Updated On: November 08, 2023 by Omnia Essawy
It is officially Summer, which means it is time to come up with a well-thought-out escape plan to some cool and breezy beach destination where you can take a much-needed break from the routine and hectic everyday life.
In case you don’t have a destination in mind or are looking for a different beach than the one you visit every year, behold; a list of the best and most beautiful 16 vacation spots in the world. Whether you seek seclusion or crowdedness, pristine white sandy beaches or rocky green hills, you will find what you are looking for in our following list.
So, let us dive right in because beach fun is awaiting…
1. Portstewart Strand, Ireland
Portstewart Strand is one of the most family-friendly and well-preserved beaches in all of Northern Ireland. This pristine two-mile-long beach is, in fact, protected by the National Trust which is one of the reasons why it has been so well maintained throughout the years.
Known for its historical importance and unique inherent beauty, this gorgeous beach offers visitors a wide array of activities to enjoy, things to see, and fun to be had, which is why it is one of the most visited beaches on Ireland island.
Aside from taking in the historical beauty and unique heritage of the Portstewart Strand, you can also enjoy several beach activities, such as horseback riding, swimming, surfing, walking, and even wildlife exploring.
Another thing that makes this beach even more family-friendly is its easy access. The best and most convenient way to get to Portstewart Strand is by car, especially if you are travelling with kids.
Something else that you may be interested to know about the dune-covered beach of Portstewart Strand is that it was chosen as a location for the iconic TV series, Game of Thrones. So while strolling along the gorgeous shoreline of Portstewart Strand, make sure to stop and take a few commemorative pictures standing where Jaime and Bronn stood after coming ashore on their way to get Princess Myrcella.
Best time to visit: The best time to go to Portstewart Strand is during one of the following months: March, April, July, and September. This is because these months witness the best weather as the temperatures are warm but not hot. These months are also the most likely to witness fewer crowds than the rest of the year.
2. The Baths, Virgin Island
Pristine white sand, crystal clear waters, exotic tropical palms, incredible one-of-a-kind sea tunnels, serenading tranquil pools of ocean water, and some of the most breath-taking scenery in the world. These are some of the reasons why you need to make time to pay a visit to the Baths of southern Virgin Gorda.
Whether you are travelling with family, friends, significant other, or on a solo adventure, you are guaranteed to have the time of your life while visiting the Baths. One of the most fascinating things about this Virgin Gorda beach is the giant batholiths or boulders which were brought to the beach by old volcanic eruptions, forming -as a result- the gorgeous pools and grottos this brach is famous for.
The best time to visit: Virgin Gorda has somewhat of a tropical climate and because of the constant humidity, temperatures feel hot all year long with a chance of rainfall most of the year. The weeks with the best weather to enjoy the Baths beach, as well as the rest of Virgin Gorda, are between March 12th and April 8th. However, the warmest time of the year to visit Virgin Gorda is between July and September with the highest temperatures occurring around early August.
3. Hidden Beach, Mexico
Also known as the Beach of Love, Praia do Amor, and Praia Escondida, this magnificent beach on Marieta Island in Mexico looks like something out of a science fiction movie or a fantasy novel.
To get to this hidden underground vacation spot, you need to take an hour-long boat ride or cruise and cross through a water tunnel. Once you make it to the island, you will need to paddle or swim through the Pacific waters to reach the sand.
There is a reason why one of the many names of this hidden gem of a beach is the “Beach of Love”. Thanks to its iconic nature, this beach provides a level of seclusion, serenity, and cosiness that is rarely achieved on any other beach in the world, let alone in Mexico.
The best time to visit: January, March, April, and November are the best months to visit the Hidden Beach of Punta Mita, Mexico. These months witness the best weather as the temperature is not too hot nor too cold making it easy for visitors to explore and enjoy all that Playa Escondida has to offer without worrying about rainfall or overheating.
4. Hot Water Beach, New Zealand
For those who are not aware of the reason why this New Zealand beach earned this name; it is because naturally heated mineral water rises up from deep within the earth to emerge through its sand. As a result of this natural phenomenon, visitors to this New Zealand Hot Water Beach can dig their own spa pools into the sand and relax in a natural pool of hot mineral water just a few metres from the waves of the Pacific Ocean.
This long sandy hot water beach stretches out north from the hot water area and curves under a strategically located headland, providing the perfect secluded spots for quiet and serenading sunbathing.
The best time to visit: Because of the humidity and what can almost be called tropical climate of the area, temperatures in Hot Water Beach generally tend to be nice and moderate most of the year, with the exception of a few cold weeks in the winter. However during the weeks between October 1st and May 20th, the Coromandel Peninsula, especially, Hot Water Beach, witnesses the best weather for exploring, swimming, surfing, and relaxing in natural hot water spa pools in the sand.
It is also important to note that the best time to head to Hot Water Beach is at low tide from 2 hours before to 2 hours after because that is when the tide is low enough to expose the area of sand with hot water beneath.
5. Glass Beach, Hawaii
Covered in a gigantic collection of colourful sea glass pebbles in gorgeous hues of blue, aqua, and brown, the Glass Beach of Kauai, Hawaii, is one of the most popular and visited beaches in the U.S. and is one of the main reasons why thousands of visitors and tourists make the trip to Hawaii every year.
Aside from offering an otherworldly location for the perfect vacation shot, the Glass Beach of Hawaii is also perfect for beachcombing, an activity that a lot of visitors seem to enjoy thanks to the variety in the nature of the glass pebbles covering the beach ground. However, as fascinating as this activity may be, visitors are not allowed to take any of the glass pebbles covering the beach, so make sure to follow those rules so that more people can enjoy the same experience you enjoyed in the future.
The best time to visit: Generally, the best time to visit Kauai(where Glass Beach is located) is around early spring between the months of April and May. The weather at this time is usually great, and the rates tend to be somewhat low compared to early June which is when they usually spike up.
6. The Red Sand Beach, Rabida, Galapagos
Located on the northern side of Rabida, the red sand beach of Galapagos is one of the most unusual and lesser-known beaches in the world. It is also one of the most breathtaking ones.
What makes it even more interesting is that no one can confirm for sure why the sand there is bright red, it is thought to be formed due to the oxidization of iron-rich lava deposits from the nearby volcano and the corrosions of its slopes, although it could also be due to washed-up coral sediments.
This beach is popularly known for its unspoilt and unique wild habitat as it is populated by several colonies of sea lions, in addition to a variety of birds and rare endemic plant species.
The best time to visit: The Galapagos Islands are a year-round destination, however, the experiences to be had there differ from one time to the other. When it comes to sunny weather and smooth sailing conditions, the best time to visit the Galapagos Islands is from December to May. However, if you are looking to see some migrating whales, the months between June and November are your best shot.
7. Rabbit Beach, Lampedusa, Italy
One of the best places on our list to head to with your family, especially, when travelling with kids, is Rabbit Beach.
Located in Lampedusa, Italy, this crowd-pleasing beach offers visitors ideal beach vacation conditions, including blue and clear water, gorgeous white cliffs, and dry-desert land.
That’s not all, the thing that makes this beach a gold mine for children is the animal-watching experience it features. This Italian beach is populated by a very large number of Rabbits, hence the name ‘Rabbit Beach’. In addition to the Rabbits, it also features dolphins, sea turtles, and other types of animals roaming around the beach’s rocky grottos. In other words; a kid or an animal-lover’s beach heaven.
The best time to visit: The peak season for Rabbit Beach is during Summer, especially, in August. Therefore, if you would like to avoid intense crowds but still enjoy somewhat ideal weather, try going at the beginning or end of summer so in June or September.
