The Top 50 Best Beaches In The World For 2019

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Related: Top Ten Best

Everyone has an idea of their favourite beach. White sand, blue sky, clear blue waters. It might be teeming with wildlife, hidden away on a secluded peninsula, or possess the softest sand. We have visited far-flung coves and bays around the world and have picked our favourites below.

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Whichever beach you pick as your favourite, if you want to book a hotel, use our luxury travel concierge. We offer free upgrades, free breakfasts, free hotel credit and VIP gifts at major luxury hotel brands like Four Seasons, Belmond, Ritz Carlton, InterContinental and more.

Best Cove In Europe

Guernsey has a very special place in my heart. The cliff top walks, the perfect cobbled harbour-side town of St Peter Port and the empty sandy beaches and smugglers coves keep me returning again and again. One of my favourite beaches on the island is Fermain bay which is found just below the Fermain Valley Hotel.

This beach is reached via coastal pathways or a hugely steep track, which leads from the hotel on the clifftop down through a forested valley and to the twinkling cove of Fermain bay. What I love about this beach is the crystal clear water which is azur blue, the remote location which means there are barely more than 2 or 3 families that make it down to the cove and also the location on the Guernsey airport flight path. This flight path location means that as you laze on this stoney beach, you can watch all sorts of larg and small aircraft making their final preparations as they descend onto the runway at Guernsey airport, which is just beyond the top of the cliffs.

Sand rating?

No sand, this one is pebbly!

Best Beach In Hawaii

Hawaii may sound like a tramline destination and certainly, Waikiki Beach on Oahu draws crowds, but for something a bit different try Lanai, a private island off the coast of Maui which is so exclusive that you won’t be bothered by crowds simply because not enough people go there to fill up the beaches. Stay at the Four Seasons Lanai an exclusive paradise on the shores of the perfect Hulopoe Beach (which is owned by billionaire Larry Ellison).

This resort which offers top-rated dining, a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, a pristine pool and spa and of course, a perfect golden sand beach, Hulopoe Beach on Manele Bay, reached by a small track down from the hotel (it only takes about a minute to get there) that you can enjoy virtually to yourself. This beach also has some rock pools to explore at the far end if you dare.. last time I was there I swear I saw a brightly coloured sea snake lounging in one of the tide pools pictured above (ugh!).

Uniquely you can trek the mountains here for a different experience. These can be found in the centre of the island and offer a more temperate looking forest and immense views over gorges.

Sand rating?

Golden perfection.

The best beach for wildlife? Hawksbill Beach, The Seychelles

Feel like one of the first explorers and step foot onto this rugged, unspoilt island. Stay at Bird Island Lodge which is discreetly hidden from view amongst the tropical undergrowth. To the northwest of the island is Hawksbill Beach, a wide stretch of sand that’s edged with frothy, parakeet-green perennials and little else.

Walk along the coast and you’ll hear nothing but the yelps and squawks of the resident birds, including thousands of sooty terns that nest on the island each year. Hawksbill gains its name from the eponymous turtles which arrive each October to lay their eggs. You can join the staff on the Turtle Monitoring program to watch the eggs hatch and the hatchlings begin their haphazard race to the water’s edge.

Sand rating?

Perfect white sand. You can often see bird footprints imprinted on its surface, and long scrapes left by turtles retreating back into the ocean.

The beach with the best views? Koh Lao Lading, Thailand

Koh Lao Lading Beach is flanked by two cliffs that rise straight from the waters of the Andaman Sea. The cliffs frame a view out to Phang Na Bay, where huge limestone karsts loom out of the ocean.

At the shore side, traditional long-tail boats are moored, their wooden hulls brightly painted and with swathes of fabric tied to the bows for luck.

Nicknamed ‘Paradise Island’, Koh Lao Lading is a tiny limestone island in the southern waters of Phang Na Bay, but it does get busy. Stay at the Six Senses Yao Noi, located just across the bay on the island of Ko Yao Noi and charter an early morning boat to get there before anyone else arrives.

