If you don’t like beach holidays, then you just haven’t been to these beaches. Nothing extra, just azure bays, tropical groves and silk sand — we have compared the ratings of famous travel guides, studied the feedback of experienced travelers and collected 15 of the most amazing beaches on the planet.
Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, British Overseas Territory
It would take at least five attempts to find Providenciales Island on the map. This is where Grace Bay, the best beach in the world according to TripAdvisor, is located. The water here is blueer than the sky on a clear day and there is always room for your umbrella on the velour sand. The coastal waters hide kilometers of bright coral reefs where divers meet lobsters and turtles. Straight from the kayak through calm, clear waters you can watch shy fish and rays like in an oceanarium, and in winter humpback whales look into the bay.
Providenciales has more than just beaches: golf, shopping, exploring caves, parasailing, casino betting, growing giant shells and dining in excellent restaurants.
When to go: Bathing season at Provo — as the locals call Providenciales — never ends, so you can fly at any time.
Getting there: Russians don’t need a visa to enter the Turks and Caicos Islands for up to 90 days, but they will have to take care of transit documents in advance. Although Providenciales has its own airport, you can only fly from Russia with connections in London, New York or Miami.
Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Australia
Shallow as flour and crisp as snow, the sand turns Whitehaven Beach into an Australian branch of paradise. Although Whitsundays has 74 picturesque islands, only the largest of them is lucky to have a dazzling white quartz beach.
The flagship island of Whitsundays, like most other islands, has national parks, so there are no hotels, and tourists come with a tour to go trekking, scuba diving or picnic on the beach. By evening the beach will be empty, but if you don’t want to part with it, you can sleep in a tent right under the stars.
When to go: The Pacific Coral Sea has the warmest water from December to April and the least rain from June to November. Come to the beach at low tide: That’s when the sand looks like it’s been mixed with a huge spoon.
Getting there: The nearest airports are on Hamilton Island and Proserpain. From Hamilton, you can get to the islands by boat, and from Proserpain you can take a bus to Airley Beach and then take a ferry to the islands.
Love Beach (Hidden Beach), Marieta Island, Mexico
Mexico knows how to keep secrets: the most beautiful beach is hidden right inside a rock on a desert island. The secret passage opens at low tide: when the water recedes, a narrow tunnel in a yurk kayak or swimming can reach the white sandy shore.
In a perfect ray of light falling through a round hole in the rock, the water off the shores of Mexican Love Beach shines with all shades of turquoise. The stone walls protect the secluded corner from the wind, so the waves are quiet and the water is always clean.
When to go: Mexico is warm all year round, but there are frequent storms and hurricanes in July and November. The ideal weather for a beach holiday is from December to April. Around the same time you can see whales in Mexican waters.
Getting there: The beach is located in the protected area of Marieta Island and you need a permit to get there. Several travel agencies have one, so it is easiest to join one of the excursions from Puerto Vallarta.
Navayo, Zakynthos Island, Greece
It may seem that a rusty ship on the background of tall white rocks is a props for beautiful beach photographs. But the ship is as real as the smugglers who once left it in the bay, hiding from the pursuit. The place is called Navayo — «shipwreck», but thousands of tourists come here every summer not because of the gangster story. They are excited by the protected landscape: small white stones on the shore, bright blue water and impregnable cliffs. The best view is from above — no wonder the bay is popular with base-jumpers.
When to go: Suitable time for swimming off the coast of Zakynthos is from late May to early October. There are a lot of people on a small beach in the middle of summer in the afternoon, it’s better to arrive closer to the evening.
Getting there: The bay is on the island of Zakynthos, where the airport operates. There is only one way to visit the Navayo beach — by boat or by boat. For 15-25 euros they will take you from the port of Zakynthos and some of the surrounding villages. During the excursions offer to see the picturesque Blue Grottoes and turtle beaches at the same time. There is no infrastructure in the bay, but you can choose a ship with all amenities.
Pink Pink Sands Beach, Bahamas
It’s almost as hard to tell from the pictures what color the sand on the beach of Harbour Island really is as hard as to solve the mystery of a striped dress. In some pictures it turns out to be bright pink, in others it turns out to be almost ordinary. It’s not Photoshop or a game of light: when white sand is mixed with the tiniest particles of coral and red shells, it gets a delicate marshmallow tint. Where waves roll on the shore, the color is brighter, and if you add a filter, the landscape is quite fantastic.
