Top 20 Beach Destinations

Start planning your tropical getaway now—these are the Top 20 Beach Destinations in the world according to Trip Advisor, the 2016 Travelers Choice Awards.

Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos

What visitors say, “Unbelievably clear, clean water with hundreds of shades of blues and greens and white sugar sand beaches—ahhhhh!”  Located in an eastern crook of Providenciales, Grace Bay has 12 miles of soft ashen sand and open crystalline water to placate sunbathers. There’s little shade, so come early in the morning to get your choice of umbrellas. Some of the island’s most well-liked restaurants are sheltered along Grace’s shore, as are the most popular hotels.  Want more information Flamenco Beach to start planning your beach travel?  << Click Here >>  When to go:  year-round

Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos, Top 20 Beach Destinations, best beaches in the world

Praia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

What visitors say, “As you walk through a small trail, you can’t imagine what awaits you. The heavenly view seems like a mirage.”  The beach lies on a secluded bay on the main island of UNESCO protected archipelago Fernando de Noronha, off the coast of Recife. It is best visited via boat, which will stop right in front of the bay to not destroy the corals underneath, or via a narrow staircase, which leads down the cliffs that tower around the bay.  Sancho is also described as one of the best diving spots in Brazil and visitors can enjoy a great marine fauna and flora. During the turtle spawning season from January to July, visitors are banned from the beach between 6PM and 6AM. Otherwise, it is a destination that can be visited year-round.  Want more information Flamenco Beach to start planning your beach travel?  << Click here >>  When to go:  year-round.

Baia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil, Top 20 Beaches, Best Beaches in the World

Playa Paraiso, Cayo Largo, Cuba

What visitors say, “Picture perfect in every way. Gorgeous beach and the bluest water ever!”  This is a secluded and gorgeous beach with glittering powdery white sand and turquoise waters.  The waters are very calm.  A truly magnificent virgin beach.  Want more information Flamenco Beach to start planning your beach travel?  Visit Here.  When to go:  year-round.

Anse Lazio, Praslin Island, Seychelles

What visitors say, “Picture perfect, with crystal clear, warm waters, shade, sun and powder white sand.”  Anse Lazio, on the northwest tip of the island, is picture-postcard everywhere you look and it often turns up in lists of the world’s most beautiful beaches. The long beach has lapis lazuli waters, a thick fringe of palm and takamaka trees, and granite boulders at each extremity. There’s some good snorkeling among the rocks along the arms of the bay and there’s a beachside restaurant. Despite its popularity, it never feels crowded, but watch your valuables here.  Want more information Flamenco Beach to start planning your beach travel? << Click here >>  When to go:  year-round

Anse Lazio, Praslin Islands, Seychelles, Top 20 Beach Destinations, Best Beaches in the World

Cayo de Agua, Los Roques National Park, Venezuela

What visitors say, “An incredible beach of soft white sand surrounded on two sides by the Caribbean sparkling in all shades of blue.”  What makes Los Roques such a wonderful place is the huge extension of peaceful waters, the presence of lagoons, small islands and beaches with white sand (from coral origin), and crystalline waters with incredible colors.  Want more information Flamenco Beach to start planning your beach travel?  << Click here >>   When to go:  year-round

Cayo de Agua, Los Roques National Park, Venezuela, Top 20 Beach Destinations, Best Beaches in the World

Flamenco Beach, Culebra, Puerto Rico

What visitors say, “The water was so clear and blue and gorgeous against the backdrop of the mountains. You can’t take a bad picture here.”  Its white sandy beach stretches along the entire bay, you will feel the Caribbean sun everywhere and wonder why you had waited this long.  Flamenco is a great place to snorkel, sunbathe, swim, socialize and camp out.  Want more information on Flamenco Beach to start planning your beach travel?  << Click here >>  When to go:  year-round

 

Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera, Balearic Islands

What visitors say, “Endless sea, fine sand, spectacular views, yachts, fancy stalls, Ibiza on the horizon.” With its laid-back atmosphere, crystalline blue waters, and white Caribbean-like sands, Playa de Ses Illetes is hands down one of the best beaches. Often regarded as an antidote to Ibiza’s raucous party scene, this magnificent strip of sand can be easily reached via a 30-minute ferry ride from the Island that never sleeps.  And although Ses Illetes is Formentera’s most fashionable beach, popular among divers, partygoers, and glitterati who flock here with their posh yachts, the ambience is delightfully soothing and bohemian, giving the impression that no one wants to threaten, in one form or another, this unspoilt Balearic paradise. There are no showers and sunbeds, nor any considerable developments in the area, just a few high-quality chiringuitos (beachside restaurants) where the trendy set can sip a cold drink and sample the day’s catch.  Want more information on Playa de Ses Illetes to start planning your beach travel?  << Click here >>  When to go:  year-round

Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera, Balearic Islands, Top 20 Beach Destinations, Best Beaches in the World

Ngapali Beach, Ngapali, Myanmar

What visitors say, “Three kilometers of beach without a soul to be seen. No seashells, no rocks, no vendors!”  ‘Getting away from it all’ isn’t exactly why most people come to Myanmar, but if the need strikes, Ngapali’s idyllic palm-lined beach is the place to do it. With its pristine white sands, the clear blue waters of the Bay of Bengal, and a host of sophisticated accommodation, Ngapali – some say named by a wayward Italian reminiscing about Napoli years ago – has a justified reputation as the country’s premier beach getaway.  Want more information on Ngapali Beach Myanmar to start planning your beach travel?  << Click here >>  When to go:  November – March

Ngapali Beach, Ngapali, Myanmar, Top 20 Beach Destinations, Best Beaches in the World

West Bay Beach, West Bay, Honduras

What visitors say, “Gorgeous beach. Just walk out a few steps to some of the best snorkeling on earth.”  This is a gorgeous beach with beautiful sunsets, white sand and crystal clear blue water. The resorts or the beach vendors can provide anything you need to make your stay the best ever.  Want more information on West Bay Beach, West Bay Honduras to start planning your beach travel?  << Click here >> When to go:  February – August

West Bay Beach, West Bay, Honduras, Top 20 Beach Destinations, Best beaches in the World

Nacpan Beach, El Nido, Philippines

What visitors say, “A long coastline, golden sand, beautiful crystal waters and a completely virgin landscape make a visit to this place unforgettable!”  Nacpan Beach boasts an approximately four kilometer stretch of cream sand beach decorated with coconut trees.  It is generally bare, unspoiled and unexploited, without the usual crowd that other El Nido beaches get.  Want more information on  Nacpan Beach, El Nido Philippines to start planning your travel?  << Click Here >> When to go:  December – March

Nacpan Beach, El Nido, Phillipines, Top 20 Beach Destinations, Best Beaches in the World

Maho Beach, Cruz Bay, St. John

What visitors say, “Beautiful beach with clear water. Swam with a sea turtle and came ashore to sunbathe with an iguana.”  Voted a “Visitors Favorite Beach”, and it’s no surprise since Maho beach has it all. From its coconut palm fringed white sand beach, light surf, shallow entry and ease of access – Maho deserves it’s fame. But, popularity comes at a price …and the beach can get crowded especially at high season and on holidays.  Want more information on Maho Beach, Cruz Bay, St John to start planning your travel?  << Click Here >>   When to go:  year-round

Maho Beach, Cruz Bay, St. John, Top 20 Beach Destinations, Best Beaches in the World

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Australia

What visitors say, “The whole beach is untouched. No stores, no restaurants, just the beauty of nature at its best.”  Whitehaven Beach is a definite “must-see” in the Whitsundays. The crystal clear aqua waters and pristine silica sand of Whitehaven stretch over seven kilometers along Whitsunday Island , the largest of the 74 islands in the Whitsundays. It defines nature at its best and provides the greatest sense of relaxation and escape.  Want more information on Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island Australia to start planning your travel?  << Click Here >>  When to go:  year-round

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Whitsunday Islands, Top 20 Beach Destinations, Best Beaches in the World

