The 50 Best Beaches in the World

The votes are in! According to 600 top travel professionals surveyed by FlightNetwork, these beaches all share one thing: they stand apart from all the rest. Be it the best place to kitesurf or see nesting sea turtles, these are the must-visit beaches around the globe.

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Best beaches in the world - Grace Bay

Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos

Locals know it as “Provo.” Providenciales, the most developed island in Turks & Caicos, is 61 kilometres long and has dozens of amazing beaches, with Grace Bay consistently ranking tops.

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Whitehaven Beach, Australia,
Photo: LaMiaFotografia/Shutterstock

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Islands, Australia

Australia has amazing surfing and diving off its shores, so it’s no surprise that Whitehaven Beach consistently tops lists of best beaches in the world. It’s a part of the Whitsunday Islands National Park and is located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef.

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Turquoise water, granite rocks and palm trees in the white sand on the paradise beach at anse lazio on the seychelles
Photo: christian_b/Shutterstock

Anse Lazio, Praslin, Seychelles

This honeymoon hot spot draws travellers from around the world because it’s secluded and beautiful. The Seychelles are located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, north of Madagascar and east of Zanzibar. Anse Lazio beach is nestled in the northwest of Praslin Island and boasts some of the best diving in the world.

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Bahamian Pink sand beach
Photo: Gus Garcia/Shutterstock

Pink Sands Beach, Harbor Island, Bahamas

While Nassau and Paradise Island attract tons of tourists—many coming for the casinos and family-friendly hotels—Pink Sands Beach beckons those looking for a quieter, more romantic stay. There are almost five kilometres of pink—yes, it’s actually pink—sands. The water is temperate and swimmable all year and the coral reef surrounding the beach serves as a protector against the Atlantic Ocean waves.

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Navagio beach, famous lanscape of Zakinthos island. Shipwreck Bay in Zakynthos
Photo: Daniela Mihaylova/Shutterstock

Navagio Beach, Zakynthos, Greece

This beach is often referred to by its local name, Shipwreck Beach or Smugglers Cove. It’s home to a famous shipwreck, called Panagiotis, which makes it ideal for diving and snorkelling. Another reason it’s considered one of the best beaches in the world: Since it’s an exposed cove, it gets gentle balmy winds.

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Baia dos Porcos Beach and Morro Dois Irmaos - Fernando de Noronh
Photo: Diego Grandi/Shutterstock

Baia Dos Porcos, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

It’s a hike to get there, but this beach is well worth it to see the rock formations. Fernando de Noronha is an archipelago in Brazil, South America, and its beauty has been recognized by UNESCO, which named it a world-heritage site.

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Paradise Beach also called Playa Paraiso at sunrise - beautiful and tropical caribbean coast of Tulum in Quintana Roo, Riviera Maya, Mexico
Photo: Simon Dannhauer/Shutterstock

Playa Paraiso, Tulum, Mexico

This beautiful Mexican beach is located in Tulum, which has the only Mayan ruins located right on the beach. While you are in this region, head to nearby Coba, which boasts the tallest climbable Mayan ruins in all of Mexico.

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The white sands of Hyams Beach, NSW.
Photo: Visual Collective/Shutterstock

Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay, Australia

This sleepy seaside town is home to a population of fewer than 200 people. Located in New South Wales, this beach is covered in some of the whitest sand in the world. It’s also great for dolphin and seal spotting.

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Hidden Beach in Puerto Vallarta Mexico
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Hidden Beach, Marietas Islands, Mexico

The real name is Playa del Amor, but everyone calls it Hidden Beach. Located in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, the beach is one of the draws to the Marieta Islands. It’s very photogenic with the blue waters of the Pacific and a wall of rocks protecting the beach.

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Trunk Bay, St. John, US Virgin Islands
Photo: Nenad Basic/Shutterstock

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

Part of the Virgin Islands National Park, one of the most popular activities is snorkelling the 225-yard-long underwater trail of reefs. It’s a good spot to try your hand at underwater photography, as there are plenty of colourful fish and reef.

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A long tail boat sits in Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi Ley, Thailand.
Photo: happystock/Shutterstock

Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi Ley, Thailand

This beach was made popular by the book The Beach by Alex Garland (and turned into a movie of the same name that starred Leonardo DiCaprio). The beach is gorgeous and attracts many tourists; get here early to beat the crowds. It’s located in the Phi Phi archipelago, in the Strait of Malacca in Thailand.

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Wild, swimming pig on Big Majors Cay in The Bahamas.
Photo: Nejron Photo/Shutterstock

Pig Beach, Big Major Cay, Bahamas

This beach attracts tourists from around the world because it’s populated by a group of feral pigs. The island is located in Exuma, in the Bahamas and is uninhabited (outside the pigs, that is).

