best beaches in the world

The 50 Best Beaches In The World

With summer vacations just a hop and a skip away, we’ve all got one thing on our minds – the beach. So, for some seriously wanderlusty reading, we’ve released our annual “50 Best Beaches in the World” rankings using aggregated stores from previous media results, official Blue Flag locations and contributions from the Big 7 Travel editorial team. This year, you’ll notice a few old-times alongside a whole host of newcomers, from black sandy shorelines to city beaches to castaway islands. Whether you’re in the market for a secluded sandy stretch of a buzzing beach party, you’re sure to like the look of a fair few of these beaches. Consider this your essential vacation guide… 

Where are the best beaches in the world 2022How do these rankings work?

50. Seminyak Beach – Bali, Indonesia

With a splendid coast of gold to dark sand and gorgeous sunsets, Seminyak Beach boasts one of the best beach vibes in Bali. The impressive 5km stretch of sand is lined with sunset cocktail spots, luxury resorts and colourful bean bags, just steps away from the waves.

Check out The 7 Best Islands In Asia To Visit

best beaches in the world

49. Koekohe Beach – New Zealand

The scenic, sandy beach at Koekohe is mostly famous for one thing – the Moeraki Boulders. The mysteriously round stones scattered across the beach weigh several tonnes and took millions of years to form. Early morning and late afternoon are the prime times for photography, when brilliant soft sunlight is cast across the rocks.

Check out The 7 Best Islands In The South Pacific To Visit

Koekohe Beaches

48. Isla Robeson – Panama 

For castaway fantasies, it doesn’t get much better than Isla Robeson. Many claim it’s where Robinson Crusoe’s famous protagonist was shipwrecked. Think crystal clear waters, swaying palm trees and talc-soft white sands. To reach the San Blas Islands, it’s a scenic 4×4 car ride to Carti, followed by a 20-minute boat ride. 

best beaches in the world

47. Yonaha Maehama Beach – Japan 

Set on the little-known island of Miyakojima, Yonaha Maehama Beach is a pristine seven kilometres stretch of white sand, lapped by clear, crystalline waters. And, while it might look like the stuff of desert island fantasy, there are plenty of facilities and activities to enjoy here too. 

best beaches in the world

46. Elafonisi Beach – Greece

This unusual pink beach was once a local’s secret, but it’s become an Instagram sensation in the past few years. Despite its popularity, tourism hasn’t spoiled the beach.

 The fine white sand is pinkish at several spots because of the crushed seashell powder. It’s connected by a sandbar to an island nature reserve, so you can stroll along the shore and enjoy the view.

Check out The 7 Best Greek Islands To Visit

Elafonisi Beach

45. Punta del’Este – Uruguay

Come summer, Uruguay’s favourite beach is rolling in fun-loving celebrities, but mere mortals like us can enjoy it too. Technically, it’s two beaches – Playa Mansa and Playa Brava. The former offers course blonde sands while the latter is mostly white sand. A giant sculpture of a half-buried hand with fingers peeking out of the sand divides the two beaches. 

best beaches in the world
Editorial credit: Ernesto Velazquez / Shutterstock.com

44. Champagne Beach – Vanuatu

One of the world’s most picturesque beaches, this spot has clear blue waters and sparkling sand. Once you’ve worked up an appetite swimming, you’ll be grateful for all those fresh fruit stalls, freshly prepared crab and lobster and cute beachside shacks too. 

Check out The 7 Most Instagrammable Spots In Vanuatu

Champagne Beaches

43. Diani Beach – Kenya

One of the most beautiful destinations in Kenya, Diani Beach is a private resort located on the south coast of Mombasa. Uncrowded and intimate, it’s an idyllic spot to while away a few days. 

best beaches in the world

42. Mystic Beach – Vancouver Island, Canada

Canada might not immediately spring to mind when you think about beautiful beaches, but with some 15,000 miles of beaches it should do. Mystic Beach, located on the southern coast of Vancouver Island, is one of its most enchanting. Set along the Juan de Fuca Trail, the white sandy beach is set against lush forest, with a picturesque waterfall cascading right into the brilliant blue sea. 

best beaches in the world

41. Eagle Beach – Aruba

This show-stopping Caribbean beach is a two-kilometre stretch of sugar-white sand lined with divi-divi trees and thatched umbrellas. The turquoise waters are crystal clear and, unlike neighbouring resorts, the tourists are in short supply here. It’s far from isolated though, with small bars and restaurants peppered along the front.

best beaches in the world

40. Santa Monica Beach – Santa Monica, California

Located just south of Downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica Beach is pure California Dreamin’. Between its soft sand, gorgeous views and views overlooking the iconic Pacific Park amusement park, it’s no surprise that it’s so popular with both locals and tourists. 

best beaches in the world

39. Tuscan Cliff Beach – Malaysia

This eye-popping beach on the northwestern shore of Malaysian Borneo is all sugar-white sand, gently sloping dunes and colourful seashells. But come evening, the place really comes alive – and we’re not talking about tourists. Between September and December, providing the conditions are right, the sea turns a neon blue due to dinoflagellates lighting up the waves. 

