Beaches are the Valium of the travel world. They soothe, they relax, they make you realize that “real life” occasionally needs escaping. There are very few people immune to the magical lure of the beach. Whether you’re keen on sunbathing, sports, or exploring the underwater world or simply contemplating the infinite possibilities of the horizon. There’s no doubt the beach is the perfect destination for fun and relaxation. Most of all, these slivers of sand against the ocean are a reminder that the world can be quite beautiful. But, what are the most beautiful beaches in the world?
- Pulau Perhentian Kecil – Malaysia
If you’re a beach bum you’ve probably already heard of, or visited, or fallen in love with, Malaysia’s Perhentian Islands. The Perhentian Islands lie approximately 10 nautical miles off the northeastern coast of West Malaysia in the state of Terengganu, approximately 40 miles south of the Thai border. The two main islands are the backpacker-happy Pulau Perhentian Kecil (Small Perhentian Island), and Pulau Perhentian Besar (Big Perhentian Island), which has slightly more expensive accommodation.
Dive in the crystal blue waters off Pulau Perhentian Kecil and you’re almost guaranteed to swim with sea turtles and small sharks. Hang around the island’s beach-side restaurants at 5 p.m. to watch fishermen bring in the day’s catch and haggle with restaurant owners. The only way to get to the Perhentian Islands is by sea. Boat services are available from Kuala Besut.
2. Hanalei Bay – Hawaii – USA
Hanalei is a census-designated place (CDP) in Kauaʻi County, Hawaiʻi, United States. The word Hanalei means “lei making” in Hawaiian. Alternatively, the name Hanalei also means “crescent bay” and may be indicative of the shape of Hanalei Bay. It is one of the best and most beautiful beaches in Hawaii. A genuine tropical paradise, this spacious bay Island features a smooth crescent of pristine white sand backed by lush, green forests, misty mountains, and sparkling waterfalls. Flanked by rivers and coral reefs within the bay, the beach is the perfect destination for a whole range of water sports, including diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and canoeing.
3. Nungwi – Zanzibar – Tanzania
On the north-west coast of the island, Nungwi is considered to be the most beautiful beach of Zanzibar, where the absence of strong tides guarantees the pleasures of swimming and snorkeling in the crystal, jade sea. The island has long been loved by intrepid travelers for its enigmatic old Stone Town and 30 or so pristine beaches. Tourists tend to gravitate towards Nungwi, a settlement located along the coast of north Zanzibar. In Nungwi’s extremely shallow shores, travelers can quite literally walk on water, with baby formula sand between their toes. The azure waters and coral around Nungwi are home to scores of marine creatures.
The dreamy sunsets of Nungwi are an unforgettable experience, where hues of burnt orange and blushing rose drop into the sparkling waves of the Indian Ocean. Embedded in a luxurious and enchanting location, Hideaway of Nungwi Resort & Spa offers spectacular oceanfront settings known to be among the finest in the world.
4. Playa Paraiso – Cayo Largo
One of the gorgeous beaches in the world is Playa Paraiso in Cuba’s finest beach island Cayo Largo. This beach well deserves its name of “Paradise Beach” is not quite as exposed to the elements as some of the other beaches on the island. The weather is usually calm and the sea here remains shallow most of the year. As the beach of hotels is very changing, most people go to Playa Paraiso to enjoy calm water to swim or simply relax on the beach. Visitors will find a smattering of beach umbrellas and a small bar. But for the most part, this place is about the sea and sand and not much else. A free shuttle leaves nearby hotels several times a day for the 20-minute drive to Playa Paraiso.
5. Bahia Solano – Colombia
Bahia Solano is home to world-class scuba diving and sport fishing. Also providing a plethora of marine activities to the traveler. Only 18 km away from Bahia Solano, there is the stunning beach town of El Valle, Choco. One of the most beautiful beaches, Bahia Solano is a unique scene of immobile boats rusting where the river meets the ocean. Fishermen languidly cast nets over a huge bay. Fashion shops, vegetable markets, cafés, and bars line a vibrant main street.