World’s Best Beaches For 2021 Named: Australia Tops List

world's best beaches - whitehaven beach

The idea of world travel may still hang in limbo, but at least we’re getting plenty of material for our never-ending travel bucket list. Travel awards are always best for that, and this week Tripadvisor have stepped up to the podium, announcing the winners of their annual Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best Awards, with particular attention given to Australia when it comes to naming the world’s best beaches.

It shouldn’t really come as a surprise to see Queensland’s Whitehaven Beach take out the number one spot on the 2021 list, given that it’s storied beauty, a 7km stretch of fluffy white sand, has positioned it as Australia’s second most famous beach (after Bondi). Although it is a good reminder of just how enviable domestic travel is within this country.

Those who have been to Whitehaven Beach before will remember the arduous effort it takes to get there. The seclusion is part of the appeal, given you can only reach the beach via boat, seaplane, or helicopter. There’s also the fact that it’s close to the Great Barrier Reef, boosting the distinction that puts Whitehaven Beach comfortably in a league of its own.



Western Australia’s Turquoise Bay was named the second best beach in Australia.

Further down the list of the 10 best beaches in the world, Australia gets another hit in with Western Australia’s Turquoise Bay. Located in Exmouth, in Cape Range National Park and edging the iconic Ningaloo Reef, the bay is widely regarded as one of the most pristine in the country. It’s a popular spot for snorkelling, particularly due to it being the location for the world’s largest fringing reef, densely populated by tropical fish, manta rays, humpbacks, and turtles.

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Although Australia only appears twice in the list of the best beaches in the world, the Tripadvisor awards also break down a few region-specific lists. The top 10 beaches in Europe is this year topped by Spiaggia dei Conigli in Lampedusa, Italy, while the top 10 beaches in the South Pacific is of course led Whitehaven Beach, with the rest of the top 5 entirely made up of Australian beaches – Turquoise Bay, Cape Le Grand National Park, Greens Pool, and Cable Beach.

The world’s best beaches list was rounded out by hopping around mostly islands. Santa Maria Beach in Cuba was this year’s runner up, while Brazil’s Baia do Sancho and Grace Bay Beach on the Turks and Caicos islands came in 3rd and 4th respectively.

Each year Tripadvisor collates these awards based on the quality and quantity of reviews and ratings on the website, across a 12 month period. Although for this year, metrics also include the number of “saves” for beaches on Tripadvisor, thought to indicate which beaches travellers are most dreaming about while the world still reels from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

You can check out all three best beaches 2021 lists below.

Top 10 Beaches In The World 2021

world's best beaches - Baia do Sancho
Brazil’s Fernando de Noronha is home to one of the world’s best beaches
  1. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Australia
  2. Santa Maria Beach, Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba
  3. Baia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
  4. Grace Bay Beach, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
  5. Saint Pete Beach, Florida, United States
  6. Turquoise Bay, Exmouth, Australia
  7. Eagle Beach, Eagle Beach, Aruba
  8. Spiaggia dei Conigli, Lampedusa, Italy
  9. Ka/anapali Beach, Hawaii, United States
  10. Baia dos Golfinhos, Praia da Pipa, Brazil

Top 10 Beaches In Europe 2021

world's best beaches - Balos Lagoon in Greece.
Balos Lagoon in Kissamos, Greece is named one of Europe’s best beaches.
  1. Spiaggia dei Conigli, Lampedusa, Italy
  2. Playa de Cofete, Fuerteventura, Spain
  3. Praia de Falesia, Olhos de Agua, Portugal
  4. La Choncha Beach, San Sebastian, Spain
  5. Bournemouth Beach, Bournemouth, United Kingdom
  6. Balos Lagoon, Kissamos, Greece
  7. Elafonissi Beach, Elafonissi, Greece
  8. Plage de Santa Giulia, Santa Giulia, France
  9. Kleftiko Beach, Milos, Greece
  10. Porthminster Beach, St Ives, United Kingdom

Top 10 Beaches In South Pacific 2021

world's best beaches - Kaiteriteri Beach
Credit: Oliver Weber, Kaiteriteri Beach, New Zealand.
  1. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Australia
  2. Turquoise Bay, Exmouth, Australia
  3. Cape Le Grand National Park, Esperance, Australia
  4. Greens Pool, Denmark, Australia
  5. Cable Beach, Broome, Australia
  6. Matira Beach, Bora Bora, French Polynesia
  7. Piscine Naturelle, Ile Des Pins, New Caledonia
  8. Ohope Beach, Whakatane, New Zealand
  9. Kaiteriteri Beach, Kaiteriteri, New Zealand
  10. Mt Maunganui Main Beach, Mount Maunganui, New Zealand

You can check out the full series of lists for Tripadvisor’s 2021 Traveller’s Choice Best of the Best Awards at the link below.