When it comes to amazing destinations, beaches are among the most stunning. Ranging from the sand and waves of the Gulf in the United States to the pristine blue waters and secluded sands of the West Indies, beach locations can provide an almost endless range of spectacular views. Beach vacations have been considered some of the ultimate destinations for decades, for both couples and families. You can spend the day on the sand and playing in the waves, rent a boat or go parasailing. There are endless activities that make these locations perfect. Some beaches have been set up exclusively for couples to have a romantic and secluded getaway. People have been capturing these scenic wonders on film for decades. With the thousands of photos all over the internet, trying to narrow down the best of the best is difficult, but these twenty are fit to be postcards.
As picture perfect as these views are, they are real and can be visited. We're going to be taking our own trip through many of the most beautiful beach photos in the world. These places are so stunning that travel agents will be busy booking trips for customers that want to see beaches that should be on the covers of magazines and framed as artwork. You won't need to pack to take this global trip to see twenty beaches that will convince you to pack a swimsuit and head off for a beach vacation of your own. From Maldives to Fort Lauderdale, you're going to be treated to these photos.
20 Hidden Beach (Playa del Amor), Marieta Islands, Mexico
Mexico is known for having gorgeous beaches, but this unique one was created with some man-made help. During World War I, Mexico was testing bombs with controlled explosions in the nearby islands. These controlled explosions created many caves and rock formations, but Playa del Amor, also known as Hidden Beach, is truly one of the most stunning. Visitors have to swim underwater through a short tunnel to get to it. But that swim is well worth it.
Warm, clear water and sparkling sand are just a few of the many reasons to visit this place. Snorkelers are treated to swims with dolphins and other marine life while others get to see a huge variety of birds and wildlife. There is also a wide array of eye-catching coral reefs to see as you swim. Despite the fact that this beach got its start as a bomb created crater, the scenery is absolutely stunning.
19 Rabbit Beach, Lampedusa, Italy
Rabbit Beach on the island of Lampedusa has been awarded accolades by many travel magazines and sites. With the beautiful, soft white sands that lead to clear, warm Mediterranean waters, it's easy to see why. The island is a natural reserve where the loggerhead species of turtles lay their eggs. It's a pristine and unspoiled haven that can only be reached by boat. The island itself has a subtropical climate, so be prepared for a hot summer. With the island being a reserve, the beach has been spared the hustle and bustle of other more developed beaches. It's a much more relaxed and slow-paced location that allows visitors to truly experience the natural scenery of the island itself. It's easy to see why this beach is considered one of the best in the world.
18 Magnetic Island, Rowes Bay Beachfront Holiday Park, Townsville, Australia
The islands off of the Australian coast are known the world over for their incredible beauty and diverse wildlife. Being located around the Great Barrier Reef, these islands are amazing vacation destinations. Photos from this area have been seen in magazines, videos and other media. Magnetic Island is located near Townsville and is ideally situated to stay sunny through most of the year. The pristine beaches and crystal clear water that forms the coastlines of this island are truly spectacular and are kept in this condition by its small number of residents. Once you have seen this island, you will want to keep coming back. It's amazing to know that this island paradise is just twenty minutes away from the busy city of Townsville.
17 Anse Source D'Argent, Seychelles
Anse Source D'Argent is known the world over for being one of the most spectacular beaches to visit. Huge granite boulders lead down to pinkish sands and crystal clear water. It takes a bit of travel to get to this secluded paradise on Earth, but it's well worth the effort. This pristine beach which is nestled into a cove, maintains its almost untouched perfection. It can get crowded at times, but offers gorgeous scenery and snorkeling. You won't find a lot of hotels and restaurants located on this beach though, so bring along some food and water as you relax on the sparkling sands. Stay for the sunsets that keep bringing visitors back.
16 North Island, Seychelles
The Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean offer several amazing beaches, but North Island is in a class by itself. This pristine, sugar white sand and aquamarine water paradise appeals to the rich and famous. This private luxury resort draws in people from all over the world. This little island getaway is so exclusive that guests have to get to it by helicopter. With such restricted access, it's easy to see why the beaches here are so stunning. The staff is said to work hard to keep the island as close to untouched as they possibly can. Getting here may take some effort, but you'll definitely be rewarded once you've made the trip, as the scenery will be worth it.
15 Peel Beach, Isle of Man, UK
When people think of the word beach, the first thing that comes to mind is destinations in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, but this beauty comes from the Isle of Man. Although the sand may not be bright white and the water clear blue, this amazing place offers you a gorgeous beach with a castle nearby. Visitors enjoy this sandy stretch with plenty of ice cream parlours and cafes. This west-facing little gem provides unbelievable sunsets with views of the castle and the mountains of Mourne in the distance. This scene is enough to keep bringing people back over and over. It's truly a picture perfect coastline to visit.
