15 phenomenal beaches to beat the winter blues

a beach with hut and two chairs
Photo by f9photos/Shutterstock

It took winter a long time to get started this year, but now it feels like it might never end. If you need a way to fight off the March blahs, try planning a trip somewhere beautiful; it will help you look ahead to warmer days, until spring and summer finally arrive to rescue us.

These stunning and unique beaches from around the world will make you feel the sun on your face and the sand between your toes before you’ve even boarded your flight. From seashell shores, to pink sand, to crystal clear waters; each beach paradise is a perfect cure for the winter blues.

1. Awash Beach, Maldives

a beach in the Maldives

Photo courtesy of Diarytraveler.com

Visiting Awash Beach on a clear night is like being in a snow-globe of starlight, with the sky above and the bioluminescent phytoplankton below.

2. Pink Sand Beach, Bahamas

Bahamas pink beach

Photo courtesy of Feel-planet.com

The colour contrast between the turquoise water and the pink coral beach make Pink Sand Beach a visual dream.

3. Shell Beach, Shark Bay, Australia

Shark by beach with shells

Photo courtesy of Ifyouwannagojustgo.com

This beach is a shell collector’s dream vacation destination. The entire beach is made up of sun-bleached shells that might not be comfortable for walking on, but are visually stunning next to the gentle waves breaking on the shore.

4. Giant’s Causeway Beach, Ireland

Giants Causeway Beach, Ireland

Photo courtesy of Enjoythemomentrituals.com

A natural wonder of the UK, Giants Causeway Beach is the result of an ancient volcano irruption. The outcome is a beautiful natural stepping stone shore made of basalt columns that some say were carved by a mighty giant.

5. The Beach of the Cathedrals, Ribadeo, Spain

The Beach of the Cathedrals, Ribadeo, Spain

Photo courtesy of Cf.broadsheet.ie

This beach was aptly named because of the natural formations of cliffs, caves, and arches. During high tide you can appreciate the breathtaking view from the edge of the cliffs, while low tide provides access to the picturesque sea caves.

6. Hidden beach in Marieta, Mexico

Hidden beach in Marieta, Mexico

Photo courtesy of Plethorist.com

This beach is a charming and beautiful lover’s paradise—if you can find it. Tucked away on a lush green island is a beach found beneath the surface of the surrounding earth, a hideaway accessible only by kayak or breaststroke.

7. Punaluu Black Sand Beach, Hawaii

Panualu'u Beach

Photo courtesy of Travelchannel.com

This beach is unforgettable because of its unlikely basalt sand; black as night thanks to volcano eruptions. This beach is also home to endangered green sea turtles, who come ashore after feasting on their favourite red seaweed.

8. Pfeiffer Purple Sand Beach, California

Pfeiffer Purple Sand Beach, California

Photo courtesy of Flickr

Imagine spilling pink and purple ink on a painting of your beach vacation, and that will help you imagine Pfeiffer Purple Sand Beach. Make sure you stop by at sunset when the sky overflows onto the beach.

9. The Grotto, Tobermory, Ontario

The Grotto, Tobermory, Ontario

Photo courtesy of Goingawesomeplaces.com

This one is in Canada, so you’ll have to wait for warmer weather, but you will not regret the wait. The Grotto is one of the most beautiful places in Ontario, set on Georgian Bay, the rocky shorelines provide plenty of amazing views up top, and great cave jumping underneath.

10. Bora Bora, Tahiti

Bora Bora, Tahiti

Photo courtesy of Edu-geography.com

Bora Bora is heaven on earth. Nothing else needs to be said.

11. The Seychelles, Africa


Photo by Mustseehowto.blogspot.ca

The Seychelles is actually an island located in the Indian Ocean, but it made this list because every single one of its beaches is pure bliss.

12. Siesta Key Beach, Florida

Siesta Key Beach

Photo courtesy of Bentleyssarasota.com

The sand is white as snow, but much more fun to wriggle your toes in.

13. Mali Bok Beach, Cres, Croatia

Mali Bok Beach, Cres, Croatia

Photo courtesy of Timertl.com

This hidden gem is near a small village on the Croatian island of Cres. Swimming in the clear blue-green Adriatic will make you forget there ever was a winter.

14. Layang-Layang Beaches, Malaysia

Layang-Layang Beaches, Malaysia

Photo courtesy of Avillion.com

The air is clear and the views never seem to end on this secluded island in the South China Sea. This is the perfect place to enjoy a quiet afternoon of relaxation, followed by a captivating sunset.

15. Cathedral Cove, New Zealand

Cathedral Cove, New Zealand

Photo courtesy of Thecoromandel.com

Accessible only by foot or by boat, Cathedral Cove has astounding coastal views and naturally formed archways that provide ample inspiration for traveling photographers. Not to mention the fantastic snorkeling opportunities, invigorating hiking trails, and dazzling secluded coves.

Also on RNR: