15 Stunning White-sand Beaches Around the World
Editor's Note: Those who choose to travel are strongly encouraged to check local government restrictions, rules, and safety measures related to COVID-19 and take personal comfort levels and health conditions into consideration before departure.
Around the world, pristine beaches beckon tourists and locals alike with their powdery-soft shores and turquoise blue waters. While not quite as exciting as volcanic black-sand beaches or as rare as pink-sand beaches, white-sand beaches offer the quintessential seaside experience.
These 15 stunning white-sand beaches — from the Maldives to right here in the United States — are what vacation dreams are made of.
Related: More beach vacation ideas
Angaga Island, South Ari Atoll, Maldives
Though the entire island is part of a luxury resort, the upkeep of Angaga Island maintains an authentically Maldivian feel. Pearly white sand covers the entire circumference of this island, where beach bungalows jut out into the sea.
Anse Source d’Argent, La Digue, Seychelles
Anse Source d’Argent is one of the most popular beaches in the Seychelles, and for good reason. Towering boulders and palms dot the perimeter of this beautiful white-sand beach, and a nearby coral reef keeps the waters calm and ideal for wading.
Boulders Beach, Simon's Town, South Africa
This stretch of sheltered beach on South Africa’s Cape Peninsula was formed by granite boulders that now dot the surrounding area. Part of the Table Mountain National Park, Boulders Beach is a popular gathering place for the endangered African penguin.
Hyams Beach, Shoalhaven, Australia
Just over 100 miles from sprawling Sydney is a stunning white-sand beach. Beachgoers head to this destination on Jervis Bay for more than just white sand, though — you may even spot some whales.
Luskentyre Beach, Harris, Scotland
On the western coast of Scotland’s Outer Hebrides islands lies a stretch of beach known as Luskentyre. The cooler climate location of this white-sand beach sets it apart, and wild white horses are sometimes found wandering its shores.
Matira Beach, Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Stretching for one mile on the southern end of Bora Bora, this beach regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful. Perfectly white sand is juxtaposed with the clear blue Polynesian water just steps away.
Kauna‘oa Bay, Kohala, Hawaii
Crescent-shaped and framed by palm trees, Kauna‘oa Bay, on Hawaii’s Big Island, is the epitome of a white-sand beach. It's one of the few white-sand beaches on the western side of the island, and the historic Mauna Kea Beach Hotel sits right on its waterfront.
Rabbit Beach, Pelagie Islands, Italy
Lying between Malta and Tunisia is one of Europe’s most far-flung islands. Rabbit Island (known in Italian as Isola dei Conigli) lies off the coast of Lampedusa, a larger island to its north. Visitors to the beaches here can experience some of the clearest waters and whitest sands in the Mediterranean.
Navagio (Shipwreck) Beach, Zakynthos, Greece
On the coast of Zakynthos in Greece’s Ionian Islands is a small cove playfully known as Shipwreck Beach. In October 1980, a small cargo ship drifted off the crystal waters and onto this white-sand beach, where it has remained since.
Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Islands, Australia
The silica-rich sand at Whitehaven Beach is what gives it its snowy-white appearance. In fact, the silica means that even under the hottest sun, the sand never becomes too hot. Getting to this remote beach can only be done by boat or small plane, however.
Grace Bay Beach, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
Often ranked among the best beaches in the world, Grace Bay Beach — which stretches for over three miles — is known for its pristine white sand and clear turquoise waters.
Clearwater Beach, Florida, United States
Americans don't have to travel far to find a stunning beach destination. As its name implies, this spot has beautiful Gulf waters and white, sandy shores, making it perfect for water sports and sunbathing.
White Beach, Boracay, Philippines
Located on the small island of Boracay in the Philippines, the aptly named White Beach is a picture-perfect oasis lined with palm trees, bars, hotels, and more.
Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres, Mexico
There are so many beautiful beaches lining Mexico's shores, but Playa Norte is among the best, thanks to its soft white sand and sparkling waters. Plus, it's just a short ferry ride away from Cancun.
Shoal Bay Beach, Anguilla
Often named one of the best islands in the Caribbean, Anguilla has stunning beaches and luxe hotels ideal for travelers looking to unwind. One of the island's most popular white-sand beaches is the gorgeous Shoal Bay Beach.