So you’ve chosen to visit Malaysia, and what better way to kickstart your tour with a trip to beautiful Langkawi? Known as the Jewel of Kedah, this tourist mecca is a hub of bustle and activity all year-round and is famous for its beautiful jungles, great shopping, and its fantastic coastline.
Don’t be fooled into thinking this is one island – rather, Langkawi contains 99 separate islands, and all of them have awesome beaches perfect for sunbathing, snorkelling, or just taking some time out for peace and quiet.
At Monster Day Tours, we know that the only difficult part about visiting Langkawi is deciding where to go first! That’s why we’ve rounded up eight of the best beaches in Langkawi, so you don’t have to.
Here are our eight picks of the best beaches to visit on your trip to Langkawi.
Best beaches in Langkawi
Wanting some excitement on your trip to Langkawi? Visiting Pantai Cenang is one sure-fire way to get amongst it all. The most popular Langkawi beach, this vibrant strip of sand is home to restaurants, resorts, massage parlours, and massive shopping complexes (duty-free, of course!)
If you want to get involved in watersports, Pantai Cenang is lined with stores hiring out jet skis, inflatable toys, and even small boats for a fun day out on the turquoise water. PADI also has a few shops in Langkawi – perfect for getting or renewing your dive license while on holiday!
Maybe you don’t want a super energetic finish to your day but feel like watching the sunset and relaxing with a drink in hand. Some of Langkawi's best bars and cafes fringe the sandy shore, and happy hour is never far away in this tourist hot spot. Sip fruity cocktails and watch the sun go down in a blaze of colour, but make sure you’ve brought your dancing shoes – every night, this quiet little strip transforms into a vibrant, lively party district with bars, DJs, and events.
Not everyone goes on holiday to get raucous – sometimes, it’s nice to get a little relaxation while still feeling part of the action. If you’re after a little chill in your life, visit Pantai Tengah. This long strip of white sand is close by the party-central Pantai Cenang but is significantly quieter.
Known for being the longest beach in Langkawi, Pantai Tengah is part-tranquil paradise, part-exciting resort. Similar to Pantai Cenang, this beautiful beach in Langkawi is thronged with restaurants, massage parlours, and tour operators looking to sell adventure packages for more outgoing tourists. Choose from jet-skiing, island hopping, and even speed boat rides to get your adrenaline rushing!
If you don’t feel like going out on the water, the stores also hire out sporting equipment for sand games like cricket and beach volleyball – perfect for a sunny day. For an even more relaxing day, pay a visit to a beachfront bar for a fruity cocktail paired with gorgeous ocean views. Langkawi’s gastronomical scene is pretty varied, so when you’re looking for a bite to eat, you’ll have the choice of Thai, Italian, Malay, and more to fill your belly.
Don’t sleep on the natural scenery in Langkawi - this island archipelago is known not just for its beaches but also for its incredibly lush jungles and hills.
Just a short drive from Langkawi International Airport, this beautiful Langkawi beach is right in the centre of the action for any nature-loving tourist. Surrounded by the signature rainforests the archipelago is known for, Pantai Kok is just a short hike from the Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls and Mat Cincang Mountain. The Langkawi Cable Car carries tourists up to the highest mountain peak for the most awe-inspiring look-out in Malaysia if you want to get a more birds-eye view of the island.
While Pantai Kok isn’t surrounded by shops and tourist-friendly restaurants like many other Langkawi beaches, it is magnificent in its own right. Laze among unique flora as turquoise waters lap at your feet before visiting the magical Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls and wandering down to the Telaga Harbour for a drink and a meal.
Black Sand Beach
One of the most distinctive Langkawi beaches, Black Sand Beach is a natural anomaly that has had tourists and locals alike scratching their heads for years. Many beaches worldwide owe their uniquely coloured sand to volcanic eruptions or unusual mineral counts in the surrounding soils. Black Sand Beach not only has neither of these but is also the only stretch of beach on Langkawi with the distinctive dark grey sands.
While the Langkawi people have their own myths and legends surrounding this beautiful beach, the answer is apparently on the tourist information boards around the town. Massive amounts of the mineral tourmaline run down from Mount Raya during the seasonal rains, causing the sands to turn their distinctive inky hue. However, this phenomenon only occurs in Langkawi – no other high-tourmaline beach in the world has black sand. Whatever the reason, this beautiful stretch of sand is one of the best beaches in Langkawi and well worth the journey!
Shark Bay Beach
While the name may be a bit intimidating, this famous Langkawi beach is actually named for the stone sculptures scattered along the waterfront - no sharks here!
Shark Bay Beach is perfect for families with small children, as the bay is sheltered all year-round from harsh weather. If you’re not one for swimming, there are rows of shaded huts and changing shacks with fantastic views over the water and surrounding jungle.
Paddle in the calm, clear water or recline on the beach with a book – no matter what you choose, this relaxing beach will have you feeling those holiday vibes in no time.
Yet another hidden gem, Burau Bay is the perfect spot for spending a relaxing day taking in the natural splendour of Langkawi.
While this Langkawi beach isn’t strictly private, it’s not nearly as well-known as some of the other more well-populated stretches of sand. Fringed by up-market resorts on either end, you may get some strange looks from patrons if you try to pass through the privatised areas of Burau Bay. However, don’t worry too much - you’ve got access at both ends to this pristine beach, and can walk along the powdery sands for just over one and a half miles.
If you’re after watersports and excitement, Burau Bay probably isn’t the place for you. However, tour operators offer day-tours to the nearby Seratosa and Burau Islands if you feel like skipping Langkawi for a few hours. Look for options like bird watching, hiking, and bus tours around the island to cap off your beach expedition.
For a picture-perfect view, blinding white sand, and clear turquoise waters, look no further than Tanjung Rhu. This postcard-like slice of paradise is one of the most beautiful beaches in Langkawi and yet is somehow always quiet. Completely sequestered from the surrounding hustle of the major tourist spots, Tanjung Rhu is the perfect beach to lose yourself in complete and utter tranquillity. Even the air is better here – to get to this secret beach, you’ll need to get past some seriously thick jungle, and the atmosphere is all the clearer for it.
If you decide to take a trip to this beautiful island beach, make sure you pack accordingly. The beauty of Tanjung Rhu is its isolation, but that also means that supplies aren’t as readily available as closer to town.
Tanjung Rhu backs onto some of the wealthiest resorts on the island and is a magnet for anyone looking for some peace and quiet – or a few quality Instagram snaps.
Pantai Pasir Tengkorak
One thing Langkawi has in spades is secluded, hidden beaches. Set on the island’s northwestern coast, Pantai Pasir Tengkorak Beach is a quintessential example of beaches in Langkawi. White sands, lush forest, and sheltered, clear water come together to form something you’d see on the front of a postcard.
The best part about this Langkawi beach? Most tourists either don’t know about it or ignore it because it isn’t immediately near the township. The name translates to Sandy Skull Beach and comes from the local tale of bodies washing up after a monsoon dashed their ships against the unforgiving rocks.