10 Iconic Beaches Around the World

You can’t visit these countries without spending a day soaking up the sun on these famous beaches.

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Nice, France

If you only come to France for Paris, you’re missing out. The French Riviera is home to some of the most iconic beaches on the planet from Cannes (host of the famous, annual film festival) to Saint-Tropez (think ultra luxury). If you can only swing one beach day while in France, go to Nice. The beach itself is picture perfect and the town has inspired painters for centuries, from Chagall to Matisse. Once an Italian city, you’ll enjoy savoring some French-Italian lunch spots and boutiques.

Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

Made famous in the 2000 thriller The Beach, these popular beaches surrounded by dramatic limestone cliffs are a must if you visit Thailand. Maya Bay does not disappoint with its white-sand beaches, clear, crystal waters and lush tropical vegetation.

Amalfi Coast, Italy

Just south of Naples, this hilly coastline is peppered with picture-perfect sandy coves and trendy resort towns that attract tons of celebrities. The most famous towns are Sorrento, Positano and Amalfi.

Seven Sisters Cliffs of East Sussex, England

Overlooking the English Channel, this natural marvel has been used as a first line of defense for Britain since Roman times. Today, this chalk bluff serves as a dramatic, breathtaking backdrop that travelers itch to see.

Tarifa, Spain

On the southernmost coast of Spain lies the tiny town of Tarifa that is known around the world for its top-notch wind sports. Unique wind conditions make its beaches some of the most popular spots in Europe for windsurfing and kitesurfing.

Koh Rong, Cambodia

Most tourists fly into Phnom Penh, explore the bustling city, venture out to Siem Reap to see Angkor Wat and return to Phnom Penh to fly out thinking they’ve checked Cambodia off the bucket list. But the country’s beaches are its greatest treasure. Take a ferry from the mainland to Koh Rong island, and you won’t be disappointed. Stunning tropical beaches, like Long Beach, have white sand, clear blue water and are virtually undeveloped.

Gold Coast, Australia

This 35-mile stretch of white-sand beaches is famous around the world for premium surfing. Surf, watch the pros or take lessons at the iconic Surfers Paradise beach.

Banna Beach

You can’t come to the Emerald Isle and not visit the coast. With so many beautiful beaches to choose from, locals and tourists agree Kerry County has some of the best. Banna Strand was voted the best beach in Ireland by TripAdvisor travelers for 2017 and we can see why. From surfing to fishing to nearby nature parks, this historic beach has something for everyone.

Goa, India

A former Portuguese colony, this tiny Indian state boasts some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet. Agonda Beach is one of the most-visited, and local fishermen even take tourists out to watch dolphins. Baga Beach is another popular spot where locals put on firework shows at night.

Copacabana Beach, Brazil

Recently put in the global spotlight for the 2016 Summer Olympics, this Rio de Janeiro beach is one of the most recognizable beaches in the world with views of the towering Sugarloaf Mountain to the left and a backdrop of one of Rio’s most sought-after neighborhoods.