Maddalena Archipelago (Sardinia)
It has been more than 10 years since I explored the beaches of northwest Sardinia on the Maddalena Archipelago and I still count them among the most beautiful in the world. One reason? The rocks, no, I should say boulders. The coastline is interspersed with giant rock formations (they make for cool places to sit and daydream) and flat sandy beaches. Cala Luna stands out for its breathtaking half-moon bay; it played a starring role in the film Swept Away. Nearby Bidderosa Nature Reserve has five spectacular beaches and the number of daily visitors is controlled.