17 Most Unique Beaches In The world

When you think of a ‘beach’ you might think of white or yellow sand, deep blue sea, the sun glistening in your eyes while relaxing on a comfy lounger with a nice cold beer or cocktail. However, there are many striking differences in beaches around the world, which come in all different colours and shapes. Below are 17 most unusual beaches in the world:


1) Glass Beach in California

Sand is usually formed out of whatever the waves happen to be banging against the shore, whether it be volcanic remnants, rocks, shells, corals or glass.

This beach got their name from years of trash being dumped into the coastline area near the northern part of town. The locals used to refer to it as the ‘The dumps’ as the beach was full of glass, appliances and even vehicles.

Eventually, all scraps, metal and trash were removed from the beach. The pounding waves broke down the glass and pottery and tumbled it into the small, smooth, coloured pieces that cover the glass beach and even often become jewellery quality.

2) Hidden Beach in Marieta, Mexico

This secluded hidden paradise, is believed to have been formed by the Mexican government using the island as target practice during the 1900’s. These controlled bombings have been said to have formed numerous caves and other unique rock formations on the Marietas Islands.

Some also believe the beach was formed in combination of erosion of the rocks surrounding it due to the local weather conditions.

3) Starry Night Sky Beach in Maldives

The glistening blue dots of light is caused by microscopic organisms called bioluminescent phytoplankton, or Lingulodinium polyedrum – for the scientifically inclined.

These plankton are part of a red tide, which is when the population of phytoplankton like these explodes in a certain location, colouring the water a dull orange-red.

At night however, the red waters take on a completely different hue. These organisms react to changes in water tension and to acidity by giving off light. Hence, the reason why every wave break and paddle causes them to glisten blue dots of light. Surfers who surf a red tide at night leave a trail of shining water, and steps taken in soaked sand leave shimmering imprints. Boats travelling through bioluminescent red tides leave especially impressive light trails.

4) The Beach of the Cathedrals, Ribadeo, Spain

Also known as the ‘Beach of the Holy Waters’, formed its stunning cathedral like arches and caves (paved with sand) from when the Cantabrian Sea waves carved and carried away the softer parts of the rock.

5) Pink Sand Beach, Bahamas

Harbour Island is known for its famous pale pink sand beaches. The pink sand is formed by washed-up coral remnants, which are dashed and grounded to tiny pieces by the surf.

6) Extreme Plane Landings at Maho Beach, Saint Martin

Situated on the Dutch side of the Caribbean island of Saint Martin, in the territory of Sint Maarten – It’s famous for the Princess Juliana International Airport adjacent to the beach. Maho Beach is unusually close to the threshold of a runway, and is directly under the flight path, resulting in aircraft on their final approach flying over the beach at altitudes of less than 100 feet above ground level.

Due to the unique proximity of low flying airliners, the location is very popular with plane spotters. This is one of the few places in the world where aircraft can be viewed in their flight path just outside the end of the runway. Watching airliners pass over the beach is such a popular activity that daily arrivals and departures airline timetables are displayed on a board in most bars and restaurants on the beach.

7) Jokulsarlon, Iceland

Each day new ice sculptures are washed up on the black volcanic sand. They come in all shapes and sizes, sometimes only a few and at other times you can’t walk down the beach without tripping over chunks of crystal-clear ancient glacial ice. Sunrise is one of the best times to get here as the beach faces south east and catches the first of the sun’s rays. The sight of the sun filtering through these blocks of ice on the beach is one of those magical experience that you will want to experience.

8) The Moeraki Boulders (Dragon Eggs) in Koekohe Beach, New Zealand

The Moeraki Boulders are unusually large and spherical boulders lying along a stretch of Koekohe Beach on the wave-cut Otago coast of New Zealand between Moeraki and Hampden. They occur scattered either as isolated or clusters of boulders within a stretch of beach where they have been protected in a scientific reserve. The erosion by wave action of mudstone, comprising local bedrock and landslides, frequently exposes embedded isolated boulders. These boulders are grey-coloured septarian concretions, which have been exhumed from the mudstone enclosing them and concentrated on the beach by coastal erosion.

9) Green Sand in Kourou, French Guiana

The green sand on this beach in Hawaii is caused by the mineral olivine, which is formed by lava as it cools in the sea.

10) Papakolea Green Sand Beach, Hawaii

The green sand is caused by the mineral olivine, which is formed by lava as it cools in the sea.

11) Red Sand Beach, Rabida, Galapagos

The red sands on Rabida Island are due to the oxidisation of iron rich lava deposits, but some others say that it’s because of washed-up dead coral sediments.

12) Punaluu Black Sand Beach, Hawaii

This black sand is formed by basalt lava, which explodes as it flows into the sea and rapidly cools.

13) Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur, California

Pfeiffer Beach’s purple colour comes from manganese garnet deposits in the surrounding hills erode into the sea.

14) Giants Causeway Beach, Ireland

The Giant’s Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption.

The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea. Most of the columns are hexagonal, although there are also some with four, five, seven or eight sides. The tallest are about 12 metres (39 ft) high, and the solidified lava in the cliffs is 28 metres (92 ft) thick in places.

15) Shell Beach, Shark Bay, Australia

This beach is one out of two beaches in the world to be entirely covered from shells. The beach was named “Shell Beach” because of the great abundance of the shells of the cockle species Fragum erugatum. The seawater in the L’Haridon Bight has a high salinity due to both the geomorphology and local climate of the area. This high salinity has allowed the cockle to proliferate unchecked, since its natural predators have not adapted well to this environment.

16) Vik Beach, Iceland

Iceland is a land with a lot of volcanic activity, hence the reason why black volcanic beaches are so common there.

in 1991, the US journal Islands Magazine counted this beach as one of the ten most beautiful beaches on Earth. It’s stretch of black basalt sand is one of the wettest places in Iceland.

17) Cave Beach in Algarve, Portugal

This stunning cave attracts hundreds of visitors each summer. The Algarve coast consists of limestone, which is easily eroded and can form stunning sea caves like this one.