The World's Top 15 Beaches of 2014
TripAdvisor, the popular user-generated travel website, has unveiled its list of the top beaches in the world. The winners of the 2014 Travellers' Choice Awards were selected based on traveller reviews and ratings over the past 12 months.
"For those fed up with the long cold winter, there's really no better cure than an escape to one of these award-winning beaches," said TripAdvisor's Barbara Messing. "Even if you can't go to one of these stunning beaches soon, just looking at the photos will take you away for a moment, until you can plan a trip."
15. Playa de las Catedrales, Ribadeo, Spain
Playa de las Catedrales (Beach of the Cathedrals) is remarkable spot on Spain's northern coast. The beach is named for the cliffs and natural arches in the area. Some are 30m high. The area is best visited during low tide when more of the formations are visible.
TripAdvisor quote: “Not to be missed.”
14. The Baths, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Virgin Gorda is one of the British Virgin Islands. It's the third largest and is home The Baths, a curious geological formation where giant boulders are scattered about the beach, creating private grottoes.
TripAdvisor quote: “Cool! But beware if you are claustrophobic!”
13. Lopes Mendes Beach, Ilha Grande, Brazil
Ilha Grande is a small island located off the coast of Brazil, not far from Rio. There hasn't been a lot of development on the tropical island and its beaches are pristine. At Lopes Mendes Beach the waters are warm and shallow. The beach is on the south side of the island and is best reached by boat.
TripAdvisor quote: “The best!!”
12. Praia dos Carneiros, Tamandare, Brazil
The 12th best beach in the world is Praia dos Carneiros, located in Tamandare, Brazil. The beach is very tranquil because many tourists prefer to visit other nearby beaches with more facilities. But for peace and quiet, the 5km-long Praia dos Carneiros can't be beat.
TripAdvisor quote: “Beauty that vanishes at night...”
11. Playa Paraiso Beach, Cayo Largo, Cuba
Playa Paraiso Beach is one of the jewels of Cayo Largo, a 25km-long island off Cuba's south coast. The beach can easily be reached via shuttles that operate on the resort island.
TripAdvisor quote: “Finally on the Best Beaches list!”
10. Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Isla Mujeres (Island of Women) is just 13km from Cancun surrounded by the warm waters of the Caribbean. The island has a small airport, but is easily reached via a short ferry ride from Cancun. Like its name suggests, Playa Norte is located on the north end of the island.
TripAdvisor quote: “Perfect white sand, endless warm shallow water and a relaxed, casual vibe.”
9. Rhossili Bay, Swansea, Wales
You might not expect the 9th best beach in the world to be in Wales, yet here it is. Rhossili Bay in Swansea, is located on the tip of the Gower Peninsula. The beach is about 5km long and can be viewed from Rhossili Down, the highest point on the peninsula.
TripAdvisor quote: “Truly the most beautiful beach. The sheer scale and wildness of the location add to the majesty.”
8. Lanikai Beach, Kailua, Hawaii
The only Hawaiian beach in the Top 15 is Lanikai Beach in Kailua on the island of Oahu. The beach is a bit off the beaten path, but that helps keep the crowds at bay. The Mokulua Islands provide a stunning backdrop.
TripAdvisor quote: “Not easy to find, which makes the discovery all the better. It's like stepping into a postcard.”
7. Anse Lazio, Praslin Island, Seychelles
The warm waters of the Indian Ocean help make Anse Lazio one of the most spectacular beaches in the world. It's located on Praslin Island in the Seychelles and appears frequently in lists of the world's best beaches. It's not hard to see why.
TripAdvisor quote: “Picture perfect in every way. Gorgeous beach and the bluest water ever!”
6. Playa de ses Illetes, Formentera, Spain
This beautiful stretch of sand is Playa de ses Illetes. You'll find it on Formentera, an island south of Ibiza in the Mediterranean Sea.
TripAdvisor quote: “Endless sea, fine sand, spectacular views, yachts, fancy stalls, Ibiza on the horizon.”
5. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Australia
Located on Whitsunday Island off the coast of Queensland, Whitehaven Beach is the only Australian beach to crack the Top 10. It gets high marks for its tranquil setting.
TripAdvisor quote: “Absolutely spectacular. Nothing but pure, pristine beach. Shallow, warm, clear water.”
4. Rabbit Beach, Lampedusa, Italy
Rabbit Beach is located on Lampedusa, an island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the Pelagie Islands and part of Sicily. While it takes a bit of effort to get here, it's definitely worth it.
TripAdvisor quote: “The sand is golden, the water is crystal clear and there are plenty of fish for snorkelling.”
2. Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands
Grace Bay Beach is located on Providenciales, one of islands that make up the Turks and Caicos Islands. It's a year-round destination that people rave about.
TripAdvisor quote: “Powder-soft, white sand. Green water, fading to turquoise graduating to purple on the horizon. Amazing!”
1. Baia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil