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Famous Beaches

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Travel Guide General Guides Famous Landmarks Famous Beaches

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Introduction

Foam Beads

Foam Beads

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Although it might not be everyone's cup of thea, beaches almost always live up to the imagination. Some people like jungles or deserts, others like cities, but don't we all love a fantastic, scenic and preferably secluded beach in the tropics? It doesn't even have to be a tropical beach, there are quite a few deserted or otherwise beautiful beaches in other parts of the world, even in the (sub)polar regions of our planet. Basically, the list is long and below is just a small selection of one of the most famous, but maybe not always the most beautiful or quiet ones! It's up to you, the traveller, to explore the world and included one of those hidden gems...unless you want to keep it a secret of course.

The list below doesn't necessarily include just one beach. Also and island or (part of) a country can be listed, with an overview of possible choice regarding beaches.

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Africa

Boulders Beach, Cape Town

Penguins

Penguins

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Boulders Beach is a sheltered sandy beach with large granite boulders that forms part of the Table Mountain National Park near Cape Town, South Africa. The real pulling point however is the population of penguins that wander the beach and paths. The sea is a bit cool even in summer, but it's worth donning some goggles and jumping in for the opportunity of seeing these graceful swimmers in their natural environment.

Gambia

Gambia is a very popular gettaway for package tourists from Europe, escaping the European winters. Although it only has a short coastline and only a handful of really good hotels, these fill up quickly. The Atlantic beaches are long white and sandy areas fringed with palms and some fine swimming.

brusubi beach

brusubi beach

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There are several villages where hotels are concentrated, all offering restaurants, bars and some nightlife. The seafood is particurly good here. On the beaches all you will find is glorious sunshine a slight balmy breeze and tranquility, none of those noisy banana boats or jet skis to ruin your snooze in the sun.

La Digue

The Seychelles contain many uninhabited islands which cost a fortune to visit, if at all possible. Of the main islands Mahé, Praslin and La Digue, the latter one is probably the best one to visit, as it is the quietest. La Digue also is home to the famous Anse Source d'Argent, the picture perfect image of emerald waters, white palm fringed beaches and the very special round granite rocks.

Seychelles beach

Seychelles beach

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As it is the least developed of the main islands, it is probably the best to get away from it all without paying very high prices and maybe a place you want to stay much longer than you planned.

Mauritius

Many people visiting Mauritius go here just to enjoy the wonderful climate at one of the beaches, or at one of the swimming pools of their hotels. Mauritius boasts a high density of very exclusive hotels and is more affordable than for example the Seychelles or Maldives. White sanded palm fringed beaches and excellent diving and snorkelling all belong to the possibilities here.

Dawn on the Bay

Dawn on the Bay

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It's a very popular honeymoon destination and the good thing is that there is a lot of nature and culture to explore on the island as well.

Zanzibar

Zanzibar is the collective name for two islands in the Indian Ocean: Unguja (the main island) and Pemba Island. Zanzibar is known for its fantastic white beaches, turquoise waters and great snorkelling and diving. On top of that, it has some nice cultural highlights as well, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site Stone Town. Kendwa, on the north coast, is a quiet and beautiful beach town. The beaches are white sand. The Indian Ocean water is blue, calm and perfect for swimming. Nungwi is also on the north coast and close to Kendwa.

Stone Town

Stone Town

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Its a popular backpacker hang out with lots of cheap beach bungalows and little restaurants. Here you can also see where traditional dhows are built and also swim with turtles in the natural aquarium.

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Asia

Goa

One reason to visit Goa, India, is its beaches. About 125 kilometres of the coast line is dotted with beaches. These beaches are divided into North Goa and South Goa Beaches. The further north or south you go, the more isolated the beaches get. However, if one is looking for people, then a visit to some of the more popular beaches like Baga and Anjuna would provide. These beaches are lined with shacks that provide fresh sea food and drinks.

Animal love!

Animal love!

© All Rights Reserved arijitraja


Some shacks arrange special events to attract more customers. The Colva beach located in the south Goa is also called as the White sand beach. The Baga Beach located 10 kilometres west of Mapusa and is actually an extension of Calangute beach with clean white sand. Baga is a small but perfect beach located between two famous beaches, Colva and Calangute. It is a fishing beach with foreigners bathing in the sun other tourists swimming in the cool azure waters. Unlike most of Goa, Arambol has managed to remain true to its hippie roots. It is a beautiful crescent-shaped stretch of beach in the north of the tiny province, popular with backpackers and long term travellers.

