The Top Beaches In The World, According To National Geographic

National Geographic’s new list of the Top 21 Beaches in the World includes a diverse mix of shorelines around the globe, from those picture-perfect Caribbean numbers to a black-sand beauty in Iceland to a shell-covered spot on the Austral coast. Highlights include:

  • Lazy Beach, Koh Rong Island, Cambodia
    Photograph by Andrzej Ejmont / Wanderlust Storytellers
    Things are simpler on Lazy Beach, where hammocks and quaint huts await. Get there fast, before other travelers discover the magic too.
  • Playa del Amor, Marietas Islands, Mexico
    Photograph by Miguel Naranjo
    This hidden paradise is actually a giant hole in Mexico’s verdant Marietas Islands, off the coast of Puerto Vallarta.
  • Shell Beach, Shark Bay, Western Australia
    Photograph by Nature Picture Library / Alamy Stock Photo
    This UNESCO world heritage site is a wonderland of tiny shells, which reach about 32 feet deep in some spots.
  • Piscinas Beach, Arbus, Sardinia
    Photograph by Riky Deiana
    Nat Geo recommends these dunes on the Mediterranean’s most magical island as an excellent spot for beach walks. The sunsets aren’t too shabby, either.
  • Cas Abao Beach, Curaçao
    Photograph by Turtle Ray Productions Curacao
    Don’t spend all your time in the teeming coral reefs, spectacular as they are: The small but perfect island of Curaçao has some wonders up on land, too.
  • Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland
    Photograph by Ivan Pedretti
    Black sand and towering sea stacks are just two more mind-boggling features of this spot in one of the most stunning countries on Earth.
  • Noordwijk Beach, The Netherlands
    Photograph by Shutterstock
    Nat Geo hails this dog-friendly beach, which is just a quick day trip from Amsterdam. Paw-fect!