Some beaches are natural magnets for sun-worshipping celebrities like Beyoncé and others. From France to the Caribbean, take a closer look.
Celebrity spotting is always thrilling, and who wouldn’t get a bit excited at the sight of a bikini-clad Beyoncé on a gorgeous beach? There are certain stretches of sand throughout the world that have long been associated with the rich and famous - think Pamela Anderson in Malibu or Brigitte Bardot in the heyday of the French Riviera.
There are plenty of fancy spots teeming with stars, some off-the-beaten track, where you can immerse yourself in glam and people watch to your heart’s content.
Here’s your definitive guide to the beaches where you’re most likely to spy your favourite celebrities.
Broad Beach, Malibu
The first thing to know about this 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 are 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 belongs to you too - as long as you can find it.
One of the greatest clusters 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 Tinseltown A-listers.
Plage de Pampelonne, St Tropez
Among the Mediterranean’s many storied slivers of sand, few are as mythic as the Plage de Pampelonne in St Tropez. Technically speaking, the five kilometre-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 very good chances of spotting some very wealthy European glitterati soaking up the sun.
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Remember when Justin Bieber got his kit off in Bora Bora and the internet sort of blew up? It’s true that the Beebs was spotted starkers on the deck of his own private overwater bungalow, but don't let that distract from the fact that Bora Bora’s sparkling blue lagoon is easily among the world’s most beautiful.
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 sand) that ring the iconic lagoon as they are by the decks of their bodacious bungalows.
If you take a dive, you might even find Kim Kardashian's earring, which she iconically lost in the Bora Bora waters back in 2011.
Anse de Grande Saline, St. Bart's
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 beach in these parts is Anse de Grande Saline, with its powdery alabaster white sand, gentle surf and translucent turquoise water. It’s exceptionally beautiful, and a star in its own right.
Kalo Livadi, Mykonos
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 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.
The Hamptons, New York
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 sand around Sagaponack, Amagansett in East Hampton, Bridgehampton, Sag Harbor and Montauk.
North coast beaches, Zakynthos
Not all celebrities live for the ‘gram and in fact some shun it - but that doesn’t mean they aren’t hitting the beach in their own stealthy style.
Zakynthos is one of the most beautiful Greek islands and has been known to draw a discreet following of stars. Kylie Minogue is a fan of the luxurious Porto Zante resort, located in an area where seductive, largely uncrowded beaches beckon.
Tayelet beaches, Tel Aviv
You might not associate Tel Aviv with Beyoncé-standard 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 here.
Some of the fanciest hotels line the Tayelet, or seaside promenade, opposite which is a 14 km ribbon of sand. When Madonna breezed in for a concert date she took over an entire floor of the Dan Tel Aviv Hotel, and there were Madge sightings on the busy patch of beach opposite the hotel.