The best beaches in the world have long since attracted travellers from all across the world. There’s just something about beaches that appeal to pretty much everyone. Even if you’re not one to spend all day on a beach, a few minutes or even hours on a picturesque sandy beach is something that’s probably an easy yes for most of us.

In fact, I’d go as far as saying many of us plan our holidays around beautiful beaches (beautiful beaches do tend to come hand-in-hand with beautiful weather so there’s a rationale behind those decisions).

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If you’re looking to plan a longer holiday and hoping to happen upon beautiful beaches on your travels or perhaps even if you’re looking to centre your holiday around beautiful beaches, here are 11 countries with some of the best beaches in the world.

1.) Australia

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Australia is a gigantic country (the 6th largest in the world by area) with a huge amount of coastline, so it comes as no surprise that it’s home to some of the best beaches in the world.

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The great thing is, whatever type of beach you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it in Australia.

From bustling city beaches like Bondi beach to the tropical white sand and coral reefs of Fraser Island, it has everything. There are so many gorgeous beaches in Australia.

Read more: Best places in Australia to visit

2.) Spain

Travellers flock to Spain not only for its popular cities (hey Barcelona) but also for its particularly fantastic beaches.

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For some, the words ‘beach’ and ‘Spain’ might bring to mind images of the big holiday resorts with packed beaches in front of rows of grey hotels, but the reality is so much more.

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From the desert-island-feel of Playa de Ses Illetes on the Balearic Islands to the impressive rock formations of Playa de las Catedrales in Ribadeo, Spain’s coastline is one that just keeps on giving. 

Read more: Best beaches in Spain

3.) Fiji

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It’s a popular honeymoon and wedding destination, mainly because with its calm turquoise waters, stunningly white sand and immaculate coral reefs; and probably because Fiji is pretty much anyone’s idea of tropical paradise.

With its 333 tropical islands and over 500 islets, there’s plenty to explore – which is particularly great if you find that spending all your time on a beach isn’t your idea of a perfect holiday.

When you’re here (and of course, depending on where you’re staying some beaches worth checking out here are Cove Beach, Liku Beach, and Vatulele Island).

4.) Greece

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Whilst the colour of the waters surrounding Greece range from turquoise and emerald right through to dark blue, Greek beaches have long since attracted visitors from Europe, and the world over to come to splash around in its warm waters.

The beaches here range from fine white sands to jet black (if you’re on a volcanic island), with golden and red in between (also found on volcanic islands rich in iron).

It’s safe to say that whatever your picture of the perfect beach entails, you’re sure to find it somewhere in Greece.

Read more: Best islands in Greece to visit

5.) Bali

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First of all, Bali is technically not a country (Indonesia is the country) but Bali has its own unique identity (and even its own language) that it feels deserving of its own place on here outside of that of Indonesia as a whole.

For what, once upon a time, used to be a quiet verdant island, Bali has more recently become a rather fashionable (and very fun) destination for many-a-traveller of all ages (like on our flight over – every single age group was represented) and it’s easy to see why.

In addition to its rich culture and fascinating geological features, Bali boasts a huge amount of seriously idyllic beaches.

Despite the country’s growing popularity, there are a number of quieter beaches tucked away just waiting to be explored. Seek out hidden gems like Gunung Payung or Pandawa Beach to enjoy the Bali coast away from the crowds. Alternatively, pop over to Sunday’s Beach Club, which is gorgeous. 

Read more: Best things to do in Bali

6.) Hawaii

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*Again, not a country is more of a state within a country but definitely another one special enough to get its own independent mention. ­čśü

Hawaii is another one of those places we just automatically associate with being the perfect idyllic holiday – even the sunsets here are unlike anywhere else in the world.

With its stunning flower blooms, beautiful islands and amazing rather dramatic coastline, Hawaii is already a much-coveted destination. Its gorgeous beaches are really just the icing on the cake.

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There are lots of different kinds of beaches here so you’ll definitely find something to make you very happy when you visit.

Oh, and if you visit certain islands during whale season, you can head the whales when you’re swimming away in the water.

Read more: 11 Reasons to visit Hawaii 

7.) Malaysia

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Malaysia’s beaches have a huge amount to offer, whatever it is you’re looking for. Adventure junkies and budding mermaids can explore the country’s gorgeous coast by scuba diving (or if you’re not certified yet – by snorkelling).

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Foodies can take advantage of some of the world’s best (and freshest) seafood. Many of the beaches are shrouded in thick rainforest, giving them that real tropical island feels.

8.) The Philippines

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The Philippines is made up of 7,107 islands so as you can imagine, there’s not really much of a shortage of beaches here. Its tropical sandy beaches are notoriously beautiful (the notoriety has increased dramatically in recent times.

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Like seriously, just google ‘Philippines Beach’ and you’ll see what I mean, and seeing as there are so many of them, it’s not a huge challenge to find yourself that beach that’s just perfect for you.

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The highlight here is easily El Nido in Palawan, where you can try caving, kayaking and climbing if you don’t fancy (or are done with) lying on the sand all day.

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Check out some more reasons why you need to visit Palawan in the Philippines (home to some of the best beaches in the world), here.

Read more: Best places in the Philippines to visit

9.) The Maldives

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Oh, the Maldives! We’ve gone on and on here about how amazing the Maldives are and honestly, even after visiting twice, I’m still very crazy about these islands in the Indian Ocean.

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These coral islands all boast amazing fine sands, beautiful clear blue waters and some of the most fascinating (and most colourful) wildlife on the planet.

Plus, don’t even get me started on that bioluminescent plankton the beaches at night (though these are most active at certain times of the year).

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Suffice to say, the Maldives is easily one of those island countries you have to visit, if for nothing else but for the chance to relax on some of the best beaches in the world.

Check out the link below for more info and tips to help you on your merry way.

10.) Seychelles

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Seychelles is home to some of the best beaches in the world and is another place that’s reminiscent of the Maldives.

Although it’s a lot bigger than most of the islands you’d visit in the Maldives, you shouldn’t let that put you off though – Seychelles is amazing.

Possibly the most laidback piece of paradise in Seychelles is Praslin Island.

Its truly laid-back vibe and the impressive backdrop of the islands’ rock formations make Seychelles a firm favourite amongst sunseekers.

11.) Cuba

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Cuba’s sprawling stretch of beaches is touched by two major oceans: the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean (each of which brings its own different advantage).

It’s a sub-tropical country, so in Cuba, it’s beach time all year round. Cuba’s Spanish culture also throws in a fantastic vibe to the proceedings.

When you do visit Cuba, as nice as the beaches are, I’d definitely recommend doing yourself a favour and heading outside of your resort (preferably with the guidance of an expert) to explore the more rustic (read: real) side of Cuba to get a real sense of what life is like here.

You can get beautiful beaches in a lot of places across the world but it’s the people that can truly set a place apart and that’s no truer than in Cuba.

And you know what, if beaches aren’t your thing, just pop over to Havana to explore its amazing sites.

Read more: The best dishes to eat when in Cuba

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