The world’s best 100 beaches named by Lonely Planet, with FIVE in the British Isles making the cut alongside gems in the Caribbean, Australia and the U.S. Which one do YOU want to visit the most?


These beaches may prompt a cry of ‘shell yeah!’

They all feature in eye-catching new Lonely Planet book ‘100 of the World’s Most Incredible Beaches‘.

Scroll down and you’ll see that the title of the tome is no exaggeration – they’re all stunning.

Five beaches in the British Isles make the cut, alongside gems in the Caribbean, Greece, Hawaii, the Seychelles, Cape Town and Australia.

Lonely Planet says in the introduction to the ravishing compendium: ‘Discover the world’s most extraordinary shorelines inside this dazzling display of diverse beaches – caves, coves and arches; mystical fog and sprawling coastlines; urban, sprawling and surfing beaches; unique formations, coastlines, colors and perspectives. These are the world’s most spectacular beaches.

‘Featuring transporting photography, tips for how to reach each beach, and reasons why Lonely Planet selected these as the 100 best, this is the ultimate collection of the sand, stone and sea the world has to offer.’ See below for MailOnline Travel’s pick of the bunch. Which one do you want to put on your bucket list? 

RHOSSILI BAY, GOWER, WALES: Lonely Planet says: ‘Rhossili dazzles with its almost three miles (5km) of honey-toned, Atlantic-beaten sands. Part of the 73-sq-mile (188-sq-km) Gower Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this wonderfully secluded pocket of Wales retains a special soul-stirring energy’

KEEM BAY BEACH, KEEL, COUNTY MAYO, IRELAND: This beach clearly moved Lonely Planet. The text accompanying this image reads: 'A vertiginous yet jaw-droppingly beautiful 4.9-mile (8km) drive from Keel village, at the distant western end of County Mayo’s Achill Island, sets the scene for one of Ireland’s most glorious, secluded strands. Sloping green hillsides spill down to a deep-set horseshoe bay, where a Blue-Flag delight of a pale-blonde beach sits framed by the Croaghaun Cliffs (Ireland’s highest sea cliffs) and the thundering moody-blue Atlantic'

KEEM BAY BEACH, KEEL, COUNTY MAYO, IRELAND: This beach clearly moved Lonely Planet. The text accompanying this image reads: ‘A vertiginous yet jaw-droppingly beautiful 4.9-mile (8km) drive from Keel village, at the distant western end of County Mayo’s Achill Island, sets the scene for one of Ireland’s most glorious, secluded strands. Sloping green hillsides spill down to a deep-set horseshoe bay, where a Blue-Flag delight of a pale-blonde beach sits framed by the Croaghaun Cliffs (Ireland’s highest sea cliffs) and the thundering moody-blue Atlantic’

KYNANCE COVE, LIZARD, CORNWALL. Lonely Planet says: 'Whether you've hiked for miles along the long-distance South West Coast Path or just fancy a paddle in the tempting teal waters, Kynance Cove stops everyone in their tracks. Curled into the west side of southern Cornwall’s wild Lizard peninsula, near the southernmost tip of mainland England, this is one of the country’s dreamiest beaches'

KYNANCE COVE, LIZARD, CORNWALL. Lonely Planet says: ‘Whether you’ve hiked for miles along the long-distance South West Coast Path or just fancy a paddle in the tempting teal waters, Kynance Cove stops everyone in their tracks. Curled into the west side of southern Cornwall’s wild Lizard peninsula, near the southernmost tip of mainland England, this is one of the country’s dreamiest beaches’

DUEODDE, BORNHOLM ISLAND, DENMARK: Lonely Planet describes this beach as ‘a secluded sweep of glistening-white sand… on a dune-sprinkled shoreline’

KOKKINOKASTRO, ALONNISOS ISLAND, SPORADES, GREECE: Lonely Planet describes Kokkinokastro as ‘among the most spectacular of mountainous Alonnisos’s many sultry beaches’, where ‘a craggy rust-red cape juts out into the unbelievably blue water’ 

HANALEI BAY, KAUA’I, HAWAII, USA: Lonely Planet’s verdict? A ‘photogenic two-mile crescent of golden sand’

ONELOA BEACH/BIG BEACH, MAUI, HAWAII, USA: This is a 'pleasingly untamed' beach, says Lonely Planet, which abuts Pacific waters that are an 'otherworldly blue'

ONELOA BEACH/BIG BEACH, MAUI, HAWAII, USA: This is a ‘pleasingly untamed’ beach, says Lonely Planet, which abuts Pacific waters that are an ‘otherworldly blue’

AWAROA BEACH, ABEL TASMAN NATIONAL PARK, SOUTH ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND: Lonely Planet notes that Awaroa Beach has ‘golden sands, turquoise waters and a secluded location on the north coast of the South Island, backed by granite hills and lush coastal forests’

