Ok, we won’t leave you hanging. Vacation season is sadly (if inevitably) coming to an end, so we figured we’d bring you a week of the world’s very best beaches, so you can at the very least begin planning for next year. Or feed your daydreams. And we’re starting way up high, with the top 10 cliff-top beaches on Earth.
1. Navagio Beach, Zakynthos, Greece
Navagio Beach on the Ionian Island of Zakynthos is one of Greece’s most pristine treasures. The luscious land is only accessible by boat, and the water keeps calm and blue.
2. Legzira Beach, Morocco
Legzira Beach lies along the coast of southern Morocco, where the Atlantic Ocean has washed arches into the red stone cliffs. At low tide, the canopies and caverns are walkable, so don’t miss a chance to go exploring.
3. Maya Bay, Ko Phi Phi, Thailand
The Krabi province of Thailand is a mountainous stretch of six spectacular islands. Ko Phi Phi is not accessible by car or plane, but it’s only about an hour’s boat ride from Phuket. The towering limestone precipices surrounding pristine water make the journey to Maya Bay well-worth any small sea-bound excursion.
4. McWay Cove, Big Sur, California
McWay Cove is nestled between the rocks of McWay Falls in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. This treasure lies along California’s iconic Highway 1 in Big Sur. Unfortunately, beach access at the Cove is prohibited by land (scaling the rocks is dangerous!), but if you can roll in by sea, feel free to spend the day. Of course, there are public access beaches nearby if you’re not up to the pirate challenge.
5. Dias Beach, Cape Point, South Africa
Dias Beach is hidden on the tip of South Africa. It was christened Cape of Storms by explorer Bartolomeu Dias in 1488. Today, Dias Beach featured a scenic hike down to the shoreline, but the water is a little wild, so you might want to stick to sunbathing on the warm sands.
6. Tropea, Italy
The Calabrian Coast is right at the toe of Italy’s boot, offering a different sort of high drama. The clifftop town of Tropea is built into the hillside, and looks down on the clear Tyrrhenian Sea. It may not be quiet and secluded, but Tropea is equally as breathtaking.
7. Etretat, France
The natural whitewashed arches off the coast of Etretat, France, has offered inspiration to Claude Monet and other impressionists. A small resort town lies just beyond the beaches that foot the cliff.
8. Cape Leveque, The Kimberley, Australia
To make it to Cape Leveque, you’re going to need a capable four-wheel-drive vehicle. The rocky edge of Western Australia’s Dampier Peninsula is more than three-hour drive from Broome, but after all, it’s not about the journey, its about the destination… right? The swimming, snorkeling and all-around atmosphere at Cape Leveque is unparalleled, as red cliffs rise up all around and white sandy beaches stretch along the shoreline.
9. Little Bay Beach, Anguilla
By rope or by boat? These are the only two ways to reach Little Bay Beach. But the crystal clear, calm waters and green cliffs are motivation enough. Be careful!
10. As Catedrais, Galicia, Spain
Spain’s Galician coastline boasts naturally carved arches that resemble a cathedral, so we call this seaside treasure As Catedrais. The waters remain shallow for a ways, so you may easily wade through the rocky maze.
(All images courtesy CNN.com)