50 Breathtaking Beaches Around the World

PHOTO: Sunset on Clearwater Beach. (Photo via liseykina / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
Michael Schottey
by Michael Schottey
Last updated: 7:00 AM ET, Wed July 10, 2019

Find Your Beach Life

For many, a trip to the beach can end up being more hassle than it is worth. From all the preparation and packing to dealing with the crowds, your local beach isn't always what beaches are supposed to promise-fun, relaxation and a calming sense of peace.

These 50 breathtaking beaches will solve that problem for you. Call your travel agent and book your getaway today, because these beaches are among the most beautiful, serene and unique that the world has to offer.

Navagio Beach (Greece)

Also known as "Shipwreck Beach" or "Smuggler's Cove," Navagio Beach in Greece has it's very own pirate shipwreck as part of the vista, but you'll also enjoy that beautiful blue Mediterranean water.

Grace Bay (Turks and Caicos)

Consistently rated one of the top beaches in the world, Grace Bay is protected by a barrier reef which keeps waves, dangerous currents, seaweed and rocks far away from this pristine oasis.

Ora Beach (Indonesia)

Calling this beach a gem actually may be underselling its beauty, but the comparison works because of the dazzling blues and greens of both the water itself and the surrounding landscape.

Sandy Island (Anguilla)

Anguilla is one of the more remote and low-key areas of the Caribbean, and Sandy Island is one of the most remote places in the British territory. A small boat ride away from the other tourist areas brings you to this paradise surrounded by clear waters for swimming and fantastic snorkeling.

Maho Beach (St. Maarten)

A short way from Anguilla, this beach is known less for the sand and water and more for the skies above, which routinely feature planes which descend right over the beach onto the nearby landing strip. This beach can be relatively calm, but these shots of adrenaline are sure to excite.

Prado Beach (France)

Conveniently located close to nearby Marseille, this beach has stunning views and lots of nearby amenities including bikini shops that have been around long enough to remember when the iconic swimsuit was invented.

Clearwater Beach (Florida)

One of the top-rated beaches year after year, Clearwater promises white sands and consistently comfortable water. Thanks to its location between the Gulf of Mexico and an Intracoastal Waterway, there are many hotel rooms in Clearwater Beach that provide both sunrise views and one of the best sunsets in the world.

Paranga Beach (Greece)

Mykonos is considered one of the hottest tourist destinations, and this beach-sometimes also called Paraga Beach-is a big reason for that designation. What this large beach lacks in solitude (thanks to the tourists) it makes up for in incredible versatility with areas specificially for older tourists, families, gay travelers and even one that is clothing-optional.

Waikiki (Hawaii)

Just steps from the hustle and bustle of the city, one can find literally one of the most beautiful places anywhere on Earth. Not only is there excellent sand and surfing, but also a nearby Zoo and Aquarium well worth the walk.

Anse Source d'Argent (Seychelles)

Many people clearly feel like they are dreaming when they first arrive at Anse Source d'Argent because this is one of the most photographed places on a planet. It's a place so serene, you need evidence that it actually exists!

Bondi Beach (Australia)

One of the top surfing destinations in the entire world, Bondi Beach is just outside of Sydney and features plenty to do off the nearby boardwalk. A short stroll, however, can lead you away from the massive crowds and to quieter areas.

Pampelonne Beach (France)

One of the more famous beaches not only in Europe but in the entire world, Pampelonne has miles and miles of perfect sand-some of which features clubs filled with Europe's biggest stars.

The Baths (British Virgin Islands)

The caves and grottos of The Baths are wonderful to play in for kids both young and young at heart, and because this is a National Park, there is a small fee to get in which keeps some of the massive crowds at bay. It also keeps the area clean and well-maintained!

Lover's Beach (Mexico)

Home of the iconic Arch in Cabo San Lucas, Lover's Beach can get crowded at times of the busy season (though, there is sure to be a stretch of a quieter beach somewhere nearby) but it's worth it for the fantastic view-especially at sunset.

Pink Sands Beach (Bahamas)

Once you've conquered all of the white sand beaches on this list, head to the Bahamas. Millions of pieces of coral give this beach its pink hue.

Beach of the Cathedrals (Spain)

Also known as "The Beach of the Holy Waters" to many in Europe, this beach reminds many of classic Cathedrals throughout the continent thanks to the giant flying buttresses created along the shore. Book your trip ahead of time to make sure you get there at low tide.

Piha Beach (New Zealand)

When many think of New Zealand, the idea of rolling green hills is a lot more prominent than a beach. Still, Piha is a short drive from crowded Auckland and has a population of only 600 people. This black sand beach is fun to play on, but even better from above as you explore those cliffs or even rappel down them as part of a tour.

Champagne Beach (Vanuatu)

Most of your friends and family will need you to point out Vanuatu on a map upon your return, but they'll be booking their trip to the island nation off of Australia's coast when you tell them about snorkeling in these perfectly clear waters with the most ideal powder white sand.

Ko Lipe Beach (Thailand)

Ko Lipe Island actually has dozens of beaches that are grouped together with Pattaya Beach being the most famous. As one of the most picturesque places on most people's bucket lists, this island features beautiful waters and most of the nearby buildings are still built out of driftwood.

Seven Mile Beach (Grand Cayman)

No matter where you are staying in Grand Cayman, the entire beach is yours to explore because the high tide mark on down is public property on this island. Take advantage of that rule and find your favorite reef to explore or beach bar to kick back at.

Nissi Beach (Cyprus)

A dozen years ago, a tourist may have found themselves pretty lonely on Nissi Beach at various times throughout the year, but this has become a go-to destination for Europe's thanks to its year-round swimmable waters and lush, almost-magical surroundings.

Railay Beach (Thailand)

One of the best places in the world that a traveler can still really get "off the grid," this peninsula features blue waters and tall rock formations but little in terms of Wi-Fi or cell phone service. Leave your electronics behind and enjoy this paradise truly unencumbered.

Tamarindo Beach (Costa Rica)

One of the more exotic and wild places on this list, Tamarindo doubles as a wildlife refuge, so you can enjoy your beach day with the monkeys that hang out in the nearby Mangroves.

Second Beach (Washington)

One of the coldest climate beaches on this list, make sure your headed to Washington in the summer and (just as importantly) at low tide so you can explore the many tide pools. From there, the hiking along these beach is second to none.

Luskentyre Beach (Scotland)

Although the water is clear blue and very inviting, swimming in these cool waters isn't for the faint of heart. Instead, enjoy a day on the sunny beach followed by one of the most stunning bike rides of your life along the Scottish coast.

Rendezvous Bay (Anguilla)

Not only are the Caribbean waters everything you could hope for, there are areas around this beach that are entirely secluded (at least, most of the time) and even areas nearby resorts that are adults-only.

Lumahai Beach (Hawaii)

Nestled in nearby rolling hills, this beach was made famous in the movie South Pacific and is probably the image you will most want on your postcard or Facebook cover photos. Be careful, however, as the waters here can be very dangerous.

Palm Beach (Aruba)

One of the most favorable swimming destinations out of these 50, Palm Beach in Aruba has casinos and amazing restaurants dotted between the palm trees and bird havens with amazing hotels just up the sands.

Palombaggia Beach (Corsica)

Off the coast between Italy and France, Corsica is probably one of the places that isn't on your to-do travel list, but should be added immediately. This beach features red rocks and white sand nestled in a pine forest with some of the world's best restaurants just stops away.

Pinney's Beach (Nevis)

Travel guides are split on whether or not this beach needs an apostrophe in its name, which comes from nearby Pinneys Estate. Don't let that grammatical quirk get in your way, however, as you book your trip to this pardise of a public beach with more than enough room for every one.

Rabbit Beach (Italy)

This hidden gem is one of the most secluded islands in the world, and its main beach features soft sand and uniquely blue waters. Over 100 miles from mainland Italy, this beach is well worth the trip!

Positano Beach (Italy)

The Amalfi Coast of Italy is a fantastic place for a grand vacation, and Positano Beach is one of the most beautiful places of that coast. Large cliffs surround crystal-clear waters and plenty of shops, restaurants and beach clubs are there to serve you.

Indian Beach (Oregon)

Part of Ecola State Park, this amazing beach doesn't feature the white sand and blue waters many might associate with a day at the beach, but that makes the vista all the more beautiful upon arrival. This is Pacific Northwest grandeur at its finest and features some amazing hiking around ancient black rocks most accessible at low tide.

Red Sand Beach (Hawaii)

This beach is in more of a bay thanks to the lava rock wall offshore, which makes these deep blue waters perfect for snorkeling. Be advised, however, as some have taken this beach's almost-secret location as a cue to make this one of Hawaii's unofficial clothing-optional hangouts.

Coronado Beach (California)

One of the finest beaches not only in the United States but around the world as well, Coronado features wonderfully silver sand (thanks to mica). No matter how early you set up at Coronado, you will want to stay for the sunset.

Taharuu Beach (Tahiti)

This volcanic black sand beach doesn't always look inviting, but even the smallest amount of time spent there is a luxury and not to be forgotten. The sand absorbs heat very well, making it therapeutic for sore muscles and joints-which many have because this is a popular surfing destination.

Crane Beach (Barbados)

There's also a wonderful Crane Beach in Massachusetts that you're more than welcome to try out, but this destination in Barbados in annually considered one of the very best beaches in the world. The view is serene and local restaurants showcase amazing seafood options.

Hanalei Bay (Hawaii)

This bay isn't just magnificently beautiful, but it's also calm with just enough surf to play in without getting very dangerous. It's a bit of a drive from the resort area of Poipu, but it's one of the most scenic drives you'll ever take and well worth the trip.

Praia di Marinha (Portugal)

One of the more iconic picture-taking spots in Portugal and throughout Europe, this beach pairs crystal sea with high, multi-colored cliffs for a view you'll never forget.

Yasawa Islands (Fiji)

Although the Yasawa Islands are a resort location and cruise destination, this is typically known as a backpacker paradise where luxury can be found for less than top dollar. And, it's luxury you'll get on the beaches which are pure white and surrounded with the boldest shades of green.

Trunk Bay (St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands)

On the island of St. John, Trunk Bay is one of the most photographed places on the planet. The entrance fee keeps some of the crowds at bay, but you'll want to check the number of cruise ships at the harbor if you're waiting for a quiet day.

Fulhadhoo (Maldives)

Around 250 people live in a small village on the Eastern side of this island. Other than that, a traveler can sit on the beach and act a bit like he's stranded ala Tom Hanks. Meanwhile, divers will appreciate the nearby coral reefs.

Whitehaven Beach (Australia)

Hours and hours can be spent just walking over and enjoying this beach, but there's something to be said for touring Whitehaven by low-flying seaplane or helicopter to truly take in the magnificent interplay of blues, whites and greens as the tides change and landscape alters dramatically.

Matira Beach (Bora Bora)

One of the most relaxing places around the world, Bora Bora also houses plenty of adreneline-packed adventure for divers and inland explorers alike. No matter what your mood, however, the sunsets off of Matira Beach will dazzle you.

Secret Beach (Dominica)

There is also a Secret Beach in Hawaii which easily could have made this list, but we'll focus on this treasure in the Portsmouth area of Dominica-which is still a bit of an underrated "secret" for plenty of Caribbean travelers. The ocean is clear and warm, with beautiful rocky cliffs overhead. It's harder to get to that a lot of beaches on this list, but worth it.

Shoal Bay (Anguilla)

While I can't promise a dolphin sighting, many careful watchers will be rewarded at this beautiful beach. With waters from light to dark blue and a relaxing landscape around you, you'll want to make a day of it at Shoal Bay. And, as a lot of the traffic comes on day trips from St. Maarten, you may find yourself awfully lonely at the right time of day-which can be absolutely perfect.

Rocha (Uruguay)

Rocha is a coastal area of Uruguay with a few separate beaches you'll want to check out. Long sand dunes, deep channels of water, gigantic rocks and a whole lot of solitude mean this growing destination is not to be missed.

Tulum (Mexico)

An absolutely perfect beach just footsteps from some of the world's most famous ruins? Yes, please!

Maya Bay (Thailand)

For years, this destination was so popular it was overcrowded and eventually closed for cleanup and rehabilitation efforts. It will not remain closed forever, however, and when it reopens, you'll want to get it back on your itinerary because the natural beauty (thankfully) isn't going anywhere.

Freedom Beach (Thailand)

This "hidden" beach is available only during certain times of the year, and you'll need to charter a longboat to get there. That sounds more difficult than it is, though, and as long as you have your swimsuit on from the start and a safe (read: waterproof) place for your valuables, you'll be able to enjoy an amazing day in pure, unadulterated relaxation.

These pieces of sandy paradise will stun you with their beauty and revive you with sun and salty air.

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Michael Schottey

Michael Schottey

Michael Schottey is a freelance writer for TravelPulse. A professional writer and editor for over a decade, Schottey lives in...

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Helping leisure selling travel agents successfully manage their at-home business.

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Agent Specialization: Group Travel

Laurence Pinckney

Laurence Pinckney

CEO of Zenbiz Travel, LLC

About Me