A beautiful sandy beach with the soothing sound of waves breaking on the shore is at the top of the list of many people’s requirements when planning their summer holiday. This list brings together some of the most idyllic spots in the world for feeling soft and warm sand in between your toes. There’s something for everyone at these destinations, whether you’re looking for a fun day out with the kids, you’re dedicated to the pursuit of the perfect tan, you’re a hardened surfer or kayaker looking for some top water-based action, or you just want to admire the beauty of nature’s splendour at a dramatic coastline. On this post, I’ve listed the top sand beaches in the world.

Top Sand Beaches in the World

1 . Baio do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

top sand beaches in the world

Baio do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

Considered by many to be the best beach in the world, Baio do Sancho reveals its gorgeous vista of sparkling water and lush greenery after you have entered it via ladders that go over rocks. This seclusion makes it seem like something from another world. Located on an unspoiled island north-east of Brazil, the relative isolation this beach still enjoys makes it something special. Pack your snorkel as there are fantastic sights to be seen in the marine life that populates its coral reef. You have to be quite fit to negotiate the access to the beach, but once you’re there it’s more than worth it.

 

  1. Anse Source d’Argent, La Digue, Seychelles

top sand beaches in the world

Anse Source d’Argent, La Digue, Seychelles

This fabulous beach, in an island chain famous for them, is particularly dazzling. Literally – you have to wear shades just to look at the sand, which is an absolutely brilliant white. Just out to sea are huge granite boulders, providing a dramatic frame to the picturesque view. The good thing about La Digue itself is it’s the smallest and most undeveloped of the three islands in the Seychelles, meaning the beaches still retain a laid back atmosphere without being taken over by commercialism. Swimming at Anse Source is perfectly safe too, with its beautiful shallow waters and mild tides. Or you can just stretch out under the palm trees and soak up the rays.

 

  1. Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos

This iconic beach on the island of Providenciales is world-renowned for its gorgeous, soft and silky sand and crystal clear turquoise water. It stretches for miles, so walking along with your toes drifting through the sand is a wonderful experience. Of course, many come just to sunbathe and although the shore is populated by many resorts and hotels, the beach itself is completely chilled out. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, there are copious activities on offer such as snorkelling amid the extensive coral reef, sailing, paddle boarding and kite surfing. The balmy climate means the beach is good for spending time at all year round.

 

  1. Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman

top sand beaches in the world

Seven Mile Beach Grand Cayman

If you’re looking for an idyllic beach that typifies the Caribbean experience, you can’t get much better than this. Located at the western side of the island, it’s a paradise of beautiful coral sand and gently rolling waves. It’s ideal for walking or simply enjoying the sun. You’re spoilt for choice with what to do on the beach – enjoy a cool drink at one of the many bars or a delicious meal at a restaurant. Sunset is a great time to do this as you can enjoy a glass of wine and some fresh-caught fish while watching the sun dip towards the horizon. Picnicking is popular among families and the kids will love building sandcastles. Of course, there are loads of other activities you can do, from snorkelling to a game of volleyball with the friendly locals.

 

  1. Fraser Island, Australia

top sand beaches in the world

Fraser Island, Australia

This island is one for the nature lovers amongst us as it features lush, unspoiled rainforests, with awe-inspiring 1000-year-old trees sprouting up from the sand. It’s the only place in the world where rainforests grow right on the sand dunes. Take your pick of the many fantastic beaches here – there are even over 100 freshwater lakes which each have their own beautiful white sand beaches. Dramatic sand cliffs are another striking feature, and the island – the largest sand island in the world at 184,000 hectares – is an important area of ecological conservation, with the low “wallum” heaths providing exquisite wildflower spectacles in spring and summer. Beautiful endangered species to be seen here include turtles, dugongs and Illidge’s ant-blue butterflies, and it’s a top spot for migratory birds.

 

  1. Lanikai Beach, Hawaii

top sand beaches in the world

Lanikai Beach, Hawaii

The name “Lanikai” means “heavenly sea” in Hawaiian and when you arrive here you’ll certainly see that it’s aptly named. The aqua blue water is perfectly calm and still, making it safe for swimmers of all ages and abilities. The beach is small but perfectly formed at only half a mile long, and locals and holidaymakers alike flock here to take in the picturesque scenes which include a stunning view of the nearby Mokulua Islands. If you came to surf, venture out to the islands as there are great waves in between them and at the cove on one of the islands. Lanikai remains pretty secluded and is backed by residential houses rather than commercial developments. You follow narrow alleyways in between back yards to find the beach.

 

  1. Woolacombe Beach, United Kingdom

top sand beaches in the world

Woolacombe Beach

This beautiful beach demonstrates that the UK can certainly hold its own among the top beaches of the world. Located in Devon in the West Country, its vast expanse of warm golden sand is a top draw for both visitors and local residents. Surfers love it as the huge breakers hit the beach all the way from their starting point thousands of miles away in the Atlantic Ocean. At three miles long, the beach never feels crowded and you’re sure to find a quiet spot. Other watersports activities can be enjoyed here with their own designated area of water, including sailing, windsurfing and canoes. Speedboats and jetskis are not allowed. Even in winter, the beach is popular with walkers, framed as it is by the dramatic Woolacombe Downs.


If you want to explore the areas surrounding any of these beaches, hiring a car is a great idea. This means you’ll easily be able to get to all the local attractions.

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