14 Kitsilano Beach, Vancouver, British Columbia
The idea of a beach in Vancouver may come as a surprise, but who wouldn't enjoy this view? Gorgeous white sand, clear water and towering mountains in the background create a scene that will draw people by the thousands. This incredible place offers its guests volleyball, picnics and the largest open saltwater pool in Canada. Kitsilano, or Kits, beach is known to be appealing to crowds for a lively scene with water-sports like kayaking and sailing as well as swimming. If you're in Vancouver in the summer, you definitely don't want to miss out on visiting this incredible place. Bring your camera so you can share it with everyone. Vancouver holds a spot in the list of places to see for great beaches.
13 Navagio (Shipwreck) Beach
Navagio (Shipwreck) Beach is an amazing place to visit. This gorgeous Greek beach is hard to reach. The only way to get to this spectacular little cove is by boat. The beach itself is surrounded by cliffs. Tourists come from all over the globe to enjoy the azure water and the glowing sands. But make sure you bring food, drinks and shade. There are no facilities on the beach and no shade. Part of the draw to this Greek cove is the wreckage of the ship that ended up on the grounds itself. Stories abound about how the ship got there and they are all interesting, but the official story has it that in the 1980s, Greek officials chased a ship suspected of carrying illegal alcohol and cigarettes to Zakynthos. The captain lost control of the ship and ran it aground. This wreckage makes a great contrast to the pristine beach and towering cliffs.
12 Boulders Beach, South Africa
Penguins are probably not the first thing you think of when you think of beaches, but Boulders Beach on the South African coast offers you just that. This secluded beach is surrounded by large granite boulders and became home to a colony of African penguins after two made their home there in the early 1980s. The beach is part of the Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area and maintains its pristine conditions. With a preservation fee to enter the beach, it's never crowded. It's advised not to approach the penguins, but the adorable little birds help make your visit to the beach a very memorable one. This beach offers glorious, clear water to swim in and boulders to climb on, so it's considered very family-friendly. You may even get a chance to swim with the residents of the beach.
11 Baia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
This stunning beach has been named Trip Advisor's best beach in the world several times. It is located on an exclusive island that is part of a marine park off of the coast of Brazil. The volcanic archipelago of twenty-one islands provides a staggering amount of wildlife to see. Diving, snorkeling and swimming in these gloriously warm and clear waters will show you marine life ranging from turtles and sharks to whales. Though most people are looking to enjoy this paradise during sunny weather, it holds a spectacular surprise. If you're lucky enough to be there during the rainy season, two gorgeous freshwater waterfalls appear. They are caused by rainwater. With the diverse wildlife and constantly changing ecology, you can't go wrong with visiting this island wonder at any time of the year.
10 Flamenco Beach, Culebra, Puerto Rico
With its soft, white sand and warm, translucent blue water, Flamenco Beach is known to beach goers around the globe. But it has more to offer than the chance to lounge on the white sands. With the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea surrounding the island, Flamenco beach offers its visitors a perfect place to swim, snorkel or scuba dive. With the water being as clear as glass, views of the sea life will continually astound. You'll be able to swim with manta rays, turtles and tropical fish. The calm water with its gentle waves is a perfect place for families and snorkeling beginners. You'll also see a reminder of Puerto Rico's past as you stroll the beach. An old, abandoned Navy tank can still be seen on the beach. It's no wonder that Flamenco beach is considered one of the best in the world.
9 Papakōlea Beach (Green Sand Beach), South Point, Hawaii
This is not your typical beach bum location, but if you're willing to hike here, you'll see one of only four green sand beaches in the world. This beach is made up of olivine. This beautiful green mineral is formed as lava is cooled by the sea. After a 2.5km hike, you'll be awarded with this stunning scene of green sand and crystal clear water surrounded by breathtaking cliffs. It's not recommended to swim at this beach due to unpredictable and strong currents, but if you are into finding some of the most stunning and unusual settings in the world, Papakolea will certainly deliver. This beach is one for the more adventurous. Bring water and food plus a camera and be prepared to see one of the most unusual sights in the world.
8 Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, Iceland
This almost alien looking location is another beach that is not your typical coastal stop. This incredible location in Southern Iceland is made up of smoothed over lava stones. With the glistening pebbles and the stunning basalt cliffs, this wild beach is a sight to behold. Walking along this beach will let you experience a sense of wonder and awe. It's highly recommended to avoid getting anywhere near the water. The waves of the Atlantic are surprisingly strong and can pull the unsuspecting away quickly. As this location has become more known, more accidents have happened. Don't go to Reynisfjara to swim or take sun. Take a camera and see the overwhelming beauty of Iceland. You will not be disappointed in this utterly unique place.