8. The Punaluu Black Sand Beach, Hawaii
If black is your happy colour, then you’ll feel right at home on this Hawaiian heaven of a beach. Even if black is not your favourite colour, you still can’t argue that the Punaluu Black Beach is one of the most unusual yet hauntingly beautiful beaches in the entire world.
The black sand on the Punaluu Black Beach is formed by basalt lava, which explodes as it flows into the sea and rapidly cools. Some might argue that that makes it even more fascinating!
The best time to visit: Just like the rest of Hawaii, Punaluu Black Beach is perfect all year round. However, to make the most out of your visit, it is highly advised to visit Punaluu Black Beach during the summer, specifically from mid-May to late October.
9. The Navagio Beach, Greece
Located on the northwest sandy shore of Zakynthos, the Navagio Beach, also known as Shipwreck Cove, features a pristine white sandy shore, clear blue water, and iconic limestone cliffs.
Thanks to being naturally gorgeous and undoubtedly stunning, Navagio Beach is worldly known as one of the most picturesque beaches in all of Greece. That’s not all, it also features ideal conditions for swimming, sunbathing, as well as snorkling. As a result of all precious reasons, Navagio Beach or Shipwreck Cove attracts thousands and thousands of visitors and tourists every year.
The best time to visit: Zakynthos -just like most of Greece- is pleasant all year round. However, the months of Spring (March to May) and the months of Autumn (September to early November) are considered to be the best months to visit and enjoy Zakynthos as well as the Navagio Shipwreck Beach without having to struggle through the intense crowds that are usually seen during the summer.
The best time of the day, however, to go to the Navagio Shipwreck Beach is between noon and 3 pm, that is if you are viewing the cove from the cliff tops. However, if you are going by boat, the best time to visit will be either early morning or late afternoon.
10. Sea of Stars, Vaadhoo Island, the Maldives
As we all know, the Maldives is the ultimate couple’s destination whether for honeymooning or just a romantic getaway. This Vadhoo Starry Beach, in particular, is the perfect destination for couples to rekindle their romance, artists to find inspiration, or just a stressed-out individual to find some serenity.
Almost every night, this beach gets surrounded by vast stunning waves that look like they are reflecting the starry sky, hence the name ‘Sea of Stars’.
This almost-too-beautiful-to-believe beach looks like the living and breathing version of Van Gough’s Starry Nights work of art, only better because it can make you feel like you are taking a walk among the stars.
The best time to visit: The best time to visit Vaadhoo Island and enjoy its starry beach is from December to April when the humidity decreases and the dry monsoons have little rain.
11. Wineglass Bay, Tasmania, Australia
The incomparable arc of Wineglass Bay in Tasmania is not your ordinary beach, it is a stunning natural phenomenon that helps restore your faith in the raw beauty of mother nature.
With crystal clear water, sparkling white sandy beaches, and tall rugged mountains surrounding and framing the bay, the seclusion and an incredible level of serenity provided by a mere walk by the water is unmatched and is therefore very much worth the trip.
In addition to its gorgeous beauty, Wineglass Bay offers an array of activities visitors can enjoy while visiting the bay, such as hiking, boating, surfing, kayaking, and more.
As a result of all of the above features of the wonder that is Wineglass Bay, this beach destination became a crowd’s favourite over the years, attracting thousands of visitors and tourists every year, especially, the thrill-seeking type.
The best time to visit: Tasmania and the area of Wineglass Bay witness a relatively mild climate year-round. However, the high season for the area is during the summer from December to February when the weather is at its warmest and visitors can enjoy almost all activities offered in the area. However, you may have to fight your way through quite a few crowds.
12. Pink Sand Beach, Harbour Island, Bahamas
Located on the eastern Atlantic Ocean side of Harbour Island, the breathtaking Pink Sand Beach stretches out for over three miles and is about 50 to 100 feet wide. This Pink Sand beach is considered to be one of the best beaches on the Island of Bahamas, if not the world. It was even featured in The Travel Channel’s World’s Best Beaches segment in 2005 and named ‘Best Sand Beach’.
