It’s always beach weather somewhere in the world, but for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, come spring, we’re ready with our flip flops, floppy hats, and (ahem) swimsuit bodies. The trick, of course, is finding the best-kept secrets, tranquil beach destinations where you can bliss out crowd-free. Below are seven of the world’s most serene beaches—and the hotels that will help you take to the surroundings like a fish to the sea.
Praia da Barra Nova on the island of Armona, Portugal is a deserted, unspoiled stretch of sand with extremely appealing natural pools at low tide. Just a short boat ride from Vila Monte, the narrow strip of beach has azure waters on both sides, the song of ocean birds in the air, and little else to distract from the aquamarine waters and bright expanse of sky.
A charming fishing village with Ottoman roots—think historic stone houses, white boats bobbing in the harbor, old windmills, and rolling vineyards—Alacati is largely undiscovered outside Turkey. Perched at the edge of Old Town, Alavya is a short ride from the surrounding beaches, the closest and also one of the most secluded being Kum beach.
It’s the edge of South America, but it feels like the edge of the world. Neighboring a nature reserve, Brazil’s Barra de São Miguel beach unfolds the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean against an endless indigo sky. At the strand’s only hotel, Kenoa – Exclusive Beach Spa & Resort stresses dissolve like dew under the Brazilian sun.
Welcome to spice island! Showcasing the best of what makes the Caribbean such a pine-worthy destination, Grenada is brimming with lush tropical bounty, clear aquamarine waters, and a chill happy vibe that is infectious. On the southwest of the island in St. George’s, Laluna sits in quiet solitude on Portici Beach.
Zanzibar is where Dr. Livingstone presumed that he was “in paradise”—with its turquoise waters, blazingly white coral-sand, and unique flora and fauna, it is little wonder. Located on the northwestern coast, Zuri Zanzibar on Kendwa Beach is the perfect springboard to this laidback, culturally-rich piece of paradise.
One of Bali’s legendary surf spots, Padang Padang Beach is located on the northwestern coast of the island’s Bukit Peninsula. Set along the dramatic cliffs here, the sustainability-minded Suarga Padang Padang overlooks powdery white sand beaches, a roiling Indian Ocean, and spectacular sunsets.
No list of best beach destinations would be complete without a Greek island—charming, sleepy Serifos, with its unusually dramatic peaked landscape easily outshines most. Located on the lovely Vagia beach, Coco-Mat Eco Residences Serifos by the eponymous interiors brand offers an authentic, albeit alternative Cycladic experience.