From Africa To South East Asia, Check Out The Best Beaches In The World Across The Continents.
Article Updated September 2018
With 71% of the world’s surface covered in water, there is certainly is no shortage of stunning beaches. Whilst the nominations for the best beaches in the world are almost endless. Here however is a list collated by Instagram travellers who have voyaged far wide in search of the most pristine coastlines. Here are the top 12 best beaches in the world, which I’m sure you’ll agree make for some of the most gorgeous places on earth.
USEFUL TRAVEL TIPS
- #01 – KAILUA BEACH, OAHU, HAWAII
- #02 – MAYA BAY BEACH, KOH PHI PHI, THAILAND
- #03 – TULUM BEACH, QUINTANA ROO, MEXICO
- #04 – KAPUTAS BEACH, ANTALYA, TURKEY
- #05 – PHRANANG CAVE BEACH, AO NANG, THAILAND
- #06 – CAPE LEVEQUE, BROOME, AUSTRALIA
- #07 -ARASHI BEACH, PALMBEACH, ARUBA
- #08 –AJUY BEACH, FUERTEVENTURA, CANARY ISLAND
- #09 –AN BANG BEACH, HOI AN, VIETNAM
- #10 – SANTA MONICA BEACH, BOA VISTA, CAPE VERDE
- #11 – EL NIDO, PALAWAN, PHILIPPINES
- #12 – WHITEHAVEN BEACH, WHITSUNDAY ISLANDS, AUSTRALIA
#01 – KAILUA BEACH, OAHU, HAWAII
Instagram Follow: @jerilynn_89
This is Kailua Beach on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. As a profession, I am a travel nurse whilst I’m a travel enthusiast during my free time. I have been to beaches all over the world. While on assignment in Hawaii, I was on a mission to find the best beach on the island; little did I know, I would find the happiest, most serene place I have ever been. The water is so clear you can see your feet while waist deep, the crowds are slim to none, the tides are rarely too crazy, the water temperature is perfect, and the vibe of the beach can make even a non-believer feel spiritual.
There is even an occasional green sea turtle and dolphin that will cruise around next to you! This picture makes me instantly go back to this spot where I felt nothing but pure happiness and gratitude. I truly believe this beach has spiritual healing powers, and the Hawaiian locals know it and protect it. Whatever my future holds, I know that I can travel here again and these waters will heal me.
Family Globetrotters absolutely love Kailua Beach. It is very family friendly with convenient parking facilities. We especially love this beach as the community of Kailua have banded together to make the area free of commercial vehicles. So as a result of that you won’t find bus loads of tourists.
Whilst you are there however, do make sure you visit its sister beach, Lanikai. Lanikai Beach for many Hawaiians is considered to be the best beach in the world. And we can tell you they weren’t far off!
#02 – MAYA BAY BEACH, KOH PHI PHI, THAILAND
Instagram Follow: @michelle.devine93
Photo was taken at Maya Bay Beach, of Koh Phi Phi in Thailand- by far the most amazing views (minus Leonardo DiCaprio)! Best time to go is as early as possible as it is very touristy and the earlier you go the better the photo opportunity!
I met a group of friends from the UK, NYC, and Australia when I was here and it was fabulous! We even did the sleeper boat experience and got to toast marshmallows on the beach once everyone disappeared.
#03 – TULUM BEACH, QUINTANA ROO, MEXICO
Instagram Follow: @globebeyondyourself
We explored the Mayan Ruins in Tulum for my best friend’s epic bachelorette getaway! #cincochicas. This ancient site brings together rich history and the ruins are perched cliff-side, overlooking beautiful views of the Caribbean Sea. Who can beat the white sand and crystal clear waters of Tulum Beach; a perfect bohemian beach destination for all.
After walking around this popular archaeological site for 30 minutes, we made it to Tulum Beach but didn’t stay long since we couldn’t bear the heat any longer and didn’t think to bring our swim suits! While it was also super windy at the edge of the cliff, overlooking the beach, we took some shots and headed out. All of our pictures are funny with hair blowing everywhere and while you may not be able to tell, we were sweating so much. I wish we had more time here, the views were beautiful.
#04 – KAPUTAS BEACH, ANTALYA, TURKEY
Instagram Follow: @donnatts
Everything worth living requires an effort and reaching this hidden gem on Turkey’s coasts was definitely an epic adventure! During a very hot day in June, after six and a half hours’ bus ride, from Pamukkale to Antalya, a shuttle drive to Kas town, a local bus ride to the beach and 186 steps later, I finally made it. I was there, in that shore I first discovered on Pinterest months ago.