Maldives

The Maldives are a string of islands in the Indian Ocean and one of the top notch places for beach and relaxe holidays anywhere on the planet.

Maldives Resort

Maldives Resort

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Its picture perfect islands are easialy navigated on foot in 15 minutes or less! Ranging from private islands to large scale luxury resorts Maldives are great to relax. Many of the resorts offer private beaches, restaurants, coffee shops, malls, lounges, bars, discos and diving schools. For people wanting a more eco-friendly there are now some more environmentally friendly resorts.

Thailand

It's difficult to name just one beach in Thailand as the most famous. There are hundreds or even thousands and more and more are getting intensely popular, maybe even a bit too much, like Patong Beach and Pattaya.

Southern Thailand

Southern Thailand

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Others are getting more crowded as we speak, though still keep a lot of its charm. Examples are Phi Phi Island, Koh Samui and Hua Hin. Krabi and surroundings are beautiful as well, and there are many islands in both the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand where tourism is almost a strange word and deserted beaches can still be found. As Thailand is a popular place for backpackers and other young travellers, the country's coastline and islands shouldn't be overlooked in a list with most famous beaches!

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Caribbean

Anguilla

Shoal Bay

Shoal Bay

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Anguilla has made a name for itself as a fashionable, luxurious Caribbean destination. Fantastic snorkelling, diving and swimming opportunities, offered by some of the Caribbean's finest beaches, are Anguilla's prime attractions. Captain’s Bay is located in the northeast of Anguilla. It is a quiet beach to relax and compared to many other beaches there are not so many tourists here. You will find an abundance of tropical fish though. Another popular one is Shoal Bay East, a picture perfect beach, great for snorkelling and with fantastic turquoise waters.

Aruba

Of course Aruba is famous for its beaches and there is a wide choice for everyone. From very crowded touristy beaches to some more secluded beaches which are best reached with your own wheels. Some examples include Malmok Beach, Hadikurari Beach, Palm Beach, Eagle Beach, San Nicolaas Beach and Baby Beach. Eagle Beach is particulary beautiful while Palm Beach, althoug busier, is nice as well.

Dominican Republic

Punta Cana - Saona Island view

Punta Cana - Saona Island view

© All Rights Reserved JOSE_MARIA

The Dominican Republic has more then a thousand miles of white sand beaches with clear blue water. If you're looking for super high end resorts with pools and gold course then some beaches are perfect for you. If you're looking for something more off the beaten track with no people, that is also easy to find! The beaches surround the entire country and all of them are great in different ways. The beaches are amazing and are a great place to relax.

Grace Bay Beach

Grace Bay Beach has been voted one of the best and most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean and even in on Earth! The beach is located on the main island of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Providenciales, and stretches about 20 kilometres where you will find white sandy beaches which are absolutely stunning. Snorkeling Grace Bay is fabulous because of its crystal-clear waters and beautiful reef. The sunsets are one of a kind as well and although it is by far the most popular beach on the Turks and Caicos Islands, it's at least less developed than for example many of the Bahamas islands.

Pink Sand Beach

Pink Sands Beach chaise lounge

Pink Sands Beach chaise lounge

© All Rights Reserved jlamarre

There are several beaches with pink sand on the Bahamas island of Eleuthera and its neighbouring islands like Harbour Island. On this latter island is the famous Pink Sand Beach, a 5-kilometre stretch of beach on featuring pink sand and clear waters which has often been cited by various travel magazines as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. At least it is one of the most popular ones of the Bahamas and Harbour Island, unlike its big brother Eleuthera, is more crowded and developed. Still, it is quite an experience and sight and something different again from the ubiquitos white sand beaches.

Saint Barthélemy

Saint Barthélemy has some of the best beaches in the entire Caribbean and compared to other islands, some of them are surprisinly quiet and secluded. Grand Saline Beach is nice if you like to sunbath nude. For the ones that would like their bikini or shorts on, the Colombier beach in the north of the island is very beautiful and relaxed. You can go hiking, swimming and enjoy the natural setting with some yachts, perfect! Anse des Flamands, Shell beach and Anse du Gouverneur are other examples. Saint Jean beach is probably the most popular.

Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman

Seven Mile Beach Sunrise

Seven Mile Beach Sunrise

© All Rights Reserved johnnyphis

Seven Mile Beach is located on the island of Grand Cayman and is a coral-sand beach on the western shore of the island. In fact, it is not 7 miles long, but 'only' 5.5 miles (almost 9 kilometres). It's a public beach just north of George Town, the capital. Although beauty is always in the eyy of the beholder, this beach has won a few prizes, including one for the best beach in the Caribbean. It is also the most popular one on the Cayman Islands, and during peak holiday periods, it can feel a little busy. Also, loads of resorts and hotels mean it rarely is deserted. Your best bet might be to visit here during the off season months of August and September and hope there is no hurricane spoiling your beach break! Several good shallow reefs mean that snorkelling is a popular activity as well, next to swimming and sunbathing of course.