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Blue Lagoon, Yasawa islands, Fiji, South Pacific Ocean
Photo: Jeremy Red/Shutterstock

Blue Lagoon, Yasawa Islands, Fiji

Made famous by the 1980s Brooke Shields movie of the same name, the Blue Lagoon is a great place for snorkelling and diving. Stay at the Yasawa Island Resort: an all-inclusive property which includes, food, drinks, hikes, paddle board, snorkelling and a trip to the famous blue lagoon caves.

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El Nido, Palawan island, Philippines - 05 of March 2018: Boats in El Nido, Palawan island, Philippines
Photo: tashulia/Shutterstock

El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

El Nido beach is located on the island of Palawan and has some of the best coral reefs in the Bacuit archipelago, a group of islands known for their photogenic steep cliffs. Not only is the beach amazing, but it boasts world-class fishing and underwater caverns that are great for diving.

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One empty blue kayak on Muri beach lagoon in Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Photo: ChameleonsEye/Shutterstock

Muri Beach Rarotonga Cook Islands

Pacific Resort Rarotonga sits on a beautiful stretch of Muri Beach and it’s one of the best places on the island to get active in the water with kayaking, paddle boarding, and snorkelsnling. The resort even has their own glass-bottom boat for lagoon cruises.

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Mayreau, Salt Whistle Bay, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
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Saltwhistle Bay, Mayreau, St. Vincent & the Grenadines

This beach is considered one of the best beaches in the world and one of the most beautiful in the Caribbean. A good way to see another great spot on the island is to hike from Mayreau’s Saltwhistle Bay to Saline Bay; along the way, you’ll be rewarded with amazing views of the Tobago Cays.

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Daytime long exposure of the beautiful Half Moon Bay in Antigua.
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Half Moon Bay, Antigua

Antigua is chock-full of stunning beaches, including this one. A luxe, yet family-friendly resort, Blue Waters Resort will make your stay everything you dreamed of.

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Lucky bay, Esperance
Photo: Kazuki Yamakawa/Shutterstock

Lucky Bay, Western Australia, Australia

Lucky Bay is rated one of the top beaches because with zero waves, the swimming is near to perfection, plus it has beautiful white sand and clear water. Located in Western Australia’s most idyllic national park, this is also a great place for adventurous people—there’s plenty of hiking and camping to be had.

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CULEBRA, PUERTO RICO, 2018. Flamenco Beach, Nature Island Paradise. Caribbean coast colors, pristine white sands and a deserted long stretch of beach. Sun beams highlight palm trees in the distance.
Photo: Ani Anahit/Shutterstock

Flamenco Beach, Culebra, Puerto Rico

This public beach is located in a horseshoe shaped bay and borders the Culebra National Wildlife Refuge, one of the oldest wildlife preserves in the United States. You can see plenty of beautiful Caribbean aquatic life, including parrot fish, blue tang and wrasse.

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Reynisfjara beach in Iceland
Photo: Viktor Vilbergsson/Shutterstock

Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland

What makes this spot so unique is that it’s a volcanic beach, with black sand, lava formations, towering cliffs and, of course, amazing views.

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"Ile aux Cerfs", Mauritius, Africa
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Ile Aux Cerfs, Mauritius

Île aux Cerfs is a privately owned island, located near the Trou d’Eau Douce in the largest lagoon of Mauritius. Make sure to eat at one of the many beach restaurants and then spend the day snorkelling, diving and lounging on the pristine beach.

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Scenic view of Wild idyllic Beach at Maldives island Fulhadhoo with white sandy beach and sea and curve palm
Photo: alionabirukova/Shutterstock

Fulhadhoo Beach Maldives

Located on the Baa Atoll in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the island is long and skinny and the soft breezes means mosquitoes are kept at bay. Plus, there’s amazing surf and sand. Unfortunately, the Maldives is on the list of islands that may disappear in the next 80 years.

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Lofoten. Sea and mountains of Vaeroy, Lofoten in Norway
Photo: Lillian Tveit/Shutterstock

Vaeroy, Lofoten, Norway

The beaches located on the island of Vaeroy, which is part of the Lofoten Islands, has warm waters even though it’s located within the Arctic Circle (the warm waters are due to the Gulf Stream). Beautiful warm beach located in the Arctic? What’s not to love.

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natural landscape view, beautiful inviting tropical white sand beach and ocean on sunny day at Cuban Cayo coco island
Photo: vvital/Shutterstock

Cayo Coco, Cuba

Cayo Coco is a beach located on an island by the same name, nestled in the Jardines del Rey chain, off central Cuba. There are plenty of all-inclusive resorts nearby and people come from all over the world to see the native colony of pink flamingos.

