World's top 10 beach destinations

World's top 10 beach destinations
Sunset central: Hawaii's Lanikai Beach. Image: ThinkStock
Beaches, bays and impressive coastlines beckon almost all Australian travellers. However, not everyone is wowed by the same waves, and everyone has their own idea of what their perfect beach might be. Our friends at have selected their top 10 best beaches in the world, taking into account the off-the-beaten-track beauties and the best-value beach hotel hotspots.
Cable Beach, Broome, Western Australia

Located 7km from Broome, Cable Beach is one of Australia's best beach destinations. Bordering the Indian Ocean, and surrounded by the vast inland wildernesses of Western Australia, Cable Beach has an atmospheric 'last outpost' feel, not to mention 22.5km of pure white sand and crystal clear turquoise water. Cable Beach is renowned for its sunsets, which can be enjoyed while riding a camel along the beach, or from the comfort of one of the many beachside restaurants. Check out Expedia's flight deals and recommended hotels.

Ao Nang Beach, Krabi, Thailand

Ao Nang is known as Thailand's best all-round beach destination, due to its central location in the Andaman Sea and magnificent scenery. Ao Nang beach is relatively untouched, and days can be spent relaxing by the shore or taking part in one of the many activities on offer, such as snorkelling, scuba diving and kayaking. The equally spectacular Railey Beach is only a 15-minute ferry ride away and is approximately two hours from Phuket. Check out Expedia's flight deals and recommended hotels.

Nha Trang Beach, Nha Trang, Vietnam

Nha Trang is known as Vietnam's ultimate 'traditional' seaside resort - a lively coastal town where travellers relax by day and party by night. Nha Trang Bay is considered among the world's most beautiful bays, and its signature beach is long and flat with golden sands and spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. It is also the gateway to a cluster of quieter islands which offer outstanding snorkelling and scuba diving trips. Check out Expedia's flight deals and recommended hotels.

Paradise Beach and others, Yasawa Island, Fiji

Yasawa Island is famous for its fine sand and exquisite beaches, including Paradise Beach and Champagne Beach. Its limestone caves also put the Island on the map when Brooke Shields gallivanted there in the 1980s blockbuster movie, The Blue Lagoon. Yasawa Island, the largest of about 20 volcanic islands in Fiji's Yasawa island archipelago, is renowned for its spectacular rugged scenery and palm-fringed white sandy beaches. Yasawa Island is the only island in this outlying archipelago with an airstrip. Check out Expedia's flight deals and recommended hotels.

Azeda Beach, Buzios, Brazil

Armacao dos Buzios (better known as Buzios) is a peninsula surrounded by 8km of islands and beaches, and made famous in the 1960s when film star Brigette Bardot passed through, drawing the attention of adventurous tourists around the world. The beach is now dotted with hip restaurants, bars and boutiques. Buzios' premier beach, Azeda Beach, is considered one of the prettiest in Brazil. The beach boasts a 300m stretch of fine white sand and crystal clear water. With waves virtually non-existent, it is perfect for snorkelling. Check out Expedia's flight deals and recommended hotels.

Lanikai Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

Located about 30 minutes' drive from Honolulu - in the town of Kailua - Lanikai Beach is a 500m stretch of powdered sugar sand, and a perfect spot for travellers seeking a quiet, remote location to relax. It is sheltered by a wide, protective offshore reef and has a clear view of the spectacular Na Mokulua islands, certainly living up to its translated name, 'heavenly sea'. Check out Expedia's flight deals and recommended hotels.

Isola Bella Beach, Taormina, Sicily, Italy

Located on the east coast of Sicily, with views of Mt Etna, and protected by the bay and mountains, Isola Bella Beach is without a doubt one of Sicily's most prized natural assets. Located close to Taormina, a quintessential Italian beach town that's popular with artists and celebrities, this pebbly beach offers extremely inviting crystal clear water to take a dip or snorkel in. Depending on the tide, beachgoers can walk to Isola Bella, the nature reserve on the tiny islet adjoining the beach. Check out Expedia's flight deals and recommended hotels.

Clifton Beach, Cape Town, South Africa

Actually four adjacent beaches separated by giant granite boulders, and set against the most spectacular backdrop of the majestic Twelve Apostles mountain range, Clifton Beach is considered one of Cape Town's 'glamour' spots - where the rich and famous live and beach-loving locals and tourists go to relax. Although sheltered from the prevailing Southeaster in the summer, the chilly Atlantic Ocean means a quick dip is all that is required to cool down from the baking sun. The best time of the day is just before sunset, as you can kick back to watch the sun set over the sea. Check out Expedia's flight deals and recommended hotels.

Seven Mile Beach, Negril, Jamaica

Located in the heart of the Caribbean Sea, the island of Jamaica has long been the playground of sun worshippers the world over. On its western shores - at Negril - is Seven Mile Beach. Close to scores of hotels that hug the shoreline, it is the longest continuous stretch of beach in Jamaica. At the end of the beach is a lighthouse with majestic views of the surrounding cliffs and spectacular rock formations. Check out Expedia's flight deals and recommended hotels.

Mughsayl Beach, Salahah, Oman

Salalah, in southern Oman, has a unique charm with its coconut groves and banana plantations growing right to the water's edge. It is also blessed with great beaches, popular for swimming and beach football. Mughsayl Beach is one of the most popular of Oman's 2700km of untouched sandy beaches. During rainy season the huge waves cause dramatic explosions of water through blowholes at one end of the beach - it's a sight to behold.

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Drool over more beaches in our gallery of the world's most stunning sunsets:

User comments
You didn't mention the Palm Beach Parklands, which now have a great pirates playground area for families, leading down to a beautiful natural estuary on Currumbin Creek, safe swimming but just a stone's throw from the Pacific Ocean. There is also a wonderful kiosk to provide sustenance for visitors. But don't tell anyone. I'd rather keep it to myself