Unusual Beaches of the World

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Travel Features >> Unusual Beaches of the World

Unusual Beaches of the World

March 15, 2012

We have rounded up a list of some unusual beaches of the world ~ beaches that are red, green, purple – even black! And then there are some that are quirky. And you always thought a good beach was supposed to be silvery silken sands beneath your toes with the blue, blue waters lapping the shoreline. As you will see life is not always a beach! Read on …

Chandipur Beach, India
Twice a day, an unusual phenomenon takes place at the beach in Chandipur located on the east coast of India. The sea recedes upto 5 kms – yes , you read that right - 5kms! And when the waters ebb the shores beneath become a hunting ground for pretty seashells, unusually shaped driftwood and lots of little red crabs. It’s an amazing sight to see the sea backing off and then after a while coming in again.

Glass Beach, Fort Bragg, CA, USA
Have you ever walked on a glass beach? Drive out a few hours north of San Francisco, along the coastline to Mendocino county to Fort Bragg and see how a former dumping ground has been transformed into something quite beautiful. In 1967 the local authorities decided to do a clean up act here and what we see today is a carpet of little pieces of coloured glass glinting in the sun making the Glass Beach a very pretty picture indeed. Years of pounding by the crashing waves have rounded off all the edges on the glass pieces, so there is no chance of your feet getting cut. It’s a beautiful and unusual sight, so do admire, but do not collect the polished glass pieces to take back home as Glass Beach is part of MacKerricher State Park and therefore a protected area .

Harbor Island, Bahamas
Yes, pink is the colour of the sands on the three mile long beach on this island in the Bahamas. Rated as one of the best beaches in the Bahamas, the sand gets its baby pink colour from bits of broken shells and coral. The sand is tightly packed on this 100 feet wide beach which is perfect for jogging and sun bathing. During the day go scuba diving or snorkel in the crystal clear warm waters and in the evening watch the sky turn a blushing pink while the sun fades away into the night.

Hot Water Beach, New Zealand
Fancy having a dip in a warm ocean? Just head to Hot Water Beach on the Coromandel coast of New Zealand. Be sure to bring your spade or shovel along so that you can dig a small pool for yourself to soak in some hot water that bubbles up from natural hot water springs below. This unusual phenomenon happens two hours either side of the low tide, and what makes it so amazing is that with the change in tide the pools get washed away and the high tide flattens the beach surface, till newcomers once again dig their own personal spas in the sand.

One word of caution: if you plan to swim in the waters here do so only between the flags, which mean that there is a Life Guard Service on patrol. The rip tides are here are pretty dangerous so enter the water only if you are a strong and experienced swimmer.

Hyams Beach, NSW, Australia
The glossy tourist brochures tout white beaches as the most beautiful beaches in the world, and they are not wrong. Hyams Beach located in Jervis Bay is just a 2½ hour drive out of Sydney is as white as white can be, and found it’s place in the World Guiness Book as having the whitest sand ever. Ideal for swimming, snorkeling and diving, this half-moon shaped bay 2kms in length is the perfect beach destination. Beaches don’t come better than this!

Kaihalulu Beach, Hawaii
This secluded beach with red coloured sand is not eay to get to. Located on the far east side of Maui just south of Hana, the Kaihalulu beach in Hawaii is ensconesced by a cinder cone hill and the sand gets its rather unusual red tone from the crumbling cinder ash of the surrounding hills. Climbing down to this beach is an exercise and so don’t forget your hiking boots as the path is quite slippery. Once there, behold a sight that absolutely enthrals: blue skies juxtaposed against a black lava wall and a beach that is blood red in colour!

If you are planning on swimming here, watch out- there are no life guard services or any other amenties available and some nudists around. If you must swim stay within the protected area.

Papakolea Beach, Hawaii
Now here’s a green beach for you. Its not a beach for swimming as the waters are treachourous, but it is definitely a beach you may want to see just for its peculiar olive green coloured sands. Encircled by cliffs that contain a semi precious stone called olivine which when processed is the peridot. The crumblings from the cliff face gives the sand its strange green colour.

Located close to Ka Lae (South Point)on Big island, it’s quite a task getting there. A rough drive by a 4WD or 2 mile hike from South Point and then a steep climb down the cliff face to an incredible green beach! Be careful on the way down to the beach – it’s slippery, so don’t lose your foothold. Its not recommended that you swim here as the waters are deceptive and definitely treachorous.

Pfeiffer Beach, CA, USA
Purple haze – that’s what you get at Pfeiffer beach near Big Sur on the California coast. Unusual rocky formations serve as a backdrop to this wonderfully secluded beach that is frequented by locals but often passed up by tourists. The sand here gets its purple colour from the manganese garnets from the hills that surround it. When it gets washed down to the beach and mixes with the sand, the beach takes on a purple hue which runs from deep violet to a light lavender and everything in between!

Vik Beach, Iceland
Surely a beach that is black can’t be beautiful - but go to Vik Beach some 180 kms south of the capital Reykjavik in Iceland and stumble upon one that was once voted one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It’s a bizarre sight: jet black sands line the shore where white waves gently roll in and around there are green hills that have been shaped by the winds.

Vik Beach may not be the best to sunbathe on, but hey it’s something to see. Make sure you go on a bright sunny day as Vik is one of the wettest places in Iceland and you don’t want to get caught in the rain!

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