Close your eyes and picture a beautiful beach. What comes to mind? Perhaps it’s pink sand and calm water or maybe a vibrant sunset over the ocean. Whatever your beach fantasy may be, the stunning photos below are sure to tick your boxes.
It’s easy to imagine a beach existing in a wide, open space, but breathtaking shores can also be found in urban areas, on estuaries and lagoons, and on lakes and rivers. There’s also a wide variety of beach types out there, including sandy, pebbly, and rocky. Each beach depends a lot on (as the saying goes) location, location, location.
It’s not surprising that many of these beaches are in warm, tropical locations. Who hasn’t fantasized about escaping to the famously gorgeous beaches of Hawaii in the midst of a horrible blizzard? And of course, the the Caribbean sounds even lovelier when the spring raindrops are pitter-pattering on your windows. But did you know there’s some seriously beautiful beaches in North Carolina and even Morocco, too? Heck, there’s a stunning beach in Iceland — and yes, it’s just as gorgeous in the cold.
It’s time to take a fantasy vacation — we know this isn’t quite a trip to the Bahamas, but at least you don’t have to hop on a plane or spend a dime on a hotel. Just keep scrolling to see some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Beautiful Beaches In The World
Anse Source d'Argent Beach, La Digue, Seychelles
If you crave peace and quiet and getting away from it all, you’ve probably imagined a place exactly like the Seychelles. This stunning archipelago, made up of 115 unique islands in the Indian Ocean, is absolute paradise for anyone seeking some serious "me time." Though these islands boast several beautiful beaches, the Anse Source d’Argent on the island La Digue is a top choice for many travelers. With its majestic granite boulders, calm waters, and striking sunsets, it’s not hard to see why.
Beautiful Beaches Of The World
One Foot Island, Aitutaki, Cook Islands
Famous for its friendly people and spectacular blue lagoon, Aitutaki is a luxuriously remote destination in the South Pacific. One of its many crowning jewels is the One Foot Island beach. An uninhabited islet in the lagoon, One Foot Island features sparkling white sand and picturesque waters teeming with tropical fish. We don't know about you, but we want to dip both feet into that water!
World's Beautiful Beaches
Sunset Beach, North Carolina
Though North Carolina features many barrier island communities, the Sunset Beach stands out among the rest for encompassing both a mainland and an island. First established in 1955, the beach town has grown steadily in popularity since. We understand why people flock to it, even from our computer screen.
Beautiful Beaches In The World Elafonissi Beach
Elafonissi Beach, Elafonissi, Greece
Elafonissi, a small, uninhabited islet on the southwest of Crete, is not only an enviable sunbathing spot but also a protected natural habitat for several rare and endangered plants and animals. And, the stunning colors of the sand and water, almost feel like you're stepping into a painting.
Beautiful Beaches In The World Shell Beach
Shell Beach, Shark Bay, Western Australia
We know what you're thinking, and yes, you're looking at a beach made up of shells — billions of shells, to be exact. Of course, Australia is no stranger to beautiful beaches, but this seemingly endless stretch of a shelly shore is otherworldly. Just be sure to wear shoes if you decide to go there in real life.
Beautiful Beaches In The World Maui Beach
Poolenalena Beach, Maui, Hawaii
With its striking sandy shoreline and unbeatable sunsets, it's not a huge shock that many couples pick this spot for their wedding ceremonies (and some very happy wedding photographers, we bet!). Po’olenalena, which means “yellow head,” used to be an under-the-radar beach only known by locals, but it's become much more popular with visiting families in recent years. Luckily for us, we have this view all to ourselves!
Beautiful Beaches In The World Spain Beach
Marinha Beach, Algarve, Portugal
Not only does this European beach offer clear waters and immaculate sand, it also features iconic rock formations and cliffs. These natural wonders, of course, open the doors for those with adventurous spirits to explore each and every nook and cranny.
Beautiful Beaches In The World Huntington Beach
Huntington Beach, California
A bustling and beautiful beach community, this California town draws more than 11 million visitors to the city per year. Judging by the warm weather, the wide variety of entertainment options and the fact that this area rarely sees rainfall, we're hardly surprised. We're sure the people there are keeping busy, but looking at that gloriously sleepy sunshine is making us want to take a nap on that sand!
Beautiful Beaches In The World Punta Cana Beach
Playa Blanca, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
The only beach on Punta Cana that's open to the public, the "chic, cool, and casual" location features dreamy and crystal-clear Caribbean water as well as palm trees and gardens lining the beach. Considering this weekend hotspot tends to be quiet during the week, we'll just daydream that we're there in the middle of a Wednesday.
Beautiful Beaches In The World Bora Bora
Bora Bora, French Polynesia, Tahiti
One of the most widely sought-after tropical travel destinations, Bora Bora is famous for its beachfront and overwater bungalows. But we can't forget about the fantastic ocean views from the sand, either! Just one look at the breathtaking water and majestic palm trees, and we totally understand why it's been described as "the most beautiful island in the world."
Beautiful Beaches In The World Morocco Beach
Camels are something we're not used to seeing on beaches in the U.S., but we certainly could get used to it in such a beautiful setting. The gorgeous North African country boasts impossibly smooth sand and incredibly clear ocean views. We don't think we see a single cloud in the sky! This daydream vacation just keeps getting more thrilling!
Beautiful Beaches In The World Flamenco Beach
Flamenco Beach, Culebra, Puerto Rico
Famous for its soft, white, silky, sand, the island's most popular beach features breathtaking views of the ocean, with nearly unlimited water visibility. Aside from dreamy sights, visitors can try their hand at beach camping or snorkeling out in the water.
Beautiful Beaches In The World Texas Beach
Malaquite Beach, Padre Island National Seashore, Texas
Though the nearby South Padre Island has a reputation for being a spring break destination, travelers can get some peaceful relaxation at the Padre Island National Seashore. Popular as a shelling spot and a campsite area, the Malaquite beach offers a chance to escape all the hubbub of the day-to-day. The exquisite sunsets are just icing on the cake.
Beautiful Beaches In The World El Nido
El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
One of the most visited places on the island Palawan, El Nido features some seriously impressive coral and hidden bays between cliffs of sandstone. Of course, the glistening gem-like color of the water certainly doesn't hurt the aesthetic! Clearly, this is a coastline meant for someone who wanted to feast her eyes on more than just the ocean. But views aside, we have to say that we can almost feel the warm rays of sunlight on our skin just looking at this beautiful beach image!
Beautiful Beaches In The World Iceland Beach
Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland
We know Iceland is probably the last place on your mind when you imagine a beautiful beach, but we're so impressed by Reynisfjara's striking black sand, basalt stacks, and smooth-as-silk Atlantic waves. It proves that beaches can even be gorgeous in colder weather.
Positano Amalfi Coast Italy
Marina Grande Beach, Positano, Italy
Positano is a small village on Italy's southern coast that is a hotspot for travelers. Colorful houses are stacked along the cliffsides overlooking the pebble beach. This quaint Italian village features lemon, orange, and olive groves, and you can buy the produce in local markets. We can imagine enjoying a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice this view!
Beautiful Beaches Pampelonne Beach
Pampelonne Beach, St.-Tropez, France
Pampelonne is the crown jewel of the beaches in St.-Tropez. The soft sands extend for nearly three miles, so there's plenty of room to set up your towel and umbrella. A-list celebrities flock to this beach in the summertime, so you may catch a glimpse of your favorite stars going for a dip in the azure-colored water.