38. Grumari Beach – Brazil

Copacabana and Ipanema might get all the fame, but those in the know hotfoot to Grumari Beach. Backed by bottle green rainforest, the beach boasts fine golden sands and emerald green waters.

best beaches in the world 

37. The Saadiyat Public Beach – Abu Dhabi

At just 400 metres, Saadiyat Beach isn’t going to win any awards for size, but it will (and has done) for its stunning looks. As well as white sandy shores and crystal clear waters, you can enjoy everything from beach yoga classes to water-sports activities. To reach the beach, it’s a short stroll along a wooden boardwalk through native wildlife. Look out for Hawksbill turtles; they use the beach as their nesting ground. 

Editorial credit: PP_Inspiration / Shutterstock.com

36. Seven Mile Beach – Cayman Islands

One of the most famous beaches in the world, Seven Mile Beach is among the many reasons why Cayman is considered an ideal tropical destination. With sparkling waters and coral sands it’s so perfect it almost doesn’t look real. Sunsets here are unforgettable, and you can also enjoy world-class snorkelling.

Check out The 7 Most Instagrammable Spots On The Cayman Islands

Seven Mile Beaches

35. Le Morne – Mauritius

This long golden stretch sits under the majestic Le Morne mountain on the southwestern tip of Mauritius. Combining miles of white sand with soaring casuarina trees surrounded by turquoise waters, it’s one of the island’s most stunning sights. It’s popular with windsurfers and kite surfers too. 

34. Ka’anapali Beach – Hawaii, USA

Consistently ranked as one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, K’anapali Beach is a three-mile stretch of sugar-white sands on Maui. One of Kaanapali Beach’s most famous attractions is the daily cliff diving ceremony off Puu Kekaa, or Black Rock. Held every evening at sunset, a cliff diver lights the torches along the cliff, and soars into the water.

best beaches in the world

33. Naama Bay – Egypt

Set right in the heart of Egypt’s blockbuster beach resort, Sharm el-Sheikh, Naama Bay offers white sandy beaches and wildlife-rich azure waters of the Gulf of Aqaba. In the far distance, you can see Saudi Arabia’s craggy coastline. 

 best beaches in the world

32. Cala Pregonda – Menorca, Spain 

Menorca is set to be a popular holiday destination this summer. The whole of this easternmost Balearic Island is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, so there’s beauty at every turn but Cala Pregonda is something special. Unlike most of the country’s white sandy beaches, this endless stretch has a rusty hue which compliments the still, turquoise waters. 

31. Fig Tree Bay – Protaras, Cyprus

Fig Tree Bay is a scenic sandy beach in the resort of Protaras, Cyprus, with an uninhabited islet that you can swim to from the shore.

The beach has golden sand, lively beach bars and plenty of umbrellas to shelter from the sun. It’s popular, so don’t expect an empty beach, but it’s so pretty you won’t mind sharing.

The 7 Most Beautiful Beaches In Europe

Fig Tree Bay

30. Negril – Jamaica

This idyllic beach has palms swaying in the breeze, clear blue waters and fresh coconuts to sip on. Treasure Beach is a seven-mile stretch of coral-coloured sand and rocky shores.

Check out 7 Unmissable Things To Do In Jamaica

Negril

29. Praia do Camilo – Lagos, Portugal

It’s a hefty 200 steps down (and an unrelenting clamber back up) to reach this beautiful beach, but you won’t be disappointed. From the winding path nestled into orange cliffs, you’ll see the Ponta da Piedade nearby, a landmark rock formation with grottoes and rock arches. This really puts Lagos on the map.

Praia do Camilo

28. Praia Banana – Sao Tome & Principe

Set 150 miles west of mainland Africa, Praia Banana hit the headlines when it featured in that world-class Bacardi advert in the 1990s. It’s the ultimate tropical island escape, complete with coconut-filled palm trees, white sand and bath water warm sea. There’s even a small bar hidden beneath the trees. 

best beaches in the world

27. Ao Tanot Bay – Koh Tao, Thailand

This peaceful island in the Gulf of Thailand has plenty of sheltered bays, but Tanot is the most beautiful. It’s uncrowded with warm, blue water and soft sand.

Snorkelling is excellent here, with a great variety of coral and some fairly large fish that can be seen as soon as you dip your toes into the water.

Check out The 7 Most Beautiful Beaches In Thailand

Ao Tanot Bay

26. Maundays Bay – Anguilla

Maundays Bay might be more modest in size than Rendezvous Bay and Shoal Bay, but it more than makes up for its diminutive scale with its white-sand shores and clear, azure waters. This is picture-perfect Caribbean territory. For an extra special outing, head here at night to see the glittering lights from neighbouring St. Martin island. It’s beautiful.

