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48 Beaches You Have to Visit At Least Once

white sand beach with kayaks on sand
Image: Aloha Hawaii

Beaches come in all shapes, sizes and personalities, which is why we’ve put together the definitive list of the best beaches in the world. We’ve leaned a little bit toward favoring some you’ve likely never heard of before, but we’ve definitely mixed in some that are world famous. We think we’ve included at least one that will appeal to everybody, but if we’ve missed one of your favorites please be sure to let us know.

Baia do Sancho in Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

Baía do Sancho in Brazil with huge rocks
Image: Almir de Freitas

Located on an island off the northeastern coast of Brazil, visitors will appreciate the quiet serenity that Baia do Sancho has to offer. This beach is just south of the equator, which means it’s a perfect beach for any time of the year.

Grace Bay in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

Grace Bay in Turks and Caicos woman sitting on beach
Image: Tobias Lindman

The Caribbean is known for its white sand, gentle waves and crystal clear waters. Grace Bay is another great destination you can visit any time of the year.

Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Ipanema Beach people lounging on beach
Image: Mike Vondran

Ipanema Beach is a tourist hot spot, so don’t expect quiet and relaxation. Rio offers fantastic dining and night life, so once you’re done on the beach it’s time to explore the city itself.

Siesta Beach in Siesta Key, Florida

pier leading out onto a beach overlooking the ocean
Image: Yoga on Siesta Beach

Once upon a time Siesta Key was a hidden gem very few people knew about; those days are over. Siesta Beach is a top destination for people wanting to avoid the overwhelming crowds of South Beach or Daytona Beach.

Flamenco Beach in Culebra, Puerto Rico

tree covered path leading to beach
Image: blucolt

Nestled deep into Bahía Bay, Flamenco Beach is a picturesque destination for people wanting a little bit of Latin flare without actually needing to speak Spanish.

Anse Source d’Argent in La Digue, Republic of Seychelles

Anse Source d’Argent rocky beach with blue water
Image: victoria white2010

Well into the Indian Ocean to the east of Africa, the Seychelles Islands are a tropical paradise. We think the picture above does just about as well as we could in trying to get you to visit. You won’t need to put up with overwhelming crowds, because this destination is definitely not for those working with a budget, which automatically eliminates many crowds.

Hidden Beach in The Marieta Islands by Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

hidden beach mexico
Image: Daily Mail

Hidden Beach requires adventurers to swim through a small cave opening to find this gem. It’s almost completely hidden unless you have an aerial view (or know where to look).

Hanalei Beach in Hanalei, Hawaii

Hanalei Bay in Hawaii
Tucked into Hanalei Bay on the Island of Kauai  — the oldest and northernmost island in Hawaii — you’ll definitely avoid crowds. Kauai is all about nature and definitely more remote. This sounds perfect for rejuvenating yourself before getting back to the real world.

Plage de St. Jean in St. Barths, French Caribbean

saint jean de luze plage beach with yellow sand
Another Caribbean landing spot for travelers, this beach is easy to get to because of its proximity to the regional airport.

Rabbit Beach in Lampedusa Islands of Sicily

Rabbit beach in italy blue water beach
Image: Beaches Near Me

Closer to Africa than to mainland Italy, Rabbit Beach is quiet and breathtakingly beautiful. Visitors are going to love the beautiful rock formations, warm water and the chance to relax in ways they’ve never been able to before.

7 Mile Beach in Negril, Jamaica

seven mile beach in Jamaica blue water white sand beach
Image: Travel It-Girl

Positioned on the westernmost end of Jamaica, 7 Mile Beach is about as far from the hustle and bustle of Kingston as humalny possible, surrounded almost completely by wildlife preserves and forests. It’s simply heaven.

Wai’anapanapa State Park in Hana, Hawaii

Wai'anapanapa State Park volcano beach
Image: Christine Rondeau

Wai’anapanapa State Park is all about the black volcanic sand and wildlife you’ll find. On the mainland side of Maui, Wai’anapanapa State Park is a place you ought to swing by if you’re visiting Hawaii.

Maya Bay in Ko Phi Phi, Thailand

Maya Bay wooden boat on beach surrounded by rocks
Image: Thomas sauzedde

Part of the Phi Phi islands in the Andaman Sea, Maya Bay is remote and tranquil, with gorgeous waters and a distinctly Thai experience.

Whitehaven Beach in Whitsunday Island, Australia

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Islands Australia
By: Kevin Gibbons

Sure, you’ll have to boat your way to Whitsunday Island, but it’s well worth the visit. Off the coast of Queensland, Whitehaven Beach is protected by Lupton Island, so guests won’t be bombarded by the harsh waves that the Pacific Ocean can produce.

Plage de Tahiti in St. Tropez, France

Plage de Tahiti
Image: JeanbaptisteM

About 90 kilometers from Cannes, St. Tropez is a peaceful French town in Provence you’re sure to love.