7 Rabida Island, Galapagos
Rabida Island offers the best of both worlds when it comes to beaches. The unusual sand, which is made up of iron rich rock, will stun and delight you. The clear water is great for snorkeling, and you may find yourself swimming with some of the local sea lions. They also love to hang out with beach-goers. The snorkeling is even better around the base of the cliffs. The amazing cliffs around the area will offer great hiking options. With an abundance of wildlife, you'll get some amazing photos. These could also include a few with some of the sea lions and the flamingos that live on this spectacular island. This amazing location is definitely one to add to your list of beaches to check out.
6 Nissi Beach, Cyprus
Nissi Beach in Cyprus is an amazing place for families. The gorgeous blue water surrounding the beach is shallow. It never reaches higher than an adult's waist. There are a lot of activities to do ranging from pedal boating to bungee jumping. With the gorgeous gardens and a temperate climate, this little piece of paradise can be visited year round. It boasts world-class diving and snorkeling. You can also wade out to the small island right off the coast. The fine, soft, golden sand is the perfect place to enjoy the glorious colors of water and sand that make up the Mediterranean islands. This stunning display is one reason so many people flock to the islands for vacations year after year.
5 Sun Island Beach, Maldives
The Maldives are known for luxury and relaxing in gorgeous surroundings. Sun Island beach helps boast that reputation. This glorious golden sand beach with its transparent, shimmering blue water provides the perfect setting for anyone to enjoy a break. People can stay in the famous Sun Island Resort that has gorgeous bungalows right over the water. These gorgeous houses will let you wake up surrounded by the spectacular views of the Indian Ocean. This utopia will appeal to the adventurous with jet skiing, canoeing or windsurfing. But if you are just looking to soak up the sights, you can stretch out on the soft sand and relax. With stunning views and four star care, it's not surprising that Sun Island is known for being one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
4 Luskentyre Beach, Isle of Harris, Scotland
When you first see the clear, aquamarine waters of Luskentyre beach off the coast of Scotland, you couldn't be blamed for thinking you were in the Caribbean. But this stunning little strip of beach lies on the edge of the Outer Hebrides. The water surrounding this stunning beach is the cooler water of the Atlantic and will quickly remind you where you are. Although swimming may not be the top choice on this beach, it provides stunning scenery for walking and photography. At low tide, the beach spreads for miles and you can see some of the most gorgeous sights in the world. This may not be the typical beach goer's choice of destinations, but this Scottish beach is well worth visiting if you get the opportunity.
3 Mayan Beach, Tulum, Mexico
Mayan Beach in Mexico combines the extraordinary spectacle of its history along with the incredible beauty of its scenery. Visitors can enjoy the white sands and clear waters that span the area below the ruins. The beach is protected by a barrier reef, so snorkelers will have a chance to see a wide variety of brightly colored tropical fish and other sea life. The jungle fringes this gorgeous getaway, so you may see other wildlife prowling the edges of the trees. You'll be able to enjoy food in many of the restaurants. Snorkeling, kite surfing and beach side yoga are just some of the activities you can enjoy in one of the most scenic locations on the planet. Once you've seen the ancient Mayan ruins overlooking a picture-perfect beach, you will know why this is considered another paradise.
2 Wineglass Bay, Tasmania
Tasmania is a county known for its wild and untamed beauty. With it being isolated from the mainland, it is ecologically unique. Wineglass Bay beach fits right into that same description. The blue of the ocean ranges from a gorgeous subtle pastel to an unbelievable sapphire as it gets deeper. This water edges up on astonishingly bright white sand. And the beach itself is only part of the stunning scene. It's surrounded by towering cliffs and forests. This piece of heaven on Earth has been entrancing visitors for decades. Guided tours of the area can be taken with the Wineglass Bay cruise or you can explore on your own. No matter what you decide to do, chances are you will never be the same once you visit this stunning place.
1 Matira Beach, Bora Bora Island
With all the beaches in the world, you can't have a list without the beaches of Bora Bora Island. This tropical paradise is known universally for its stunning beauty. This little island in the French Polynesia offers both relaxation and adventure in one package. The secluded beaches have earned the island the title of the "Romantic Island" but you can also experience shark feeding and hiking in certain parts of the gorgeous land. Matira beach is the crown jewel of this island. With a lagoon that makes a perfect swimming spot and a barrier reef, it is an unforgettable destination. The clear water offers world class diving and snorkeling. With amazing food, resorts and activities, you will never be bored in this gorgeous location. That's why Bora Bora's Matira beach topped the list of spectacular beaches.
Beaches will always be among the favorite destination spots, but they are not all the same. Whether you are looking for sun and sand or a special place with green or black sands bordering azure water, you can guarantee that you will not be disappointed with these stunning locations.