20 of the Best Beach Countries in the World
When you are living your best beach life the world is literally yours oyster. Not only are there so many different beaches around the world you can visit; there are also many different countries with wonderful beaches to go to as well. Outlined below is a list of 20 of the best beach countries in the world.
They are not in order of which ones are best. They are just a collection of great beach countries.
But we would recommend you put all these countries on your beach bucketlist!
Think of beach countries and the chances are Australia will pop into your head pretty quickly. The 6th largest country in the world in terms of landmass, Australia has around 35,877km.
In terms of beaches, it has well over 10,000 of them dotted along the coastline. Infact, Australia has so many beaches that if you visited a new one every day it would take you over 27 years to see them all!
From bustling city beaches like Surfer’s Paradise or Bondi to the idyllic tropical white sands of Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsunday Islands and Lucky Bay in Cape Le Grand National Park, Western Australia, there is a wide variety of beaches to suit all tastes.
Some like Cable Beach in WA or Lake Rhona in Tasmania are so long or remote you could quite easily spend all day there and not see anyone.
Others like Brighton Beach in Victoria or Main Beach in Noosa will lure you with iconic sights and fabulous amenities.
The best thing about Australia is whatever type of beach or beach destination you are looking for, you are sure to find it there.
With its 7,107 islands, the Philippines is not short of beautiful beaches too. Like Australia it offers a wide variety of different types of beaches. But it excels in tropical sandy beaches that are almost impossibly beautiful.
Some of the best of them are found at El Nido on Palawan Island, the gateway to the Bacuit archipelago. This is home to around 50 white sand beaches and some stunning coral reefs.
Surfers should head to Siargao island for its large waves and rich marine biodiversity. While other beaches of note can be found at Cebu, Southern Negros, Boracay and also Pagudpud.
The real beauty of the beaches in The Philippines is that they represent a much less discovered alternative to other South-East Asian destinations like Bali or Thailand.
So any visit here is sure to be a bit of a journey of discovery.
For many years the Dominican Republic has promoted itself under the slogan ‘The Dominican Republic has it all’.
In terms of beaches this is definitely too because the country can reasonably lay claim to being one of the most beautiful beach countries in the Caribbean.
Whether you are looking for one at an all-inclusive resort, on a secluded and untouched stretch of sand or just one with amazing scenery, the Dominican Republic has it.
On the north side of the island the coastline is dotted with numerous soft-sand beaches. Some of which are surfer havens and renown kiteboarding destinations. While others offer tranquil spots to swim and snorkel.
On the south side, around the Caribbean Coast, is a mix of powdery white sand and smooth pebble beaches.
Arguably the country’s best known region is Punta Cana on the far east end of the island – where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea. This is the country’s number one beach resort destination and it has an alluring combination of gorgeous beaches and all-inclusive luxury resorts.
The most beautiful stretch of beach in the Punta Cana area is undoubtedly Bávaro Beach.
Thailand is easily one of the best beach countries in the world. With its abundance of breathtaking coastline along both the Andaman Sea and Gulf Coast, as well as more than 1,400 islands and islets, there are plenty of world class beach spots to enjoy.
From the palm-fringed stretches in lush and exotic Koh Phi Phi to the popular shores of Phuket, the nation boasts many great beaches.
Some of the most famous, iconic and beautiful include Maya Bay on Koh Phi Phi, which was made famous by the blockbuster film ‘The Beach’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio’s footsteps. Here the soft white sands of a curved bay perfectly offset sparkling karst-studded waters, amidst a backdrop of dense jungle.
Others include the extremely photogenic Railay Beach on Krabi. A little slice of white-sand paradise that brings together the sparkling waters of the Andaman Sea and dramatic jagged cliffs and can only be reached by boat. As well as Freedom Beach, the crowning jewel on the island of Phuket and also Ao Manao. A beautiful beach close to Prachuap Khiri Khan town.
Spain, and in particular the Spanish Islands, has long been a tourist destination for lovers of the best beach countries. Especially from the UK and Scandinavia.
