Type 'how many oceans are there' into Google and you might be surprised to learn that there are only, technically, five bodies of water (or one huge one, if you want to be really pedantic!). So forgive us if our headline is slightly misreading - it's not that we've misunderstood the geography or anything, rather that we want to shed light on our fave spots in the world to get fully immersed in one of the five separate oceans adding those gorgeous blue hues to the map that we all know and love.
There’s just something about the balmy, sea-salt air, soft, supple sand and endless stretches of turquoise, isn’t there? So, sit back, make yourself a pina colada (or whatever cocktail does it for you) and start dreaming of where your next vacation may take you. The Arctic Ocean, Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean, Antarctic Ocean and Indian - we've got 'em all!
- Railay Beach, Thailand
Isolated on a small peninsula that can only be reached by boat, this envy-inducing lagoon is the definition of a hidden treasure. Walk along the shimmering, soft white sand whilst taking in the thick jungle and jagged cliffs that envelope this beautiful beach, or - for some more adventure - go rock climbing and swim through the underground caves.
2. Whitehaven Beach, Australia
What do you get when you add seven kilometers of glittering white sand with sparkling turquoise water? This little slice of heaven.
Located at the edge of the Great Barrier Reef, this is a highly sought-after Instagram spot - for very good reason. You may even get a selfie or two with some of the turtles, dolphins and whales that call this place home!
3. Tulum, Mexico
Two hours from Cancun lies this serene, powder-white beach, backdropped by ancient Mayan ruins. A UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site, this is not one to be missed!
4. La Jolla, San Diego
This picture-perfect golden beach, wedged between cliffs and set behind a deep blue bay, is part of an underwater ecological reserve which boasts prolific marine life. This - together with the crystal clear water - makes it an iconic place to try diving or snorkeling. As if that wasn’t enough, thanks to the gentle current it’s also a great place for families with young kids, who’ll enjoy splashing around in the waves.
5. Petite Anse, Seychelles
We could probably just stop at Seychelles, which speaks for itself when it comes to beautiful beaches, but we think this spot deserves its own special mention. Cloaked in white and pink-hued sand and bookended by a backdrop of granite cliffs and dense forest, this is arguably one of the most photogenic spots in the whole area. A pure pocket of paradise!
6. Amed, Bali
Indonesia’s most breathtaking island is filled with beautiful beaches, but this - backdropped by a postcard-worthy view of leafy jungle and volcanic peaks - is probably the most captivating of all - not only from above but down to the ocean floor, too. Dive into the translucent, aqua-green sea and bond with the bright-colored fish, sea turtles and other marine life embedded in the vibrant coral.
7. Marathonisi, Zakinthos
The fact that this is also known as Turtle Island should tell you all you need to know about this white-sand beach. #nuffsaid
8. Praia Do Sancho, Brazil
This may be one of the hardest beaches to access (think narrow rock tunnels and steep ladders), but boy - once you’ve made it - you’ll never want to leave the golden sand, home to giant iguanas, playful dolphins and schools of tropical fish.
9. Hidden Beach, Philippines
The clue’s in the name; bone-white sand is separated from the turquoise ocean by a small key-hole, which you must climb through to reach the lagoon.
10. Ile Aux Cerfs, Mauritius
This privately owned island offers miles of lush vegetation and white, sandy beaches.
11. Tortuga Bay, Santa Cruz
Whiter-than-white sand and black lava rock, this striking beach is filled with color, from the red apple crab to blue-footed booby, along with all the other pelicans, iguanas and other wildlife that you’re sure to share the experience with. We hope you like company!
12. Playa del Amor, Mexico
This stunning underground beach is the stuff of dreams - infused with natural beauty and wildlife.
13. Cala Ganone, Sardinia
It’s not hard to find a breathtaking beach in Sardinia, but finding one that caters to families on a cheap budget can prove more challenging. Thank goodness, then, for this little slice of wonder, boasting white pebble-and-sand shores, turquoise water that simply begs you to come in for a swim and snorkel and a long promenade lined with restaurants. There’s truly something for everyone here!
14. Comillas, Spain
Popular with Spanish families but largely overlooked by tourists (until now …!), this little wonder - backed by a beautiful nature reserve and snow-capped mountains - boasts a small fishing harbor, sprinkling of cafes and ready-to-explore rock pools.
15. Sunj, Croatia
This small strip of reddish sand slopes gently into sparkling, shallow waters, lined by luxuriant forest trails.
16. Es Grau, Minorca
Head here for a quieter beach experience. The tranquil bay is perfect for some lazy kayaking!
17. Praia de Fortaleza
Mile after mile of this breathtaking beach has something for everyone - from the sun loungers to surfers. Perfect for photos, too!
18. Sabang Beach, Philippines
Looking for a tropical beach? Look no further! A pristine shore, woody mangroves and a national park are just some of the features here.
19. North Shore Oahu, Hawaii
One for the surf lovers! This high-energy piece of the ocean offers waves more than six meters high!
20. Arpoador, Brazil
A city choice for those loyal to Rio de Janeiro, this is the place to be for both culture and nightlife, offering stunning views throughout. A favorite spot for surfers, bodyboarders and families, a particular highlight for many is taking a cheeky moonlit dip during the hot summers!
21. Durban, South Africa
Another city beach, this little gem boasts cafes, art deco and street life, splashed with possible sightings of dolphins and whales in certain seasons.
22. Banana Beach, Thailand
Boasting a backdrop of vibrant green jungle and looking out across endless crystal-clear water, choose between (or all - we totally get it!) banana boat rides, snorkeling, kayaking and parasailing.
23. El Nido, Philippines
Blindingly blue water and out-of-this-world sunsets? Yup, we’re sold.
24. Marco Island, Florida
Voted one of the best islands in America, this makes up part of the Paradise Coast (says it all really, doesn’t it?). Dolphins, sea turtles, mangroves and mangoes abound.
We’ve given you 24 of our top oceanic picks, but currently have almost 1800 beach-related trips, tours and activities on our site - and counting! So, what are you waiting for? This World Oceans Day, give a little love to the natural wonders we can proudly call our own.