We all know the ‘holiday starts here’ feeling. It usually comes the first time you settle down on the beach, cold drink in hand; the warmth of the sunshine and the sound of the waves make real life seem so far away, and you start to idly wonder if you could just stay forever. Maybe you’ve already got your first beach holiday of 2017 coming up soon, but in case you haven’t, we’ve put together a photo tour of some of the world’s dreamiest beaches. Enjoy…
Ko Phi Phi is one of Thailand’s most popular tourist spots, attracting backpacking budget travellers and 5-star luxury seekers in equal numbers. The white sand beaches are slices of paradise, but the spectacular limestone cliffs, caves and coral reefs make it more than your average beach destination. While all the hotels are on the largest of the islands, Ko Phi Phi Don, there are several smaller islands you can visit on day trips including Ko Phi Phi Leh, which was used as a filming location for Leonardo DiCaprio film The Beach.
Bahia de las Aguilas is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, an 8km stretch of white sand in a National Park. This beach’s main attraction is its remote location, tucked away in the Dominican Republic’s south west corner and only accessible by boat or 4-wheel drive. It’s quite a journey to make but worth it; while all the beaches close to the main resorts are busy, Bahia de las Aguilas has a real desert island vibe and chances are you’ll be the only one there.
Comino is the smallest island of the Malta archipelago, car-free and almost uninhabited except for one hotel and a handful of locals. The Blue Lagoon is what brings the tourists from Malta and Gozo, a small inlet with impossibly clear water where guests can swim, snorkel or sunbathe on the rocks. Its sheltered position makes it almost a natural swimming pool, safe for small children and weak swimmers.
Praia da Marinha near Albufeira is the Algarve's most photographed and recognisable beach! The distinctive rocky cliffs and limestone columns make for great photo opportunities, and the clear blue water means it’s a popular spot for snorkelling. The beach is accessed via a steep staircase, but as long as everyone in your group can travel on foot it’s a manageable climb, and once you’ve reached the bottom the steep cliffs make you feel hidden from the world.
Zlatni Rat – which translates as ‘Golden Horn’ – has to be one of the world’s most distinctive beaches. This v-shaped stretch of pebbles on Brac is the go-to postcard photo for the whole island, and the trees that sit in the middle of it continue along the coastline on either side of the beach to provide lovely scenic views when standing on the beach. Fun fact: the shape of the beach is known to change slightly depending on the wind and currents.
The Maldives is a dream destination for beach bums – each island has only one hotel resort on it so you’ll never feel crowded out. Each resort is designed to provide a luxury experience, with hotels offering indulgent extras like private hot tubs, personal butlers and romantic dining on the beach. This particular photo was taken at the Shangri-La Resort & Spa on Villingili Island, which has a spa, a selection of private dining locations and luxurious bungalows sitting over the water.
The smallest of the Balearic Islands is a popular day trip from the ferry port at Ibiza Town, but once you arrive it’s hard to believe that the busy town is so close. Formentera’s deserted beaches feel a million miles away from the crowded resorts of Ibiza, and the wooden beach bars just add to the island’s rustic charm. The island is also a great place for watersports like windsurfing, parasailing and paddle boarding.
While not technically a beach, it was impossible to leave the cenotes of Yucatan off this list. These sinkholes create natural pools in the ground that are hidden from view on the surface. The most well-known is Ik Kil, close to Chichen Itza and a popular stop for tour buses. The pool is around 60 metres wide and 40 metres deep, with a staircase carved into the rock to allow access and platforms where swimmers can jump into the water.
Is this the world’s most beautiful beach? Many would say so – it’s been used as a location for countless films, TV shows and adverts due to its picture perfect palm trees and trademark granite boulders. The water is shallow and incredibly clear, and in the evenings it becomes a fantastic place from which to watch the sunset. At first glance the powdery sand looks white, but the beach is actually a pale shade of pink.
Feeling inspired? Search for beach holidays today and find your perfect spot.
Published on 5th April 2016
Published on 17th January 2023
Published on 3rd May 2016