SQUEAKY BEACH, GIPPSLAND, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA: Lonely Planet says: ‘Enclosed by impressive granite boulders at either end, Squeaky Beach is a standout in Wilsons Promontory National Park, an awe-inspiring slice of wilderness at the southernmost tip of mainland Australia’

PFEIFFER BEACH, BIG SUR, CALIFORNIA, USA: 'Due to dangerous surf, Pfeiffer Beach isn’t recommended for swimming, and it can get windy,' says Lonely Planet, 'but the walking, beachcombing and sunsets are superb'

PFEIFFER BEACH, BIG SUR, CALIFORNIA, USA: ‘Due to dangerous surf, Pfeiffer Beach isn’t recommended for swimming, and it can get windy,’ says Lonely Planet, ‘but the walking, beachcombing and sunsets are superb’

ASSATEAGUE ISLAND, NATIONAL SEASHORE, MARYLAND & VIRGINIA, USA: Lonely Planet says that ‘with wild horses galloping across its wind-swept beaches, Assateague Island National Seashore exudes a surprisingly feral vibe, a rarity along the highly developed shores of the Mid-Atlantic’, while ‘thick maritime forests and rugged dunes round out the dramatic scene’

CABLE BEACH/WALMANYJUN, BROOME, WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Lonely Planet says that this beach is ‘a magnificent sweep of blonde sand’ that has ‘earned its renown as Western Australia’s most famous stretch of sand’

HAUKLAND BEACH, VESTVAGOY, LOFOTEN ISLANDS, NORWAY: ‘Haukland has a blinding stretch of luscious sand bathed by cool Arctic waters,’ says Lonely Planet. ‘The sea doesn’t really creep higher than around 59F (15C) and that’s in August, but the spectacular natural setting still makes this one of the most unbelievably beautiful spots among Norway’s thousands of beaches’

SVETI STEFAN BEACH, BUDVA, MONTENEGRO: Lonely Planet’s summation? The book says: ‘The fortified, honey-walled 15th-century island village of Sveti Stefan (now a private luxury resort) makes up the spectacular backdrop to this Adriatic pearl. Just across the delicious blue-green sea from the islet, the unspoilt pebble-and-sand beach sweeps around a small, curving mainland bay’

PARALIA TIS GRIAS TO PIDIMA, ANDROS, CYCLADES, GREECE: Lonely Planet describes this as 'one of the dreamiest back-to-nature beaches in the Cyclades' that's 'entirely free from sun loungers, umbrellas and restaurants'. The book adds: 'It has a mellow feel, with craggy cliffs framing the powdery sand'

PARALIA TIS GRIAS TO PIDIMA, ANDROS, CYCLADES, GREECE: Lonely Planet describes this as ‘one of the dreamiest back-to-nature beaches in the Cyclades’ that’s ‘entirely free from sun loungers, umbrellas and restaurants’. The book adds: ‘It has a mellow feel, with craggy cliffs framing the powdery sand’

KABAK BEACH, MUGLA, TURKEY/TURKIYE: This is ‘one of Turkiye’s most heavily guarded travel secrets’ that has a ‘castaway-esque magic’

AO MAYA, KO PHI-PHI LEH, KRABI, THAILAND: 'Maya Bay meets even Hollywood's standards for a tropical paradise,' notes Lonely Planet, pointing out that its 'beautiful sands were controversially used as a film set for the Leonardo di Caprio-starring blockbuster The Beach'. The beach reopened on January 1, 2022, having been shut for four years to combat damage caused by visitors, the book explains

AO MAYA, KO PHI-PHI LEH, KRABI, THAILAND: ‘Maya Bay meets even Hollywood’s standards for a tropical paradise,’ notes Lonely Planet, pointing out that its ‘beautiful sands were controversially used as a film set for the Leonardo di Caprio-starring blockbuster The Beach’. The beach reopened on January 1, 2022, having been shut for four years to combat damage caused by visitors, the book explains

HAT THAM PHRA NANG, RAILAY, KRABI, THAILAND: With ‘fairy-tale limestone formations’ and a ‘cerulean sea’, this is a ‘vision of paradise’, says Lonely Planet

SUNAYAMA BEACH, MIYAKOJIMA ISLAND, OKINAWA, JAPAN: 'Snow-white sands and a dramatic arch' helped this beach earn a place in Lonely Planet's top 100 ranking

SUNAYAMA BEACH, MIYAKOJIMA ISLAND, OKINAWA, JAPAN: ‘Snow-white sands and a dramatic arch’ helped this beach earn a place in Lonely Planet’s top 100 ranking

MYRTOS BEACH, KEFALLONIA, IONIANS, GREECE: ‘Resting at the foot of a dramatically zigzagging road in northern Kefallonia, off the western Greek mainland, Myrtos remains one of the most-photographed and entrancing beaches in a country bursting with glorious Mediterranean-lapped sands,’ says Lonely Planet

BOTTOM BAY, BARBADOS: ‘Bottom Bay ticks all the boxes for a quintessential Caribbean beach,’ says Lonely Planet. ‘There’s the translucent turquoise water, smooth white sand, and wind-gnarled palms dotting the shore. But there’s also a wildness to Bottom Bay’

ANSE SOURCE D’ARGENT, LA DIGUE, SEYCHELLES: ‘It regularly tops world’s best beach lists,’ says Lonely Planet, ‘but does Anse Source d’Argent live up to the hype? In a word: yes’

PLAYA MANUEL ANTONIO, PARQUE NACIONAL MANUEL ANTONIO, COSTA RICA: Here you’ll find ‘blonde sand and calm turquoise water’. Plus monkeys, sloths and toucans in the adjacent park

CANNON BEACH, OREGON, USA: Come here for wildlife, ‘amazing sunset views’ and to behold Haystack Rock, which Lonely Planet explains is a 235ft-tall volcanic remnant ‘formed by 17million years of uplift and erosion’

WEST BEACH, BERNERAY, OUTER HEBRIDES, SCOTLAND: 'This wildly remote jewel of a beach sprawls along almost three miles (5km) of untouched shoreline on tiny Berneray, off Scotland’s northwest coast,' says the book, adding that it's 'a paradise for birdwatchers' and the 'surrounding landscapes burst with wildflowers' in the spring

WEST BEACH, BERNERAY, OUTER HEBRIDES, SCOTLAND: ‘This wildly remote jewel of a beach sprawls along almost three miles (5km) of untouched shoreline on tiny Berneray, off Scotland’s northwest coast,’ says the book, adding that it’s ‘a paradise for birdwatchers’ and the ‘surrounding landscapes burst with wildflowers’ in the spring

CAMPS BAY BEACH, CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA: Beachgoers here are treated to 'soft white sand and a backdrop of the craggy Twelve Apostles range (part of Table Mountain)'

CAMPS BAY BEACH, CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA: Beachgoers here are treated to ‘soft white sand and a backdrop of the craggy Twelve Apostles range (part of Table Mountain)’

WHITEHAVEN BEACH, WHITSUNDAYS, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA: This is 'one of Australia's most photogenic natural icons', says the book, adding: 'When you sink your toes into the 98 per cent pure silica sands of this dazzling beach you’ll understand the hype'

WHITEHAVEN BEACH, WHITSUNDAYS, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA: This is ‘one of Australia’s most photogenic natural icons’, says the book, adding: ‘When you sink your toes into the 98 per cent pure silica sands of this dazzling beach you’ll understand the hype’

DURDLE DOOR BEACH, LULWORTH, DORSET, ENGLAND: This beach is home to 'a colossal almost-golden limestone sea arch [that] wows as one of the UK’s most-photographed coastal formations', says the book, adding: 'Swimming off the shingle-and-sand beach beneath the green-clad cliffs, with turquoise water stretching into the distance, is a special moment'

DURDLE DOOR BEACH, LULWORTH, DORSET, ENGLAND: This beach is home to ‘a colossal almost-golden limestone sea arch [that] wows as one of the UK’s most-photographed coastal formations’, says the book, adding: ‘Swimming off the shingle-and-sand beach beneath the green-clad cliffs, with turquoise water stretching into the distance, is a special moment’

PLAYA DE TORIMBIA, LLANES, ASTURIAS, SPAIN: 'This is serene Torimbia,' the book says, 'one of Asturias’ most-loved beaches and one of Spain’s original naturist spots since the 1960s, thanks to its secluded natural setting'

PLAYA DE TORIMBIA, LLANES, ASTURIAS, SPAIN: ‘This is serene Torimbia,’ the book says, ‘one of Asturias’ most-loved beaches and one of Spain’s original naturist spots since the 1960s, thanks to its secluded natural setting’

IPANEMA BEACH, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL: This 'sun-drenched sand in Brazil's most famous coastal city has been popular with sunseeking cariocas (residents of Rio de Janeiro) since 1902', explains Lonely Planet, 'when a new streetcar line made the beach on the southern fringe of the city easier to access'

IPANEMA BEACH, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL: This ‘sun-drenched sand in Brazil’s most famous coastal city has been popular with sunseeking cariocas (residents of Rio de Janeiro) since 1902’, explains Lonely Planet, ‘when a new streetcar line made the beach on the southern fringe of the city easier to access’

Best Beaches - 100 of the World's Most Incredible Beaches is on sale February 9 in the UK, but pre-orders are available from Amazon (£23.59)

Best Beaches – 100 of the World’s Most Incredible Beaches is on sale February 9 in the UK, but pre-orders are available from Amazon (£23.59)



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