Sand rating?

This beach is often covered with tiny purple ipomoea flowers, and the sand is so fine that it sinks away as you walk over it.

The best beach for culture? Ha My Beach, Hoi An, Vietnam

Ha My Beach is a long, pristine sweep of sand on Vietnam’s central coast, just ten minutes away from the UNESCO World Heritage city of Hoi An. Days can be spent wandering the historic trading port’s lantern-lit streets and merchant houses before retreating back to a nearby luxury resort. Four Seasons’ The Nam Hai sits on a particularly peaceful section of sand.

Sand rating?

The fine white sand that squeaks when you walk over it.

The best beach for unusual sand? Northern Indonesia’s black-sand beaches

Do a little research and you’ll find a rainbow of sandy beaches, from the green beaches of Hawaii to the pink sands of the Bahamas. For me, the most dramatic are Indonesia’s black-sand beaches. Bali may conjure images of golden sands, but I headed to the little-visited north, where the coast is trimmed with a ribbon of volcanic sand.

Sand rating?

Black flecked with silver, giving it a glimmer when the light catches it.

The best beach for snorkelling? Matira Beach, Bora Bora, French Polynesia

The aquamarine waters off Matira Beach are so clear that you don’t really need to don a snorkeling mask to see the fish below. But when you do, it’s like slipping into an aquarium. Schools of butterflyfish glitter past, while parrotfish and angel fish dart about in bright polychrome swirls. I swam alongside slowly gliding reef sharks and stingrays.

From the water, you’ll see the craggy peak of Mount Otemanu rising up behind the narrow beachfront. A series of motu (islets) curve round the coast protecting a huge, shallow lagoon from the steep drop-off into the South Pacific. The Bora Bora Pearl Resort and Spa is built in a motu overlooking the lagoon and Matira Beach.

Sand rating?

The honey-toned sand is soft between your toes but with plenty of coral along the coast, water shoes are recommended.

The best beach for dramatic scenery? Zighy Bay, the Musandam Peninsula, Oman

The Musandam Peninsula in Oman juts out into the Strait of Hormuz and its coastline has a jagged edge of khors (rocky, fiord-like inlets). In most places the Western Hajar Mountains’ steep sides dive straight into the ocean, but at Zighy Bay, there’s a wide band of sand between the mountains and water.

Sand rating?

A little coarser than a traditional white-sand beach, the sand here is a deep, exotic golden-yellow.

The best offbeat beach destination? Bwejuu Beach, Zanzibar, Tanzania

Tanzania may not be an obvious sea-and-sand destination, but the Zanzibar Archipelago is trimmed with arcs of dazzlingly white sand. Bwejuu is its finest stretch, with 19 km (12 miles) of palm-fringed beach and dhows (a traditional fishing vessel) sailing across the horizon.

Sand rating?

Whiter than white.

Wherever you are based in the world, I hope that these beaches will inspire you to travel more and to beach more.

Top 25 Best Beaches In The World For 2019

Best Beaches In North America: Polihua Beach, Lanai, Hawaii

In "News"

Lanai is a private island off the coast of Maui which is so exclusive that you wont be bothered by crowds simply because not enough people go there to fill up the beaches. For an off-the-beaten-path beach, Lanai offers the… Read More.

Best Beaches In The World: Mafia Island, Tanzania

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Of the 50 verdant islands found off the coast of Tanzania, Zanzibar is undoubtedly the most famous. This is with good reason – its tropical climate, rich cultural history and friendly inhabitants make it a popular destination for those seeking… Read More.

Best Beaches In North America: Pfeiffer Beach In Big Sur, California

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Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur is definitely off the beaten path. Located just south of Big Sur Station on Highway 1, take the narrow Sycamore Canyon Road (with no signposts!) which winds down to the shore. There is a parking… Read More.

