17 Breathtaking Beaches To Fuel Your 2017 Wanderlust

17 Breathtaking Beaches to Fuel Your 2017 Wanderlust

Making vacation plans and getting ready to stoke your wanderlust have been scientifically proven to improve health. If the idea of a memorable vacation is synonymous with catching sunrays, relaxing on powdery sand, swimming among all kinds of colorful fish, and enjoying a nice cool breeze, then you are dreaming of being on one of the following breathtaking beaches. For a good time, all you really need is sun, sand and a body of water. But if you want a truly phenomenal beach experience, then you'll likely want to consider a special trip to one of them.

Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Ipanema Beach is the iconic sandy spot in Rio de Janeiro that lends beach-wear trends to the rest of the world. The shore is so famous it's even been named in a song from the 60s. Ipanema is well known for wild surf, fantastic sunsets, and posts that divide it up into cultural sections. See the surrounding area on a bike tour or take a cable car up Pao de Acucar.

Tikehau Island, French Polynesia

It's often referred to as the Pink Sand Island. Tikehau is considered to be one of the most beautiful isles in French Polynesia, according to Tahiti Tourisme. The bright-blue water, stunning shores, fresh air, friendly people, and their homes awash with gardens, lure thousands of tourists each year. Snorkeling here is breathtaking as fish seem to outnumber people one-billion-to one.

Dreamland Beach, Bali

This stunning hidden white sand beach in Bali is secluded by limestone cliffs that line the rugged coastline of the southern Bukit Peninsula. It is more accessible now after a huge development of the Pecatu Graha and Pecatu Indah Resort projects. Don't fret, though; it has kept its rugged charm. Beachgoers, day-trippers and surfers love the reef breaks near the shore and paddle out to the neighboring world-class reef breaks – Balangan and Impossibles.

Anse Source d’Argent, Seychelles

Being there is a dream come true, especially if you are a photographer. The pure white sand and unique rock formations have been featured in many movies and TV shows. You can see fish swimming around without snorkeling, which you don't need to do in order to enjoy marine life, due to the shallow waters. You may even spot a sea turtle swimming off the shore. Go early in the morning to avoid the crowds. The entry fee gives you access to the park and museum where you can see old coconut mills and giant turtles.

Rabbit Beach, Lampedusa, Italy

The isolated location of this stunning beach, which is about 100 miles off the Italian coast, makes it very special. The people you will meet there are mostly avid travelers. The clear azure water is shallow so you can swim or walk way into the bay. Snorkelers love to do that. TripAdvisor consistently votes Rabbit Beach as one of the best beaches in the world. Also, this is as far in Italy as you can go before the African coast.

Piscinas Beach, Arbus, Sardinia

Piscinas beach is near the historically rich town of Piscinas, along the famous Costa Verde coastline. It is uniquely surrounded by sand dunes formed by the natural forces of the Mistral, according to Sardinia Beaches. The dunes can be up to 200 feet tall and can reach into the Sardinian mainlands for more than half a mile. Not far away from the shore lies the wreck of an ancient lead vessel that is a perfect scuba diving attraction.

Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda

Bermuda is very popular for its pink-sand beaches, and Horseshoe Bay is a grand example of why that is. Imagine miles of pastel pink-hued sand and stunning turquoise waves – it's hard to resist them. They make the 21-mile-long land a worthy beach destination. Adventures also love to go. It's not just the swimming and snorkeling that are exciting here; anything from bodysurfing to caving is available as well.

El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

If you're looking for a mixture of adventure and tranquility, you have found your destination. Palawan is full of amazing landscapes, beautiful beaches, and a vast marine life. El Nido is a prime destination for island hopping and marine and wildlife reserve, according to El Nido Philippines. Scuba diving is very popular here. There are more than 30 dive sites for varying levels and skills – from taking the plunge and learning to extreme sport to perfecting your skills.

Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland

Iceland has several black sand beaches but Reynisfjara is one of the coolest and most impressive. It features an amazing cliff of regular basalt columns resembling a rocky step pyramid, which is called Hálsanef, according to Guide to Iceland. Out in the sea are the spectacularly shaped basalt sea stacks Reynisdrangar. The area has a rich birdlife, including puffins, fulmars, and guillemots. They are especially strong and unpredictable, so swimming is not advised.

Carmel City Beach, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Wanderlust or not, you absolutely must visit this beach. California is a big state and you will find many different beaches, but Carmel Beach is something else. Even though it's located in a small and artsy chic town along the state's amazing coastal highway, it maintains its old-fashioned vibe. The main beach also has a laid-back atmosphere, which you may not expect from a beach in California. Swimming is not allowed, but you would go there for the cozy feeling, picnicking, and kite flying anyway.

Cathedrals Beach, Ribadeo, Spain

Playa de las Catedrais is an astonishing coastline dotted with arches and caves, which resemble cathedrals. You should go see it while you still can. This amazing natural wonder also goes by its official name, which translates to Beach of the Holy Waters. The biggest attraction is the walk between the cliffs at low tide when a big collection of rock formations and caves of stunning beauty are uncovered.

One Foot Island, Aitutaki, Cook Islands

The small islet in the south-east of Aitutaki is one of the uninhabited motu or islets in the lagoon. Its beach was voted the best in the whole the Pacific region at the 2010 and 2012 World Travel Awards. The island looks like a left foot when seen from above.

Waipio Valley Beach, Big Island, Hawaii

The gorgeous valley is one of the most incredible places on the Big Island. It was once home to Hawaiian royalty who oversaw the cultivation of taro root in the valley's fertile earth. Many still consider the place sacred. The trifocal beauty is 1 mile across and over 5 miles deep. It is surrounded by cliffs up to 2,000 feet high. Hawaii Island's tallest waterfall, Hiilawe Falls cascades down 1,300 feet in the back of Waipio, according to Go Hawaii.

Trunk Bay, St. John, USVI

This is by far one of the most gorgeous beaches in the Caribbean. But go early in the morning because it gets really busy later in the day. Try the Underwater Trail, which is a snorkeling path of coral and fish with underwater signs. Boat tours, scuba diving and snorkeling are by far the most popular activities for tourists.

Blue Beach (La Chiva), Vieques, Puerto Rico

The name of this breathtaking beach that was voted one of the best in the Caribbean is not a coincidence. Starting at the west end of the La Chiva, the tones are a deeper turquoise with tones of navy blue on the horizon.  The first few stops are great spot for visitors who want the most solitude since the majority of beachgoers head to the other end to snorkel. The waters are calm and shallow, making them perfect for swimming and safe for children.

Bahia Gardner, Española Island, Galapagos

The beach at Gardner Bay offers a great experience if you are looking to relax in Galapagos. The expansive white sand beach, one of the longest in Galapagos at 1.2 miles, attracts many napping sea lions, and tourists, according to Galapagos Conservancy. There is no inland trail and visitors are required to stay on the beach. Three species of Darwin's finches and Española Mockingbirds may be seen at this site. Swimming and snorkeling along the rocks in the shallow water near the beach are favorite activities.

Harbour Island, Bahamas

The island is famous for its stunning pink shores. Make sure you visit Pink Sands Beach. The color comes from little coral particles mixed in with the white sand. It glows beautifully, especially at sunset. This 3-mile beach is perfect for swimming in gentle water, relaxing, and scuba diving. Pink Sands is protected from the strong waves coming from the Atlantic by a coral reef.