Heading off to sunnier shores to lie on a white sand beach isn’t on the cards for Brits just yet, but thanks to Tripadvisor we just got a huge dose of inspiration for when we can go exploring again.
That’s because the site’s Travellers’ Choice Awards are in, and the world’s best beaches category has some ridiculously beautiful spots on the list.
We’re talking those postcard worthy golden sands, turquoise waters, palm trees, beautiful scenery and heaps of sunshine. Bliss.
The winners are determined based on the quality and quantity of reviews on Tripadvisor over 12 months – although this year a key factor was which beaches had the highest volume of ‘saves’ since travel was off the cards.
So, where are the world’s top 10 best beaches? Get ready for a major dose of wanderlust…
1. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Australia
It’s not difficult to see why Whitehaven Beach has been named the world’s best beach for 2021 according to travellers. Just look at those white sands, crystalline waters and lush green landscape! There are heaps of boat trips and tours that you can take as part of a wider itinerary on a holiday in Australia, if you do plan to add it to the bucket list.
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2. Santa Maria Beach, Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba
Cuba boasts some incredible beaches but Santa Maria Beach is a must-visit. Sun-seekers can relax on the fine sands, adventurers can go snorkelling around the coral reef in the crystal-clear waters, or for those after a bit of a vibrant atmosphere the nearby snack bars could do the trick!
3. Baia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
Baia do Sancho has already long been hailed as one of the world’s best beaches, and it’s definitely one for adventurers. The beach is part of the national park in Fernando de Noronha, and can be reached by walking along a wooden boardwalk, before climbing down a ladder through the narrow rock canyons.
Once on the beach it’s golden sands and turquoise waters which await, as well as colourful corals where you can find wildlife from rays to crabs (and even some small sharks).
4. Grace Bay Beach, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
The soft sands and swim-friendly waters make this a popular spot with both visitors and locals, not to mention that it’s just a ridiculously beautiful setting with the palm-fringed shores and surrounding resorts that make this an easily accessed beach.
5. Saint Pete Beach, Florida, USA
Florida is known for offering up some beautiful beaches but if you only visit one, make it Saint Pete Beach with its picture-perfect white sands and turquoise waters. It’s particularly popular with thrill-seekers, as the conditions are ideal for a number of water sports including kiteboarding, windsurfing and paddle-boarding.
6. Turquoise Bay, Exmouth, Australia
The second Australian beach to have made the top 10, Turquoise Bay looks like it’s straight out of a storybook with its pristine sandy shores and crystal-clear blue waters. Those wanting to discover the marine life won’t be disappointed thanks to the Ningaloo Reef that’s home to heaps of marine life, while the nearby town of Exmouth boasts some great hotels and restaurants.
7. Eagle Beach, Aruba
Eagle Beach is already one of our top picks of the best Caribbean beaches so we weren’t surprised to see it’s been a top pick from Tripadvisor users. The soft sands, the lush green surroundings, and the umbrellas and sunloungers you can hire for the day make this an ideal spot for a dreamy beach day out.
8. Spiaggia dei Conigli, Lampedusa, Italy
Spiaggia dei Conigli is one of the most famous beaches on the island of Lampedusa, thanks to its white sands and abundance of marine life. The beach can get quite busy during the summer months and there are some facilities such as a cafe where you can pick up snacks.
9. Ka’anapali Beach, Hawaii, USA
This beach has everything you could want for a dreamy holiday; it’s right by a plethora of resorts and restaurants, there’s heaps of space on the sandy shores, the waters are clear and there’s plenty of marine life that you can observe while snorkelling. Major bucket list fodder.
(If Hawaii’s on your wishlist, you may also want to check out our round-up of its most beautiful places from beaches to rainbow trees and ethereal waterfalls).
10. Baía dos Golfinhos, Praia da Pipa, Brazil
There’s plenty to see and do on this beach whether you’re dolphin-watching in the afternoon, or taking to the waters for a spot of kayaking and paddleboarding. The sandy shores can be reached by walking from Pipa beach so it feels a little remote, but the dolphins do draw in visitors especially during peak holiday seasons.
Which of the beaches do you think is the most spectacular? Let us know in the comments below.