These are the 20 most beautiful beaches in the world – and half are in Europe
Thoughts of crystal clear water and sandy beaches are all you need to start daydreaming, or maybe planning your next holiday.
After a year of COVID-19 and several lockdowns, travel restrictions have started to ease in some places. Now is the time to allow yourself to get away, far from the madding crowd.
Sun cream? Check. Swimsuit? Double check. The world’s most beautiful beaches? We got you covered.
British website money.co.uk has analysed over 26 million Instagram hashtags associated with beaches around the world. The data was collected in June this year to gather the most recent results.
The company used the data to calculate how many Instagram posts were shared per metre of sand. The beaches with the most Instagram posts per metre were then ranked to create a list of the most picturesque beaches in the world.
Among the 20 results that came out of this data analysis, Europe is home to half of the beautiful shores featured.
20. Sitges Beach, Barcelona, Spain
252 metres, 175 pictures per metre
Widely considered to be the perfect place in Barcelona for a family beach day, Stiges is known for its calm waters and super soft sand.
Sitting on a cove on the edge of the town gives you a great balance between the tranquillity of the beach and the atmosphere of the bars and restaurants just a short walk away.
19. Durdle Door, Dorset, England
1,040 metres, 233 pictures per metre
Home to the most famous stone arch anywhere in the world, Durdle Door is probably the most photographed landmark along the Jurassic Coast.
Unlike many of the other destinations on this list, this beach is a mix of pebble and shingle which makes it feel even more unique and worthy of an Instagram post.
18. Bal Harbour Beach, Miami, USA
1,360 metres, 239 pictures per metre
Bal Harbour is a small enclave where you’re guaranteed to find a bit of peace and quiet away from buzzing Miami life.
Locals recommend that you get to the beach early to watch the sunrise and after that, you can follow the scenic path that runs through Bal Harbour. This picturesque walk will guide you to one of the many brunch spots located along the shoreline.
17. Lanikai Beach, Hawaii, USA
804 metres, 246 pictures per metre
Thought to be one of O’ahu in Hawaii’s hidden gems, this is one of those rare tourist attractions that is actually enjoyed by locals too. That tells you a lot about how special it is.
The sand is fine and powdery, the water is crystal clear, and the Mokulua Islands make for a stunning backdrop. You might even see a sea turtle swimming in the water.
16. Kitsilano Beach, Vancouver, Canada
473 metres, 246 pictures per metre
Affectionately known as ‘Kits Beach’ to locals, number 16 on the list has something for everyone. From sunbathing to extreme watersports, ‘Kits’ has you covered.
With designated areas for swimmers, you can enjoy a doggy paddle while embracing the Vancouver skyline and surrounding mountains.
15. Cala Gat, Cala Ratjada, Spain
40 metres, 246 pictures per metre
Sitting on the outskirts of Cala Ratjada, this is the second-smallest beach on the list measuring in at just 40 metres long. Though it’s small, it has a lot to offer – there is a mix of trees and clifftops encircling Cala Gat.
The water is crystal clear and the sand is picture-perfect golden, making it every Instagrammer’s dream.
14. Freedom Beach, Phuket, Thailand
300 metres, 247 pictures per metre
The tranquil sea that surrounds Freedom Beach is the definition of turquoise. Dubbed as ‘the Pearl of Phuket,’ it’s tucked away in a tiny cove that’s surrounded by a tropical jungle and tall coconut trees.
This beach offers just two quaint restaurants, that allow you to embrace the white sand and crystal-clear water while eating Pad Thai.
13. Cala Goloritzè, Baunei, Italy
166 metres, 248 pictures per metre
A small-but-special beach, Cala Goloritzè’s waters features unbelievable shades of blue and green. It sits at the base of a deep ravine, which was naturally created by a landslide in 1962 – a prime example of Sardinian paradise.
The uniqueness of this spot makes the experience of snorkelling among colourful sealife even more memorable.
12. Margate Beach, Kent, England
200 metres, 265 pictures per metre
If you had to describe a classic British seaside resort, Margate Beach is exactly that. This beach is pretty much timeless, featuring a tidal pool, funfair rides, and amusement arcades. It’s one to visit for traditional English seaside fun and entertainment.
Visitors young and old spend the day here and make the most of the several seafood stalls, restaurants and bars along the seafront.