Sharm El Luli, Marsa Alam Egypt

What visitors say, “Paradise. Pristine, beautiful beach and a tropical aquarium under water.”  It’s a pristine fine as talc white sandy beach that puts the Maldives in the shade.  At low tide (and the tidal range here is limited) it’s a perfect lagoon and it’s easy to wade in thanks to the gentle gradient of the sea bottom which eventually leads out to deeper waters with a maximum depth of 20 meters to the shore side of the reefs.  There is an impressive diversity of fish, as well as many different types of colorful coral.  Want more information on Sharm El Luli, Marsa Alam Egypt to start planning your travel?  << Click Here >>  When to go:  May – October

Sharm El Luli, Marsa Alam Egypt, Top 20 Beach Destinations, Best Beaches in the World

Elafonisi Beach, Elafonisi, Greece

What visitors say, “The sea was calm and beautiful. The colors are intense—light blue water, pink sand. Paradise.”  What characterizes the area of Elafonissos and makes it such an exotic place, are the little sand islets formed, the shallow turquoise waters of the sea, which at a point looks like a lagoon, and certainly the fine white sand, pinkish at several spots because of the crushed shell powder.  The whole area is an endless summer playground for young and old alike.  Want more information on Elafonisi Beach, Elafonisi Greece to start planning your travel?  << Click Here >>  When to go:  May – October

Elafonissi Beach, Elafonissi, Greece, Top 20 Beach Destinations, Best Beaches in the World

Playa Emanuel Antonio, Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica

What visitors say, “Gorgeous beach, gentle tide, warm water. A swimmer’s paradise.”  Set high above the enchanting national park, Manuel Antonio boasts world-class views and beaches. Accommodation choices are plentiful, with some of the country’s most inspired lodging options to choose from. Just imagine sparkling white sandy beaches, shimmering blue water and the fresh ocean breeze, all from the rocking chair on your patio. You’ll feel stress magically leave your body as you soak up the sun in Manuel Antonio.   Want more information on Playa Emanuel Antonio, Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica to start planning your travel?         << Click Here >>  When to go:  December – May

Playa Emanuel Antonio, Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica, Top 20 Beach Destinations, Best Beaches in the World

The Baths, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

What visitors say, “I’ve been all over the Caribbean, and this is the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. We lost count of the beautiful, bold-colored fish that swam near us.”  The Baths is unlike any other beach in the Caribbean. It features white sandy beaches framed by gigantic granite boulders, some of these with diameters reaching 40 feet. Geologists believe that these odd formations are the result of volcanoes. However, there’s no need to worry about exactly how Mother Nature created these awesome sculptures. Instead, bring along your water shoes, a snorkel and a waterproof camera and explore the series of caves and grottos created by these irregular boulders.  Want more information on The Baths, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, to start planning your trip?  << Click Here >>  When to go:  year-round

The Baths, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, Top 20 Beach Destinations, Best Beaches in the World

Camp’s Bay Beach, Camps Bay, South Africa

What visitors say, “The sandy beach and massive, cold waves are just what’s needed on a hot, sunny summer Cape Town day.”  Camps Bay beach is Cape Town’s answer to St Tropez and one of the many Camps Bay attractions. It offers spectacular views of Lion’s Head and the Twelve Apostles and its fine white sand is packed with beautiful people, especially over weekends and during holidays. Camps Bay’s long stretch of beach is perfect for sunbathing and its open flatness means that team activities like Frisbee and social beach volleyball can also be enjoyed by the more active visitors.   The sea is, due to Camps Bay’s protected position in the bay, quite calm and good for swimming. At the southern end, you will find a tidal pool. The northern part is great for surfing. There is a stretch of lawn in front of the beach where picnics are often enjoyed. Camps Bay beach is safe, clean and family friendly.  Want more information on Camps Bay Beach Camps Bay South Africa to start planning your beach travel?  << Click Here >>  When to go:  November – April

Camp's Bay Beach, Camps Bay, South Africa, Top 20 Beach Destinations, Best Beaches in the World

