Top 20 of the World’s Most Beautiful Coasts

One of my favorite things about traveling is discovering the many gorgeous landscapes around this world. When it comes to stunning landscapes, some of the most stunning in the world can be found along the world’s most beautiful coasts. Whether it be pristine beaches, incredible sea stacks, steep seaside cliffs, or coastal forests that seem to reach right up to the water, the beautiful coastlines of this world never seem to amaze and delight me. In my many travels, I have seen some truly spectacular stretches of coastline that are so beautiful they will blow your mind. From the amazing mountainous rainforest of Hawaii’s Nā Pali Coast to the legendary sea stacks along Australia’s Great Ocean Road, the world’s most beautiful coasts will inspire the wanderlust in all travelers.

World's Most Beautiful Coasts - Hawaii

In this article, I am going to count down my list of the world’s most beautiful coasts for you to review. Some of these incredible coastlines are world renown, while others are treasures that few travelers have heard about. However, one thing that all of the most beautiful coastlines in the world share is a beauty that will stir your soul. If you have a favorite coastal region that you have seen your travels that isn’t on my list, please feel free to share it in the comments below. Not only do I want to hear about the amazing coastlines that inspire you, but other travelers who read this article will be thankful for your suggestions as well! If you are looking for some additional travel inspiration, I have also linked to my list of the Top 25 Beaches in the World to Visit below.

World's Most Beautiful Coasts - Beautiful Beaches
The Top 25 Beaches in the World to Visit

20. – Hopewell Rocks

New Brunswick, Canada

World's Most Beautiful Coasts - Hopewell Rocks

If you love to sea kayak, then you are definitely not going to want to miss out on visiting the Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick, Canada. Not only is this one of the world’s most beautiful coasts, but it is also one of the very best sea kayaking destinations in the world. The large, beautiful sea stacks are incredible to kayak around, especially at sunrise or sunset. If kayaking isn’t your thing, you can wait until the tide goes out and then climb down and explore the breathtaking seaside cliffs and walk amongst the incredible sea stacks. North America is known for its incredible coastlines and the Hopewell Rocks are a prime example of why.

19. – Zanzibar Coast

Zanzibar, Tanzania


When most travelers think of visiting Africa, they either think of going on safari in one of the continent’s incredible wildlife parks or the great sand dunes in the infamous Sahara Desert in Northern Africa. What many travelers don’t realize is that the continent of Africa is home to some of the world’s most beautiful coasts. One of my favorite coastlines in Africa is on the incredible island of Zanzibar, in the country of Tanzania. The coastline includes some of the most vibrant, crystal blue waters and soft sand beaches that you will find anywhere in this world. Not only that, but I have seen some of the most awe-inspiring sunsets in my life on this beautiful island. For more information on visiting Zanzibar and learning about why it has some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, please check out my Zanzibar Visitor Guide linked below.

World's Most Beautiful Coasts - Zanzibar
Zanzibar Visitor’s Guide

18. – Dalmatian Coast


Dalmatian Coast

Located on Croatia’s eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea, the Dalmatian Coast is Widely considered to be one of the most beautiful coastlines in Europe. Between its mysterious islands, lovely rocky coast, and enchanting sea caves, it is one of the most mesmerizing coastal regions in the world. Every summer, travelers flock to the area to swim and snorkel in the crystal blue waters and enjoy the sunsets on one of the area’s incredible beaches. If you enjoy visiting the world’s most beautiful coasts and are looking to plan your next big coastal adventure, I would strongly suggest keeping the city of Dubrovnik and other cities along Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast in mind.

17. – Cap de Formentor


Cap de Formentor

When I think of beautiful coastlines in Europe, one of the first countries that comes to my mind is Spain.  The country is famed for its beaches and has some of the world’s most beautiful coastlines.  One of my favorite stretches of coast in Spain is undoubtedly the Cap de Formentor coast on the island of Majorca.  It is affectionately called the “meeting point of the winds” by the locals because of the high winds, rough seas, and picturesque coastal cliffs that make the coastline so spectacular to see in person.  If you are going to be vacationing in Spain and would love to spend some time by the ocean, I can think of few places better to visit than the beautiful Cap de Formentor coast on Majorca.

