Are you feeling a little stressed and overwhelmed? Ready to escape from the real world for a while and sink your toes into the sand of a beautiful beach? There are many beaches in the world, but some are more stunning than others. Here are a few of the absolute best places in the world to enjoy an unforgettable beach holiday.

The Maldives

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This tropical paradise in the Indian Ocean is synonymous with dreamy beaches. It is made of 26 atolls, consisting of more than one thousand tiny coral islands. There are endless reefs, beaches and blue lagoons to explore here. The water is superb for scuba diving – it is clear and warm and beneath the surface you will find a colourful bouquet of diverse fish species. You can even scuba dive the wreck of the Maldive Victory.

Culebra Island, Puerto Rico

If you were to imagine the ideal tropical beach, it would probably look something like Playa Flamenco. It is a perfect U-shaped cove of soft white sand, lined with palm trees. You can swim within the sun-warmed turquoise water of the idyllic lagoon and let all of your cares melt away. The US military once used this island as a gunnery range (which explains why it is so undeveloped) and you can still see a rusting old tank in the middle of the sand. This gorgeous beach can be visited via ferry from Fajardo on the Puerto Rico mainland.

Seychelles

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The Seychelles are another scattering of tiny islands in the Indian Ocean, famous for their pristine nature and endangered sea turtles. You’ll be enchanted by this paradise of lush forests, surreal rock formation and rich Creole culture.

One of the most jaw-dropping beaches that the Seychelles has to offer is Source d’Argent, which is located within a secluded cove on La Digue (the 3rd largest island in the archipelago). The sand is tinged pink and is ringed with dramatic huge granite boulders. Another great beach is Anse Intendance, which has beach bars ideal for sunset drinks and great waves that attract surfers.

Antigua

The larger island of Antigua and Barbuda, this Caribbean hotspot fits the bill of a sun-soaked tropical beach dream come true. There are 365 beaches in Antigua, so you could lounge on a different one every day of the year. A great place to start is Dickenson Bay, which is a lively spot with beach bars and glass-bottom boat trips. Pigeon Point Beach is a family favourite, as the calm water is safe for swimming and the sea grape trees provide shade.

Thailand

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It’s almost impossible to choose the best beach in Thailand, as there are so many that will take your breath away. You can head to the unspoiled island of Koh Kradan, which is located in the Andaman Sea and boasts hammocks and excellent snorkeling in the crystal clear water. Or, head to Krabi where you can go trekking in the jungle or kayaking through mangrove forests before relaxing on the sand.

Where is your dream beach holiday? Let us know in the comments below.