Is This The Nicest Beach? 5 Factors that Define Beach Beauty

One of the most interesting things about travelling is discussing previous travel stories with other travelers. Sure the “doing” portion of a trip is always super fun, but don’t you just love debating over and comparing your preferences and memories with other tourists that have seen and accomplished similar things? Debating the nicest beaches in a specific area, country, continent or even the world is one of the most riveting discussions to have.  In many cases, a short discussion can open your mind up to different angles and views that you probably wouldn’t have ever thought of otherwise. Below is an overview of 5 of the major points that are often debated in the process of selecting and ranking the nicest beaches in the world.

5) Sand Color

It’s hard to imagine the true extent tourists go to find a clean strip of white sand these days. Probably one of the most exaggerated and fabricated traits that travel guide books and travel agencies like to rave about is sand color. Many beaches that are called white are commonly not white.  The fact of the matter, however, is that really white beach sand is rare to find. Some tourists love brown, golden and black sand beaches, so why not visit a variety of them to make the decision for yourself?

A stunning white sand beach.Lifou, New Caledonia.

A stunning white sand beach.Lifou, New Caledonia.

4) Water Transparency and Color

Postcard perfect beaches are indeed postcard perfect because they usually have teal, clear or turquoise water that appears surreal to the human eye. Since there are so many variables that affect how clear water appears (for example, time of year, tourist numbers, boat traffic, location, and pollution, etc.) it is becoming increasingly difficult to find inhabited islands with jaw dropping water color.

The combination of crystal clear water and limestone make this uninhabited beach on Vanuatu quite the spot.

The combination of crystal clear water and limestone make this uninhabited beach on Vanuatu quite the spot.

3) Sand Texture

Sand color and sand texture go hand in hand, but this is a bit more complicated then what it originally seems. Throw in a few pebble beaches and some shell beaches and the plot thickens. For many tourists, the combination of sugary-white in powder form is unmatchable.

A tiny little crab on Langkawi's Pantai Tengah Beach has exposed some golden, yellow and white granules of sand.

A tiny little crab on Langkawi’s Pantai Tengah Beach has exposed some golden, yellow and white granules of sand.

2) Surrounding Seascape

Throw in some jagged limestone karsts, offshore isles and maybe even a coral reef wall and suddenly the view from a beach becomes much more enjoyable. A bunch of exhaust streaks from outlying boats however, can make beach views quite an eye sore. Add a nearby factory and resort after resort and you get the idea. What was the last beach you were on with the sun setting between two limestone karsts?

This stunning white sand beach on Isle of Pines, New Caledonia has some of the finest white imaginable.

This stunning white sand beach on Isle of Pines, New Caledonia has some of the finest white imaginable.

1) Exoticness

Get rid of the cemented boardwalks and commercialized resorts. Instead, lie on an empty, powdery strip and crack a few coconuts on one of the half-eroded palm trees beside you. Take a sea plane or a private boat to a beach most locals don’t even know about. Feel like a castaway for a day or two. Isn’t this the exotic feeling that we all wish to feel one day as a tourist?

The pebble beach on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu

The pebble beach on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu

How to find the best rooms at beach destinations?

I would suggest using a large room provider such as www.agoda.com, www.booking.com or www.hotelscombined.com.  All three of these have a large selection and map tools to make sure that your ‘actually’ right on the beach. So many places state that they’re on the beach but when you get there you find out that isn’t always accurate.

By | 2017-02-28T15:41:36+00:00 December 7th, 2013|2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. George R. December 15, 2013 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    Of all the beaches listed above in the photos, which one do you think is the nicest?

    • Ian Emerson December 15, 2013 at 3:59 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the question George! It's a tough one to answer, but I would have to go with Isle of Pines on this one. Since there is only one hidden resort on the beach it feels very secluded. But the big selling point of this beach is the powdery white sand. It is extremely fine and few beaches can compare with the sand quality.

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