Known for its spectacular coastline, it is home to some of the best beaches in Europe. Whilst many of these also come with big holiday resorts, endless rows of greying hotels and drunken filled party exploits (which are great if they are your thing!) in terms of pure beach aesthetics there is so much more to offer here.
Check out the amazing cliff-edged landscapes and stunning emerald green waters around Asturias. Or the quaint beaches that can be found along the fishing towns that dot the 30-mile coastline at West Coast Cantabria.
Enjoy a desert-island-feel at Playa de Ses Illetes on the Balearic Islands and the crystal clear waters at Tamariu in Costa Brava. While the sand dunes along Playa del Ingles is definitely a must visit too.
One of the most romantic beach countries in the world, honeymooners flock to Fiji for its wide selection of picture-perfect landscapes of beautiful white sand, turquoise waters and stunning coral reefs.
Overall this tropical paradise boasts 333 islands and over 500 islets. So there are plenty of these types of beaches to explore.
Many of them come with excellent extras like the snorkeling adventure you can enjoy at Castaway Island. Or the gorgeous rocky headlands and swaying palms at Honeymoon Beach.
Other beaches of note include Horseshoe Bay, Cove Beach, Liku Beach, and Vatulele Island.
If you like your beaches to resemble a tropical paradise the Fiji is the beach destination for you.
South Africa is known for its very varied topography, great natural beauty, and cultural diversity. The Rainbow Nation is perhaps better known for its great game reserves and the Big 5 – the buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard and rhino – than its beaches. However, that is not to say it doesn’t have a number of stunning beaches of note. Many of which enjoy around 320 days of sunshine a year!
Whether it be the glitzy resorts and shimmering shores of Durban’s Golden Mile. The great family beach of soft golden sand lined with coconut palm trees at Margate. Cape Town’s swanky stretch of sand at Clifton Beach. Or secluded, unspoiled gems like Mdumbe Beach near Coffee Bay where dolphins splash about in the waves, South Africa offers up some truly marvellous beach experiences.
For something a little bit different visit Noetzie Beach. Located around 20 miles from Plettenberg is, this secluded getaway is only accessible by a gravel road and a steep climb down a flight of cliff-side steps. Once you get there you can stay at The Knysna Castles. A trio of castles that were built on the beach in the 1930s. Two of which allow you to stay and enjoy deluxe rustic accommodations in a turret high above the sea.
As a sub-tropical country all year round, it is always beach time in Cuba!
The country is home to a sprawling stretch of picturesque beaches that line both the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. These include beautiful white sandy beaches that are dotted with palm trees, shallow coastal waters and coral lagoons that are bursting with vibrancy. Cuba’s Spanish culture gives these beaches a fabulous sexy vibe.
While in Cuba check out the picturesque coastline at Varadero Beach. Also take the opportunity or explore the sensational lagoons that can be found east of the small island of Pinos.
Other beaches of note include Playa Giron, Varadero and also Playa Pilar.
Antigua is another one of those beach countries that offer a gorgeous romantic getaway.
This beautiful Leeward island is just 14 miles long by 11 miles wide. However it claims to have 365 beaches. One for every day of the year. (Now that is a challenge to set yourself. Visit a new Antiguan beach every day for a year!).
Pretty much all these powdery sand beaches offer a scintillating array of ‘wow’ settings. So its pretty hard to pick just one to visit.
Dickenson Bay, however, would be a great choice. As its mile of soft powder that slopes gently into calm, clear waters which are protected by the reef, are considered by many to be one of the country’s most beautiful beach.
Other beaches to visit include Galley Bay, a picture perfect place to see the sunset. Darkwood Beach, an idyllic spot that is less developed than those beaches found on the north coast, Fort James which is perfect for a quick visit if you are on a day stop off from a cruise ship and Hawksbill. A collection of four beaches, one of which Eden, is the only nudist beach on the island.
Given that Brazil takes up around half the landmass of the continent, much of which incorporates the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean, it is no surprise that many of South America’s beaches are contained within the country.
