The Best Beaches in the World

When you think of a great beach do you think of a beach that likes to party or do you think of a place with swaying palms and tropical breezes, a place to rest and relax?  Whatever your preference, these are the best beaches in the world and here you’ll find something for everyone.

All things to do in Rio de Janerio

flickr image by over_kind_man

Want to party?  Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro is a two kilometer stretch of white sand dotted with brightly colored umbrellas and is home to innumerable shapely bronze bodies.  It owns a well-earned reputation as the sexiest beach in the world.  Presided over by dramatic granite peaks, this people watcher’s paradise offers a palm-lined promenade and the excitement of nearby Rua Vincius de Morais, a stretch of restaurants and nightclubs that rock well into the night.

If you like urban beaches with a little something extra, Bondi Beach, just 20 minutes from Sydney, Australia, is a half mile stretch of white sand and cobalt blue water with rocky outcroppings that provide a natural point break for surfers.  Locals and tourists come to saunter along the promenade, toss a Frisbee in the neighboring 10-acre park, or lie on the beach, soaking up the sun.  Plenty of options for dining and entertainment are nearby, including Bondi Pavilion which offers a theatre, gallery and performance center right on the beach.

Bondi Beach

South Beach in Miami, Florida is a glorious mix of art deco architecture, glowing neon, white sands and tumbling waves.  A slice of Latin American culture on the shores of the US, this beach and the hard partying neighborhood beside it are favorites of world-class celebrities and models.  The pool bars on nearby Ocean Blvd. sizzle late into the night.  Latin rhythms are everywhere.  If you are looking for a beach that really parties, South Beach is second to none.

South Beach in Miami

flickr image by wadester16

On the other hand, if you prefer to keep your sunbathing separate from your boozing but you want to keep both within easy reach, consider the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand. In actuality two islands, Ko Phi Phi Leh, sister island to Ko Phi Phi Don, is accessible only by boat and offers mountainous terrain concealing dozens of spectacular beaches whose crystal clear waters are ideal for diving and swimming.  No cars are allowed on Ko Phi Phi Leh, insuring its secluded tranquility.  But after a day in the sun, you can return to Ko Phi Phi Don where a bounty of bars and restaurants await.

Phi Phi Islands

flickr image by John_Brennan

If you prefer a little more distance between your beach experience and the local bacchanal, try Tulum Beach.  80 miles southeast of Cancun on the increasingly popular Riviera Maya, Tulum Beach is two attractions in one, a secluded, clothing-optional beach of white sand and clear blue water and the site of crumbling Mayan ruins.  From your beach towel you can look up at the remains of the Castillo, a haunting 1,800 year old citadel.  More ruins lie just beyond.  While Tulum is as yet unsullied, the developers are closing in.  Get there while you can.

Tulum Beach

flickr image by biajoe

A relaxed atmosphere unthreatened by multi-national chains or cheap seaside hustlers won’t be a problem on the island of Fernando de Noronha. 350 miles off the northeast coast of Brazil, the island is a protected marine ecological preserve.  Its waters abound in dolphins, lobsters, sea turtles and exotic fish, an unparalleled delight for snorkelers and divers.  The beach at Porcos Bay is an eye-popping crescent of golden sand where crowds will never be a problem.  Access to the island is limited to 420 tourists a day.  If you are one of the lucky ones you are in for something special.

Fernando de Noronha

flickr image by Fred Schinke

Another special place on the map of the world is Natadola Beach in the Fiji Islands.  Lush greenery and gorgeous white sands are its calling cards.  Located on Fiji’s main island of Viti Levu, this wonderful beach offers snorkeling and horseback riding as well as that famous Fijian hospitality which may delight you only slightly more than its stunning azure waters.

Natadola Beach

flickr image By Cherrie

If getting away from it all is what you’re looking for, you might try hopping down the Hawaiian Island chain all the way out to Kauai.  There you’ll find Poipu Beach, a series of three sandy white crescents lapped by turquoise waters.  Frequented by surfers and sunbathers, Poipu stands out for its variety of surf, which ranges from placid to rolling, and for its location on Kauai, called the Garden Isle, a paradise of rivers and waterfalls, rich with natural beauty and fragrant with banana trees and ginger blossoms.

Poipu Beach

flickr image by keepitsurreal

If paradise is what you’re looking for, the remote and lovely Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, is home to Anse Source d’Argent, an idyll of pink sands and calm waters presided over by dramatic rock formations.  Undisturbed by commercial development, the beach, with its shallow waters, is ideal for families with small children.  The surrounding terrain is a wonderland of hidden coves and unspoiled nature.

Anse Source d'Argent

flickr image by dibaer

And if you really want to put some distance between yourself and the rest of the world, choose The Maldives. Southwest of Sri Lanka, necklaced along the equator, the beaches are secluded gems characterized by crystal clear lagoons fringed by swaying palms and laced with coral reefs.  87 of the islands have been turned into private resorts, some of which feature stilted huts that can only be accessed by canoe.  The Maldives offer an atmosphere of calm serenity for those seeking to put some serious distance between themselves and the rest of the world.

The Maldives

flickr image by Sarah_Ackerman

Whether it’s a raucous beach party you’re after or a serene, undisturbed idyll, this list of the 10 best beaches in the world will provide an answer.  Enjoy – and don’t forget the sunscreen.


Date posted: 10th June, 2011

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