10 Expensive Beach Vacations That are Worth Every Penny

Some experiences are simply worth the money — and any one of these 10 beach destinations fits the bill.
Updated May 8, 2024
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family on lilo relaxing on the beach

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You already know how important it is to scrimp and save, especially during tumultuous economic times. But splurging occasionally is just as important as saving.

Once you’ve made a little extra cash and can reward yourself, head for one of these 10 expensive beach vacations, each of which is worth every penny.

Nungwi Beach — Zanzibar, Tanzania

olyasolodenko/Adobe tropical sandy Nungwi beach on Zanzibar Tanzania

Dreaming of far-off beaches with white coral sands and turquoise waves as far as the eye can see? Zanzibar is a small set of islands right off the East African coast with many beaches that meet that description. However, Nungwi Beach is probably the most ideal.

Nungwi Beach’s tides are stable, meaning there isn’t the extreme variation between high and low tides you’ll find on many other beaches. You can enjoy the same wide expanse of sand throughout the day instead of having to scurry away from waves during high tide.

And if you want a break from simply relaxing on the beach, Nungwi activities include everything from catamaran sailing to deep-sea fishing.

Perivolos Beach — Santorini, Greece

Roman Bjuty/Adobe Perivolos beach on Santorini island in Greece

Santorini’s famous volcanic sands come in shades of white, black, and red. On Perivolos Beach, you can relax on a long stretch of beautiful black sand that highlights the clear, deep blue of the Aegean Sea.

While staying at any of the high-end resorts alongside Perivolos Beach, you can also visit the island’s ancient ruins, volcanic hot springs, and the nearby Nea Kameni Volcanic Park.

El Nido — Palawan, The Philippines

DreamArchitect/Adobe coastal scenery of El Nido Palawan Island

Palawan Province is a series of islands located in the Mimaropa area of the Philippines. The islands aren’t as well-known to tourists as beaches like Bora Bora. As a result, they’re still pristine, from their old-growth forests to the beautiful Tubbataha Reefs.

You could spend months beach-hopping your way through Palawan, but the area’s must-see location is the small island of El Nido. There are around 50 unique beaches around the island, and because El Nido is nestled inside a cove, surrounding boats can’t see (or be seen from) most beaches.

If you’re a scuba enthusiast, El Nido is particularly appealing. It’s home to the Philippines’ biggest marine sanctuary, and the entire island is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Lizard Island — Queensland, Australia

Uwe/Adobe spectacular view from Captain Cooks

If you’ve ever wanted to explore the Great Barrier Reef, Lizard Island is the place to do so. You can access the island via an hour-long flight from mainland Australia.

Once you arrive, explore dozens of beaches, enjoy sweeping views of the Great Barrier Reef from the hotel balcony, and take a lush hike across the island to get a panoramic look at the entire area.

You can also reach Cod Hole from Lizard Island. As one of the world’s most popular dive sites, Cod Hole is home to massive potato cod that happily approach divers for a quick hello.

Anse d’Est Beach — North Island (Ile du Nord), Seychelles

Igor Tichonow/Adobe Grand Anse beach at La Digue island in Seychelles

Seychelles is an extensive archipelago with 115 islands in total. While each island is distinctly beautiful, none outperform the luxurious, exclusive beaches of North Island, or Ile du Nord.

The island has been privately owned since 1826. In the late 1990s, an ecotourism company bought the island with the intent to restore the island’s original biodiversity while creating a one-of-a-kind tourist experience.

The island has just 11 villas, each with its own pool. If you can secure a spot, you’ll enjoy beautiful sunrises over the island’s primary beach, Anse d’Est. All 11 villas overlook the beach from cozy spots near the beach’s treeline.

Cable Beach — New Providence, the Bahamas

Steve Azer/Adobe Island Life on the blue Cable Beach Nassau Bahamas

It would be impossible to list the world’s best beach vacations without including the Bahamas. Cable Beach, located just outside the capital city Nassau on the island of New Providence, exemplifies the country’s famous white sands.

If you get tired of swimming through crystal-clear water or lounging on the pristine sand, you can always take a quick break at one of the nearby casinos.

Pro tip: If you are planning a vacation, make sure you take advantage of the rewards you can earn from using one of the top travel credit cards.

Frenchman’s Cove — Port Antonio, Jamaica

Ralf/Adobe beautiful Caribbean landscape with secluded turquoise reef lagoon

Every beach in Port Antonio has something to offer, from the picturesque Blue Lagoon to privately owned snorkeling haven San San Beach. But if you’re after luxurious resort treatment alongside a small, secluded beach, Frenchman’s Cove is the place for you.

Frenchman’s Cove features 18 villas and 10 rooms in the main house. A river running down to the cove provides a beautiful freshwater alternative to splashing in the sea, but there’s plenty of beach to explore, not to mention acres of gorgeous Caribbean forestland.

Laucala Island — Fiji

planetjohnson/Adobe Fiji Island

This privately owned island is 7 miles long and hosts only 25 uniquely designed villas, which means there’s ample space to explore its beaches and forests in near solitude.

While each villa has its own pool, you can also dive into the Laucala Island Resort’s rectangular pool, the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest.

Reethi Beach — Republic of Maldives

Wirestock Creators/Adobe Reethi Beach Resort

The Republic of Maldives is a cluster of islands and atolls off the coast of India and Sri Lanka. It’s home to the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, which is designated by the local government as an environmentally unique site for sustainable development.

To access the tiny island that hosts Reethi Beach, you’ll either fly in via seaplane or transfer from a regular flight to a speedboat. 

It’s hard to get more secluded than that, but you’ll still be close to world-famous sites like Hanifaru Bay, home to jellyfish, grey sharks, turtles, whale sharks, and awe-inspiring swarms of reef manta rays.

Red Frog Beach — Isla Bastimentos, Panama

Bogdan Lazar/Adobe Red Frog Beach Bocas del Toro Panama

Panama’s comparatively small mainland is surrounded by more than 1,400 islands, some in the Pacific Ocean and some in the Caribbean Sea. You’ll find Red Frog Beach on the Caribbean side of the country.

The beach is perfect for seeing the red frogs it’s named for. And thanks to a sandbar off the coast, you can do a little bit of surfing if conditions are right.

Bottom line

moofushi/Adobe couple walks down a tropical beach

If you’re a sand, surf, and sun kind of person, we’re sure you already have a list of beaches to visit. But consider adding these 10 destinations to your list.

They’re worth the cost: After all, what’s the point of saving all that extra money if you can’t fit in a world-class vacation?

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Author Details

Michelle Smith Michelle Smith has spent a decade writing for and about small businesses. She specializes in all things finance and has written for publications like G2 and SmallBizDaily. When she's not writing for work at her desk, you can usually find her writing for pleasure near large bodies of water.

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