Beaches are synonymous with rest. The gentle sway of the coastal breeze, the soft sands, and the therapeutic sound of crashing waves make beaches an ideal spot for chilling. Many beaches worldwide offer incredible ocean views alongside other notable features, from their fine-grained sand to their lush vegetation. However, some beaches throughout the world are unique and one-of-a-kind, attracting hoards of tourists every year to their unusual beauty. So pack some sunscreen and a camera, as these 10 beaches are the most impressive!
10 Koekohe Beach, New Zealand
New Zealand is known for its world-famous fiords, but their beaches are just as gorgeous, particularly Koekohe Beach. Koekohe Beach is known for its massive boulders, collectively a landmark known as the Moeraki Boulders. The boulders were said to form millions of years ago, forming rocks that were perfectly spherical and weighing several tonnes. This unique New Zealand beach is only 30 minutes away from Oamaru.
9 Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
When looking at some 40,000 basalt columns at Giant’s Causeway, it seems like human hands carved them. However, this beautiful design is entirely natural-made and produced after a volcanic fissure eruption. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Giant’s Causeway attracts hoards of tourists every year, offering incredible views of the North Atlantic sea. In addition, the dramatics of the basalt columns inspired local folklore, citing that they were made by giants who were walking to Staffa Island in Scotland.
8 Glass Beach, California, USA
Nearby the MacKerricher State Park in Fort Bragg lies the world-famous Glass Beach. This Californian beach is known for its sea glass—hence its name—created after mounds of trash were dumped on the beach. Salt-water spray and fires transformed the trash into beautiful shapes, glinting beautifully under the sun. Today, there is not as much sea glass as there were decades ago, but visitors can still find some sprinkles along this beach. However, when visiting this famous beach, leave the sea glass behind as visitors cannot take it with them!
7 Boulders Beach, South Africa
Located in Cape Peninsula, Boulders Beach has two notable traits that make it unique: granite boulders and penguins. This beach is family-friendly, allowing tourists to swim while checking out the beach’s massive boulders. Furthermore, there are boardwalks at the beach to protect the local penguins, which offer great photo ops of the pretty beach.
Boulders Beach is popular year-round, with its peak tourist season around December to February. Consider visiting the beach around November to June to avoid the bustling crowd. Also, visitors can encounter fewer crowds in the early morning or even a few hours before the park closes in the afternoon.
6 Pig Beach, Bahamas
Pig Beach is seen all over social media and is an excellent destination for animal lovers (including the adorable oinkers). As the name suggests, Pig Beach is known for…well, swimming pigs! Take a tour of these special islands, and swim with the pigs that inhabit this Bahamian island. However, before visiting Pig Beach, be sure to understand the dos and don’ts of this unique beach!
5 Shell Beach, Australia
Where can travelers find pearl-white seashells? Australia’s Shell Beach is one location travelers ought to visit first! The sands of this beach look incredibly white from the billions of tiny shells that lay on the sand. Coming from the Shark Bay Cockle, beds of tiny shells cover miles of the beach shore, replacing the sand up to 10 meters deep! Another impressive feat about Shell Beach is that the surrounding ocean waters are very salty, allowing swimmers to float on the surface effortlessly.
4 Hot Water Beach, New Zealand
Something is fascinating about New Zealand’s Hot Water Beach. About 2 hours away from Auckland, this unique beach attracts about 700,000 tourists every year due to its one-of-a-kind nature. Under the beach lies hot springs, and its waters can be experienced at low tide. During low tide, visitors can dig a small, shallow hole in the sand, revealing warm water reaching 147 °F (or 64 °C). So bring some shovels and a bathing suit!
3 Scala Dei Turchi, Sicily, Italy
The Scala Dei Turchi doesn’t need steps because nature put it there already. Known as the Stair of the Turks in English, this Sicilian beach offers turquoise waters and massive white cliffs. Though visitors can walk on these soft, white cliffs, they are asked not to take any of the rocks (known as marl). Sicily is keen on keeping this beautiful landmark around for a long time. After enjoying the Scala Dei Turchi, don’t forget to sample some of the best restaurants for a romantic dinner in Sicily!
2 Chandipur Beach, Odisha, India
Located in the Balasore District, India’s Chandipur Beach is like a mirage, whereby water recedes suddenly during one time, only to appear the next moment. This means that visitors can literally walk the seafloor during low tide! The area is also known for its excellent seafood, and tourists can even spot some interesting wildlife at Chandipur, including the elusive horseshoe crab.
1 Plage De La Dune Du Sud, Quebec, Canada
Also known as South Dune Beach, this beach is for people who believe beautiful beaches can’t be found in Canada. Located in the eastern part of Quebec’s Magdalen Island, the Place De La Dune Du Sud offers incredible views of the St. Lawrence Gulf. This is a family-friendly beach, which can get pretty busy in the warmer months. Otherwise, travelers can enjoy this beach at low tide, where they can see dramatic and tall red cliffs. This beach also has public toilets and picnic tables.