World's Sexiest Beaches
The idea of a beach trip can conjure up fond memories, from family holidays in Waikiki to that first post-college overseas trip to Phuket — but not all beach vacations are created equal. While some seaside retreats are geared towards families, others are more appropriate for a grownups-only getaway.
If you’re seeking a sexy little jaunt, these 15 beaches are for you. Want to get your drink on, and mingle with the jet-set crowd? Or perhaps you want a chance to ditch the swimsuit altogether at a clothing-optional retreat? Do you prefer a serene hideaway to spend some serious private time with your significant other? We’ve got you covered on all counts.
Pack your beach attire and a lot of sunscreen, and head to one of these sultry destinations for a sizzling experience.
Ipanema - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
It’s fitting that this beautiful Brazilian stretch of beach was made famous by the bossa nova tune “The Girl from Ipanema,” featuring sultry lyrics like “When she walks, she's like a samba/That swings so cool and sways so gentle.”
Ipanema Beach is located in one of Rio’s wealthiest neighborhoods, and makes for an elegant retreat. Vendors on the beach sell everything from bikinis to coconuts to acai bowls, so you can forget having to leave the sand unless you need a break from the sun.
You’ll find tourists and cariocas (that’s what Rio de Janeiro locals are called in Portuguese) at the beach from sunrise to sunset, often people-watching, but also playing volleyball, soccer or working out. After dark, the neighborhood of Ipanema lights up with upscale clubs and bars, full of beautiful people sipping on caipirinhas, Brazil's national cocktail, and dancing the night away.
South Beach - Miami, Florida
Called the “American Riviera” by some, the trendy beaches of Miami are a popular destination for East Coast dwellers thanks to their easy accessibility.
South Beach, which stretches from South Pointe Park Beach to Collins Park and 22nd Street, is known for its glamorous, sexy style and is a favorite destination for celebs like Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey.
Grab your swimsuit and find a spot on the sand for some great people-watching, or try your hand at parasailing, stand-up paddling or getting airborne with a jetpack in the sparkling blue water.
Just off the beach, you can grab a cafecito (Cuban coffee) or a bite to eat outside, then take a power nap before putting on your best outfit and heading out to one of the area’s many clubs — most of them don’t start getting busy until after 10:30 p.m.
Bondi Beach - New South Wales, Australia
When it’s cooling down in the northern hemisphere, it’s heating up in Australia’s Bondi Beach — December is the start of the busy season here (sometimes welcoming over 40,000 visitors a day!).
Offering over 300 acres of glistening white sand, this iconic surf spot is also ideal for laying out and catching some glorious rays, and is a popular hangout for celebs like Kate Bosworth, Zac Efron and Naomi Watts.
Coastal Aussies are known for being very active, so you’ll find Bondi full of cyclists, volleyball players, surfers and skateboarders. Among the super-fit are Bondi’s famous lifeguards in blue, whose busy days became the focus of a long-running reality show called “Bondi Rescue” — think “Baywatch,” but with sexier accents.
White Beach - Boracay Island, Philippines
Once a party destination similar to Cancun during spring break, Boracay Island is changing its image. Recently reopened after a six-month closure for environmental maintenance, Boracay is now home to some of the Philippines’ most beautiful soft-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters.
Thanks to a massive cleanup and a few new rules (like the ban of single-use plastics), Boracay’s beaches are no longer filled with the litter and debris left behind by hordes of travelers passing through for drunken revelry.
Anyone wanting to enter the island is required to have proof of a hotel booking, which means no day-trippers and backpackers, and nightlife has been scaled back to provide a more serene environment, perfect for couples looking for a sensual getaway away far from the hustle and bustle. White Beach, so named for its startling white sand, is particularly dreamy and ideal for romance.
Little Beach - Maui, Hawaii
If hippie vibes are your version of sexy, you’ll want to make your way to Little Beach on the island of Maui. Located in Makena State Park, this piece of coast — sometimes called Makena Beach or Onouli Beach — boasts soft sand, clear water and a gentle shore break that make it more swim-friendly than its sister Big Beach.
This secluded stretch is also unofficially clothing optional, so don’t be surprised to find sunbathers in all their glory here. This is largely a place to relax and let go, so you won’t find a lot of commercial activity on the beach, but that doesn’t mean it’s quiet — the bohemian vibe is enhanced by the occasional drum circle and fire dances as the sun begins to set.
Plage de Pampelonne - Côte d'Azur, France
The south of France has attracted jetsetters and celebrities, from Brigitte Bardot to Leonardo DiCaprio, since the 1960s, and today it’s hotter than ever.
If you’re looking for the beautiful people of the French Riviera, you’ll find them at the Plage de Pampelonne, a three-mile stretch of beach outside Saint-Tropez that’s dotted with beach umbrellas and lounge chairs and not much else.
Just like most beaches in France, going topless is no big deal, so feel free to ditch your bikini like a local. The beach has no promenade, snack shacks or places to buy souvenirs, making this an ideal spot to enjoy the simple pleasures of nature and the glistening sea.
The most glamorous way to access Plage de Pampelonne? By yacht, of course.
Las Salinas - Ibiza, Spain
Tucked away behind a forest of pine trees, Las Salinas is a hidden crescent of white sand that opens up to the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean. A favorite of professional footballers, models and other celebs, it pairs natural beauty with a seductive party scene.
The shore is usually lively and crowded and pumping out music. Nearby hotels and restaurants cater to those seeking libations after their sun session, with the lively Sa Trinxa — a waterfront spot known for its chill, sexy beach vibe and great DJ sets — proving especially popular.