Kaputas is a hidden beach, located around 8km away from Kas, one of the main beach cities of Antalya Province, Turkey. I love this beach not only for its crystal blue water, quiet and small, almost private bay, but also for its white sand and little gorgeous pebbles. I was about to faint between the heat and the tiredness, but I read this encouraging stencil written on one of the first steps of that infinite stairway you must cross to arrive. It said, in dark blue: “In Pursuit of Magic”. And there I was, under Kaputas spell, anxious about making it to the sea and refresh myself. And suddenly, while the water splashed my skin and the sun hit my face stealing me a joyful smile, I knew at that time, I became a magician.
#05 – PHRANANG CAVE BEACH, AO NANG, THAILAND
Instagram Follow: @poisedtotravel
I love Thailand in many ways. It has the perfect combination of relaxation and adventure. With the help of jet lag, I woke up wide-eyed to twinkling stars and a yearning for the beach. Krabi town has friendly locals who offer long-tail boat rides to Railay Beach, and they do not disappoint. The cooling sea breeze perfectly complimented the warm sun, as the sea splashed little drops onto my cheeks. When I opened my eyes, the views of the dense jungle transformed into the iconic towering cliffs, serene waves, and emerald water of Thailand. The cliffs were spotted with rock climbers enjoying challenging paths while other adrenaline junkies cliff dived at the local’s favorite diving spot.
The gold sand of East Railay Beach felt warm and I followed signs to Phranang Cave Beach. Here is where nature is Queen. Cheeky monkeys run free, teal lizards softly hiss, and tiny fishes welcome you as you wade through the water. History lovers visit the former Thai princess’s love shrine while hikers climb high for scenic views of the nearby lagoon. Finally, relaxing, I leaned back in the water, closed my eyes, and was struck by a soft drop. One drop turned to three, which turned to nine, 81, until everything was covered in a light sprinkle. The sun shone strong and I was happy to experience the elusive sun shower while spending my time at the most surreal beach ever.
I love Thailand’s beaches, its nature, its friendliness, but above all, its magic. Sensing that the sun was setting fast, I headed over to the resort restaurant and beachside massage laden West Railay Beach. I was graced with luck again, as I caught the last long-tail boat to the beachside town of Ao Nang. The best part of it all? It was just in time for the sunset. Time to see the stars again.Check out some of The Most Pristine and Best Beaches in the World as told by Travel Instagrammers from around the world #asiatoafrica #bestbeach #familytravel Click To Tweet
#06 – CAPE LEVEQUE, BROOME, AUSTRALIA
Instagram Follow: @rachelejt
Stretching north from Broome, the red land of the Dampier Peninsula ends above deserted beaches, crystal clear waters, and ragged cliffs. This part of the Kimberley region is vastly remote and home to many indigenous settlements. Access to Cape Leveque from Broome is by 4WD, along the largely unsealed 215km long sandy road, with nothing much out there other than wilderness.
I was invited along to this Cape Leveque camping trip, consisting largely of people I did not yet know, but that was fine by me. The Italians brought along eskis full to the brim with food and drink (of course!), and in the end there were about 4 car loads of us. The shelter we had booked consisted of just bamboo, a bench and running water – pretty basic but nothing else was needed – we were going to spend the majority of the time outside anyway and besides, the view completely stole the show. The bamboo shelter was used largely for hiding from the strong sun-rays at midday and was the perfect meeting place for lunch.
Time was spent lounging around on our private pristine beach, swimming in the calm, shallow waters where it was so clear you could open your eyes underwater, playing beach games, snorkelling and finally, taking in the sensational sunset that transformed everything to a gorgeous crimson colour.
Those strangers turned into friends that day at the best beach I’d ever seen and we ended the day with an enormous barbeque around a campfire, plenty of wine and fun chats before I slid into my tent contently to wake up in the early morning once more to paradise found.
#07 -ARASHI BEACH, PALMBEACH, ARUBA
Instagram Follow: @yarimacarina
I have and will always be a beach person. The white sand between my toes, the sun on my skin, my hair in the wind and the beautiful blue shades of the ocean are the perfect ingredients to clear the mind and be totally relaxed. I love this beach because it is located on ‘The One Happy Island’. My dad is from Aruba and I grew up going there a lot to visit family and friends. I lived on the island for 3 years and it has a very special place in my heart. This photo was taken when I was visiting my parents on Aruba, after my 5-month internship in Costa Rica, before I went back home to the Netherlands.
We woke up early to have breakfast on the beach and like most of the times we took the dogs with us. The dog on the picture is Felix, she is about 12 years old and she is one of the best friends I’ve ever had! Unfortunately, I don’t see her a lot because I live in the Netherlands, but whenever I visit my parents she never leaves my side. A visit to the beach with her and my parents gives me the true feeling of being home.
