The most beautiful beaches in the world: clear waters, soft sand, and relaxed vibes, from the US, the Caribbean, Australia and around the world
Grace Bay Beach, Turks and Caicos Islands
If you were to draw a picture of what a perfect beach would look like, this might be it. Three miles of soft, white sand and shallow blue water, backed by gently swaying palm trees. It’s located on the northeast coast of Providenciales Island, and with warm temperatures all year round, there’s never a bad time to visit. This British Overseas Territory is just north of the Dominican Republic, and is considered one of the Caribbean’s best-kept tourist secrets… but now you know!
Papenoo Beach, Tahiti, French Polynesia
All the way to far-flung Tahiti now, where mangoes grow and the clear waters and perfect surf conditions of Papenoo Beach are waiting. The warm waters of the lagoon are wonderful to relax in, and although there aren’t many amenities for travelers, that’s not why you’re there, surely? You’re there to forget the troubles you left at home, and simply disappear. That’s the plan, you’ve just gotta have faith.
Turquoise Bay, Australia
Located in Western Australia’s Cape Range national park, Turquoise Bay is an amazing place to meet the local sea life. Swimming and snorkeling are popular here, and the clear waters of the bay and the nearby Ningaloo Marine Park mean you can see over 500 species of fish, and other creatures such as sea turtles, rays and squid, flitting through the coral reef gardens. As with a lot of places in Australia, it’s a fair trek to get there, but you’ll be rewarded with one of the finest beaches in the world.
Spiaggia dei Conigli, Italy
A (relatively) unusual entry for a European beach now, as we head to the Italian island of Lampedusa, off the coast of Tunisia in the shimmering Mediterranean Sea. Another great destination for animal lovers, you can see a wide variety of birdlife, as well as lizards and loggerhead turtles, and what’s more, you can enjoy the famous Italian hospitality and food as you lounge by the shore. What more do you need?
Pink Sands Beach, the Bahamas
Pink Sands Beach isn’t just a pretty name, it is literally a beach where the sand is pink. One of just seven of these unusual beaches in the world, it’s located on Harbor Island, and is easy and cheap to get to from a number of places in the US. The three miles or so of sand is made from the crushed shells of foraminifera, a marine animal, which then mixes with the white sand to create this marvel of nature. Get it on your bucket list and see it for yourself!
Hanalei Beach, Hawaii, the US
Kauai is one of the lesser-visited Hawaiian islands, but that simply means that the stunning Hanalei Beach is nowhere near as crowded as the more popular shores of the Big Island. Paddleboarding, sailing and swimming are all popular activities here, with the classic Hawaiian backdrop of mountains and jungle providing a memorable setting.
Anse Source d’Argent, Seychelles
You can find this beach on La Digue, the smallest inhabited island of the Seychelles… if you can find it at all. Through the trees and among the huge boulders lies this amazing, secluded cove, which is so perfect, you’ll wonder if it’s real. It really is the ultimate slice of paradise; untouched, virtually undiscovered, with the only sounds being the lapping of the waves and the gentle rustle of the palm trees. Simply unreal.
Praia da Falésia, Portugal
The Algarve might be a bit of a tourist trap, but it can still throw up a few surprises. Indeed, one of the reasons people head to the region is the quality and quantity of its beaches. Praia da Falésia means Beach of Cliffs, and yep, that’s right, for its three and a half miles, it’s backed by vast, red rock cliffs that add even more color to the surrounding beauty. It’s simple to get to from nearby Vilamoura, and also from places a little further afield like Albufeira, so you can easily grab yourself a little piece of beauty.
Siesta Key Beach, Florida, the US
A long, wide crescent of sand on the Gulf of Mexico, west of Sarasota, this popular beach can get busy, but there are ways to give yourself a gentler, more relaxing day out. Try coming in through access points 7, 8 or 11, where there are areas of protected animal and plant life away from the playgrounds, grills and volleyball courts of the main part of the beach. That’s the key to a siesta on this beach!
Nungwi Beach, Zanzibar, Tanzania
Situated facing the Indian Ocean, Nungwi Beach is often voted one of the best romantic destinations, and when the sun sets, it’s easy to see why. Watch the beauty unfold from one of the rooftop bars with a cocktail in your hand, or sail off into the sunset on a traditional dhow boat. The region is a mix of traditions and people too, with locals happy to show off their culture, crafts and cuisine, while the beach itself is backed by bars and restaurants to keep you sated after a long day of topping up your tan.
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