With spring break around the corner, we’re dreaming of sunny destinations and our toes in the sand. To fuel your vacation wanderlust, we’ve uncovered the most breathtaking coastlines to add to your Beachin’ bucket list. Though you may not go as far as Iceland or Indonesia, it never hurts to dream. If anything, you’ll have something to craze over while stuck in spring break traffic.
Known as “Shipwreck Beach,” Navagio has a notable reputation for being the most beautiful beach in the world. When you see it, you’ll understand why— enormous grassy cliffs and majestic teal water make it an other-worldly sight. Add some greek wine and a gyro to the equation, and you’ve got yourself the perfect beach day. Bonus points if you’re brave enough to explore the abandoned shipwreck the beach inherited its name from.
Guarita Beach, Torres, Brazil
Guarita has it all— with bright wetlands, wooded forests, and rolling sand dunes, your Instagram story will be on fire. Spend the day lounging on a beach towel with Brazilian tourists, or climbing the steep rock in the middle of the shoreline. The hike is tricky, but the view is worth it. Spot surfers, sea lions, and depending on the time of year, penguins. If you’re feeling adventurous enough, grab a surfboard and hit the waves yourself.
Man O’War Beach, Wareham, United Kingdom
Man O’War Beach is a history buff’s paradise. Located on the Jurassic Coast of England, its cliffs reveal fossils from 185 million years ago. Hike to the shoreline and you’ll feel like you’re stepping back in time— with wooly mammoths and neanderthals playing beach volleyball on the white sand. The private cove is perfect for a lazy day, so pack a bag with a book or a sunset picnic. Plus, the shallow water makes it great for swimming during summertime. Is that Hogwarts I see in the background?
Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, Vik, Iceland
Yes, that’s sand, and yes, it’s black. Iceland’s black sand beaches are known for their dramatic landscapes and beauty. With powerful waves and dramatic shifts in tide, swimming isn’t recommended— but an exploration of the beach’s hidden caves makes for a great adventure. The beach sits near a small fishing village full of folklore and friendly locals. Rumor has it trolls used to roam this territory. If you head to town and find a native fisherman, you may be lucky enough to hear a story or two.
Kvalvika Beach, Norway
You might need an extra sweatshirt for this beachin’ adventure, but the views will be worth it. Hike an hour through the mountains of Lofoten and find Norway’s best kept secret. Kvalvika is a popular summer destination for many hikers as camping is permitted anywhere on the beach, and the northern midnight sun keeps the ocean glowing throughout the night. If you visit during winter, you’re guaranteed just as much fun. Try sledding on the hike down, or build a snowman on the shore. Snowball fights and the ocean? It’s the best of both worlds.
Port Campbell National Park, Victoria, Australia
“The Twelve Apostles” are the highlight of this beach. A series of twelve wave sculpted rocks dotted along the shore, they’re well known for their popularity on Instagram (#twelveapostles), and the influx of tourists they bring. Though the landmark is a two hour drive from Melbourne, many visitors make a day trip to see the incredible coastline. Plus, the beach has amazing swimming and diving, making the road trip #worthit.
Kelingking Beach, Indonesia
Located on the island of Nusa Penida, Kelingking is a short 30 minute moped ride from the island’s main harbor. Though it’s fairly remote in its location, it still attracts a number of tourists for its famous silhouette. Apparently, if you stand at a certain angle, the looming emerald cliffs take on the shape of a T-Rex. Whether you think they mimic this frightening creature or not, one thing is certain— these cliffs are scary. Most viewpoints along the top of Kelingking have no safety railing, and the “hike” down to the beach feels more like scaling a rock face. It’s advised to recognize the difficulty of the hike before trekking down to the ocean. Luckily, there’s a small restaurant at the top of the trail— so if you make it back up, you can treat yourself with a fresh coconut.
Rialto Beach, United States
Rialto is a backpacker’s haven. Since camping is permitted on most of the beach, hikers can pitch their tent anywhere, anytime. Spend the day trekking through the coastal redwoods or bodysurfing in the Pacific Ocean— and when the sun goes down, end the day in a beach chair with a driftwood campfire. Nothing says “West Coast” like a Pacific Northwest getaway.
Scala dei Turchi, Realmonte, Italy
If you want to swim in water that looks like an iPhone background and watch a sunset the color of cotton candy, visit Scala dei Turchi. Tan under a beach umbrella on the large rock cliff, or dive off into the ocean below— this beach has activities for the adventure seeker, and the tranquil. You may see tourists and locals covered in mud from the shore, but don’t freak out. Apparently it has a number of benefits and healing powers for the skin. You won’t know until you try, right?
Visit the charming old villa town of Le Clos Lupin and you’ll find Étretat— a beach of thick white pebbles and cool clear water. This shoreline is known for its beauty. Impressionists throughout history have captured it in countless paintings, including Claude Monet in his famous 1883 piece “The Manneporte (Étretat).” 135 years later, the beach is still just as enchanting. According to locals, Étretat’s famous cliffs magically light up every night. If that doesn’t make you book a plane ticket, I don’t know what will.
Have you visited any of these breathtaking beaches? Create a listing on Gone Beachin’ Search and tell us what you think!