Tripadvisor names 2020's best beaches

Tripadvisor names 2020’s best beaches: Brazil’s Baia do Sancho is rated No1 again and a strip of sand in SCOTLAND comes 13th overall

  • Baia do Sancho, on the island of Fernando de Noronha, claims the top prize in the Travellers’ Choice awards
  • The top-rated beach in the UK is mesmerising Luskentyre on the Isle of Harris in Scotland 
  • The awards are based on the quality and quantity of traveller reviews and ratings gathered over 12 months 

An idyllic beach on a tiny island off the coast of Brazil has been named as the best in the world by Tripadvisor for the second year running.

Baia do Sancho, on the island of Fernando de Noronha, claims the top prize in the Travellers’ Choice beach awards for 2020.

The top-rated beach in the UK is mesmerising Luskentyre on the Isle of Harris in Scotland, which comes 13th in the world. The number one in the U.S. is Siesta Beach in Florida. Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsunday Islands, meanwhile, comes out on top for Australia.

Taking the crown for the best sandy coastline in Europe is the stunning Spiaggia dei Conigli – known for its colony of sea turtles – on the Italian island of Lampedusa in the middle of the Mediterranean.

Tripadvisor announces the Travellers’ Choice beach awards every year. They are based on the quality and quantity of traveller reviews and ratings gathered over 12 months.

Scroll down to see the full list of the top 25 beaches for 2020, according to the review website… 

1. Baia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

This stunning effort has 8,465 reviews on Tripadvisor, with 91 per cent of them rating it ‘excellent’. One traveller said that it is ‘simply amazing’

2. Grace Bay Beach, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

Tripadvisor says that Grace Bay is a ‘perennial Travelers’ Choice beaches winner… famous for its long stretch of soft white sand and beautiful blue water’. Just one per cent of reviews for it – out of over 7,000 – rate it ‘terrible’, with 89 per cent saying it’s ‘excellent’

3. Playa Paraiso, Cayo Largo, Cuba

One traveller said of this mesmerising stretch of sand ‘you gotta see it to believe it… outstanding’

4. Spiaggia dei Conigli, Lampedusa, Sicily 

‘Wonderful sea, extraordinary glints and… the cherry on the cake – the hatching of turtle eggs!’ is one Tripadvisor reviewer’s summation of Spiaggia dei Conigli

5. Prainhas do Pontal do Atalaia, Arraial do Cabo, Brazil

This heavenly beach has an average rating of five out of five. But one traveller warns that if you arrive by car, you’ll need to walk down 150 steps to access it ‘so travel light’

6. Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman

Seven Mile Beach is, say travellers, ‘a slice of heaven’ and has ‘amazing reefs teeming with exotic fish’

7. Eagle Beach, Aruba

Tripadvisor reviewer BlackdogJenny said of Eagle Beach that it’s ‘miles of fine white sand with the odd weird tree thrown in’

8. Flamenco Beach, Culebra, Puerto Rico 

‘This is a “must visit” beach!’ enthuses reviewer DizzyDona from New York. ‘Smooth white sand on the beach and in the water. Swimming was easy, with no strong tides’

9.  Varadero Beach, Cuba

Varadero Beach is one of Cuba’s big hitters and a favourite for tourists – and no wonder, because it’s blessed with beautiful sand and clear, shallow water

10. Kleftiko Beach, Milos, Cyclades, Greece 

The star attraction here is apparently the enchanting cave system, which it’s possible to swim through. Visitors almost unanimously say that arriving by boat is the best option

11. Siesta Beach, Siesta Key, Florida

This beach has nearly 100 per cent quartz-crystal sand which, says Visit Sarasota, ‘is very fine to the touch and is snow-like white in colour’. It adds: ‘Due to the crystals, the sand never gets hot under the Florida sun and makes beach time even more enjoyable’

12. Radhanagar Beach, Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands 

Radhanagar Beach looks sensational in photographs – and is just as good when you’re there, it would seem. Reviewers call it ‘stunning’, ‘spectacular’ and ‘romantic’

13. Luskentyre, Isle of Harris, Outer Hebrides, UK 

Bringing home the beach bacon for the UK is Luskentyre on the Isle of Harris. And this incredible picture sums up why it’s regarded as world class very nicely indeed

14.  Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera, Balearic Islands, Spain 

This strip of sand is, according to reviewer fluffymonkey from Worcester in the UK, a ‘remarkable place… with ridiculously shallow and calm waters’

15. La Concha Beach, San Sebastian – Donostia, Spain

San Sebastian is heaven for foodies – and for sunseekers, too. Not least because it is home to the jaw-dropping La Concha Beach

