If you don’t like beach vacations, then you just haven’t been to these beaches.
Nothing extra, just azure bays, tropical groves and silky sand – we compared the ratings of famous travel guides, studied the reviews of experienced travelers and collected 15 most amazing beaches of the planet.
No one knows yet when the borders will reopen after the pandemic, but once they do, the first thing many people will want to do is to take themselves to the sea.
You can choose the best resort for your long-awaited seaside vacation right now!
- 1 Grace Bay, Providenciales Island
- 2 Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays Island, Australia
- 3 Love Beach (Hidden Beach), Marieta Island, Mexico
- 4 Navaio Bay, Zakynthos Island, Greece
- 5 Pink Sand Beach, Bahamas
- 6 Kaputas Beach, Turkey
- 7 El Nido, Palawan Island, Philippines
- 8 Honokalani Beach, Maui, Hawaii, USA
- 9 Cala en Porter, Menorca, Spain
- 10 Maya Bay, Phi Phi Le Island, Thailand
- 11 Anse Lazio, Praslin Island, Seychelles
- 12 Cayo Coco, Cuba
- 13 Tuerreda, Island of Sardinia, Italy
- 14 Gulf of Porcos, Brazil
- 15 Bolder’s Beach, South Africa
Grace Bay, Providenciales Island
It takes at least five tries to find Providenciales Island on a map. This island is home to Grace Bay, TripAdvisor’s best beach in the world.
The water here is bluer than the sky on a clear day, and there’s always room for your umbrella on the velour sand.
The coastal waters hide miles of vibrant coral reefs, where divers encounter lobsters and turtles.
Straight from your kayak, you can watch fearful fish and rays through the calm, clear waters like an oceanarium, and in winter, humpback whales peek into the bay.
Providenciales has more than just beaches: golfing, shopping, cave exploration, parasailing, casino betting, growing giant seashells, and dining in great restaurants.
When to go: The swimming season never ends on Provo, as the locals call Providenciales, so you can fly anytime.
How to get there: You don’t need a visa to enter the Turks and Caicos for up to 90 days, but you’ll need to secure transit papers.
Although Providenciales has its own airport, you can fly from Europe only with connections in London, New York or Miami.
Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays Island, Australia
As fine as flour and as crisp as snow, the sand makes Whitehaven Beach an Australian branch of paradise. And though the Whitsundays archipelago includes 74 picturesque islands, only the largest of them is lucky enough to have a dazzling white quartz beach.
The flagship island of Whitsundays, like most of the others, has national parks, so there are no hotels, and tourists come with a tour to go trekking, diving or picnicking on the shore. The beach is deserted by evening, but if you don’t want to part with it, you can camp overnight right under the stars.
When to go: The water in the Coral Sea of the Pacific is warmest from December to April, and it rains the least from June to November. It’s best to come to the beach at low tide, when the sand looks like it’s been stirred with a giant spoon.
Getting there: The nearest airports are on Hamilton Island and Proserpine. From Hamilton you can get to the islands by boat, but from Proserpine you first take a bus to Airlie Beach and then take a ferry to the islands.
Love Beach (Hidden Beach), Marieta Island, Mexico
Mexico knows how to keep secrets: the most beautiful beach is hidden right inside a rock on a deserted island. The secret passage opens at low tide: when the water recedes, a narrow tunnel can be navigated to the white sandy shore in a nimble kayak or by swimming.
A perfect ray of light streams through a circular hole in the cliff, and the waters near Mexico’s Love Beach shimmer in every shade of turquoise. The stone walls protect the secluded corner from the wind, so the waves are quiet and the water is always clear.
When to go: Mexico is warm all year round, but storms and hurricanes are frequent in July and November. Ideal weather for a beach holiday is from December to April. Whales can be seen in Mexican waters around this time.
How to get there: The beach is located on the protected area of Marieta Island, and to get there, you need a permit. Several travel agencies have one, so it is easiest to join one of the excursions from Puerto Vallarta.
The rusty ship against the tall white cliffs may seem like a prop for beautiful beach photos. But the ship is as real as the smugglers who once abandoned it in the bay, hiding from pursuit. The place is called Navajo, “the shipwreck,” but thousands of tourists don’t come here every summer because of the bandit story. It’s the small white pebbles on the shore, the bright blue water, and the impregnable cliffs that excite them. The best view is from the top – no wonder the bay is popular with basejumpers.
