TravelThe 18 weirdest beaches in the world

The 18 weirdest beaches in the world


The beaches always have a special attraction. No matter where you are in the world, as soon as you walk past a beach, your mind automatically goes into relaxation mode. Maybe it’s the sea, the sound of the waves or the incredible expanse of the horizon: whatever it is, beaches are very special places!

When you imagine a beach, you probably think of the Maldives Islands or a ribbon of powdery white sand stretching along a palm-fringed coastline: the sun is shining, the sea is shimmering turquoise blue, and just the thought makes Whether you want to relax on the sand, jump into the waves with a surfboard, or dive to see what’s going on underwater. However, there are other types of beaches that do not correspond to this idea at all.

For example, there are some that are not made of sand, but of shells or even glass, something strange, right? Or sometimes the sand is not white, but green, pink or even black. Where you usually imagine palm trees, on some beaches you find icebergs or huge rock pillars. Discover where you can find the  world’s rarest beaches  and what adventures await you there. 

1. Shell Beach, Australia

With Whitehaven or Bondi Beach, Australia regularly appears on the lists of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Down there, however, there are not only endless white sandy beaches and spectacular stretches of coastline, but also something really special: Shell Beach in Shark Bay, Western Australia!

At first glance, this beach is as dazzlingly white as many others. However, at a second glance you will realize that it is not white sand, but millions of shells! The beach is made up of a layer of shells up to 10 meters thick, which arrived here several thousand years ago. Around Shell Beach there are some very attractive hiking trails to different viewpoints. Especially from Eagle Bluffs you have a great view of Shell Bay and if you are lucky you may even see sharks or dolphins in the clear water!

2. Papakolea, Hawaii

At the southernmost tip of the US is Hawaii, one of the most attractive islands for adventurers. Mahana Bay beach does not really look like a beach, but rather a meadow that flows directly into the sea. That’s because the sand at Papakolea beach isn’t white, it’s olive green! The color comes from the mineral olivine, which is washed into the sea by the nearby Mauna Loa volcano. Basically, these are small green crystals that are heavier than all normal grains of sand and therefore remain on the shore of Papakolea, offering you this unique spectacle.

By the way, those green beaches are really rare! There are only four of this color in the world. To see the green Mahana Beach, as the locals call it, with your own eyes, you first have to take a really tough hike through the volcanic rock. You will not find any hiking trails or trails between the parking lot at the end of South Point Road and Papakolea. Instead, follow the tracks of other visitors.

On your way up the steep volcanic cliffs, not only can it be hot and humid, but sometimes it can be very windy. In addition to your walking shoes, make sure you have enough drink and your bathing suit so you can jump into the waves of the green beach to cool off.

3. Shimmering Beaches, Maldives

You will associate the Maldives with secluded white sand beaches that contrast perfectly with the turquoise waves. However, on many beaches in the Maldives, the swell can still do something very crude, and that is shine! The locals call the sparkling beaches that you will find here every night from July to February the “Sea of ​​Stars” and this description hits the nail on the head: as soon as the waves break on the shore of the beaches, many thousands of blue dots are formed. sparkles that are truly reminiscent of the starry sky – the absolute hammer!

A certain type of plankton in the water is responsible for the brightness of the beach, which begins to glow when it hits the sand to scare away fish. These sparkling stellar beaches are found not only on the Maldivian islands of Vaadhoo, Rangali and Mudhoo, but also in Puerto Rico’s Mosquito Bay and off the coast of San Diego. By the way, plankton also reacts to water movements. So you can easily make it shine by hand, and it looks really impressive!

4. Crystal Beach, California

Garbage on the beach is absolutely prohibited and is the last thing you want to see on your trip. However, if you are traveling to California, you should make an exception. Here is a beach that is actually made of garbage, and that is why it is so unique.

At Fort Bragg’s Crystal Beach in Northern California, you’ll search in vain for sand, only to find red, green, and white stones made of crystal. These stones come from a landfill that was here a few decades ago. After careful cleaning by the locals and the natural force of the water, the perfectly cut crystal stones are the only thing left to remind of the rubbish heaps.

