Have you ever visited somewhere and thought to yourself ‘this doesn’t look the same as it did in the photos’? The fact is that marketing photos and online images can often be misleading – and this is certainly the case for some of the most famous beaches in the world which, through development or heavy footfall, have shifted and become somewhat removed from the former images of splendour and tranquillity.
Here are 5 of the most famously disappointing beaches in the world.
Maya Beach, Phi Phi Island
When this beach in Thailand was first captured in the Hollywood movie The Beach, it led to a vast rise in tourists travelling miles to see the famous movie spectacle. Unfortunately, high tourist numbers have caused so much damage that the beach is no longer the secret that it once was – with hordes of tourists and boats filling the water and the sandy beach every single day.
In fact, in 2018, the beach was closed to give nature time to heal the damage that tourists had done.
Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro
This is one where the photos tell one story and reality tells another – not least because so many pictures online are incorrectly labelled as being the Copacabana Beach when in fact, they depict beaches further along the coastline. The reality of the Copacabana Beach is a busy stretch of sand covered in umbrellas kiosks – fun, but not what the internet might promise.
Durdle Door, UK
It’s rare to see a UK beach listed as one of the top destinations in the world, and unfortunately this (and the next) item on the list is renowned for being a disappointment rather than a haven or oasis. Durdle Door is a natural spectacle that has become so popular that it’s almost impossible to find a stretch of beach for yourself. The best pictures are taken from the top of the cliff path – something you only realise once you reach the bottom, with endless steps up and down to find the perfect viewpoint.
Dover Beach, UK
Contrary to popular belief, Dover Beach is not idyllic or very beachy at all. In fact, it is a rather dirty and forgotten town which is an incredible disappointment to all who get drawn in by the marketing and decide to visit.
Sentosa Beach, Singapore
The final item on our list is one which has, like so many others, been ruined by development and human presence. The three beaches which make up Sentosa have been created using imported sand and are designed to please and engage tourists – meaning that there is constant noise, tankers, factories, and attractions on the go all year round.
What other beaches and tourists spots have you visited and been disappointed by?