Whether you’re catching some rays or waves, there are plenty of reasons to hit the beach. After all, who doesn’t enjoy some sun, sea and sand all year round? With that in mind, we started thinking about where you can find the best stretches of sand in the world and included them in this guide. So grab a cocktail or mocktail, get the sunscreen out and put on a pair of sunglasses to discover the finest beaches around.
Bora Bora 🇵🇫
Measuring just six miles long and less than three miles wide, the French Polynesian island of Bora Bora is definitely on the smaller side. Yet, that only makes the stunning beaches, green jungles and stylish resorts all the more impressive. If you find yourself on this paradise island, head to Matira Beach, which is perfect for sunbathing and wandering along the sandy shores.
As far as paradise islands go, the Seychelles is right up there with the best of them. Expect days and nights filled with luxury, especially when you’re at Source d’Argent. This secluded cove on La Digue has pink-hued sands, weathered granite boulders at the end of the shore and plenty of nearby restaurants where you can sample fine Creole-inspired cuisine.
Cayo Largo del Sur, Cuba 🇨🇺
Playa Paraiso, which stretches across a small island just off Cuba’s southern coast on the Cayo Largo del Sur, has a pristine and untouched look. The sieved-flour sand and crystalline waters are picture-perfect, while there are plenty of diving opportunities in the nearby reefs. The calm waters mean you can go for a splash no matter your swimming level, while the iguanas and giant sea turtles roaming the beach are a hit with visitors. There’s even a naturist section at the east end of the beach, just in case you feel like letting loose.
Mykonos, Greece 🇬🇷
The Greek islands are full of enchantment and great beaches. And while there are more secluded spots than the stretches of sands found in Mykonos, sometimes you just want a beach atmosphere with a vibe. That’s exactly what you get in Mykonos, where Psarou Beach sees the wealthy pull up with their international yachts ready to lounge on Loro Piana mattresses. Then there’s Super Paradise Beach, which becomes a nightclub when the sun goes down. Champagne and sands – what more could you ask for?
Maui, Hawaii 🌺
The United States has its fair share of beautiful beaches, but it’s hard to look past the soft sands of Maui. There are big and small options, with adult and family-friendly spots where you can soak up some sun and bathe in the sea. Wailea Beach is popular with families, who go there for its calm waters. While Ho’okipa Beach on the North Shore is the place to go for some windsurfing and watersports.
Dune du Pyla, France 🇫🇷
Just over an hour’s drive from Bordeaux is where you will find Dune du Pyla, a beach with Europe’s tallest dune. Sit down on the pristine sands and take in panoramic views of the Atlantic and pine forests. There are miles of beach to explore here, while the local restaurants serve fresh oysters, prawns, pate and, of course, brandy and rose wine.
Isle of Lewis, Scotland 🏴
While the weather in Scotland might not match the sizzling temperatures of the other places on this list, there’s no doubting the quality of beaches. Uig Sands in the Isle of Lewis is particularly impressive with its secluded vibes. If truth be told, there’s every chance that you’ll be the only person here, and you can stroll the beach and enjoy uninterrupted stretches of sand. Uig Sands is also steeped in history as the place where a set of Viking chess pieces dating back to the 12th century were found.
There are 33 beaches to choose from on a 35-square-mile island in Anguilla, so you’re always just moments from a delightful spot. Laze the day away on the powdery white sands before dipping your toes in the calm waters. Then, once you’ve worked up an appetite, stop off at one of the many roadside barbecues for some crayfish and grilled lobster.
The African island of Mauritius is filled with beauty everywhere you look. Sitting east of Madagascar, there are a variety of beaches where you can spend the day relaxing on the soft sands. You might even decide to rent a boat and do a spot of dolphin watching before heading back to the white sands to splash away in the crystal-clear waters.
The best beaches in the world
There’s nothing quite like that first moment when your feet hit the soft sands, and you know that the rest of the day will be all about the chill. And whether you’re in Hawaii or France, there are plenty of pristine beaches all over the world ready to welcome you to paradise.