Not everyone is a beach person—that, we accept. But this list? Well, we’re pretty certain you’ll find at least one to your liking. From the most otherworldly of limestone shores to red beaches framed by soaring cliffs of lava rock, our earth is home to some pretty spectacular seascapes. Scroll now to see 14 worthy of fame and breathless wonder.
Framed by towering granite boulders that look like a Flintstones set, Anse Source d’Argent in La Digue, an inhabited island of the Seychelles, is otherworldly stunning. Sheltered by reef, the shimmering waters are calm and peaceful.
Located on the coast of Realmonte, Italy, Scala dei Turchi is known for its impressive limestone rock formations. Beachgoers can scale the surface of the rock (Scala dei Turchi translates to “stair of the Turks” due to its stair-like form) or enjoy its two surrounding sandy beaches.
Verdant greens of surrounding native plants and the cerulean ocean water make the shock of this beach’s ebony shores—made of smoothed pieces of black lava pebbles—all the more striking. Located in the Wai'anapanapa State Park in Hana, Maui, Honokalani is set among lava cliffs and perfectly hikeable.
Regarded by many to be the best beach in the world, Baía do Sancho is located on an island archipelago to the northeast of mainland Brazil. Only accessible by boat, Baía do Sancho is extremely secluded and known for its lush surroundings, sparkling blue-green waters, and coral reefs.
Located on Ponza, the largest island in the Pontine archipelago, Chiaia di Luna is a geographic gem—a narrow arc of sand beneath a towering volcanic wall shaped like a crescent moon. The teal Mediterranean Sea is regularly dotted with small boats for added picturesque impact. It’s currently closed due to falling rock but remains one of the greats.
Only accessible by boat, Whitehaven Beach is known for its dayglow aqua waters and pristine white sand, made supremely bright due to its pure silica composition. Aerial views of the beauty reveal a marbleized work of swirling ivory and ombré blue.
Like a little ancient history with your afternoon sun? This Tulum beach is like none other. Looming over the beach, tilting over the bluff, and facing the sun is El Castillo, ruins of the Riviera Maya, the only of their kind located on the beaches of the Caribbean.
Three walls of 300-foot-high cliffs of grey and green shelter the intoxicatingly aquamarine waters of this beautiful bay. The Beach was filmed here, which should tip you off to its magical paradise-lost appeal.
Located 80 miles west of Portland, Cannon Beach is a striking piece of coastline, its massive rock formations—including the 235-foot Haystack Rock and the surrounding “Needles”—peeking out from the sand and sea spray.
Located in the 18-mile-long French Polynesian island of Bora Bora is Matira Beach, a picturesque example of white sandy shores and shallow cyan waters backed by sloping palms. Do a quick Google Image search for this one and you’ll think you’re looking at the stuff of computer desktop backgrounds—it encapsulates the apex of idyllic beaches.
Accessible only by swim from an offshore boat or the neighbouring Kalalau Beach, Honopu (also known as Cathedral Beach) is sacred due to its history as spiritual and ceremonial grounds. Crowned by 1200-foot sea cliffs of the Na Pali Coast and the famed Honopu Arch, Honopu is secluded and awe-inspiring.
The vibrant red sands on this Santorini beach are a result of the black-and-red lava rocks from the volcanic activity of Thira, dating back to 1450 BC. The cerulean waters of the Mediterranean set at the base of giant red lava cliffs make this beach a remarkable sight.
As if the bright turquoise waters of the El Nido beaches weren’t beautiful enough, you have the dramatic limestone formations and lush vegetation to make them all the more singular and spectacular. Despite the next-level beauty, Palawan still remains blissfully below the radar. Go while it still is.
Harbour Island in the Bahamas is home to a beach of soft pink sand stretching on for some three-plus miles. Composed of bits of finely crushed coral, shells, rocks, and calcium carbonate from tiny sea creatures, the pink hue is a colour-lover’s dream when juxtaposed with the frothy aqua waves that meet the rosy shoreline.
Scroll to shop some of our favourite beach essentials.
Serena & Lily Pinstriped Fouta Beach Towel ($48 and up)
Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Defence SPF 30 ($38)
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