For the most perfect tropical holiday experience, you'll be wanting a lagoon. Typically warm, shallow and enclosed, with stunning scenery all round, they're just good for the spirit. If you're after a holiday in the sun closer to home, check out our picks for the best beaches in Europe.
Take a look at these blissful idylls: 10 of the most beautiful lagoons in the world.
The Most Famous and Beautiful Lagoons in the World
Aitutaki Lagoon, Cook Islands
Pure tropical paradise, vast Aitutaki Lagoon in the Cook Islands is gorgeous South Pacific ocean complete with coral reef, uninhabited islands and palm-fringed beaches. There's a luxury spa resort here and Aitutaki was called 'the world's most beautiful island' in 2010 by Lonely Planet co-founder Tony Wheeler. He should know.
Blue Lagoon, Iceland
A man-made lagoon, Iceland's Blue Lagoon is located in a lava field close to the capital, Reykjavik, uses the island's natural supply of superheated water after it has passed through a nearby geothermal power plant. The rich mineral content gives the lagoon its distinctive milky blue hue.
Chuuk Lagoon, MicronesiaImage by Legr0004 under CC Wikipedia Commons license.
Not your average tropical lagoon, Chuuk (formerly known as Truk Lagoon) in the South Pacific contains the wrecks of around 50 Japanese warships and 275 aircraft destroyed by Allied forces in the Second World War. Over the years, the wrecks' decks and sides have been transformed into coral reef in this 40-mile wide expanse of pristine water, making it a top, if spooky, scuba diving destination.
Comino Lagoon, Malta
Picture-perfect Comino Lagoon is a small sheltered inlet filled with dazzling blue waters over white sand, shimmering in the Mediterranean sunshine between Malta and Gozo. Holiday heaven.
Kasegaluk Lagoon, AlaskaImage by by Unites States Coast Guard, Petty Officer Richard Brahm under Public Domain Wikipedia Commons license.
Breathtaking Kasegaluk stretches 125 miles along the northwestern coast of Alaska, beside the Chukchi Sea. Sheltered and shallow, it's a haven for beluga whales, polar bears, walrus, spotted seals, sea ducks and numerous shorebirds.
Laguna Colorada, Bolivia
This striking shallow salt lake in the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve in the Altiplano is a vibrant red, speckled with white borax deposits, all set against the awesome Andes and the big blue Bolivian sky. The endangered puna flamingo made the lagoon its home centuries ago.
Marovo Lagoon, Solomon Islands
Within the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific, Marovo is contained by New Georgia and Vangunu islands and a double line of smaller barrier islands. You've got a satisfying serving of dreamy azure ocean, coral reef, diverse marine life, hundreds of tiny islands, with rainforest and palm trees for good measure.
Milnerton Lagoon, Cape Town
You'll find Milnerton Lagoon where the Diep River meets the Atlantic Ocean in Cape Town. This South African stunner is a city lagoon with coastal homes, the local canoe club and neat palm-fringed banks plus a tip-top view of Table Mountain.
Nanuya Levu Lagoon, Fiji
Home to perhaps the ultimate honeymoon lagoon, the island of Nanuya Levu was bought by a burnt-out American businessman more than 40 years ago. After it became the location for 1980 uber-weepie The Blue Lagoon, it has become one of Fiji's most exclusive holiday resorts, Turtle Island.
Pileh Lagoon, Thailand
This little beauty is nestled away on the island of Phi Phi Leh near Krabi, Thailand: a hidden haven of warm turquoise waters, pure white sands and a dramatic backdrop of towering limestone cliffs.
Do you have a favourite lagoon we missed? Let us know in the comments!
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