The glass stone balls are so smoothly polished that you can easily walk barefoot on the ancient shards. However, one thing you can’t do is take rocks with you. As you want to preserve this unusual beach for as long as possible, it is officially forbidden to put the glass spheres in your backpack.

5. Praia de Benagil, Portugal

The Portuguese Algarve is a true paradise for your next beach adventure. There’s one brilliant surf break after another, and in between you’ll find plenty of impressive cliffs and stretches of coastline that are perfect for a brilliant walk. However, the highlight is Praia de Benagil: a sea cave that hides a really great sandy beach. The best way to get to the small grotto is by kayak from Benagil beach, or you can swim the 100 meters or so to the entrance of the cave.

Next to the two entrances by the sea, there is a large hole in the ceiling of the cave through which the sun shines and bathes the entire grotto with a totally unreal light. Especially at sunset, the atmosphere is incredible! Before your trip to Praia de Benagil, you should carefully look at the tide table. The cave is only accessible at low tide and, above all, if you are going to swim, you should return before high tide. Due to the currents that arise at high tide, it is not easy to get out of the cave without a boat. However, with a little planning, Praia de Benagil is undoubtedly one of the coolest places on the Algarve coast in Portugal.

6. Playa Rosa, Indonesia

No doubt Indonesia is no longer a hotspot when it comes to adventure, quite the opposite: today countless backpackers are drawn to the islands, where you can expect a brilliant array of laid-back vibes. , exciting landscapes and a very specific mentality. The best, however, are the many undiscovered corners that you can still find in Indonesia despite the hype and cymbal.

One of them is undoubtedly the Pink Beach of Komodo. Depending on the time of day and the sunlight, the sand here sometimes really glows pink, which is because normal white sand grains are mixed with red coral sand. There is no infrastructure around Playa Rosa and the beach can only be reached from the water by boat. A few daily excursions are offered from Flores, but only take a handful of travelers to Komodo. This means that you almost always have the pink beach to yourself. In addition to colour, the underwater world is a real eye-catcher. Pack your scuba gear and explore the coral reef below the surface – it’s unbelievably amazing!

7. Playa de Xi, Greece

We can’t get enough of the Greek beaches. There is something truly exotic and unreal about some of the shorelines that travelers find on the Greek islands. Sometimes they seem from another world and defy what we know of beaches.

Thus, our love for the soft Greek sand and crystal blue water of the Mediterranean beaches led us to the island of Kefalonia, on the eastern side of mainland Greece. There, you will find the Paliki peninsula, in the south of the island, and the impressive rust-colored Xi beach.

Xi Beach, like many other Greek beaches, is a Blue Flag beach, but what sets Xi apart from its Greek counterparts is the sand and backdrop. On the way to the beach, you will walk between smooth clay formations that have been beaten and shaped into sharp features over the centuries, giving the impression that you are walking through some alien mountain range with large white pillars similar in texture to those of the barnacles

8. Hyams Beach, Australia

You’ll notice that not all white is the same at Hyams Beach in South East Australia. Here the officially whitest sandy beach in the world awaits you, which is even in the Guinness Book of Records. The reason for the brilliant white, which really dazzles you when you go out without sunglasses, is the fine quartz sand of which the beach is almost exclusively made up.

The fine grains of sand have been bleached by the surf for over 15,000 years, and against the stark blue of the waves and the lush green of the jungle, Hyams Beach appears that much brighter. Here, however, you can do more than just relax on the soft sand: Jervis Bay Beach is perfect for jumping into the waves with your surfboard or exploring the underwater world with fins and goggles.

9. Playa de Vik, Iceland

Apart from the dazzling white, green and pink beaches, there are also some black sand beaches. Since a volcano is always responsible for this dramatic effect, it is not surprising that you see a lot of black sand, especially on the Icelandic coast. Vik’s beach is not only the southernmost in Iceland, but also one of the most unusual and spectacular in the world.

