The 50 best beaches in the world in 2024: Trunk Bay in US Virgin Islands crowned champion

Shorelines in the Philippines, Iceland and UK also make cut, but no Middle Eastern spots

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A 4km stretch of coastline in the Caribbean has been named the best beach in the world.

Trunk Bay in the US Virgin Islands is ranked first in a new top-50 list. Famed for its super soft sand, crystal clear waters and colourful coral reefs, the stretch of coast on St Johns Island gives off quintessential Caribbean vibes.

Set in the protected Virgin Islands National Park, the beach is named after leatherback turtles – locally known as trunks – who flock to the bay for its sheltered waters. It also attracts oodles of holidaymakers who come to swim its self-guided underwater snorkelling trail.

“One of the world’s most picturesque beaches, this spot has clear blue waters, sparkling white sand, and a beautiful mountain backdrop,” said Savanna Crowell, one of the judges for the World’s 50 Best Beaches.

The list was compiled by sun care brand Banana Boat, which collaborated with 1,000 travel journalists and influencers to compile the best coastal locations around the globe.

Italy’s Cala Marilou beach in Sicily took the second spot on the list. Accessible only by boat or hiking trails, the small cove is surrounded by towering cliffs and lush greenery and is best visited off-season when beachgoers are likely to have the shoreline largely to themselves.

Completing the top three is another Caribbean shoreline. Meads Bay in Anguilla is lauded for its turquoise waters and sunset views and remains largely uncrowded most of the year.

Beaches in Australia, French Polynesia, Greece, Indonesia, the Seychelles and – perhaps surprisingly given the country's current civil unrest – Myanmar, round out the top 10.

Italy has three entries in the top 50, while the Seychelles and the Philippines have two a-piece.

The top 10 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

6. Turquoise Bay, Australia

7. Pink Beach, Indonesia

8. Anse Georgette, Seychelles

9. Green Lagoon, French Polynesia

10. Horse Shoe Island, Myanmar

New countries on the list this year include England via Kynance Cove in Cornwall, Japan via Aharen Beach on Tokashiki Island, Venezuela's Cayo de Agua and Panama's Cayo Zapatillax. Beaches in St Barth, Aruba, Curaçao and Myanmar are also included for the first time.

Less conventional destinations making the cut in 2024 include Iceland's Diamond Beach – famed for its sparkling icebergs and ranking at number 42 – and Norway's Puinn Sand Beach in the Arctic Circle, which ranked 18th in the world.

“Our 2024 list is a reflection of the countless days spent by our judges, Beach Ambassadors and World’s 50 Best team discovering beaches around the world,” said Tine Holst, co-founder of The World's 50 Best Beaches.

“Our list will help inspire travellers to leave the beaten path behind and enjoy the most stunning and relaxing beaches on earth.”

Lucky Bay in Australia – the world’s best beach in 2023 according to the company – did not rank in the top 50 this year.

The list spans countries in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, and Oceania. There are no Middle Eastern beaches included on the list despite the region being home to stunning coastlines such as Egypt's Blue Lagoon in Dahab, Oman's Al Mughsail Beach in Salalah, Abu Dhabi's Saadiyat Beach and Dubai's JBR Beach which was recently named as one of the top 10 beaches in the world by BeachAtlas.

The best of the rest

11. Calo Des Moro, Spain

12. Le Morne Beach, Mauritius

13. Aharen Beach, Japan

14. Lanikai Beach, Hawaii

15. One Foot Island, Cook Islands

16. Playa Balandra, Mexico

17. Grace Bay, Turks & Caicos

18. Puinn Sand Beach, Norway

19. Cala Goloritze, Italy

20. Anchor Bay Beach, Australia

21. Gardner Bay, Ecuador

22. Anse Source D'argent, Seychelles

23. Freedom Beach, Thailand

24. Cayo De Agua, Venezuela

25. Praia Da Marinha, Portugal

26. Seven Mile Beach, Cayman Islands

27. Grote Knip, Curaçao

28. Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda

29. Fteri Beach, Greece

30. Maundays Bay, Anguilla

32. Boulders Beach, South Africa

33. Wharton Beach, Australia

34. Grand Anse, Grenada

35. Baia Do Sancho, Brazil

36. Kelebekler Vadisi Beach, Turkey

37. Colombier Beach, St. Barth

38. Playa Xpu Ha, Mexico

39. Kelingking Beach, Indonesia

40. Kapalua Bay Beach, Hawaii

41. Diamond Beach, Iceland

42. Pipe Creek Sandbar, Bahamas

43. Cayo Levantado, Dominican Republic

44. Henderson Beach, Florida

45. Bon Bon Beach, Philippines

46. Cathedral Cove Beach, New Zealand

47. Varadero Beach, Cuba

48. Kynance Cove, UK

49. Eagle Beach, Aruba

50. Rabbit Beach, Italy

Updated: April 30, 2024, 1:27 PM