Long stretches of glistening golden sand, sparkling blue water, and cocktails within reach: we know what makes a good beach. If you’re seeking pure relaxation, we’ve found just the beaches around the world for you to bliss out on. We’ve also included a few beaches which are ideal for surfing, snorkeling, and other water activities — because relaxation isn’t only about lying back with a cocktail.
1- Elafonisi Island, Crete
Located on the western side of Crete, Elafonisi Island is just 200 meters off the coast. Voted several times over as home to the most majestic beach in the world, one glance at Elafonisi Island’s stunning pink sand and crystal clear blue-green waters will leave you longing to lounge on its shores. But that’s not all: you can also enjoy a peaceful swim in the shallow lagoon situated between the mainland and the island. The perfect destination for a summer day, Elafonisi Island is popular — and with good reason! Beat the crowds by heading here at the beginning or the end of the summer.
2- Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Actually measuring only 5.5 miles, the famous Seven Mile Beach is situated on Grand Cayman’s west shore. The clear waters and coral sands attract visitors from around the world, but that’s not all Seven Mile Beach has to offer. Enjoy lively bars and Jamaican restaurants as you soak in the Caribbean sun. Whether sipping on fresh coconut water straight from the source is up your alley, or getting to know the local wildlife on a snorkeling trip is more your speed, Seven Mile Beach has something for everyone. Oh, last but not least: a visit to the Caymans wouldn’t be complete without rum. Head to this nearby distillery and brewery to taste this spirit at the source.
3- Harbor Island, Bahamas
Located off the northeast coast of Eleuthera Island, Harbor Island is a quiet refuge away from the busy Bahamian beaches. Popular among couples and families who enjoy relaxing away from the masses, Harbor Island is home to pink beaches and a seemingly endless supply of sun loungers. And with no shortage of beachside bites, you’re sure to find something to your tastes. For the more adventurous folk, neighboring island Nassau is close enough and packed with beach activities.
4- Matira Beach, Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Matira Beach is the only public-access beach in Bora Bora, making it the most accessible on the island. This mile-long beach features long stretches of white sand and a shallow emerald lagoon, with palm trees and thick tropical foliage in the background. For drinks and dining, you won’t have to walk far. Several casual cafes are scattered along the beach, all western-facing to enjoy the stunning sunsets. During low tide, it’s possible to swim out to the barrier reef which is a popular spot to snorkel with sharks and stingrays.
5- Reduit Beach, St. Lucia
Reduit Beach is situated just south of Pigeon Island National Park along Rodney Bay. For the active traveler, this beach is great for snorkeling, scuba diving, and sailing — or even joining a Segway nature trail experience. For vacationers with a slower speed in mind, never fear. There are numerous ways to luxuriate at dozens of nearby spas. And if you want to keep living the high life, Reduit Beach happens to be situated near a large yacht marina, so you can easily charter a boat to a nearby island. Anchors aweigh!
6- El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
Home to around 50 white sand beaches, El Nido is full of fun ways to spend a day in the sun. No matter which beach you visit, you’re guaranteed dramatic limestone formations, insanely white sand, and intensely blue water. And don’t even get us started with the sunsets. While they are certainly ‘gram worthy, nothing beats being there in person. Seek out a secluded spot on El Nido (this won’t be difficult — the area is relatively under the radar), sit back, and relax.
7- Navagio Beach, Zakynthos Island, Greece
Navagio Beach is often referred to as Shipwreck Beach or Smuggler’s Cove and is located on the coast of Zakynthos in the Ionian Islands of Greece. This remote destination is notoriously difficult to get to: unless you’re the captain of your own ship, you’ll need to hop on one of several boats that go back and forth to the beach. Take the experience up a notch via a day trip and see Navagio Beach in style via speedboat, as well as the Blue Caves at Xingia Beach.
8- Hyams Beach, Australia
Hyams Beach has the whitest sand in the world. Don’t take our word for it — the Guinness Book of World Records says so. This, however, is just one of the reasons to visit Hyams beach. Located on the southern shores of Jervis Bay, you can join a tour from Sydney that explores all of the beaches along this coastal strip, including Hyams Beach. The bay is encircled by Booderee National Park and is also a popular spot for whale watching.
9- Île aux Cerfs, Mauritius
Mauritius is notorious for luxurious beach holidays — it’s a tropical paradise packed with stunning beaches and top-notch hotels and lodges. Île aux Cerfs is a privately owned island near the east coast of Mauritius and has the largest lagoon among the islands. Most travelers make their visit a day trip, soaking up the sun, snorkeling, and enjoying lunch at one of the beach restaurants. You can get to the island either by motorboat or splash out on a private Catamaran Charter.
10- Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda
Perhaps the most famous of the Bermuda beaches, Horseshoe Bay is known for its pink sands, turquoise water, and jagged rock formations. This is a popular beach (particularly when cruise ships are in town), but for a quieter spot, travelers just need to walk a bit further east along the beach. Horseshoe Bay has everything needed for a fun beach day, including chairs and umbrellas for rental, lifeguards, a beach bar, and public restrooms. For families, there’s Horseshoe Bay Cove, which is a natural shallow pool perfect for splashing around in.
Gourmet cuisine, world-class art, and scenic vistas — la dolce vita is calling, and it’s calling from Tuscany. Known for fine wines and medieval architecture, the region is the perfect place for rest and relaxation. Travel back in time to a world of traditional art, culture, and cuisine as you enjoy a backdrop of romantic, rolling vineyards and sunsets sure to stun.
Stretching across a Tuscan hilltop, Siena is Italy’s most picturesque medieval city. Leave the chaos of cars behind — these streets were made for strolling. Get lost in tumbling brick lanes and wind up at the cathedral: an over-the-top marvel of Gothic architecture lavished with mosaics and busts of 172 popes. A place frozen in time, Siena is the perfect refuge for travelers looking to escape the modern world for a day. Explore the city by foot on a walking tour or sample fine local wines. Between its looks and its famous grapes, Siena is an experience to savour.
2- Porto Ercole
Resting beyond ancient city gates, Porto Ercole is a place where pedestrians can stretch their legs and slather on some sunscreen. Head here to trade in the clamor of city life for the soothing serenade of seaside waves. Perfect for sunset strolls, this charming stone village fuses luxury with the old way of life. You’ll find artisans crafting traditional goods in converted fisherman’s huts while extravagant yachts line the harbor and boat rentals give visitors the opportunity to explore the scenic coastline. Spend the day exploring one of the many “forte” or soaking up the sun at Feniglia beach, while paying tribute to the passing of Baroque painter Caravaggio who died here in 1610 — a piece of history woven into the idyllic beach life.
Famous for its peculiar urban layout, Volterra is a Tuscan town with deep roots, dating all the way to the 5th century BC. Take a step back in time as soon as you stroll through the city gates, Porta dell’Arco and Porta Diana, and experience the ancient acropolis which houses the foundations of two ancient temples. If its Roman ruins you’re after, look no further: Volterra is home to an amphitheatre from the first century AD and features many workshops which maintain the tradition of alabaster handicrafts. Watch as this ancient town comes alive during a medieval reenactment in the summer months — the perfect occasion to enjoy Italian food and wine while the present transforms into the past.
The home of the Renaissance, Florence is the birthplace of the modern world and houses some of Europe’s finest pieces of art including masterful oil paintings, stunning marble statues, and meticulous mosaics. In a single afternoon, you could experience the pensive stare of Michelangelo’s David, get a feel for the first day of spring with Botticelli’s Primavera, and refresh yourself next to the fountain of Neptune. Of course, there’s a world to experience off the beaten path, so let your eyes wander to the food, fashion, and street markets that are renowned the world over — and don’t forget the gelato!
Looking for an authentic Italian holiday? Talamone trades the hustle and bustle of city streets, crowded museums, and overbooked restaurants for an experience rich with scenic views and genuine Tuscan tradition. Once a fortified fishing village, the town retains its historic charm with winding, narrow streets, 13th-century architecture, and terracotta rooftops reaching the active harbor of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Only a three hour train-ride from Rome, this charming seaside town offers the finer things of the mediterranean alongside the calm and serenity of small-town living — an appetite for seafood comes highly recommended.
6- Colle di Val d’Elsa
A town nestled between scenic hilltops and the rolling river Elsa, Colle di Val d’Elsa takes a few steps back in history with a rich tradition of art and culture at its core. Also known as “Città di Cristallo” or “City of Crystal,” the quaint village is famous for its production of crystal artifacts, dedicating an entire museum to the sought-after local crafts and featuring open-air glass blowing demonstrations to captive audiences in the city centre. Wowing onlookers with it’s precious beauty, Colle di Val d’Elsa is the perfect destination for a truly Tuscan experience.
The most notable walled medieval location in Tuscany, Monteriggioni is a fortified village that began as a castle in the Chianti region, sitting atop a rounded hill for the past 800 years. Since the 1200s, onlookers have marvelled at the mighty towers that surround the location from miles away, the same lofty towers which Dante compared to horrific giants in his Divine Comedy. Enjoy the fruits of the region with a wine tasting and explore the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside. Oh, and have a camera handy: there are vineyards and cypress trees as far as the eye can see.
8- San Gimignano
A picturesque medieval town, San Gimignano is considered a UNESCO world heritage site famous for the Hundred Towers built in the middle ages by Italy’s most influential families. Rife with splendid squares, palaces, churches, and the magnificent towers, San Gimignano calls Chianti its home. This breathtaking landscape is rich with green rolling hills, wide vineyards, and olive groves. But don’t take it from us — discover and savor the region on a Tuscan wine tour.