Praia Da Marina, Carvoeiro, Portugal

What visitors say, “Classic Algarve beach with sand, cliffs, rocks, caves, arches—it’s got it all. Plus crystal clear water and an abundance of marine life on show.”  Praia da Marinha is the archetypal Algarve cove. Clear turquoise waters lap up against the orange limestone that forms the cliffs and iconic rock formations that have graced the covers of a hundred holiday brochures. The beach itself is fairly small and sandy, but what has saved it is what it doesn’t have. Despite being located in the middle of the Algarve coast, Praia da Marinha lacks the facilities and most importantly, the easy access of other Algarve beaches. To get to the beach involves a bit off a drive off the main road followed by a steep descent down to the beach via a set of steps.  Want more information on Praia Da Marina, Carvoeiro Portugal to start planning your beach travel?  << Click Here >>  Best time to go:  May – October

Praia Da Marina, Carvoeiro, Portugal, Top 20 Beach Destinations, Best Beaches in the World

Kata Noi Beach, Karon, Thailand

What visitors say, “Waves and water like baby bear’s porridge: not too hot or cold, not too big or small. Simply perfect in every way. Really.” This bay is found at the end of a beach-side cul-de-sac, just a few minutes’ drive over the hill from Kata beach. There’s not much to do in Kata Noi apart from admiring the wonderful scenery, which is precisely the point of coming here.  Relax, take a walk along the soft sands, snorkel or swim. It’s long been a popular spot for surfers in the monsoon season of May to October, though swimming can be dangerous during this period. The popular Kata Viewpoint, offering a stunning vista across the three bays of Karon, Kata and Kata Noi, is only a five-minute drive along a winding road towards Nai Harn. Want more information on Kata Noi Beach to start planning your beach travel?  << Click here >> Best time to go:  November – April

 

Clearwater Beach, Clearwater, Florida

What visitors say, “The sugar fine white sand is a trademark of this fabulous beach. Perfect for a day in the sun. You might even spot a dolphin or two playing on the horizon.”  This postcard-perfect beach destination provides soul-soothing, sugar-white sands and welcoming blue waters, plus opportunities for as much adventure or relaxation as you desire. It has different stretches of beach for everyone–from families, to those looking to relax, to a younger set looking for vibrancy. Plus, it’s just 15 minutes from downtown St. Pete.  Want more information on Clearwater Beach, Clearwater Florida, to start planning your beach travel?  << Click Here >>  Best time to go:  year-round.

Clearwater Beach, Clearwater Florida, Top 20 Beach Destinations, Best Beaches in the World

Discover Turks & Caicos:  Home to the #1 beach in the world!

 

28 Comments

  1. Lee

    I’d love to visit each and every beach 🏖 listed.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You and me both Lee! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com!

      Reply
  2. Melissa

    What a wonderful list. Beaches are such a canvas of the beauty of nature. I really love the Whitehaven Beach. The waters are so clear and that sounds like I would love to go snorkeling to enjoy seeing everything so clearly. I also love how the beach is untouched which means you get nothing but pure natural beach and its scenery. Definitely a great list!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you Melissa, I am glad you enjoyed the list of the Top 20 Beach Destinations! They are all beautiful for sure, and yes Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsunday Islands is amazing! Thanks for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com!

      Reply
  3. crystal

    I love beaches and travel. I am gonna bookmark this so I can use your site to figure out my next vacation. I am really interested in Greece! Elafonissi Beach looks amazing! Have you been there?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hello Crystal, thank you for taking the time to comment on my site 🙂 I love beaches too, of course! I have not been to Greece. This is one destination that is on my bucket list. So much history, beauty, and of course amazing beaches!

      Reply
  4. Diane

    Wow, Beautiful beaches all over the world! I love the beach, and am looking for my next beach vacation. Dreaming on your site and love your site! I’m gonna keep looking at all these wonderful destinations you have. I will book mark it as well and use it to plan my next trip! Thank you 🙂

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you so much Diane for taking the time to leave me comments. I am glad you are enjoying the site and the Top 20 Beach Destinations! Definitely lots to pick from for your next vacation for sure. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks!