For a sun lounger and umbrella on the beach Pink Sands Beach will have to pay $ 20, but the Bahamas sunsets over the oceans are worth it. In addition, the most unusual souvenir — sand in red mottle — you will take with you for free.
When to go: The ocean is warm and calm all year round, but the best time to relax in the Caribbean — from December to May.
Getting there: The nearest international airport is North Eleuther. There you should take a taxi to the port, from where you can take a boat to Harbor Island.
Photographs of Kaputaş beach are treated with suspicion: Is this what happens in Turkey? Powerful rocks reliably hide this diamond from the city noise, tourists who came to «all inclusive», and annoying sellers of sunglasses — to the nearest city five kilometers. The highway did not fit into an idyllic corner, so it was raised, and for people created a staircase — it turned out convenient and very picturesque.
Not many people want to get to such a distance, so on the beach Kapupash no one will prevent you to enjoy the fantastic color of the water and pleasant fine pebbles, which looks like golden sand, but keeps the water clear. There are no sun loungers on the beach, an umbrella is rented for 10 lire ($2.5) and you can lie on your towel for free. There are cafes, free showers, toilets and changing rooms, but the infrastructure does not spoil the view. It is said that from the shore you can even consider the neighboring Greek island.
When to go: The water in the Turkish Riviera is comfortable for swimming from about mid-May to late September. The velvet season lasts from October to mid-November.
How to get there: Kapupash is 200 km away from tourist Antalya and 20 km from the small picturesque town of Kash. You can take buses from Antalya to Kash and from Kash to the beach, just don’t forget to warn the driver about the right stop.
El Nido, Palauan Island, Philippines
Dozens of Philippine bounty ostrovks have grouped together near the northern part of Palawan. Just imagine: smoky rocks hang over the white sand, rainforests make noise, lagoons sparkle in the sun like a disco ball, hiding bright coral gardens.
The main attraction in El Nido Reserve is exploring secret coves by boat and kayak and comparing the ideal beaches with each other. The excursions are divided into 4 types — A, B, C and D — and cover different areas of Bakuit Bay. The most popular routes are B and C. For a visit to the reserve take 200 Philippine pesos (≈ 4 $), ticket valid 10 days.
When to travel: The rainy season in Palawan lasts from June to November and the dry season from December to May. The winter months are the most comfortable months to travel.
Getting There: You can land in the provincial capital of Palawan, Puerto Princesa, and take a bus or taxi serpentine to the north of the island. It takes 4-5 hours to get there. There is also an airport in El Nido, where flights from Manila fly. The other way is by ferry that leaves the port of Corona Town.
Honokalani Beach, Maui Island, Hawaii, USA
A trip to a black beach in Hawaii is almost a trip to the center of the earth. Once upon a time, a bubbling stream of lava broke to the surface, cooled down and turned into a stone that was crushed by powerful waves like an Oreo cookie so you could now walk barefoot on it. Look under your feet: the closer you get to the water, the finer the lava grains.
The best view of Honokalani beach is from above: azure water hits the black shore and waves rumble against rocks surrounded by lush jungle. The fantastic black beach is part of Hoianapanapa Park, where there are comfortable wooden paths, picnic areas and observation platforms. You’ll also find caves and lava pipes interesting to explore. But it is dangerous to swim here: the waves are serious and there are no lifeguards. And certainly, you shouldn’t put your shoes close to the water — the ocean has already taken more than one pair.
When to go: You can swim in Hawaii all year long, but in winter it’s rainy season and in summer it’s hot and there are many tourists.
Getting there: The airport of Maui is called Cahului. You can get here from Hawaii’s Honolulu or major cities on the mainland. The beach is located on the way to Hana. On the way to Hannah Highway, stop at 32nd mile. A gravel road leads to Woyanapanapa Park and there is a road sign nearby. After a while you will arrive at the parking lot and from there the trail will lead you to the beach.
Cala en Porter, Menorca Island, Spain
If you add up all the beaches of Mallorca and Ibiza, there will still be fewer than on Menorca. No matter how big the choice, you’ll fall in love with the miniature chamber resort of Cala en Porter at once. The beach at the foot of the hill has 180 steps to go down (and then back up!), but it’s not for nothing that the Blue Flag is marked.
Hotels and lodges are scattered on the rocks that surround the sandy shallow shore. White boats float above the azure water as if by magic: it’s so transparent that you can see shadows at the bottom. Try exploring the bay in a canoe, counting fish while snorkeling or mastering a funny water cycle. Follow the sun to the music at Cova D’En Xoroi, the ancient caves that the enterprising Spaniards have turned into a restaurant on a steep cliffside. Also on Cala en Porter beach there are several bars, a children’s playground, a beach volleyball net, showers and toilets, and a lifeguard watching over safety. Two sun beds and an umbrella can be rented for 17€, but the sand is soft enough to lie on your towel and an umbrella can be bought nearby.
When to go: The beach season in Menorca lasts from April to November.
Getting there: Cala n Porter is just 20 minutes from the airport in Maona. You can hire a car, take the bus or book a shuttle service.
Maya Bay, Phi Phi-Le Island, Thailand
Leonardo DiCaprio was lucky to see Maya Bay beach before Leonardo DiCaprio fans got there. After his role in the movie «The Beach», even those who had never thought about Thailand before began to dream about vacationing in this place. The azure water and silky white sand, surrounded on three sides by tall rocks and tropical plants, bright fish and underwater boulders covered with coral — what can not like here?
Every day, dozens of boats, boats and ferries bring around five thousand tourists for snorkelling, kayaking and swimming. The infrastructure is poorly developed, but enough for a day trip. The bay became a victim of its beauty: in 2018, the beach was closed to tourists for the first time indefinitely to allow nature to recover.
When to go: The high season in Maya Bay lasts from November to April. To see the beach without a crowd, arrive early in the morning, around seven o’clock, or after five o’clock in the evening.
Getting There: The easiest way to get there is to choose a tour from either Phi Phi Island or Phuket Province. If you get there yourself, you have to pay 400 baht ($13) per person to visit the national park.
Ansé Lazio, Praslen Island, Seychelles
Turquoise water, where you can see every fish, palm trees that cast a striped shadow on the golden sand and giant polished boulders — this is how the perfect beach looks on Google and Praslen Island. The rare Seychelles beach boasts both beauty and the absence of algae, sharp corals and dangerous waves. Snorkeling on Ans Lazio is almost the best in the Seychelles. And for those who are not ready to share crystal water with squids and moray, there is a section fenced with a net.
The entrance to the Ansé Lazio beach is free. There are no umbrellas here, but the lush vegetation provides good protection from the sun. There are several restaurants and shops and sometimes a lifeguard is on duty. Get ready to rest on this Seychelles beach — don’t forget to scratch the neck of the huge turtles living in the enclosure.
When to go: The best time to go to Seychelles is in April-May or September-October: no rain, windless and not so hot — ideal weather for snorkeling. If you want to see the coast empty, come before 9am. Entering the water is smooth, but the depth rises sharply, be careful if you don’t swim well or come with children.
Getting there: The public bus stops far from the beach — get ready to walk on a sloping road. The most convenient way to get there is by car, there are three parking lots near the beach and some hotels offer shuttles to the famous beach. You can come here for a guided tour, but then you are guaranteed to have many other tourists with you. Praslin can be reached by plane or by boat from Mahe.
Cayo Coco, Cuba
There’s nothing on Cayo Coco but all-inclusive beaches and hotels, but photographers, divers and amateur divers alike dream of sipping Pina Colada, moving their feet to the rhythm of Cuban music.
The island is uninhabited — hotel workers come here every day from nearby cities. Perhaps that’s why nature here looks almost untouched and your beach can be visited by a couple of flamingos. The sand is like powdered sugar, the bottom under the blue water is covered with stars of the sea, and the coral reef, which attracts divers, protects the coast from the strong surf. However, the water at neighbouring Cayo Guillermo is no less blue, and there are usually fewer people.
When to go: Cayo Coco’s rainy season lasts from May to October and the dry season from November to April. April and November are the most comfortable months for relaxation, when there are not too many tourists and the heat can be tolerated.
Getting there: The island has its own international airport Hardines del Rey, but there are no direct flights from Russia: you will have to fly through Havana or Varadero. It takes about 15-30 minutes to get to your hotel from the airport. You can go a little further and settle in the neighbouring Cayo Guillermo. Many hotels provide shuttle service and you can also book a taxi at the airport.
Tuerredda, Sardinia, Italy
Tuerredda is as beautiful as wild, hard-to-reach beaches, but it’s not that hard to reach. The Tyrrhenian Sea sparkles with topaz blue just an hour’s drive from Cagliari airport. The fine golden sands offer an almost Caribbean view of the flawless waters and the neighbouring island of lush greenery, which can be reached by boat or just swimming. The purity of the sea is confirmed by the Blue Flag — the beach mark of quality — and many Italians among holidaymakers. On the beach there is a cafe, for 10-15 € you can rent a lounge chair and an umbrella, and from June to early September there are lifeguards on duty.
When to go: The swimming season in Sardinia begins in May and ends in early October, while the Blue Flag season lasts from July 1 to September 20: on these dates the beach is guaranteed to meet the highest standards. It is better not to come here on weekends, when tourists are joined by locals.
Getting there: You can get to the beach by car directly from the capital: take highway 195 from Cagliari towards Teulada, then turn right to the tourist town of Kia and continue for about 10 minutes (about 8km) following the signs. You can rent a parking spot near the beach for 5-8€ for the whole day.
Gulf of Porcos, Brazil
There’s something primitive about the scenery of Porcos Bay. Dark volcanic rocks grow out of malachite water like a dinosaur ridge, and at low tide the rocks form natural pools with clear water and coloured fish.
Apart from wildlife, there is almost no one here: the number of visitors per day is limited, entrance is paid and the road to the beach is not the friendliest. Swim with turtles, stingrays and starfish and then climb one of the surrounding rocks to see an alien landscape. At least one vacation in life should be spent here and like this!
When to go: Brazil’s islands are warm all year round, January to August is the rainy season and September to January is the dry season. From December to February it’s dangerous to dive: the water is too restless.
Getting there: The Gulf of Porcos is in the Fernando di Noronha National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Foreigners must pay 178 R$ (≈ 47$) for entry, the fee is valid for 10 days. The archipelago can be reached by plane from major Brazilian cities or by cruise ship from Recife, Natal and Fortaleza. The road to the Gulf of Porcos lies through Casimba do Padre beach. The trail is rocky: the rocks can be slippery and you will need sports shoes. If you go at high tide, get ready to get wet.
Bolders Beach, South Africa
If wool sweaters and windproof pants don’t suit you, don’t get upset: you can also see penguins in beach shorts. The white sand, the glow of the water under the African sun and the huge stones make Bolders Beach in South Africa incredibly scenic and the thousands of penguins who live here all the time are truly unique. Birds will sit on boulders, build nests, peel feathers, eat, quarrel and dive into cool waters just a few meters away. Penguins are happy to pose for selfies, but you can’t touch them: their beaks are as sharp as soft feathers.
Bolders Beach has special wooden decks for watching the penguins, but you are not allowed near the birds. But if you go a little further, you’ll find yourself on Foxy Beach, where you can even swim with penguins after you’ve gotten through the rocks.
When to go: Opening hours at Borders Beach:
May to September (winter): 8:00 to 5:00.
December to January (summer): 7:00 to 19:30.
February to April (autumn): 8:00 to 6:30pm
October to November (spring): from 8:00 to 18:30
Bathing is most comfortable during the winter season in South Africa: from mid spring to early autumn.
Getting there: It takes no more than 45 minutes to get from Cape Town to Penguin Beach. Drive along the coast, following the signs of Cape of Good Hope to Simonstown and then Boulders Penguin Colony. You can also take the suburban train from Cape Town to Simonstown and catch a taxi to the beach from there. It takes about 15 minutes to walk from the parking lot to the beach and you can buy souvenirs, food and drinks on the way. Almost all tours include a visit to Bolders Beach. Read more about how to get there on the official website. Entrance costs R65 (≈$5).