Snorkel, sail, climb the surrounding rocks, explore cultural heritage or just find a convenient vantage point, make yourself comfortable and hum: “Sitting on the dock of the bay, watching tide roll away (…), wasting time”. Hours may pass and the eyes will still be hungry for more of what we believe are some of the most amazing bay views in the world.
Navagio Bay, Greece
Navagio Bay by Cosmin Prund
Known alternatively as Shipwreck or the Smugglers Cove (a stranded wreck of the alleged cigarette smuggler ship rests washed up in the white pebble sand), Navagio Bay is by all means the most exhilarating sight of the Ionian Islands, if not the whole Greece. If you look down from a vantage point on top of the cliffs, you’ll swear the rock formation protruding into the sea looks like a giant alligator basking in the Mediterranean sun. The beach is located on the north-west shore of Zakynthos and is only reachable by boat (trips depart on a daily basis from all around the island).
Bay of Kotor, Montenegro
Bay of Kotor by Tree Leaf Clover
Composed of 4 smallers gulfs, with notable ancient heritage dotting the canvas of the archetypal Balkan landscape, the Bay of Kotor forms one of the finest natural harbors in Europe and Montenegro’s major tourist attraction. Cutting deep into the mountains, the bay resembles a typical fjord, but in fact it's a submerged river canyon. Boat services, ranging from luxurious yacht cruises to small fishing boat trips, are available in any of the important stops along the coast: Kotor, Herceg Novi, Perast, Prčanj, and Tivat.
Bay of Pompierre, the Caribbean
Îles des Saintes by Zmiley
Pompierre is a quiet, idyllic section of Terre-de-Haut Island, part of Îles des Saintes archipelago, which is a dependency of Guadeloupe (an overseas department of France). The bay is protected from harsher waves by Les Roches Percées (called the Leaky Rocks), an elongated island populated by wild goats (some say the animals are a nuisance, others take them as a funny addition to a laid-back stay). Pompierre was a fabled pirate refuge and a local tale has it that treasure remains buried somewhere in the white sand or among the lush vegetation.
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Halong Bay by Matthew Wilkinson
Some 1,900 islands and islets - mostly uninhabited and unaffected by human presence – make up for approximately 1,553 square kilometers of the stunning seascape of Halong Bay. Here and there, self-reliant fishing villages float around enormous karst protrusions that rise from the misty gulf like mythological creatures from oceanic depths. Travelers can choose among numerous options for sightseeing, boat tours, shopping, and cave exploration.
Maya Bay, Thailand
Maya Bay by K Tao
The Maya Bay on Phi Phi Leh island, a turquoise realm of snorkeling and kayaking, sheltered by 100-meter high rocky outcrops, formed a heavenly backdrop for The Beach, a grimly adventure story starring Leonardo di Caprio. Ever since the movie was released, Phi Phi Leh together with its sister island Phi Phi Don have seen a rapid increase in tourist numbers, which makes the divine spot a little less tranquil, but the impression is nevertheless mind-blowing.
San Francisco Bay, USA
San Francisco Bay by Brocken Inaglory
There’s never enough time to take in all the San Francisco Bay activities! Adventure cruises, splendid dining options, miscellaneous rhythms and unbeatable opportunities for people watching fill up the traveler agenda to the limit… let alone the bay itself is enough to occupy your attention for hours on end. Stretching 2737m (8981ft) across the strait and towering up to 227m (746ft), the Golden Gate Bridge epitomizes the city’s awesome duality: both its daring, rebellious character and its romantic, winsome spirit. Across the bridge, a picturesque waterfront community of Sausalito, known for its Mediterranean flair and breathtaking views, also deserves a visit.
Bay of Islands, New Zealand
Bay of Islands by mnapoleon
New Zealand invariably tops the rankings of stunning destinations, and the Bay of Islands is another example of the country’s unrivalled beauty. The irregular 16 km-wide inlet cuts into the north-eastern coast of North Island and forms a natural harbor fit for both leisurely and superactive vacation schemes. Naturally charming and historically significant, the bay area makes for an unforgettable stay, whether you’re a cultural buff or prefer to spend your days swimming with dolphins.
Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong
Victoria Harbour by Francisco Diez
It’s unbelievable how a once tranquil fishing village could be transformed into a cutting-edge metropolis and the world’s most dazzling commercial center. The staggering sky-rise panorama of the natural harbor formed between the Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula draws local residents and tourist alike, who gather on the walkways to attend numerous public shows or, after dark, for the sheer spectacle of light not to be seen anywhere else in the world.
Guanabara Bay, Brazil
Guanabara Bay by Digo_Souza
You may not have heard the name Guanabara Bay, but you’re most probably familiar with the view. A mile-wide entrance is flanked on one side by the Santa Cruz fortress and on the other by the camel-like Sugarloaf Mountain, while the bay itself is dotted with numerous islets that can be passed close by on a leisurely cruise. A boat trip offers a different perspective of the iconic Copacabana Beach and the statue of Christ the Redeemer overlooking the bay.
Trunk Bay, Saint John, the Caribbean
Trunk Bay by F H Mira
With lush vegetation, snow white sand and an exhilarating underwater snorkeling trail for beginners, Trunk Bay is one of the most sought-after stops in the Virgin Islands National Park. Located on Saint John island, the Trunk Bay beach has consistently been voted one of the world’s most beautiful beaches by numerous influential travel magazines, which obviously has a dark side to it. Entrance to the beach requires a fee, heavy snorkeling activity has led to extensive coral damage and the area can get crowded with cruise ship passengers. Nevertheless, the bay remains a little piece of heaven on earth, with the convenience of good-quality beach services and a bunch of nooks to hide if you get tired with people.
Wineglass Bay, Tasmania, Australia
Wineglass Bay by Msdstefan
Once your eyes run along the full curve of Whineglass Bay, where the whitish sand meets the turquoise waters, you’ll understand why several travel authorities have voted it as one of the world's ten best beaches. The secluded marvel lies hidden from view in Tasmania’s Freycinet National Park, protected by the pinkish, granite range of "The Hazards" and presenting a splendid challenge for adventurous souls. Follow a track winding to the lookout on top and you’ll be awarded with views than can hardly be described with words.