THE WORLD’S 8 MOST UNIQUE BEACHES

 

The world contains around 372,000 miles (600,000 km) of coastline, which means there’s no shortage of good beaches. However, not all beaches are created equal. In fact, there are plenty that really sticks out from the rest. Here is a look at 8 unique beaches that you should check out next time you go on vacation.

 

CATHEDRAL BEACH, SPAIN

1. CATHEDRAL BEACH, SPAIN

Located along the northwestern coast of Spain, this beach is famous for its peculiar geological formations. Known officially as Praia de Augas Santas (Beach of the Holy Waters) it gets its nickname due to the natural stones that look like something you’d find in a Gothic cathedral. During the part of the day when the tide is low, you get a good look at sea caves, arches, and other amazing sights. But catch it while you can, since the water returns fairly quickly.

 

CHANDIPUR BEACH, INDIA

2. CHANDIPUR BEACH, INDIA

When people think of India and beaches, Goa in the southwestern part of the country is often their priority. However, don’t underestimate the Bay of Bengal, home to Chandipur Beach. 

During a part of the day, the sea recedes a full 3 miles (5 km), revealing a massive shortline that you can walk along and feel completely at peace. Of course, this is a problem for the sea creatures that never see this coming (even though it literally happens every day) but makes for easy catches if you’re a fisherman.

 

MAN OF WAR BAY, ENGLAND

3. MAN OF WAR BAY, ENGLAND

When you think of “England”, you probably don’t think of it as a beach destination. But Man of War Bay is out to prove you wrong. Situated along the English Channel, this coast covers 95 miles from Exmouth to East Devon and contains animal fossils that date back hundreds of millions of years.   

If you dream of becoming a palaeontologist, this is a must-see. In 2001 the bay was recognized by UNESCO as a Natural World Heritage Site, a first for England. You might expect that the chilly high winds would put a damper on things, but in fact, the formations shelter the beach from the worst of it. As a result, this is the perfect summer destination, especially for the romantic.

 

REYNISFJARA BEACH, ICELAND

4. REYNISFJARA BEACH, ICELAND

People used to assume Iceland was boring and, well, icy. But thanks to all those Instagram posts, everybody wants to travel to the Land of Bjork in order to take in all the natural beauty. Perhaps the most famous of their beaches is Reynisfjara, with its exquisite black basalt columns. According to legend, these columns were trolls that had turned to stone when the sun came up because apparently the sun rising in Iceland is completely out of the ordinary? Unlike most beaches where you’d want to visit during the dog days of summer, this is best visited during the winter when you can see the Northern Lights at night. Just make sure you keep the waves within your eyesight, so they don’t knock you down!

 

GIANT’S CAUSEWAY BEACH, IRELAND

5. GIANT’S CAUSEWAY BEACH, IRELAND

Take it from me, if you visit Northern Ireland, you’re in for some pretty dreary times if you limit yourself to the capital of Belfast. You need to get up to Northern Ireland and check out the Giant’s Causeway, consisting of 40,000 hexagon black basalt poles that resemble a jigsaw puzzle.   

How was all this formed? If you’re a believer in science, the explanation is volcano eruptions that took place tens of millions of years ago. But if you would prefer a more intriguing story, it has to do with a pair of giants that walked across the stones, creating cracks in the process.

 

BENAGIL SEA CAVE BEACH, PORTUGAL

6. BENAGIL SEA CAVE BEACH, PORTUGAL

Every year Portugal sees around 27 million tourists, which is nearly 3 times the population of the country. For the majority, they dream of taking a dip in the waters of the western Algarve. But the real jewel is in the sea cave of Benagil. The downside is that it can be difficult to get there. Trains, planes and automobiles won’t work; your only option is to rent a fishing boat or kayak. But on the other hand, this means you won’t have to deal with huge crowds. The best time to come is in the early morning to beat the rush and witness the glistening sun.

 

HOT WATER BEACH, NEW ZEALAND

7. HOT WATER BEACH, NEW ZEALAND

Have you dreamed of soaking in a natural hot water spa pool? Hot Water Beach is the place to be! Located on New Zealand’s north island, all you need to do is bring along a shovel or rent one out, start digging in the sand (but not too deep), and presto! You’ve got yourself a personal spa pool. But make sure to plan it well; either two hours before or after low tide. Afterwards, it becomes too deep to uncover the river hiding under the stand.

 

RED SAND BEACH, GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

8. RED SAND BEACH, GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

Amongst the islands of the Galapagos archipelago, Rábida Island is the most diverse in terms of its landscape and fauna. Red Sand Beach gets its name from its high iron content, but you also have the green cacti and plants to create stunning contrast. While you’re out catching some rays, you can also acquaint yourself with the friendly sea lions!

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