Check out The 7 Most Beautiful Beaches In The Caribbean here

Maundays Bay

25. Tunnels Beach – Kauai, Hawaii

Tunnels Beach (Makua) is an ultimate snorkelling spot, with the picturesque backdrop of Mount Makana and lush jungles.  Lava tubes form the many underwater caverns here, which gives the beach its name. The water can get rough during winter, so keep an eye on the tides.

Check out The 7 Top Eco-Tourism Experiences In Hawaii

Tunnels Beaches

24. Horseshoe Bay – Bermuda

Named for its curving shape, the popular Horseshoe Bay Beach showcases Bermuda’s trademark crystal blue waters and pink sands. There’s also hidden caves and tucked-away coves to explore.

It’s probably the most photographed beach in Bermuda, and for good reason.

best beaches in the world

23. Mafia Island – Tanzania

Stretching across 822 sq, km of protected waters, Mafia Island is home to the largest marine protected area in the Indian ocean. This sublimely serene beach boasts pinch-me-i’m-dreaming white sands, turquoise waters and sprawling tidal flats. Below the surface, it’s just as dreamy with its unique coral grove, mangrove and marine channel ecosystems teeming with fish, including whale sharks. 

Check out the most eco-friendly destinations to visit in 2022

22. Bazaruto Archipelago – Mozambique

This aquamarine paradise encompasses five islands off the coast of Vilanculos. As well as luxury travellers, it’s popular with turtles, dolphins, rays, whales, sharks and over 2,000 fish species. Untouched and idyllic, these sugar white sand stretches give way to miles of colourful coral reefs.

best beaches in the world

21. Patnem Beach – Goa, India

Even before the hippies arrived in the 1960s, people raved about Goa’s heavenly beaches. Unlike ever-popular Anjuna beach, Patnem beach is more secluded but just as beautiful. Its long, blond sandy beach is lined with palm trees and beach huts. 

best beaches in the world

20. ​​Seagrass Bay – Laucala Island, Fiji

You won’t believe the green of the Sea Grass Bay’s coastline. This jaw-dropping bay at a luxury private resort island in Fiji is on a tropical jungle section of the island, with lush vegetation and wild growing coconuts as a natural backdrop to the white sandy coastline.

Seagrass Bay

19. Keem Bay – Mayo, Ireland

Keem Bay is a breathtaking rural and sheltered beach surrounded by cliffs on Ireland’s largest island – Achill Island. Its gleaming white sand rivals tropical islands and the water is superbly clear.

The sun might not always be shining, but when it does it’s world-class. And yes, it’s beautiful even on a rainy day.

Check out 7 Of The Most Beautiful Natural Wonders In Ireland

Keem Bay

18. Hyams Beach – New South Wales, Australia

Hyams Beach is just three hours south of Sydney, but between its pine forests and white sands, it feels worlds apart. It’s an excellent spot for snorkelling, thanks to its gentle waves, and it’s popular with stingrays too. Keep an eye out for playful dolphins for the ultimate photo opp. 

Check out The 7 Most Beautiful Beaches In Australia

17. Navagio Beach (Shipwreck Cove) – Zakynthos, Greece

Named after the 1983 shipwreck, this secluded cove is one of Greece’s most photographed beaches, for good reason. The remnants of the boat sit in the centre of the huge white sandy beach, lapped by turquoise waters and backed by soaring cliffs. It’s only accessible by boat, with trips lasting 30 minutes. 

16. Pig Beach – Bahamas

This Insta-famous beach is all over social media. No one knows quite how the pigs got there since Big Major Cay in the Exumas is uninhabited and pigs aren’t native to the island, but there’s no doubt about it – they’re here now! You can book a day trip boat ride to see this beach’s pristine waters and swim alongside piglets.

best beaches in the world

15. Porto Santo Beach – Madeira, Portugal

Madeira frequently ranks as one of the world’s most beautiful islands, so it should come as no surprise that it’s home to one of the world’s most beautiful beaches too. This 9km- long golden beach boasts crystal clear, azure warm waters backed by rolling sand dunes. As if that’s not enough, it’s also well-known for its therapeutic hot sand therapy. 

best beaches in the world

14. Source d’Argent – Seychelles

It’s one of the most photographed beaches in the world, but that doesn’t make it any less magical. Beloved for its shallow warm waters and shimmering sand, you’ll need to walk through the old L’Union Estate coconut plantation to access the beach. You may even spot a sea turtle swimming off the shore if you’re lucky. 

