6 black sand beaches you must see across the world

The world's top black sand beaches

Forget the usual white sand beaches and see the mystery of lava fragments and volcanic minerals combined with the sea's moving tide. Black sand beaches are found all over the globe, from colder regions near the Arctic as well as warmer exotic climates. Some provide the best surfing conditions, while others are an opportunity to view peerless landscapes.

  1. Reynisfjara, Iceland
  2. Playa Del Duque, Tenerife
  3. Punalu'u, Hawaii
  4. Perissa Beach, Santorini
  5. Keramas Beach Bali
  6. Piha, New Zealand

A volcanic expanse of smoky sand strikes the ideal dark contrast against turquoise waters. The most remarkable thing about black sands is how they reflect the sun less grimly, making them pleasant environments to hang out in summer. The following six beaches with black sand are photogenic, some being the most renowned across the world.

1. Reynisfjara, Iceland

Driving to Reynisfjara from Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, takes about two and a half hours. Take a day trip from the Reykjavik, where numerous tours stop at the famous beach. Be sure to take pictures while on the Ring Road, which is on a hill and a popular spot for sightseeing along the South coast. Reynisfjara, one of the most accessible black sand beaches locations in Iceland, is best known for the columnar basalt. While at it, you will immediately notice the rocky sea stacks off the shoreline. These were once trolls pulling ships from the waters at night but later turned into solid stone.

Best time to visit: Early morning or late afternoon

While you're there: Visit Vík í Mýrdal, a small fishing village

2. Playa Del Duque, Tenerife

If you have been looking for black beaches in Tenerife to take your family, your search should end at Playa Del Duque. It offers plenty of space for playing, and the calm shallow waters are suitable for swimming. Take a relaxing stroll to soak up the backdrop of a wide promenade lined with palm trees, running the full length of the sand. If hunger strikes, check in at the cafés, restaurants, bars, and other family-friendly facilities around. If you plan a full black beach day, consider renting a parasol. Water sports equipment and sun lounger are also available for hire.

Best time to visit: June - September

While you're there: Convince kids to dig till they get the original black sand

3. Punalu'u, Hawaii

Also known as the Black Sand Beach, Punalu'u has an expansive shore that is easy to access and suitable for sunbathing, picnics, and coastal hikes. Like in most dark beaches, tourists come here to sunbathe, swim, snorkel, and watch the Green and Hawksbill turtles basking in the sun. The best snorkelling spot is Ninole Cove, located a short distance from Punalu'u and offers a sheltered bay of sand channels. If you want to enjoy the best dip, get into a small boat ramp facing the waters but watch out for high surf.

Best time to visit: January or December

While you're there: Hike in the Volcano Village

4. Perissa Beach, Santorini

It is one of the longest volcanic beaches in Santorini and a proudly Blue Flag destination. Gaze at the impressive scenery formed by black lava sand and a sandy sea bottom with crystal clear waters. The cosmopolitan beach is fully organized with comfy lounge chairs, parasols, showers, playgrounds, and lifeguards. If you have a passion for diving, there is an excellent site in Perissa beach where you can also windsurf, jet ski, canoe, or ride banana boats. Rock your family vacation experience at a nearby waterpark with three slides and a pool appropriate for children and adults. The black sand coastline becomes lively at night, with beach bars and clubs accommodating young and old alike.

Best time to visit: June - September

While you're there: Taste traditional dishes at the restaurants and taverns

5. Keramas Beach Bali

Of all the black sand beaches, Keramas beach is the best for surfing. A shimmery black sand shoreline is dotted with shacks where they serve traditional dishes. Since it is a very remote location, you will not come across anything like a street lined with shops or restaurants. It is practically deserted, hence an excellent destination to stay away from crowds. On one side are rice fields and farmyards, and coastal villages on the other side. Keramas beach is mainly covered with rocks and pebbles, but there is an area full of powdery, shimmery black sand. There are plenty of homestays and villas around for a quiet vacation.

Best time to visit: early and mid-mornings for surfing

While you're there: Trek the Hidden Canyon Beji Guwang

6. Piha, New Zealand

Piha, a surf beach on West Auckland's rugged coast, is a perfect place to escape it all. Take a stroll along the walkways through a forest in the neighbouring hills. Off the scenic drive is the unmissable Lion Rock, where you can pull over to take pictures. The surrounding village is best known for kiwis, particularly in summer in summer. If you are not taking surfing lessons, try abseiling down a canyon, visit the surf club to taste delicacies, or bring a picnic. If you feel adventurous, take some bush walks along Kitekite track that leads to a famous waterfall. Remember to carry your sunscreen because there's plenty of space to soak up the sun.

Best time to visit: January - March and December

While you're there: Check rock pools down the beach at low tide

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