From the small town of Vik i Myrdal, on the ring road, you set out on foot towards the nearby coast. Even from a distance you can see the black sand, which here is completely smooth and runs gently into the sea, offering a stark contrast to the steep green cliffs.

Off the coast, a strange rock formation can be seen on the horizon. The so-called Reynisdrangar are basalt columns; however, according to Icelandic popular belief, they are fossilized trolls. In addition to the black sand and stone trolls sticking out of the water, the strange basalt formations on the cliffs, somewhat reminiscent of the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland, are an impressive sight. Especially when the sky is cloudy, the sun goes down and a light mist forms, you are sure to have a goosebumps moment on the black sands of Vik!

10. Hidden Beach, Mexico

At Mexico’s Hidden Beach, the name says it all: to get to the beach on the uninhabited Islas Marietas, you must first swim through a 24-meter tunnel or take a kayak. Regardless of how you get to the hidden beach, you should always have an experienced and licensed guide by your side. This adventure is not without danger due to the fluctuation of the water level, and the islands are also protected.

At first glance, it seems that it is a lot of effort to lie on the beach, but it is certainly worth it. At the end of the tunnel, a deserted sandy beach usually awaits you in the middle of a huge crater said to have been created during a bomb experiment. In other words, you are practically alone on an underground beach in daylight!

11. Playa Las Catedrales, Espana

You don’t have to fly to the other side of the world to relax on a truly unique beach. All it takes is a short road trip to northern Spain. Close to the small fishing village of Rinlo, you will find Playa As Catedrais, where you will really realize the powerful forces of the Atlantic. The sea has carved incredibly into the steep cliffs of this place, creating impressive caves and rock needles that dot the entire beach.

You pass from one rocky cave to another, with huge arches between them, reminiscent of a large cathedral. Before going to this beach, be sure to check the tidal calendar. At high tide, nothing of the beach is visible, and even at low tide, seawater pools between the sandbars.

Of course, the impressive rock formations on the small beach are no longer a secret, quite the contrary: in the past, up to 20,000 people would gather here every day. That was not only quite crowded, but also very unpleasant for the surrounding nature. Between July and September, you can only go to As Catedrais Beach with a free ticket. In summer, you have to plan ahead, but you don’t have to share the beach with thousands of people.

12. Koekohe Beach, New Zealand

New Zealand is the country of adventure par excellence, and the South Island in particular is impressive. Whether you spend days hiking through stunning, untouched landscapes, satisfy your adrenaline cravings by skydiving and rafting, or get goosebumps swimming with wild dolphins, New Zealand’s South Island redefines adventure.

The same goes for the beaches, of course, and not to be missed is Koekohe Beach, south of Oamaro. At high tide, the sandy beach looks like any other. However, as soon as the water recedes, the Moeraki bluffs appear: these are huge rocks weighing several tons, with a smooth surface and round shape that resemble bowling balls. If you want to marvel at the stone formations, which are about 65 million years old, it is best to come to the beach first thing in the morning or at sunset. Not only will you see fewer people, but you will also be able to experience the amazing atmosphere of sunrise and sunset.

13. Playa de la Vaca, India

It is no secret that cows are sacred in India and you will see them almost everywhere. But maybe you don’t know that you might even have to share your towel with a cow on the beach. In Goa, the sacred animals have actually chosen a super beautiful sandy beach as their favorite spot, which is a totally crazy sight, especially for Europeans!

Shortly after sunrise, the cows are drawn to Playa de las Vacas. They spend the whole day lying on the sand and cooling off, before finding a place to sleep under the trees inland for the night. If you are in Goa, you can not only take some great photos, but also sit among the cows, which are usually unimpressed by visitors.

14. Thunder Cove, Canada

It’s really not hard to get off the beaten path in a country like Canada. Here an incredible number of adventures await you in totally unreal places where you feel very far from the world and your daily life. One of these places is Thunder Cove, on Prince Edward Island, off the east coast of Canada. Not only the sand of the small bay glows rust-red from afar, but also the many rock spiers, cliffs and sandstone formations.

