Top 11 Most Beautiful Beaches in the World

Discover what are the most beautiful beaches in the world, the incredible reasons why, and where they are located.

On this list, readers will 11 of the most beautiful beaches in the world. They all feature beautiful turquoise water and offer various activities for tourists. Some of these destinations are more unusual than others. For example, in Iceland, visitors can find a black sand beach, in the British Virgin Islands there are grottos and tide pools to explore, and in Hawai’i, visitors can step foot on one of the only green-sand beaches in the world. 

Whitehaven Beach

Location: Whitsunday Island, Australia 

Notable features: turquoise water and extraordinary white sand

Whitehaven Beach
Whitehaven Beach has beautiful scenery and crystal clear waters

Credit: Dnatheist

This beach is commonly cited as the most beautiful in the world. Its isolated location means that it’s only accessible by boat, helicopter, or seaplane.

Whitehaven beach has incredibly blue water and unbelievably white sand that is 98% silica. While visiting, you can camp and barbecue. The sand does not retain heat. This means that it is comfortable to walk on the beach no matter how hot it gets outside. In 2008, the beach was awarded the Queensland’s Cleanest Beach award, emphasizing how pristine this vacation destination is. 

Cannon Beach

Location: Cannon Beach, Oregon, United States 

Notable features: Haystack Rock, beautiful cliffs

Cannon Beach, Oregon
Cannon Beach contains incredible cliffs and rock formations

Credit: Benjamin Zingg

Cannon Beach is located along Oregon’s coast in the western United States. It is a popular tourist destination and is often regarded as one of the most beautiful places in the world. It includes Haystack Rock, a 235 monolith on the shoreline. The area is home to a wide variety of tide pool creatures, such as sea stars, anemones, crabs, sand nudibranch. Puffins are sometimes visible nesting on Haystack Rock during the summer, as well as a wide variety of other birds.

Cannon beach is part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge and is protected by the state. Visitors are encouraged to explore the area but prohibited from removing anything from within 300 yards of Haystack Rock. 

Horseshoe Bay Beach

Location: Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda

Notable features: fine, pink/white sand, blue waters

Horseshoe Bay Beach
Horseshoe Bay Beach has beautiful pink/white sands and blue water

Credit: Ekem

Horseshoe Bay Beach is located in the Southampton parish and is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It’s a top-rated tourist destination, offering visitors long walks along the shore, interesting rock formations, and a sheltered cove to explore.

Horseshoe bay beach is easily accessible by bus and ferry. There are bars, restaurants, and more along the shore, in addition to changing facilities. The beach even touts lifeguards during the peak season. 


Location: South Coast, Iceland

Notable features: black-sand beach, and basalt sea stacks 

Reynisfjara beach is a black sand beach in Iceland

 This popular Icelandic beach is well-known for its black sand and basalt sea stacks. It is one of the most beautiful coastal areas in the world and certainly one of the most stunning non-tropical beaches.

Reynisfjara beach is 112 miles from Reykjavík, the capital of the country, and is a common tourist destination. Also of interest are the Reynisdrangar, or basalt sea stacks that line the shore. According to folklore, these stacks were once trolls who worked to pull ships from the ocean. They stayed out too long, turning to stone in the sunlight. There are also sea caves visitors can explore. 

The Baths

Location: The Baths National Park, The British Virgin Islands

Notable features: geologic formations

The Baths
The Baths have incredible geographic formations with multiple pools

Credit: Daniel Lobo

The Baths is a beautiful area of The Baths National Park, around 1.2 miles from Spanish Town. It contains unique rock formations and attracts a large number of tourists every year. These formations were created through eroded granite and resulted in piles of boulders (up to forty feet long) on the beach. These collect and pool water, providing shaded areas for tourists to explore. There, you can find tidal pools, grottos, and tunnels. 

Anakena Beach

Location: Rapa Nui National Park on Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

Notable features: moai, white sand, and palm trees

Anakena Beach
Anakena Beach is picturesque, featuring Moai statues

Credit: Luis Bartolomé Marcos

One of only two sandy beaches on the rocky coastline of Easter Island. It contains two ahus or stone platforms on which moai were built. The first, Ahu-Ature, has one moai, and Ahu Nao-Nao has seven. The Moai are human, monolithic figures that were carved by the Rapa Nui people between 1250 and 1500. The majority of these figures are at Rano Raraku. 

The water off the coast of Anakena beach is turquoise with white sand and palm trees. It’s an incredibly unique landscape that many visitors will be amazed by. 

Papakolea Beach

Location: South Point, Island of Hawai’i 

Notable features: green sand and blue water 

Papakolea Beach
Papakolea Beach is a beach with green sand, giving it a completely different look from most beaches

Papakolea Beach, also known as the Green Sand Beach, is a geologic oddity. It’s 49,000 years old and part of the Mauna Loa volcano. The sand contains green crystals, known as olivines, giving the beach its color. They are mixed in white, black, and white sand, created by lava and coral. It’s possible to swim in the water, but tourists are warned that the surf can be rough. Plus, it is illegal to remove any sand from the beach.

Papakolea Beach is one of only four green-sand beaches in the world and is only accessible by foot. 

Boracay White Beach

Location: Boracay Island, Philippines

Notable features: white sand and clear blue waters

Boracay White Beach
Boracay White Beach is a popular tourist destination with beautiful turquoise water

Credit: Turderna

Boracay White Beach is located along the coast of Boracay Island in the Philippines. It’s one of the best beaches in the country and one of the most beautiful in the world. It’s also one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.

Boracay White Beach has incredibly beautiful turquoise water, white sand, and clear skies. The beach offers many activities, like sailing and swimming. It is an ideal tropical beach destination.

Railay Beach

Notable features: limestone cliffs

Location: between Krabi and Ao Nang, Thailand

Railay Beach
Railay Beach, only accessible by boat, has beautiful high limestone cliffs next to it

Credit: Karel Jakubec

This beautiful island that has Railay Beach is only accessible by boat. It has high limestone cliffs that attract rock climbers and adventurers from all over the world. It’s a relaxed atmosphere, with a few thoughtful accommodations and restaurants. Despite its isolated location, it’s incredibly popular with tourists and often busy during the peak season. 

Anse Source d’Argent

Notable features: boulders, white sand, and clear waters

Location: Union Estate Park, La Digue Island, Seychelles

Anse Source d'Argent beach
Anse Source d’Argent has characteristic boulders and amazingly clear waters

Credit: Martin120

Anse Source d’Argent is considered one of the best beaches in Seychelles. It’s easy to access the island but it does require tourists to pay admission. The beach is incredibly clean and features numerous boulders located along the sand.

Anse Source d’Argent is often used as a backdrop in commercials and often features on lists of the most beautiful locations in the world. It’s possible to explore and climb around the boulders and relax on the sand. But, tourists should be warned that this beach can become busy during peak season. 

Praia do Barranco das Belharucas

Notable Features: Tranquil sandy beach with clay cliffs
Location: Algarve, Portugal

Praia do Barranco das Belharucas Beach
The Praia do Barranco das Belharucas Beach has beautiful clay cliffs overlooking the coastline, onto Africa

In the south of Portugal comes the Praia do Barranco das Belharucas beach. Considered one of the best beaches in Europe, as well as worldwide, this beach is most known for having crystal clear waters, soft white sand, and a backdrop of clay cliffs overlooking the beach front.

Couple this beach with the warm weather of the South of Portugal makes this beach a perfect place to end the list of most beautiful beaches in the world.

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