16. – Anse Source d’Argent


World's Most Beautiful Coasts - Anse Source d'Argent

Some of the world’s most breathtaking coastlines aren’t located on the coasts of the world’s large continents, but on the shores of some of its most incredible islands and archipelagos. One of the most beautiful of these is the gorgeous Seychelles archipelago, which is home to the Anse Source d’Argent coastline. Seychelles and its incredible beaches and coastline are renown within traveling circles, so there is no doubt that its most amazing beach, the Anse Source d’Argent, is one of the world’s most beautiful coasts. With gigantic boulders and stunning palm trees, the beach looks like it was lifted right out of a post card. In fact, this beach is so drop-dead gorgeous that it has been used as a backdrop in many advertising commercials by companies like Bacardi Rum, Campari and Bounty Chocolate. For travelers looking to get away from the hustle-and-bustle of everyday life an enjoy a little peace and quiet on one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, you might want to set your sights on the Seychelles archipelago and its alluring Anse Source d’Argent beach.

15. – Praia Dona Ana


Best Coastlines in the World - Praia Dona Ana

The continent of Europe certainly isn’t in short supply of incredible coastlines. Countries like Greece and Spain are renown for their breathtaking coastlines and amazing beaches. However, Europe’s share of the world’s most beautiful coasts is not isolated to these countries alone. In fact, some of my favorite coastline in Europe can be found in Spain’s close neighbor to the West. Not only is Portugal home to some of the biggest waves in the world, but much of its coastline is absolutely gorgeous as well. One of the most picturesque stretches of coastline in Portugal is near the wonderful Praia da Dona Ana beach to the South of Lagos. This mesmerizingly beautiful beach is tucked away between the stunning Ponta da Piedade headland cliffs and has some of the softest white sands and clearest blue water you will find anywhere in the world. So before you start planning your next big European beach getaway, make sure you keep Praia da Dona Ana beach in mind.

14. – Lofoten Islands


Lofoten Islands

All of the world’s coastline is in some way, shape, or form beautiful. However, what sets a part the world’s most beautiful coasts from other coastlines in the world is the sheer magnitude of the beauty. Few other stretches of coastline illustrate this as well as the coastline in the Lofoten Islands in Norway. With some of the most dramatic views and awe-inspiring scenery that you will find along any stretch of coastline, the Lofoten Islands in Norway is a must-visit destination for those who love to visit the most beautiful coastlines in the world. Because they are located far North of the Arctic Circle, getting to the islands can be an adventure itself. However, for those travelers who put in the effort to get there, the payoff is tremendous. The granite mountain peaks, quaint fishing villages, and stunning beaches will leave you speechless. Plus, if you time your visit right, the Lofoten Islands are one of the best places in the world to see the beautiful Northern Lights. If that isn’t enough to motivate you to visit, you might want to check your pulse.

13. – Canon Beach

Oregon, United States

Best Coastlines in the World - Canon Beach

In my opinion, not only does North America have some of the world’s most beautiful coasts, but it also has some of the best variety of coastline in the world. One of my favorite stretches of coastline in North America, if not the world, is the beautiful stretch of coast near Cannon Beach in the state of Oregon. If you have ever seen the movie Goonies, then this stunning stretch of rocky coastline with its incredible sea stacks should look familiar. While the pirate named One Eyed Willie may not be real, this gorgeous coastline is and it should be near the top of the list for all travelers who love the ocean. Learn more about the beautiful Oregon coastline and why I think it is one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world in my Ecola State Park and Cannon Beach Visitor Guide, linked below.

