Whether you prefer an aquatic adventure, the most colourful sunset, or the tranquillity that comes from serene crystal waters, the world is full of opportunities to revel in paradise.
In seeking the world’s best beach vacation, we’ve compared your favourite stretches of sand, as displayed on social media, with our own beloved picks, from Bora Bora to Vietnam. These 12 beaches, selected from six regions around the world, are ideal for your next tropical getaway.
Amid away-from-it-all volcanic islands, the beaches of Indonesia and French Polynesia boast sapphire waters surrounded by emerald mountains.
Traveller’s Pick: Bora Bora
On Instagram, Bora Bora is repeatedly deemed a favourite escape, even called the land of “50 shades of blue.” In addition to the seemingly endless waters, guests can soak in the sight of Mount Otemanu. The overwater bungalows at Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora take the beach vacation to the next level, offering 360-degree views and complete immersion in the aquatic life.
Editor’s Pick: Bali at Jimbaran Bay
The lure of the exotic leads us to another one of our favourite tropical escapes: the beach of Jimbaran Bay. With forested volcanic mountains in the distance, soft white sand and year-round warm temperatures characterize the Bali beach.
After relaxing in the sun, catch a glimpse of a sea turtle or parrotfish while diving near one of the coral reefs off the island, located in the Coral Triangle. Finish the evening with a drink at Sundara restaurant at Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay.
Though typically known for its vivid rain forests, South America and Central America can also claim some of the world’s most beautiful beaches.
Traveller’s Pick: Costa Rica
No setting sun is more gorgeous than one dozily sinking behind the ocean, which is why Costa Rica is one of your favourite beaches at day’s end. With warm gulf waters, pristine white sands and tropical trees swaying inland, the Gulf of Papagayo is a premier setting for beach photos – day and night.
Editor’s Pick: Punta Mita
With nearby golf courses and opportunities for surfing, Punta Mita is one of our favourite beaches for those who want to do more than just relax.
For a day excursion, visit Islas Marietas National Park, just a few miles west of Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita and relax on one of the world’s most unusual beaches. The islands, formed by volcanic activity, are rich in natural wildlife. From December to March, marvel at the power and grace of humpback whales during their migration through the bay.
Best African Beaches
Home to some of the best lesser-known snorkelling and diving spots, the islands off Africa are excellent options for your next beach getaway.
Traveller’s Pick: Seychelles
Just off the coast of East Africa lie the Seychelles, home to numerous beaches and nature reserves. Nature is awe-inspiring here. You may even catch a glimpse of a rare giant Aldabra tortoise.
“Nothing can beat Seychelles sunsets,” says Tania Gae Mllitello. Besides the beautiful close of the day, she also loves the relaxed atmosphere and the great surfing waves. “On a Sunday afternoon you can go there and find many Seychellois and tourists together catching waves or having a picnic by the beach.
Editor’s Pick: Mauritius
The island of Mauritius, blissfully stranded in the Indian Ocean, beckons travellers who seek the serenity of being one with nature. At Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita guests can enjoy three private beaches, with their choice of a beach sofa, palm tree hammock or sun lounger on the Resort’s private island.
Sail the turquoise sea, marvel at giant tortoises on the beach, play golf on a championship course, or just gaze at the glinting water outlined by the Bambou Mountains in the distance.
Best Beaches in Southeast Asia
With some of the world’s most varied coral reefs and year-round tropical climate, the “East Indies” offer travellers some of the most picturesque scenes for their beach vacation.
Traveller’s Pick: The Maldives
Guests seeking stillness and tranquillity often turn to the beaches of the Maldives, a nation made up of more than 1,000 coral islands known for their blue lagoons and underwater scenery. Katharina Horstmann claims the Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru as her favourite beach because “it reveals the perfect beauty of nature.”
“For me, [true happiness] is when I walk alone on the beach through the coral sand, while the shallow turquoise water tickles my toes.”
For the ultimate in peaceful seclusion, escape to Maldives Private Island Voavah at Baa Atoll.
Editor’s Pick: Hoi An, Vietnam
Lying in Vietnam’s cultural heartland, the tranquil kilometre-long stretch of beach in Hoi An has been deemed one of the world’s best beaches, and it’s also a relaxing perch from which to explore the country’s rich history.
In between bouts of lazing in the sun, take an excursion to any of the three UNESCO heritage sites nearby: Hue’s imperial city, the temple sanctuary of My Son and Hoi An’s enchanting lantern-lit streets.
Best Beaches in the United States
Whether you’re looking to ride a gnarly wave, sail the Atlantic or escape to the peaceful exotic, the United States of America has a beach for you.
Traveller’s Pick: Lanai, Hawaii
Though Lanai begs to be photographed for its Hawaiian sunsets, swaying palms and sweeping views of the Pacific, its starry night sky is what moved Mark Edward Harris to share the beauty of what has been long celebrated by guests as a favourite American beach destination.
Spend the day playing in the white sands of the secluded “Shipwreck Beach,” accessible only by 4×4 jeep, and snorkelling in the waters of Hulopoe Bay, a protected marine preserve. Then hike to Sweetheart Rock, 20 minutes from Four Seasons Resort Lanai, and stare into the glittering nighttime.
Editor’s Pick: Palm Beach, Florida
With 47 miles of pristine golden beaches, Palm Beach, Florida has a setting for everyone – from romantically private stretches of sand to family-friendly beaches with playgrounds, nature centres and beach parks that offer snorkelling, windsailing, fishing or paddleboarding. Catch a gleeful glimpse of a loggerhead turtle, or relax in a cabana with the complimentary service of personal beach staff at Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach.
Best Caribbean Getaways
Southeast of the Gulf of Mexico, the tropical Caribbean is home to more than 7,000 islands, islets, reefs and cays. How do you choose the best?
Traveller’s Pick: Nevis
Called a “hidden gem” by guests, Nevis offers lovely beaches that are almost never crowded. “We spent every evening on this beach watching the beautiful sun set into the ocean,” says Anna Ng, who selected Nevis as her favourite beach getaway. “You truly feel like you’re on a quiet, remote island away from the rest of the world.”
On the north side of the island is a sweet spot, Lovers Beach, virtually hidden from the road. Its secluded location ensures guests optimal privacy. Locals agree that the best beaches on the island are on the northern and western shores. A more popular spot is Pinney’s Beach, running for about three miles near Four Seasons Resort Nevis.
Editor’s Pick: Anguilla
From hidden coves to long stretches of powdery sand, Anguilla is home to 33 breathtaking beaches. And with no cruise ships or casinos allowed, you’re promised a relaxing scene for unwinding. Bask in the low-key spirit of the British Overseas Territory while locals share their passion for boat racing, Caribbean music – and food.
Its impeccable scenery combined with a coastal dining scene like no other, Anguilla easily makes it to the top of our list. Its silky sand is highlighted by more than 100 restaurants, from rustic to luxurious, several of them right on the water. Enjoy a rum punch, a local lobster delicacy and the everlasting allure of the sea at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Anguilla.
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