Best Beaches Around the Globe: Add These to Your Bucket List

What’s your definition of the perfect beach day? Some crave exotic tiki bars and daring water sports. Perhaps total solitude is your thing – only accompanied by a good book and an economy-sized bottle of suntan lotion… and the kids building sandcastles a couple of yards away. Whatever floats your boat, one thing’s for sure – when you’re in need of a getaway, nothing beats the combo of sun, sand, and sea!

Some of the best beaches in the world are found in the archipelagos – these are chains of islands found either in the middle of the ocean, or along the coast of a land mass. Check out these 10 phenomenal beaches and book your much-needed vaycay STAT:

Baia do Sancho, Brazil

If your goal is ultimate relaxation, Baia do Sancho is your slice of heaven. We’re talking emerald green waters, coral reefs, waterfalls, and dolphins – yes, dolphins.

Baia do Sancho is located on the archipelago Fernando de Noronha, 217 miles off the coast of Brazil. There are only two ways to reach this beach: By boat, or by foot, which requires taking a dirt road, climbing down a ladder, squeezing between a tight crevasse, down another ladder, and then taking a set of slippery steps… Not to get too detailed or anything, but you’ll see when you get there. (Getting to heaven isn’t always easy, ya know.)

But once you get to your destination, your family will enjoy the 250-foot cliffs, sea turtles, and exotic fish.

Rabbit Beach, Lampedusa, Italy

Lampedusa is a small island located off the shores of Sicily. It’s roughly 105 miles from the mainland of Italy.

Work on your tan on the golden sands of Rabbit Beach while the kids splash around in crystal clear waters full of beautiful, colorful fish – you’re going to want to pack some snorkeling gear to make the most out of this trip! If you’re looking for a little adventure, hike up into the overlooking hills to check out Roman ruins and prehistoric huts, shining in the light of the Mediterranean sun.

Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

This 12-mile stretch of pristine beach boasts sugar white sands and bright blue water.

For water enthusiasts, the snorkeling and diving are phenomenal. The coral reef system in Turks and Caicos is insane! – and you don’t have to be a diver to enjoy the marvels of the underwater world. Just a few yards off of Grace Bay, you have Coral Gardens, a very accessible snorkeling point. Your kids will learn all about the different species of corals thanks to the underwater signs. Best part—it’s free!

This place has everything – try horseback riding on the beach, swim with sharks and manta rays, try kite sailing, or hop into a real submarine to explore the reefs without getting wet!

Anse Lazio, Praslin, Seychelles

This hidden gem is located in the archipelago of the Seychelles, in the middle of the Indian Ocean… If you can’t stand huge crowds, you’ll be relieved to know that this place is quite secluded.

This broad beach is lined with crystal blue water, palm trees, and granite boulders. Your kids will have a blast spotting a ton of sea turtles hanging out by the bay. Just keep an eye out for your rookie swimmers– the waters aren’t the most shallow! There are two restaurants here – the Bonbon Plume and Le Chevalier – perfect for refueling when you’ve been hiking and snorkeling all day.

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Australia

This four-mile stretch of breathtaking beauty, located within the Great Barrier Reef, is only accessible by boat from Hamilton Island. There are no stores or restaurants on the beach. It’s truly untouched.

The bright white sand is comprised almost solely of silica, so you don’t have to worry about your feet burning on the sand. Explore the beach via seaplane, or try snorkeling to get a real look at the turquoise waters. Hike to the Hill Inlet lookout for some breathtaking views (not to mention killer family photos!), and if you ever want a change of scenery, try camping out in the eucalyptus woods behind the beach.

Flamenco Beach, Puerto Rico 

This archipelago is located 18 miles off the east coast of Puerto Rico. Here visitors are greeted by powdery sands, blue water and vast mountains in the background.

This place is excellent for snorkeling, but bring a bunch of boogie boards for the kids when they just feel like hanging out. Try camping out at Flamenco Beach – you’ll need to bring your own equipment and pay a small fee, but your family will enjoy being completely off the grid and grilling by the BBQ pits. Food trucks are located on the outskirts of the beach, where vendors sell delicacies such as pork kebabs and fried plantains.

Siesta Beach, Siesta Key, Florida

Drive an hour south of Tampa to kick back and enjoy this U.S. gem. If you want a day jam-packed with activities, this is the place for you!

The kids will have fun scouting out the countless egrets and herons that make it their home. There are concession stands and picnic facilities on the beach, and even full restaurants in the vicinity! While Siesta Beach itself is quite low-key, nearby Saratosa has everything you could ever want if you’re the antsy type – we’re talking golf courses, museums, botanical gardens… even an opera house!

Iztuzu Beach, Turkey 

This narrow beach provides a barrier between the Dalyan River and the Mediterranean. It may be small (only three miles long), but as you know, quality always wins over quantity. Iztuzu Beach, aka Turtle Beach, is stunning!

Iztuzu Beach has strict conservation measures in place to protect the native loggerhead turtles that breed and nest in the area. Visitors can expect to see some areas roped off during breeding season – don’t plan any evening walks on the beach either. But during the day, enjoy the golden sand and deep blue waters, all surrounded by stunning mountains. This is an excellent swimming beach!

Playa Paraiso, Tulum, Mexico

The wide, white beach and beautiful clear blue waters make Playa Paraiso one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. This beach is located just north of the stunning Mayan ruins of Tulum. Both the ruins and the beach are popular destinations for Cancun tourists.

Playa Paraiso isn’t as secluded as some of the other beaches on our list. But the umbrellas, hammocks, chairs, and bars galore make it a great spot. If water sports are your thing, you can rent anything and everything you need (no need to pack the bulky stuff!). If you don’t mind seaweed – a LOT of seaweed – you’ll have a grand time at Playa Paraiso.

Camp’s Bay Beach, Cape Town, South Africa 

The beach is right across from the Camp’s Bay strip made up of glamorous hotels, shops, restaurants, and bars, and is very popular with locals and tourists alike.

The Twelve Apostles mountain range looms in the background. Marvel at the Table Mountain chain’s ancient boulders and rock formations. The northern part of the beach is a hit for surfers— or try jetskiing if you’re feeling daring! Be wary of the strong currents, though… not the best for little swimmers! (Although there are always lifeguards around.) Instead, check out their glorious rock pool. The shopping here is phenomenal – from vendor stalls to an actual Promenade shopping centre, you’ll have a blast collecting local treasures and sharing them with everyone back home.

What are some of your favorite beaches? Ever found one so beautiful, you vowed to have your ashes sprinkled there? Let us know in the comments below!

Rabbit Beach by Natursports/Shutterstock

Tags : travel   beach vacations   Caribbean   Brazil   Italy   Seychelles   Turks and Caicos   Australia   Puerto Rico   Florida   Turkey   Mexico   South Africa   

Deborah Essner
Natal in northern Brazil is a must-see!