There is something irresistibly attractive about beaches, the place where sea, sky and land converge, making it an ideal subject matter for photographers to turn their lens to. The quality of light as it reflects of the sea, sand and clouds, the breaking of waves, and the often-dramatic coastal landforms can all combine to wonderful effect. The coast also holds an important place in the human imagination, of memory, holidays and happiness.
This post brings together a selection of 20 beautiful images of idyllic beaches from around the world.
Enjoy the photographs!
1. Bohol Beach Club [Philippines]
Image: Lost In The RP
This picture captures a gorgeously glowing evening in Bohol, which is often referred to as the Jewel of the Philippines. The beaches are the island’s most instantly appealing feature, but also just inland are the fascinating Chocolate Mountains.
2. Tropea [Calabria, Italy]
The town of Tropea is on the Calabrian coast in southern Italy, sitting atop a rocky promontory that extends into the glittering azure waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. White sandy beaches lay huddled under shielding cliffs and the maze of ancient streets in the town.
3. Mawgan Porth [Cornwall, England]
The sun sets across the Atlantic Ocean, seen from the sandy beaches of Mawgan Porth on Cornwall’s rugged north coast. This cove, not far from the far busier beaches of Newquay, is a magnificent place of soft sands and rocky cliffs, stormy seas and tranquil sunsets.
4. Khezr Beach [Hormoz Island, Iran]
Image: Hamed Saber
This intriguing landscape is found on the Iranian island of Hormoz in the Persian Gulf. The beach is a pilgrimage destination, with the two peaks on the right forming part of a coastal shrine. The black sands and stones seen on the beach are residual volcanic material.
5. Long Beach [California, USA]
During the daytime, the seafront at Long Beach, California, sees both bikinis and business suits, testament to the city’s position as both a trading centre and tourist destination. By night, the city’s deco-style buildings come alight, as we see in this colourful photo by Kevin Dooley.
6. Patong Beach [Phuket, Thailand]
Patong is the centre of tourism in Phuket, laying on the island’s west coast, famous for its bustling nightlife and idyllic beaches.
7. Benacre Beach [Suffolk, England]
Image: David Barrie
The tranquil Suffolk coast on the east of England has long attracted artists and peace-seekers, but this tranquillity is slightly misleading. The North Sea is slowly but surely devouring the coastline, gradually eroding cliffs, villages and woodland, sometimes leaving evidence, such as this tree slowly disappearing into Benacre Beach.
8. Kovalam Beach [Kerala, India]
This distinctive red and white-stripped lighthouse stands guard over the tropical greenery and sandy shore of the aptly named Lighthouse Beach in Kerala, southwestern India.
9. Llanddona Beach [Anglesey, Wales]
This long sandy stretch is Llanddona Beach at the end of Red Wharf Bay, found on the eastern edge of the Isle of Anglesey. The island sits off the coast of North Wales, separated by the narrow Menai Strait.
10. Port Stephens [New South Wales, Australia]
About 200 kilometres north of Sydney is the large natural harbour of Port Stephens, edged by a chain of stunning beaches. The port is a Marine Park, with an abundance of sea life and complex ecology, and is frequented by numerous dolphins.
11. Makena State Park [Maui, Hawaii]
The archipelago of volcanic islands that form the state of Hawaii boast, arguably, some of the best beaches in the world, such as these pristine sands found on the Island of Maui.
12. Downhill Beach [Castlerock, Northern Ireland]
Downhill Beach stretches 11 kilometres along the coast of Northern Ireland, offering picturesque views of Counties Donegal, Antrim and Londonderry. During the winter months the Atlantic produces some fearsome surf.
13. Anse Source D’Argent [La Digue, Seychelles]
There are many astonishingly beautiful beaches on the island of La Digue, such as the popular Anse Source D’Argent. Here, the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean lap granite boulders and pristine pinky-white sand.
14. Camogli [Liguria, Italy]
Image: Umberto Fistarol
The colourful houses, church, fortress and small fishing harbour of Camogli nestle above the Ligurian coast on the Italian Riviera.
15. Copacabana [Rio de Janeiro, Brazil]
Image: Hank LeClair
Two historic forts bookend Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana, one of the world’s most famous beaches; in between is crammed a multitude of hotels, restaurants, bars, discothèques, and the busy beach itself.
16. Le Val André [Brittany, France]
This photograph captures a sunny afternoon at Le Val André, with its sandy beach and Victorian-style promenade, on France’s northwest coast in Brittany.
17. Aquinnah [Martha’s Vineyard, USA]
The Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard sees huge numbers of visitors during the summer months, but it is also very beautiful in the colder winter months. Here we see a dusting of snow on the beach under the Gay Head Cliffs at Aquinnah on the island’s western tip.
18. Hanakapiai Beach [Kauai, Hawaii]
Image: Jeff Kubina
The Na Pali Coast on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, is characterised by dramatic cliffs that plunge straight into the sea, making much of the stretch inaccessible to humans. At the places were the coast does open out, it reveals stunning if treacherous sandy coves, such as Hanakapiai Beach, seen in this photo.
19. Sylt [Germany]
This photograph captures the wicker deckchairs that dot the fine sandy beaches on the German island of Sylt. The island is known for distinctively shaped shorelines and shifting sandy dunes, which are often battered by the winds and waves of the North Sea.
20. Itajai [Brazil]
Close to the mouth of the Itajai-Acu River, a glorious golden sunrise greets two wooden boats on an idyllic Brazilian beach. This is a fine example of beach photography, a subject that transfixes photographers and their viewers, and will continue to do so.