Top 10 Best snorkeling beaches

For all the snorkel addicts seeking easy access reefs directly from the shore, get inspired for your next destination.

Here are some of the most beautiful and best snorkeling beaches around the world!

1. Maldives, Indian Ocean

Maldives reef for snorkeling aerial
The Maldives is a nation of islands which span across the Indian Ocean

Without a doubt, the Maldivian islands offer some of the best snorkeling beaches on earth.

Tiny sun-drenched atolls string for miles across clear aquamarine waters, each one with its very own picture perfect white sand beach.

Rich drop-offs encircle the islands and are easily reached in just a few steps from the shore.

If you’d like to be stranded on a desert island with your loved one, the Maldives has to be one of the best snorkeling honeymoon destinations out there!

2. Pink Beach, Komodo

Pink beach snorkeling in Komodo
Pink Beach gets its colour from microscopic organisms called Foraminifere which produce the red pigment in coral reefs

For some of the best snorkeling in Asia, look no further than Pink Beach in Komodo National Park, Indonesia.

Famed for its unique peachy blush hues, these rare and beautiful shores are certainly a sight to behold, but lets not forget what this region is really renowned for.

Nutrient rich waters surround the Komodo Islands which are packed full of exceptional coral reefs, overflowing with marine life, including colourful anthias fish and many types of rays.

The ripping currents of Komodo make it more suitable for strong and healthy snorkelers.

However, the rewards are endless, the current attracts many larger fish like Giant Trevally and Barracuda, making Pink Beach one one of the most heart pumping, best snorkeling beaches in Indonesia, and indeed the world.

3. Hanauma Bay, Hawaii

Hanauma Bay beach and reef landscape
Hanauma Bay is home to a wide variety of marine species including the Humuhumunukunukuapuaa, the state fish of Hawaii

For Hawaii’s best snorkeling beach, look no further than Hanauma Bay in the east of Oahu.

This fantastic Nature Preserve was once a volcanic crater, making its surrounding cone shaped reef both calm and rich in marine species.

Wading from the white sand shores, it will take little to no time at all before you are greeted by friendly parrotfish, damsel fish, porcupine fish, jacks, eels and plenty of crustaceans.

4. Ningaloo Reef, Australia

baby black tip sharks on Ningaloo beach
Ningaloo is Australia’s easiest access reef, which is teeming with life just steps away from the shore

Despite the reputation of the Great Barrier Reef being the best place to snorkel in Australia, Ningaloo on the West Coast is a great alternative, especially because this particular reef can be accessed straight from the shore.

This World Heritage Site is home to the longest fringing reef on the planet and with empty sand dunes stretching for miles.

Its unique scenery provides some of the best snorkeling beaches you will ever see.

The marine life found underwater at Ningaloo Reef is astounding, from the tiny Blue-Ringed Octopus to Giant Oceanic Mantas and Reef Sharks to Humpback Whales.

5. Koh Tao, Thailand

Aerial of the best snorkeling beach in Koh Tao
There are so many snorkel sites to choose from around Koh Tao, making it some of the best snorkeling in Asia

Some of Thailands best snorkeling beaches can be found on the small outcrop of Koh Tao, nestled in the heart of the Thai Gulf.

Having long been a haven for ocean lovers and backpackers alike, this affordable destination is an ideal choice for snorkelers and scuba divers on a budget.

Rustic beach bungalows tucked away in the rocky palm-fringed coast sit just yards from the warm waters where an abundance of coral reefs and tropical fish and shark species can be accessed straight from the sand.

To find the best spots on the island, check out the Snorkeling Koh Tao Guide – by Remote & Afloat

6. Honduras, Caribbean

under and over water shot of Honduras reef
The Islas de la Bahia are considered to be some of the best snorkeling in Honduras and indeed the Caribbean

The island of Honduras sits at the very tip of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second biggest barrier reef in the world.

Honduras is easily considered as one of the best places to snorkel in the Caribbean, specifically around the Islas de la Bahia or ‘Bay Islands’ which consist of Roatan, Utila and Guanaja.

These stunning atolls are surrounded by ample white sands, but most importantly their abundant reefs are packed with exciting fish and coral species.

The crystal clear visibility make the Islas de la Bahia some of the best snorkeling beaches in the world.

7. Ghar Lapsi, Malta

Rocks and Crystal clear waters of Ghar Lapsi
The crystal clear waters of Ghar Lapsi offer up to 20 metres of visibility during the summer months - image Mario Galea

The hidden gem of Ghar Lapsi beach in Malta, is classed as one of the best places to snorkel in Europe.

This natural lagoon sits within a secluded bay, enticing swimmers, snorkelers and divers to sample its deep azure waters.

Thanks to its bouldered shoreline, Ghar Lapsi is home to several enchanting swim through caves, which can be accessed and explored by all.

As the bay is well protected from the open ocean, the seas here are flat and calm making them a perfect choice for families and beginner snorkelers.

8. Moorea, French Polynesia

Secluded Polynesian beach with Turquoise water
Come face to face with an array of marine life in Moorea’s warm lagoon

One of the best snorkeling resorts in the world has to be the Hilton in Moorea, which offers some of the most spectacular shore snorkeling on the island.

Accessible directly from the resorts bright white beach is a shallow pool full of colourful reef fish species such as angelfish, triggerfish, butterflyfish and many types of starfish.

Float atop those famous French Polynesian waters and admire the healthy soft and hard coral garden below.

The Hilton is one of French Polynesia’s best snorkeling honeymoon resorts and for non-residents it is possible to purchase a day pass that gives you access to the beach, lagoon and an inclusive lunch.

9. Dahab, Egypt

Snorkeling a Coral Reef in Dahab
Dahab is by far one of the most beautiful house reefs in Egypt for both snorkelers and divers alike

The striking coastline of Dahab situated in southeast Sinai, is one of Egypt’s best snorkeling beaches.

It is also home to the famous Blue Hole, the worlds most dangerous dive site.

Thankfully for snorkelers, its sheer coral walls can be enjoyed at leisure by simply following the striking rugged coastline

Colourful coral colonies and thousands of tiny anthias fish coat this vertical drop off, making the Blue Hole one of the worlds most impressive places to snorkel.

After you’re done, kick back and relax in one of Dahab’s rustic beachside cabanas with an Egyptian mint tea and shisha if you wish.

10. Raja Ampat, West Papua

A karst island with beautiful beach and easy access ocean
Raja Ampat is the ultimate in immaculate house reef snorkeling

At the heart of the coral triangle, the archipelago of Raja Ampat is known to be the epicentre of marine biodiversity.

This remote region is so far removed from civilisation, that its reefs and beaches are probably some of the most pristine in existence.

For intrepid travelers and serious snorkelers, eco tourism is slowly on the increase, making it that bit more accessible – as long as you can hack the journey.

Rising from endless blue waters, distinctive limestone landscapes are framed by immaculate beaches littered with coconuts.

But whats really special about Raja Ampat is what lies beneath the surface.

The reefs here are teeming with life with miles of colourful soft corals, numerous tropical fish and nudibranch species, oceanic mantas, dugongs, turtles and giant bumphead parrotfish.

If you can imagine the best snorkeling in the world, Raja Ampat is it!

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