Best Beaches In The World: The Togean Islands, Indonesia

In "News"

Among the thousands of Indonesian islands sprawled across the Indian Ocean, perhaps some of the finest are the Togean islands. Situated some 40km away from the equator, these islands have fantastic weather throughout the year. Their favourable climate also allows… Read More.

Best Beaches In The World: Fermain Bay, Guernsey

In "News"

Guernsey has a very special place in my heart. The clifftop walks, the perfect cobbled harbour-side town of St Peter Port and the empty sandy beaches and smugglers coves keep me returning again and again. One of my favourite beaches… Read More.

Best Beaches In North America: Cooper’s Beach In The Heavenly Hamptons

In "News"

If you live in NYC, it is necessary to escape the city at times. Two hours (without traffic…which can be rare) from Manhattan are the heavenly Hamptons. Stretching expanses of pristine beaches, sea grass dunes and a constant sea breeze… Read More.

Best Beaches In The World: Manzanillo – Costa Rica

In "News"

The coastline that lies between the Caribbean Sea and Costa Rica is one of the most breath-taking in the whole of Latin America. The beaches and villages that lie along the country’s length act as a thin partition between its… Read More.

Best Beaches In The World: Nosy Be – Madagascar

In "News"

Madagascar has long been famed for its incredible biodiversity and unique wildlife. Nestled off the north-western coast is the beautiful island of Nosy Be, offering intrepid explorers a chance to unwind on pristine beaches. Read More.

Best Beaches In North America: Tonquin Beach, Vancouver Island

In "News"

Tonquin Beach sits on a peninsula within Clayoquot Sound on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada. The scenery here is beautiful; wild and natural, made up from lakes, inlets and ancient rainforest. The sandy beaches on Vancouver Island are some… Read More.

Best Beaches The Caribbean: Maho Beach In St Martin

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You are not going to come to St Martin without venturing to the Dutch side, or Sint Maarten as it is called, to see Maho Beach. This is not a place to search for peace and quiet, given that it… Read More.

Best Beaches In North America: Cowell Ranch Beach, California

In "News"

Cowell Ranch Beach On Half Moon Bay is one of the best beaches in California. It sits south of Half Moon Bay State Beach on California 1. This can only be reached from a small car park by a yellow… Read More.

Best Beaches In The World: Long Set Beach, Koh Rong, Cambodia

In "News"

The second largest island in Cambodia, Koh Rong is the place to visit now before the masses descend on this up and coming resort. Long Set beach is the southernmost cove of the island, so named by the locals after… Read More.

Best Beaches In North America: Bowling Ball Beach, California

In "News"

Bowling Ball Beach in Mendocino County, California is a secluded, quiet beach on the West Coast. Bowling Ball Beach is a part of Schooner Gulch State Beach, in Mendocino County. Named after the spherical sandstone formations, which look kind of… Read More.

Best Beaches In The World: Sokha Beach, Sihanoukville, Cambodia

In "News"

This pretty beach is privately owned with a long expanse (1.5km) of fine, white sand and shallow, safe waters. It’s very quiet, partially as there are no hawkers selling goods allowed on the beach, so it’s ideal for relaxing and… Read More.

Best Beaches In North America: Alamere Falls Beach, California

In "News"

Alamere Falls Beach at Point Reyes National Seashore is a hidden, crowd-free beach in California. Go here simply for the Alamere waterfall which cascades into the sands and ocean below bUT this beach requires a hike, 4 miles each way.… Read More.

Best Beaches In The World: Southwestern Beach, Koh Rong, Cambodia

In "News"

The beaches in Cambodia are stand-out amazing but you tend to see and hear a lot more about Thailand’s beaches. We think there is something rather more special about the slightly quieter beaches you find in Cambodia. Read More.

Best Beaches In The World: Yonehara Beach, Ishigaki Island

In "News"

Only 75 miles off the coast of Taiwan, the island of Ishigaki has its own language. Few visitors to Japan make it this far out, despite a direct flight from Tokyo, but it is worth the trip. The water around… Read More.