Virgin Gorda

The Baths Beaches

The Baths Beaches

© All Rights Reserved Utrecht

Although there are quite a few beaches on both the US Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands, one of the most popular ones is on the British island of Virgin Gorda, called The Baths. Basically, The Baths is not only a beach but refers to a collection of giant boulders at the seaside. They are located near the island's southwest corner. They form a national park and are probably the most popular tourist attraction of the British Virgin Islands. The rocks form a series of small caves that flood with seawater, although there is no safety concern. A bigger concern is the fact that The Baths are usually just very crowded with tourists so come very early or late during the day to have some secluded spots for yourself. Still, the small beaches and snorkelling definately is worthwhile the trip to this beautiful island.

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Central America

Belize Beaches

Photo not found

Belize is most famous for its fantastic beaches, islands and all sorts of activities you can do while based on one of these islands or beaches. Although the mainland beaches are ok, most people go and visit the Cayes just offshore. The most popular ones are Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye] but there are hundreds to visit and from here you can do numerous day trips, mainly to go out snorkelling and diving. Belize is famous for its 'Blue Hole' near Ambergris Caye. For more information about both, visit the Ambergriscaye website.

Costa Rica Beaches

It's hard to choose just one beach, as there are dozens of options and there is a beach for everyone.

1. Osa Peninsula (1) 055

1. Osa Peninsula (1) 055

© All Rights Reserved lebrunfo


Whether you like just relaxing and enjoying the sun, or surfing or hiking, or just tranquility, Costa Rica has it all along its long coastline, both at the Caribbean as well as the Pacific side of the country. Both are good for lots of activities, including viewing turtles (like the Leatherbacks at Tortuguero)), surfing, just hanging around the beach and some hiking more inland. In general the Caribbean side is calmer and has attractive places like Uvita Island, while the Pacific side has good surfing as well, especially on the popular Nicoya Peninsula. Places along the coast include Tamarindo, Santa Teresa, Jaco, Pochote,and Montezuma to name just a few of the options.

El Salvador Beaches

The beaches in El Salvador are a great spot to relax, enjoy the local atmosphere but above all the coastline of El Salvador is gaining a reputation of having some of the best surfing in the world.

Martin Perez Island, gulf of fonseca

Martin Perez Island, gulf of fonseca

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The best spots include La Libertad (near San Salvador), El Sunzal, Playa Las Flores, El Zonte and the wild El Este, which make El Salvador the fastest growing surf tourism hot-spot in Central America.

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Europe

Barcelona Beaches

Barcelona is listed number one in the top 10 list of beach cities, according to National Geographic. Barcelona has no less than seven beaches, totalling 4.5 kilometres.

Barceloneta beach

Barceloneta beach

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Sant Sebastià and Barceloneta beaches are the most popular ones and also the biggest at around 1,100 metres in length. These two beaches are separated by The Olympic Port from the five other city beaches: Nova Icària, Bogatell, Mar Bella, Nova Mar Bella and Llevant. These beaches average around 500 metres and were opened as a result of the city restructuring to host the 1992 Summer Olympics. Barceloneta Beach was voted in 2005 as the best urban beach in the world and the third best beach overall, according to the docu-film "Worlds Best Beaches" by Discovery Channel. It's located in the Barceloneta neighbourhood, also famous for its many restaurants and nightclubs along the boardwalk.

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Middle East

Jumeirah Beach, Dubai

VIEW FROM THE BAR AT TEH TOP OF THE BURJ!

VIEW FROM THE BAR AT TEH TOP OF THE BURJ!

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Jumeirah Beach is the famous beach resort area about 15 kilometres south of the centre of Dubai. The Burj al Arab is located here, as well as the Jumeirah Beach hotel and the waterpark 'Wild Wadi'. There is also the Jumeirah Mosque, one of only a few mosques which is open for non-Islamic tourists, which has regular morning tours. In 2009, the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup was held here as well.

Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is known for some of the country's best beaches. Its western border is contoured by Mediterranean sand, making kilometres-long beaches. The sunsets are spectacular to watch on these beaches. Tel Baruch Beach at Namir Road and Propes Street is popular among families, thanks to the lawns and boardwalk. Aviv Beach at Hayakon Street is frequented by singles.
The beaches at Hatzuk and Herzliya charge entrance fees. Most beaches are equipped with public amenities, including bathrooms and changing rooms.

