15 Iconic Beaches Around the World

By Briana Seftel

The smell of salty air, the gentle crash of waves...who doesn't love a good beach? We can't think of anything more relaxing then laying out on a beach under an umbrella with a good back in hand.

From a shipwreck beach in Greece to a black sand beauty in Maui, these 15 beaches are amazing for shore.

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Ipanema Beach • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Spend a day at Rio’s two iconic beaches: Copacabana and Ipanema. You may recognize the latter from the famous song “The Girl from Ipanema” – either way, this expansive beach is Rio life on a strip of sand.

Koh Rong Beach • Koh Rong, Cambodia

This beach on Cambodia’s second largest island in the Gulf of Thailand is pure bliss – powdery white sand, crystal clear water, and not a development in sight. If Koh Rong isn't paradise, we don't know what is.

Black Sand Beach • Maui, Hawaii

Maui has no shortage of incredible beaches, but this black sand beauty in Waianapanapa State Park is one of the most unique. Created long ago from hot lava hitting the cool surf, this beach is nestled in a private cove and is perfect for a day of relaxation.

Railay Beach • Krabi, Thailand

Flanked by limestone rock formations on all sides, Railay Beach is a stunning oasis near the city of Krabi. Only accessible by boat, the beach is popular among day trippers and rock climbers looking to scale the monstrous cliffs.

Tulum Beach • Tulum, Mexico

Just an hour and 30 minutes from busy Cancun, Tulum is a wellness hot spot with unspoiled beaches to boot. Tulum Beach is the most well-known as it sits below Tulum's ancient Mayan ruins.

Navagio Beach • Zakynthos, Greece

Navagio Beach (also called Shipwreck Beach) on the Greek island of Zakynthos is one of the most stunning in all of Greece. Day trippers from all over flock to this beach that's home to a shipwrecked freightliner, the MV Panagiotis.

Tip: To get here you need to get a taxi-boat from Porto Vromi, leaving every hour.

Seven Sisters Cliffs • East Sussex, England

Overlooking the English Channel, the Seven Sisters Cliffs are often mistaken for the White Cliffs of Dover. However these beautiful chalk cliffs have a beach below that is perfect for strolling on a crisp English day.

Padang Padang Beach • Bali, Indonesia

Locally referred to as Pantai Labuan Sait, this beach on the northwest coast of Bali is popular among surfers and sunbathers. Some may recognize this beach from the 2010 romantic film “Eat, Pray, Love.”

Boulders Beach • Cape Town, South Africa

The main draw for visitors to Boulders Beach on the Cape Peninsula is the 3,000 jackass penguins, which are often spotted waddling in and out of the sea.

Palolem Beach • Goa, India

On the western coast of India, Goa is renowned for its golden-sand beaches, Portuguese influence, and legendary parties. Palolem is the quintessential Goan beach - bamboo huts, palm trees, and gentle water.

Bondi Beach • Sydney, Australia

An iconic image of Australia is Bondi Beach, the famous beach located just outside of the capital of Sydney. Locals and tourists alike love sunbathing, surfing or just strolling the sandstone headlands.

South Beach • Miami, Florida

Sun and surf, as well as glitz and glam, distinguish South Beach in Miami. After strolling the Art Deco neighborhood, head for the beach and find a sunny spot to relax. The always busy public beach begins at Ocean Drive and 5th Street, and ends at 21st Street and Collins.

Praia da Marinha • Algarve, Portugal

Known as one of the most beautiful beaches of Portugal's Algarve, Praia da Marinha (Navy Beach) is perpetually covered in sunshine. Locals and tourists flock to the beach for its beautiful cliffs and high quality of water.

One Foot Island • Aitutaki, Cook Islands

Is it a dream? No, it’s One Foot Island! Located in Aitutaki, one of the Cook Islands, this tiny inlet traditionally known as Tapuaetai got its name because from the air, it resembles a left foot. This little slice of heaven is perfect for snorkeling, sunbathing, and just relaxing.

Zlatni Rat • Brac Island, Croatia

Also known as Golden Horn, Zlatni Rat on Brac Island is one of the most iconic beaches in Croatia, and for good reason. The pebbled beach continually changes shape and color due to changing winds and sea.

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