World's Most Beautiful Coasts - Canon Beach
Ecola State Park and Cannon Beach Visitor Guide

12. – Malabar Coast


Malabar Coast

In my opinion, the country of India is one of the most beautiful and intriguing countries in the world. Not only are its landscapes beautiful, but its landscapes are incredibly diverse. With its mangrove swamps and tropical rainforests in the South and the foothills of the Himalayas in the North, you can find almost any type of landscape that you want in the beautiful sub-continent of India. Of course, this includes some of the world’s most beautiful coasts. One of my favorite stretches of coastline in India is the infamous Malabar Coast. Stretching along the southern part of India’s western coast, the Malabar Coast is renown for its continuous belt of sand dunes, stunning beaches, and incredible lagoons. Popular coastal states like Goa, Kerala, and the coastal region of Karnataka state attract millions of visitors each year to enjoy the areas beautiful beaches, warm waters, and wonderful hospitality. For travelers who are planning on visiting India in the coming years, a stop along the Malabar Coast is a great way to break up a busy itinerary and build in a little relaxation time.

11. – Turquoise Coast


Best Coastlines in the World - Turquoise Coast

With some destinations, just the name gives you a sense of how beautiful it is to visit. This is certainly the case with the befittingly named Turquoise Coast in the country of Turkey. In fact, the word “turquoise” is derived from the French word for Turkish. No doubt, the breathtaking blue waters found along the coast played a big role into the origin of its name. Not only are the waters off the Turquoise Coast incredibly beautiful, but it is here that you will find some of Turkey’s most iconic beaches, back-stopped by gorgeous rolling hills with almond and olive trees. The Ölüdeniz, Patara, and iztuzu beaches are some of the world’s finest. Not only that, but no matter where you are on the coast, you are never too far away from an extraordinary Greek, Roman, or Byzantine ruin to explore. These are just some of the many things that make the Turquoise Coast one of the world’s most beautiful coasts and a destination that every coastline lover should have high on their travel bucket list.

10. – Snæfellsnes Peninsula


World's Most Beautiful Coasts - Iceland

Speaking of names, the name of the next destination on my list may seem difficult for many travelers to pronounce, but one thing that no traveler will have issues with is seeing the incredible beauty that has made it one of the world’s most beautiful coasts. The country of Iceland is chalk-full of breathtaking destinations to visit and the capital of Reykjavik and the Snæfellsnes Peninsula is one of the most popular. The name Snæfellsnes translates to mean “Snow Mount’s Peninsula”, which is fitting because the peninsula is actually home to a glacier-topped volcano. The Peninsula so incredibly encapsulates so many of the amazing landscape features of Iceland that it is often called “Iceland in Minature”. Breathtaking waterfalls, stunning black and white sand beaches, fantastic lava fields, and quaint fishing villages are just some of the many amazing things for you to see and enjoy while visiting the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. It is a destination that is worthy of being called one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world and a destination that all landscape lovers should visit in their lifetime.

9. – Skeleton Coast


Skeleton Coast

As the cradle of life, the continent of Africa is renown for its amazing wildlife and incredible human cultures. Every year, millions of travelers visit Africa to go on safari, learn about the continent’s history, and to experience these cultures first-hand. However, what many travelers don’t know is that Africa is also home to some of the world’s most beautiful coasts. One such incredible stretch of coastline that is one of my favorites is the famed Skeleton Coast that stretches along the northern part of the Atlantic coast of the countries of Namibia and south Angola. This stretch of coastline borders the inhospitable Namib Desert, which has earned itself the reputation of being “the land God made in anger”. While the desert itself may be unforgiving, the stretch of land that borders the Atlantic Ocean is anything but that. This beautiful stretch of coastline has some of the continent’s most incredible beaches and some of the best wildlife experiences that you will find on any coastline throughout the world. It isn’t uncommon to see wildlife such as baboons, giraffes, lions, elephants, and even endangered black rhinos walking along the beaches. For travelers who want to visit one of the world’s most beautiful beaches and see some of the world’s most amazing wildlife, there are few options in the world that are better than the incredible Skeleton Coast.