When to go: The best time to swim off the coast of Zakynthos is from late May to early October. The small beach is crowded during the day in the middle of summer, so it’s best to come closer to the evening.
How to get there: The bay is located on the island of Zakynthos, where the airport operates. There is only one way to visit Navajo beach – you can get there by boat or by ship. For 15-25 euros they will take you from the port of Zakynthos and some surrounding villages. During the excursions offer to see the picturesque Blue Grottoes and turtle beaches. There is no infrastructure in the bay, but you can choose a ship with all the facilities.
Pink Sand Beach, Bahamas
Figuring out what color the sand on Harbor Island Beach really is is almost as difficult as solving the mystery of the striped dress. In some pictures, it turns bright pink, while in others it’s almost plain.
This is not photoshop and not a game of light: when the white sand mixes with the tiniest particles of coral and red shells, it takes on a delicate marshmallow hue.
Where the waves roll on the shore, the color is brighter, and if you add a filter, the landscape comes out quite fantastic.
For a deck chair and an umbrella on the beach Pink Sands Beach will have to fork out $ 20, but the Bahamian sunsets over the oceans are worth it. Plus you can take home a souvenir of your life for free – speckled sand.
When to go: The ocean is warm and calm all year round, but the best time to vacation in the Caribbean is from December to May.
How to get there: The nearest international airport is North Eleuthera. There you must take a cab to the port, from where you take a boat to Harbor Island.
Kaputas Beach, Turkey
The photos of Kaputas beach are treated with suspicion: is it really like this in Turkey?
Powerful rocks reliably hide this diamond from the city noise, all-inclusive tourists and intrusive sellers of sunglasses – the nearest town is five kilometers away.
The highway did not fit into the idyllic setting, so it was raised, and for people to create a staircase – it was convenient and very picturesque.
Few want to get to such a distance, so the beach Kaputas no one will stop you to enjoy the fantastic color of the water and a nice pebble, which looks quite like golden sand, but keeps the water clear.
On the beach there are no sun loungers, umbrella rent for 10 lira ($ 2.5), and you can lie on your towel for free. There is a cafe, free showers, toilets and changing rooms, but the infrastructure does not spoil the magnificent view. They say you can even see the neighboring Greek island from the shore.
When to go: The water in the Turkish Riviera is comfortable for swimming from about mid-May to late September. The velvet season lasts from October to mid-November.
How to get there: Kaputas is about 200 km away from touristic Antalya and 20 km from the picturesque little town of Kas.
You can take a bus from Antalya to Kas and from Kas to the beach, don’t forget to let the driver know the right stop.
El Nido, Palawan Island, Philippines
Dozens of Philippine bounty islands are clustered near the northern part of Palawan.
Just imagine: smoky cliffs overhang the white sand, tropical forests rustle nearby, water in the lagoons sparkles in the sun like a disco ball, covering bright coral gardens.
The main attraction at El Nido Reserve is exploring secret coves by boat and kayak and comparing the perfect beaches with each other.
Excursions are divided into 4 types – A, B, C and D – and cover different areas of Bacuit Bay. The most popular routes are B and C. The fee for a visit to the reserve is 200 Philippine pesos (≈ $4), the ticket is valid for 10 days.
When to go: The rainy season in Palawan lasts from June to November, and the dry season from December to May. The winter months are the most comfortable months to travel.
How to get there: You can land in Puerto Princesa, the provincial capital of Palawan, and then take a bus or cab up a serpentine road to the north of the island. The trip takes 4-5 hours. El Nido also has its own airport with flights from Manila.
Another way is by ferry, which leaves from the port of Crown Town. For more information about how to get there, visit the official El Nido website.
Honokalani Beach, Maui, Hawaii, USA
A trip to a black beach in Hawaii is almost a trip to the center of the Earth. Once a bubbling stream of lava burst to the surface, cooled and turned to stone, which the powerful waves crumbled like an Oreo cookie for you to walk on barefoot now. Look under your feet: the closer you get to the water, the shallower the lava grains.
The best view of Honokalani Beach comes from above: azure water lapping against the black shore, and waves crashing with a crash on rocks surrounded by lush jungle.
The fantastic black beach is part of Woianapanapa Park, which has comfortable wooden paths, picnic areas, and viewing platforms. You might also want to check out the caves and lava tubes.
But it’s dangerous to swim here: the waves are serious and there are no lifeguards. And you should definitely not put your shoes close to the water – the ocean has stolen more than one pair.
When to go: You can swim in Hawaii all year round, but in winter it’s rainy season, and in summer – hot and full of tourists.
How to get there: Maui’s airport is called Kahului. You can fly here from Honolulu, Hawaii or major cities on the mainland. The beach is located on the way to Hana. Drive on the Hana Highway and stop at mile 32.
A gravel road leads to Woianapanapa Park – there will be a road sign nearby. After a while, you will reach the parking lot, and from there the trail will take you to the beach.
Cala en Porter, Menorca, Spain
If you add up all the beaches of Mallorca and Ibiza, there are still fewer than in Menorca. No matter how many choices there are, you’ll fall in love with the miniature chamber resort of Cala en Porter.
You’ll have to climb 180 steps to the beach at the bottom of the hill (and then back up again!), but it’s Blue Flag rated for a reason.
Hotels and lodges are scattered along the rocks that surround the sandy, shallow shore. White boats float over the azure water as if by magic: it is so transparent that you can see the shadows on the bottom.
Try exploring the bay in a canoe, count the fish while snorkeling, or master a funny water bike. And see off the sun to music come to the tables at Cova D’En Xoroi, an ancient cave that enterprising Spaniards turned into a restaurant right on the side of a steep cliff.
Cala en Porter beach also has several bars, a playground for children, a beach volleyball net, showers and toilets, and a lifeguard for safety. Two sunbeds and an umbrella can be rented for €17, but the sand is soft enough to lie on your own towel and an umbrella can be bought nearby.
When to go: The beach season on Menorca is from April to November.
How to get there: Cala en Porter is only 20 minutes from the airport in Mahón. You can rent a car, take the bus or book a transfer.
Maya Bay, Phi Phi Le Island, Thailand
Leonardo DiCaprio was lucky enough to see Maya Bay Beach before Leonardo DiCaprio fans got to it.
After his role in the movie “The Beach” even those who had never thought about Thailand before began to dream about vacationing in this place.
Azure water and silky white sand, surrounded on three sides by tall rocks and tropical plants, bright fish and underwater boulders, covered with coral – what can not like it?
Every day, dozens of boats, speedboats and ferries bring here about five thousand tourists for snorkeling (swimming with snorkeling), kayaking and swimming.
The infrastructure is poorly developed, but enough for a day trip.
The bay has become a victim of its beauty: In 2018, the beach was closed to tourists indefinitely for the first time to allow nature to recover.
When to go: Maya Bay’s high season runs from November to April. To see the beach without the crowds, arrive early in the morning, around seven o’clock, or after five p.m.
Getting there: The easiest way is to take a tour from one of the islands of Phi Phi or from Phuket Province. If you drive yourself, you need to pay 400 baht ($13) per person to visit the national park.
Anse Lazio, Praslin Island, Seychelles
Turquoise water in which you can see every fish, palm trees casting striped shadows on the golden sand, and giant polished boulders – this is how the perfect beach looks in Google pictures and on Praslin Island.
Rarely can a Seychelles beach boast both beauty and the absence of algae, sharp corals, and dangerous waves.
Snorkeling on Anse Lazio is probably the best in the Seychelles. And for those not ready to share the crystal water with squid and moray eels, there is an area fenced in with a net.
Entrance to Anse Lazio beach is free. There are no umbrellas, but the lush vegetation protects well from the sun. Several restaurants and stores are open, and sometimes a lifeguard is on duty.
If you’re going to rest on this Seychelles beach, don’t forget to scratch the necks of the huge turtles that live in the enclosure.
When to go: It’s best to go to Seychelles in April-May or September-October: it’s not raining, windless and not so hot – perfect weather for snorkeling.
If you want to see the coast empty, come before 9 am.
The entry to the water is smooth, but the depth increases sharply, be careful if you don’t swim well or come with children.
How to get there: The public bus stops far from the beach – prepare to walk up the sloping road.
It’s most convenient to come by car; there are three parking lots near the beach, and some hotels offer shuttle service to the famous beach.
You can come here with a tour, but then you are guaranteed to be with many other tourists. You can get to Praslin by plane or boat from Mahe.
Cayo Coco, Cuba
Cayo Coco has nothing but beaches and all-inclusive hotels, but it’s equally a dream of photographers, divers, and lovers of sipping pina coladas while shaking their feet to the beat of Cuban music.
The island is uninhabited – hotel workers come here every day from neighboring towns. Perhaps that’s why nature here looks almost untouched, and your beach may be unexpectedly visited by a couple of flamingos.
