The 35 Best Island Beaches in the World

A beach holiday is the perfect excuse to escape the daily grind. And whether you’re in the mood for a stroll on a windswept beach leading up to an ancient castle, relaxing on a white sandy slice of paradise in the middle of the Indian Ocean or taking a breather after catching a few early morning waves, there are beaches for just about everyone.

Saud Beach, Luzon, Philippines

Low angle view of white sand beach and tall coconut palm trees in Saud beach, Pagudpud, Philippines. Beautiful sunny weather and tropical getaway.

If you’re searching for Southeast Asian beach bliss, super-mellow Saud Beach on the island of Luzon is a sure thing. Its white sand pitches gradually into the clear-as-glass water, like a real-world example of a zero-entry swimming pool. Swim in the peaceful waves, lunch under a thatch-roof cabana under the palms, or hire an outrigger for excursions on the water.

Hanalei Bay, Kauai, Hawaii

Seascape of Hanalei bay pier beach on North Shore of Kauai, Hawaii, USA.

Long before Hollywood put it on the tourist map (first with “South Pacific” in 1958, then “The Descendants” half a century later), Hanalei Bay attracted locals for its near-mystical beauty. Its string of beaches — Wai’oli, Hanalei Pavilion, and Black Pot — is framed by jade-colored mountains hurtling 4,000 feet high. The area is popular with surfers in the winter, when the waves pick up size and speed.

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