The 20 best beaches in the world - with clear waters and an old shipwreck

Aerial view of green palm trees, umbrellas on the sandy beach of Kendwa, Zanzibar island, at sunset
Aerial view of green palm trees, umbrellas on the sandy beach of Kendwa, Zanzibar island, at sunset -Credit:Getty

A list of the 20 best beaches in the world has been shared, featuring a diverse range of sandy shores, secluded spots and expansive coastlines that highlight the beauty and uniqueness of nature.

Each beach on the list, compiled by TimeOut, offers something unique, from watersports and sunset parties to tranquil hammocks for reading. The list includes some of the world's clearest waters, softest sands and most breathtaking views.

The selection also incorporates reviews from TripAdvisor users who have lauded these beaches. Whether you're a fan of rustic and remote or prefer lively and well-equipped, this list caters to all tastes, reports the Express.

Kendwa Beach in Zanzibar

Home to white sands, turquoise-blue water and enchanting sunsets, visitors to this beach, Kendwa Beach in Zanzibar, Tanzania, recommend snorkelling and sunrise swims.

One TripAdvisor reviewer said: "The beautiful hotels, white soft sand and the incredible sunset views makes Kendwa the most beautiful beach in Zanzibar.”

Praia da Rocha, Portugal

Praia da Rocha beach in the Algarve, Portugal, was described by one reviewer: “With a beach so big that can literally never be filled, this resort is pretty much perfect.”

With bright golden sand, this stretch is perfect for beach days under the sun. But, when the sun sets, the nightlife sets in; this beach caters for families and night owls alike.

Portimao city skyline sunset at Praia da Rocha beach, in The Algarve, Portugal
Portimao city skyline sunset at Praia da Rocha beach, in The Algarve, Portugal -Credit:Getty

Siesta Beach in Florida

The first of several American beaches on the list, Siesta Beach in Florida is known for rarely feeling overcrowded due to its extensive beachfront. Made from fine quartz-crystal sand, it stays cool underfoot. Watersport equipment is avaliable to rent, including kayaks and paddleboards.

One on TripAdvisor wrote: "The waves are fun but not too strong. The sand is so beautifully white and soft like baby powder and it never gets hot! The beach is quiet ( so much beach that everyone feels like they each have a private oasis) and the water is such a beautiful green and is warm but yet refreshing.”

Siesta Beach in Florida
Siesta Beach in Florida -Credit:Getty

Elafonssi in Crete

One of the ten pink sand beaches in the world, Elafonssi in Crete, Greece, is a true treasure. Its sand is made from tiny pieces of seashells, but the quantities vary depending on the conditions and the season, so be sure to time your visit well to avoid missing the sight. If you're lucky, you may also see white sea daffodils growing in the sand.

On TripAdvisor, one wrote: "I’ve never seen such clear and shallow waters that reach for metres and metres out to sea. Plus the fish life is also incredible and they get so close!"

Crete pink sand beach in Greece
Crete pink sand beach in Greece -Credit:Getty

Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janerio

Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, caters to all its visitors. It is divided into areas, including one for sports and one for surfers. It does have limited amenities, so be sure to pack everything required before visiting.

On TripAdvisor, the beach's praises were sung: "it has the look and feel of Copacabana but much quieter… it still has all required for a great beach day.”

People play football on Ipanema Beach
Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janerio -Credit:(Image: Getty)

Kynance Cove in Cornwall

Kynance Cove in Cornwall is one of two UK beaches to make the list. Owned by the National Trust, this tidal beach is perfect for the adventurous, damous for its white sand, turquoise waters and tall rocks. It is one of the most photographed, filmed and painted beaches in Cornwall, including being features in the series 'House of the Dragon'. Unsurprisingly, therefore, it does get very busy during the summer months.

It has an eco cafe nearby and is also home to the "Mermaid Pool", inviting those swimmers brave enough to climb the 4.5-metre rock and jump into the pool.

One reviewer said the beach was “beautiful, like nothing I’ve seen before - you won’t believe you are in the UK!”

Marimegmeg Beach

Marimegmeg Beach in Palawan, in The Philippines, is a diving-fanatics paradise, home to more than 100 species of fish and sunset-coloured coral. It can be found 15 minutes from the town.

You can decide whether to engage in the island activities, or do absolutely nothing at all. One reviewer described it as a "paradise", and "an unexpected surprise as much more beautiful than the photos."

Hanalei Bay, Hawaii

Hanalei Bay is the largest bay in Kauai, a lesser visited island in Hawaii. It comprises of two miles of white sand, a calm sea and a mountainous backdrop. In the summer, it provides and excellent location for mooring boats, paddle boarding and swimming.

As described by one reviewer: “The beach was awesome, the sights amazing and the water beautiful and warm! We had a great time and can’t wait to go back!”

Pink Beach on Komodo Island

Indonesia is home to two of the world's 10 pink beaches, including this one, Pink Beach on Komodo Island. The hue comes from thousands of broken coral pieces and shells.

One reviewer sung the praises of the breath-taking sight: "The pink corals give this beach its unique colour. Very pretty. The water is crystal clear and swimming is a pleasure here."