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Aerial view of Grand Cayman's Seven Mile Beach in the British West Indies
Photo: Richard Whitcombe/Shutterstock

Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman

Consistently making the list of the world’s top beaches, this crescent coral-sand beach is located on the western end of Grand Cayman island in the Caribbean. There are plenty of high-end hotels, including the Ritz-Carlton and restaurants nearby.

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Granite rocks and turqouise water at the tropical beach Anse Source d'Argent on La Digue, Seychelles.
Photo: dirkr/Shutterstock

Anse Source d’Argent, La Digue, Seychelles

This one of the most photographed beaches in the world and the reason many honeymooners come to the Seychelles. La Digue is the third largest inhabited island in the Seychelles.

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Large rock formations and turquoise colored water are part of the scene of Horseshoe Bay in Bermuda.
Photo: Andrew F. Kazmierski/Shutterstock

Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda

Located in Bermuda’s south coast, in the parish of Southampton, this pink-sand beach has limestone rocks along its boundary line. You can see a number of colourful aquatic species when you snorkel including parrot and angel fish.

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Black sand beach in Maui, Hawaii.
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Honokalani Beach, Hawaii

Located in Maui, this famous black sand beach is located in Waianapanapa State Park, which is a short drive from the town of Hana (the famous Road to Hana highway). Not only is the beach beautiful, but this is considered a sacred place according to Hawaiian legends.

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Turquoise Bay, Cape Range NP
Photo: Christina Fink/Shutterstock

Turquoise Bay, Australia

Consider one of Australia’s best beaches, this bay is near the town of Exmouth in Western Australia, near the Ningaloo Reef. A popular activity here is drift snorkelling—swimming out to the reef on the southern part of the beach and letting the current gently pull you back to the sand bar in the north. More than 500 species of fish can be found here.

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Elafonissi beach with pink sand on Crete, Greece
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Elafonissi Beach, Crete, Greece

Elafonisi beach, which is located on the southwestern side of Crete. This Mediterranean beauty has pink sand beaches and some of the best snorkelling in Greece because the island is protected by a nature reserve. It’s a popular honeymoon spot.

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On the white sands and blue-green waters of Champagne beach in Hog Harbour bay closed on the Elephant island the Americans celebrated the end of W.W.II. Espiritu Santo island-Sanma prov.-Vanuatu.
Photo: rweisswald/Shutterstock

Champagne Beach, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

Located in the South Pacific, this island beach is a big hit in part because the water is shallow and calm, not to mention crystal clear. Many people stay in the nearby town of Luganville and drive over to the beach, taking in the scenes of coconut plantations, cows, and small villages.

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Stunning Tunnels Beach in Kauai Hawaii
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Tunnels Beach, Kauai, Hawaii

This crescent shaped bay is surrounded by palm and ironwood trees and the jungle and mountains serve as a beautiful backdrop. Due to the winds, kite surfing and wind surfing are popular activities here.

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Kaputas Beach Turkey Mediterranean Sea
Photo: sueleymancoskun/Shutterstock

Kaputas Beach, Turkey

Located in southwestern Turkey on a beautiful road between Kalkan and Kas, the beach at Kaputas can be found by descending a long flight of steps down from the main road (the beach is formed by a gorge that opens out into a stretch of sand). It’s amazing and remote.

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Dhigurah island, Maldives. December 15. 2015: Maldives local island and harbor with boats and trading carts. Tropical harborDhigurah island, Maldives. December 15. 2015: Maldives local island and harbor with boats and trading carts. Tropical harbor
Photo: icemanphotos/Shutterstock

Dhigurah Island, Maldives

Dhigurah Island is located on the Alif Dhaal Atoll in the Maldives. This is one of the best places in the world to go snorkelling or diving with the whale shares (they can be found here all year long).

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Palm tree and blue sea from Nattes island - Nosy Boraha - Sainte-Marie island - Madagascar.
Photo: POZZO DI BORGO Thomas/Shutterstock

Ile aux Nattes, Madagascar

Île aux Nattes is a small island south of Île Sainte-Marie, off the east coast of Madagascar. There are plenty of luxury hotels nearby for a high-end getaway.

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Cala goloritze, Sardinia - Italy
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Cala Goloroitze, Sardinia, Italy

Cala Goloritzé is a beach that is located in the town of Baunei, in the southern part of the Gulf of Orosei, in Ogliastra, Sardinia. It’s famous for its high pinnacle above the cove, the natural arch over the bay, and the fact that the beach is made up of small white pebbles and sand.

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Shoreline of Crasqui Island, in Los Roques archipelago, Venezuela
Photo: Paolo Costa/Shutterstock

Los Roques, Venezuela

Found in Los Roques National Park, this beach is on an archipelago located north of the capital Caracas in the heart of the Caribbean Sea. It’s a protected area and known for sailing.

