Our research is editorially independent but we may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Luring in travelers from around the world, there are certain countries that are known for their collection of picturesque beaches. From the iconic beaches along Australia’s coast to the remote shoreline of the Seychelles, these are the best countries to visit if you want to sunbathe, swim or enjoy water sports. Read on to discover which countries top the list of the best beaches in the world.
Australia’s boasts a huge amount of coastline, where you’ll find a variety of beaches to accommodate any type of sun-seeker, from laid-back havens to surf meccas. Bondi Beach might be the most famous beach, but Whitehaven Beach tops the list with its silica sand, vivid blue water and endless sunshine. Cable Beach in Broome is postcard-perfect, Burleigh Heads Beach is fantastic for nature enthusiasts with its walking tracks, while Main Beach in Noosa lures you in with its golden sand and swimmable waves.
Honeymooners flock to Fiji for its array of picture-perfect landscapes, where you can enjoy its turquoise waters, beautiful white sand and vibrant coral reefs. This tropical paradise boasts 333 islands and over 500 islets that are perfect for soaking up the sunshine. Go on a snorkeling adventure at the white sand Castaway Island, admire rocky headlands and swaying palms at Honeymoon Beach and spend your days sunbathing on the shores of Horseshoe Bay.
Located amidst the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles is one of the most beautiful destinations in the world, renowned for its secluded beaches. Head to the northern island of Praslin for the most beautiful shorelines, where its snow-white sand and swaying coconut palms ensure you’ll never want to leave. Anse Intendance is an unspoiled natural wonder, Anse Lazio is beloved for its postcard-perfect landscapes, while Anse Source D’Argent is known for its idyllic blue waters.
It’s hard to resist the Mediterranean charm of Greece, where you’ll be spoiled with warm waters that range in color from turquoise and emerald to dark blue. Head to the iconic island of Mykonos to enjoy the crystalline waters and golden sand at Super Paradise Beach, admire the white pebbles and towering sheer rocks at Laraia Beach in Skiathos or soak up the sunshine amongst the milky white volcanic rocks at Sarakiniko Beach in Milos.
Made up of 7,107 islands, the Philippines is dotted with picturesque, sandy beaches, including the famed Palawan with its boat excursions, caving and kayaking available. Enjoy the natural splendor of El Nido and its 50 white sand beaches, soak up the lively ambiance surrounding Boracay after a day of snorkeling, then go on a diving tour through the UNESCO-listed Puerto Galera. If you’re a surfer, make sure to put Siargao island on your list to see its large waves and rich marine biodiversity.
The Maldives conjures up images of a luxury getaway, where white sand beaches lure you in with clear blue waters, diverse marine life and lush tropical vegetation. Take a sunset cruise at Hulhumale’ Beach or head to Bikini Beach to soak up the sunshine. Veligandu Island beaches offer a quiet off-the-grid escape, while Reethi Beach in the Baa Atoll is a hotspot for honeymooners. If you’re looking to see some of the country’s colorful marine life, head to the beaches around Cocoa Island.
Each beach in Malaysia offers their own unique personality, from the cosmopolitan charm of Penang to the hippie vibes in the Perhentians. Located on the northeast coast of Malaysia, the Perhentian islands are a great place to go for snorkeling and exploring lively beach bars, while Tioman attracts travelers looking for a luxury getaway. While Langkawi boasts high-profile resorts along its sandy shores, Penang is the place to go if you’re looking to sample local delicacies.
Nestled in Indonesia, Bali is famed for its collection of world-renown beaches that attract a variety of travelers. You’ll find a rich culture and fascinating geological features surrounding its idyllic beaches, which are a great place to try your hand at surfing, swim in its waters or lounge along the shore. Derawan Beach is great for seeing green and hawksbill turtles on a snorkeling adventure, Gili Meno offers a tranquil escape from the more crowded areas, while the Banyak Islands are a surfers paradise.
Known for its spectacular coastline, Spain is home to tempting beaches with alluring marine-filled waters and impressive rock formations. Explore the cliff-edged landscapes with emerald green waters at Asturias, enjoy the tranquil rural ambiance at Langre or visit quaint fishing towns that dot the 30-mile coastline at West Coast Cantabria. Take a dip in crystal clear waters at Tamariu in Costa Brava, but don’t miss a chance to see the sand dunes along Playa del Ingles.
Cuba is a sub-tropical country with year-round beach weather, home to a sprawling stretch of picturesque beaches that line the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Here you’ll find white sand beaches dotted with palm trees, shallow coastal waters and coral lagoons that are full of life. Visit the picturesque coastline at Varadero Beach or explore the stunning lagoons east of the small island of Pinos, then visit other notable beaches such as Playa Giron, Varadero and Playa Pilar.
The United States offers a wide variety of beach landscapes, from the shores of Florida to the tropical landscapes in Hawaii. It’s here that you can explore cliffside, black sand or isolated beaches, walk along historic piers and boardwalks, then marvel at dramatic coastlines. Hawaii boasts pristine ocean waters surrounded by lush foliage in Maui, Kauai and Lanai, while you can dig your toes in the white sand beaches that Siesta Key and Clearwater Beach in Florida.
You’ll find a collection of unforgettable beaches in France, from the famed Plage de la Côte des Basques along the Bay of Biscay to the quaint boardwalk found in Deauville Beach in Normandy. See Antibes beach with its picturesque peninsula that juts into the sea, dip your toes in the bright teal water at Les Calanques de Cassis, then combine a beach getaway with a city break in Marseille, which boasts the family-friendly Prado beaches.