Long stretches of sparkling golden sand, sparkling blue water and cocktails at your fingertips: we know what makes a good beach. If you are looking for pure relaxation, we have found just the beaches of the world for your happiness. We’ve also included great beaches for surfing, snorkeling, and other water activities – because relaxation isn’t just about relaxing with a cocktail.

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1. Elafonisi Island, Greece

Located on the west side of Crete, the island of Elafonisi is just 200 meters off the coast. Voted repeatedly as the most majestic beach house in the world, a glance at the magnificent pink sand of Elafonisi Island and its crystal blue-green waters will make you want to relax on its shores. But that’s not all: you can also enjoy a peaceful swim in the shallow lagoon located between the mainland and the island. An ideal destination for a summer day, the island of Elafonisi is popular – and for good reason! Beat the crowd by going here in early or late summer.

Elafonisi Island, Greece

2. Seven Mile Beach, Cayman Islands

In fact, measuring only 5.5 miles, the famous Seven Mile Beach is located on the west coast of Grand Cayman. Crystal clear waters and coral sands attract visitors from all over the world, but that’s not all that Seven Mile Beach has to offer. Enjoy the lively Jamaican bars and restaurants while soaking up the Caribbean sun. Whether you’re sipping fresh coconut water straight from the source or getting to know the local wildlife on a snorkeling trip, Seven Mile Beach has something for everyone. Oh, last but not least: a visit to the Cayman Islands would not be complete without rum. Visit this nearby distillery and brewery to sample this spirit at the fountain.

3. Harbor Island, Bahamas

Located off the northeast coast of Eleuthera Island, Harbor Island is a peaceful retreat away from the busy beaches of the Bahamas. Popular with couples and families who like to relax away from the masses, Harbor Island is home to pink beaches and endless lounge chairs. And with no shortage of beachside bites, you’re sure to find something to your liking. For the more adventurous, the neighboring island Nassau is quite close and full of activities on the beach.

Harbor Island, Bahamas

4. Matira Beach, Bora Bora

Matira Beach is the only publicly accessible beach in Bora Bora, making it the most accessible on the island. This kilometer-long beach has long stretches of white sand and a shallow emerald lagoon, with palm trees and thick tropical foliage in the background. For drinks and meals, you won’t have to walk very far. Several casual cafes are scattered along the beach, all facing west to enjoy the magnificent sunsets. At low tide it is possible to swim to the coral reef, which is a popular place to dive with sharks and rays.

5. Reduit Beach, Saint Lucia

Reduit Beach is located just south of Pigeon Island National Park, along Rodney Bay. For the active traveler, this beach is ideal for snorkeling, diving and sailing, or even to join an experience on the Segway nature trail. For vacationers with a slower speed in mind, fear not. There are many ways to have fun in dozens of nearby spas. And if you want to continue living the big life, Reduit Beach is located near a large marina, so you can easily rent a boat for a nearby island. Loose anchors!

6. El Nido, Philippines

Home to around fifty white sand beaches, El Nido is full of fun ways to spend a day in the sun. Whichever beach you visit, you are guaranteed spectacular formations of limestone, incredibly white sand and intense blue water. And don’t even get us started with the sunsets. Although they are certainly worthy of a gram, nothing beats being there in person. Look for a secluded spot on El Nido (it won’t be difficult – the area is relatively under the radar), sit back and relax.

El Nido, Philippines

7. Navagio Beach, Greece

Navagio Beach is often called Shipwreck Beach or Smuggler’s Cove and is located on the coast of Zakynthos in the Ionian Islands of Greece. This distant destination is notoriously difficult to reach: unless you are the captain of your own ship. You will have to board one of the many boats that come and go on the beach. Take a step out on a day trip and discover Navagio Beach in style by speedboat, as well as the blue caves of Xingia Beach.

8. Hyams Beach, Australia

Hyams Beach has the whitest sand in the world. Don’t trust our word: the Guinness Book of World Records says so. However, this is only one reason to visit Hyams Beach. Located on the south shore of Jervis Bay, you can join a tour of Sydney that explores all the beaches along this stretch of coastline, including Hyams Beach. The bay is surrounded by Booderee National Park and is also a popular spot for whale watching.

Île aux Cerfs, Mauritius

9. Île aux Cerfs, Mauritius

Mauritius is known for its luxury beach vacations: it is a tropical paradise full of beautiful beaches and first class hotels and cabins. Ile aux Cerfs is a private island off the east coast of Mauritius. Most travelers spend the day sunbathing, snorkeling, and having lunch at one of the beach restaurants. You can get to the island by motor boat or by private boat.

Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda

10. Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda

Perhaps the most famous of Bermuda’s beaches, Horseshoe Bay is known for its pink sand, turquoise waters, and jagged rock formations. It’s a popular beach (especially when there are city cruises). But for a quieter spot, travelers just need to walk a little further east along the beach. Horseshoe Bay has everything you need for a fun day at the beach, including rental chairs and umbrellas, lifeguards, a beach bar, and public restrooms. For families, there is Horseshoe Bay Cove, which is a natural shallow pool perfect for splashing.