Where are the best beaches in the world to visit?
From the tropical white sands of the Caribbean to the golden strands of Australia, and dramatic north Atlantic coves, beaches come in all shapes and sizes. But which beach destinations are the best in the world for a vacation?
By looking at 100 of the most renowned beaches across the globe (as well as the towns and cities at their edge) a definitive ranking has been created by studying numerous factors vital to an amazing beach holiday.
Top 10 beaches for a vacation
To calculate which beaches in the world are the most popular vacation destinations we looked at factors such as the weather (temperature and rainfall), the warmth of the sea, hotel prices, number of restaurants, and the beach's social media value. These scores were calculated together to create a score out of ten, which gives the definitive ranking.
1: Copacabana Beach, Brazil - 6.97/10 Beach Score
Undoubtedly one of the most famous stretches of shoreline in the world is the 2.5 mile stretch of sand on the edge of Rio de Janeiro, Copacabana Beach. As well as the beautiful beach itself, looking back from Copacabana gives you a view of one of the most iconic cities in the world under the watchful eye of the Christ the Redeemer statue. The number of restaurants and bars near the beach is 11,153, the most of any beach on the list. On top of this, Copacabana scores well amongst other factors including hotels, air temperature, and water temperature.
2: Miami Beach, USA - 6.80/10 Beach Score
Miami Beach is located on the edge of the city that is its namesake, with this oceanside city technically separate from the wider city of Miami. This beach is certainly one for the influencers and social media users, as it has accrued 14.4 million hashtags on Instagram. This means that it is by far the most Instagrammed beach on our list, and it has over 13.7 million more than the average. Moreover, Miami Beach ranked in the top 30 for air and water temperatures.
3: Venice Beach, USA - 6.54/10 Beach Score
Despite what the name suggests Venice Beach is located far from the shores of the ancient floating city in northern Italy and is actually a sandy beach catering for the bustling metropolis of Los Angeles on the West Coast of the United States. Venice Beach has the second-highest number of restaurants (10,578), as well as the fourth most Instagram hashtag (4.2 million).
4: South Beach, USA - 6.16/10 Beach Score
At one end of Miami Beach, we find South Beach, Florida’s second beach to feature in the top 10 best beaches for a vacation. The beach has been a hub for the LGBTQ+ community in the area for decades, and on top of this, it is a beach that caters to anyone looking for a quality beach vacation. The average air temperature is 24.4 degrees celsius (75.9℉), and it is even warmer in the sea with an average water temperature of 27 degrees celsius (80.6℉).
5: Santa Monica Beach, USA - 6.14/10 Beach Score
The fourth US beach in the top five best beaches for a vacation is at Santa Monica in California which achieved a score of 6.14/10. As it is also located in the Los Angeles area, Santa Monica Beach has very similar scores to Venice Beach, the only reason it ranks lower is due to 3.76 million fewer Instagram hashtags. A big attraction at Santa Monica beach is Santa Monica Pier which is home to an iconic amusement park.
6: Naama Bay, Egypt - 6.02/10 Beach Score
The beach at Naama Bay in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt is the sixth-highest rated beach in the world for a vacation with a score of 6.02. The iconic beach is dotted with umbrellas to provide shade in the baking heat of 25.1 degrees celsius (77.2℉) on average. The umbrellas are not generally needed to block the rain as there is only 10 mm per year on average (the lowest of any beach on the list).
7: Pink Sand Beach, Antigua & Barbuda - 5.93/10 Beach Score
Pink Sand Beach on the island of Barbuda in the Caribbean is one of the most striking on the list with the distinctive hue of the sand giving it the obvious name. As well as being a beautiful beach, it is also the hottest which makes it very appealing as a vacation destination. Temperatures are 36.2 (97.2) degrees, and the water is tropical at 27.6 degrees celsius(81.7℉) on average. The beach is let down by having a small number of bars, as well as expensive hotel prices.
8: Barceloneta Beach, Spain - 5.89/10 Beach Score
One of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe is the Catalan city of Barcelona in northern Spain. One of the reasons for the city’s attractiveness is its Mediterranean climate and beautiful beaches. The most iconic of those beaches is Barceloneta which achieved a score of 5.89. Barcelona has 9,681 restaurants at the disposal of holidaymakers, meaning it is the fourth highest-ranking beach for this category.
9: Mui Ne Beach, Vietnam - 5.84/10 Beach Score
The highest-ranking Asian beach is at Mui Ne in Vietnam with a score of 5.84. Out of all the top 10 best beach vacation destinations, the only one with average hotel prices under $55 per night is Mui Ne. The exact price is $54.12, and on top of being affordable Mui Ne also has average temperatures of 26.5 degrees celsius(79.7℉) and it has hundreds of restaurants to choose from.
10: Cayo Coco, Cuba - 5.69/10 Beach Score
Located just off the Cuban mainland, Cayo Coco beach sits on the northern coast of the island that shares its name. Characterized by the coral reefs and white sand beaches, the island's premium beach is Cayo Coco. Although it did not rank highly in any one category, the beach scored solidly throughout to make it the tenth best beach location for a vacation.
- Beaches: The list of beaches was formed from numerous travel guides and blogs about the most popular, most beautiful, and best beaches in the world. We started with a list of 250 that was slowly whittled down to 100.
- Instagram: Instagram data was found by searching the number of hashtags for each beach location on Instagram.
- The number of restaurants/bars: This data was all found on TripAdvisor, for beaches that did not register on the site the nearest town that did was used.
- Average hotel price: We used data from Kayak to discover the average hotel price, the website gives a weekday and weekend price which we calculated an average from. For beaches that did not register on the site the nearest town that did was used.
- Temperature and Rainfall: Temperature and rainfall stats came from Climate-Data.org, again for beaches that did not register on the site the nearest town that did was used.
- Sea Temperature: Water temperature data was sourced from Weather Stats sea temperature map, we used the nearest point of recording for each beach. In some cases, this was quite far away from the beach in question. As the data is only available as the temperature per month, we calculated an annual average from these figures.