The 10 Most Famous & Iconic Beaches In The World

You’ve seen them on postcards, in commercials, and they’ve taken centre stage in major movies – These are the most famous beaches in the world.

The beaches that are so iconic they are instantly recognisable to almost anyone. You’ve saved them as your screensaver dreaming of escaping there.

Spanning all over the globe, these beaches have uniquely different reasons for their fame – From simply being the most beautiful beach in the world, or for being the setting to your favourite film. They each have something different and exciting to offer

So without any further ado, here is our breakdown of the world’s most iconic beaches. Enjoy!

South Beach, Miami

South Beach has everything that makes a perfect vacation all wrapped up into a single location. 

The art deco lifeguard towers that line this 2 mile long pristine white sand beach are unmistakably Miami. 

During the day Miami Beach provides a relaxing and calm atmosphere, but come nightfall the area hots up as some of the world’s most glamorous nightclubs, bars and restaurants open.

The American Riviera as it is also known has been the setting for many films and tv shows over the years – Bad Boys, Scarface & Miami Vice to name but a few!

When we say Miami has it all, it really has it all. Sun, sea, sand, shopping, iconic landmarks and plenty of clubs, bars and restaurants. 

It’s this perfect cocktail of things to do that has people flocking to Miami in droves – In 2018 Miami hit a record high of tourist visits at just over 23 million for the year!

If you enjoy people watching then South Beach is the place to do it. And a walk down to South Pointe Park at the southernmost tip of Miami Beach will provide fabulous views of the Miami shoreline.

Waikiki Beach, Hawaii

Certain things are just synonymous with a place. Like New York and the Empire State Building. Paris and the Eiffel Tower. And when you think of Hawaii, you probably think of Waikiki Beach.

Waikiki Beach also happens to be one of the cleanest and most cared for beaches in the world – Largely in part due to it being located in one of Oahu’s Marine life conservation districts.

The district’s strict rules in place (like no fishing), are there to preserve and protect the wildlife in those areas, giving way to some truly excellent snorkeling in parts of Waikiki Beach.

Diamond Head crater, a volcanic tuff cone looms in the background, and is a popular hiking route where you can really see the iconic Waikiki shoreline in all its glory.

The fun doesn’t stop at nighttime either. The buzzing atmosphere continues along the promenade with plenty of restaurants, clubs and live music to enjoy.

Anse Source D’Argent, Seychelles

Frequently hailed as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Anse Source D’Argent also happens to be one of the most photographed beaches on Earth.

Once thought to be the location for the Garden of Eden, you’ll find Anse Source D’Argent is never missed from a worlds best beach list.

If this beach looks familiar, it should do. You will have seen this beach in advertising campaigns for Bacardi and Cadburys Bounty, and it was also ‘the’ beach where Tom Hanks was left stranded in the film ‘Castaway’! (What better place to be castaway!?)

The beautiful white sands and shallow calm waters make this tranquil and secluded beach the perfect location for a relaxing vacation – and whilst it may not be the easiest (or cheapest place to get to), the journey will be well worth your time.

Maya Bay Beach, Thailand

Beautiful, secluded and dramatic views of the limestone structures in which the beach is surrounded. It’s everything an iconic beach should be. 

This particularly famous beach was the centrepiece for Danny Boyle’s 1999 film ‘The Beach’, starring Leo DiCaprio.

Following the movie’s release this beach became so wildly popular that it was closed to allow it time to recover from the damage and environmental impact from tourists. 

‘The Beach’ finally reopened again in 2022 after four years of closure, but expect the number of visitors per day to be restricted going forwards.

Copacabana, Rio De Janeiro

I doubt a single person can read that without singing the song in their head, and if you didn’t, well.. I bet you’re singing it now!

Overlooked by the famous Copacabana Palace Hotel which over the years has played host to Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Marilyn Monroe, this beautiful 2.5 mile stretch of beach cannot be denied as one of the world’s most famous beaches.

There is never a dull moment to be had, with plenty of shops, bars and restaurants lining the distinct black and white wave print promenade.

Copacabana Beach attracts two million people each year to It’s world renowned New Years Eve celebrations, in which it boasts one of the largest firework displays in the world, and in recent years has become host to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup!

Santa Monica Beach, California

Just West of Downtown Los Angeles lies one of the USA’s most famous and iconic beaches.

This beautiful 3.5mile long beach has plenty to offer – Parks, picnic areas, playgrounds and of course, the Santa Monica Pier!

Take a ride on the iconic 130ft tall solar powered ferris wheel, which will provide spectacular views of Santa Monica, and is 

Santa Monica Beach and Pier have featured in more movies, tv shows and commercials then you can possibly count making this one of LA’s most filmed locations, and most recognisable. 

Bondi Beach, Australia

Bondi Beach is one of the most popular tourist sites in Australia, and one of the most popular beaches in the world, having been featured in many films, tv shows, music videos and even a video game!

The beautiful golden sands of Bondi Beach welcome locals and tourists from all over the world in search of sun, sea and surfing.

Take in the scenic views along the popular Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk, a stunning 3.7 mile trek along the coast line taking in beaches, parks and cafes along the way.

And finally of course, what better location to take in a surfing lesson then in one of the best surf locations in the world!

James Bond Island, Thailand

Not the real name of this beach of course, but since the famous pistol duel scene for The Man With The Golden Gun, it’s since become known as ‘James Bond Island’.

Anyone who has seen the film will know the scene I’m talking about. The one where Bond has a pistol duel on the beach with the film’s villain, Scaramanga. (I even have a framed picture of this in my house!)

Tulum, Mexico

Come for the Mayan ruins, stay for the tropical white sand beach.

Tulum boasts one of the best preserved Coastal Maya sites and is the third most visited in Mexico. The ruins, situated along the cliffs overlooking the Caribbean sea are a must to be explored. 

Then after a day of exploration, head down to the gorgeous white sand beach for a dip in the warm turquoise waters. There are also plenty of the cenotes in the area which are more than worth the visit.

Whitehaven Beach, Australia

One of the most unique looking beaches in the world, Whitehaven beach can only be accessed by boat, seaplane or helicopter.

This otherworldly beach’s crystal white sand is made up of 98% silica. This type of sand, some of the purest in the world, is extremely powdery and fine and it also doesn’t retain any heat.

You could actually walk barefoot in the midday heat across this beach no problem!

Picture of Gia Halliday

Gia Halliday

Hey, my names Gia! My biggest passions are food, travel and basically anything to do with being in the water. Combine all of that with an addiction for buying gear and you end up with with this website!