The light pink colour of the sand of this Bahamas beach is actually pigmented by washed-up coral remnants, which are dashed and ground to tiny pieces by the surf. So it is basically a beach of tiny pink flowers.
The best time to visit: This gorgeous Pink Sand Beach is guaranteed to impress and astonish you regardless of when you visit it. However, the ideal time to visit is from December to May as the temperature is usually around 70-75 degrees F.
The best time of the day to go to the Bahamas’ Pink Sand Beach is early morning as you can catch the view of the gorgeous pink hue of the sand before the noonday sun washes it out. There are also short periods of time in the morning and evening when the sand of the beach takes on a light purple hue.
13. Pfeiffer Beach (Purple Sand Beach), California, United States of America
Located in Big Sur Region in the state of California, Pfeiffer Beach is a gorgeous unspoilt beach destination that is relatively unknown to people who are not from or live in California.
Although the reasons why Pfeiffer Beach makes for an ideal beach vacation destination vary, however, the most famous and most unique one has to be the purple and violet sand patches at this beach.
These purple sand patches at this Big Sur beach are formed when manganese garnet deposits in the surrounding hills erode into the sea resulting in this beautiful enchanting shade of purple.
An extra perk is that because it is relatively unknown, it offers an excellent level of seclusion and serenity away from the city’s bustling fast-paced routine.
The best time to visit: The best time to visit Big Sur Region and enjoy Pfeiffer Beach is during the fall months, specifically from September to November. This is when summer crowds start to fall off and you get to enjoy this quiet and charming beach with little to no distractions.
14. Coffee Bay, South Africa
The Coffee Bay in South Africa is another unique and stunning beach destination that is perfect for those who like to explore the hidden gems of nature and seek adventure wherever they go.
This South African beach offers its visitors spectacular views of cliffs, rocks, and its famous green hills extending as far as the eye can see.
The best way to explore this exotic beach is by taking a walk or hiking around the green hills that are surrounding the beach.
The best time to visit: The best months to visit Coffee Bay and enjoy a swim while surrounded by lush green hills is from January through April. This is when the temperature is at its best and there is a very small chance of rainfall.
15. Ipanema Beach, Brazil
You’ve probably already heard of this iconic place from the equally iconic song “The Girl from Ipanema.” However, what you may not already know about the Brazilian Ipanema Beach is that is one of the best places in the world for daytime activities playing volleyball and sunbathing as well as evening beach parties and gatherings.
With several cross-section eateries, chic boutiques, luxurious apartment buildings, and a buzzing lifestyle, this spectacular beach gives its visitors a taste of that colourful and bustling life in Rio.
Whether you are travelling alone, with your significant other, or with a group, this gorgeous Brazilian beach is guaranteed to make your beach vacation an unforgettable one.
The best time to visit: To enjoy Ipanema Beach at its best swimming and sunbathing weather, it is best to go during the months from January to May.
16. Zlanti Rat (Golden Horne or Golden Cape), Croatia
The Zlatni Rat, also known as the Golden Horn or the Golden Cape, is located on the southern coast of Brac Island about 2 kilometres west of the city of Bol.
This popular Croatian beach has a unique shape as a split of land that stretches out perpendicularly into the ocean for around half a kilometre.
The Zlanti Rat or the Golden Horne Beach is about 2 kilometres from the village centre, so you can easily go from the village to the beach on foot; the path is paved and equipped for walking. If you don’t feel like walking, you can always take a boat ride or catch the tourist train to get there faster and more conveniently.
The best time to visit: The best time to visit the Croatian Golden Cape is from the beginning of May to the end of October. During this time, the weather is at its best and there is lots of sun with very little rain.
Now that you know where all the best beaches are, the only thing left to do is pick out a place and start packing accordingly! Don’t forget to let us know where did you decide to go and how was it!