When you think of a beach holiday you probably imagine clear blue water and a white sandy beach. While this can be a dream holiday for many, there are some beach that are much more exciting for the more adventurous traveler.
If you are someone who likes to explore the more unusual, the more bizarre and the more unusual then these beaches should be added to your bucket list.
Many of these extraordinary beaches are relatively unknown which makes it a great travel destination. Not all of them are natural wonder but all of them are definitely worth seeing.
The Green Sand Beach of Hawaii, the black sand beaches of New Zealand and the Pink Sand Beach in the Bahamas will definitely change your perception of a white sandy beach.
Whether its The Maldives, Australia or even Japan there are some truly unique and interesting beaches to explore. There’s so much more to beaches than sunbathing. Some beaches have annual events like turtle migrations while others light up during certain tides (see number 16).
Why not make your next beach holiday a real adventure and explore some of these wonders…
1. Cave beach in Algarve, Portugal
Located near the famous Benagil Beach, its the result of millions of years of erosion. It looks and feels like a giant cathedral with an amazing enclosed space that’s constantly changing with the tides and seasons.
2. Punaluu Beach, Hawaii
This beautiful beach between Pāhala and Nāʻālehu on the Big Island of Hawaii has black sand made of basalt created by lava flowing into the ocean which explodes when it reaches the ocean and cools.
3. Moeraki Boulders (dragon eggs) in Koekohe Beach, New Zealand
Estimated to be around 58 million years old, these Moeraki Boulders are commonly known as “dragon eggs”. The entire are is currently protected as a scientific reserve and some of these boulders have the most bizarre cracks in otherwise perfectly round boulders.
4. Glass Beach, Fort Bragg
Located in the MacKerricher State Park near Fort Bragg, this colorful beach is not the result of some natural phenomenon but rather that of dumping. From the 1900’s until the late 1960’s residents where dumping glass into the ocean which resulted in the fragments washing up on this shoreline. Time has smoothed out the glass and the overall effect is amazing when the sun hits the wet glass.
5. Green Sand Beach, Hawaii
One of two beaches in the world (the other is inTalofofo Beach, Guam) that has this incredible green color, its a beach you cannot miss on your next holiday to Hawaii. Its quite a hike to get to Papakōlea beach but its well worth it. The green color comes from the “sand” which is made up of the mineral olivine.
6. Jokulsarlon, Iceland
A truly unique beach made up of pitch black volcanic sand with chunks of ice scattered everywhere. The ice comes from surrounding icebergs and shards of ice can be seen everywhere. When the sun shines on the ice it has an incredible effect, especially with the black sand.
7. Giants Causeway Beach, Ireland
At first you might think that this beach was laid with cobblestones but its not. These incredible geometric patterns in the stones are the result of ancient volcanic eruptions that caused these amazing rock formations in the basalt rock.
10. Hidden Beach – Marieta, Mexico
Commonly known as “The Beach of Love”, the Playa De Amor is actually the result of a man made effort. Thanks to the Mexican army testing missiles and bombs it created this vast enclosed beach that has become one of the most breathtaking beaches in the world.
11. Pink Sand Beach, Bahamas
The pink sands stretch for more than 3 miles on the Harbour Island and has a truly amazing appearance with the bright blue waters of the Bahamas. The pink color of the sand comes from a mixture of shelled animals, coral and broken sea shells.
12. Maho Beach, Saint Martin
Not all amazing beaches are known for their natural beauty. This Caribbean beach on the island of Saint Martin has become a very popular destination for plane spotters. The local airport’s runway extends right up to the beach and you can see some of the world’s biggest planes pass you within a few meters as they come in to land.
13. Red Sand Beach, Rabida, Galapagos
Red sand is quite common inland and in more arid desserts like that in central Australia. This beach however gets its red sand from volcanic lava and eroded hills. Its home to some very unique animals and its a truly amazing sight as the shallow water almost looks like blood.
14. Beach of the Cathedrals – Ribadeo, Spain
Built by nature, these spectacular arches where carved into the stone cliffs by pounding waves over thousands of years. Its such a spectacular sight that it was voted the most beautiful beach in Europe.
15. Shell Beach, Shark Bay, Australia
Shell Beach is filled with millions of tiny white shells up to 32 feet deep giving it a snowy white appearance when you’re looking from a distance.
16. Bioluminescent Beach, Maldives
Bioluminescent phytoplankton is quite common in many of the biggest oceans and at different times of the year it can be found on a number of beaches. They often get washed out to shore during different tides. Its a special species of plankton that glows when they are agitated and when they are in large numbers the effect is truly spectacular.
17. Pig Beach, Big Major Cay, Bahamas
Swimming with pigs might sound like a strange thing to do, but on this beach you might not have a choice. It really is strange to see pigs swimming in the ocean but with scorching summer temperatures the pigs are really just seeking some relief from the heat. Its a very popular tourist destination and popular diving and snorkeling site.
18. Star Sand Beach, Irimote Island, Japan
At first this beach may appear as just another sandy beach but a closer look at the sand will totally amaze you. The “sand” particles are actually star shaped and comes in a variety of truly amazing shapes. Star sand are actually exoskeletons of foraminiferans (these are microscopic marine organisms) that have been washed ashore over millions of years and they are some of the oldest creatures on the planet.