Lonely Planet Writer

Experts reveal the best beaches in the world

With many countries around the world enjoying good summer weather, locals and travellers alike are heading to beaches for a dose of sun, sea and sand. And while every destination offers something unique, a brand new study has just revealed the very best beaches across the globe, with a variety of locations being chosen in different categories.

Manda Bay in Kenya was chosen as one of the winners in the "Wow" category.
Manda Bay in Kenya was chosen as one of the winners in the “Wow” category. Image by Beach Inspector

Created by Beach Inspector, the Beach Awards saw a group of experts spending one to two days at a time on 1595 beaches in 52 holiday regions around the world, gathering over 120 pieces of data during every visit. With objectivity in mind, the process saw the team taking over 180,000 images of beaches, and evaluating factors such as beach condition, facilities and amenities available, view, visual beauty, diversity and child-friendliness. Inspectors wrote up summaries about their impressions and even conducted interviews with people who knew the beaches throughout the seasons. A number of winners were then announced in five separate categories; Wow, Party, Watersport, Ambience and Classic Holiday.

Mallorca’s Playa de Muro was named as one of the best beaches in the world in the Classic Holiday category. Image by Beach Inspector

In the Wow category (described as a collection of beaches that will take visitor’s breaths away), winners included Diani Beach and Manda Bay in Kenya, Cala Mariolu in Sardinia, Italy, Playa de Cofete in Fuerteventura, Spain, Pai Plong Beach in Ruffian, Thailand, Canto de la Playa in Dominican Republic, Porthcurno Beach in Cornwall, England, Whitehaven Beach in Australia and Playa Punta Uva in Costa Rica. When it comes to throwing a party on the sand, the panel deemed Dubai’s Barasti Beach as a top spot, along with Playa de Palma in Majorca, Golden Sands Central Beach in Bulgaria and Kavos Beach in Greece.

If it's a party you are looking for, Kavos Beach in Corfu is a good choice, according to the Beach Inspector awards.
If it’s a party you are looking for, Kavos Beach in Corfu is a good choice, according to the Beach Inspector awards. Image by Beach Inspector

“Our mission is to show users places they would not have otherwise discovered, thus enabling them to have unique experiences, and the awards make it even easier for beach lovers to find the perfect beach to spend their next holiday,” Beach Inspector CEO Kai Michael Schäfer told Lonely Planet Travel News.

June Juea Beach in Koh Tao, Thailand was selected in the Special Ambiance category. Image by Beach Inspector

The Watersport category was broken up into three separate groups for kitesurfing, windsurfing and surfing, with beaches in Mexico, Australia, Germany, Spain and Oman being amongst the winning selection. Winners in the Special Ambiance category included Pingwe Beach in Zanzibar, Pink Beach in Indonesia, Ile aux Cerfs in Mauritius, and Chrissi Island in Greece, while the Classic Holiday category named Dubai’s The Beach, Germany’s Hörnum Oststrand, Spain’s Playa de Muro and Turkey’s Konyaalti Beach as top picks.

The full list of winners across all categories is available at the official Beach Inspector website.