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The Most Iconic and Must-See Beaches In the World

There are few people in the world who look at a beautiful beach and think “yuck, no thanks.” Perhaps this is the reason it is so difficult to find a beach without a bunch of people basking in the sand, but we digress. The point is: beaches got it goin’ on.

Because we are such fans of the beach, we decided to compile a list of our favorite beaches around the world so we can all take a look at the gorgeous shorelines, trees, and sky, and think “yuck.”

Saud Beach, Luzon, Philippines
If you ever find yourself in Southeast Asia (or are there right now!) get your bliss on with this palm tree shrouded beach. The white sand beaches diverge with an almost clear blue glassy water. Doesn’t sound too bad…

The waves are peaceful and calm and if you’re feeling hungry there is also a cabana under the palm trees. You can also hire an outrigger for excursions onto the water! Sign us up.

Elafonissi Beach, Crete, Greece
This beach has become well known for its very unique look. The popularity comes from the gorgeous pink sand that melts into beautiful almost lagoon-like waters. The water is warm and inviting.

Elafonissi Beach is an island that is separated from Greece’s mainland, but you won’t need to rent any form of transportation like a boat or the like to get from the mainland to this island. The two are only split by three feet of water at high tide amongst sandbars.

Nungwi Beach, Tanzania
This desktop screensaver of a beach is located in a fishing village called Zanzibar Island, Nungwi Beach, and is one of Tanzania’s most talked about attractions. The beach’s draw is the coral sand which gives off a pale and otherworldly glow.

The swimming is delightful and the area comes with a heavy concentration of beach vendors, resorts, bars, restaurants and people ready to rent out water sport materials. No one would be judging you if you went ahead and booked a flight.

Hanalei Bay, Kauai, Hawaii
Due to Hollydoowd featuring this beach in some movies (the first was with “South Pacific” and the other was “The Descendants,” Hanalei Bay attracted the locals to its magical and enticing beauty.

There is a string of beaches that connect Wai’oli, Hanalei, Pavilion, and Black Pot. They are framed by green mountains that reach as high as 4,000 feet. This area is popular amongst surfers when the winter swells come in.

Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
You may recognize this beach as it is one of the most famous beaches in the world. And not for nothing! There are three miles of beautiful beaches and a party-esque vibe that is oh so inviting. The beach is essentially the social hub of the city.

Locals can be seen sunbathing, promenading, playing volleyball, and eating shrimp skewers from local vendors. It is quite old, however the vintage feel is part of its charm.

Cape LeGrand National Park, Western Australia
This national park is Australia’s beauty in a nutshell. It has several different beaches and bays and each one is as beautiful as the last. Le Grand Coastal Trail goes through a scrubby heath with rocky bluffs.

There is also Hellfire Bay, which has granite boulders, crystal blue waters, and a bending beach. Lucky Bay is next up, which has the world’s whitest sand in the world (whoa). If you’d like a birds eye view of it all, hike the 1.5 mile Frenchman Peak Trail which is entwined with wildflowers.

Clearwater Beach, Florida
This enormous coastline is a whopping 1,350 miles long and has some of the most beautiful beaches in the U.S. Clearwater beach is incredibly popular for its jaw dropping powdery white sands and burnt colored skies.

The weather is gorgeous year round and it is not uncommon to see dolphins leaping out of the surface of the water. Pelicans hang around the pier, adding to the wildlife ambiance and Florida culture.

Sotavento Beach, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
Fuerteventura is a very developed place, however Sotavento offers a great contrast. The 17 mile span of pretty beach contains dunes that look like gold and sand that covers a great portion of the beach.

The water is an inviting teal with gentle waves stirred by reliable trade winds that dig out small tidepools. The warm water is perfect for swimming, surfing, and Hobie Cat Sailing.

Camps Bay Beach, Cape Town, South Africa
This vibrant beach is located right in Cape Town and framed by a beautiful and iconic Table Mountain. The water is gentle blue and is great for surfing and sun ray soaking.

Just beyond the beach are the cobbled streets and the colorful Bo-Kaap neighborhood where there is hiking or riding aerial cableway to the top of Cape Town’s well known flat-topped mountain.

Anse Source D’Agent, La Digue Island, Seychelles
This paradisal place takes a person out of reality and into the type of fantasy you don’t want to wake up from. There is intensely green nature reserves with wildlife at every turn, which makes this beach extra unique.

Seychelles has a clear lagoon that is perfect for snorkeling framed by granite boulders that appear as if they were thrown along the course line like ancient giants. It is a must on the list of beaches to visit.

Praia de Santa Monica, Boa Vista, Cape Verde
The Saharan Desert kissed by the beach makes Boa Vista a must-see for those of us that want a taste of the best beaches in the world and also have an adventurous streak. Praia de Santa Monica takes around 14 miles of the island’s southwest coast.

The billowing sand and tall dunes, rocky cliffs, and deep green ocean is picture perfect. Be warned though, the current is often strong and people unprepared may get caught in a rip current.

Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera, Balearic Islands
This beach is especially unique as it sits on a narrow wisp of land between clear blue water in the northern Formentera, Playa de Ses Illetes. This beach is protected under nature-protective orders, so it is fair to say its beauty will be around awhile.

If you want some time away from the crowds, take a 30-minute stroll up north to the very tippy-top of the island. The views of S’Espalmador across the channel are sure to delight.

Shark Creek Beach, Great Harbor Cay, Berry Islands, The Bahamas
While most beaches in the Bahamas are what one might call heaven on earth, this beach has a special place in our heart. If you’re looking for a place to be alone in the quiet wash of the beach waves, this one is for you.

To get there, one must take a short flight or boat ride out of Nassau. It is worth it, though, as you’ll feel completely isolated from the rest of the towns in the silky sands and aquamarine water.

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays Island, Australia
If there were ever a place that one must see in Australia, Whitehaven Beach should definitely be on the list. Before going onto the beach, you’re able to stand above and see the swirling white sands against blue water.

The way the sand builds and breaks down in the sand makes it look like a gorgeous marble. And the sand? Oh man. It is made of silica rich quartz which makes the sand some of the smoothest in the world.


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