No matter how banal these paradises might be, for filling the pages of travel magazines in every corner of the world, they are timeless. Although bloggers and journalists keep attempting to reverse the reality of “the best is simply the best”, and new top-beach-ideas are springing up like mushrooms after the rain. However, there is truly not much to change about the fact that these strands are some of the world`s most glorious and it is virtually impossible to beat their grandeur.

The Whitehaven beach is one of the most extraordinary beaches on Earth (pure silica)


Australia is widely known as the ‘Queen of the Beaches’. It is predominantly Queensland, Western Australia, and Sydney what globally draws attentionto their coastal beauty. The world-famous Whitehaven Beach is absolutely unique, that`s for sure. When it comes to seriously jaw-dropping images, however, you need to travel to the south.

Victoria is home to one of the best coastal road trips one can find on the planet – the Great Ocean Road. The limestone-stack collection of 12 Apostles surely is the highlight on the way, and if you are after having a dip in the Southern Ocean, you should stop by the Loch Ard Gorge – the best-kept secret on the Shipwreck Coast.

12 Apostles, The Shipwreck Coast (Australia)


Another breathtaking limestone hideawaycan be found in Coromandel. New Zealand`s best-loved summer holiday hub has plenty to offer, and Cathedral Cove is one of the major points of interest.

Accessible only on foot, sea kayak or a boat, its secluded location makes it even more attractive. Dramatic cliffs, jade-coloured seas, and the rock archway are on every photographer`s itinerary, especially in December and January when the iconic Christmas tree blossoms and the nearby Hahei Beach turns into a sub-tropical paradise. 

\Those who decide to travel in winter instead will not miss out on anything: find the Hot Water Beach, where hot water bubbles its way through the golden sands, and you can dig your very own spa pool for free.

Cathedral Cove, Coromandel (New Zealand)


One of South Africa`s strengths is its coastal scenery and imposing ocean vistas. Cape Town draws crowds from all around the world, and it certainly is not surprising. The wild surf of the Pacific Ocean adjoins fine sands, and the magnificent backdrop of the Table Mountains amplifies the whole majesty.

And that can best be enjoyed from one of the upmarket vacation resorts, fancy restaurants, and cocktail bars or the Camps Bay`s natural ocean rock pool. There is even more spectacle just outside the city – in the Cape Peninsula.

Boulders Beach is the place where splendid white-sandy cove with a large colony of free-roaming penguins and a boardwalk can be visited without having to pay any fees!

The Camps Bay, Cape Town, (South Africa)


With 37 sandy stretches, 365-days-a-year-beach life, green mountainous surrounds and always balmy temperatures, Rio de Janeiro is the place to be for all beach lovers.

Copacabana and Ipanema are the Rio`s favourites; exotic, fun, and chic are the words that define these hubs. Their beachfront is stuffed with people, yet it somehow doesn`t bother anyone. From Western tourists and families to the local Cariocas – happy, warm and friendly people who love dancing, drinking, sport and sun, Copacabana and Ipanema are the symbols of Rio and the coastal Brazil.

Bahia de Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)


High-rise buildings, designer fashion stores, and seaside cocktail bars line the World`s Surfing Capital – Honolulu. Hawaii`s international popularitymakes be it almost boring –one would say –yet the Waikiki Beach is undisputedly one of the best beaches on Earth.

Mass-tourism doesn`t seem to be a put-offon the contrarywith world-classshopping malls, upscale hotels with epic views, endless entertainment options and radiant nightlife, Waikiki is much-liked, and it truly is a must-visit when in Hawaii.

The Waikiki Beach, Oahu (Hawaii)


We all know the eternal image of Tahiti, albeit most of us merely from advertisements and travel brochures. After all, who can afford to pay a visit? It is not hard to imagine the feeling of the first settlers when they spotted the ‘Pearl of the Pacific’ – Bora Bora.

Quite literally, it was also (apart from the terrific scenery) the Tahitian pearls, fragrant vanilla, exotic fruit and flowers what mesmerised the first European settlers. French Polynesia has kept its stable spot in ‘Word`s TOP 10 Beaches’ rankings for decades, and Bora Bora is naturally the ultimate winner.

Pearl Beach & Mount Otemanu, Bora Bora (French Polynesia)


The visitors of Mauritius will be rewarded with delightful Indian flavours, seasoned with African and French elements, Creole beat and British sense of good style. What`s more, Le Morne Brabant presents one of the best island sceneries on Earth.

The gigantic monolith, towering over the island`s aquamarine lagoons, coral reefs and tropical jungles and waterfalls, can be now climbed, although most of the holidaymakers would rather admire its eminence from below. At the end of the day, it is the beach tranquillity, silken sands, and warm seas what most of us would cross continents for.

Le Morne Brabant (Mauritius)


The Indian Ocean Superstar still rocks the world`s ‘beach scene’. Yes, it is Seychelles. The archipelago`s almost surreal images can strike one`s eyes – simply from a photograph.