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Aerial of Cox Bay, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Photo: Russ Heinl/Shutterstock

Long Beach, Vancouver Island, Canada

This popular surfing destination is also the largest and longest beach in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, located in Vancouver Island, British Columbia. While the beach is very pretty, it also has strong rip currents, so a picnic on the sand might be a better plan than swimming during high tide.

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View of Grand Anse beach and tropical coast of Grenada island from coastal promenade
Photo: Pawel Kazmierczak/Shutterstock

Grand Anse Beach, Grenada

Grenada boasts 45 beaches, so this one has a lot of competition. Spanning three kilometresmil along the southwest coastline, this beach is picturesque with colourful fishing boats dotting the water.

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African Penguins on Boulders Beach, Cape Town, South Africa
Photo: Andrea Willmore/Shutterstock

Boulders Beach, Cape Peninsula, South Africa

This area is known for its penguin colony (it’s nearly 3,000 birds strong); the African penguins draw visitors from all over the continent and world. The beach itself is situated between two granite boulders, hence its name. Boulders Beach forms part of the Table Mountain National Park.

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Lanikai beach in Hawaii
Photo: nekomamire/Shutterstock

Lanikai Beach, Hawaii

Located in Oahu, Hawaii, this one-kilometre long beach is stunning. Plus, due to its position on the east side of the island, Lanikai is considered one of the best places to watch the moonrise over the Mokuluas, especially during the full moon.

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Cala Mitjana on balearic island Menorca, Spain
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Cala Mitjana, Menorca, Spain

This popular beach (it attracts plenty of tourists in the summer) is located on Menorca’s southern coast. The closest parking lot is a 20-minute walk, so make sure you have all your beach necessities before heading out. It’s picturesque, surrounded by small pine trees.

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Shoal bay, Anguilla, Caribbean
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Shoal Bay Beach, Anguilla

The island of Anguilla has over 30 beaches, but this one draws a majority of the crowds. This is a popular spot for parasailing and paddle boarding.

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Stunning One Foot island in Aitutaki, tropical island with palm trees, white sand, turquoise ocean water and blue sky at Cook Islands, South Pacific
Photo: BlueOrange Studio/Shutterstock

One Foot Island, Aitutaki, Cook Islands

You can get your passport stamped at the charming post office on One Foot Island, a boat ride away from Aitutaki in the Cook Islands. The best way to get a feel for the island is to take a catamaran tour around it and have a picnic lunch on the beautiful sandy beaches.

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Ao Nang Beach. Krabi, Thailand
Photo: Elena Serebryakova/Shutterstock

Ao Nang Beach, Krabi, Thailand

Ao Nang is Krabi’s vibrant tourist centre and in addition to its amazing beach with sugar soft sand and sparkling clear water, there are plenty of nearby resorts, restaurants, and shops. This region is a big tourist draw in Thailand.

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Stunning view of Elephant Beach near Radhanagar Beach on Havelock Island
Photo: Juergen_Wallstabe/Shutterstock

Radhanagar Beach, Havelock Island, India

One of the top beaches in Asia, Radhanagar Beach, situated between Vijaynagar Beach and Dolphin Yatri Niwas, offers the perfect combination of sun and shade. With lush trees that line one side of the beach, this is a great spot for families looking for some shade for the little ones.

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EAGLE BEACH, ARUBA - MARCH 15, 2017: View of Eagle Beach, Aruba at sunset with Divi Divi tree and tourists.
Photo: littlenySTOCK/Shutterstock

Eagle Beach, Aruba

Eagle Beach is famous for its Fofoti trees, nesting sea turtles, and a plethora of water sports—kayaking, paddle board, snorkelling, and windsurfing.

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Agiba-Beach at Marsa Matruh Ã?gypten
Photo: Waltraud Oe/Shutterstock

Agiba Beach, Egypt

Agiba means “miracle” in Arabic, and many people believe this beach is just that with its location on the Mediterranean Sea. The beach has fine, white sand and turquoise waters.

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Diani beach, Kenya
Photo: Aliaksei Putau/Shutterstock

Diani Beach Kenya, Africa

This African beach is not only a lovely spot (think sand meets forest), but there are lots of places to visit nearby, like the beautiful coral mosques with their archways that overlook the ocean and the monkey sanctuary.

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Oregon coast scenic Haystack Rock on a dramatic day with clouds and reflections. Famous destination for bird watchers.
Photo: cdrin/Shutterstock

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Cannon Beach, located in northwest Oregon, is a lovely beach that is known for attracting a specific bird: the puffin. Haystack Rock, jutting out into the ocean, is a haven for the tufted species. Make sure to take a walk in Ecola State Park to get views of the lighthouse and visit the sea caves in nearby Hug Point.

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Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest