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Top Ten Best Beaches in the World

Updated on October 29, 2014

Why Have Beaches Always Been so Sought After?

The Top Ten Best Beaches in the World

Tropical islands, stretches of white sands with turquoise waters lapping gently on the shore bordered with palm trees and a lush setting of verdant plants and multi-hued flower, this is what most of us dream of when we think of beach holidays.

Beaches and seashores have for centuries been the favorite escapade for holiday makers seeking the balmy breeze of the oceanfront or the warm waters of the southern seas, a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the city life and polluted air.

However, in this day and age we have an unparalleled advantage over our ancestors, we can choose to go anywhere we wish to on the planet, thanks to the multiple travel possibilities and the cheap flights we can find departing from most of the larger cities in the world. In fact, there are so many of these paradisiacal sites that it has now become difficult to choose. So here are some suggestions for those getting ready to plan their next holidays, with a detailed list of some of the most beautiful beaches in the world to suit everyone's whims…

Number 1 The Unique Tropical Escapade - Anse Source D'Argent, La Digue, Seychelles

La Digue Beach
La Digue Beach

This eternal paradise often deemed to be the location of the Garden of Eden is probably one of the most photographed beaches in the world due to its striking beauty and geographically impressive location. This is one beach you should try not to miss nestled along the coastline stringed with small crescent beaches of fine pinkish sand, interrupted now and again by enormous granite boulders uniquely shaped by the wear and tear of climatic conditions.

Anse Source D'Argent is located on La Digue, which is one of the main islands of the Seychelles and the beach is protected by the off-shore reef that makes this site a paradise for snorkelers and sun bathers. Not only is this beach a breathtaking experience it is also untainted by sprawling resorts, shops or noisy activity centers, hence a perfect paradise beach.

The coastline and inland mountainous areas are teeming with wildlife, including rare species of flora and fauna. Turtles come to nest on the islands such as Aldabra, Silhouette and Cousin and you can also spot large colonies of birds on the islands around La Digue.

What to Eat, Where to Sleep and How to Get There

The food in the Seychelles is probably amongst the most delicious of all the Indian Ocean locations. Food is very basic and consists of fish, rice and tropical fruits, but it is artfully prepared using the aromatic exotic herbs and spices grown on the islands and from other parts of the world.

Although most visitors to The Seychelles Islands stay on Mahe or Praslin, the two largest islands, you can choose to stay the night on La Digue, too. There are various categories of hotels and lodges you can choose from on the tiny island from the four-star Hotel Domaine de L'Orangerie to the smaller Villa Marjolyn Guest House with its four rooms and tranquil atmosphere.

You can find cheap flights to Mahe from major international cities or even flights coming into Praslin Island, although the choices are more limited.

Number 2 Maroma Beach, Yucatan, Mexico - The Best Romantic Beach

Maroma Beach
Maroma Beach

This is the ideal site for a romantic escapade and for those seeking superb views of turquoise crystal clear waters with the backdrop of the Yucatan jungle's lush vegetation. The Mexican tropical climate of the Yucatan provides the perfect atmosphere for enjoying sunbathing on isolated beaches and the cool evening breezes while dining at the intimate seafront restaurants.

Located in the Yucatan Peninsula at only 30 miles from Cancun, Maroma Beach is a perfect hideaway for both travelers seeking peace and solitude as well as those passionate for pristine natural treasures and the beauty of untainted wildlife. The area around Maroma Beach is a natural reserve and ecological park, boasting a myriad of flora and fauna species as well as the renowned breathtaking cenotes. Activities are plentiful, including sailing, snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming with the dolphins and more cultural excursions to Tulum and other impressive Mayan sites buried in the Yucatan jungle.

The Yucatan has a tropical climate with summer months boasting temperatures of 90°F (32°C). The dry season runs from March to April, while the typhoon season goes from September to October.

What to Eat, Where to Sleep and How to Get There

Food specialties at Maroma Beach boast a range of delicious seafood choices, including lobster dishes made with coconut recipes. Plenty of fresh fruits are also available on the menu and the Yucatan breakfasts are a real delight.

There are plenty of accommodation options in the area including the luxury Maroma Hotel that offers five-star facilities or you can check for the excellent deals at other elegant hotels, for you can get up to 70 percent discounts on the normal room rates.

Great cheap flight deals can be found for Cancun International airport, which is a mere half-hour drive from Maroma Beach, so before you book your hotel, check all the available options.

Number 3 Store Beach, Sydney Australia - One of the Best Kept Secrets in The World

Store Beach, Sydney
Store Beach, Sydney

Sydney is renowned for being the city with some of the best beaches in the world. Unfortunately most of them can get pretty crowded and it is hard to find a long stretch of pristine sand exclusively for your enjoyment! However, there are some that still haven't been discovered even by the locals and one of these is Store beach, one of the best kept secrets in Australia.

This beach is a paradise spot, offering a rare environment for those who are in quest for absolute privacy. The effort it takes to get to this beach is rewarded by its uniqueness. There is no way to get to this pristine stretch of beach by land; you have no choice but to paddle there. Although this sounds a real exploit it is actually quite easy.

Located just around the rocks of Little Many Point Store Beach is half a mile from this tip. This strip of white sand is enhanced by the backdrop of lush hills and impenetrable vegetation, where absolutely no paths or tracks can be found, the only inhabitants being a local colony of penguins. This unique site is part of Sydney Harbor National Park and is one of the most peaceful natural sites in Sydney where you can bathe in the tranquil turquoise waters and picnic under the shade of gum trees as you listen to the gentle rustle of the leaves and the shore break.

What to Eat Breakfast and How to Get There

You will not find this beach in any guidebook and if you ask around most locals won't know what you're talking about, so here are some directions on how to get there.

You will need to start bright and early from Sydney's Circular Quay to catch the green-and-yellow ferry to Manly, which is only a comfortable half-hour ride to the ferry docks of Manly Harbor. Once you are at Manly you can choose to have breakfast facing the Pacific Ocean over Manly beach or at the stylish Ocean Beach House on North Steyne, which boasts a unique breakfast menu with the spectacle of surfers in the crashing waves.

After a hearty breakfast you can prepare your picnic for your day at the beach. Head back to Wentworth Street where you can shop at the deli for fresh hams, cheeses and pâtés as well as soft drinks or a choice of Australian wines, as you won't be driving just paddling!

Your next stop is the Manly Boat and Kayak Center that is just down from the shops. Here you can hire a kayak for a few hours or the day, prices range from twenty to thirty Australian dollars. From Manly it is only a half-hour's paddle to Store Beach.

Number 4 Las Islas Cies - Galicia, Spain - One of the Most Stunning Beaches in Europe

Las Islas Cies â Galicia, Spain
Las Islas Cies â Galicia, Spain

Selected by many travel magazines as one of the best beaches in the world Las Isla Cies is an island that boasts long stretches of powdery white sandy beaches and turquoise waters as calm as those of a lake. This wild and magnificent island is a protected national park and access to this location is restricted.

The Las Islas Cies is actually an archipelago of three islands located in the north west of Spain off the coast of Pontevedra in Galicia. Although they belong to Spain they lie just north of Portugal nestled in the Atlantic Ocean. The three islands are the Do Faro (Lighthouse Island), the Monteagudo (The Sharp Mountain Island) and the San Martiño (Saint Martin Island)

There are only two main beaches on Las Islas Cies Figuerias Beach and Rodas Beach. Playa de Figueiras is located on the northern side of the island, 500 meters from the boat landing and is nearly half a mile long. This pristine stretch of white sand faces the peninsula of Morrazo and is often a favorite nudist spot. Praia das Rodas or Rodas Beach, often referred to as Spain Caribbean Beach is the main beach of the islands and is truly striking with large lagoon with crystal clear waters and the backdrop of sand dunes and pine forest.

What to Eat, Where to Sleep and How to Get There

The islands only have a small restaurant for dining, which serves great seafood dishes. There is also a supermarket for picnic provisions and a visitors’ center. Baiona is the nearest town to the islands, with a charming restored seafront offering a selection of dining options in a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere. You can dine on the restaurants terraces overlooking the sea or choose to visit the historical center with its picturesque cobble stoned streets and restored Galician buildings.

There are no hotels on Las Islas Cies, although there are camping facilities on the island open from June to September and during Easter week, however you do need to get permission from the Vigo Port if you wish to stay there, this is in order to keep the environment as protected as possible. You will find more comfortable accommodation in Baiona, Vigo or Cangas.

There are ferry services to Las Islas Cies running from Baiona, Vigo or Cangas and will get you to the archipelago in about 40 minutes. To get to these quaint coastal towns you can either ferry over by car to the Region of Galicia or book a cheap flight to Madrid, Santiago or Vigo. The three international airports in Galicia are the Lavacolla in Santiago, Peinadaro in Vigo and Alvedro in A Coruña.

Number 5 Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Best Bikini and Trendy Beach

Ipanema Beach, Rio
Ipanema Beach, Rio

There is probably no other environment that parallels the striking geographically location of Bahia de Rio de Janeiro. Rio and its notorious Ipanema Beach are synonymous of bikinis, tanned bodies, carnival and most of all trendy beach life and activities. This famous beach is the preferred site for both tourists and locals who take advantage of its strategic location and striking beauty day and night.

Of course, if you go to Ipanema beach you have to wear as little as possible if you want to blend in with the trendy crowd, or else you had better change beach. Ipanema is the essence of the Brazilian way of life and the love of beach excitement.

Although it is undoubtedly one of the most urban beaches on earth, it still remains the most popular one in the world. The magnificent setting alone is enough to leave you open-mouthed, with its golden-white sand, tropical plant life cascading from every niche, the breathtaking ocean views and the backdrop of the Corcovado all topped off with the background of the rhythmic samba music.

The beach life is a blend of lazy sun tanning and energetic sporting activities. The two favorite sports played on Ipanema Beach are beach volleyball and soccer of course. Soccer in the Brazilian national sport and the locals always find ways to play it especially on the beach. Beach volley is also popular with the Brazilian team still on the wake of last summer’s Olympic Games.

What to Eat, Where to Sleep and How to Get There

There are so many options for dining near Ipanema beach and along the Avenida Atlantica where you can find some upscale restaurants as well as more laid-back local eateries where you can taste the delicious “pollo” with olives and rice a specialty that is popular with the natives.

Accommodation facilities are also plentiful in the Ipanema area, where you can either stay at luxury hotels or find lower budget smaller options as well as self-catering rentals. Make sure you book both your hotel and cheap flight to Rio de Janeiro in advance if you want to get the best places and rates.

Manuel Antonio Beach
Manuel Antonio Beach

Number 6 - Manuel Antonio Beach - Central Pacific Coast, Costa Rica

Best Beach for Wildlife Spotting

The beach of Manuel Antonio is no doubt the loveliest of the four largest beaches within the Manuel Antonio National Park. This long stretch of golden sand is the natural habitat of a teeming marine life sheltered in coral reef under the warm turquoise waters of the Pacific Ocean. While in the narrow strip of land that separates this beach and the Playa Espadrilla lies a pristine forest, home to iguanas, monkeys, sloths and all kinds of snakes and rare animal species.

Located 100 miles south from San José at just seven kilometers south of Quepos the Manuel Antonio Beach and National Park is one of the most sought for natural environments for those wildlife enthusiasts, as it boasts a rare location of secondary forests, pristine beaches and diversified wildlife. Within the Park there are a series of smaller crescent shaped beaches including the Playa Playitas, Playa Norte, Playa Puerto Escondido all boasting a magnificent backdrop of lush rainforest vegetation and a pristine marine environment for snorkeling and swimming.

Nature lovers can find their paradise in this natural habitat that counts an amazing number of endangered and rare species including brown pelicans, green kingfishers, black-collared hawks, white faced capuchin monkey, raccoons, white-nosed coatis as well as an incredible biodiversity of trees, plants and flowers.

