Aside from the risk of sandy knickers, there's nothing much not to love about the prospect of a beach.
But even sand and sea have their own particular hierarchy.
Nothing compares to the joie de vivre of Brazil's Ipanema beach on a Sunday afternoon, with crowds of people playing volleyball or sipping on Caipirinhas against the dramatic cityscape of Rio de Janiero.
Not much can match the remote bygone beauty of Rushy Bay, the secluded sand dune cove on the Isles of Scilly. And you'd be hard-tasked to find a delight more pure than the sight of lazy sea lion pups playing in the shallows off the shores of Española Island in the Galapagos.
From people-watching in the glamorous Côte d'Azur to breathaking views off the coast of Kefalonia and idyllic swimming conditions in Hawaii, here are ten of the world's most incredible beaches.
Whether you want ideas for this year's holiday or merely fancy a little fuel for daydreaming, drink in this one-stop cure for back-to-school blues...
Photos: Rex Features and Getty Images