Best thing about the sand at Falassarna? There’s so much of it there’s little chance of playing beach-mat overlap with strangers. This slice of coast takes in five consecutive beaches, the middle ones being most popular, the ones on the ends better for solitary sun lovers.
1. Grande Anse Beach, La Digue Island, Seychelles
Secluded and easy to skip because it takes some effort to get here, Grand Anse on La Digue is the archetypal beach, the benchmark against which others must be judged. It’s a must, especially if you’re a surfer.
2. Rabbit Beach, Lampedusa, Italy
With blinding white cliffs, fluorescent blue waters
, warm temperatures and dry-desert land, it’s little wonder this place frequently tops favorite beach lists. Protected turtles lay eggs here and dolphins can be seen in the water.
3. Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands
You need only hear the name of this beach to feel a little calmer. The pride of Provo Island is tourist heavy
, but that’s because it’s one of the best (third best, we say) beaches in the world. Just offshore, a coral reef protects the beach and harbors marine life normally seen in Jacques Cousteau documentaries.
4. Anse Source d’Argent, La Digue, Seychelles
This ribbon of sand on the Seychelles’ third-largest island, La Dique, mixes salt-white and flamingo-pink sands
to create one of the most photographed beaches in the world. A reef keeps the water calm for good snorkeling.
5. Anse de Grande Saline, St. Barths
Though nudity is technically banned on St. Barths, this is one of two beaches
on the French Leeward Island that attracts naturists (perhaps due to its distance from developed areas). It can get windy and there’s little shade, but the photo ops are magnificent.
6. Cabbage Beach, Paradise Island, Bahamas
An inappropriate name does nothing to spoil the flawless aesthetics of this lengthy strip of sand. The chair, umbrella, bracelet and Jet Ski touts might be a challenge to your good mood, but if you walk eastward away from the busy section you’ll be able to take in one of the world’s best beaches uninterrupted.
7. Wineglass Bay, Tasmania
8. Matira Beach, Bora Bora, Tahiti
Bora Bora is like the Gwyneth Paltrow of beaches: a little too perfect to be believable. But the spell that this small island in French Polynesia has cast on probably every traveler ever to dip a toe into its soft sands or calm waters has yet to be broken. Bora Bora is a heavy tourist destination
— luxury resorts and budget bungalows dapple the white sand perimeter. But its best spot, Matira Beach, reminds you why places like this become popular in the first place.
9. Champagne Beach, Vanuatu
The South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu broke into the headlines a few years ago when the Happy Planet Index ranked
it the happiest nation on Earth. With beaches like this, how could locals not be euphoric?
10. Palaui Island, Cagayan Valley, Philippines
Glorious white sands meet volcanic rocks and blue-green waters topside, while coral gardens and a rich marine reserve meet divers under the surface. Palaui is all about raw beauty
. Treks to get there require battling thorny grass, muddy ground and a mangrove forest.