Ultimate Beach Bucket List - Top 25 Best Beaches

Last updated on: Oct 11, 2021

(Last Updated On: October 11, 2021)

There’s nothing like a beach vacation. The combination of sun, sand, and sea have a phenomenal way of enticing, calming, and healing us. It’s why we can all benefit from frequent time at the beach, so these amazing destinations should be on your beach bucket list.

Best Beaches in Africa (6)

Though Africa has long been a popular safari tourism destination, Africa has emerged as a cultural and beach destination in recent years.


The Red Sea resort areas of Sharm-el-Sheik, Dahab, and Hurghada have been a popular beach destination for a number of years.

A more recent tourism area is Soma Bay, a picturesque, gated resort complex located 60 kilometers south of Hurghada. Even though the resorts there are relatively large, it never feels crowded.

Walking far out from shores of Soma Bay across the clear, calm, and shallow waters is simply amazing!

Random fact: Just south of Soma Bay, there is a car ferry that runs from Safaga, Egypt to Duba, Saudi Arabia.

Where to stay in the Red Sea, Egypt

Kempinski Hotel Soma Bay is a beautiful resort offering sea views in most rooms.

Onsite amenities include a luxury spa, fitness center, upscale restaurants, and a pool complex featuring a lazy river.


The beautiful waters of Diani Beach are a popular post-safari destination for travelers to Kenya. The location offers a relaxing end to safari trips that combine bush and sea.

Where to stay in Diani Beach

Situated on a beautiful stretch of Diani Beach, Almanara Luxury Villas provides a quiet escape with 5 ocean view rooms and suites and 6 three-bedroom villas.


A trip to Tsarabanjina will place you on the most beautiful stretch of sand in Madagascar.

Where to stay in Madagascar

Just off the coast of mainland Madagascar in the Nosy Mitsio Archipelago, the all-inclusive Constance Tsarabanjina offers an eco-friendly private-island oasis with luxury beach villas, powdery white sand, and wonderful Malagasy cuisine.


Mozambique has several beautiful coastal areas worth visiting, and one place you should definitely have on your beach bucket list is the Bazaruto Archipelago.

Where to stay in Mozambique

Vilanculos Beach Lodge is the gateway to the Bazaruto Archipelago with breathtaking beauty that feels like another world altogether. Watch the video to transport yourself to paradise.

Courtesy of Vilanculos Beach Lodge

For barefoot luxury at its finest, stay at the luxe Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort or the andBeyond Benguerra Island.

Related post: 8 Dreamy Private Island Resorts


Seychelles is filled with dramatic coastlines, none more so than Anse Source d’Argent, located north of Mahé on the island of La Digue.

Known for its beautiful rock formations lined with palm trees, it’s one of the most picturesque beaches in the world.

Anse Source d’Argent is easily accessible from Mahé via catamaran, helicopter, and flights operated by Air Seychelles.

Anse Source d'Argent - Seychelles - Ultimate Beach Bucket List
Anse Source d’Argent in La Digue

Where to stay in the Seychelles

Synonymous with luxury, the Four Seasons Seychelles features stand-alone pool villas with sea or garden views, two and three-bedroom hilltop suites, and private residences with fully-equipped kitchens for larger groups.

Related post: How to Get Free Nights at Four Seasons Hotels


Zanzibar or ‘Zanzi’ for short is Tanzania’s most famous beach bucket list destination.

While its many beaches make it obvious why travelers flock here, the best swimming beach is in Nungwi, which is less affected by low tides.

Nungwi Beach - Zanzibar - Ultimate Beach Bucket List
Nungwi Beach in Zanzibar, Tanzania

Where to stay in Tanzania

Z Hotel is a minimalist-designed, boutique property located on the beautiful white sands of Nungwi Beach.

If you’re looking to splurge, nearby andBeyond Mnemba Island offers the ultimate in private-island luxury.

Best Beaches in the Americas (9)

Because of the shallow, turquoise waters of the Caribbean islands, the Caribbean has the world’s best collection of amazing beaches.