The sand resembles powdered sugar, the bottom under the blue water is studded with starfish, and a coral reef, which attracts divers, protects the coast from the strong surf. However, on nearby Cayo Guillermo, the water is just as blue and there are usually fewer people.
When to go: The rainy season in Cayo Coco runs from May to October, and the dry season from November to April. April and November are the most comfortable months, when there are not too many tourists and the heat can be tolerated.
Getting there: The island has its own international airport, Hardines del Rey, but there are no direct flights from Russia: you have to fly through Havana or Varadero. It takes about 15-30 minutes to get from the airport to the hotel.
You can go a little farther and settle in nearby Cayo Guillermo. Many hotels provide shuttle service, and you can also order a cab at the airport.
Tuerreda, Island of Sardinia, Italy
Tuerredda is as beautiful as wild hard-to-reach beaches, but it’s not hard to get to.
The Tyrrhenian sea sparkles with topaz blue just an hour’s drive from Cagliari airport. The fine, golden sands offer an almost Caribbean view of immaculate waters and a neighboring island of lush greenery that can be reached by boat or simply by swimming.
The cleanliness of the sea is confirmed by the Blue Flag – a beach quality mark – and many Italians among the vacationers. On the beach there are cafes, for 10-15 € you can rent a deck chair and an umbrella, and from June to the beginning of September there are lifeguards on duty.
When to go: The swimming season in Sardinia begins in May and ends in early October, and the Blue Flag season runs from July 1 to September 20: In these dates the beach is guaranteed to meet the highest standards. It’s best not to come here at weekends, when tourists are joined by locals.
Driving from Cagliari, take road 195 towards Teulada, then turn right towards Chia and continue for about 10 minutes (about 8km) following the signs. You can rent a parking space near the beach for a whole day for 5-8 €.
Gulf of Porcos, Brazil
There is something primal about the scenery of Porcos Bay. Dark volcanic rocks grow out of the malachite water like the ridge of a dinosaur, and at low tide the rocks form natural pools with clear water and colorful fish.
Aside from the wildlife, there is almost no one here: the number of visitors per day is limited, admission is paid, and the road to the beach is not the friendliest.
Swim with turtles, stingrays, and starfish, and then climb one of the surrounding cliffs to see an alien landscape. At least one vacation in your life should be spent here and like this!
When to go: The Brazilian islands are warm all year long, with the rainy season from January to August and the dry season from September to January. Diving is dangerous from December to February: the water is too choppy.
How to get there: Porcos Bay is located in the Fernando de Noronha Archipelago National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Foreigners must pay R$178 (≈$47) to enter, and the fee is valid for 10 days. The archipelago can be reached by plane from major Brazilian cities or by cruise ship from Recife, Natal and Fortaleza.
The road to Porcos Bay goes through Casimba do Padre beach. The trail is rocky: the rocks can be slippery; you’ll need athletic shoes. If you walk at high tide, prepare to get wet.
Bolder’s Beach, South Africa
If wool sweaters and windbreakers don’t suit you, don’t feel bad: you can also see penguins in beach shorts. The white sand, glistening water under the African sun and huge rocks make Bolders Beach in South Africa incredibly picturesque, and the thousands of penguins that live there all the time are truly unique. The birds will sit on the boulders, build their nests, brush their feathers, eat, squabble and dive into the cool waters just a few meters away from you. The penguins are eager to pose for selfies, but you can’t touch them: their beaks are as sharp as their soft feathers.
There are wooden decks at Boulder’s Beach to spot penguins, but you’re not allowed to get too close to the birds. But walk a bit further and you’ll find yourself at Foxy Beach, where you can scramble over the stones and swim with the penguins.
When to go: Borders Beach hours:
- May – September (winter): 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- December to January (summer): 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
- February – April (fall) from 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
- October-November (spring): 8:00 am to 6:30 pm
- Swimming is most comfortable during South Africa’s winter: from mid our spring to early fall.
How to get there: The drive from Cape Town to Penguin Beach takes no more than 45 minutes. Drive along the coast, following the Cape of Good Hope signs to Simonstown and on to Boulders Penguin Colony. You can also take the commuter train from Cape Town to Simonstown, and from there catch a cab to the beach. It takes about 15 minutes to walk from the parking lot to the beach, and you can buy souvenirs, food, and drinks along the way. Almost all tours include a visit to Balders Beach. Read more about how to get there on the official website. Admission costs R65 (≈$5).