There's nothing quite like a day at the beach. Bury your toes in warm white sand, soak up the sun and cool off in clear blue salty water. Some beaches are coveted for their isolation and natural beauty, others for their lively crowds, bars and restaurants, amenities and an array of activities.
TripAdvisor gives its Travelers Choice best beaches awards based on the quantity and quality of traveler reviews and ratings for beaches on their site, gathered over a 12-month period. The travel site rated 352 beaches overall, including a top 25 world list and dedicated lists for several countries and continents. Clearwater Beach in Florida won best in the U.S.
So whether you like surfing, snorkeling, sunning, swimming, or sipping Mai Tais, from Mexico to Greece, Bali to Bournemouth, the perfect beach is out there, somewhere. Here are the best beaches in the world.
1. Baia do Sancho
Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
Fernando de Noronha is an archipelago of 21 islands about 217 miles off the coast of Brazil. This beautiful paradise is a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, and known for its rich marine life, crystal clear waters, and golden sands.
The isolated Baia do Sancho is world famous. Get to the beach by three sets of stairs built within the crack of a rock formation. The spot is ideal for diving and seeing turtles, colorful fish and stingrays.
2. Varadero Beach
Varadero is a resort town, one of the largest in the Caribbean. It sits on a narrow peninsula less than a mile wide and about 12 miles long. At the northeastern end of the peninsula there is a nature reserve with virgin forests and beaches.
Varadero's white sandy beach gets about a million visitors a year. Besides the beach, Varadero has natural attractions including caves and a chain of easily-accessed virgin cays.
3. Eagle Beach
Eagle Beach, Aruba
This pristine beach is the widest in Aruba, and offers ample parking, shaded areas, some beach huts, and a variety of water sports. Sea turtles nest here.
Eagle Beach is home to two of the most photographed and renowned Divi Divi trees in Aruba.
4. La Concha Beach
San Sebastian-Donostia, Spain
This perfectly crescent-shaped urban beach is in the resort city of San Sebastian in northern Spain's Basque country. La Concha Beach is easily accessible and clean.
The town of San Sebastian is right on La Concha Beach, and there are plenty of bars and world-renowned restaurants.
Photo: DeymosHR / Shutterstock
5. Grace Bay Beach
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
Off the northeast coast of Providenciales, this pristine beach is the hallmark of the Turks and Caicos Islands. It has clean water and white sand with no rocks, seaweed or pollution.
The barrier reef a mile out protects Grace Bay Beach from strong Atlantic ocean swells.
6. Clearwater Beach
Laid-back Clearwater Beach is known for its namesake stretch of soft, white sand, which draws visitors year-round for jet-skiing, parasailing, and stand-up paddle-boarding in its calm waters. This is a good beach for families, with lots to do in the area.
Photo: Ilya Images / Shutterstock
7. Spiaggia dei Conigli
Lampedusa, Islands of Sicily
This beach is on the southwest side of the island of Lampedusa, which sits in the Mediterranean between Sicily and Tunisia. The beach has clear blue water with lots of fish, fine sand and a cool breeze.
bepsy / Shutterstock
8. Seven Mile Beach
Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman
These days, according to Trip Advisor, Seven Mile Beach is now only 5.5 miles long. It has clear waters, coral sands and lots of bars and restaurants.
9. Playa Norte
Isla Mujeres, Mexico
A popular vacation spot, Isla Mujeres is an island just off the coast of Cancun, Mexico. Playa Norte is considered one of the best beaches in all of Mexico. It has soft white sand, palm trees and water so blue it makes the sky look pale.
10. Seven Mile Beach
Negril is a beach resort town. The beach features dramatic sunsets, smooth white sands, and clear turquoise waters.
11. Falesia Beach
Olhos de Agua, Portugal
Olhos de Agua is a Portuguese fishing town in the heart of the Algarve region, the country's southernmost area. The golden beach is edged with red and white cliffs, and is good for water sports. There are restaurants and bars.
12. Prainhas do Pontal do Atalaia
Arraial do Cabo, Brazil
This is one beach divided into two by rocks. The calm green sea is perfect for swimming and diving. The best way to get to Arraial do Cabo is from Rio de Janeiro.
13. Playa de Ses Illetes
Formentera, Balearic Islands
This beach has soft white sand and shallow, calm waters, and is good for snorkeling and sailing. Formentera is the smallest of Spain's Balearic islands in the Mediterranean.
14. Ka'anapali Beach
Ka'anapali Beach boasts three miles of white sand and crystal clear water; one of this beach's most famous attractions is the daily cliff-diving ceremony held every evening at sunset.
15. Balos Lagoon
Balos is famous for its turquoise waters, wild natural beauty and exotic scenery. It tends to get crowded in July and August.
Photo: Gyuszko-Photo / Shutterstock
16. Radhanagar Beach
Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Havelock is part of an archipelago in the Bay of Bengal. The crescent-shaped Radhanagar Beach is a popular spot for watching the sunset. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are an Indian territory.
17. Playa Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
One of Costa Rica's most popular beaches, Playa Manuel Antonio often hosts festivals, and it is an ideal destination for avid surfers, according to TripAdvisor. The beach is within a national park of the same name.
18. Manly Beach
Sydney's Northern Beaches region is known for a laid back attitude, annual festivals, seagulls, fish n' chips, fisherman and boats. Manly beach is beautiful with its pine trees, and there are ample shopping opportunities.
19. Kelingking Beach
Nusa Penida, Bali
This secluded, white sandy beach with turquoise waters is enclosed by a steep cliff and headland. There are beautiful views from the cliff above; the climb down and back up can be a bit treacherous.
20. Bournemouth Beach
Bournemouth is a seaside resort on the southern coast of England. Set beneath magnificent cliffs, the bay has its own micro-climate, some of the warmest sea water in the U.K. and stunning views of the Isle of Wight.
Photo: Adrian Baker / Shutterstock
21. Elafonissi Beach
This beach is on the southwestern side of Crete. The white sand has pink hues, the water is shallow and warm and good for small children.
22. Fig Tree Bay
A golden sand beach with clear, shallow water, the beach got its name from the fig trees which grow near the coast. The beach is very accessible and there are lifeguards in the summer.
Photo: Aleksandr N / Shutterstock
23. Surfers Paradise Beach
Surfers Paradise, Australia
A seaside resort in eastern Australia, Surfers Paradise Beach offers a backdrop of skyscrapers and hosts a popular market several evenings a week. There are shops, cafes and nightclubs.
24. Anse Lazio
Praslin Island, Seychelles
There's a sheltered cove here ideal for snorkeling. The Seychelles is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, off the east coast of Africa.
25. Santa Monica Beach
Santa Monica, Cape Verde
Not to be confused with the beach in California, this unspoiled beach has powerful waves for surfers, many birds, and you can spot humpback whales during certain times of the year. The Republic of Cabo Verde is an island country in the Atlantic off the west coast of Africa.