16. Saint Pete Beach, Florida 

Saint Pete Beach was voted TripAdvisor’s No.1 Beach in the U.S and No. 5 in the world in 2012. The site describes it as ‘magical’

17.  Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres, Mexico 

Playa Norte can get busy, but go at the right time and it’s a wonderful place to be. ‘It’s as beautiful as everyone says it is,’ says reviewer lauriec1667 from West Des Moines in Iowa 

18. Maho Beach, Cruz Bay, St. John, US Virgin Islands 

‘Get there early for parking and sea turtles.’ That’s the advice for visiting jaw-dropping Maho Beach according to Connecticut reviewer ‘JKO1111’

19. Bavaro Beach, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 

Pristine waters? Check. Palm trees? Check. Stunning white sand? Check. So what are you waiting for?

20.  Woolacombe Beach, Devon, UK

Britons do like to be beside the seaside – and this is one understandably popular spot for them

21. Elafonissi Beach, Crete, Greece 

TripAdvisor reviewers aren’t alone in raving about this beach. Lonely Planet has this to say: ‘Remote Elafonisi is a stunning beach tucked into Crete’s southwestern corner, with a swirl of fine pinkish-white sand, turquoise water and gentle dunes’

22. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Islands, Australia 

Four-mile-long Whitehaven Beach, in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, is lauded for being ‘untouched’. To get there you’ll need to hop on a boat, seaplane or helicopter

23. Cala Mariolu, Baunei, Sardinia, Italy

Boats continually arrive at Cala Mariolu to drop tourists off, but the consensus among TripAdvisor reviewers is that the interruptions are worth it…

24. Balos Lagoon, Kissamos, Greece

The beach at Balos Lagoon isn’t easy to reach – you’ll need a 4×4 to negotiate the dirt road that runs to it from Kalyviani village and then it’s a three-quarters-of-a-mile walk. But the hard work will be handsomely rewarded. It’s a sensational beach

25. Black Sand Beach, Vik, Iceland

Black Sand Beach offers something of an out-of-this-world experience for visitors. One thrilling way to experience the slightly eerie natural wonder is by driving a buggy along it. Tours are available


Best beaches in the United States

1. Siesta Beach, Siesta Key, Florida

2. Saint Pete Beach, Florida

3. Ka’anapali Beach, Lahaina, Hawaii

4. Pensacola Beach, Florida

5. Clearwater Beach, Florida

6. Cannon Beach, Oregon

7. Hollywood Beach, Florida

8. Panama City Beach, Florida

9. Litchfield Beach, Pawleys Island, South Carolina

10. Napili Beach, Lahaina, Hawaii

11. St. Augustine Beach, Florida

12. Lanikai Beach, Kailua, Hawaii

13. Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

14. Wailea Beach, Hawaii

15. Ogunquit Beach, Maine

16. Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area, Puako, Hawaii

17. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

18. Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington

19. Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island, Georgia

20. Cherry Grove Beach, South Carolina

21. Race Point Beach, Provincetown, Massachusetts

22. Asilomar State Beach, Pacific Grove, California

23. Manini’owali Beach (Kua Bay), Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

24. Silver Beach County Park, Saint Joseph, Michigan

25. Coronado Beach, California

Best beaches in Europe

1. Spiaggia dei Conigli, Lampedusa, Sicily

2. Kleftiko Beach, Milos, Cyclades, Greece

3. Luskentyre, Isle of Harris, Outer Hebrides, UK

4. Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera, Balearic Islands, Spain

5. La Concha Beach, San Sebastian – Donostia, Spain

6. Woolacombe Beach, Devon, United Kingdom

7. Elafonissi Beach, Crete, Greece

8. Cala Mariolu, Baunei, Sardinia, Italy

9. Balos Lagoon, Kissamos, Greece

10. Black Sand Beach, Vik, Iceland

11. Rhossili Bay, Rhossili, United Kingdom

12. St. Brelade’s Bay Beach, Jersey

13. Simos Beach, Elafonisos, Greece

14. Playa de Muro Beach, Mallorca, Spain

15. Cala Goloritze, Baunei, Sardinia, Italy

16. Fig Tree Bay, Protaras, Cyprus

17. As Catedrais Beach, Ribadeo, Spain

18. La Cote des Basques, Biarritz, France

19. Iztuzu Beach, Dalyan, Turkey

20. Konnos Bay, Ayia Napa, Cyprus

21. Spiaggia di Cala Rossa, Isola di Favignana, Sicily

22. Falesia Beach, Olhos de Agua, Portugal

23. Banna Strand, Tralee, Ireland

24. Praia Da Rocha, Portugal

25. Derrynane Beach, Caherdaniel, Ireland

Source: TripAdvisor  


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