Hunting Island State Park in Beaufort, South Carolina

beach with palm trees and waves
Source: Every Country

North of the more popular Hilton Head Island, Huntington Island is  all about the southern charm of South Carolina. Skip the tourist trap and head here instead of Hilton Head.

Playa de Ses Illetes in Formentera, Balearic Islands

Playa de Ses Illetes
East of Spain in the Mediterranean, the Balearic Islands are a hot destination for Europeans and cruisers for most of the year.

El Castillo in Tulum, Mexico

Classic view of El Castillo and the beach at Tulum, Mexico
By: Frank Kovalchek

Located on the Caribbean side of Mexico’s famed Yucatán Peninsula, El Castillo is named for the old Spanish fort that overlooks the gorgeous white sand beach.

Bells Beach in Victoria, Australia

surfer on beach looking at water
Image: Visit Great Ocean Road

Victoria is the south-easternmost state in Australia, and it provides some of the best surfing in the world, which is why Bells Beach is home to the longest running surfing competition in the world, Rip Curl Pro Surf & Music Festival.

Manini’owali Beach (Kua Bay) in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

white sand and rocky beach with people
Image: Only in Hawaii

This is our first beach on the big Island of Hawaii, and it’s definitely a great spot. This isn’t the best surfing beach in the area, but visitors can enjoy some pretty special snorkeling.

Anse Lazio in Praslin Island, Seychelles

Anse Lazio beach with blue water
By: Thomas Gee

We’ve already looked at one beach in Seychelles, and Anse Lazio is another brilliant option for those who can afford the trip into the Indian Ocean. Unlike other beaches on the islands, Anse Lazio isn’t protected by a coral reef, and is known for the large granite boulders that line the area.

Lanikai Beach in Kailua, Hawaii

white sand beach with kayaks on sand
Image: Aloha Hawaii

On the eastern side of Oahu, away from the crowds, Lanikai beach is one of the more quite beaches the Pacific paradise has to offer. The water is perfect, the sand white and welcoming, and the experience will leave you satisfied.

Paradise Beach in Mykonos, Greece

large beach resort areal view
Image: Mykonos Gold

Anyone who has been will tell you that a visit to Greece is all about enjoying the history of the Mediterranean, and Paradise Beach is one of the most popular spots for doing so. You will have to compete for sand space, but it is completely worth it.

South Beach in Miami, FL

south beach bars lit up at night
Image: Florida Dolphin Tours

There are better beaches for the sake of sand, sun and surf in Florida, but Miami’s South Beach is about so much more. It’s one of the most vibrant spots in the world, and people looking for more than just a nice tan will enjoy everything this hotspot has to offer.

Saint Pete Beach in Saint Petersburg, Florida

st. pete beach with beach chairs
Image: bluegreen vacations

St. Pete Beach has all of the soft white sand you could want, and located on Florida’s Gulf Coast the water is warm and inviting year-round. Plus, the waves aren’t really that big, so small children will definitely appreciate that!

Rhossili Bay in Swansea, United Kingdom

Rhossili Bay in Swansea
By: Andrew Bennett

With a relatively short season, Rhossili Bay is about more than getting some sun. This beach is surrounded by large cliffs and beautiful rock formations. Plus, the charm of Wales is welcoming to all visitors.

Sunrise Beach (Had Rin Nok) in Koh Pha-Ngan, Thailand

beach with rocky cliffs in background

Sunrise Beach isn’t found in mainland Thailand. Instead, this beach is on an island on Thailand’s eastern coast in the Gulf of Thailand, and the entire island is pretty uninhabited, making it great for beach goers and nature lovers.

Bahia Gardner in Española Island, Galapagos

seals on beach with cruise ship in the background
Image: Wendy White Cat

La Isla Española is one of the smallest of the Galapagos Islands. Made famous by Charles Darwin, the Galapagos are a nature lover’s dream, but they also have some of the most gorgeous and undisturbed beaches in the world. As close to the Equator as you’re bound to get, Bahia Gardner Beach is the same temperature all throughout the year, which makes it perfect for escaping the chill of the winter months.

Mosquito Bay in Vieques, Puerto Rico

mosquito bay water fluorescents
Image: Pinterest

Mosquito Bay is all about the bioluminescence, which is why it’s also know as Bioluminescent Bay. The glowing water is caused by a micro-organism, the dinoflagellate Pyrodinium bahamense. Because the ecosystem is fairly fragile, certain activities are prohibited in the bay, but it’s still worth the trip just to experience this phenomenon.

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve in Honolulu, Hawaii

Hanauma Bay blue water with rocks and coral
By: Banzai Hiroaki

Fantastic snorkeling and unlimited sun make Hanauma Bay one of the top destinations for travelers to the 50th state. Since it’s near the state’s largest city, there is something for everyone to do.

Playa Norte in Isla Mujeres, Mexico

wooden dock in water at beach
Image: YouTube

Playa Norte, or North Beach, is just off the coast of Cancun in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. Slightly less crowded than Cancun, and not nearly as wild, Playa Norte is definitely worth a visit.

