Best beaches in the world
Trip Start Jan 30, 2007
632Trip End Dec 31, 2011
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The idea of going surfing or for a dip in the ocean before work is a dream for many people, but for others it's part of daily life in a beach city.
Here's the list. We are still waiting for the 10 most polluted beaches in the world.
1. Miami, USA
Miami is where the world's jet-set come to top up their tans and dance until the early hours. Aside from being a tourism hub for its beaches, Miami is one of the country's busiest ports.
Best beach: Just 90 miles across the Atlantic Ocean from Cuba, South Beach is Miami's most iconic stretch of sand, and is bordered by Ocean Drive's restaurants, bars and hotels.
2. Dubai, UAE
Built from the ground up in the desert to be one of the world's busiest beachside cities, Dubai is known for its daring architecture, gaudy style and sweltering heat.
Best beach: Dubai relies heavily on its beautiful beaches, such as Jumeirah Beach, for tourism.
3. Barcelona, Spain
A heady mix of architecture, shopping and nightlife, Barcelona sits on the edge of the Mediterranean and boasts over 2.5 miles of stunning white-sand beaches.
Best beach: The city's signature strip of sand has to be Barceloneta Beach that attracts up to 7 million people a year.
4. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Cities don't come more beach-orientated than Rio de Janeiro. Home of the world-famous Carnival, the laid-back citizens of Rio love nothing more than donning their flip-flops for the beach.
Best beach: Stretching 2.5 miles from Princesa Isabel Avenue to Posto Seis, the iconic Copacabana Beach oozes an atmosphere of casual-beach chic.
5. Cape Town, South Africa
A city where sickening wealth rubs its Prada-clad shoulders with heartbreaking poverty, Cape Town has risen up the tourism ranks in the past decade to become a go-to place for expatriate residents looking for a better life in the sun.
Best beach: Clifton Beach is one of Cape Town's most glamorous waterfronts while Big Bay and Little Bay are best for water sports such as windsurfing.
6. Los Angeles, USA
The world's capital for popular culture and entertainment, LA is also recognized for its stunning array of beaches, thanks in large part to their many appearances on TV and in movies. Best beach: Though technically part of Los Angeles county, Santa Monica is by far the most renowned beach in the LA area, with TV show Baywatch filmed here during its run.
7. Brighton, UK
In the south of England, Brighton is steeped in history and was where the mods and rockers of the 1960s used to come. Unfortunately, the pier burned down years ago but a new one was built, complete with fairground rides, stalls and arcades.
Best beach: Aside from the hundreds of pubs and clubs, the beach is Brighton's biggest draw, with red-and-white striped deck chairs dotting its stony shorefront.
8. Sydney, Australia
With show-stopping architecture, such as the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge, a vibrant nightlife scene, and an abundance of natural beauty, there's a lot to do in Sydney but one of the biggest draws is undoubtedly the beaches.
Best beach: Bondi Beach is the most photographed stretch of sand in Australia and is famed for its excellent surfing.
9. Mumbai, India
Mumbai is the financial, commercial, industrial, and celluloid capital of India, but another one of Mumbai's points of interest is, of course, the beach. Juhu Beach, which sits just outside the city centre, is lined with Mumbai's best hotels.
Best beach: Fringed by Marina Drive on the western side of the city, Chowpatty Beach is Mumbai's most charismatic.
10. Venice, Italy
Venice's beaches are often overlooked given its meandering canals, gondola rides and stunning architecture. But the romantic Italian city is actually home to some of the most hush-hush beaches in Europe, where nature and history collide.
Best beach: Venice Lido is only 10 minutes away from the throngs of tourists that congregate around St Mark's Square, an 11-mile island that stretches between the open sea and a lagoon.