15 Best White-sand Beaches Around the World

Around the world, pristine white-sand beaches beckon tourists and locals alike with their powdery-soft shores and turquoise blue waters. Formed mainly from rocks and minerals like quartz ground down over millennia, these sugary coastlines offer the quintessential seaside experience.

From the U.S. and Italy to the Maldives and Australia, these 15 stunning white-sand beaches are what vacation dreams are made of.


Angaga Island, South Ari Atoll, Maldives

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The Angaga Island Resort encompasses all of South Ari Atoll, but the island’s natural Maldivian beauty is the real superstar here. Pearly white sand encircles the island, where luxe beach bungalows jut out over the sparkling turquoise Indian Ocean.



Anse Source d’Argent, La Digue, Seychelles

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Anse Source d’Argent is one of the most popular beaches in the Seychelles, and for good reason. Towering granite boulders and palms dot the perimeter of this beautiful white-sand beach, and a nearby coral reef keeps the waters calm and ideal for wading.



Boulders Beach, Simon’s Town, South Africa

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This stretch of sheltered beach on South Africa’s Cape Peninsula was formed from finely ground granite, and remnant boulders still dot the surrounding area. Part of Table Mountain National Park, Boulders Beach is a popular gathering place for the endangered African penguin. Touching or feeding the birds is forbidden, but wildlife enthusiasts can view them from special boardwalks built along the beaches.



Hyams Beach, Shoalhaven, Australia

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About 120 miles from sprawling Sydney is the stunning white-sand Hyams Beach. Not only is it a popular destination for beach lovers, it’s a prime spot for whale-watching, too. Jervis Bay marks the halfway point on the “Humpback Highway,” as thousands of whales migrate back and forth from Antarctica every year between May and November.



Luskentyre Beach, Harris, Scotland

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On the western coast of Scotland’s Outer Hebrides islands lies a stretch of beach known as Luskentyre. The cooler climate at this white-sand beach sets it apart from some of the others on this list — as do the wild white ponies that are sometimes found wandering its shores.




Matira Beach, Bora Bora, French Polynesia

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Stretching for one mile on the southern end of Bora Bora, this is the largest public beach on the island. Perfectly white sand is juxtaposed with the clear blue Polynesian water. A nearby park offers a picnic area. This popular beach also serves as the endpoint for the world-famous Hawaiki Nui, an annual va’a (outrigger canoe) race held in the fall.



Kauna’oa Bay, Kohala, Hawaii

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Crescent-shaped and framed by palm trees, Kauna’oa Bay, on Hawaii’s Big Island, is the epitome of a white-sand beach. It’s one of the few light-colored stretches on the western side of the island — some are black or gray from lava and coral — and the historic Mauna Kea Beach Hotel sits right on its waterfront.



Rabbit Beach, Pelagie Islands, Italy

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Nestled between Malta and Tunisia is one of Europe’s most far-flung locales. Rabbit Island (known in Italian as Isola dei Conigli) lies off the coast of Lampedusa, a larger island to its north. Visitors to the beaches here will experience some of the clearest waters and whitest sands in the Mediterranean.



Radhanagar Beach, Swaraj Dweep, India

This paradisiacal beach on Swaraj Dweep (formerly Havelock Island) remains pristine and free of major development. The soft white sand of Radhanagar Beach stretches between the sparkling waters of the Bay of Bengal and dense tropical greenery for a perfectly peaceful experience. Snorkelers love to explore the bay’s marine life and colorful coral — but be sure to come up for air at day’s end to savor the spectacular sunset.




Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Islands, Australia

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The silica-rich sand at Whitehaven Beach is what gives it its snowy-white appearance. Even under the hottest sun, the silica never overheats, so you don’t have to worry about burning your feet. This remote beach is only accessible by boat, helicopter, or small plane.



Grace Bay Beach, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

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Often ranked among the most beautiful beaches in the world, Grace Bay Beach — which stretches for more than three miles — is known for its pristine white sand and clear turquoise waters. A large barrier reef about a mile offshore buffers most of the larger ocean waves, so the bay remains tranquil.



Clearwater Beach, Florida, United States

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Americans don’t have to travel far to find a stunning beach destination. As its name implies, this spot has beautiful Gulf of Mexico waters and white, sandy shores, making it perfect for water sports and sunbathing.




White Beach, Boracay, Philippines

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Located on the small island of Boracay in the Philippines, the aptly named White Beach is a picture-perfect oasis lined with palm trees, bars, hotels, and more. Peak season runs from December to May, and the nightlife is hopping. Boracay is accessible by plane or ferry from the cities of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.



Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres, Mexico

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There are plenty of beautiful beaches lining Mexico’s shores, but Playa Norte is among the best, thanks to its soft white sand and sparkling waters. Plus, it’s just a 25-minute ferry ride from Cancún to Isla Mujeres.



Shoal Bay Beach, Anguilla

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Anguilla offers stunning beaches and luxe hotels ideal for travelers looking to unwind. The popular white-sand Shoal Bay Beach is home to multiple restaurants and resorts, providing a full spectrum of activities.


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