For many people in the world, the most idyllic vacation is one spent on a beach. Sipping a tropical drink, walking through white, powder-fine sand, turquoise waters and lush green palm trees. This is what so many call a dream vacation.
The world is full of beautiful places and even more beautiful coasts. It’s hard to decide where to go on your next trip to relax on the beach.
What makes a great beach depends on the traveler. Some prefer wide sandy beaches with plenty of activities and crowds to watch, while others want secluded beaches with calm waters. These and other factors – such as unique scenery, beach quality and overall accessibility – are considered when determining the best beaches in the world.
The countries with the best beaches in the world are always up for debate. See if your favorite beach country made it to our list of 7 countries with the best beaches or if we need to make a second list to include all the other great countries.
With its turquoise waters, glistening sands and luxurious resorts, Fiji resembles many other tropical vacation destinations. The 333 islands are also suitable for lovers of all kinds and adventure-seekers like surfers and divers appreciate the archipelago’s good waves and coral reefs. But what sets Fiji apart from other island destinations is its otherworldliness. Being more than 1,300 miles from New Zealand’s North Island in the South Pacific, Fiji offers you the delicious feeling of remoteness. You’ll be as far away from reality as possible as you sip Fiji Bitter beer and watch the sun sink below the horizon. Fijian customs will also make you feel a million miles away: Have you ever tasted the dizzying kava drink? Or watched men brave fire and walk across scalding stones without burning their feet? If not, it’s high time you did.
The Maldives is the epitome of a luxury vacation destination, where white sandy beaches beckon with crystal clear waters, diverse marine life and lush tropical vegetation. Take a sunset cruise on Hulhumale’ Beach or head to Bikini Beach to soak up the sun. Veligandu Island’s beaches offer a tranquil retreat, while Reethi Beach in Baa Atoll is a hotspot for honeymooners. If you want to experience the country’s colorful underwater world, head to the beaches around Cocoa Island.
The island nation of the Maldives is popular with honeymooners seeking seclusion and adventurers looking to explore the depths of the sea while diving and snorkeling. Those seeking relaxation can unwind at one of the island spas, and all visitors should definitely spend a day exploring the Maldivian capital of Malé. The hotels in this region are also spectacular, ranging from underwater hotels to overwater bungalows and incredibly beautiful resorts.
The Philippines consists of 7,107 islands with picturesque sandy beaches, including the famous Palawan, where boat trips, caving and kayaking are available. Enjoy the natural splendor of El Nido and its 50 white sand beaches, soak up the lively atmosphere on Boracay after a day of snorkeling, and go on a scuba diving tour of UNESCO-listed Puerto Galera. If you’re a surfer, put Siargao Island on your list to experience the big waves and rich marine biodiversity.
The small island of Bora Bora (only about 6 miles long and a little more than 2 miles wide) is bursting with beauty. At its center rises an extinct volcano that spreads into a lush jungle before emptying into an aquamarine lagoon. Author James Michener, who wrote “Tales from the South Pacific,” even called Bora Bora “the most beautiful island in the world.” The 18th century British explorer James Cook even called it the “Pearl of the Pacific.” Bora Bora is the epitome of a tropical vacation destination with luxurious resorts, sunny skies, warm waters and friendly locals.
And as you may have guessed, tourism is the main industry on this small island in French Polynesia and its throng of tiny motus (islands). To that end, you can snorkel, explore Vaitape (Bora Bora’s main port), climb Mount Otemanu, and more. But there’s a catch: Bora Bora is expensive – very expensive. In short, visit Bora Bora for the natural beauty, visit it to relax, and visit it if you have the money.
Located amidst the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles is one of the most beautiful destinations in the world and is known for its secluded beaches. The most beautiful beaches can be found on the northern island of Praslin, where the snow-white sand and swaying coconut trees will make you not want to leave. Anse Intendance is a pristine natural wonder, Anse Lazio is popular for its postcard-perfect landscapes, while Anse Source D’Argent is known for its idyllic blue waters.
It’s hard to resist the Mediterranean charm of Greece, where you’ll be treated to warm waters that range in color from turquoise to emerald to dark blue. Head to the iconic island of Mykonos to enjoy the crystal clear waters and golden sands at Super Paradise Beach, admire the white pebbles and towering cliffs at Laraia Beach in Skiathos, or soak up the sun among the milky white volcanic rocks at Sarakiniko Beach in Milos.
Maui is not nearly as big as the Big Island, not as small as Lanai, not as busy as Oahu, and not as quiet as Kauai. For many Hawaii vacationers, Maui is just right – it offers a taste of just about everything the Aloha State has to offer, from stunning wildlife to fascinating history and culture. When visiting Maui, you can dance alongside professional hula dancers, golf on coastal fairways, zipline, snorkel with five different species of sea turtles, or simply lounge on some of Hawaii’s most beautiful beaches.
Maui is one of the archipelago’s most popular destinations, located between the Big Island and the much smaller island of Molokai (which you can explore on one of the best Maui tours). Maui is divided into five distinct regions: Many travelers settle on the shores of South Maui (where the famous Wailea Beach is located) or West Maui, where the beaches of Kaanapali Beach and the music of the Old Lahaina Luau can be found. But the rest of the island shouldn’t be left out either. Travel along the Road to Hana to experience the scenic coast of East Maui, explore Haleakala – the world’s largest dormant volcano – inland, and discover the former tribal battlefields of Iao Valley State Park in Central Maui. And if you want to see it all from a bird’s eye view, reserve a spot on one of Maui’s best helicopter tours.
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