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North America

Santa Monica

Rollercoaster, Santa Monica

Rollercoaster, Santa Monica

© All Rights Reserved Utrecht

Although Santa Monica is a city itself rather than part of the city of Los Angeles, it basically is the playground for the beach bums in the LA. Most of the action in Santa Monica is centred around the Santa Monica Pier, where the official end of Route 66 is located.
The pier, with its activities like rollercoasters and all sorts of shops, splits the beach into two halfs. The northern one is less attractive and most parking takes place there.
The southern half, towards Venice Beach, is more attractive, with cycle- and foothpaths and palmtrees. The water here is pretty cold like most of the Californian coast, and watch out for riptides or strong currents at times. There are lifeguards patrolling around the waters, but better safe than sorry!

Venice Beach

While Santa Monica Beach is more of a family style beach, Venice Beach is more the beach for the young and the ones that like to see and to be seen. Apart from the beach, there is also lots of sport grounds, including the famous Muscle Beach, where you'll find the big guys pumping their iron.

T-shirt shop, Venice Beach

T-shirt shop, Venice Beach

© All Rights Reserved Utrecht


Next to the beach runs the Ocean Front Walk, or just boardwalk, full with souvenir shops, snacks, drinks and even 'legal' (as in 'good for health problems') marihuana shops. Things can feel a bit worn down and downright shabby after the sun sets, but most of the times it's nothing more than a feeling and certainly not an unsafe place!

Waikiki Beach

If this exotic name doesn't ring a bell, you must have lived under a rock for the last decades. It's the most famous beach on the island chain of Hawaii and is located on the island of Oahu, more specifically right at the capital Honolulu, another exotic name. Unfortunately, the exotic names are not translated into quiteness. The 2-mile stretch of white-sand beach at Waikiki Beach can keep you occupied for days with watersports, soaking up the sun, enjoy some snorkelling or if you get there early enough, enjoy a peaceful stroll.

Yucatan

Photo not found

Although Mexican beaches can be found along all of the Pacific coast (like Acapulco, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas), the ones in Yucatan are the most beautiful, with fantastic white powdery sand and a Caribbean atmosphere and charm. Some of the best known include Cancun and Playa del Carmen, but the gem of this part of the country definately is Tulum, on the Yucatan Peninsula, approximately 130 kilometres south of Cancún and also home to some amazing ruins. The beaches are white and the sea is blue. This is the Caribbean Sea as you imagine it to be. It is a lot more quiet than the other beachtowns in Quintana Roo and the combination of a relatively low-key resort town, old ruins and beaches is just amazing!

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Oceania

Bondi Beach

bondi beach

bondi beach

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Bondi Beach is approximately 9 kilometres from the city centre of Sydney and generally one of the busiest and most popular in and around the city. Originally known as "Boondi" by the local aboriginals, it is probably the most famous beach in Australia, though not the best. The beach itself is just a large strip of sand - the main attraction is the matching strip of pubs, restaurants and shops, and its lively nightlife. Best reached by bus from Bondi Junction train station. For families, quieter beaches with parklands such as Coogee, Bronte, Neilsen Park or Manly are likely to be more appealing.

Bora Bora

Say Bora Bora and most travellers think of paradise immediately. Unfortunately, although still beautiful, many travellers go here, including top end package tourists.

Bora Bora

Bora Bora

© All Rights Reserved deannajuli


The island has never lost its beauty though and with its steep mountains rising straight from the blue waters you will find yourself in one of the most magnificent islands of French Polynesia. Relaxing, walking and diving are your main activities here, like in most places in French Polynesia.

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South America

Copacabana

IMG_3237

IMG_3237

© All Rights Reserved Peacocks

Copacabana is also called Princesinha do Mar (Princess of the Sea) and is one of the reasons Rio is so famous. The wide sand strip makes it a very popular beach for sports and sunbathing. At the far end by the hill is the Leme Beach, an extension of Copacabana but very family-oriented. More than a beach, Copacabana is a melting pot where many different people gather in various events all year round. Bands often use Copacabana as a stage for concerts. International volleyball and soccer championships are held in arenas built for the occasions. Above all, there is absolutely nothing like New Year’s Eve at the Copacabana Beach. Tons of fireworks light the skies for half an hour while 2 million people dressed in white go crazy. Something to experience at least once in a lifetime!

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This is version 43. Last edited at 14:12 on Oct 18, 11 by Utrecht. 3 articles link to this page.

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