From Malibu to St. Tropez: The most glamorous and celeb-studded beaches in the world

Oct 13, 2019

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Celebrity spotting is always thrilling, and who wouldn’t get a bit excited if they saw a star in their smalls on a beach? There are certain stretches of sand throughout the world that have long been associated with the rich and famous — think Pamela Anderson and Malibu and Brigitte Bardot on the Sixties French Riviera.

But there are plenty of other super fancy spots teeming with stars, more off-the-beaten track, where you can immerse yourself in glam and people watch to your heart’s content.

So from Europe to the U.S.A., and whether you’re planning some autumn sun or looking ahead to 2020, here’s your definitive guide to the beaches where you’re most likely to spy Beyoncé.

Malibu: Broad Beach

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(Photo courtesy of Getty images)

The first thing to know about the beach in Malibu is it’s mega private. That’s why, when you drive west along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, some of the most gorgeous stretches of beach are all but obscured from view by luxe properties. But in California, while beachfront properties can cost multiple millions of dollars (just ask Chris Martin), the law requires there be easements for public access. In other words, Barbra Streisand may have exclusive rights to that cliff top mansion over the Pacific, but down below the beach is yours — as long as you can find it.

One of the greatest concentrations of houses inhabited by Hollywood types is along Broad Beach. There are other sandy sweet spots in Malibu, but if you can find a parking spot near Broad Beach and hit the shore, you will be in the midst of bikini-clad Tinseltown A-listers.

St. Tropez: Plage de Pampelonne

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(Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Among the Mediterranean’s many storied slivers of sand, few are as mythic as the Plage de Pampelonne in St Tropez. Technically speaking the three-mile long beach is in Ramatuelle, but no matter: when people speak of the 1960s, Brigitte Bardot and “that St. Tropez tan.” While the area in and around “San Trop‘” as the French call it has no shortage of chic beach clubs, don’t come to Pampelonne expecting a seaside promenade or souvenir stands. There is mainly just beach, dunes, a very blue sea and — mais oui — very good chances of spotting some very wealthy European glitterati soaking up some sun.

Athens: Astir Beach

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(Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Famous as the onetime sandy stomping ground of celebs like Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Joan Collins, the priciest sliver of sand within the orbit of Athens city center has got a new lease of life thanks to the opening of the Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens. While the hotel is not adjacent to Astir Beach itself (and in fact has a private beach of its own), this locale is still very exclusive — with a pricing system for sun beds designed to keep it that way. It’s mainly favored by well-heeled Athenians, Russian millionaires and celebrities.

French Polynesia: Bora Bora

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Remember when Justin Bieber got his kit off in Bora Bora and the Internet sort of blew up? Well, the pearl of the South Pacific is always an invitation to the dance, so to speak. It’s true that Beebs was spotted starkers on the deck of his own private overwater bungalow, but Bora Bora’s sparkling blue lagoon is easily among the world’s most beautiful. And celebrities, mainly of the Hollywood variety, are just as likely to be found lazing on the pearly white sands of the slender motus (reef islets formed by broken coral and sandthat ring the iconic lagoon as they are by the decks of their bodacious bungalows (if you do swim in the buff in Bora Bora, it bears remembering this slice of paradise comes with sharks). 

St. Bart’s: Anse de Grande Saline

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(Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Most celebrities who head to the Caribbean frequent St. Bart’s. Just remember to visit from December to January, because that’s when the beaches of this ravishing little French island are really transformed into the sandy beach version of a red carpet. The most blissful plage in these parts is Anse de Grande Saline, with its powdery alabaster white sand, gentle surf and translucent turquoise water. Achingly beautiful, and a star in its own right.

Mykonos: Kalo Livadi

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Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club may have come and gone, but Kalo Livadi beach in Mykonos is still a celebrity magnet. Other beaches on the island like Ornos and the coves of Agios Ioannis have their starry acolytes too — like super designer Marc Jacobs — so it may be more accurate to say that pop stars and other big names can be found enjoying the Mykonian sands generally — but also mainly between July and September.

New York: The Hamptons

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The well-known misery of summer in New York City is what prompts the annual exodus to the Hamptons, the tony series of seaside villages on the South Fork of eastern Long Island. All manner of East Coast-oriented celebrities, including a few bicoastal ones like Robert Downey Jr, regularly repair to the posh bits of sound around Sagaponack, Amagansett in East Hampton, Bridgehampton, Sag Harbor and Montauk.

Tel Aviv: Tayelet beaches

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You might not associate Tel Aviv with Beyoncé-level celebrity sightings, but whenever stars and billionaires breeze into Israel for short holidays or concerts, chances are good they will be spending at least part of their time in this sultry city. Some of the fanciest hotels line the Tayelet, or seaside promenade, opposite which is a nine-mile ribbon of sand. When Madonna breezed in for an MDNA concert date she reportedly took over an entire floor of the Dan Tel Aviv Hotel, and there were reported sightings on the busy patch of beach opposite the hotel.

Featured photo by AtnasBozhikovNasko/Getty Images.

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