Do you live for sun, sea and sand, but not sure where to spend your next holiday? Our list of the top beach destinations from around the world will have you spoilt for choice! From the Emerald Coast in Florida to the beautiful Whitsunday Islands of Australia, there’s sure to be something here for you!
Emerald Coast, Florida, United States
Enjoy some of America’s most pristine white sands and turquoise water. Chill out amid nature reserves and artists communities, go diving, snorkelling and sailing, or sample some great fishing off the resorts of Destin and Fort Walton Beach.
This largely undiscovered gem is characterised by rolling dunes fringed with graceful sea oats (grass). Beaches include uncrowded Navarre and historic Pensacola.
Taba Heights, Egypt
With a mountain backdrop that shifts colour from mauve to orange depending on the time of day, the five kilometres of beach along the wild desert coast of Egypt’s Sinai peninsula lead into the clear waters of the Red Sea, known for its coral reefs.
Snorkel close to shore or take a boat out to dive the underwater drop-offs. Water-skiing, parasailing and sailing are all popular. The sandy beaches offer safe swimming for children.
Costa De La Luz, Andalucia, Spain
The long, wild and beautiful white sand beach between Cadiz and Tarifa is known as the Costa De La Luz because of the quality of the light that’s made it a favourite with artists. Strong winds make it a top spot for kitesurfing and windsurfing.
Close to Tarifa is the Ensenada de Valdevaqueros, with its massive sand dune and the bay of Bolonia, which boasts the ruins of a Roman town. The area is dotted with seafront cafes.
The Whitsunday Islands, Queensland, Australia
The 74 Whitsunday Islands, sprinkled off the coast of Queensland, are almost all national park and offer a back-to-nature experience with pristine white sand beaches, coral reefs, lush wooded hills and some of the best sailing waters in Australia.
Whitsunday Island’s six kilometre Whitehaven Beach is among the finest in Oz. Check out the eight palm-fringed beaches at the unspoilt seaside town of Bowen.
Ostriconi, Corsica, France
Ostriconi is one of the many unspoilt beaches on the French island of Corsica. With very fine sand and clear, safe waters, it’s popular with families. Other top beaches on Corsica include Mare e Sole on the south side of the Gulf Of Ajaccio.
Palombaggia, south of Porto Vecchio, is another good choice, while Marinella has shallow sloping sands. More difficult to get to is Plage de Saleccia, which boasts talcum white sand.
Mexico’s own Caribbean island has coral-fringed sandy beaches that are famous for diving and snorkelling. Even if you’re not a diver you can explore the marine life during a glass bottom boat ride.
Among the best beaches on the island are Playa San Francisco and Playa Palancar. Cozumel has plenty of watersports and is ideal for both couples and families. After a day’s activities, take a romantic stroll on the beach at sunset.
Ao Nang, Krabi, Thailand
Ao Nang is one of Thailand’s longest and loveliest beaches with shallow waters and a seascape dotted with fascinating rock formations. It’s in Krabi province, which also offers rock climbing, diving and forests with caves and waterfalls.
Ao Nang has become fairly developed in recent years, but has managed to avoid becoming a high-rise hell. It’s easy to visit neighbouring beaches – just hop on a water taxi.
Essaouira has a beautiful beach that curves for several kilometres. Popular with independent travellers, it’s a real haven for those seeking to get away from the buzz of Morocco’s cities.
Windsurfing is popular so hire equipment or book some lessons. Otherwise, just kick back and relax on the sand or go for a stroll to see the forts of the old city. You’ll be following in the footsteps of Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley, who liked to hang out there.
Pelion Peninsula, Greece
In Central Greece, it’s dominated by a mountain range and is lush, green and dotted with charming villages. Its beaches are set in pretty rocky coves and wooded inlets, and are a mixture of sand and shingle. The water is perfect for swimming and snorkelling.
Pelion is a taste of traditional Greece and ideal for a quiet getaway. Many Greeks take their holidays here and you’re less likely to find yourself surrounded by Brits.
With some of the world’s most pristine and secluded beaches and many spectacular bays, this tropical island paradise is a honeymoon hotspot. If you like your hotels to be on the luxurious side there are several to choose from.
The snorkelling is excellent and the lush vegetation covering the island is teeming with wildlife and rare species. If you get fed up of one stretch of picture-perfect beach, simply find another.