Like most people on earth we love, with a huge capital letter L, the effect of the beach on our senses. The feeling of freedom and relaxation that instantly hits you when you taste the salt in the air, see the waves roll onto the shore and the meditative sounds of a soft whistling wind is enough to cure the stresses of a long day or a bad mood.
But you have beaches and then you have beautiful beaches. And to make it even more complicated mother nature has created astonishing beaches. Although our beautiful planet offers hundreds of these fantastic locations to visit, we made a small selection that you could add to your bucket list. Mind you, we have added them all to our travel wish lists and can only hope to have the opportunity to see some of them in our lifetime. If you do happen to have any first hand experiences visiting these paradise places, please enlighten us in a comment below.
1. WHITEHAVEN BEACH | WHITSUNDAY ISLAND | AUSTRALIA
Take one look at our feature photo and you must be sold or otherwise colorblind of some sorts. This is what beach dreams are made of, a paradise on earth. Quite understandably this is the most photographed beach in Australia, that harbors a myriad of beautiful beaches anyway.
The pure white sand and crystal waters that gradually turn emerald green and aquamarine to deeper shades of blue are enough to instill a deep sense of longing in our hearts. The sand is 98 per cent pure white silica, which gives it a brilliant, near luminescent impossibly white colour. Whitehaven beach is located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef and has all the characteristics of pristine beauty. Leaving us speechless and taking our breath away by looking at a mere photo, this beach definitely ranks nr.1 on our list.
2. PLAYA ESTRELLA | STARFISH BEACH | BOCA DEL TORO | PANAMA
White sandy beaches and incredibly clear water in addition to hundreds of bright orange sea stars. These are the ingredients when you arrive at Starfish Beach in Bocas Del Toro, Panama. Located on Isla Colon’s North West side, just a short hike from Bocas Del Drago, it is away from the bustle of Bocas town. The aquamarine water is a must for snorkeling and swimming and is safe for young children too because it is almost always calm. We have unanimously decided we want to see the starfish in real life. This beach therefore ranks pretty high. We wonder when, at the soonest, can we fly?
3. TULUM | RIVIERA MAYA | MEXICO
Mexico has many beautiful beaches but apparently this one is quite hard to beat. And we understand why. It embraces towering 13 meter high limestone cliffs and the pale silvery sand slopes down into the clear, shallow Caribbean Sea. Most of all, let’s not forget the palms and lush vegetation on either side. And how about the old Mayan castle that sits a top of the cliff? Take us away today, we say!
4. ELAFONISI BEACH | ISLAND OF CRETE | GREECE
Elafonisi which literally translates to Island of Deer is like paradise on earth. No wonder it is marked as a nature reserve. Located off the west coast of Crete, you can wade through the water to reach it. The wonder of this beach can be found in the pink coral sand, caused by crushed powder shells, and crystalline waters which give off a magical exotic effect. What makes it so special? The little sand islets that are formed in the shallow turquoise waters of the sea make it almost look like a lagoon. Let’s book a flight, shall we?
5. GIANT’S CAUSEWAY | NORTHERN IRELAND
Surely not the ideal place to lay down a towel perhaps, but this beautiful coastline, which could be cause to believe in the existence of extra-terrestrial life, has a breathtaking beauty all of its own. Maybe it is the symmetry of the basalt stones or possibly the exact opposite: organized chaos of stone formations. Either way, the polygonal sections of basalt layered on top of each other, were formed by the flow of lava millions of years ago and caused it to end up on the World Heritage Site list. By the way, the only WHS that Northern Ireland can boast about.
6. RED SEABEACH | PANJIN | CHINA
Is it a sea? Not as we know it in terms of sandy beaches and such. But it does consist of shallow seas and tidelands. It ended up on our list anyway because the red seabeach is an astonishing creation of mother nature. The red colour is caused by the Sueda grass species. Its growth cycle starts in April when it is coloured light red, while the colour of the mature species is deep red. Red Seabeach is the biggest wetland and reed marsh in the world and preserves the most completed ecosystem and the biggest wetland known to mankind. More than 260 kinds of birds and 399 kinds of wild animals live in it. We love the colour red, did we mention that?
7. HONOKALANI BEACH | MAUI | HAWAII
We love red, but don’t write off black. Not the first thing that springs to mind when you think of a beautiful beach but the stark contrast is mesmerizing. Imagine a jet-black beach, lapis lazuli and aquamarine waters and luscious tropical vegetation. You have arrived at Honokalani Beach! The sand is not really sand but actually created by tiny miniature lava pebbles. This is mother nature, wild and unspoiled, at its best with seaside lava tubes and sea caves carved into the lava cliffs along the shore. Yes, we can actually see ourselves lazily dozing in the sun right there. But the million dollar question is of course: when?
8. ISOLA DEI CONIGLI | RABBIT ISLAND | LAMPEDUSA | ITALY
Located off the coast, far off the Sicilian coast in fact, Isola dei Conigli, or Rabbit Island was rated the best beach in the world in 2013 by TripAdvisor. First of all, it has crystal clear water and soft sand in addition to its aquamarine seas which makes this very remote place very gorgeous. We wonder why it is called rabbit island since there are no rabbits to be found anywhere. You can find turtles though, that travel miles to lay their eggs. It is a paradise for divers and snorkelers because the sea is filled with colourful fish. And once again this island is a protected reserve, with good reason.
9. VAADHOO ISLAND BY NIGHT | MALDIVES
The Maldives are impressive. Each and every tiny island in this area is. However, the most fantastic thing we have ever seen is the lighted sea by night. And yes, we are more than eager to witness this in person which is rather sooner than later. The secret to this magical appearance is phytoplankton, marine microbes, which are bioluminescent and emanate the fantastic blue glow. The species create the most romantic natural lighting in the world. Therefore, nature is magical and wonderful indeed!
10. BAIA DO SANCHO | FERNANDO DE NORONHA | BRAZIL
Last but certainly not least, Baia de Sancho in Brazil, which was voted the most beautiful beach in the world this year by Travellers’ choice. We can not possibly understand why, can you? Just kidding of course. Located just off the coast of Recife, the beach can be visited by boat or through a narrow staircase down the cliffs. The beach is in a secluded bay on the main island of the UNESCO protected archipelago, Fernando de Noronha. The sea is rich in corals making it a nature fiesta for divers and snorkelers too. Brazil, we are on our way… as soon as we can! Let’s hope pretty soon….