#08 –AJUY BEACH, FUERTEVENTURA, CANARY ISLAND
Instagram Follow: @sabinatakacs
This is my favourite beach of all. It has a magical atmosphere because of the volcanic black sand. This place is calm, not filled with tourists but mostly visited by the local children play here and make sandcastles. It’s the beach where I had my first date with my boyfriend. We used to sleep here in the night and watch the shooting stars. The best time to go is during the golden hour when the sunsets along the horizon.
#09 –AN BANG BEACH, HOI AN, VIETNAM
Instagram Follow: @emilyanastasia93
This photo was taken around 15 minutes after I had thrown a strop that we had come to the ‘wrong beach’. I had looked on Instagram at people’s posts of an amazing sunset on a beach close to the ancient town, Hoi An. Seeing as I cannot ride a bike (yes, even a push bike) – we made our very own makeshift bike fit for two people. We put a towel on the metal back of our hotel’s push bike as a cushion, I hopped on and Frazer rode for 35 minutes to the dreamy beach on Instagram. The drive was not the easiest; we faced a swarm of school children, a herd of water buffalo and a wild dog – all whilst I held on for dear life and Frazer pushed through his muscle pain!
When we arrived it was clear to see that the sun was in fact setting on a beach to our left – a beach that looked miles away! We decided we should admit defeat and sat with a diet coke before preparing to ride back. All I could think was ‘what a waste of a journey.’ However, although the sun itself was not visible, the colours the sky began to turn can only be described as truly magical.
We were literally speechless as how beautiful the sky looked. We ended up cycling 35 minutes to this beach (and 35 minutes back) at 5:15 pm every night just to see this view. It never was quite the same as the first time. We longed for the same feeling of amazement at the first glance of the crazy sky before us. I believe that unplanned moments always seem to be the best ones.
#10 – SANTA MONICA BEACH, BOA VISTA, CAPE VERDE
Instagram Follow: @wanderlustwanderers
This photo was taken in Cape Verde, featuring my brother and I on our last family holiday together. We were reminiscing at the sunset with the thrill of the waves crashing over us. This is my favourite beach with its pure white sands, majestic rolling waves and unspoiled sheer beauty. It is simply unforgettable. The beach was located off the Riu Touareg hotel where we were staying and it stretched for miles in both directions. We spent hours walking and buying unique handcrafted souvenirs from locals. I hope to go back one day during a sea turtle hatching release as I’ve been to this beach on three different occasions and never managed to catch one!
#11 – EL NIDO, PALAWAN, PHILIPPINES
Instagram Follow: @soulfulimages
My travel partner and I had set out on a diving trip while staying in El Nido! It was such a beautiful day, blue skies, and clear waters! We had chosen 2 dives on a 3-dive tour, so for the last dive we didn’t participate. Instead, we decided to snorkel and swim to a deserted beach on one of the many islands that compose the area. Lime stone cliffs, abundant sea life, and a beach all to ourselves was the perfect day! It’s definitely hands down the best day and best beach I had been on! It was so picturesque, I couldn’t stop taking pictures of the area! This photo is my all-time favourite from all my travels to beach destinations in South-East Asia, and I cannot wait to go back!
#12 – WHITEHAVEN BEACH, WHITSUNDAY ISLANDS, AUSTRALIA
Instagram Follow: @amiekaysadventure
Chances are, you’ve seen the beautiful photos of Whitehaven Beach: it’s white sandbars intermingling with turquoise water make it the perfect eye-candy for Instagram. You may have wondered if it is as beautiful in person as it is in those photos, and I am here to tell you that it is.
Not only is Whitehaven unlike any other beach in the world that I’ve been to, it also has a compelling mystery behind it. You see, the sand on Whitehaven has a higher amount of silica in it than most beaches. This unique make-up makes the sand stay cool to the touch, regardless of how hot the sun is, and gives it that beautiful white color you see in the photos. (It feels like powdered sugar on your toes!) The funny thing is, no one can tell you how the silica got there; it doesn’t occur naturally on the island.
I visited the island at the beginning of October, which is probably the best time to go. October is squarely in the middle of Australian spring, and just ahead of the start of the rainy season which means you have a fairly good chance of getting a warm, clear day.
Did your beach make it on the list? We hope this catalogues a wide array of beautiful beaches across the continent. For us at Family Globetrotters, it only highlights how vast the world is and there is never a shortage of destinations to explore.
Do check out all the Instagrammers who have contributed and follow their travelling adventures!
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