10 of the best beaches on the planet

Whether you are looking for a private patch of perfect sand, the best seaside party or a beach you can even enjoy in the rain, our round-up of the best beaches on the planet has something for everyone. If you know of some great beaches too, then feel free to add them in the comments at the end.

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Islands, Australia

Whitehaven Beach is a seven-kilometre swirl of aqua water and pristine silica sand on Whitsunday Island, the largest of the 74 Whitsunday Islands, off the coast of Queensland Australia. A paradise for swimming, sailing and snorkelling, when Tourism Queensland ran a contest to find a caretaker based on neighbouring Hamilton Island they aptly called it ‘The Best Job In The World’.

Praia Lopes Mendes, Ilha Grande, Brazil

The remote Praia Lopes Mendes on Brazil’s Ilha Grande (150km southwest of Rio de Janeiro) has sand so fine it squeaks when you walk on it. There are no vehicles on Ilha Grande so to reach Praia Lopes you must either take a 3-hour trek through the jungle, or you can get a boat from the main tourist resort, Abraão. The endless beach is a popular spot for surfers and widely considered the best beach in Brazil. But remember to bring your own refreshments, as there are no permanent cafes or restaurants based there.

Grand Anse Beach, Grenada

Grand Anse is a long, sweeping cove of golden sand backed by green hills and candy-coloured Grenadian homes. The beach has a typical laid-back Caribbean vibe which is popular with both tourists and locals and is a starting point for trips to popular dives sites around the island. Grenada is also home to the world’s first underwater sculpture park. The various statues, including cyclists on bikes and the new ‘Christ of the deep’ are certainly not something you regularly see under the sea.

Long Beach, Ko Lanta, Thailand

When it comes to perfect beaches you are spoilt for choice in Thailand, particularly around the Southern Islands. Long Beach on Ko Lanta offers just the right mix of never-ending coastline, relaxed Thai eateries and a sprinkling of spa resorts, without all the crowds you will typically find on nearby beaches in Ko Phi Phi and Krabi.

Navagio, Zakynthos, Greece

Many will be familiar with the image of Navagio Beach in Greece but may not know it hides on the island of Zakynthos. The cliff-surrounded cove and deep blue waters regularly feature on picture postcards because of the unexpected shipwreck – left behind by smugglers fleeing the authorities – that rests onshore.

White Beach, Borocay Island, Philippines

The 7000+ islands of the Philippines are home to more than their fair share of the world’s best beaches. Borocay has made a name for itself over the last few years as a bit of party island due to the number of beach bars and reasonably priced resorts in the area. The idyllic 5km White Beach has more than enough space for everyone though, so there is always a quiet spot to retreat too when you are ready to relax. Kite surfers love it here too.

Blue Lagoon, Yasawa Islands, Fiji

The Yasawa Island off the coast of Fiji are a string of blissful beaches all in a row. Towards the northern tip of the Yasawa chain is Blue Lagoon, a beach resort that comes with shallow, warm waters and a close relationship to the local culture. Guests to the island are encouraged to visit the local schools and meet the community during their stay, as well as taking boat trips to the locations of the film by the same name. The Yasawas have also appeared in popular TV shows in the UK, including ITV’s Celebrity Love Island, which was filmed on Bounty Island, and the popular Channel 4 show Shipwrecked.

South Beach, Miami, USA

There are a number of incredible wide, white beaches in Florida that could have made this list but South Beach offers more than sugar white sand and sunshine, it is a world-class spot for people watching. Don’t be surprised to find dogs in sunglasses, A-list celebrities and super-fit rollerbladers parading along Ocean Drive at any time of day. The area’s Art Deco architecture is also worth checking out, many of the sorbet-coloured hotels along the beach have been restored to their former glory.

Anse Source d’Argent,La Digue, Seychelles

The picture perfect islands of the Seychelles are what many consider to be paradise, include royalty – Kate and Wills honeymooned there. The romantic pink-sand beach of Anse Source d’Argent on La Digue is a newlyweds’ dream. Offshore reefs provide protection from the waves and make it perfect for bathing and nature lovers will enjoy trying to spot giant tortoises. As the Seychelles can be reached via a direct flight from Johannesburg, they are perfect for combining with a South African safari.

Hot Water Beach, New Zealand

Hot Water is a beach with a difference. It makes this list not for its unmatched beauty but for the unique experience you can enjoy here. Situated in an area of volcanic activity in New Zealand’s North Island, Hot Water Beach has exactly that – hot water. An underground river of hot water flows just below the surface of the sand, if you dig a hole you can seat yourself in your very own natural spa pool. The warm sand and hot water pools mean you can enjoy this beach at any time of year – even during the rain.

Paul Shipway is Business Development Director at Simply Luxury Holidays.

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