Water with incredible color gradations, an extraordinary natural site… From Greece to Australia via the Seychelles or Thailand, our selection of dream beaches around the globe.

What are the most beautiful beaches in the world? From South America to the borders of Thailand, our selection invites you to explore the most expanses of the globe. Exceptional places, often popularized by cinema, advertising and photos on social networks.

Beaches which, in addition to sand as far as the eye can see and the turquoise sea, offer a unique setting, atmosphere or geology. A tremendous breath of exoticism and dream.

Copacabana Beach, in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil): the liveliest

Copacabana beach, named after this district in the south of Rio de Janeiro, stretches for 4.5 km. Donatas Dabravolskas

Copacabana is one of Rio de Janeiro’s most famous shots: the long crescent of white sand opens out onto Sugar Loaf Mountain as a backdrop. This popular beach comes alive at all hours, with water sports, beach volleyball and football. At night, the clubs in the neighborhood take over and the revelers end the evening on the beach. Copacabana also hosts a number of events throughout the year.

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Walk up the promenade that borders the beach, dotted with bars and snack bars. On the sidewalk, follow the pretty wave-shaped frieze.

Playa de las ruinas, in Tulum (Mexico): the most archaeological

In the Yucatán peninsula, Tulum and its famous beach of ruins, with Mayan remains. adam jones

130 km from the hustle and bustle of Cancun, the Tulum region is home to a string of heavenly beaches stretching out facing the Caribbean Sea on the east coast of Mexico. The most emblematic is by far the “beach of the ruins”, below the archaeological site of Tulum. This small cove is towered over by the remains of the ancient Mayan city that stood here in the middle of the first century.

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300 meters from the beach of the ruins, continue by playa Paraiso, the beach of Paradise. This white sand beach is home to a curiosity: a large languidly leaning palm tree.

Brava Beach, in Punta del Este (Uruguay): the most artistic

The hand (mano) of playa Brava, a long stretch of sand in the southern seaside resort of Uruguay, intends to alert bathers to the dangers of drowning. coolcaesar

Playa Brava is not content with its blond sand and translucent water that make the reputation of Punta del Este, one of the most famous spots in Uruguay: it also houses a surprising work of art in the shape of a hand. giantess. The fingers emerge from the sand, reaching up to 3 meters high for the middle finger. This unusual creation was imagined by the Chilean artist Mario Irarrázabal in 1982 and is one of the most famous monuments in the country.

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On the other side of the peninsula, browse playa Mansa, the second beach of Punta del Este. This beach sheltered from the waves is much more peaceful.

Camilo Beach, in Lagos (Portugal): the most indented

The Algarve is full of magnificent spots. Camilo beach is often cited as the most beautiful in the region, in any case the most emblematic. peter adams

On the Algarve coast in southern Portugal, Praia do Camilo is revealed when descending long wooden stairs. The magnificent white sand beach is nestled at the foot of ocher cliffs sculpted by erosion. A huge rock divides the beach in two, but you can get from one part to the other through a hand-dug tunnel. For an overview, take a seat on the terrace of the “Restaurante Camilo”.

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Continue further south to admire the cliffs of Cap de la Ponta de Pietade. A hostile, windswept landscape.

Navagio Beach, in Zakynthos (Greece): the most unusual

Navagio beach or “castaway beach” because of the stranded boat wreck, is in a secluded cove on this Ionian island. It is only accessible by sea. Eugene Sergeev

Greece is full of beaches, each one more sublime than the next… The expanse of navagio nevertheless has a particular impact. This cove surrounded by high cliffs owes its fame to the sinking, in 1980, of the Panagiotis, a ship of cigarette smugglers who were trying to escape the Greek navy. The boat is slowly decomposing, eaten away by rust and sand. A dantesque setting which is today the most photographed place on the island of Zakynthos (or Zante), in the dazzling blue of the Ionian Sea. A global Instagram spot… And risks of landslides that may lead to it being closed to tourists.

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If access to the bay is permitted by the authorities – risk of landslides, for an aerial view of the beach, follow the hiking path laid out overhanging the cliff. Best done at sunset.

Zlatni Rat Beach, Island of Brac (Croatia): the most changeable

In the south of the island of Brac, facing Split, this beach of small white pebbles splits the Adriatic Sea. Liubomir Paut / Photographer

South of the island of Brac, the beach of Zlatni Rat appears as a strip of sand more than 600 meters long which juts out into the Adriatic Sea. The shape of this “golden horn” changes with the seasons, with the winds and currents. The beach can thus curl up or lengthen. The site is a famous spot for windsurfing and kitesurfing enthusiasts.

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On the edge of the beach, take advantage of the shade provided by the pine forest. A path leads to the typical village of Bol, 4 km from the beach.

Anse Source d’Argent, La Digue (Seychelles): the most heavenly

Anse Source d’Argent has served as the setting for several films, including Crusoe and Alone in the World. Tobias Alt

In the southwest of the island of La Digue, Anse Source d’Argent is the most emblematic beach of the Seychelles. A spectacular postcard setting with a turquoise lagoon, a fine sandy beach, lush vegetation and large blocks of polished granite. Plan mask and snorkel: the coral reef, easily accessible, is one of the most beautiful snorkeling spots of the archipelago.

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To access the beach, you will have to cross the old plantation of the Union Estate. The opportunity to meet the Aldabra giant tortoises.

Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi (Thailand): the most Hollywood

Maya Bay is bathed in the Andaman Sea, in the south of Thailand. Sergii Figurnyi

In much-visited Thailand, Maya Bay came out of anonymity in 2000 when it served as the setting for the film La Plage, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Virginie Ledoyen and Guillaume Canet. Although the beach is only accessible by boat, the influx of tourists has caused significant damage, prompting the authorities to close the site from 2018 to 2022. A quota system now limits the daily number of visitors.

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North of Maya Bay, discover the Viking Cave. This cave is covered with more than 75 paintings made by sailors, from the 16th century to the 1900s.

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island (Australia): the brightest

This beach located on an island off the coast of Queensland is lined with bright white sand which gives it a unique contrast. Christopher Brunner

Off the coast of Queensland, on the Australian island of Whitsunday, Whitehaven Beach is a 7 km long beach lined with sand made up of 98.9% pure silica. A geological specificity that gives it unequaled whiteness and finesse. This particular composition has another property: the sand does not retain heat and it will not burn your feet!

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At the northern end of the beach, admire Hill Inlet, a delta where sand and turquoise waters swirl, giving rise to ephemeral marbling.

Reynisfjara, Vík (Iceland): the most mysterious

Reynisfjara Black Beach is about a 2.5 hour drive from Reykjavík, the Icelandic capital. Falco/Pixabay

Iceland, land of opposites. Contrary to the usual cliché of dream beaches, Reynisfjara appears as an incredible ribbon of black sand of volcanic origin facing the North Atlantic. A surreal decor similar to the negative of a photograph. The almost mystical atmosphere is reinforced by strange basalt columns rising from the ocean, the remains of ancient cliffs of the Reynisfjall mountain.

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Also stop at Vík beach, on the other side of Reynisfjall mountain to the east. You will have another perspective on the basalt columns.

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