Brazil’s Sancho Bay on the remote island of Fernando de Noronha has been voted as the world’s best beach by TripAdvisor.
It’s not the world’s easiest beach to access, but the best often aren’t. The reward of a hard-earned trip is watching waterfalls tumbling over lush green cliffs into turquoise waters, where you can observe dolphins and sea turtles.
Closer to Tunisia than Sicily, last year’s winner Rabbit Beach in Italy slid to the number four spot. Situated on the country’s southernmost island, Lampedusa, it has a reputation for cracking weather all year round, is well-secluded by cliffs and has crystal-clear waters and soft sands.
"For those dreading the start of winter, there's really no better cure than an escape to one of these award-winning beaches," said TripAdvisor’s chief marketing officer Barbara Messing.
“Even if you can’t go to one of these stunning beaches soon, just looking at the photos will take you away for a moment, until you can plan a trip.”
The lists are based on reviews and ratings for beaches on the site over the past 12 months.
Unexpectedly, reviewers rated Welsh beach Rhossili Bay at number 9; it’s striking, colourful setting and desolate nature making it one of the world’s most beautiful, where adventurous types can seek out shipwrecks and prehistoric remains in the beach’s waters.
Closer to home, Whitehaven Beach on Queensland’s Whitsunday Island was named the best beach in Australia and the South Pacific, with international travellers rating it the fifth best in the world.
CEO of Whitsundays Marketing and Development Danial Rochford said he was thrilled.
“We are very excited that Whitehaven Beach has taken out the top award and has been recognised as one of the best beaches in the world,” Mr Rochford said, attributing the win to the beauty of the region and the great experiences travellers had in the region.
“I would like to thank all TripAdvisor users who have reviewed and rated Whitehaven Beach, and our local tourism industry for allowing travellers to experience the beauty and magic of Whitehaven Beach and the Whitsunday Islands whilst preserving this natural wonder at the same time,” he said.
Snorkelling-haven Turquoise Bay in Exmouth, Western Australia slotted in at 20 and Broome’s Cable Beach followed at 22.
Despite having overwhelmingly positive reviews, Sydney’s Bondi Beach failed to rate a mention in the world's best beaches or even Australia's. Around 75 per cent of users rated the beach 'excellent' or 'very good'.
Top 25 beaches in the world:
1. Baia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
2. Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
3. Flamenco Beach, Culebra, Puerto Rico
4. Rabbit Beach, Lampedusa, Italy
5. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Australia
6. Playa de ses Illetes, Formentera, Spain
7. Anse Lazio, Praslin Island, Seychelles
8. Lanikai Beach, Kailua, Hawaii
9. Rhossili Bay, Swansea, Wales
10. Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres, Mexico
11. Playa Paraiso Beach, Cayo Largo, Cuba
12. Praia dos Carneiros, Tamandare, Brazil
13. Lopes Mendes Beach, Ilha Grande, Brazil
14. The Baths, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
15. Playa de las Catedrales, Ribadeo, Spain
16. Ka'anapali Beach, Lahaina, United States
17. Elafonissi Beach, Elafonissi, Greece
18. Cala Mariolu, Baunei, Italy
19. White Beach, Boracay, Philippines
20. Turquoise Bay, Exmouth, Australia
21. Anse Source d'Argent, La Digue Island, Seychelles
22. Cable Beach, Broome, Australia
23. Playa Manuel Antonio, Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
24. Camp's Bay Beach, Camps Bay, South Africa
25. Radhanagar Beach, Havelock Island, India
Top 10 beaches in the South Pacific:
1. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Australia
2. Turquoise Bay, Exmouth, Australia
3. Cable Beach, Broome, Australia
4. Maunganui Beach, Maunganui, New Zealand
5. Shelly Beach, Sydney, Australia
6. Burleigh Heads Beach, Burleigh Heads, Australia
7. Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas, Australia
8. Manly Beach, Sydney, Australia
9. Matira Beach, Bora Bora, French Polynesia
10. Piha Beach, Piha, New Zealand
Top 10 beaches in Australia:
1. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, QLD
2. Turquoise Bay, Exmouth, WA
3. Cable Beach, Broome, WA
4. Shelly Beach, Sydney, NSW
5. Burleigh Heads Beach, Burleigh Heads, QLD
6. Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas, QLD
7. Manly Beach, Sydney, NSW
8. Cottesloe Beach, Cottesloe, WA
9. Noosa Main Beach, Noosa, QLD
10. Coolangatta Beach, Coolangatta, QLD