The 50 Most Beautiful White Sand Beaches in the World

From the shores of Alabama to the party island of Mykonos, these stunning beaches will inspire you.

By Holly Johnson, ContributorJune 14, 2018
By Holly Johnson, ContributorJune 14, 2018, at 9:00 a.m.
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Most beautiful white sand beaches in the world
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(Getty Images)

Orange Beach: Alabama

Orange Beach is a family-friendly destination known for its affordable rental condos and hotels, laid-back atmosphere and to-die-for white sand beaches. Families stay near the water so they can plan lazy beach days and trips to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo.
Paraga Beach in Greece is one of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world
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(Courtesy of SantAnna)

Paraga Beach: Mykonos, Greece

The party island of Mykonos is where you come to dance the night away and sleep all day on the shores. Head to Paraga Beach to check out the newly opened SantAnna beach club for its lagoon-shaped saltwater pool, private cabanas and authentic Greek cuisine – with bottle service, of course.
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Destin, Florida is one of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world
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(Getty Images)

Destin: Florida

Destin boasts impressively white sand and a laid-back beach culture along the Florida Panhandle. This part of the country is popular with tourists since it's easy for those in the South to reach by car. In addition to beautiful beaches, Destin is home to a plethora of affordable rental condos.
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These beaches boast stark white sand that beautifully contrasts with azure waters and painted skies.

Beach lovers often remark on the beauty of soft white sand and it can be something that really makes a coastline stand out. So before you plan your next beach vacation, find out where the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world reside and what other offerings these scenic shores provide.

Rendezvous Bay: Anguilla

Travelers flock to Anguilla for its stunning scenery, soft beaches and amazing culinary experiences. Rendezvous Bay is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, with powder white sand, striking turquoise waters and amazing views of St. Maarten.

Grace Bay: Turks & Caicos

Grace Bay in Turks & Caicos is known for its pearlescent white sand along with its calm and shallow waters that are free from rocks and seaweed. Book a stay at The Somerset on Grace Bay for a luxury hotel experience, beachfront access and a complimentary kids club.

Destin: Florida

Destin boasts impressively white sand and a laid-back beach culture along the Florida Panhandle. This part of the country is popular with tourists since it's easy for those in the South to reach by car. In addition to beautiful beaches, Destin is home to a plethora of affordable rental condos.

Orange Beach: Alabama

Orange Beach is a family-friendly destination known for its affordable rental condos and hotels, laid-back atmosphere and to-die-for white sand beaches. Families stay near the water so they can plan lazy beach days and trips to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo.

Paraga Beach: Mykonos, Greece

The party island of Mykonos is where you come to dance the night away and sleep all day on the shores. Head to Paraga Beach to check out the newly opened SantAnna beach club for its lagoon-shaped saltwater pool, private cabanas and authentic Greek cuisine – with bottle service, of course.

Shoal Bay: Anguilla

Anguilla's Shoal Bay is another beach renowned for its white sand, calm and clear waters, and notable lack of seaweed or rocks. Book a room at the luxurious Zemi Beach House for five-star pampering and ample on-site amenities, including a beach concierge, a spa, water sport rentals and more.

Palmilla Beach: Los Cabos, Mexico

While not all beaches in Los Cabos are swimmable (due to strong undertows and waves), Palmilla Beach is a welcome exception. This white sand wonderland includes a mile-long stretch of coastline with beachfront luxury homes and the 27-hole Palmilla Golf Club, designed by Jack Nicklaus, in the background.

White Bay Beach: Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

White Bay Beach in the British Virgin Islands is home to more than gorgeous powdery sands – it's also home to the Soggy Dollar Beach Bar where you can order a famous "Pain Killer" rum punch cocktail (it's where the drink originated). Curl up in a lounge chair with your drink to enjoy the scenery and the party.

