Black Sand Beaches Around the World and Their Secret

In case you haven’t felt black sand: it’s truly sandy, not coarse or hard on the feet. And black sand beaches are a different experience altogether.

Not surprisingly, by definition black sand is sand that is black in color. The expression can either refer to a heavy, glossy, partly magnetic mixture of usually fine sands containing minerals such as magnetite, or tiny fragments of basalt from volcanoes found on beaches nearby.

While some beaches predominantly consist of black sand, even beaches of other colors (e.g. gold and white) can have deposits of black sand, particularly after storms.

Whichever the case, the unique tint of black found on beaches around the world is a massive draw for tourists looking to up the glam factor of their holiday. Whether located in countries like Hawaii, Iceland, Greece, Spain, or Indonesia, these impressive strands invite travelers to update their Instagram pages with enviable shots all while enjoying serene landscapes and exciting activities.

Now, let’s have a look at some of the most notable black sand beaches on the globe.

Hawaii’s black sand beaches are temporary – they form in areas after volcanic eruptions but, in time, disappear

Black Sand Beach, Maui, Hawaii. Photo: ScottieT812/CC BY 2.0
Hidden black sand beach at Volcano National Park, Hawaii. Photo: AZAdam/CC BY-SA 2.0

On Punalu’u Island, you can often see endangered Hawksbill turtles and green turtles basking in the sun on the beach

Sunbathing sea turtle at Punalu’u Black Sand Beach Park, Hawaii. Photo: djwudi/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Several sea turtles were in and out of the water on the day this image was taken on the Big Island of Hawaii. Photo: Rennett Stowe/CC BY 2.0

Iceland has some of the most spectacular black sand beaches in the world

Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, Iceland. Photo: Giuseppe Milo/CC BY 2.0

Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach on the south coast of Iceland is infamous for its dangerous killer waves and is especially treacherous during bad weather

Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach (Vík, Iceland). Photo: Henrique Vicente/Public Domain
Black Sand Beach, Western Iceland. Photo: Diana Robinson/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Black sand beach from Dyrhólaey peninsula on the south coast of Iceland near Vík. Photo: Diana Robinson/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Black Sand Beach, Dyrhólaey, South Iceland, without the snow. peterjcoughlan/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

There are many other beautiful black sand beaches around the world – check out this one in Bali, Indonesia

Young woman is spinning on a black sand beach, Bali island. Photo: Artem Beliaikin/Public Domain

Or this one on the Canary Islands

Playa Jardín in Puerto de la Cruz, Canary Islands. Photo: palestrina55/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The island of Santorini in Greece also has some beautiful volcanic black sand beaches

Perissa Beach, Santorini Isaland, Greece. Photo: mightymightymatze/CC BY-NC 2.0
Kamari beach, Santorini Island, Greece. Photo: the-tml/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Perissa Beach black sands, Santorini, Greece. Photo: dmcneil/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

And here’s one from the other side of the world – Tahiti

Black sand on Lafayette Beach, Tahiti. Photo: Jack Wei/CC BY-NC 2.0

The magnificient Stromboli Volcano in Italy also has beautiful black sand beaches hiding at its feet

Can you spot them?

Black sand sparkles in the sun, while on overcast days, the volcanic base gives off an eerie, otherworldly glow on Karekare Beach, New Zealand

Black Sand on Karekare beach. Photo: Jon Baldock nz/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Located in Karekare Regional Park, this wild and rugged beauty is close to a waterfall and boasts black sand dunes and phenomenal vistas

With Mount Fuji rising in the distance, Miho No Matsubara Beach in Japan offers beachgoers unsurpassable vistas, especially during sunset

There are many more black sand beaches around the world, but for us the winner is… This village in the Azores that has its own black sand beach to protect it from the elements

So, as you can see, black sand beaches stand out from the average tan colored sand beach and are quite intriguing. They evoke an element of curiosity, creating an amazing color contrast with the bright blue ocean waves and lush green plants that surround them.


Sources: 1, 2, 3


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