Source d’Argent

13. Playa Negra – Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is hardly short on powder white sand beaches, but this black sand beach is one of the most dramatic in the world. It’s a short hike to get to this secluded spot but it’s well worth the effort for *those* views. 

best beaches in the world

12. Zlatni rat (Golden Horn Beach) – Brac, Croatia

The Golden Horn is the most spectacular of all Croatia’s beaches. It’s not just its shape that makes it so beautiful and unique. The pebble beach is surrounded by crystal clear sea, that goes from turquoise blue to dark blue in just 10-20 meters.

Decades-old pine trees provide shade, but you won’t want to get out of the warm waters here.

Check out The 7 Best Islands In Croatia To Visit

best beaches in the world

11. Whitehaven Beach – Whitsunday Islands, Australia

Stretching across 7 kilometres, this brilliant white silica sand beach is among one of the purest in the world. The largest of 74 islands in the Whitsundays, the island is right in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. As well as being one of the world’s most unspoiled and beautiful beaches, the sand doesn’t retain heat, so it’s a fantastic place to walk barefoot, even on a hot day.

Check out The 7 Most Beautiful Beaches In Australia

Whitehaven Beach

10. Reynisfjara Beach – Vík í Mýrdal, Iceland

If tropical beaches aren’t your thing, be sure to visit this beautiful black sand beach in Iceland. With enormous basalt stacks that rise out of the sea and unusual black sand, this is an unforgettable beach.

You might recognise it from Season 7 of the HBO Series Game of Thrones.

Check out 7 Of The Most Awe-Inspiring Waterfalls In Iceland

Reynisfjara Beaches

9. Boulders Beach – South Africa

Boulders Beach is more famous for its inhabitants than its sandy stretches. A whole colony of as many as 3,000 African Penguins nest on the beach. The best time to see them is during the summertime. The cool, clear False Bay water and rock pools are an added bonus.

Check out How To Spend Two Weeks In South Africa: Travel Guide

Boulders Beaches

8. Pedn Vounder – Cornwall, England

G7 put the global spotlight on Cornwall last year and this year the region has seen sky-high bookings. Despite the crowds, Pedn Vounder is still one of the UK’s most beautiful beaches. Combining crystal clear blue water and white sand, it’s proof that you don’t need to hotfoot to the Caribbean for tropical island inspired getaway. 

Check out The 7 Coolest Cities To Visit In England

Pedn Vounder

7. San Fruttuoso – Italy

San Fruttuoso might not have swaying palm trees or rolling sand dunes, but it does have a Benedictine monastery. It’s an intimate pale pebbled beach, squeezed between turquoise waters and lush mountains. Like most of the best things in life, you’ll need to put a bit of legwork in to enjoy it though. It’s a two-hour hike or thrilling boat ride from ritzy Portofino. 

6. Secret Lagoon – El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

El Nido is a cluster of 45 islands just off the tip of Palawan, which is famous for its Secret Lagoon. Swim through a hole in the limestone rocks to enter a hidden bay with crystal clear water, white sandy beaches and tropical jungle. 

Check out The 7 Most Beautiful Beaches In The Philippines

Secret Lagoon - El Nido

5. Punta Mosquito – Holbox, Mexico

Holbox has only appeared on most people’s travel radar in the last few years, but we still think its sandy stretches are Mexico’s best-kept beach secret. There are crystalline lagoons, lush mangroves and reams of powdery white sand. It’s one of Mexico’s best spots for snorkelling too. 

Check out The 7 Most Instagrammable Spots In Mexico City

best beaches in the world

4. Siesta Beach – Florida, United States

Famed for its quartz-crystal powdery sand and soft lapping waves, you’ll find it close to impossible to leave this beautiful beach. But when you do, you can enjoy the delights of its lovely, laid-back beach town too and nearby Siesta Key Village. 

Check out The 7 Best Beaches In Florida

best beaches in the world

3.  Grace Bay – Turks and Caicos

This pristine beach is the shining jewel of the Turks and Caicos Islands. The entire beach is just over 3km long, with no pollution – just pure, white sand and clean water.

A barrier reef found a 1.6km out protects Grace Bay from the ocean swells of the Atlantic, so you can swim with ease.

Check out The 7 Best Caribbean Honeymoon Destinations

Grace Bay

2. Turquoise Bay – Exmouth, Australia

The clue’s in the name, really. Think turquoise waters, the softest white sand and sparkling views over Nigaloo Reef, famed for its whale sharks. It’s every bit as beautiful underwater too, with coral gardens teeming with marine life. Spend the morning snorkelling then stretch out in the sun for a truly blissful beach experience. 

best beaches in the world

1. Playa Conchal – Costa Rica

There’s no getting around it, Costa Rica is the hottest destination to visit right now. Not only does it offer staggering biodiversity, this eco-friendly destination boasts one of the best beaches in the world. This tiny beach is covered in crushed seashells, wrapped around a turquoise bay. Paradise. 

Big 7 Travel Team