Playa PortoMari: Curacao

This sandy bay in Curacao sits on the private estate of Plantages PortoMari. The white sand and turquoise blue waters provide the perfect backdrop for dinner or a drink at the bar after an afternoon of snorkeling, diving or relaxing beachside.

Platinum Coast: Barbados

The west coast of Barbados, commonly called the Platinum Coast, features warm waters along with giant shade trees and towering palms framing the beach. The region is famous for its amazingly clear waters and soft white sand. You'll find all-inclusive properties here in addition to traditional resorts, making this stretch of coastline ideal for any trip.

Hopkins Village Beach: Hopkins, Belize

This quiet stretch of coastline is 5 miles long and lined with restaurants, hotels, villas and white sand. The water is warm and inviting and plenty of locals hit the beach to play dominoes or bask in the sun.

Hyams Beach: New South Wales, Australia

Hyams Beach of New South Wales has been dubbed the beach with "the whitest sand in the world," and it has a Guinness World Record to prove it. Just three hours south of Sydney, this striking yet touristy beach will leave you in awe of its beauty despite the crowds.

Matira Beach: Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora's Matira Beach sits on the southern edge of the main island beneath the gorgeous Mount Otemanu. This white sand beach is the perfect spot for romance or relaxation, but it can also be the starting point for a water sports adventure or a shark-feeding excursion.

Tulum: Mexico

Historic Tulum is home to ancient Mayan ruins, freshwater cenotes for snorkeling and restaurants serving traveler favorites such as ceviche and tacos. Visitors flock here to enjoy white sand beaches in the shadows of a Mayan temple, lush jungle scenery and swim sessions with turtles.

Meads Bay: Anguilla

Anguilla's Meads Bay is practically deserted, with sparse hotels and restaurants on its shores. With few people around, this beach is an ideal spot for curling up with a good book or enjoying a refreshing, wave-free swim. Book a private villa at Meads Bay Beach Villas to secure your own stretch of white sand paradise, along with two bedrooms, a kitchen and a private plunge pool.

Clearwater Beach: Florida

Clearwater Beach is located in the Tampa Bay area of Florida where boating, water sports and beach relaxation are always on the menu. This region offers incredibly white sand, plenty of family-friendly lodging options and numerous seafood establishments.

Tran Phu Beach: Nha Trang, Vietnam

Vietnam's Nha Trang offers numerous beaches spread throughout the city. Its Tran Phu Beach sits along a stretch of high-rise hotels with plenty of dining and nightlife nearby. Travelers visiting the city set up on this beach for its clear and calm waters and beautiful white sand.

Trunk Bay: St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

Trunk Bay is famous for its expansive beachfront and the fact no hotels exist along its shores. Visitors here can enjoy facilities and a snack bar while soaking up the relative remoteness and quietness of this beach, which boasts excellent snorkeling and panoramic views of neighboring islands.

Long Beach: Phu Quoc, Vietnam

The island of Phu Quoc in Vietnam is renowned for its beaches and stunning scenery. Long Beach in particular features strikingly soft white sand and crystal-clear waters. This stretch of sand is also home to numerous resorts, most of which feature huge pools and rooms geared toward families.

Kabak Beach: Turkey

Getting to Kabak Beach on Turkey's southwestern coast requires a challenging trek down a rocky footpath, yet the stunning views are worth it. This white sand beach is surrounded by trees and other greenery along with rolling hills. Entry is free, and many locals camp here.

Ksamil Beach: Albania

While the city of Ksamil is a fishing village at heart, Ksamil Beach is a waterfront paradise where tourists flock to enjoy calm waters and perfect sand. You can rent a chair and umbrella and relax the day away here with a fruity drink in hand.

Surfer's Beach: Eleuthera, Bahamas

The Bahamas may be known for clear blue, motionless waters, but you can still catch a wave at Surfer's Beach in Eleuthera. The water may not be ideal for kids or swimming due to the waves, but the white sand makes this spot perfect for sunbathing or people-watching.