      Reply
  5. Tim Owen

    Europe and Asia wins again! I’m glad at least one American beach made the list. Clearwater is beautiful. As a former sailor guy, I love beaches. I have not been able to visit any of these on the list, except for number 20. I hope that anyone who gets to visit any of these beaches this summer has a great time! Thanks for the list of the best beaches.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You’re welcome Tim. It would be awesome to visit all of them for sure. I have been to #20 as well 🙂

      Reply
  6. Salvatore V Jenkins Jr.

    I am hoping to travel more in the near future and I am always looking for a new beach to visit. I have never been to any of these beaches, well I have never been outside of the US but these beaches are beautiful and now on my list!

    Thank you for the valuable information Leahrae…

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great! These are the absolute best there are for sure.

      Reply
  7. Nate

    Hi,

    I’ve been to a handful of the places in your article and loved them all!!!

    I’m looking to go somewhere hot for New Years Eve 2016 (I live in the UK) do you have any suggestions where may be good to visit for New Years Eve and is fairly cost effective?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Boy, depends on what you are looking for, but these places are all great sunshine weather places in January and they won’t break the bank: Cancun, Montego Bay, Punta Cana, and Rio De Janeiro 🙂

      Reply
  8. Kirill

    I’ve only been to a couple of places from your article. You’re reminding me that life must be very long to visit all beautiful places. In fact, I’ve started my research right away, thanks to your links.
    Thank you for sharing. Kirill.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome Krill. Life is short, have to start young to hit all these beaches!

      Reply
  9. Joana

    Camps Bay in South Africa sounds like my next destination…:) Turks and Caicos video looks really nice too.
    But to be honest, all of the beaches look and sound amazing, i will have to add them to my ‘bucket list’. Some are very remote. Maybe it would be a good idea to visit them when sailing around the world, doing sort of ‘island hopping’!
    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, ~sigh~ wouldn’t that be wonderful…. Thanks for looking Joana.

      Reply
  10. Fray

    Why would you do that??? Why would you remind me of all the most perfect destinations on the planet where I should be right now, instead of heading to work on an overcast Friday morning?

    But seriously, nice article.

    I’m personally bias, as I love Venezuela, but I would put Los Roques first, second and third. Sadly the political situation prevents more people witnessing the jaw dropping beauty… but it’s definitely something that will stay with me until my final days.

    I might need to check out the others though… In the interest of being fair 🙂

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you Fray, yes we do need to be fair and check them all out! Thanks for visiting my site!

      Reply
  11. Liz

    I feel myself relaxing just looking at the photos and thinking about a vacation. I am a photographer, so just thinking of these places makes me want to go right now. You have given me some great ideas. There are some places on your list that I have never thought of going. Lots to think about!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Nice 🙂 I agree! Thank you so much for visiting Liz!

      Reply
  12. Andy

    Wow! All these beaches sound AMAZING! Unfortunately I’ve never been to any of them but now I have some great destinations to go to. I love how you specify when the best time to go is because when booking online we may see that there’s a deal on the price but that’s because it’s off-season when the weather’s not too good and it wouldn’t be as enjoyable.

    One place you can add to your list is Boracay in the Philippines. I’ve actually never been but heard stories of how beautiful it is and actually a couple of my wife’s family members are going there for a trip pretty soon! I’m so jealous!
    Thanks for this amazing list!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You’re welcome Andy and thanks for the tip on Boracay 🙂

      Reply
  13. Derek Marshall

    Hi there,

    Nice to see some of my own personal favorite beach locations in this list.

    Kata Noi, in Phucket is only a short drive from the islands main resort of Patong, and of course, the main, Kata beach what is great is the opportunity for one of the world famous relaxing Thai massages, right there on the beach!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Oh, wow! I need to add that to my review 🙂 Thanks Derek!

      Reply
  14. Dr Brad

    As a keen surfer and traveller, I have visited a lot of beaches around the world. But I have not been to any of these. YET! All these beaches look beautiful!

    My favourite beach is the one that is a 2 minute walk from home, Sunshine Beach in Queensland! I was surfing here 2 days ago and there was a manta ray swimming around me for over an hour, plus we will have the humpback whales pasing by in the next few weeks.

    Definitely one for the list!!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Wow, that is awesome Brad! I would love that experience, ~sigh~ one day soon!

      Reply

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