The most ‘popular’ beach in Anguilla, Shoal Bay, is a two-mile stretch of powdery white sand and brilliant turquoise waters.

Shoal Bay is consistently rated one of the top beaches in the world, so it’s an absolute must for your beach bucket list.

Even though it’s the busiest beach in Anguilla, it’s rarely crowded, like most beaches in Anguilla.


Palm Beach in Aruba is one of the calmest beaches in the world. With stillness like a swimming pool, you won’t even hear the sea.

That’s why these warm, azure waters are the absolute best beach for families.

Palm Beach. Aruba - Ultimate Beach Bucket List

Where to stay in Aruba

Marriott’s Aruba Ocean Club is conveniently situated on a prime section of Palm Beach and is great hotel for families. For a more upscale experience, stay at the Ritz-Carlton Aruba.


Barbuda is the sparsely-inhabited sister island of Antigua, even prior to Hurricane Irma causing mass evacuations of the island.

Still, such a remote place is blessed with one of the most stunning stretches of sand I have ever seen: 17-Mile Beach.

Visiting this place with no other traveler in sight made it feel like our own private island. It was so refreshing, I didn’t want to leave.

Related post: Things to Do in Barbuda, the Caribbean’s Secret Paradise

Where to stay in Barbuda

Barbuda Belle is the only luxury beach resort currently operating on the island. You can take a speed boat or a helicopter ride to the resort from Antigua.


Praia do Sancho is located in Fernando do Noronha, an island off the coast of northeast Brazil.

The beach has often been ranked among the world’s top beaches thanks to its azurine waters set amidst a tropical landscape.

Get a glimpse of the beach by taking a virtual tour of the walk to the Praia do Sancho overlook.

Where to stay in Brazil

Bungalows at Pousada Maravilha offer panoramic views of Praia do Sueste and make a great spot for a couples retreat.

Pousada Maravilha - Brazil - Ultimate Beach Bucket List
Pousada Maravilha in Fernando do Noronha, Brazil


Cayo Santa Maria is part of the Jardines del Rey archipelago, accessible from mainland Cuba via the 48-kilometer El Pedraplen causeway.

Despite being the second largest beach resort area in Cuba, after Varadero, Cayo Santa Maria still retains a quiet atmosphere.

Grand Cayman

Often named on of the world’s best beaches, Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman should definitely be on your beach bucket list.

This vibrant beach is home to a variety of water activities, restaurants, luxury resorts, and nightlife.

Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman - Ultimate Beach Bucket List
Aerial view of Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman

Where to stay in Grand Cayman

Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman is an ideal spot when visiting Grand Cayman. The resort offers luxury accommodations, a luxury spa, and complimentary dining for kids 5 years old and younger at select restaurants.

In addition, the resort offers a variety of activities, including golf, sport courts, a watersports program, and a kids club.


Lanakai Beach on Oahu is arguably the best beach in the United States. Spend a day relaxing here on a visit to the North Shore.

And don’t forget to rent a car and drive around the whole island of Oahu. The adventure and sights are well worth it!

Lanikai Beach, Oahu, Hawaii - Ultimate Beach Bucket List
Lanikai Beach on Oahu’s North Shore

Turks & Caicos

Few beaches can match the beauty of Grace Bay in Turks and Caicos, which boasts pristine beaches for as far as the eye can see.

Just one reason Grace Bay should be on your beach bucket list.

Grace Bay Beach, Turks and Caicos - Ultimate Beach Bucket List
Grace Bay in Turks and Caicos

Where to stay in Turks and Caicos

While many properties in Turks and Caicos come fully equipped with kitchens, the 21-suite Beach House Turks & Caicos offers a more intimate setting with fewer units on a wide stretch of beach.

Couples will appreciate Wymara Resort & Villas, a contemporary Caribbean hideaway with stylish facilities and amenities.

Those looking for an even more exclusive experience should stay off Grace Bay at The Shore Club, COMO Parrot Cay, or Amanyara.


Los Roques Archipelago is a hidden gem that very few have the chance to visit, especially due to the instability in Venezuela.

