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Trunk Bay, US Virgin Islands
Photograph: Shutterstock

These are officially the best beaches in the world in 2024

From Turquoise Bay in Australia to Aharen Beach in Japan, these coastal stretches rank as the most impressive on the planet

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly

We know a thing or two about the world’s best beaches, but it can’t hurt to have some extra insight – and a new ranking has lined up more than 1,000 journalists, travel influences and professionals to rank the greatest coastal stretches on the planet.

The World’s 50 Best Beaches assesses each beach against eight criteria: unique characteristics, accessible water, calmness of the water, wildlife, soundtrack of nature, untouched, business and frequency of idyllic conditions. 

And leading the way based on all of that was Trunk Bay, a beach named after the native leatherback turtles (known as ‘trunks’) in the US Virgin Islands. While it boasts pool-like waters and soft white sand like the rest of the Caribbean, Trunk Bay stands out thanks to being tucked away in the Virgin Islands National Park, under protected status. 

Cala Mariolu in Italy claimed second place, and Meads Bay in Anguilla claimed third. And while sunny destinations dominated the list, beaches in Norway, Iceland and the UK (read more about the UK beaches that made the list here) all got a shoutout in the top 50, too.

These are the 20 best beaches in the world

1 - Trunk Bay, US Virgin Islands

2 - Cala Mariolu, Italy

3 - Meads Bay, Anguilla

4 - Entalula Beach, Philippines

5 - Voutoumi Beach, Greece

Voutoumi Beach, Greece
Photograph: Shutterstock

6 - Turquoise Bay, Australia

7 - Pink Beach, Indonesia

8 - Anse Georgette, Seychelles

9 - Green Lagoon, French Polynesia 

10 - Horse Shoe Island, Myanmar

Horse Shoe Island, Myanmar
Photograph: Shutterstock

11 - Calo Des Moro, Spain

12 - Le Morne Beach, Mauritius

13 - Aharen Beach, Japan

14 - Lanikai Beach, Hawaii

15 - One Foot Island, Cook Islands

One Foot Island, Cook Islands
Photograph: Shutterstock

16 - Playa Balandra, Mexico

17 - Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos Islands

18 - Puinn Sand Beach, Norway

19 - Cala Goloritze, Italy

20 - Anchor Bay Beach, Australia

Lizard Island, Australia
Photograph: Shutterstock

But there’s plenty more where that came from – another 30, to be exact. You can check out this year’s full list of the World’s 50 Best Beaches here.

Want more beach? Of course you do. These 25 beaches were named best in the world by the Golden Beach Awards; these beaches apparently have the world’s bluest water; and here is our own roundup of the world’s best beaches

Did you see that there could be an underwater tunnel linking Europe and Africa by 2030?

Plus: These are officially the world’s most crowded cities

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