8. – Cliffs of Moher

Republic of Ireland

Cliffs of Moher

Much of the coastline in the Republic of Ireland is beautiful, but there are certain stretches of its coastline that are just drop dead gorgeous. One of the most popular stretches of coastline in Ireland is the Cliffs of Moher, on the northeastern shore. Widely regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful coasts, these tall seaside cliffs attract over a million visitors each year. Not only are the cliffs themselves beautiful, but the wildlife that lives amongst the cliffs are as well. The cliffs are one of the best places in Ireland to see Atlantic Puffin in the wild. While the number of puffin throughout Europe continue to decline, their numbers are actually growing near the Cliffs of Moher. If you are interested in what else makes the Cliffs of Moher one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, I suggest you check out my Cliffs of Moher Visitor’s Guide, which I have linked to below.

World's Most Beautiful Coasts - Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher Visitor’s Guide

7. – Nā Pali Coast

Kauaʻi, Hawaii, United States

Best Coastlines in the World - Na Pali Coast

While the islands of Oahu and Maui are the most popular tourist destinations for visitors to the Hawaiian islands, the most beautiful coastline in Hawaii is undoubtedly found on the incredible island of Kauai. The entire coast of Kauai is incredible, but the Nā Pali Coast along the island’s North Shore is especially beautiful. This iconic, mountainous stretch of coastline will absolutely blow you away with its beauty when you see it. The emerald colored cliffs and sharp ridges that tower above the Pacific Ocean below look like they were made with Hollywood special effects they are so incredible. If you are up for a little adventure, I would strongly recommend that you hike the infamous Kalalau Trail when you visit the Nā Pali Coast. This winding trail thru the rainforest along the stunning coastline is an experience you will never forget. For a different perspective, you can catch a boat in Port Allen that will take you on a mesmerizing coastal tour of this beautiful coastline. During the summer months, you can even take a guided kayaking tour along the coast, which is an experience of a lifetime. No matter how you choose to experience the incredible Nā Pali Coast, you are certain to have an experience that will last a lifetime.

6. – Garden Route

South Africa

Garden Route

With its location along the horn of Africa, the country of South Africa has some of the continent’s most fabulous coastline. The country’s coast is notorious for its heavy surf and abundance of sea life. In my opinion, one of the most incredible stretches of South African coastline runs from Mossel Bay to the Storms River Mouth. This coastal region, which has been nicknamed the Garden Route, is one of the world’s most beautiful coasts and one of South Africa’s most popular tourist destinations. The area is home to some of Africa’s most stunning sand beaches, stunning lakes, picturesque lagoons, and beautiful evergreen forests. While you are unlikely to see large terrestrial wildlife like lions, elephants, or giraffes along this stretch of Africa’s coast, the area does have an abundance of incredible sea life and bird species for visitors to enjoy. So if you are visiting South Africa to go on safari and are looking for a change of pace, I can think of no better way to mix things up than to spend some time touring one of the world’s most beautiful coastlines.

5. – Big Sur

California, United States

Best Coastlines in the World - Big Sur

If you have gotten this far in my countdown of the world’s most beautiful coasts, it is probably very apparent to you that I am a big fan of the coastlines in North America. The continent has so many incredible stretches of coastline and such a wide variety of beautiful coastal regions to choose from. If you asked me to pick my top five coastlines in North America, it would be very difficult for me to limit the list to just five. However, choosing my favorite stretch of coastline in North America isn’t hard for me at all. The stretch of coastline in Southern California known as Big Sur is one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. Even the most difficult to please travelers will find the rugged, rocky shoreline, stunning waterfalls, amazing sea stacks, and wonderful little coastal downs in Big Sur enchanting. You probably didn’t need another reason to want to visit the state of California, but the coastline of Big Sur certainly is a great reason.

