When we picture our dream beach, it’s usually got three main elements; white sand, yellow sunshine and blue water. But there are many beautiful beaches around the world which fit this picture nearly perfectly, except the sand. One of the variety of coloured sand beaches you can find are those with black sand, formed when eroded volcanic minerals and lava fragments break down from the ocean’s tide or as water flows down the side of a volcano, or even sometimes when hot lava hits the cold ocean water very quickly. They look different, but they are definitely still dream worthy. Here are 10 of the world’s best!
1. Reynisfjara Beach, Vik, Iceland
Ok, Iceland isn’t a tropical beach destination, but this place is still worht a visit. Vik Beach, also known as Reynisfjara Beach, on the South Coast of Iceland is probably the most famous black sand beach in the country, thanks to the appearance its epic shoreline and distant Reynisdrangar sea stacks in both Game of Thrones and Star Wars, along with many other films and television shows. Inky black sands and roaring waves give this beach an incredible atmosphere.
2. Miho no Matsubara, Shizuoka, Japan
The black sand beach of Miho no Matsubara is part of Mount Fuji’s world heritage site in Japan and boasts incredible views of the famous mountain. The stunning beach is more than 4 miles long and there is a grove of more than 30,000 pine trees with a nicely-paved pathway through the forest.
3. Lovina Beach, Bali, Indonesia
Lovina Beach sits on the northwestern side of Bali and, as with much of the area, is known for its calm waters and laid back vibe. The waters of this gorgeous beach are also home to several pods of dolphins so dolphin watching tours are very popular.
4. Lafayette Beach, Tahiti
Tahiti is home to many black sand beaches, one of which is Lafayette Beach. Coal black sands and a lush green coastline, it really is beautiful, and the warm waters make it that much better.
5. Ficogrande Beach, Aeolian Islands, Italy
Ficogrande Beach sits on the northeastern tip of Stromboli and is the most popular black sand beach on the islands. With plenty of amenities and calm waters perfect for swimming. The beach itself is mainly black rocks and sand, and it is recognised as a Blue Flag beach so is accessible with high environmental standards. A clean beach with clear waters, what’s not to love?
6. Playa de Roque Bermejo, Tenerife, Spanish Canary Islands
Playa de Roque Bermejo is a gorgeous, quiet beach tucked away on the island of Tenerife. Only accessible by foot or boat, and the hike from the nearby Chamorga village at least two hours each way, it’s a challenge but surely worth it if you can. The crystal clear waters are lovely and when calm are ideal for snorkelling.
7. Karekare Beach, Karekare, New Zealand
Karekare Beach is located in Karekare Regional Park and boasts incredible rocky cliffs and dramatic surf. Maybe not the serene tropical location, but the dark sand dunes make for some pretty impressive views.
8. Kamari Beach, Greece
A classic beach destination, Santorini offers many beaches, but the black sands of Kamari Beach, contracting with its white-washed resort town, are lovely. It is one of the largest black sand beaches on this volcanic island and comes with many facilities, including water sport rental companies, restaurants, cafés, and shops. The blue waters are relatively calm and perfect for a refreshing swim.
9. Black Sands Beach, California
Shelter Cove in California, known simply as “Black Sands Beach,” is not a beach you go to for swimming, which can be dangerous here, but it is undeniably beautiful. The beach sits on the south end of a 20-mile-long walkable coastline on the way to Mattole River Campground and is amazing.
10. Anse Chastanet, Saint Lucia, Caribbean
Of course the Caribbean is the ultimate beach holiday destination, and Anse Chastanet in western Saint Lucia shows why. Although part of the Anse Chastanet Resort in Soufriere, it is open to the public and is a must-visit. Tall palms, hot sun and a backdrop of lush hills and mountains make it the most picturesque beach, whilst its locations within a marine reserve means it offers the island’s best snorkelling and scuba diving.