There are thousands of beautiful beaches all over the world, each of them uniquely perfect in their own way – making it incredibly difficult to choose which ones to visit. While some have the sought-after white sand beaches and sparkling blue waters, others have the best water sports activities you could find, and some are perfect for wildlife lovers looking to catch a glimpse of remote animals in their natural habitats.
It’s practically impossible to visit every beach on the planet, so we’ve rounded up the 5 best that you absolutely have to make sure are in your bucket lists.
The Best for Activity Lovers: Long Beach, Phu Quoc, Vietnam
The largest island in Vietnam, it’s no wonder the beaches in Phu Quoc have a lot going on. By far the most famous beach on the island, Long Beach is exactly that – long, and it’s full of different activities to please every type of traveller. The beach itself is fantastic to sunbathe and paddle in the sea, being a big hit with photographers and sunset lovers as well thanks to its natural beauty, and the waters here are the perfect temperament for a number of different water sports: snorkelling, kayaking, jet skiing, stand-up paddle boarding, and even squid fishing. Plus, there are a number of hiking routes nearby, as well as beach bars and restaurants to recharge and enjoy the views. A must visit on a trip to Vietnam.
The Best for Whale Watching: Kalpitiya Beach, Sri Lanka
Kalpitiya is famous for the whales that visit its shores. Head out for an early morning boat trip as early as 7am to spot a number of incredible sea animals, such as spinner dolphins, sperm whales, and even the rare humpback dolphin can be spotted between February and March. The beach itself makes the journey across worth it even if you don’t manage to spot any whales; calm seas and golden sand lend themselves to an enjoyable, relaxing day sunbathing and paddling.
The Wow Factor One: Greenfield Beach, Australia
Greenfield Beach is, quite honestly, truly stunning. From the long sweeping white sand beaches and calm, crystal clear waters, to the grassy foreshore lending the beach a fairy-tale, paradisal feel, it’s a must see during any trip to Australia. Approximately 3 hours from Sydney, the beach is just north of Hyams Beach where tourists tend to typically gravitate towards – which means Greenfield is usually deserted. This remote atmosphere is only helped by the gum tree forest lining the edges of the coastline, and the sweeping sandstone cliff. With a number of walking tracks to boot, it’s the perfect spot to spend an afternoon with a beach BBQ, watching the birds and wildlife in their natural habitats.
The Family Friendly One: Playa Flamingo, Costa Rica
If you’re a family looking for the perfect trip to Costa Rica, then Playa Flamingo is the one for you. A world away from the backpacker atmosphere, Playa Flamingo has created a reputation for itself as one of the most family-friendly beaches in the country. Not a single hostel in sight, the rolling hills are dotted with luxury condos, all just minutes from the beach. The sweeping slopes of the beach coupled with its western facing placement on the island means it’s the scene of spectacular sunsets, with a number of beachfront restaurants where travellers can enjoy the view while simultaneously enjoying some fine dining. Plus, it’s a great spot for scuba diving, sportfishing, and sailing.
The Best for History: Tarkarli, Maharashtra, India
The best beaches in India are typically associated with Goa, but these are so popular it’s impossible to sit back, relax, and enjoy them. That’s why it’s best to escape the tourist trap and head to Maharashtra, just a few hours’ drive northwest of Goa and home to the same sweeping white sands and beautiful blue waters. The true selling point of Tarkarli beach, however, is the number of traditional, bustling villages and ancient monuments that dot the area. From the Sindhudurg Fort with its views across the Arabian Sea from the 17th century stone walls, to the ancient sea forts all through the area, it’s a cultural treasure trove.