Beaches are great. The sun, the sand, the sea just waiting for you to dive in—what’s not to love? Well, it turns out that not all beaches are created equal so it’s important that you know which are the best so you can plan your next beach holiday accordingly.
While we consider ourselves pretty well-versed in the world of beaches (and specifically, judging them), in this case FlightNetwork has done all the hard work for us. They’ve surveyed over 600 travel journalists, bloggers, agencies and brands to create their definitive ranking of The World’s 50 Best Beaches©, taking into account untouched beauty, remoteness, sand and water quality, average temperature and how much sunshine they get each day.
Here are the top 10 best beaches to put on your travel bucket list right now.
1. Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos
Coming in hot at number one (and at an average annual temperature of 29 degrees Celsius) is Grace Bay. Turks and Caicos have countless beautiful beaches but this one is the best thanks to 319 days of sunshine a year and 10/10 for untouched beauty, sand and water quality. It’s perfect for anyone who loves relaxing in the ocean rather than surfing the waves.
2. Whitehaven Beach, Australia
Australia appears a few times on this list, which is hardly surprising given the sheer size of the country’s it has and how consistently great the weather is year ‘round. Whitehaven Beach is on the Great Barrier Reef and this heavenly spot scored 10/10 for beauty, remoteness, and sand and water quality. Sadly (LOL), it only has an average temperature of 27 degrees (gasp) and 292 days of sunshine per year. Up your game Whitehaven.
3. Anse Lazio, Seychelles
This tropical paradise has an average water temperature of 27 degrees Celsius (on the sand it’s 29 degrees) so it’s perfect for anyone who only likes to swim when the water is warm. Considering it’s off the East coast of Africa, Anse Lazio scored a 7/10 for remoteness. It is a popular beach and we can see why.
Read More: 12 of the world’s best surfing beaches
4. Pink Sands Beach, Bahamas
PINK SAND! This beach is pastel pink and deserves its 10/10 score for sand and water quality. The Bahamas are dreamy and this 5km stretch of beach is like something out of a fairy tale.
5. Navagio Beach, Greece
The views of Navagio Beach (also known as Shipwreck Beach) on the small Ionian island of Zakynthos are iconic. The sheer white cliffs surrounding the tranquil bay are incredibly popular on Instagram. The average temperature is a cooler 19 degrees which may be why people prefer the view from above than in the water, but there’s no denying it’s a gorgeous place to visit.
6. Baia Dos Porcos, Brazil
You may know Baia Dos Porcos by another name, Bay of Pigs. Yep, this is the unique beach where you can swim in turquoise waters with pigs! There is a lot of wildlife here including turtles and it’s a great place to explore 258 days a year (that’s when it’s sunny).
7. Playa Paraiso, Mexico
This beach’s name literally translates to Paradise Beach and one look at the pure white sands and azure waters will tell you why. The average temperature is 20 degrees Celsius, which is slightly cooler than others on this list, but the water is 21 degrees and no one can complain about that.
8. Hyams Beach, Australia
On the South Coast of NSW is a place called Jervis Bay and to say this spot is popular with Aussies would be an understatement. Hyams Beach may only have an average annual temperature of 17 degrees and 251 days of sunshine, but it’s a great place to explore all year ‘round thanks to plenty of hikes nearby. According to the Guinness Book of Records it has the whitest sand in the world.
9. Hidden Beach, Mexico
This hidden oasis lies on the island of Marietas off the coast of Puerto Vallarta. As the name suggests, finding your way to this beach requires a bit of know-how, since the only way to get to the beach is to swim or kayak through a natural tunnel. Once inside you’ll see the cavern is open at the top, creating a perfectly sunny and sheltered beach. The beach cave was created by Mexican forces practicing bombing tactics during World War I and only has space for a few people at a time (so it’s perfect for privacy lovers if you’re lucky enough to find it empty).
10. Trunk Bay, US Virgin Islands
The water at Trunk Bay is clear, the sand is soft and the scenery is jaw dropping. This island gem has a 205-metre snorkelling trail just waiting to be discovered and plenty of beach space for everyone. The beach has been protected since it was donated to the National Park Service over 50 years ago, so expect this beach to stay perfect for years to come.