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Best Beaches
Around the World

30 DEC 2014 - BY JOSEPH TYSON

The cold nights are setting in and it seems that winter is well and truly here. Getting up for work and coming home in the dark can be a bit depressing - even more so when it's freezing outside!

But don't let the chill get you down, think about something nicer instead. Maybe this list of the world's best beaches will get you in a better mood? It's probably time to start planning your next holiday anyway.

Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Few beaches are more iconic than Rio's Copacabana, and so we kick our list off amid an atmosphere of samba and football.

Copacabana stretches for miles in front of the iconic Sugar Loaf Mountain and Cristo Redentor, making it one of the most dramatic looking beaches in the world. Add to this perfect sand, playful surf and a great atmosphere and you've got a winner.

If you fancy a kickabout, there's no shortage of Brazilians ready to oblige!

Whitehaven beach, Whitsundays, Australia

The Whitsunday Islands in Australia are renowned for their incredible beauty, so it makes sense that there would be beach of jaw-dropping quality on at least one of them!

Stretching over seven km, Whitehaven beach is lapped by clear blue waters and backed by lush green forest - you don't earn the title "Queensland's Most Beautiful Beach", easily after all.

Towards the northern tip of the beach you will find Hill Inlet, a secluded cove where there is nothing but peace, quiet and complete relaxation. There's also camping in the national park on the southern end for those who fancy a night on the beach beneath a starlit sky.

Whitehaven Beach, Australia

Rabbit Beach, Lampedusa, Italy

If you search the internet for "world's best beach", Rabbit Beach seems to come up time and time again.

Surrounded by impressive white cliffs, the beach has a secluded feel to it even though many flock here to bathe in the warm, blue waters of the Mediterranean.

Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

The place cult movie The Beach was filmed; Maya Bay had to make the list of best beaches in the world. Glorious waters, perfect sands and a tropical backdrop all make this a wonderful beach to relax upon.

Although the novel that the film was based upon depicts the beach as a place untouched by tourism, the same cannot be said for Maya Bay which is a popular hotspot for travellers of all kinds. The hive of activity it has become works in contrast with the placid scenery, creating a unique atmosphere here.

Maya Bay, Thailand

Patnem Beach, Goa, India

This long, curving bay offers a quiet alternative to neighbouring Palolem, which is known to be party central in Goa.

Although still lively in its own right, this beach is more of a family place with accommodation that ranges from beach huts to luxury villas. The weather makes it great for basking in the sun while the highlight might just be how easy it is to get hold of some delicious Goan cuisine!

Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera, Balearic Islands

Idyllic is the only word really needed to describe the Playa de Ses Illetes and so we'll pretty much leave it at that.

The sea view seems to stretch on forever and you can just see Ibiza in the distance as you relax upon the warm, fine sand. The beach itself is lined with little huts offering all manner of food treats.

Hermosa Beach, Los Angeles, USA

California is blessed with so many great beaches that it is difficult to chose just one. However, it's the tranquil atmosphere and relatively quiet sands of Hermosa that earn it a place on this list.

The tiny seaside resort is much more understated than bigger siblings Santa Monica and Venice but its charm creates a huge part of the appeal here. The soft white sands are perfect for lounging about on and the little town is lined with great restaurants and shops.

Hermosa beach, USA
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