Sandy Island: Anguilla

While Anguilla's Sandy Island sustained some damage from hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, this island escape is up and running once again. This tiny, private destination is accessible by boat for the day only, which lets travelers enjoy its best attributes: delicious drinks and large grilled lobster.

Wineglass Bay: Tasmania, Australia

Located in Freycinet National Park, Wineglass Bay features a crescent-shaped shoreline with white sand beaches and azure waters. The region is ideal for enjoying nature and bird-watching, but it's also suitable for hiking and, of course, relaxing on the beach.

Nishihama Beach: Hateruma Island, Japan

If you're seeking a beach day in Japan, consider a trek to Hateruma Island – the southernmost point in the entire country. This island is home to Nishihama Beach, which is known for its blindingly white sand, snorkeling and remoteness.

Isle of Harris: Scotland

The Isle of Harris resides in a stretch of islands known as the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. This region is known for its small fishing villages, unique landscapes and giant rocks believed to have formed due to the melting of glaciers during the Ice Ages. Isle of Harris also offers picturesque beaches with white sand and verdant green scenery.

Marco Island: Florida

Located along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, Marco Island is home to some of Florida's most beautiful white sand beaches. Families visit this small peninsula off of Florida for the clean shoreline, the kid-friendly atmosphere and the stunning sunsets.

Grand Anse Beach: Seychelles

Grand Anse Beach is one of the longest beaches on the island of Mahe in the Seychelles. In addition to its white sand, the beach inspires travelers with its dramatic mountain backdrop and open space. With deep waters, Grand Anse Beach is ideal for surfing or swimming.

Railay Beach: Krabi, Thailand

Krabi's Railay Beach is a small peninsula with four beaches to be exact. Here you will find gorgeous powder white sand shorelines, towering limestone cliffs and caves. What you won't find are cars or roads, because there aren't any.

Tróia-Galé Beach: Portugal

Part of Troia Resort, Tróia-Galé Beach offers a wide stretch of coast featuring white sand, a calm sea and beautiful views. Book a room or villa at Troia Resort for beachfront access, golf courses and proximity to Roman ruins nearby.

Saracen Bay: Koh Rong, Cambodia

Koh Rong island in Cambodia is home to Saracen Bay, one of the most scenic and tranquil beaches in the country. This bay is known for its unbelievable sunrises, amazingly clear waters and gorgeous views of the lush green hills nearby.

Bolonia Beach: Andalusia, Spain

Set next to a small fishing village, Playa de Bolonia (or Bolonia Beach) remains fairly untouched. This Spanish beach is popular among locals, featuring plenty of space to lay out in as well as giant sand dunes that add to its scenery and appeal.

Barefoot Beach Preserve County Park: Bonita Springs, Florida

Barefoot Beach, located in Bonita Springs near Naples, boasts striking white sand and unspoiled natural beauty. A gorgeous, mile-long nature trail runs through its dunes, making it easy to explore the natural environment and discover nesting sea turtles. As one of the last undeveloped barrier islands on Florida's southwest coast, this beach is a sight to behold.

Grand Anse Bay: Grenada

The "Spice Island" of Grenada is well-known for its jungle-like atmosphere, its beaches and its towering cliffs. Grand Anse Beach, which sits on the northwest end of the island, features fine white sand and striking mountain views. Stay at Mount Cinnamon Grenada Resort, a small boutique hotel, for oceanfront luxury and privacy.

Dickenson Bay: Antigua

Home to Sandals Grande Antigua Resort and a handful of bars and restaurants, Dickenson Bay is a sight to behold. Its powder white sand is matched in beauty only by its turquoise waters. Travelers come here to spend the day on the beach, then watch beautiful sunsets over the water.

Big Major Cay: Exumas, Bahamas

Big Major Cay is a huge tourist attraction in the Bahamas, but its unpigmented sand and colorless waters are only part of the allure. This beach is also known as "Pig Beach" thanks to the many pigs that inhabit the island to tourists' delight.