Best Beaches In North America: Cannon Beach, Oregon

In "News"

Possibly the most breathtaking beach on the Oregon coast is Cannon Beach, bordered by a pretty town. Wander around the town with touristy-but-nice art galleries and gift shops and then head out to walk across the sands and go for… Read More.

Best 5 Beaches The Caribbean: Mercure Beach On St Martin

In "News"

The sea on the Caribbean side of the sand bar that forms the lagoon on St Martin can be a bit rough at times, especially when the wind is blowing, so the beach on the lagoon side offers a little… Read More.

Best Beaches In North America: Siesta Beach, Florida

In "News"

This beach goes on and on. Siesta beach is on Siesta Key, a barrier island off the southwest coast of the U.S. state of Florida. Backed by dunes and made up from superfine white sand and turquoise waters, this beach… Read More.

Best 5 Beaches The Caribbean: Tintemarre Beach On St Martin

In "News"

Located on a deserted island 3km off the north east coast of St Martin, the only way to get to Tintemarre Beach is by boat. It is part of the island’s nature reserve and the waters around it are full… Read More.

Best 5 Beaches The Caribbean: Pinel Island Beach On St Martin

In "News"

Pinel Island beach was so good that we went back on more than one occasion. Located on an uninhabited island just of the north east coast, access is provided by a ferry. Once on the island, there are two restaurant… Read More.

Best 5 Beaches The Caribbean: Baie Rouge On St Martin

In "News"

Situated on the west side of the island of St Martin on the Caribbean sea, Baie Rouge is a long, curving bay with impressive waves and soft, golden sands. At the north end, there is a car park and two… Read More.

Best Beaches In The World: Perranporth, Cornwall

In "News"

On a sunny day, the beaches in Cornwall match the beauty of any other white sand beach in the world. If you don’t believe me, watch an episode of the BBC TV series of Poldark and I challenge you not… Read More.

Best Beaches In North America: Manele Bay, Lanai, Hawaii

In "News"

Hawaii may sound like a tramline destination and certainly Waikiki Beach on Oahu draws crowds, but for something a bit different try Lanai, a private island off the coast of Maui which is so exclusive that you wont be bothered… Read More.

Best Beaches In North America: Waikiki Beach, Hawaii

In "News"

The beach at Waikiki is certainly not a beach to get away from it all. Bordering the city of Waikiki, the tourism hub of the Hawaiian Islands, this beach is busy and fun. It is protected from the ocean by… Read More.

Best Beaches In The World: Lazy Beach, Koh Rong Samloem, Cambodia

In "News"

Koh Rong Samloem is a quiet island in Cambodia with exquisite beaches, in fact it’s hard to find one that stands out but Lazy Beach probably gets my vote. Its 1km of golden sands are shaded by pine trees and… Read More.

Best Beaches In The World: Siquijor, The Philippines

In "News"

With over 7000 islands on offer, any traveller to the Philippines is utterly spoilt for choice. Whatever your desert island daydream, this resplendent country is sure to deliver. From thin slices of sand surrounded by great swathes of sea, to… Read More.

Best Beaches In The World: Beach of the Dead (Playa de los Muertos)

In "News"

Playa Zipolite, Mexico is a low-key beach resort on Mexico’s Pacific coast. The beach has glorious golden sands and is set in a tiny and beautiful cove, stretching between two rocky headlands. Read More.

Best Beaches In The World: Funauki Beach, Iriomote Island

In "News"

Almost completely covered in jungle and mangrove swamps, Iriomote is a wild island. Its few villages are sparse and predominately focused near the ferry terminal that shuttles visitors from nearby Ishigaki Island. Take a guided walk along one of the… Read More.

Best Beaches In The World: Kondoi Beach, Taketomi Island

In "News"

Only 75 miles off the coast of Taiwan, is the island of Ishigaki and few visitors to Japan make it this far out, despite a direct flight from Tokyo. The water around the island is so clear that, flying over… Read More.