Packed full of glorious beaches, Brazil is a must inclusion in our list of 20 of the Best Beach Countries in the World that just has to be visited. Not least because it is home to the Copacabana.
Brazil’s most famous beach lies right in the heart of Rio de Janeiro. You won’t be alone here. This is the beach which draws world famous South American models, actors and sports stars. Along with many, many thousands of sun seeking, beach loving locals and holidaymakers. All keen to experience beach football, volleyball, surfing and thriving nightlife. But its definitely a must visit. Especially around New Year’s Eve when the entire 4km stretch of sand is packed with tens of thousands of people waiting to bring in the new year at midnight.
Ipanema Beach is the other famous beach in Rio. But if you would like to venture further afield, Praia do Sancho on the tropical island of Fernando de Noronha has regularly been awarded the title of Brazil’s top beach.
Other great beaches in Brazil include the wonderfully remote Praia do Espelho, located 15 miles from Trancoso in Bahia. The Lopes Mendes Beach in Ilha Grande which is located against the backdrop of two mountains and the Praia do Forno in Arraial do Cabo which is known as the ‘Beach of Angels’.
Scotland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. With a stunning collection of mountains, lakes and rivers that are rightly lauded as areas of the most exquisite natural beauty.
Against this backdrop it is easy to forget that Scotland also has some 6,160 miles of stark, rugged coastline. Included within are magnificent sandy beaches that can stand up to anything you will find in Australia, the Seychelles or Brazil.
Infact so good are the beaches in Scotland that if they had the great weather of the Mediterranean or Australasia, they would be over-run with tourists! So, all things considered, it is a bit of a blessing that it does not.
For the beaches of Scotland offer a different experience to what you will find in those regions. What they may lack in temperature, they certainly make up for in beauty, tranquility and uniqueness.
For instance, the small island of Iona, off the southwest coast of Mull in the Inner Hebrides is a mere 1.5 miles wide and 3 miles long. It only has a population of just 120 people. But these folk share their flat sandy beaches with some incredible wildlife likes seals, puffins, dolphins, whales and basking sharks.
Other blockbuster beaches in Scotland include Luskentyre Sands. Located on the Isle of Harris, it boasts miles of white sand and stunning green-blue water and was once named as one of the UK’s best beaches in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards.
For something a little different, Camusdarach beach in Morar, on the west coast of Scotland is famous for its stunning silver sands and crystal clear turquoise water.
While Traigh Lar on the Isle of Harris is an expansive beach that showcases tremendous views across to the Isle of Taransay and towards the Harris Hills.
At the north end of this beach, you will find the legendary standing stone of Clach MhicLeoid. Which is rumoured to have been erected around 5,000 years ago and is stunning sight that is distinctly Scottish.
From the historic shores of Normandy to the famed Plage de la Côte des Basques along the Bay of Biscay, France’s beaches are world famous.
Blessed with a coastline that borders the Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic Ocean and the English Channel, France has an amazing collection of beaches which offer something for everyone.
Ranging from expansive sandy beaches on the Atlantic Coast to deluxe beach resorts along the French Riviera, France’s best beaches also include an absolute beauty in Corsica and very trendy city beaches.
Some of the best of these beaches include Antibes beach, which features a picturesque peninsula that juts into the sea. As well as the Plages du Prado, the largest beach in Marseille.
Also the Pampelonne, with its 5km of white sandy beach and upmarket boho vibe in the famous Cote D’Azur resort of St Tropez, and also the Palombaggia.
A 2km stretch of soft sand beach, flanked by fragrant pines and the most stunning pink granite headlands – which actually lends a tinge of colour to the beach.
The Maldives is a shoo-in as one of the world’s best beach countries.
Well known as a luxury getaway destination it is the place where white sand beaches clear blue waters, diverse marine life and lush tropical flora exist in perfect harmony.
Sunseekers should head to Bikini Beach to top up their tan. While sunset lovers should take a cruise at Hulhumale’ Beach.
Those looking for a quieter escape should make their way to the beaches of Veligandu Island. While Reethi Beach in the Baa Atoll is a particular favourite honeymoon spot.
