The Remotest Beaches in the World (and How to Get There)

Updated 02/05/18

Those who love traveling for adventure share an indescribable yearning to explore the unknown. Perhaps this infatuation is best summed up by Leonardo DiCaprio's character in The Beach: "Trust me, it's paradise. This is where the hungry come to feed. For mine is the generation that travels the globe and searches for something we haven't tried before. So never refuse an invitation. Never resist the unfamiliar."

If you share the same desire to get off the grid, there are a few secluded beaches that offer an idyllic escape—minus the dystopian plot twist. From swirling sandbanks in Australia to sun-bleached shipwrecks in Greece, the remotest beaches in the world deliver everything a traveler could want (and more).

Steyaert Didier/500px

Navagio Beach, Greece

The Beach: Known as Smuggler's Cove, Shipwreck Beach, or Navagio Beach, this exposed cove is located on the Greek island Zakynthos.

The Adventure: While it's one of the most iconic beaches in Greece, reaching this idyllic cove isn't easy. The remote beach can only be accessed by boats which are organized via tour companies in the main town. Be sure to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and beach supplies, as there are no shops on the stretch of sand. Travelers usually stay for an hour or so as part of a stop-off on a bigger beach-hopping trip.

500px

Navagio Beach, Greece

The Itinerary: The island of Zakynthos is a 45-minute flight from Athens or a short ferry ride from neighboring islands. While you're in Greece, extend your itinerary to include Kefalonia and Lefkada, two other stunning beach locales in the Ionian Islands.

Markus Koch/ 500px

Whitehaven Beach, Australia

The Beach: Australia's Whitehaven Beach often tops lists of the most beautiful places in the world—and for good reason. The four-mile stretch of white sand looks like someone raked their fingers along the coast to create swirling sandbars and azure shallows.

The Adventure: This secluded spot can only be reached by boat, seaplane, or helicopter, the latter two of which offer awe-inspiring aerial views. It's located on Whitsunday Island, which is one of 74 islands in the Whitsundays region.

Aanarav Sareen/ 500px

Whitehaven Beach, Australia

The Itinerary: Unless you have a private yacht, most visitors venture to Whitehaven Beach as part of an organized tour. Make sure your trip includes all the major attractions: Hamilton Island, a crocodile safari, and sandbar picnic.

Ibo Island

Quirimbas Archipelago, Mozambique

The Beach: Quirimbas Archipelago is a collection of unspoiled secluded beaches that are often described as one of the region's best-kept secrets. Forbes describes nearby Ibo Island as "a lost world on the edge of nowhere." It's also home to one of the most ancient settlements in Mozambique.

The Adventure: Check in to Ibo Island Lodge, an award-winning resort that offers safaris (on traditional dhow boats, no less), kayaking, and cultural trips of the island.

Ibo Island

Quirimbas Archipelago, Mozambique

The Itinerary: Be sure to explore Ibo Island before taking to the water. The archipelago's capital has a fascinating history, which Lonely Planet points out is now a "bubbling blend of Portuguese, Swahili, Indian and African cultures; Ibo feels as though it fell into a stupor in the 1850s and has yet to awaken."

Many of the beaches in the area are tidal and change or disappear completely as the water rises and recedes. You might even get a glimpse of whales and dugongs during your boat trip from the coral reefs to the mangroves.

Fashion Me Now; PICTURED: Song Saa Private Island

Koh Rong Samloem, Cambodia

The Beach: A favorite among backpackers and divers, Koh Rong Samloem is a small island off the coast of Sihanoukville, Cambodia. It's home to some of the best white-sand beaches in Cambodia, many of which are shallow and calm with crystal-clear water and palm tree–lined bays.

The Adventure: It's not easy getting to this tiny patch of paradise, but it's certainly worth it. A flight from the U.S. west coast to capital Phnom Penh takes over 19 hours, and once you reach Sihanoukville, the island is a short boat ride away.

Fashion Me Now; PICTURED: Song Saa Private Island

Koh Rong Samloem, Cambodia

The Itinerary: Want to relax before exploring? Check in to nearby Song Saa Private Island, an exquisite resort with Maldives-style overwater bungalows and unbeatable views.

Andi Line

Les Sables Roses, French Polynesia

The Beach: One of the top-rated beaches in Fakarava, an atoll in French Polynesia, this pink-sand spot is as beautiful as it is remote.

The Adventure: Accessible only by lagoon-excursion boats, you'll likely have the azure water and rose-colored sand to yourself. Getting to French Polynesia, though, is the tough part. For example, a direct flight from Los Angeles to the capital Papeete takes about eight hours, which is then followed by another flight to jump across to Fakarava.

DEA/ Getty Images

Les Sables Roses, French Polynesia

The Itinerary: Be sure to atoll-hop while you're in French Polynesia. Nearby Bora Bora is a must for honeymooners—check out St Regis Bora Bora and Le Méridien for stunning overwater bungalows. Mo'orea is another great stop for those who love hiking.

Fiona Mcrae/500px

Luskentyre Beach, Scotland

The Beach: You might not normally associate Scotland with world-class beaches, but Luskentyre Beach breaks the mold. One of the largest and most spectacular beaches on Harris, this spot was named one of the UK's best beaches in the TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Awards.

The Adventure: You can fly direct from the U.S. east coast to Stornoway Airport, and then get a ride to Harris (about an hour away). The beach can also be accessed via a ferry ride from nearby Skye.

Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Luskentyre Beach, Scotland

The Itinerary: Scotland has so much more to offer than secluded, zen beaches. While you're in Harris, spot the puffin colonies, indulge in locally caught seafood, and take a boat trip to see minke whales and orcas.

Fabian Ebi/ 500px

Bay of Fires, Australia

The Beach: Bay of Fires isn't actually a single beach—it's a string of beaches in Tasmania, an island off mainland Australia. The landscape is what makes this spot truly unique. Here, round boulders dot the shoreline, which is fringed by the Australian bush.

The Adventure: The best way to explore the region is via the Bay of Fires Lodge Walk, a multi-day adventure that'll take you through the national park, across secluded dunes and into dense eucalypt forests.

Art House Bay of Fires

Bay of Fires, Australia

The Itinerary: Check in to Bay of Fires Lodge, an award-winning eco-hotel perched on a hilltop. It's the only building on 12 miles of rugged coastal wilderness.

We the People

Cala Varques, Mallorca

The Beach: There's no shortage of stellar beaches on the Spanish island of Mallorca, but Barcelona local Jessie Bush of We the People says Cala Varques is one of her favorites. "We spent two full days exploring the rocky terrain and leaping into the unbelievably clear waters sans swimwear!" she says. "It's hands down one my favorite beaches in the world."

The Adventure: It's definitely off the beaten track, she cautions. "From the main road, it's about 10 minutes drive down a beat-up path. At the end, you'll find a locked gate pushed open just enough for a person to squeeze through. Once you're on the other side, walk another 10 minutes or so through the forest until you reach the beach."

We the People

Cala Varques, Mallorca

The Itinerary: There are enough sun-drenched beaches on Mallorca to keep you busy for days. A few of Bush's other favorites: Cala Anguila for ramshackle beach bars and spacious stretches of sand, Cala Sa Nau for diving off rocks, and Cala Llombards for plush sun loungers and restaurants.

Alternatively, venture into neighboring island Menorca and follow Bush's guide to the best cafés, hotels, and boutiques.

Related Stories