If you stay here with your back to the sea and let your eyes get lost in Thunder Cove, surely for a moment you will have the feeling that you are no longer in Canada, but somewhere on Mars or in the middle of the Arizona desert. Since sandstone is not really stable, you should avoid climbing on the rocks; you’re better off getting in your kayak to view the unusual coastal section from the water. It is also worth taking a detour to the Roca de la Taza, an oddly shaped red rock off the coast. Especially in the morning, shortly after sunrise, the calm sea and golden light make the picture brilliant.

15. Black Sand Beach, Antarctica

If you’re preparing for a trip to Antarctica, swimming gear is definitely not at the top of your packing list. However, if you stop at Whalers Bay, on Deception Island, your bathing suit should be in your backpack! The volcanic sand of Playa de Arena Negra is not only jet black, but it is also very warm. In some places there is even steam and it is so hot that you will burn your feet if you walk barefoot.

The temperature of the sand alone warms the sea ice so much that it is still super cold, but you can still swim in it for a short period of time, even without a wetsuit. You can’t swim very far anyway, because depending on what time of year you get to Whalers Bay, the huge ice floes off the coast block your way! Although the ruins of the old whaling station still stand on Deception Island, the island is uninhabited like the rest of the continent. You will only have to share the black sand beach with your fellow travelers and some penguins.

16. Carate Beach, Costa Rica

Costa Rica is high on the wish list of many avid travel adventurers, and not without reason! With its many tropical forests, secluded trails, turquoise rivers and sometimes active volcanoes, it is an adventure playground. Especially great is the Osa Peninsula, which with the Corcovado National Park is the wildest corner of Costa Rica.

The park not only offers an ingenious jungle, where you have many chances to meet wild animals such as tapir or jaguar, but also one of the most ingenious beaches in the world: Playa Carate! In a moment you are still in the deep jungle and a few meters further you suddenly find yourself on an endless and deserted sandy beach. You can spend days here without others joining your footprints in the sand!

17. Playa de Saksun, Faroe Islands

If you are an adventure junkie, you may already be longing for the Faroe Islands. Images of bright green fields, small stone huts with grass roofs and waterfalls that plunge from karst cliffs directly into the sea will surely come to mind. When these images come true and you start your trip to the archipelago, there is one place on the main island of Streymoy that you should not miss: Saksun!

Even from a distance you can see the few houses that rise above the bay, whose roofs are as green as the rest of the landscape. From the village church, several paths lead to the lonely sandy beach, which lies between the high mountains on both sides like a crater.

Due to the dark color of the sand, the greens of the shore seem even more intense and, together with the steep rocky slopes with some waterfalls descending, you feel like you have arrived in a completely different world! Before heading to the beach, check with the locals to find out when the tide goes out. After all, Saksun beach is under water most of the time and only when the sea recedes for about two hours a day can you walk on the sand.

18. Hoshizuna-no-Hama, Japan

The islands of Okinawa, in Japan, are clearly the country’s beach paradise, and since they can only be reached by plane, they are ideal for a multi-day add-on excursion during your trip to Japan. If you only have time for one of the islands, Iriomote Island should be on your itinerary! The island itself is almost 100% dense tropical jungle and with few people living here, you will feel like you have the nature of the jungle completely to yourself.

On the north coast of the island, one of the strangest beaches in the world awaits you: Playa de Arena de las Estrellas! As the name suggests, the grains of sand here are not round, but rather star-shaped. In a strict sense, they are not grains of sand, but shells of protozoa that have washed up in the sea off the coast.

If you want to take a bunch of stars home with you, go to the beach after a storm and you’ll find a bunch of those tiny star-shaped shells. Be sure to bring your snorkel gear as well, as the coral reef at Star Sand Beach is almost as beautiful as the beach itself, and it’s also perfect for trying snorkelling.

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