4. – Amalfi Coast


World's Most Beautiful Coasts - Amalfi Coast

With a treasure trove of historical monuments, incredible cuisine, and some of the world’s most stunning landscapes, there are a lot of reasons to visit Italy. However, one of my favorite things about this beautiful country is its abundance of breathtaking coastline. The country is home to some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, and the Amalfi region has some of its best. Located on the steep southern shore of the Sorrentine Peninsula, the region attracts millions of tourists each year. With its steep, rocky cliffs, amazing sea stacks, incredible beaches, and gorgeous cities perched up above the coastline, it isn’t hard to see why. If you are interested in visiting the Amalfi Coast, please check out my Amalfi Coast Visitor Guide linked below for details on how to plan your trip.

World's Most Beautiful Coasts - Amalfi Coast
The Definitive Amalfi Coast Visitor Guide

3. – Ha Long Bay


Best Coastlines in the World - Ha Long Bay

For travelers like myself who love to see large, beautiful sea stacks and mountainous coastlines, then there are few places on this planet that will leave you as awe struck as the incredible Ha Long Bay in Vietnam. Located in the Gulf of Tonkin, Ha Long Bay includes roughly 1,600 islands and islets with spectacular limestone pillars that tower up above the ocean floor. Many of these breathtaking islets are topped by trees and look like miniature forests that are rising up from the crystal blue waters of the gulf. Amongst the many islets, visitors will discover a countless number of natural arches, sea caves, and other interesting rock formations. One of the most popular activities for visitors to Ha Long Bay is to take a boat ride thru the islets to admire their beauty. However, more adventurous visitors can get into the waters and snorkel or scuba dive in the underwater Garden of Eden. While most of the islets are too small to support terrestrial wildlife, the waters that surround them are rich with amazing sea life. If you are a traveler on a mission to explore some of the world’s most beautiful coasts, Ha Long Bay in Vietnam should be near the top of your bucket list.

2. – Milford Sound

South Island, New Zealand

World's Most Beautiful Coasts - Milford Sound

There are few places in this world that have as much raw natural beauty as New Zealand’s South Island. With some of the world’s most incredible mountain ranges, which seem to stretch all the way to the island’s coast, the island is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground. In addition to its incredible mountains, the island is also home to some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. Of all the incredible coastline along the South Island, the stretch of breathtaking coast at Milford Sound is undoubtedly my favorite. The towering tree-lined mountains that line the shoreline of the sound are simply awe-inspiring. There is something absolutely magical about seeing snow-capped mountains right along the water’s edge that will make a visit to Milford Sound impossible to forget. If you are interested in learning more about why I think Milford Sound is one of the world’s most beautiful coasts, I have included a link to my Milford Sound Visitor Guide for you to review below.

World's Most Beautiful Coasts - Milford Sound
Milford Sound Visitor Guide

1. – Great Ocean Road

Victoria, Australia

Best Coastlines in the World - Great Ocean Road

There are some truly incredible road trips in this world, and many of them intersect with some of the world’s most spectacular coastline. One of the most infamous of these epic road trips is the Great Ocean Road in Southern Australia. The Great Ocean Road begins in the city of Torquay, which is located to the West of Melbourne. Visitors who drive the road will get to see some of Australia’s most jaw-dropping scenery as the road travels along the country’s renown Shipwreck Coast. Amongst the incredible sights that you will see along the Great Ocean Road include the famed sea stacks known as the Twelve Apostles, which are pictured above. If you love beautiful coastline, the Great Ocean Road in Australia should be at the top of your travel bucket list.

World's Most Beautiful Coasts - Great Ocean Road
The Definitive Great Ocean Road Tour Guide

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  1. How apropos! We are headed for the California coast within the hour. The coastline north of San Francisco didn’t make your list, but I’m sure it won’t disappoint. 😊

  2. Great list. Portugal, Iceland, Ireland, and the Oregon coast are on my list, too. Would love to visit New Zealand one day.

  3. As always, I enjoy your lists as they make great additions to my to do list!

  4. Fabulous list, including some of my favourites and some that are still on the list. (Why doesn’t that list get shorter?)

    Your photos are spectacular.

    • Thank you so much for reading and for your kind comments!! I totally agree, the bucket list never gets shorter, regardless of how much we travel 😃

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