Feel like letting go of some inhibitions? A small section of the beach is popular with the clothing-optional crowd.
Anse Source d’Argent - La Digue, Seychelles
The third-largest island of the Seychelles, La Digue is home to eight breathtakingly beautiful beaches. Among these, Anse Source d’Argent entices most. It is one of the world’s most photographed beaches, and for good reason — its white sands, unique rock formations and strikingly turquoise water make for incredible pictures.
You can also take out a boat to go snorkeling and scuba diving among the unspoiled coral reefs around the islands. As there is almost no motor traffic on La Digue, you can reach any of its destinations on foot or via bicycle. Get ready to enjoy a quiet, laid-back island lifestyle, perfect for honeymooners and romantic vacationers.
Girandella Beach - Rabac, Croatia
Girandella Beach is known for being pretty family friendly, but one side of the beach is meant for “naturists.” You’ll want to bring water shoes here, as the shore is mostly pebbles, but the water is exactly as you want it — very clean, very clear.
Enjoy the quiet, relaxing atmosphere of the day by renting a chair and umbrella and lazing about in the sun, or stroll the promenade and have lunch at one of the seaside restaurants. As soon as the sun begins to set, get ready for a change of atmosphere: Summer evenings are often filled with electronic music and sweaty dancing until the wee hours of the morning.
Copacabana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Just north of Ipanema, Copacabana is another Rio de Janeiro beach memorialized in song that’s home to more of Brazil’s most beautiful people. This beach is a little more touristy and lively than Ipanema, but similarly active — you’ll find people playing volleyball and soccer on the sand here, too.
There are plenty of beachside cafes to enjoy food or drink, but beach vendors will also come to you on the sand to sell you caipirinhas, mate tea, snacks and more. At night, you can visit any one of the bars along the 2.2-mile stretch that comprises Copacabana, kick back a few drinks and practice your samba.
Matira Beach - Bora Bora, French Polynesia
French Polynesia is a top destination for couples, and it’s not hard to see why — it’s one of the most pristine places to visit in the Pacific. Nearly all of the beaches on Bora Bora (also known as “The Romantic Island”) are private, but Matira Beach, located on the south side of the island, is open to the public.
Fine white sand and warm blue waters, plus a secluded feel, make this an appealing pick for some alone time with your significant other. Since Bora Bora doesn’t have a huge nightlife scene, you can spend your evening hours retired to a bungalow suspended over the water and make your own party (wink, wink).
Portu Li Coggi - Costa Smeralda, Sardinia, Italy
The island of Sardinia is part of Italy — but it certainly doesn’t feel like it. Separated from the rest of the boot by a nearly two-hour ferry ride, this isolated island has become the preferred destination of mainlanders and celebrities who want a more low-key vacation than what’s offered on the shores of Lake Como.
The beaches of Costa Smeralda are wonderfully pristine, and Portu Li Coggi (also called Spiaggia del Principe, or Prince's Beach) is a particular draw, thanks to its sandy shores, inviting waters and ample room to lay out. If you’re in search of nightlife with plenty of sex appeal, you’ll find it in spades in Costa Smeralda, at clubs like Billionaire and Sottovento (Bono and Craig David have been spotted here).
Tulum Beaches - Quintana Roo, Mexico
Tulum has become a popular destination for the New Age crowd thanks to the many yoga and wellness retreats that have popped up there in recent years. Beaches like Playa Paraíso boast white, powdery sand and brilliant azure waters, providing the perfect setting to spend a day or two soaking up the sun.
If the timing’s right, you’ll want to head to the Papaya Playa Project near Tulum Beach and Playa Paraíso, a monthly DJ party held on the Saturday night nearest to the celestial full moon. Otherwise, grab a drink at one of the trendy beach bars in the area that turns into a club a night (Nomade, Gitano, Casa Jaguar).
For a more unique experience, check out the Muyil River Float at the Sian Ka'an biosphere reserve, a secret “lazy river” through the mangroves.
Want to ditch your beachwear for a more au naturel experience? Head to Hidden Beach, one of Tulum’s all-inclusive nude resorts.
Paradise Beach - Mykonos Island, Greece
If there’s one thing that’s held true throughout history, it’s that Greeks have known how to live it up — and there’s nowhere better to do that than on the idyllic island of Mykonos.
Here, Paradise Beach is the ultimate party spot, frequented by young crowds who want to dance and drink (if you want a quiet getaway, pick another beach!).
This stretch of coastline is lined with umbrellas and lounge chairs, perfect for day drinking, working on one’s tan and catching a disco nap before the evening festivities begin. During the summer, parties featuring international DJs might begin in the middle of the afternoon, and last until the early morning hours.
You’ll want to grab some food between party shifts; if you don’t want a full-on restaurant experience, pick up a gyro to go before heading out for the night.
El Nido Beaches - Palawan, Philippines
Considered to be one of the last untamed beaches in the Philippines, the coastal town of El Nido is a gorgeous getaway for those who want an enchanting encounter with nature.
What makes El Nido a “sexy” destination? Locations like the Secret Lagoon, accessible only through a small cave, and Secret Beach, a piece of sand hidden away by the limestone cliffs that surround it.
The beaches of El Nido have stunningly clear waters and fine, white sands, but the shore isn’t the only attraction: The surrounding waters are perfect for divers who want to explore the reef and all the wildlife that swim through, including manta rays and sea turtles! Once you’re done exploring, kick back in an over-the-water bungalow and let the worries of the real world slip away.