11. Cala Saona, Formentera, Spain
140 metres, 282 pictures per metre
Like a scene straight off the front of a European postcard, Cala Saona offers visitors the chance to spend all day sunbathing, swimming, and chilling out right up to 9 pm when the sun begins to set.
Once the clock strikes nighttime, it’s then the ideal location to sip on a mojito and take in the pink-hued sunset.
10. Blue Point Beach, Ungasan, Bali
105 metres, 287 pictures per metre
This beautiful coral beach can only be accessed via a secret, narrow gap among the cliffs enclosing the beach. The difficult trip makes it feel like even more of a treasure.
You can soak in the naturally occurring pools or catch rays on the soft sand. If you’re more of a foodie, you can visit one of the seafood restaurants dotted alongside the coast and watch the surfers while you eat.
9. Boulders Beach, Cape Town, South Africa
420 metres, 323 pictures per metre
At Boulders Beach you will get the chance to be surrounded by its most famous residents – a colony of African penguins. It’s actually the only place in the world where you can get this close to these special creatures, which is why over 60,000 people visit the beach each year.
Well, that and the spectacular seaside views.
8. Praia do Camilo, Lagos, Portugal
100 metres, 325 pictures per metre
Possibly one of the Algarve’s most iconic beaches, Praia do Camilo’s golden sand and crystal clear, azure waters are an Instagram opportunity waiting to happen.
To get sand in between your toes, you’ll need to climb down the 200 wooden steps that wind their way down through the orange-toned cliffs.
7. Tenby North Beach, Pembrokeshire, Wales
770 metres, 343 pictures per metre
Strong environmental, educational, safety and access efforts have earned this location a prestigious Blue Flag Beach award. Tenby North Beach is a slice of Welsh paradise.
Enclosed by the pastel-hued townhouses and rugged cliffs, this east-facing beach is a self-made suntrap so you can enjoy the Welsh weather all day long.
6. Hanauma Bay, Hawaii, USA
570 metres, 345 pictures per metre
As one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Island of Oʻahu in the neighbourhood of East Honolulu, Hanauma Bay looks like something straight out of Disney’s Moana.
As well as looking good, it also does good as the first Marine Life Conservation District in the State. It is aiming to re-establish the pristine marine ecosystem that attracts so many visitors.
5. Navagio Beach, Zakynthos, Greece
182 metres, 403 pictures per metre
This stunning stretch of sand is also known as Shipwreck Beach. In 1983, a boat smuggling cigarettes into Greece and washed up at the location.
Since then, it has widely been considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the country thanks to its huge surrounding cliffs and crystalline waters.
4. Tropea Beach, Calabria, Italy
115 metres, 423 pictures per metre
A classic Italian resort bursting with charm, Tropea Beach aptly sits on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is also called the Costa degli Dei, or the ‘Coast of the Gods,’ making it a fan-favourite for both tourists and locals.
As you relax on the beach, you are surrounded by dramatic cliffs with eyes on the historic town centre which looks over the epic scenery.
3. Railay Beach, Krabi, Thailand
450 metres, 587 pictures per metre
Once a laid-back fishing village in Krabi, Railay Beach is now a world-class tourist destination. What makes this place feel even more special is that it’s cut off from the rest of the mainland by a row of steep hills, which means you can only get there by boat.
With a mix of striking limestone cliffs jutting out into the ocean and endless stretches of white sand, this beach is bursting with character.
2. Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia
1,000 metres, 1,776 pictures per metre
One of the biggest attractions in Australia for tourists and locals alike, the crescent-shaped sand of Bondi Beach is conveniently positioned just 7km away from the Sydney Central Business District.
Getting its name from the Aboriginal word ‘Bondi’ meaning “water breaking over rocks,” this beach offers both stunning scenery and a vibrant city vibe to its visitors.
And the award for the most beautiful beach in the world goes to….
1. Kelingking Beach, Nusa Penida, Bali
80 metres, 4,227 pictures per metre
Crowned the most beautiful beach in the world, Kelingking Beach in Bali is just 80m long and for every glorious metre, there are 4,227 pictures taken.
It’s no surprise that this is a popular photo location when you consider the famous cliffs in the shape of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, amazing backdrop of the bright blue sea and greenery from the tropical plants.
Do you know a beach that deserves to be in this ranking? Send us your comments.