Llanduudno Beach in Cape Town

Within its crystal-clear waters, powdery white sand and dramatic cliffs, Llanduudno Beach in Cape Town, South Africa offers a secluded and serene setting, perfect for swimming, surfing and sunbathing. It is also located just south of Robben Island and the capital, providing a quiet escape from the bustle of city life.

While it may be a hidden gem, there are public toilets and showers avaliable for visitors, and plenty of parking space. Several local vendors also sell snacks, drinks and souvenirs.

A reviewer said: “Great surf, clean white sand, stunning sunsets...things don't get much better than this!”

Stokksnes in Iceland

Perhaps a rogue choice on the list, once you have explored the black volcanic sands of Stokksnes in Iceland, your opinions will have changed. One particularly magic site is the mountain reflects in the water, as well as the fact that it's much quieter than other black sand beaches in the area.

One reviewer said: “...we thought the scenery was magical. If you don’t mind paying the small fee, you certainly won’t be disappointed with the views!”

El Matador State Beach

El Matador State Beach in Malibu, California, is small and dominated by rocky outcrops. It is only accessible via a steep gravel path, really making it a hidden gem.

Dawn and sunsets are particularly breath-taking at this beach, with one reviewer adding that it is “Absolutely beautiful and not crowded. Would highly recommend. We didn’t see much for restaurants or stands so recommend bringing snacks or picnic."


This thin beach in Majorca undoubtedly gets busy during the summer; it's hard not to see why. With its turquoise-blue waters and golden sand, it also has many rock plateaus to jump from, making it popular with families and friend groups.

Safety has been considered here with respect to its business, as one reviewer puts it: “The most magnificent beach but crowded. There is a nice Cringuito and sunbeds for a fee. They have a safe also for items if you want to go in the water which is emerald green! The view is the best part!”

North Bay beach

Grace Bay Beach may get all the accolades, but the 3.1-mile-long North Bay beach on the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean is every bit as stunning – just without the resorts or people.

You can easily spend an afternoon lying on the fine white sands and swimming in the blue water among the colourful coral reef without encountering another soul. It is sometimes named as the best beach in the word.

In a review of the islands, one said: “Turks and Caicos is all about the beaches and here they are spectacular and unspoiled with turquoise water.”

Pembrokeshire, Wales

The second UK beach on the list can be found in Pembrokeshire, Wales. It is arguably one of the best beaches in the UK, accessible only by a half-mile walk, which puts many off visiting.

One reviewer described it as a "beautiful natural beach, I was there on a rainy day. The sand was beautiful and [the] sea aqua against the grey skies… Eye catching rock formations.”

Arcomagno in Calabria

Arcomagno in Calabria, Italy, has that coastline feature that many would sell their right arm to see and photograph. A single rock archway in the rock connects this beach to the ocean. It never gets too busy, even during the summer, as it involves such a trek, but one that is worth it in the end.

“Famous all over the world," one reviewer said, "this small beach is truly a pearl. Crystal clear water and a sunset where the sun's rays enter the door.”

Anse Source d-Argent on La Digue

Anse Source d-Argent on La Digue, the smallest island in the Seychelles, is home to what is believed to be the clearest water on earth.

It is comprised of private niches among some intriguing boulders, the likes of which cannot be seen in many places. While you do have to pay, as one reviewer put it: “Anse Source D'Argent is truly a stunning beach!! …you should definitely visit this beach. It is paradise and the most picturesque beach I have ever been to.”

Navagio Bay

The famous Navagio Bay - or Shipwreck beach - on Zakynthos draws huge crowds every year. It is only accesible via boat, and currently the beach cannot be landed upon due to ongoing landslide concerns. It sits within the Zakynthos Marine Park, home to seals and turtles.

Disappointment about not being able to swim permeates the TripAdvisor reviews, including: “Always wanted to see the most beautiful beach in the world. Disappointed you can no longer walk in it or swim from it. However don’t miss it - the beach itself and surrounding caves and beaches are stunning.”

Navagio bay and Shipwreck Beach in summer, the most famous natural landmark of Zakynthos, a Greek island in the Ionian Sea
Navagio bay and Shipwreck Beach in summer, the most famous natural landmark of Zakynthos, a Greek island in the Ionian Sea -Credit:Getty Images/iStockphoto

Hyams Beach

Three hours from Sydney, Hyams Beach in New South Wales is a sight to behold. With a pine forest behind, white sand, and a calm sea, which is often visited by dolphins and stingrays, it was described as “one of Australia's must-see beauty spots”.

You can also take the 30 minute walk to Greenfield Gully picnic tables when you get hungry.

Railay Beach

Last, but certainly not least, we have Railay Beach in Thailand's Krabi Province. While it has a few spa hotels nearby, many argue this has not disrupted the beach. It is inaccessible by road and no large boats can moor due to the shallow bays.

It also remains relatively quiet, especially in comparison with Phuket, which is preferred by the bigger, flashier crowds.

Stalactite limestone cliffs bookend the beach, and its landscape was described by one on TripAdvisor as "a pure paradise". "The sand of the west beach is fine and white. And the surrounding rocks make this place magic.”