You don’t need to share the beach with sunburnt tourists, but you do need to share it with seals, blue-footed boobies and iguanas
Beaches aren’t all made equal. We attempt to narrow it down to the top 10 best beaches in the world. Prepare to be blown away.
The One With Seals
Tortuga Bay Beach, Galapagos
A quick hike along a short rocky trail will bring you to the tranquil hideaway that is Tortuga Bay Beach. While you don’t need to share the beach with sunburnt tourists, you do you need to share it with a few local visitors, including seals, blue-footed boobies and iguanas.
The One With Black Sand
Honokalani Beach, Wai’anapanapa State Park, Maui, Hawaii
Hawaii isn’t short of heavenly beaches, but Honokalani Beach takes some beating. Due to Hawaii’s volcanic history, the rich black sand comprises tiny polished lava pebbles. The strong sea current also keeps surfers away, so the horizon is spotless. If you’re not one for sunbathing, you can also go rock climbing, visit blowholes, discover caves and go hiking in the picturesque park.
The One On A Private Island
The Philippines is renowned for gorgeous beaches, but Pamilacan island, which plays host to Amanpulo is the cream of the crop. You can walk along the pristine white beaches or scuba dive the myriad reefs. You also have Palawan island on the doorstep, which comes with two UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park and Puerto Princesca Subterranean River National Park.
The One With Champagne Pools
75 Mile Beach, Fraser Island, Australia
It’s easy to guess how 75 Mile Beach on Fraser Island got its name. It runs for – you’ve got it – 75 miles along the east coast of the island. This beach, cum highway, cum airstrip for private planes, features the Rainbow Gorge, Champagne Pools and Maheno Shipwreck.
The One With Penguins
St Andrews Bay, South Georgia Island
Don’t expect to do any sunbathing whilst on South Georgia Island – temperatures average 8C in the summer! Do however, expect to be wowed by the sheer number of king penguins that greet you when you hop off your Zodiacs. Other friendly locals include elephant seals and fur seals – definitely not your typical sort of beach!
The One With Powder White Sand
Lopes Mendes, Ilha Grande, Brazil
While Copacabana may be one of the most famous beaches in the world, the true star in Brazil is Lopes Mendes beach. It takes some time to get there (a three-hour drive from Rio, followed by a ferry ride), but the effort you will put in is worth it. For you will arrive at a virtually deserted beach featuring two miles of pristine, powder-white sand and some of the most crystalline waters you will ever come across.
The One With Pink Sand
Anse Source d’Argent, La Digue, Seychelles
A short boat ride away from the main island of Mahe, will take you to the Seychelles’ worst kept secret: Anse Source d’Argent beach. The towering granite boulders and soft pink sand will make you feel as if you’re in paradise. This beach is constantly winning the coveted prize of ‘Best Beach in the World’, so it’s impossible not to include this heavenly retreat.
The One On A Lake
Likoma Island, Malawi
If you want to get away from it all, head to Likoma Island in the middle of Lake Malawi. This unspoilt haven comes with golden beaches, rocky promontories, impressive baobab trees and even a cathedral. Well, who wouldn’t want to thank the man upstairs once they’ve taken a peek at this?
The One You Access From A Clifftop
Praia da Marinha, Portugal
The Algarve region in Portugal is home to over 150 beaches, all spectacular. Regularly voted among the best is Praia da Marinha, accessible by a flight of stairs from the clifftop above. Once you reach the photogenic cove, a snorkelling haven awaits, where there are plenty of nooks and crannies to explore. Want to go further afield? Rent a boat and investigate the numerous nearby caves.
The One Where You Can Swim With Elephants
Radhanagar Beach, Havelock Island, Andaman Islands
For a wild, remote and completely under-the-radar beach, Radhanagar tops the list. The waves are calm throughout the day making it perfect for snorkelling and swimming with elephants, yes we did say elephants. Not only is this stretch of beach long and mostly deserted, it is flanked by lush forest to one side and a rich underwater world waiting to be discovered.