If you’re lucky enough to wash up on any of these shores (and hopefully you will be), you won’t need any filters to make them look more appetising- just point and shoot. Et voila. Instant screensavers to get you through the next decade.
Waimanalo, Oahu, Hawaii, USA
You may recognise sections of this idyll from Lost, particularly the end farthest from Honolulu, which abuts a US Air Force Base. On a weekday it’s just the right amount of empty, the water so crystal clear you can see giant sea turtles swimming beside you without a mask.
Katergo, Folegandros, Greece
Only an hour’s ferry from the hustle and bustle of Santorini, this beach on one of the quietest Cycladean Islands is a 20 minute hike across a sage-covered headland, which helps separate the wheat from the chaff. Clothes optional.
Accessible only by boat, this is Mecca for college kids smart enough to need a break from Full Moons and guests at the luxurious resorts nearby who want to venture beyond their enclaves.
Byron Bay, NSW
If it weren’t for the occasional shark attack, which we grant is a major minus, this would be Paradise. Big surf, towering dunes, al fresco yoga classes and a choice of seclusion or scene depending where you park yourself.
Aquinnah, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, USA
Also known as Gay Head, the perfect Atlantic beach for long walks and skinny dips lies at the base of high clay cliffs. It was Jackie O’s favourite place in the world and she got around.
The black lava pebbles of Iceland’s southernmost beach and the other-worldly stone formations protruding from the sea make the Giant’s Causeway look like abandoned Lego. Drama and then some.
Pamilican Island, Philippines
Think sand the consistency of talcum powder, sprinkled with coral and neon blue water with more tropical fish than Finding Nemo.
Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
You could do a lot, lot, lot worse than getting shipwrecked here. Twelve miles of pristine sand and surf guarantee your own private stretch of perfection.
Platja Des Ses Illetes, Formentera, Spain
A short ferry South of Ibiza, and well off the beaten track, the water here is warm, shallow and HD clear. Well worth a day trip.
Beau Vallon, Mahe, Seychelles
Virtually all the beaches in the Seychelles are breathtaking, but some have strong undertows and are dangerous for swimmers. Not so this calm, tranquil spot.