Best Beaches In The World: Maehama Beach, Miyako-Jima Island

In "News"

Regularly voted Japan’s best beach by travel publications worldwide, it’s hard to be disappointed with the 7 km (4 miles) of sand so white that it glows in the sun. The beach shelves gently into calm, balmy water. The sea… Read More.

Best Beaches In The World: Ipanema

In "News"

Chic Ipanema beach is where the summer happens in Rio, and who doesn’t love the ’60s song about the girl From Ipanema? Ipanema beach was also the launch pad for the skimpy tanga bikini (and less appealingly, the crocheted G-string… Read More.

Best Beaches In The World: Bondi, Sydney

In "News"

When I first visited Bondi beach i was horribly disappointed. Because of it’s fame, i was expecting a tropical bounty-style beach bordered by palm trees swaying in the breeze. I could not have been more wrong; in fact Bondi beach… Read More.

Best Beaches In The World: Crosby Beach Near Liverpool

In "News"

Liverpool is not only famous for the Beatles. It is also near by the beautiful Crosby Beach which is not only a stunning sandy beach, but it is also know for Another Place, the spectacular, if rather creepy sculptures by… Read More.

Best Beaches In The World: Coogee, Sydney

In "News"

Coogee beach is neither remote nor crowd free, but it is beautiful nonetheless as you can see from the picture above taken just days ago by one of our roving reporters. Coogee is situated in the suburbs of Sydney, just… Read More.

Best Beaches In The World: Mindil Beach, Darwin, Australia

In "News"

Darwin is closer to Indonesia’s Capital than it is to its own. This remote city is on the north coast of the Northern Territory in Australia. Read More.

Best Beaches In The World: Whitehaven Beach Whitsunday Islands

In "News"

Whitehaven Beach is protected by the Whitsunday Islands National Park, and in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. It’s white sands and clear blue waters are an idyllic spot where day trippers and overnight boat trips put down their… Read More.

Best Beaches In The World: Ningaloo Reef, Australia

In "News"

Near the top of Western Australia sits the Ningaloo Reef. This reef is incredible, largely because you step directly off the beach and straight onto the reef. This reef is home to turtles, reef sharks and millions of colourful fish.… Read More.

Best Beaches In The World: Koh Thmei Beach, Ream National Park

In "News"

Well for something totally different, this beach is made entirely of seashells! A totally captivating sight and really unusual, great for photographs. And it’s not just seashells, the Ream National Park houses several of Cambodia’s top beaches and the ones… Read More.

Best beaches In The World: Cable Beach Australia

In "News"

If you start at Perth and then head north, up Australia’s western coast as far as you can go, you will come to Cable Beach. Read More.

Best Beaches In The World: Shirahama Beach, Izu Peninsula

In "News"

You don’t have to travel to the outposts of Japan to find a great beach. The Izu Peninsula juts out from the south of Honshu Island, just 100 km (62 miles) from Tokyo. It’s a rugged, volcanic landmass, centred around… Read More.

Best Beaches In The World: Fraser Island, Australia

In "News"

Beaches don’t come more stunning than the vast expanses of sand bordered by crystal clear waters on Fraser Island off Queensland in Australia. In fact that there is so much sand here that the even roads are made of sand,… Read More.

Dangerous Beaches: Black Sand Beaches of Kilauea, Hawaii

In "News"

Unless you fancy boiling up – literally sizzling up in the seawater around the black sand beaches of Kilauea, these beautiful beaches are best avoided. Read More.

you may also be interested in my 10 most dangerous beaches in the world.

Don’t Take Our Word For It!

TripAdvisor has also been picking the world’s best beaches. Tripadvisors “travellers’ best-of-the-best picks” are here, including their #1 beach in the entire world. To be honest, this is not my number one pick, you can see my preferences below, but you can’t deny it’s loveliness, nonetheless.

Disclosure: Our property, service and product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own and are in no way influenced by the sponsor.