Guardian Travel's Gavin McOwan has named his top 10 beaches of the world. See what he's talking about with our picture gallery and suggest your own top beaches on Been there, our interactive travel guide
1 / 10
Nungwi Beach in Zanzibar Tanzania. Gavin McOwan writes: 'The powder-white sand is so fine it literally squeaks between your toes.'
2 / 10
The Cook Islands, south Pacific. 'It takes forever to get to this coral atoll, necklaced by an azure lagoon.'
3 / 10
Las Islas Cies, Galicia, Spain. 'The wilder, stunning Atlantic coastline of Galicia, just north of Portugal, has far more dramatic praias - with far fewer people on them.'
4 / 10
Whitehaven Island, the Whitsundays, Queensland, Australia. 'For sheer, drop-dead gorgeousness Whitehaven is pretty special, with its super-fine, white silica sand surrounded by warm, clear azure waters'.
Photograph: Tourism Australia
5 / 10
Palawan, the Philippines. 'Although Alex Garland's backpacker odyssey The Beach is set in Thailand, he took much of the inspiration for the location from the Philippines.'
6 / 10
'The western island group of Palawan, which even Filipinos describe as their country's last frontier, is inconceivably exotic and tropical.'
7 / 10
Tayrona National Park, Colombia. 'I've never been as instantly impressed by a beach as I was the moment I set eyes on Tayrona'.
Arambol, Goa's northernmost beach. 'The spectacular sweeping stretch of sand is so beautiful it wins over even the most jaded and cynical of travellers.'
Porto da Barra, Salvador, Brazil. 'The location is stunning, at the entrance of the magnificent Bahia de Todos os Santos, with a small, white colonial fort at one end and a whitewashed church sitting up on a hill at the other.
10 / 10
Sinclair's Bay, Caithness, Scotland. 'The white sand and sparkling blue sea of Sinclair's Bay look more like the Caribbean - at least when the sun comes out.'
Top 10 beaches of the world | Travel | guardian.co.uk