Palm Beach: Aruba

Known for its high-rise hotels, casinos and nightlife, Palm Beach in Aruba never sleeps. What's more, this region of Aruba has some of the most beautiful white sand beaches and some of the clearest water in the Caribbean.

Navagio Beach: Zakynthos, Greece

Tucked between two towering cliffs in Zakynthos, Navagio Beach is a popular tourist destination that boasts its own shipwreck for travelers to explore. You can only reach the beach by boat, but the crowds still visit in droves to get an eyeful of its natural beauty, cobalt water and glistening white sand.

Boulders Beach: Cape Town, South Africa

Africa's Boulders Beach of Cape Town is home to white sand, ancient granite boulders and even penguins. Its lack of waves makes it the perfect swimming spot for kids and adults, and the beach is known for being clean and safe.

Kaunaoa Beach: Hawaii

Located on Hawaii's Big Island, Kaunaoa Beach could be one of the prettiest white sand beaches in the state. The beach is wide and roomy and the waters are normally calm, making it perfect for swimming, snorkeling or curling up with a good book under a shade tree.

Eagle Beach: Aruba

Less touristy than the famous Palm Beach, Aruba's Eagle Beach has fewer hotels and restaurants but the same powdery sand and strikingly blue waters. Here you can book a timeshare or oceanfront condo and enjoy beautiful beaches with smaller crowds.

Pinney's Beach: Nevis

Pinney's Beach offers white sand that sparkles in the sun. Views of nearby St. Kitts provide a beautiful backdrop for a selfie, and the lack of crowds makes you feel like you have the beach to yourself. Stop into Sunshine's Beach Bar for a "killer bee" rum punch and a delicious seafood lunch.

Kondoi Beach: Taketomi Island, Japan

Taketomi Island, where Kondoi Beach resides, is only a little more than 2 square miles wide, but a trip here is worth it. This beach is the only one on the island with public facilities and it features white sand, multihued turquoise waters and mountain views.

Panama City Beach: Florida

A popular spot for families, couples and spring breakers, Panama City Beach offers something for travelers of all ages. In addition to its amazingly white sand and calm seas, you'll find rental condos galore and plenty of family-friendly restaurants and attractions.

Baby Beach: Aruba

Known for its crescent shape, motionless waters and lush greenery, Aruba's Baby Beach is popular among locals and tourists who want to swim or snorkel. The beach itself has soft white sand, along with snack shacks serving up tropical drinks and beach bites.

Half Moon Caye: Belize

Half Moon Caye is little more than a peninsula with white sand and palm trees, which is why visitors come here to get away from it all. The tiny beach is also a site for nesting turtles as well as a protected home for the red-footed booby (a large seabird with crimson-colored feet).

Cabbage Beach: Paradise Island, Bahamas

While most people associate Paradise Island in the Bahamas with the megaresort Atlantis, there is a lot more on the island than casinos and high-rise hotels. This includes Cabbage Beach, an oceanfront paradise with white sand and water ideal for swimming or snorkeling.

The Baths: Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

The Baths of Virgin Gorda may be known for their giant granite boulders, but the beach here is noteworthy, too. On the shores of this area of the British Virgin Islands, you'll find picturesque landscapes, soft powder and extravagant scenery.

Kupuri Punta Mita: Mexico

Kupuri Punta Mita is home to an array of luxury homes and condo resorts, a beach club, and an expansive stretch of gorgeous white sand. Travelers come here for the Mexican hospitality, whale watching, and captivating mountain and sunset vistas.

Seven Mile Beach: Grand Cayman

It's hard to imagine a white sand beach more beautiful than Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman. This resort-lined stretch of shore attracts travelers from all over the world with its pristine beachfront and wave-free waters, which are perfect for floating and swimming.
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Holly Johnson, Contributor

Holly Johnson writes about travel, credit cards, personal finance and frugality for a wide ...  Read more

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