If you love of colorful marine life be sure to check out the beaches around Cocoa Island.
Whatever type of beach you prefer, the Maldives is definitely a country you need to add near the top of to your beach bucketlist.
Everyone knows Bali has some amazing beaches, and it is for this reason alone that Indonesia should make this list. But aside from the world-famous Bali beach destinations of Seminyak, Nusa Dua, Canggu and Jimbarran Bay, there are plenty more beaches in the country to visit.
One of the best of these is the amazing Pink Beach at Flores in the Komodo National Park. One of only 7 of its kind that can be found anywhere in the world the beach gets its soft pink colour from microscopic animals, called Foraminifer, which attach themselves to the coral reefs. When the tiny fragments of red coral mixes with white sand, it creates an amazing candy floss colour that is a joy to behold.
Another must visit is The Karimunjawa Islands. An archipelago of islands located in the Java sea, it features some of the whitest sand & clearest waters in the whole of Indonesia. As a recognized national marine park, you will also find an abundance of tropical marine life & flourishing coral reefs just a few metres below the surface.
Surfers should head to Mawi Beach in Lombok, where the waves are big enough for Pro-surfers to show off their skills. While those wishing to escape the hustle and bustle of Bali, without travelling too far away, should make their way to Kelingking Beach in Nusa Penida. Where the unique cliff formation a resembles the head of a T-Rex.
However, such is the diversity and beauty of Indonesia’s beaches that pretty much everyone you go to will leave your heart signing with happiness.
Any country that counts Florida, Hawaii and California among its states and territories can easily lay claim to being one of the best beach countries in the world.
Florida alone has 825 miles of beaches. Ranging from those that are powdery smooth and brilliantly white, to others that are hard-packed and dotted with a kaleidoscope of seashells. Daytona, Miami, Pensacola and Siesta are some the best to visit.
Hawaii too is rich with tropical landscapes. Here they have pristine ocean waters surrounded by lush foliage in Maui, Kauai and Lanai. As well as remote and isolated beaches, black sand beaches and some of the most dramatic coastline beaches anywhere in the world. Too many to mention infact!
Likewise, California is jam packed with every kind of beaches you can image. All the way from San Diego, to Venice Beach and Santa Monica Beach, past Monterey and Pismo Beach up to the gorgeous beaches of Ross Cove and Rodeo Beach in the northern part of the state.
However outside of these three states, the USA has a number of other great beach destinations too. Coast Guard Beach at Cape Cod in Massachusetts is one place you definitely should visit. Along with Cannon Beach in Oregon too.
Coligny Beach in South Carolina is another one you should try and get too. Whilst the beaches at The Hamptons are also a must to check out.
The list infact is endless.
But suffice to say, if you love the beach, you should make every effort to spend some quality time at them in the USA.
The Seychelles is top of many people’s beach bucketlists. Justifiably regarded as one of the best beach countries in the world.
As an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, off East Africa, The Seychelles is easily one of the most beautiful destinations in the world, located amidst the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, it is famed for its secluded, idyllic beaches.
Head to the northern island of Praslin which possesses some of the most beautiful shorelines you will ever see. We’re talking pure, snow white sand and gently swaying coconut palm trees.
Such paradisical locations can be found at Anse Intendance. An unspoiled natural wonder. As well as Anse Lazio which is beloved for its picture perfect landscapes.
Also Anse Source D’Argent is lauded for its idyllic blue waters.
Once you have visited these three locations, you will be very hard pressed to want to leave.
If it is beach you want then look no further than Greece. And in particular the Greek Islands.
The Mediterranean has a magnetic charm, especially around Greece, where the warm waters range in colour from turquoise and emerald to various shades of darker blue. This makes for some gorgeous beach settings when offset with the magnificent topography of the country.
There are so many beaches to visit that it is almost impossible to come up with a definitive list of the best. But you should head to Mykonos to enjoy the crystal waters and golden sand at the Super Paradise Beach. Also a visit to Zakynthos to see the famous Navagio Beach (Shipwreck Beach as some call it) is highly recommended.