Playa Paraiso in Cayo Largo, Cuba

old tree stump on beach in water
Image: Trek Earth

Since Cuba was off limits to American travelers for such a long time, Playa Paraiso is less developed than many other Caribbean beaches, which makes it perfect for people wanting to truly relax and escape it all. The beach was at one point mostly forest, which makes it very unique.

White Bay in Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

white sand beach in bay with boats moored in the water
Image: Travel Shus

Jost Van Dyke is just one of the many islandd in the British Virgin Islands. It’s not the largest, which means it’s less commercialized and definitely more of a retreat.

Poipu Beach Park in Poipu, Hawaii

Beach with beach umbrellas and blue water
Image: Poipu Beach

Stuck out on Kauai, Poipu Beach is part of a designated resort area, which makes it an easy place to visit as everything guests will near is pretty self-contained.

Praia dos Carneiros in Tamandare, Brazil

old church on beach with rotten wooden piers
Image: Eco Passaporte

On the easternmost part of Brazil, Tamandare is a very charming town. Unprotected from the Atlantic Ocean, you’re going to be filled to the brim with the warm salt air, and you won’t help but fall in love with this tropical paradise.

Manu Bay in Raglan, New Zealand

rocky beach with big waves
Image: Surf Forecast

About 2 hours outside of Auckland, Manu Bay is a perfect day trip if you’re visiting the largest city in New Zealand. Manu Bay also happens to be one heck of a surfing spot, so make sure to bring your surf board.

Glass Beach in Kauai, Hawaii

glass beach in hawaii rocky beach shore
Image: Reddit

Just looking at the picture probably tells you how Glass Beach got its name. Sure, maybe it’s not the perfect white sand beach, but it’s gorgeous in a way the rest of the beaches on this list can’t match.

Lopes Mendes Beach in Ilha Grande, Brazil

long beach with white sand and palm trees
Image: Brazil Eco Travel

Expansive white sand and gentle lapping waves. What else is there to want? Surrounded by rainforest, this is the perfect spot for anyone wanting to enjoy the sun, sand and some self-guided exploration.

Gordon Beach in Tel Aviv, Israel

cityscape in background of beach
Image: Beach Tomato

Gordon Beach isn’t remote, it isn’t quiet and it isn’t relaxing. Tel Aviv is a thriving city with culture, entertainment and nightlight. Gordon Beach, however, does have some of the most beautiful people in the world, so there’s that.

St. Augustine Beach in Saint Augustine Beach, Florida

pier jetting into the water at a beach
The oldest city in Florida is teeming with history, and the Spanish influence can be found throughout the area. It just also happens to be one of the, if not the, best beaches in the state.

Ogunquit Beach in Ogunquit, Maine

deck chairs overlooking rocky shoreline
Image: My Slow Called Life

This gorgeous rocky seashore is spectacular during its brief season from June through September, but it’s well worth the trip — especially for seafood lovers. Maine is an oft-forgotten vacation destination, but it shouldn’t be.

The Baths in Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

rocky beach shore with crystal blue water
Image: The Black Tomato

Beautiful sand? Check. Crystal blue waters? Check. Good food? Check. Time to plan a trip? We think so.

Paklinski Islands in Hvar, Croatia

green islands in blue water with large beaches
Image: Gourmet Croatia

For people wanting to have a European vacation on a budget, Croatia is definitely an overlooked option, and the Paklinski Islands are one of the spots you ought to considering heading to.

Playa de las Catedrales in Ribadeo, Spain

large rock formation in the water with waves crashing over
See that rock formation? It’s just one of many in and around Ribadeo. The crashing waves and salt spray are all a part of the attraction, and the deep blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean are a sight to behold.

Anse Source d’Argent in La Digue Island, Seychelles

rock formations along beach with blue water
By: Fabio Calamosca

Another beach in Seychelles and another perfect example of the paradise waiting in the Indian Ocean.

Playa Manuel Antonio in Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica

forest lined white sand beach in Costa Rica
Image: 1 Costa Rica Link

Since Playa Manuel  Antonio is part of a National Park you’ll avoid a lot of the touristy traits that are endemic to many other Costa Rican beaches. Bring your hiking boots, because a quick trip into the rainforest should be on the to-do list.

La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

La Jolla tidal pools at sunset
By: Joel Olives

Sand, kayaking, seal and tidal pools are all a part of the draw of the beach in la Jolla Cove, just a jaunt north from San Diego.

Lido Beach in Sarasota, Florida

wooden walkway through sand dunes leading to white sand beach
By: Robert Neff

Sarasota is often a forgotten vacation spot in Florida, but it shouldn’t be. South of Tampa it’s warm for most of the year, and Lido Beach is a fantastic option for people wanting a beach resort without quite as much hustle and bustle as some of the more well-known vacation destinations.

pier leading out onto a beach overlooking the ocean
Source: Yoga on Siesta Beach

There you have it, Travel Tune’s list of the 48 best beaches the world has to offer us. What do you think? Love our list? Hate it? Or maybe we just overlooked one of your favorites. Let us know in the comments below.

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