Beach-wise, Anse Source D`Argent made it to the top, and quite rightfully. Among the 115 idyllic coral islands, La Digue is the most photographed, and it is easy to see why. This luxuriant tropical paradise boasts real-life dazzling beaches and crystal-clear waters of more shades of blue and green that one can imagine. If only it weren`t so pricey…

Anse Source d`Argent Beach, La Digue (Seychelles)


It is not a secret that Mexico has some of the best beaches in the world. Whether it is Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Acapulco or Baja California, the Mexican coastline simply cannot fail to delight.

Playa Balandra is just one of those sun-washed bays with the unblemished blue sky and flour-like soft white sand. The lagoon featuring calm waters ideal for sea kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming, and snorkelling.

The great thing about Balandra Beach is that not many know where exactly is it (although the image is quite famous) and it hardly ever gets crowded. So, if you like pristine natural beauty and seclusion head out to Baja California Sur – that is where the best-kept secret of Mexico hides.

The Balandra Beach, Baja California Sur (Mexico)


The Maldives is one of those places on Earth that should be on every holidaymaker`s bucket list.The ‘World`s Premier Island Destination’, exclusively for its outstanding beaches, teems with exoticism; lone sandbars, swaying palm trees, ocean swings, sunken coral gardens,  glowing plankton and unrivalled luxury – this is what characterises the Maldives.

Once in a lifetime you should tighten your belt and save up for a week in ‘the true heaven’ – Kuramathi Sand Bar.

The Kuramathi Sand Bar, Maldives


Who wouldn`t know it? Zakynthos has been the star of the show in the Mediterranean ever since we remember and the most photographed beach in Europe. It keeps the leading position in the continent, and it won`t be easy to beat it.

What once was a “Smugglers Cove”, for the wrecked ship that smuggled cigarettes, alcohol and female slaves, it is now flooded with package tourism, revellers, and BASE jumpers. In spite of losing its authenticity (perhaps unlike any other Greek island)Zakynthos is undoubtedly home to one of the most spectacular coastal sceneries on the planet.

The Naviago Beach, Zakynthos (Greece)


If you thought that the ‘far north’ of the globe lacks striking beaches you were terribly wrong. Iceland`s Black Sand Beach is just an example of staggering ocean vistas the country offers. Raw and wild yet so captivating, the Stokksnes Peninsula takes pride in many natural wonders.

In Vestrahorn, black dunes meet thevertiginous cliffs of the Batman Mountains whose caps are often covered in snow. Play of sun and clouds creates surreal reflections in the sand as well as in water – a big feast for one`s eyes and cameras. 

The Vestrahorn Black Sand Beach, Stokksnes (Iceland)


The Philippines is renowned for tropical allure, fantastic beaches, underwater world and unspoiled rainforests. And Palawan combines all of them to provide the ultimate holiday destination.

The island`s exotic terrain includes craggy limestone hills, ancient caves and caverns, lush jungles, abundant wildlife and marine life. Palawan is located in the heart of the Coral Triangle, and it takes pride in some of the best diving locations on Earth.

Obviously, it is the coast where the greatest quality of Palawan lies. The island has lately been rated the No1 in Asia, and it eventually knocked over Bali in 2018. El Nido was ranked as one of the TOP 5 seascapes in Asia – the photographs speak for itself.

El Nido, Cadlao Island, Palawan (The Philippines)


Other ‘member’ of the Coral Triangle is West Papua – blessed with the best piece of it. With the world`s richest marine bio-diversity recorded, Raja Ampat is not only the world`s No 1 diving spot but also one of the least accessible places, hence one of the most pristine.

To get here, one needs to pay a pretty penny! Raja Ampat is particularly popular with sailors, yachters, and scuba divers, of course. The visitors of Waigeo, Misool, Salawati and Balanta islands will be rewarded with virgin lagoons nestled amid bee-hive shaped islets, deserted beaches, brilliant waters, luminous coral estates – if heaven were underwater it would likely be in Raja Ampat.

And those who set out on the journey inland will encounter some of the world`s oldest primaeval rainforests filled with the marvellous bird of paradise and other exotic birdlife.

Pulau Wayag, Raja Ampat (Indonesian Papua)


The last ‘candidate’ is inevitably Krabi – and we will be staying in Southeast Asia. Thailand. Who wouldn`t love it? Balmy climate, dream beaches, jungle waterfalls, delightful food – a sheer bliss. Although Thailand`s popularity is often overused and locations overrated the country persistently keeps the label of being one the TOP premier tourist destinations.

Whereas Phuket is a household name among the beach bums and fans of nightlife, Krabi, instead, has a reputation of a chill-out hub with striking seascapes.Majesticallyrising out of the Andaman Sea, dramatic karst formations dominate the Krabi area along with turquoise lagoons, sparkling sands, and secret coves.

From theiconic Phi Phi, through the hiddenKoh Lao to the famed ‘James Bond Island’ of Khao Phing Kan, dramatic scenery – both on land and underwater – attracts holidaymakers, snorkelers and scuba divers from every corner of the world.

The secluded coves of Koh Hong, Krabi (Thailand)

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Eva Bodova

Sunday 20 January 2019

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