International Beaches

You'll want to travel the world after browsing through these stunning beaches.

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Danang Beach, Vietnam

Danang Beach, a central fighting area during the Vietnam War, is known locally for its great beaches with notable surfing, scuba diving and even a swanky resort. Furama Resort is the grand dame of Vietnam's hotel scene and is continually praised for its 5-star service, top-notch amenities and perfect location on one of the country's best beaches. The white sands are framed by natural pines and coconut palms, the perfect backdrop for a morning tai chi class or just lounging on the beach.

Bora Bora, Tahiti

Bora Bora is one of the magical islands that make up French Polynesia in the South Pacific. Just 18 miles long, this lush little slipper of land lies in a protected lagoon edged by fine white sandy shores -- the best located at Matira Point. Nicknamed "the Romantic Island", there are a number of reasons why Bora Bora boasts the nickname "the Romantic Island," including the secluded beaches, intimate hotels and quiet atmosphere that embraces visitors.

Cannes, France

The luxurious Côte D'Azur, or French Riviera, at Cannes is the site of the annual film festival that beckons the Hollywood crowd. During the summer months, the same beautiful crowd comes to enjoy the town's picture-perfect beaches and chic resorts. The shoreline at Cannes is divided into 32 sections with a mixture of private and public access. The Promenade de la Croisette is the fashionable strip that runs alongside the sea and is filled with expensive boutiques and restaurants. The town's swankiest hotels can be found here, including the Hotel Majestic Barriere and the towering white Hotel Martinez, which features an extensive private beach and a water-sports center.

Ko Phi Phi Don Island Beaches, Thailand

Brilliant turquoise waters lure travelers to the shores of Ko Phi Phi Don Island, Thailand. Bamboo Island, Laem Tong Beach, Loh Dalum, Koh Phi Phi Leh and Loh Bagao Bay are some of the beaches found around the island, but Long Beach is the most popular and a great spot for snorkeling, too.

Red Beach in Crete, Greece

With its cobalt-blue waters, sun-bleached cottages, ancient ruins and red sandstone cliffs, Crete's Red Beach is remarkably picturesque. Made famous in 1968 when hippies from across Europe flocked to its shores, the resort at Red Beach has remained a naturist favorite thanks to its rustic charm and its tolerance (nudity is allowed everywhere except the dining room). Visitors to Red Beach will find the area's ancient caves interesting, as well as sunken bits of history from off-shore shipwrecks that wash ashore from time to time.

Copacabana Beach

We forgive you for humming Barry Manilow's "Copacabana" when visiting Copacabana Beach, Rio's first in a string of Atlantic Ocean-facing beaches. The iconic (and crowded) 2 1/2-mile stretch of sand is flanked by mountains in the background, high-rise hotels in the foreground and a bustling, mosaic-covered promenade, Avenida Atlantica in between perfect for a stroll and people watching. While many beachgoers bake in the sun or swim and surf in the turquoise waters at Copacabana, others opt for land-based action: It's common to find groups playing soccer or having an impromptu dance party -- yes, Brazilians know how to have a very good time.

Numerous kiosks line the beach, so plan to grab a cold drink and watch the revelry unfold. As night falls, do be careful. The neighborhood can be a bit seedy and there is crime in the area, so plan to stay off the sands and stick to the well-lit promenade.

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Ocho Rios isn't only known for its beautiful white beaches and sparkling blue waters: it was also used to shoot the 1962 James Bond film "Dr. No."

Acapulco, Mexico

Once the honeymoon destination for John and Jackie Kennedy, Acapulco is still a popular place for newlyweds as well as families. Temperatures hover in the 80s throughout the year, and the warm water is ideal for swimming and snorkeling. As if that's not enough to tempt you, the prices in Acapulco are affordable and can allow for an unforgettable honeymoon even on a tight budget. The Camino Real offers well-designed rooms overlooking the private Pichilingue Beach, as well as fine dining and a variety of activities. The hotel's convenient location allows guests to appreciate the clubs of Acapulco by night and the natural beauty of the beaches by day.

Sardinia, Italy

The sunbathers and fancy yachts compete with the natural beauty of the beaches along Sardinia's Costa Smeralda, or Emerald Coast. Sardinia's northeast shore, with its stunning azure waters and still blue grottoes, is a getaway for royalty, with tony resorts and 35 miles of gorgeous coastline. But the luxe life comes with a hefty pricetag at the area's most posh resorts including the dreamy Cala di Volpe with interesting archways and turrets adding to the royal Mediterranean flair. The Cala di Volpe private beach is a 5-minute boat ride from the resort. Nearby, The Prince's Beach, or Spiaggia del Principe is a secluded paradise, surrounded by thick dense shrubs providing even more privacy. The area comes alive in the warm months with most resorts opening just from April through October.

Placencia Peninsula, Belize

The Placencia Peninsula is home to the longest stretch of beach in mainland Belize. Dubbed “barefoot perfect,” it’s the most popular sea and sand getaway in the country and stretches across 3 villages: Maya Beach, Seine Bight and Placencia Village. Take your pick -- all of these beaches are public. Placencia Village’s tourist strip area has several bars and restaurants along its golden sandy coastline; whereas fine, white sand beaches are found along quiet Seine Bight and Maya Beach. Placencia is also an easy best beach pick because of its top-notch food, accommodations, nightlife and its decent mix of travelers and locals.

Es Trenc Beach, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain

The island of Mallorca is home to some of Spain's most striking natural landscapes including its most famous beach, Es Trenc. Though many of Spain's beaches are part of large resort complexes, Es Trenc stands alone and it is relatively isolated, backed by windswept sand dunes and a pine forest.

The soft golden sands of Es Trenc meet gently lapping waves of sapphire-blue and turquoise waters, which many vacationers compare to a Caribbean beach. Shallow, tranquil water makes this a popular beach for families with small children.

Grande Plage, Biarritz, France

World-class surfers hit the waves at Grande Plage in Biarritz, a resort town in southwestern France that’s also a popular destination for French royalty. Biarritz has been called "the queen of beaches and beach of kings," which is why the town has hosted surfing competitions, including the Quiksilver/Roxy Jam tournament.

Akumal, Mexico

Akumal features some of the most stunning beaches on Earth. Offshore reefs protect the silky, white sand and filter warm water currents through the coastal caves and subterranean rivers.

In the Maya language, Akumal means "place of the turtles." This natural refuge is still a popular spot for sea turtles to lay their eggs; see them between the months of May and November on the beach at Half Moon Bay. The protected reef is a favorite snorkeling and dive site. The Akumal Dive Shop has all the gear you'll need and is easily accessible from the main road entering town.

La Digue Beaches, Seychelles, East Africa

La Digue is the third largest inhabited island of the Seychelles. Tourists can choose any of eight beautiful beaches to visit, including Anse Coco, Anse Source D’Argent and L’Union Beach.

Seven Mile Beach, Jamaica

If you're ready to get your "Jamaican Me Crazy" party going while soaking up the sun, head directly to Seven Mile Beach in Negril, Jamaica's hot spot for sunbathing scenesters. The name doesn't lie; indeed, Seven Mile beach is a 7-mile stretch of gorgeous sand, crowded with sexy sunbathers, locals, families and even a few nudists lurking in designated nude areas.

Vendors wander the sand selling street food like jerk chicken, and the number of watersport options and outfitters are vast. The party on the sands continues well into the night, with live reggae music thumping from Alfred's Ocean Palace, where partiers dance on the sand. Or if you're more of a night owl, hit up the Jungle Night Club where the party continues rocking 'til dawn.

75-Mile Beach, Queensland, Australia

In Australia, 75-Mile Beach is located on the eastern side of Fraser Island in Queensland. The island is the world's largest sand island and perhaps the only beach in the world that is a registered highway with a designated speed limit of 80 miles per hour. Nature-loving beach enthusiasts will appreciate the unspoiled natural paradise around the beach: The island is home to 230 species of bird and 25 species of mammals, including wallabies, flying foxes and dingoes.

Tenerife Beaches, Canary Islands, Spain

The lovely shores of Tenerife entice visitors to the Canary Islands archipelago, southwest of Spain. This beach town has more than a dozen beaches where tourists can feel the warm waters of the ocean lap at their feet while basking in the warm sunlight. Playa de la Tejita, Playa San Marcos, Playa del Camison, Playa del Duque and El Medano are all examples of secret, off-the-beaten path, over-exposed and black-sand beaches found around the island.

Flamenco Beach, Culebra, Puerto Rico

The island of Culebra is a private paradise in Puerto Rico, located between the big island and nearby St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. Locals and visitors come to the island by plane and boat to experience its remote beaches. While Flamenco Beach gets a lot of press as the area's loveliest stretch of sand, there are still many secret spots, including Punta Soldado, a small, pebbly beach with nice views of Vieques and calm waters perfect for snorkeling. A bonus: The beach is easily accessible by car and doesn't require a strenuous hike to reach.

Legzira, Morocco

Morocco’s most unique beach lies between the towns of Mirleft and Sidi Ifni, about three hours to the south of the mass tourism beach destination of Agadir. Legzira is known for its spectacular natural arches (one of which yawns across 90 feet of beach) and sandstone cliffs that are best visited at low tide. Particularly at dawn and dusk, the majestic geological formations sparkle with a kaleidoscope of colors. Stay a while so you can soak up several sunrises and sunsets. Legzira Beach Club has inexpensive rooms near the beach and the kitchen does delicious fresh meals such as fish and Moroccan tagine (meat – usually lamb or chicken -- cooked with fruit and olives in a conical clay pot).

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