Like nearby Palm Beach in Aruba, Cayo de Agua is a stunning cove of beautiful white-sand beaches and crystal-clear, warm waters.

Until recently, Los Roques was part of the ports of call for Le Ponant’s cruises between Panama and Martinique.

Los Roques - Ultimate Beach Bucket List
Cayo de Agua in Los Roques Archipelago

Best Beaches in Asia & South Pacific (5)

Asia and the South Pacific offer some of the most dramatic beach scenery in the world with mountainous landscapes, natural lagoons, and white-sand beaches.


Just off the coast of Cairns near the Great Barrier Reef, Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsunday Islands National Park sits at the door of the famous Great Barrier Reef.

Whitehaven Beach is incredibly picturesque. The fine white sand of the beach is composed of 98% pure silica, and the impressive sandbars function like a series of tidal pools.

Where to stay in Australia

Qualia Resort on Hamilton Island offers one of the most scenic settings in the world for a romantic getaway.

With unique activities that include Great Barrier Reef experiences, helicopter flights to the Heart Reef, and epicurian food tastings, you’ll never long for things to do.

French Polynesia

There’s no doubt that French Polynesia is on everyone’s beach bucket list. You can’t go wrong on the island of Bora Bora, where every luxury resort is blessed with magical views of the lagoon and a fabulous private beach.

Where to stay in French Polynesia

Conrad Bora Bora Nui has a unique setting, being the only resort on Bora Bora with unobstructed views of the setting sun.

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Other amazing properties include the St. Regis Bora Bora, Four Seasons Bora Bora, and InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa. The St. Regis Bora Bora where the movie Couples Retreat was filmed.

Related post: What to do in Bora Bora May Not Be What You Think


Visiting the Maldives, a remote island archipelago in the Indian Ocean, is a dream getaway for most of us, and it makes an ideal beach vacation in this new era of social distancing.

With turquoise waters and most resorts occupying private atolls, it’s also one of the top destinations in the world for diving.

Where to stay in the Maldives

Whether it’s an overwater villa or beach villa, it’s easy to get swept off your feet at resorts like the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.

If the luxury massage treatments don’t pamper you enough, the private butler service and fabulous ocean views (from your bed) will do the trick.

One of the world’s most luxurious vacations has got to be island hopping around the Maldives, Four-Seasons style. For about $2,000 per night for both hotels and cruise, you can sail between the Four Seasons’ properties at Landaa Giraavaru and Kuda Huraa aboard a 3, 4, or 7-night cruise on the Four Seasons Explorer, a three-deck luxury catamaran.

You can opt to spend additional nights at each of the properties before and after the cruise.

Additionally, you can book an entire UNESCO-heritage private island, Voavah, all for yourself.

Related post: 3 Affordable Ways to Take a Dream Vacation to the Maldives


One of the most unspoiled and remarkable parts of the world lies in the Komodo Islands of Indonesia.

Here, you’ll find the world famous Komodo dragon as well as the magical Pink Beach on Padar Island.

The beach is blessed with the most beautiful hue of powdery pink sand, which derives from pulverized red coral mixed with white sand.

Pink Beach in the Komodo Islands

Where to stay in Indonesia

Spend three or more nights on a luxury liveaboard exploring hidden coves in the Komodo Islands archipelago.


Hidden Beach in El Nido, Philippines looks like a place that should be called ‘Eden Beach’.

The beach is hidden within dramatic cliffs adjacent to the shore, offering a stunning backdrop of lush greenery.

Hidden Beach, Philippines - Ultimate Beach Bucket List
Hidden Beach in El Nido, Philippines

Where to stay in Palawan

The eco-luxury resort El Nido Pangulasian features 42 units of contemporary Filipino-style design set within a tropical forest.

One unique feature of the resort is that it offers both sunrise and sunset views.

Another exclusive destination, Amanpulo, is a private island resort with one of the most beautiful beaches anywhere in the world.

The resort is only reachable by charter flight from Manila.