Milos offers the opportunity to sunbath amongst milky white volcanic rocks at Sarakiniko Beach, while the Perissa Black Sand Beach with its volcanic nature in Santorini is a wonderful sight to see.
Other beaches of note include Mylopotas Beach in Ios, Plaka Beach in Naxos, Mytros Beach in Kefalonia and also Kamares Beach in Sifnos. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Whatever you are looking for in your perfect beach, it is a surefire bet that you will find something close to it in Greece.
Malaysia may live in the shadow of fellow South-East Asian neighbours like Thailand and Indonesia. But it does have a wide range of scintillating beaches within its 4675 miles of coastline.
Whether it be the cosmopolitan allure of Penang. The hippie vibes of the Perhentians. The hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpar. Or the tranquility of Pulau Pangkor. Malaysia’s beach charms are in their wide variety.
The east coast of Peninsular Malaysia is pretty much one continuous sandy beach from Kota Bharu to Kuala Terengganu and on to Kuantan. So, you won’t be disappointed at any of the ones you visit here.
Elsewhere luxury travellers should head to Tioman or Langkawi where many high-profile resorts reside on its sandy shores.
Penang some beautiful beaches including the famous Batu Ferringhi. And Port Dickson is the closest and most popular sandy beach to Kuala Lumpur. But if you really want a fabulous beach experience head off to the islands.
Pasir Panjang in Redang, Rawa Island in Mersing, Kapas Island in Terengganu and Juara Beach in Tioman are notable highlights.
While Mataking Island, just off the east coast of Sabah in Malaysian Borneo and Coral Beach in Pangkor are pretty spectacular too.
Like Scotland, England too can be considered one of the best beach countries in the world. It has, after all, some amazing beaches along its stunning coastline.
Many of them are located in the West country including Fistral Beach in Cornwall, Bournemouth Beach in Dorset, Woolacombe Beach in Devon and Brean Beach in Somerset.
However over in Sussex, Camber Sands and Brighton well worth visiting too.
Further afield Holkham Beach in Norfolk is where the beach scene from ‘Shakespeare in Love’ was filmed. It is easily one of the prettiest beaches in the UK. While Whitby Beach in Yorkshire is a great beach for surfing, kite flying and fossil hunting.
Bamburg Castle Beach in Northumberland is a rugged stretch of coast that is overlooking by an imperious Norman-era castle and Blackpool Beach in Lancashire has a magnificent pier, tower and pleasure beach amusement park.
For something a little more unique, when in London be sure to check out the Ruislip Lido. A 700 acre woodland nature reserve which is home to a gorgeous natural lake and genuine sandy beach.
Mexico is a major beach destination and definitely worthy of inclusion in this list of 20 of the Best Beach Countries in the World. While it might not have that many beaches to speak of – only around 500 – what it lacks in numbers it more than makes up for in aesthetics.
Spanning the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf of California, and the Caribbean Sea the beaches in Mexico will take your breath away and steal your heart.
They cater to a wide range of tastes. From party goers to honeymooners, adventure seekers to those seeking to get away from it, there is something here for everyone.
Famous for its Mayan ruins from the 13th century, Tulum beach is a must for all history buffs. While Sayulita is a fantastic and fun beach town with a relaxed surfer vibe.
Yelapa is a sleepy beach town (which can only be accessed by boat) that has a wonderful beach. It is located an hour south of Puerto Vallarta. At the other end of the scale Cabo San Lucas is a vibrant, popular destination with funky shops and restaurants as well as a great beach.
The Playa del Carmen is another must visit. And if you can afford it Cancun Beach with its parade of 5-star luxury resorts, great sand and swimming is well worth the expense.
For something a little bit different Akumal Beach, which translates to ‘Place of Turtles’, is a favorite place for large sea turtles to come and lay their eggs. While Isla Holbox is a small island located just three hours from Cancun. Some people call it the best-kept secret of the Yutacan peninsula. On account of its deserted beaches, laid-back atmosphere, and shallow waters.
Which of our list of 20 of the Best Beach Countries in the World excites you the most?
Which one would you most like to visit?