25 most beautiful beaches in the world

Travel editor David McGonigal sets his sights on the sea shore and creates the ultimate must-visit list for fans of tropical getaways. It is WYZA paradise found! Which one is your favourite?


Matira Beach, Bora Bora, French Polynesia

One of the few public beaches of Bora Bora, the beach has beautiful views across the lagoon and up to the mountains.

El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

At the northern end of Palawan, El Nido has some 50 beaches that are made more spectacular by their sandstone spires.

Plage de Tahiti St. Tropez, France

One of the most famous beaches in the south of France, the Plage de Tahiti was notorious in the 1960s as a popular nudist sunbathing spot. Whilst it’s rarer to find that there these days, the beach is still a chic destination popular with celebrities and the public alike.

Pink Sands Beach, Harbour Island, Bahamas

Broken up pink shells give the beaches of Harbour Island their distinctive pink hue.

The Beach of the Cathedrals, Ribadeo, Spain

The successive archways with a sandy beach underneath is a simply spectacular natural landscape to explore.

Whitehaven Beach, Queensland

Perfectly white sand and turquoise waters rightly make this one of Australia’s most renowned beaches.

(Image credit: Martin Valigursky /

South Beach Miami, Florida

Backed by some of the world’s most remarkable art deco hotels, South Beach is the US East Coast’s playground.

Boulders Beach, Cape Town

This beach has some pretty coves but the main draw card here is the resident population of African penguins. 

Maho Beach, Saint Martin

Although the place is often overcrowded, the beach is an experience in itself where real attraction lies overhead. The wheels of aircraft landing at nearby Princess Juliana International Airport are so close overhead they can almost brush the top of your beach umbrella.

Gold Harbour, South Georgia

The beach is black and the water is cold but the dense population of king penguins, fur seals and elephant seals all backed by hanging glaciers is exquisite.

Paradise Beach, Mykonos, Greece

The sand and social life combine to make this one of the most popular summer scenes in the Aegean and well worth the visit.

(Image credit: MevZup /

Glass Beaches near Fort Bragg, California

Located within MacKerricher State Park, this was a dumping ground until 1967. Today, three beaches are covered with multi-coloured glass that’s been polished smooth making it a spectacular scene under the glistening sun.

Jökulsárlón Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland

A slightly chillier shakeup from the warm sand of many others on this list, this black sand volcanic lagoon beach appears strewn with diamonds from the ice that washes onto it from a nearby glacier.