What to Eat, Where to Sleep and How to Get There

If you are looking for a good place to have a scrumptious breakfast make sure you try the Café Milagro situated between the Manuel Antonio National Park and Quepos opposite the Hotel Casa Blanca. For all three meals you can also try the Playitas Restaurant and bar with breathtaking views of the ocean, located on the Playitas Beach in Arenas del Mar Nature Resort near Manuel Antonio. For exceptional seafood platters dine at the Café Agua Azul on the top of Villas del Parque within the Manuel Antonio National Park.

There are also several lovely accommodation options near the park, namely the El Parador hotel, which has recently opened providing a calm and exclusive atmosphere with a touch of old European luxury within tropical setting.

Flights to San José the capital of Costa Rica can be found at exceptional rates. In addition the country boasts a very efficient domestic airline system that can get you to any hidden location in under one hour, which saves you long and strenuous drives through remote and unpaved roads that connect the most popular natural sites in Costa Rica.

Number 7 Paradise Beach, Mykonos, Greece - Best Party Beach

Paradise Beach
Paradise Beach

Paradise Beach is definitely the most popular beach in the world and meeting point for young people and older party loving enthusiasts. This beach is renowned for offering the best party atmosphere frequented by adventurous and fun-loving tourists from all over the world. There are plenty of beach bars all over Mykonos Island and notably on Paradise Beach, including cafés and disco bars that are in full swing day and night.

Paradise Beach is located 6 km south of Mykonos Town offers the most alternative and anti-conformist beach on the island, frequently visited by nudist and all kinds of unconventional types. It is also an exclusive natural environment free from hotels and other forms of constructions boasting a spectacular beach nestled in a deep curving bay.

You can actually find a moment to relax and sunbathe in the morning until the partying mood picks up in the mid-afternoon and the dancing and drinking starts on platforms and around the beach and swimming pool area.

You can find sun beds and beach parasols or you can simply lie down on the sand. Showers and other facilities are also available. You can be sure to find some kind of party at the Paradise Beach on any day of the summer season and off season too.

What to Eat, Where to Sleep and How to Get There

You can find great dining options at the beach restaurant with a typical Greek menu and fresh fruit salads with honey and Greek yogurt as well as excellent alcoholic fruit cocktails. For more restaurants you will have to head back to Mykonos Town where you will also find a large selection of luxury or low budget hotels as well as apartments to let. However, you can also find different accommodation facilities at the Paradise Beach Resort, with apartments, bungalows, rooms, beach cabins and tents available to meet all budgets.

You can reach Paradise Beach by bus from Mykonos Town, by footpath or taxi-boats from Platis Yialos. There are plenty of great cheap flights direct to Mykonos or ferries from Athens and other Greek islands such as Rhodes and Santorini.

Number 8 Patara - Turquoise Coast, Turkey - The Best Cultural Beach

Patara Beach
Patara Beach

Patara Beach boasts a pristine beach stretching for more than 20 km of golden sand with the backdrop of golden dunes and the Taurus Mountains looking over turquoise waters and a cool constant breeze that renders this heavenly nature site idyllic. Thankfully the strict conservation rules have kept this area untainted by any construction exploitation and it is one of the few remaining beaches where Loggerhead turtles still come to lay their eggs between May and October.

Located 75 km south of Fethiye Patara Beach can be reached by a narrow winding road through ancient ruins with impressive stone arches and a theatre dating back to the second century, relics which indicate that Patara was once an important Lycian port. The Greek mythology believed that Patara was the birth place of Apollo and St. Nicholas. The entire area around the ancient city and beach is a National Park Reserve and you will always be able to find a private stretch of beach for your exclusive comfort.

What to Eat, Where to Sleep and How to Get There

There are no restaurants or bars on the beach, but there are dining facilities in Patara Village, which lies 3.5 km south of the coastal highway. At the local restaurants you can enjoy typical Turkish cooking, which is both delicious and very healthy. The food is so fresh and so varied, you are bound to find a style of cooking to your taste, from the most carnivorous to the strictest vegetarian inclination.

You will also find plenty of budget accommodation options with cheap priced hotels and inns, although you do not have much other choice if you are looking for more upscale hotels.

