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From Glowing Shores to Pink Sands: The 12 Most Unusual Beaches Around World

From Glowing Shores to Pink Sands: The 12 Most Unusual Beaches Around World

Mother Nature has blessed us with some unimaginable places. From shorelines that ditch sandy white troves and boast rainbows to water that comes alive like the stars, here are some of the most breathtaking, unusual beaches in the world:

Pink Beaches

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Imagine a coastline that boasts a stunning pink, stretching for miles with blue waves crashing on it. As unbelievable as it sounds, pink beaches do exist, but they’re as rare as they look. Among these, Spiaggia Rosa, in Italy, boasts a bright pink shoreline overlooking turquoise waves. It gets its unique color from a combination of crushed corals and pink shells left by Foraminifera, tiny coral insects. In Crete, Greece, Elafonissi Beach offers a similar landscape owing to microscopic organisms and crushed seashells mixing with the sand, giving it a stunning pink tint.

Bioluminescent Bays

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Imagine the shore coming to life with every step you take, every movement making it glow bright as if stars touched your feet. Mosquito Bay, in Puerto Rico, is one of the brightest bays in the world. It glows brightly at night, allowing visitors to spot the expansive shoreline, and even glows with every swim they take. Head to the north coast of Jamaica, and you’ll find a Luminous Lagoon that also beams brightly. Jervis Bay in Australia also presents a similar phenomenon with glowing blue swirls caused by a chemical reaction at night. There are at least 35 bio bays in the world.

Glass beaches in Kauai – Hawaii

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Who knew decades’ worth of waste could turn out to be so pretty? Kauai boasts a peculiar trove: thousands of sea glass scattered along the shore. These sparkling transparent particles didn’t just emerge out of the blue; broken bottles, auto glass, and other bits and pieces of discarded glass waste were dumped here years ago but turned into pebbles after the ocean rolled them over with the sand. Since it takes roughly 10-30 years to create this masterpiece, the glass beaches in Kauai are left unspoiled, with visitors bringing their chairs to enjoy it.

Black volcanic beaches

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Areas close to volcanoes collect tons of dust and ash, which settle over the sand, giving it a dark appearance. One such beach is the Reynisfjara beach in Iceland which holds towering basalt columns overlooking a jet-black Atlantic shore. The black sand formed when flowing lava collided with the cool water, causing massive molten rocks to shatter into crystallized pebbles, which now streak the shore. Another breathtaking black beach is the Punalu’u Beach in Hawaii. In addition to its stunning appearance, the beach is home to endangered species like the Hawaiian green sea turtle, which loves to bask on the sand.

The Red Beach – Rabida Island, Galapagos

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Imagine the Arizona Red Rocks pulverized to dust and lying flat against the ocean. Such a sight greets visitors at Rabida Island in the Galapagos; only the coast is redder than Snow White’s lips. And it’s all thanks to the environment, which is lined with volcanic material. The high iron content in the volcanoes oxidizes within the sand, painting it red and creating a sight worth the visit.

Playa del Amor – Mexico

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Playa del Amor is unique because it lies amid a volcanic crater, only accessible through a long tunnel. The unique volcanic lid protects it from harsh conditions, preserving the beach and creating a safe space for diverse marine species.

Benagil Sea Cave – Portugal

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You’ll have to boat inside an extensive cave system to reach the Benagil Sea Cave; the gorgeous beach lies hidden under a bright roof, with sunlight peeking through a small hole. The Benagil Sea Cave formed after years of coastal erosion, which deposited pillars of sand and rocks around the beach, forever sealing it from view.

Shell Beach – Australia

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One of the few beaches made entirely of shells, this Australian destination is a step back into the past. The beach formed after billions of tiny cockles scattered over the shore, leaving up to 10-meter-deep layers in some places. The mollusks remain untouched because of the highly saline environment, which prevents other species from settling, leaving behind a 60 km stretch of shells.

Bowling Ball Beach – California

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Mother Nature erected her own bowling alley in California, the Bowling Ball Beach, which gets its name because of the remarkably round sandstone structures. Softer layers of sediment were rolled within harder layers by the wind, creating hardened balls that remain untouched and serve as a stunning photo point against the Pacific Ocean.

Scala Dei Turchi – Italy

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The Stairs of the Turks is a rocky cliff with bright white limestone. The structure formed after numerous collisions between the wind and the sea, forcing layers of sediments and seashells to collect in the same place. Such structures take centuries to build, so tourists love flocking to the area and climbing what they consider the staircase to heaven.

Ponta da Ferraria Hot Springs – Azores

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There’s no better destination to relax than the hot springs of Ponta da Ferraria. These natural pools formed after cool Atlantic ocean waves met the hot waters flowing from nearby volcanoes, creating beautiful pools with the perfect temperature for a nice, hot soak. These inlets are a popular tourist destination overlooking a rocky coastline, allowing tourists to take in the best of mother nature with every dip.

The Beach of the Cathedrals – Ribadeo, Spain

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The Cantabrian Sea spent centuries shaping and carving rocky structures with its erosive powers. The Beach of the Cathedral boasts towering arches and majestic caves, which, though visible from afar, become even more magnificent when the tide is low. This is when tourists can drop everything and walk the rocky base, allowing them to explore the geological wonder and glimpse into earth’s dynamic processes.

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Travel Writer | Website

Emese Maczko is a travel blogger behind Eco Lodges Anywhere. Having explored several destinations around Europe, the US, Indonesia, and Australia, and resided in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Luxembourg, Emese possesses a keen understanding of diverse cultures and an appreciation for the beauty of each destination she visits. She advocates for sustainable travel and ecotourism.