10 of the world's best beaches: in pictures
They're no hidden gems, but they're beautiful: feast your eyes on 10 of the world's best not-so-secret beaches.
This way to screensaver paradise! Wherever you are, whatever the weather, this selection of 12 of the best big-hitting sun-soaked stunners will give you a dose of delight. Let's go to the beach.
1. Laguna Beach, California, USA
Fans of teen TV drama may recognise the name Laguna Beach from seminal show The O.C. The O.C. of course stands for Orange County, California. Laguna is down the coast from Long Island, one of LA's famous beach resorts.
2. Lovrecina beach, Brac, Croatia
Lovely Lovrecina on the Dalmatian island of Brac in Croatia is sandy, with warm, shallow water. Zlatini Rat is more famous, but this forest-backed cove is pretty stunning itself.
3. Waikiki Beach, Hawaii, USA
As you can probably tell from the presence of all those bright lights and skyscrapers, Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, on the south shore of the island of Oʻahu, isn't exactly a hidden gem, but for a town beach, it's not bad.
4. Port Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia
North of Sydney, south of Brisbane, Port Macquarie is possibly most famous for being a retirement destination. While calling it the Bournemouth of the Southern Hemisphere may be pushing it a little, it shares the Dorset seaside resort's penchant for fine beaches.
5. Paleokastritsa Bay, Corfu, Greece
It wasn't like this in Odysseus' day. If you go down to Paleokastritsa, on the Greek holiday island of Corfu, look out for the Ancient Greek hero's petrified ship. Petrified, not as in scared, but as in it's a rock, but come on, use your imagination.
6. Anse Source d´Argent, La Digue, Seychelles
Along with that other must-go-when-I'm-rich set of Indian Ocean islands, the Maldives, the Seychelles is a honeymooners' favourite tropical paradise destination. One of the Seychelles, and the world's, most famous beaches, is this one. You may have seen it before, as someone's screensaver.
7. Navagio, Zakynthos, Greece
It's got several names - Navagio, Shipwreck Bay or Smugglers' Cove, but whatever it's called, it's a startlingly good-looking beach on the island of Zakynthos. The beach boasts an unusual feature – the wreck of a drug smugglers’ boat abandoned when they fled the Greek navy.
8. Portinatx, Ibiza
It's the sort of place that you wish you could have gone to in about 1964, when there wasn't a sun lounger in sight, but despite the summer crowds, the resort of Portinatx on Ibiza's north coast is still quiet in the shoulder seasons, and certainly has a cracking cala (cove).
9. Palawan, Philippines
Not so long ago, not even the seasoned backpacker would have even heard of the Bacuit Archipelago, but this tropical paradise-embodied in the Philippines has become a firm fixture on many a gap year must-do list.
10. Pedn Vounder Beach, Cornwall, England
It's not often we get a heatwave, but when it's 30 degrees then Britain's beaches will do us just fine! Often ranked among our best, dramatic Pedn Vounder is an 'unofficial' naturist beach - just to warn you!