How would you describe your perfect beach? Perhaps there would be fine white sand, turquoise waters and a breath-taking backdrop of mountains. It could be that hot weather is most important to you, or seclusion. There are so many beautiful beaches around the world, but what about those beaches that have a little something extra to offer? Whether you’re interested in cheap package holidays or luxury breaks, you can fly round the world to visit beaches that are nothing short of magical.
Here are some of the best beaches in the world.
Playa de las Catedrales, Spain
The name of this beach gives away its magical quality. Natural rock formations make cathedral-like arches and spires around the golden sands. Spain offers some of the most varied coastal locations in Europe and travellers tend to flock to the restaurants and sun loungers found along the main resorts of the southern Spanish costas. However, you’ll find Playa de Las Catedrales by travelling to the town of Ribadeo in the quieter northern Spanish region of Galicia.
Anse Source d’Argent, Seychelles
It’s hard to pin down the quality that makes Anse Source d-Argent beach so magical. It could be the pale pink sands, or the big granite boulders and tropical forest in the background. This is one of the most photographed beaches in the world, and a popular spot for honeymooners. Located on the tiny island of La Digue, for many this beach is the closest thing to paradise on Earth.
Butterfly Valley, Turkey
Sometimes it’s the seclusion that makes a beach so magical, and that’s certainly true of Butterfly Valley in Turkey. There’s no direct road to this beach, so you’ll either need to reach it by boat or on foot. Approaching by foot you’ll get spectacular views of the sands, which lie between two towering cliffs like the body of a butterfly. There’s something timeless about this Turkish beach, since there are no buildings or roads in the valley. The forty minute hike down is relatively steep, so you’ll need proper hiking gear and plenty of water.
Found on the north west shore of the Greek island of Zakynthos, Navagio beach ticks all of the boxes when it comes to beauty. There’s impossibly blue water, white sand, and a backdrop of white cliffs. Navagio is made even more magical by the sand-covered shipwreck marooned on the beach. The Panagiotis is thought to have been a smugglers ship, abandoned after a run-in with the authorities in the 1980s. Navagio is the most famous beach in Greece, so you might have to share it with fellow travellers, but it’s still well worth the trip.
Kauna’oa Bay, Hawaii
As well as being one of the most picturesque beaches in the world, Kauna’oa Bay’s extra magic comes from the picture postcard views you can enjoy from the sand. Palm trees sway and tropical flowers bloom around the bay making it the quintessential Hawaiian beach. You’ll also find some of the clearest, cleanest waters for swimming in the world, so don’t forget your snorkel. Manta rays, turtles and a variety of tropical fish hang out in the crystal-clear waters around Kauna’oa. When it comes to magical beach destinations, there is a whole world to explore. Do you know of a beach that you think should be on this list? Where’s the most magical coastal destination you’ve ever visited?
Jack Murray is a seasoned traveller, novice surfer and freelance writer. He works from home, close to the beach, in his native Brighton.