Related post: 8 Dreamy Private Island Resorts


Thailand boasts numerous beautiful beaches across miles of coastline, so the country is a beach-lovers dream, but if you have to choose just one (or two), put Railay Beach at the top of your list.

Railay Beach is easily accessible from Phuket, and nearby beaches such as Koh Phangan and Krabi should also be included.

Railay Beach, Krabi, Thailand - Ultimate Beach Bucket List
Railay Beach, Thailand

Where to stay in Thailand

Nestled within the abundant natural scenery of the Phranang Peninsula, Rayavadee is a beautiful resort with the most amazing villas where you can kick your heels up and relax in a Thai paradise.

Best Beaches in Europe & Middle East (5)

Don’t sleep on Europe and the Middle East for beaches for your beach bucket list.

While beaches in Europe tend to be smaller and sometimes rocky, there are some that rival those in the Caribbean and Asia.


Zlatni Rat, often referred to as the Golden Cape or Golden Horn, is a sliver of beach near Bol on the island of Brač.

It’s a must-visit beach and island for any trip to Croatia.

Zlatni Rat Beach, Croatia - Ultimate Beach Bucket List
Zlani Rat Beach in Brač, Croatia


Located in the southwestern part of Crete, Elafonissi Beach offers a beautiful, shallow lagoon with pink sand.

It is separated by a sandbar from Elafonisi Island, a nature reserve that is a popular spot for windsurfing.

Others amazing beaches in Greece include Myrtos Beach on Kefalonia island and Shipwreck Beach in Zakynthos.

Elafonissi Beach, Crete - Ultimate Beach Bucket List
Elafonissi Beach in Crete, Greece


Though it’s not a swimming beach, Diamond Beach on the South Coast of Iceland is one of the most unique and jaw-dropping beaches that you just have to see to believe.

The beach gets its name, because the melting icebergs from the Jökulsárlón Lagoon sparkle like diamonds against the black sand.

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Related post: How to Spend 7 Amazing Summer Days in Iceland


Beaches in Portugal take the prize for most stunning backdrop, limestone cliffs framing beautiful bays.

Praia do Camilo in the Algarve region is perhaps the most iconic of beaches, but the region has so many incredible beaches to explore.

Related post: Best Algarve Beaches for Your Trip to Portugal

Where to stay in the Algarve

Pine Cliffs Hotel, A Luxury Collection Resort is locataed in the town of Albufeira near the beautiful Praia de Falesia.

Decorated in the Moorish style, the resort has everything you could desire, including a luxury spa, a golf course, a fitness center and sport courts, fine dining, a kids club, and 8 swimming pools.

Villas at Vila Vita Parc Resort combine all the conveniences of a luxury home with the amenities of a luxury resort.

Villas include two bedrooms, a living and dining room space, a wraparound terrace, a kitchen, gardens, and a private pool.

For families, check into a luxury family villa at Martinhal. Located in Sagres overlooking Martinhal Beach, the resort is ideal for those looking to be closer to the main town of Lagos and the iconic beaches and cliffs for which the region is known.

United Arab Emirates

Man-made they may be, but the beaches of Dubai offer some of the calmest, clearest water anywhere as well as the best urban beaches in the world.

Furthermore, the backdrop of skyscrapers is such a striking and beautiful contrast.

Jumeirah Beach, Dubai - Ultimate Beach Bucket List
Jumeirah Beach, Dubai

Where to stay in Dubai

Many of the luxury beach-side properties in Dubai make a fantastic place for a beach vacation, including Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Ritz-Carlton Dubai, and One&Only Royal Mirage Resort.

Did your favorite beach make the beach bucket list? Tell us what we missed.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that we may receive a small amount of income if you click the link and purchase something we have recommended. Clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, and all opinions remain our own.

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Taryn White
With 75+ countries and all 50 U.S. states crossed off her list, Taryn's wanderlust and wanderlist continue to grow! She loves historic places, off-the-beaten paths, and beautiful beaches. Follow her pursuits on Instagram and www.tripwishlist.com.

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