Whether you’re looking for remoteness, a beach with crystal blue waters or a great place to surf, here is a selection of beaches to consider for your list. One thing these beaches have in common aside from their beauty; you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a space to lay your towel down. Although you may have to travel that little bit further than normal in order to attain this much desired privacy.
Chacahua, Oaxaca, Mexico
This is an extremely isolated beach, a stone’s throw away from the mainland. On one side of the island is the pacific ocean, and the other is a saltwater lagoon abundant with mangroves and exotic birds. The only buildings there are thatched roof cabanas. This part of Mexico has a large afro community, supposedly due to a group of slaves who found refuge here. It’s carribean feel, great surf and deserted sandy beaches are worth a visit. To arrive, you must get to a town called San Jose el Progreso. From there, you can take a 2 minute boat ride across the lagoon.
Calitang and Nacpan Beach, Palawan, Philippines
With only a few guesthouses, it isn’t nearly as touristy as the neighbouring El Nido. These twin beaches curve round and meet in the middle on a thin peninsula. They boast white sands, blue waters and stretch for four kilometres. To get there you can either rent a tricycle, which will take you one hour. Or if you’re feeling lazy, rent a motorbike from El Nido and arrive earlier. From El Nido you can also do island tours.
Playa Gigante, Nicaragua
For those looking for surf and a community feel, this is the spot for you. Here you will find hardcore surfers. Located on the southern pacific region of the country, it offers a vibrant little town and empty golden beaches. At night the sky is so clear, you can see the milky way. And the sunsets are something to compete with. Not the easiest to get to, you have to take a bus from Rivas towards Las Salinas. You then have to walk, or hitchhike for five kilometres.
Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday, Australia
This beach makes it onto most ‘best beach’ lists, although still remains free from hoards of people. Some say it has the whitest sand in the world. Its seven kilometres stretch of sand is made from almost pure silica, which gives it an almost snowy complexion. It also doesn’t retain heat, so you can walk comfortably without burning your feet. Whitehaven is located on Queensland’s Whitsunday Island, an hour boat ride from the mainland. To get on a boat, you have to reach Shute Harbour. This marina is accessible by public bus from Airlie Beach.
Scala dei Turchi, Sicily
Known as the Turkish Steps in english, this refers to the naturally eroded white sandstone that has formed steps in the cliff face over thousands of years. These steps serve as a stunning backdrop for the golden sand and turquoise water that the beach possesses. You can climb the natural steps and reach the next equally stunning bay. During the summer there is a shuttle bus from Porto Empedocle which you can get to from Agrigento. By car, its only two hours from Palermo.
Stokksnes Beach, Vestrahorn, Iceland
For something a little different, head to Iceland. Arguably, this is the most photogenic of all the beaches on the list and is famous in the photography community. The volcanic black sand, contrasting lagoon and ‘batman mountain’ make this beach unique. Its stark beauty is otherworldly. Vestrahorn is located near the town Hofn, on the southeastern coast of Iceland. Only accessible by car, drive from Hofn or Reykjavík.
Wineglass Bay, Freycinet National Park, Tasmania
This crystal blue bay is surrounded by forested mountains on the island of Tasmania. It is located in Freycinet National Park and takes two hours to walk to from the entrance. Here you can fish, sail, kayak and stargaze during the night for an unforgettable experience. It’s frequently becoming more and more popular for special occasions such as weddings. You can also do eco-cruises for half or a full day.
Playa Almejal, Chocó, Colombia
Here the jungle meets the beach and there are few people in sight. If you come at the right time, you will spot whales in the ocean or turtles laying their eggs. It’s a rugged beach perfect for surfing. This part of Colombia is undiscovered by tourists and therefore not easy to get to. From Bahia Solano airport, you will have to take a ‘moto-mouse’, or tuk-tuk for 40-minutes to the little town El Valle. From the town, the beach is 15-20 minutes walk.
Double Island Point, Australia
Another Queensland gem, this beach can only be accessed by four-wheel drive. You have to wait for the right tides in order to drive up the sand. It’s a surfers and diving paradise, and with incredible marine life. If you’re looking for an isolated and secluded spot, this is the one for you. Drive to Rainbow Beach or Noosa, and you’ll be able to reach this very remote beach.
Agonda Beach, Goa, India
For those who want to get away from the crowds, this beach is the perfect antidote from the busy Palolem beach just ten minutes away. With only beach huts for company, you’ll wake up pleasantly alone with the Arabian sea in front of you. Littered with all kinds of restaurants, you’re spoilt when it comes to the food options which feature lots of fresh fish. Reach the Madgaon railway station and from there you can either get a taxi or rick-shaw then a bus if you’re on a budget.
Navagio Beach, Zakynthos, Greece
This beach is located on one of the seven Ionian islands that lie west of the mainland. Also known as Shipwreck Beach due to a freight liner’s tragic end that still lives there, it’s surrounded by towering cliffs. Because of this, it’s incredibly sheltered and enclosed. Most people visit the beach in order to snap photos from the cliffs above. In order to reach the beach itself, you must take a boat tour. The easiest way to get around is by renting a car as there is no public transport to the beach. However, if you don’t have one then from the Island’s capital you must get to Anafonitria. You then will have to walk five kilometres to get to the viewing point to snap that famous photo.
Los Roques, Venezuela
This archipelago is a slice of paradise and a caribbean secret. The only inhabited island is Gran Roque which has a fishing village. This island has the white sand and sapphire water, as well as 300 deserted neighbouring islands to explore. There is a surprising Italian community here, so expect your seafood with an Italian twist. To get here you must take a tiny plane from Maiquetia airport on the mainland to Gran Roque.
Kosohui Beach, Borneo
Come to the tip of the third largest island in the world to see the South China Sea then head south for a stunning coastline. Due to poor road infrastructure, this part of the island remains undiscovered. Here you can camp, hike in the jungle or join the local surfers in the sea. Arrive in the capital Kudat and from there you can take a taxi or rent a motorbike.
Playa Venao, Panama
A surfing hotspot, this bay is still pretty undiscovered. If you take a walk on the beach, looking at the crashing pacific waves, you will likely be the only person. The golden sand turns to black and the tide changes dramatically throughout the day and night. Because of this, the beach is constantly changing. Whales, rays and freshwater crocodiles are just a few of the animals you can see here. Listen to the howler monkeys as you wander into the jungle. In a car, you can get here in five hours from the capital. Buses will take you almost double the time with numerous stops, but it’s certainly worth it