The Most Beautiful Hidden Beaches in the World

PPHRYN The Cies Islands are home to some of Spain's best hidden beaches
PPHRYN The Cies Islands are home to some of Spain's best hidden beaches | © MISCELLANEOUSTOCK / Alamy
Photo of Cassam Looch
Social Editor29 April 2021

The hunt for the perfect beach means that many of the best spots in the world are well known to holidaymakers, leaving them overcrowded at the best of times. We’ve delved a little deeper and come up with a few options from around the globe that you have probably never heard of. Here is our collection of the most beautiful hidden beaches in the world.

Redhead Beach

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Aerial view of Redhead beach - Newcastle NSW Australia. Redhead beach is one of the best beaches in the Hunter Region.
© Ben Jeayes / Alamy

You aren’t exactly short of options in New South Wales, or indeed in many of the other coastal states of Australia, but this spot is still something of a precious find. Rocky cliffs shelter the main stretch of sand and perhaps it is the steep inclines that put off unsuspecting sunseekers, as they can initially feel intimidating. Once you’re on the beach itself though, you’re in for a treat. Further along the coast you’ll find Nine Mile Beach, a solid alternative with its sections dedicated to dog walkers and 4WD enthusiasts.

Totaranui Beach

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Totaranui Beach, Abel Tasman National Park, Nelson Region, South Island, New Zealand. Image shot 2011. Exact date unknown.
© Greg Balfour Evans / Alamy

Among the sheltered gems nestled within Abel Tasman National Park, you’ll find the spectacular Totaranui Beach. With clear, blue waters and golden sands, this is the ideal spot to unwind after a spot of trekking – either by cooling down with a swim, or trying your hand at kayaking and fishing. There’s also a campground nearby if you want to spend a little longer taking in your surroundings.

Playa de Rodas

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Praia de Rodas beach in islas Cies island of Vigo at Spain.
© Tono Balaguer / agefotostock / Alamy

We’ve been obsessing over the Spanish region of Galicia recently. Seemingly home to everything we want from a holiday in one convenient package, the area is best known for its lush, green landscapes, but there are also fantastic beaches here. The island chain of Islas Cíes (Cies Islands) hides the stunning, white sand beach of Playa de Rodas, which those in the know rank as one of the best beaches in the country.


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Triopetra beach
© Georgios Tsichlis / Alamy Stock Photo

This relatively untouched beach is named after the three rocks that lend the shore its dramatic looks. Like many of the best beaches on the Greek island of Crete, Triopetra has turquoise water crashing against pristine sand, with the big difference being a distinct lack of big crowds. As the location is slightly further away from the main airport than more commercial resorts, it is best to travel here by car. Once you’ve parked up, however, you can leave all of those stresses behind and enjoy the incredible views.

Cala Corsara

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Scenic view over the picturesque Cala Corsara in the island of Spargi, one of the highlights of the Maddalena Archipelago, Sardinia, Italy
© Marco Rubino Photography / Alamy

A hidden cove on the island of Spargi in the Sardinian Archipelago della Maddalena, this tempting spot is untamed and wild. That makes it ideal for those seeking isolation, but a bit of a challenge for more casual travellers. If you’re up for an adventure you can hop on one of the boats on the island and seek out the beach yourself.

Fornillo Beach

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Spiaggia del Fornillo, beach, coast of Amalfi, Naples, Campania, Italy
© Arco / B. Bönsch / Imagebroker / Alamy

Here’s proof that even the busiest destinations still have plenty to discover for curious travellers. The Amalfi Coast is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe and cute villages like Positano have become a favourite for Instagrammers around the world. If you see the crowds on the main beach here, don’t worry, all you have to do is follow the shaded path to Fornillo. Here you’ll be able to enjoy a cold drink and the best cuisine like a true local.

Three Cliffs Bay

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Three Cliffs Bay, Gower peninsula, Swansea, Wales
© Jeff Tucker / Alamy

Three Cliffs Bay is a picturesque cove that is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful sites in Wales. The surrounding area might not meet the standards of the ultimate destination, but that’s not to say that the rough terrain is too off-putting either. All of that doesn’t really matter when you finally get to the water, with this beach one of the best-kept secrets in the UK.

Pentle Bay

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The path Pentle Bay beach, Tresco Isles of Scilly.  Cornwall UK.
© way out west photography / Alamy

While tourists understandably flock to Cornwall’s picturesque beaches and towns, few venture as far as the Isles of Scilly, even though they lie just a little way offshore. The Isles can only be reached by ferry (or small plane if you’re really fancy) but the journey is worth it. At Pentle Bay, on the Isle of Tresco, rugged grassland lines a narrow sand beach where the waters shimmer in myriad hues of blue.

Yonaha Maehama Beach

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Yonaha Maibama Beach, Miyakojima, Okinawa, Japan

Japan isn’t the first place you think of when it comes to a beach holiday, largely due to the plethora of enchanting vistas you’ll find elsewhere in the country. The coastline of Okinawa, however, will quickly change your mind and Yonaha Maehama is regarded as the best beach on the tropical island paradise. Though there are hotels and campsites a little further inland, you’ll rarely find encounter beachgoers on a trip here.

Secret Beach

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Secret Beach near Brookings and Bold Beach Oregon. Image shot 2011. Exact date unknown.
© David Gralian / Alamy

Not only is the name of the beach a dead giveaway, but can you believe that one of the best beaches in America is in Oregon? Whilst not a secret among the locals, who prefer to find spots away from the crowds, Secret Beach remains blissfully isolated. Anyone hoping to visit needs to be aware that you can only venture here at low tide. Still, all things considered, this is one to write home about.

Puerto Morelos

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Beach and Pelicanos Yacht Club pier from the malecon in Puerto Morelos, Riviera Maya, Mexico.
© Greg Vaughn / VWPics / Alamy Stock Photo

When the crowds of Cancun become too unruly for your liking, take a trip to the quiet fishing village of Puerto Morelos. There’s a noticeable change of pace here and the relaxed vibe makes for an authentic experience. Explore the sea and go snorkelling in the clear waters, or simply look on from a sun lounger on the white sandy beach.

These recommendations were updated on April 29, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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