A blissful tropical climate softened by Atlantic trade winds, pinkish-white, sugar-soft beaches, fabulous scuba diving, and laid-back catamaran cruises… These are just some of the fabulous experiences to be savoured in one of the Caribbean’s most popular and welcoming destinations - Barbados.
5 of the best destinations with black sand beaches
Black Friday is almost upon us, and to celebrate, we’re taking a look at some of the world’s best destinations that are also home to black sand beaches. While they are certainly unusual, many of them are worth a visit, whether you’re topping up your tan, feeling the cool Atlantic breeze or are just looking for something different to do on your next holiday.
Reynisfjara is a world-famous black sand beach found on the South Coast of Iceland. Created by lava flowing into the ocean which cooled as it touched the water, this eye-catching natural wonder also features stunning basalt columns on the face of Gardar cliff that would give the Giant’s Causeway a run for its money.
Away from Raynisfjara, Iceland has plenty of natural attractions to entice visitors. One of the most popular trips is to the Golden Circle – a sightseeing route laden with natural beauty and attractions. While a lot of the tours follow different routes, most of them will visit the main sights including Geysir, with its exploding hot springs, the awe-inspiring Gullfoss Waterfall and Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which straddles the boundary between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates.
The largest and most visited of all the Canary Islands, welcoming over 10 million travellers a year, Tenerife is one of Europe’s ultimate holiday hotspots. The majority of its beaches were made of black, volcanic sand, and although tourism officials have invested heavily to import golden sand from the Sahara, there’s plenty of the original left to enjoy. The black sand on Tenerife is less sticky and grainy than the golden sand, making it easier to brush it off your little ones when it’s dry.
In addition to a booming beach scene, Tenerife also has top attractions such as Siam Park, one of the world’s best water parks, and Loro Parque, a tree-top adventure playground, as well as the UNESCO-listed Teide National Park with its various hiking trails.
“Holidays to Los Gigantes will have you staying in a lively seaside town with its bustling marina. The glittering black sand beach is simply jaw-dropping and is a great place to take the family, especially if you have little ones that love to go snorkelling.”
Judith, Travel Counsellor
Just 60 miles from Anchorage, the black sand beach at Prince William Sound sits at the foot of tidewater glaciers, waterfalls and green hillside while also being home to diverse wildlife. At this beach, one of the most popular activities is kayaking, but make sure to bring your wetsuit as the water can be a bit nippy.
Aside from Prince William Sound, the spectacular Arctic wilderness has dramatic mountains, glaciers and fjords, as well as historic frontier towns where you can hear tales of the Great Gold Rush. