We have to admit, we’ve never really been beach people! But travelling through South East Asia and Australia we might have just been converted!! We usually head straight for the mountains, trekking through jungles or even exploring a great city, but we’ve always got a little bored on trips to the beach! However, we never really visited a beach that blew us away, once we started swimming with turtles, surfing, snorkelling, scuba diving and discovering amazing coastal walks then our mind were well and truly changed! So here’s our list of best beaches in the world from our travels around 60+ countries!
The tiny islands of Gili Meno, Gili Air and Gili Trawangan lay in between Bali and Lombok and require a ferry and a series of tiny boats to reach… but once you do, you will find yourself in absolute paradise and home to some of the best beaches in the world! On these islands there are no cars, the roads are sandy trails accessed only on horse, bike or foot. The vibe is completely relaxed and each island has a slightly different atmosphere, but it’s always happy and relaxed.
From backpackers to honeymooners and hippies who have been here for years, their is a crowd for anyone. But on to the beaches! These islands are literally lumps of white sand in the middle of a beautiful clear azure sea with a few palm trees on top! The waters are warm, full of sea life and the beaches stretch around the entire and walkable islands, so there’s plenty of space to get around. The highlight for us here was swimming with a wild sea turtle, make sure you bring your Go Pro to capture these memories!
Noosa is one of those magical places you stumble across and just fall in love with, it’s such a perfect little down on some incredible coast it almost feels unfair that people actually get to live here! The chilled out town just North of Brisbane combines that perfect proximity to a city with an independent feel and miles of perfect beaches! What we loved most about Noosa however was the incredible coastal walk that takes you through some stunning scenery in the National Park that traverses from beaches to cliff sides, we even spotted a few dolphins around here!
It’s no surprise that Whitehaven beach makes this list, the it is consistently voted one of the best beaches in the world year after year and for good reason! The perfect white sand beach is nestled in the Whitsunday islands, accessible only via boat the nature of the silica sand means it never gets too hot underfoot. From the viewpoint above you can really take in the stunning shades of blue the swirling sandbanks form as the tides move in and out across this Queensland beach. It really is somewhere you find hard to believe is real even when it’s right in front of your eyes!
Byron Bay in New South Wales has to be one of our favourite places in the world, not just for the beaches but for the general vibe in this little town. Forget Surfers Paradise in Gold Coast, this place actually is paradise for surfing! The town is literally surrounded by incredible breaks that all produce different types of surfing! The town really has that laid back surfer vibe too making it feel incredibly relaxed and chilled. Byron is just a fun place to hang out and is beautiful to boot. There are many coastal walks and great views from the lighthouse if surfing isn’t your thing too!
Mornington Peninsula just an hour outside of Melbourne is lesser know than the famous Great Ocean Road but is no less stunning. Being a bit more off the tourist trail does mean that many of the wonderful beaches, coastal walks and rock pools are a lot less crowded even on a hot and sunny weekend. Another nice thing about this area is that the beaches aren’t just in one area, along the entire peninsula and on both sides are some incredible beaches for surfing, swimming, hiking or just chilling out, this means you are bound to find somewhere to yourself or stumble across some real local gems.
Great Ocean Road & Bells Beach:
Great Ocean Road is one of the most famous Australia coastlines and its a well earned reputation. Just a few hours drive from Melbourne this world renowned road is actually the worlds largest war memorial, and what a tribute to those brave men and women who died protecting this beautiful country.
The 243km road snakes its way along some of the most jaw dropping coastlines and best beaches in the world, living in Melbourne for 7 months we’ve been lucky enough to visit a few times! Each time the sun comes out and we have the car, you can be sure we will be down here searching out yet another hidden gem!
There are literally so many stopping off points along the way you will need at least 2-3 days to really take them all in, from the legendary home of surfing at Bells Beach to the koala infested vantage points over Lorne the views just keep getting better! Then further along there are the famous twelve apostles and our favourite, Loch Ard Gorge!
El Nido on Palawan in the Philippines is a beach lovers paradise! The little town is not only itself surrounded by miles of palm tree lined beaches but the boat trips here are some of the best in the world. For those on a budget a day trip exploring the likes of the stunning Big Lagoon and the unforgettable Seven Commandos beach will set you back less than the price of a McDonald’s back home! The Philippines not only delivers some of the world’s most beautiful beaches but on a backpacker budget too! El Nido is paradise!
A small island just north of Palwan and reached via an 8 hour ferry from El Nido Coron is even better than El Nido… if that was even possible! El Nido will blow your mind and then Coron will take it even further! This paradise island is barely developed meaning it’s still pretty low key and unspoilt. The corals around the island and old WW2 wrecks make it one of the world’s best places to SCUBA and snorkel. Another amazing feature of the island are the internal lakes formed in the limestone depressions over millions of years. These can only be reached by boat and contain perfectly clear fresh water!
The blue lagoon at Oludeniz:
This is one we had visited many times on family holidays whilst growing up, but it took a return whilst backpacking through Turkey to really appreciate the beauty of the area. If you’re not one for spending all day laying on the beach, why not jump off a mountain and see it from above! We are all about adventure travel and being climbers we take an opportunity to seek thrills! Paragliding over Oludeniz has to be the best day at the beach ever! The Blue Lagoon itself has also been voted among the best beaches in the world many times!
Sri Lanka is one of our all time favourite countries, it just seems to offer everything in one small but perfectly formed island. We often describe it as a mini South East Asia, it has dense jungles, mountains, rolling tea plantations, wonderful wildlife, immense historical and cultural monuments and of course, stunning beaches and all on a budget! The whole island is surrounded by incredible white sand beaches and beautiful light blue water, so to mention just one is unfair! But we could literally go on and on listing them for ever! But one that stands out to us is the area just south of Galle and around Koggala with it’s many perfect beaches, stick fishermen, rocky outcrops and great surf too!
As backpackers you probably didn’t think this would be on our lists, but recently we watched an incredibly eye opening video from one of our favourite bloggers, Drew Binsky. He specialises in low cost travel and when he said we was headed to the Maldives we were all a little taken back! However he proved to us all that it can actually be done on a budget and has some incredible local culture that many people never get to see. Unseen culture and the best beaches in the world! Sign me up!! Though, of course, one day when we’re instafamous and millionaires we’ll be blogging from Neoscapes Maldives, so keep an eye out for that!
It might seen odd that we’ve included Thailand on our wish list seeing as we’ve spent a total of 6 weeks in this incredible country which as become one of our favourites. But we actually didn’t spend much time at all in the south or on the beaches, we only went to Phuket for a week whilst going home from Australia for Christmas and it rained the whole time! But rather than feel down about it, we see it as an excuse to go back (like we need one anyway!) to Thailand and this time concentrate our efforts in the south! We’re most looking forward to seeing places like Phi Phi and James Bond island as well as climbing at Krabi and generally exploring some of the best beaches in the world!
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