National Geographic’s top 10 best beaches

Everyone has their own list of what they consider to be the best beaches. Check out National’s Geographic’s round-up of beaches and see if it fits with your idea of the ideal beach:

Kaunaoa Bay, Hawaii

10. Kauna’oa Bay, Hawaii

This white sand, palm-lined beach can be found on the Kohala Coast of  Hawaii’s Big Island. The calm, blue water provides a perfect place to spend a lazy day at the beach, but also a fun setting for swimming, snorkeling or boogie-boarding. Just be careful while in the water as there are no lifeguards at this beach.

9. Langkawi, Malaysia

Translated, the name Langkawi means “the land of one’s wishes”, which is a pretty good name for a beach considered one of the best. This island was once a refuge for pirates, but has now transformed into a premiere getaway beach destination for international tourists. For an idyllic beach vacation where blue water meets white sand meets lush forest, this island is a good place to start. Specifically, National Geographic recommends Datai Bay, which is located on Pulau Langkawi along the Andaman Sea.

8. St. Bart’s

There are many magical beach destinations in the Caribbean, but St. Bart’s stands out due to its mix of classy French and laid-back island R&R. The 13-km-long island offers numerous secluded beaches, exquisite French cuisine and a fine selection of hotels, not to mention 20 beaches with glistening water and pure white sand.

Fraser Island, Australia

7. Fraser Island, Australia

Fraser Island, located about two and a half hours northeast of Brisbane, in Queensland, boasts the title of the world’s largest sand island. It has been classified a World Heritage Site and harbours 1,664 square-km of unspoiled nature. Here you can explore rain forests and their 1,000-year-old towering trees, all sprouting out of the sand.

6. Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

For something a little closer to home, Nantucket Island boasts a number of world-class beaches, particularly Surfside Beach and Children’s Beach. Here, you can enjoy calm waters and plenty of sand. For those looking for a little more adventure, Madaket Beach is home to rougher surf and picture-perfect sunsets. For that great New England feel, Quidnet Beach offers a glorious view of Sankaty Head lighthouse.

5. Lanikai Beach, Hawaii

Hawaii gets another mention with Lanikai Beach, a half-mile-long stretch of ” sparkling sand, palm trees swaying over a white beach, lush tropical plants, and endless sunshine”. National Geographic describes Lanikai as one of Hawaii’s most scenic beaches.

The Hampton's, New York

4. The Hamptons, New York

Normally the playground of New York’s rich and famous, The Hamptons also boast some of the prettiest beaches on Long Island. “The unspoiled shoreline begins around Southampton and runs east to the end of the island at Montauk. Windswept dunes and waving grasses border the Atlantic Ocean,” National Geographic writes.

3. Bora Bora, Tahiti

If there is one constant on a top-10 beach list, Bora Bora is it. Described as “magical”, Bora Bora is part of  French Polynesia in the South Pacific. It’s small (just 29 km long), but its is situated in a protected lagoon lined by white sandy beaches, the best being Matira Beach. National Geographic has this to say, in case you’re still undecided where to spend a romantic getaway: “Bora Bora boasts the nickname the “Romantic Island,” a moniker easy to appreciate with its isolated beaches, intimate hotels, and quiet atmosphere.”

Nalaguraidhoo Beach

2. Maldives

The Maldives are said to provide everything your ideal beach vacation requires: the opportunity to snorkel with fish or to live the high life in a posh resort. Situated just south of Sri Lanka, the Maldives is made up of 1,102 islands, all with their own romance and charm. Nalaguraidhoo, or  Sun Island Beach, is one of the most well-known resorts.

1. Seychelles


Said to be one of the most photographed beaches in the world, the pink sands of Anse Source d’Argent stretch across the island of La Digue, one of the 115 components of this archipelago in the Indian Ocean. “The sands sparkle against a backdrop of towering granite boulders, worn by time and weather,” National Geographic writes so eloquently. The surrounding waters are relatively shallow and are protected from the ocean’s waves by a reef.