You can get to Patara Beach by bus, taxi or car from Fethiye often dropping you off at Ovaköy, which is about 3 km from Gelemis, the official name of Patara village.

Number 9 Poipu Beach, Kauai, Hawaii - Best Beach for Family Fun

Poipu Beach
Poipu Beach

Poipu Beach was selected by the Travel Channel as one of the top best US beach destinations, with its series of crescents of golden sand and white beaches either facing a natural ocean wading pool or the coastline with its waters teeming with marine life a paradise for snorkelers and scuba divers. This beach is one of the many along Kauai's alluring southern coastline that features a series of unusual reef formations and white sand beaches, each with its own shoreline environment.

Poipu Beach is also considered one of the safest in Hawaii and a great location for families, with a selection entertaining activities for all ages. Married couples with children can really enjoy their holidays on Poipu Beach with the Poipu Beach Park for the beach area offers kid-friendly and fun activities that take holidays to a higher and more enthralling level with the diversity of activities available. Enjoy ATV riding, bicycling downhill, hiking, surfing, scuba diving and camping as well as breathtaking flights in helicopters to enjoy striking views of Poipu and its pristine environment from above.

What to Eat, Where to Sleep and How to Get There

Hawaiian food is simply delicious and the traditional dishes such as kalua pig, lomi lomi salmon, poi, huli chicken as well as all kinds of fresh seafood and an ample variety of fresh local fruit will delight all taste buds. Most traditional restaurants in Poipu Beach also propose music with typical hula performers and fire dancers in the traditional Hawaiian culture and traditions.

The hotels on Poipu Beach all boast first class accommodation and striking views from the oceanfront guestrooms, with luxury amenities and on site dining options. If however, you prefer a lower budget form of accommodation you can head for the Poipu Plantation Resort that offers vacation rental apartments and bed and breakfast options and very good rates.

It takes about 25 minutes to drive from Lihue Airport Airlines to Poipu Beach and some airlines also offers inter-island service to Kauai. There are also many cheap rates for flights into Honolulu, which is under half an hour from Kauai with domestic flights leaving every half an hour.

Number 10 Curralinho Beach, Boa Vista, Cape Verde - Best Water Sports Beach and Surfers' Paradise

Curralinho Beach
Curralinho Beach

There is no shortage of great beaches in Cape Verde. The stunning long white beaches running in either direction from Santa Maria, the main town on Sal, are good places to catch a great suntan but the beaches on Boa Vista are ideal for water sports with everything from diving to sailing.

The island also boasts one of the largest and best beaches on the archipelago, Curralinho Beach one of the best spots for windsurfing although Sal is also deemed as a surfer's paradise on account of the breezes constantly coming in from the north. Better known as Santa Monica, Curralinho Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches of Cape Verde and certainly the archipelago's largest.

Boa Vista means 'good view' and it is the most eastern island of Cape Verde and the one nearest to the African Continent which is 455km to the west. It is the third largest island after Santo Antao Island and Santiago Island. The length of the island is 31km north to south at the longest point and the width is 29km west to east at the longest point. Boa Vista Island boasts more than 50 km of white sandy beaches as well as the smallest population of all the Cape Verde islands. Here you have the best conditions in the world for all water sports including sailing, diving, surfing, fishing, sea canoeing and cycling. The island is also well known for marine turtles, traditional music, sand dunes and beaches.

What to Eat, Where to Sleep and How to Get There

Many restaurants propose abundance of freshly caught seafood including lobster, tuna, octopus, garoupa and a wealth of other delicacies to choose from. Boa Vista does not have the same choice of restaurants as the other islands and there may be little choice on the menu with the only option being to eat what they have prepared that day. However, they will want to do their best to please you.

At present, there is limited accommodation on Boa Vista Island; therefore it is advisable to book well in advance, however there are a few luxury hotels such as the Hotel Iberostar Club Boa Vista and the Parque das Dunas Hotel and a few others.

Boa Vista is 12 minutes by air taxi from Sal Island, which has an international airport. The main town of the island Sal Rei has a ferry port and also the island's airport which lies on the northwest side of the island. From here you can find cheap flights to most international destinations all year round.

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