery-soft white sand, clear water, close proximity to accommodations, availability of sun loungers, washroom facilities, and places to eat, Eagle Beach is a must-visit for any beach lover. You’ll find free parking, gorgeous ocean views, and a variety of water sports to enjoy, making it perfect for those seeking rest or families looking for fun in the sun.

Eagle Beach is home to the famous fofoti trees, Aruba’s trademark silhouette that give the trees a windswept look from the prevailing trade winds. You may even get a chance to see sea turtles; there are four species that nest in Aruba and most turtle nests are found on Eagle Beach!

Definitely make a point to watch the sunset at Eagle Beach, either by bringing your own chair or dining with your feet in the sand at Passions on the Beach. The views and colors are unreal!

For those with a car, Privada Stays offers the ultimate privacy and a private plunge pool located a short 5-minute drive from the beach. Or, for those who prefer to stay directly across from the beach, there are numerous hotels and vacation homes like Amsterdam Manor.

Recommended by In Search of Sarah

17. Pink Beach

Photo Credit: Catherine Zu

On the remote shores of Komodo National Park in Indonesia, Pink Beach stands out as a prime contender for the title of the best beach in the world. Its name comes from its distinctive rosy-hued sand, the result of a mixture of white sand and red coral fragments homogeneously blended together for eons.

Pink Beach is located on Komodo Island, which is part of the Komodo National Park in Indonesia’s East Nusa Tenggara province. You may know the park for the largest lizard in the world, the Komodo dragon, but it is also home to some generally incredible beaches. Pink Beach, known locally as Pantai Merah, is one of the most famous attractions within.

Unless you have your own sailboat, you will need to take a boat tour from Labuan Bajo. Most Komodo National Park and Flores itineraries include this attraction as one of the stops of the day.

Once you arrive at the beach, the sand is not the only thing to look at. Just below the surface is an underwater world teeming with colorful coral reefs and rare marine life, like turtles and rays.

As accommodations are not available on the beach itself, visitors can stay in Labuan Bajo, a small town on the nearby island of Flores, which serves as the gateway to the park. Stay at the Komodo Suites Downtown for easy access to the beach.

18. Pigeon Island Beach, St. Lucia

Photo Credit: Eleanor

Pigeon Island Causeway Beach in St. Lucia is one of the world’s best beaches. Facing the stunning Caribbean Sea, it offers clean, powdery golden sand and gorgeous crystal-clear water.

Pigeon Island Causeway Beach is a fantastic beach because it has gorgeous blue, clean, calm water. You can easily go for a swim and enjoy the quiet of your surroundings without loud waves crashing. This beach also does not typically get very crowded. There is a vendor that rents lounge chairs, and some people bring towels, but it is not a commercialized beach. Many visitors will travel to the west side of the island, near Soufriere.  

You can also find local vendors selling coconut water, as well as rum drinks. There are also small food stands available for Caribbean bites.

The Pigeon Island Causeway Beach has a rich history. It was once a strategic military outpost, and today, it is a national landmark with old forts and cannons. Next to the beach, visitors can walk up a hill for a fantastic viewpoint. For a small fee, visitors can enter the national park. Just outside the national park gates is a free beach area.

Visitors can stay nearby at the Bay Gardens Resort, located in the Rodney Bay area.

Recommended by Eleanor of Elevate Your Escapes

Final Thoughts on the Best Beaches in the World

magical sunset colors over one of the best beaches in sanata barbara
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

In exploring the world’s most breathtaking beaches, we’ve traversed shores that span continents, each offering its unique charm and allure. From the crystal-clear waters of St. Lucia to the rugged beauty of Tasmania, these paradises remind us of nature’s unparalleled artistry. Whether you seek adventure, tranquility, or a vibrant social scene, these beaches offer an escape that caters to every kind of traveler.

As you plan your next coastal getaway to the best beaches in the world, let this guide you to the perfect slice of paradise where memories are made and the soul finds peace.

Author: Alec Sills-Trausch

Title: Founder of Explore with Alec

Expertise: Hiking, Backpacking, Photography, and Road Trips

Alec Sills-Trausch is a hiker, backpacker, landscape photographer, and syndicated travel writer. He enjoys showing off the beauty of the world through his photos, videos, and written work on ExploreWithAlec.com. Alec is also a 2x cancer survivor and bone marrow transplant recipient, showing the world that there is a future from this terrible disease.

He lives in Washington, where he gets to enjoy the stunning PNW mountains in addition to all the other places he attempts to visit each year! You can see more work on IG at @AlecOutside