Few things are more peaceful than a trip to the beach. When most people think of beaches, however, they usually think about the sands of Hawaii or maybe the Bahamas. Truth is, every continent has a handful of incredible beaches. Here are the most breathtaking beaches from every continent.
Africa: Anse Lazio
Many people don't think "beach" when they think Africa. However, Africa is home to some incredible vacation spots, like Anse Lazio beach in the Seychelles Islands. Anse Lazio is home to gorgeous, turquoise-blue water that laps the golden shores, which are home to dense copses of palm trees and enormous rock formations to climb on. It is a great place for swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing.
Antarctica: Deception Island Black Sand Beach
Antarctica's beaches might not be the best spots to don a bikini and lay out in the sun, but they are still definitely worth exploring. One of the most popular beach destinations on this continent is Deception Island, which just so happens to be part of an active volcano. The sands here are black, and visitors can walk along the edges of the crater created by past volcanic eruptions for some truly incredible views and photo ops. Some of the braver tourists can challenge each other to a "polar plunge" into the freezing water. It is quite common to see adorable chinstrap penguins walking around on the beach they call home, so you can spend some time looking for them if a polar plunge isn't your cup of tea.
Asia: Radhanagar Beach
Asia has several spectacular beaches, but one of the best is Radhanagar Beach in the Andaman Islands. The beach itself sports beautiful, fine white sand as well as dense, dark green foliage. The water is a clear turquoise, and when the wind isn't blowing, it looks so still that Travel + Leisure compares it to "one gigantic infinity pool." What makes this beach one you just cannot miss, though, is the high probability that you could see an elephant walking around on the shore while you are sunbathing.
Australia: Whitehaven Beach
Whitehaven Beach makes it to the top of almost every list of top beaches (both in Australia and beyond), and for good reason. Located on Whitsunday Island, Whitehaven Beach is made up of white silica sand, some of the finest, purest sand in the world. This white sand is soft beneath your feet and resists heat. But that's not the only reason it is incredible. This light, movable sand makes a striking contrast to the stunning blue waters that swirl around it, forming a constantly changing setting that looks like something out of a watercolor painting.
Europe: Scala dei Turchi
Europe is another continent that is home to many breathtaking beaches. What makes Scala dei Turchi so breathtaking, however, is the famous Turkish Steps. This enormous rock formation has been created by millions of years of eroding marlstone (a white, calcium-rich stone) that makes it look like a giant staircase coming up out of the water and going into the sky. These Turkish Steps make this beach worth a trip even when it is too cold to get in the water, so this is a great destination for a day trip no matter what time of the year you are visiting Sicily.
North America: Kapalua Bay Beach
North America is lucky enough to have many great beaches as well. No place can hold a candle to Hawaii, though, and to Kapalua Bay Beach in particular. Coming in at number one on Forbes' list of America's top 10 beaches in 2018, Kapalua Bay Beach is composed of a curve of white sand that connects two jutting pieces of land formed by lava flows that hardened hundreds — perhaps thousands – of years ago. These pieces of land reach out into the water, leading visitors to coral reefs full of fish and other aquatic life in a dazzling array of colors and shapes. The water is clear enough to see all of these fish and their homes amongst the coral, and it is a perfect spot for snorkeling.
South America: Jericoacoara
Stepping onto the beach of Jericoacoara near Fortaleza, Brazil, is like stepping into another world. According to Culture Trip, visitors have a tendency to come here for a weekend, but end up staying for weeks. So what is the appeal of this mysterious, sandy beach? The water itself is too shallow for in-depth swimming, but the thing that makes this beach worth a visit is the incredible sand dunes that face the west. Visitors can spend all day climbing them, and then find a place to sit at the top to watch the sun set over the clear water when the day is done.