At the mention of the word ‘beach’, a certain, indelible image – a beauteous landscape blessed with the gentle sway of the coastal breeze, blue water, soft white sands, and the therapeutic sound of gushing waves, is formed in our minds. But it is not always the same as there are several unique beaches in the world that would defy the image of a stereotypical beach. From ashen-black & pink sandbanks to starry shores swathed with bioluminescent waves, these beaches are simply breathtaking with their natural beauty, and their unusual geological formations. Get ready to explore some of these most unique beaches of the world and embark on an unfamiliar holiday on your next trip.
Hidden Beach, Mexico
Situated on the Mexico’s Marieta Islands, the Hidden Beach is one of the most unique and uninhabited beaches in the world as it is hidden inside an open-crater or a sprawling cave formation. Also known as Playa del Amor, this beach is said to have formed after the Mexican government used the uninhabited islands for target practice or test bombing in the 1900s. Known for its exotic, turquoise Pacific waters and its secluded location, the beach is popular among tourists and honeymooners. The beach is only accessible at low tide through a long, side water tunnel that can only be traveled by kayaking or swimming.
Punalu’u Black Sand Beach, Hawaii
Home to several exotic beaches, Hawaii is also known for one of the most unique and striking beaches in the world – Punalu’u Black Sand Beach. Situated along the south coast of the Big Island, the beach has black sandbanks that are formed due to the basalt that gets washed up to the shores. Basalt is formed when streams of lava flowing underwater overheat the rocks and cause them to explode. Besides its black sandbanks, the beach is also a vital habitat for a few endangered species like Hawksbill Turtle and Hawaiian Monk Seal. One can easily access this beach from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Attracting a large number of tourists as well as locals, it is one of the must-include places in Hawaii Tour Packages.
Giant’s Causeway Beach, Northern Ireland, UK
Located in Northern Ireland, UK, the Giant’s Causeway Beach is one of the most unique beaches in the world as it has unusual rock formations and fissures due to volcanic activity. The giant’s causeway was formed 50-60 million years ago when basalt lava rose to the surface and cooled, cracking into strange, large columns. Today, the site comprises forty-thousand basalt columns and boulders in hexagonal scale-like patterns. There are many legends and tales about the Giant’s Causeway, the most famous one gives its name to the attraction – that the columns are remnants of a causeway built by the giant Finn MacCool. The mysterious geological formations at the Giant’s Causeway Beach have enthralled visitors for years as part of UK tour packages.
Koekohe Beach, New Zealand
Set on New Zealand’s Otago coast, Koekohe Beach is one of the most unique beaches in the world. The beach is home to the mystifying Moeraki Boulders, a collection of huge spherical boulders dotted across its shores. Also called Dragon’s Eggs or Dinosaur’s Eggs, the boulders on Koekohe Beach in New Zealand are an extraordinary sight to see. Dating back a whopping 60 million years, these ancient giant spheres are made of sedimentary rock that has been shaped by the crashing waves, giving them their distinct look. Thronged by several tourists, it is among the best places to visit in New Zealand.
Glass Beach, California (USA)
Glass Beach is one of the unique and most interesting beaches located in MacKerricher State Park of Fort Bragg in California. Earlier a dumping ground, this glossy beach was formed by the tiny pieces of degraded glass that are dumped by the locals. The garbage was eventually pounded into the sand by the ever-changing surf and tides. These broken pieces got smooth and shiny over the years, and look magical on top of the beach’s white sand. It is absolutely safe to swim here but not ethical and legal to pick the glasses.
Scala Dei Turchi, Italy
Perched on the coast of Realmonte in Southern Sicily, Scala Dei Turchi is the only beach in the world that has stairs (staircase-like cliffs) instead of a sandy shoreline. Overlooking the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea, this gleaming white staircase to heaven looks almost similar to Santorini in Greece. Also, there are two sand beaches on either side of the stairs where you can swim and sunbathe, as well as climb up onto the Scala Dei Turchi. Attracting thousands of tourists, it is one of the most unique beaches in the world and among the must-include places in Italy Tour Packages.
Boulders Beach, South Africa
Boulders Beach is located on the Cape Peninsula, in Simon’s Town, a suburb of Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Commonly known as Boulders Bay, the beach is one of the unique beaches in the world due to the presence of its community of African Penguins. Since penguins are an endangered species, the beach is considered as a protected area by the government. These penguins are only found on the coastline of Southern Africa. Also, the beach forms part of the Table Mountain National Park, among the best places to visit in South Africa.
Pink Sand Beach, Bahamas
Pink Sand Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches situated on Harbor Island in the Bahamas. If pink is your favorite color, then head to this beach where the shoreline comprises powdery pink sand and gentle waves rolling on the shore. The sand gets pink color from washed-up microscopic, shelled corals known as Foraminifera, which live on the underside of the reefs and the sea floor. It is one of the scenic beaches of the island that attracts a large number of crowds.
Shell Beach, Australia
Shell Beach is another unique beach in the world that sits on a narrow isthmus within Shark Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The main highlight of the beach is the Cockle shell that are littered all across the beach and it is believed that the tiny shells go down almost 10 meters from the surface. The insane volume of the shells here is due to local cockle clams thriving in the saline waters. It is suggested to wear proper shoes while walking on the beach to protect from getting hurt by the sharp edges of the shells.
Cathedral Beach, Ribadeo, Spain
Cathedral Beach is one of the most unique beaches in the world and among the top places to visit in Spain. The main highlight is the 1.5 km stretch of this pristine beach is peppered with underwater arches and gothic-looking intricate caves, looking more or less like a Cathedral on a beach. The activity that one should not miss here is the Tide pooling and the best time to visit this unusual beach is during low tides. Flocked by number of tourists as well as locals, it is one of the must include in Spain Tour Packages.
Green Sand Beach (Papakolea), Hawaii, USA
Green Sand Beach or Papakolea Beach is located on the Big Island in Hawaii. It is one of the four beaches with green sand in the world, which makes this place special. The beach got its name due to the abundance of the semi-precious Olivine crystals that are interspersed with the fine sandy environment. The green sand on this beach is caused by the mineral olivine, which was formed by lava eruption some 50,000 years ago. Attracting thousands of tourists every year, it is one of the popular places to visit in Hawaii.
Red Sand Beach, Rabida, Galapagos
Another unique beach in Hawaii, the Red Sand Beach is known for its unique red color. Also called as Kaihalulu Beach, the sand here turns red due to the constant volcanic activity and is surrounded by the red cove. It is one of the must-visited beaches in Hawaii and among the unique beaches in the world.
Hot Water Beach, New Zealand
Located in New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninsula, the Hot Water Beach is among the most unique beaches in the world as it has geothermal springs. It’s amazingly great to have a hot water geothermal mineral spa on the beach itself. One can scoop out burrows on sand to create their own private spa pits to get relaxed. This happens because the beach sits over hot springs that filter up through the sand around the low tide. Later, the tide washes away the man-made pools and makes clear for new visitors. If you are an experienced surfer, then it is a great place for surfing.
Cave Beach in Algarve, Portugal
Cave Beach is arguably one of the prettiest and most unique beaches in the world. Located in the Algarve, on the south coast of Portugal, this beach is found inside a sea cave with a small skylight illuminating its interior. Here, one can witness the patterns in the cave’s rock and its captivating atmosphere. Visited by large number of people every year, one need to take a boat ride or a stand-up paddleboard to reach this place during their Portugal Tour.
Santhi is an avid traveler and primary contributor to the blogs at Trawell.in. She has explored most of the states in India and gained vast knowledge on tourist destinations in India and abroad. She also contributes content to other travel websites.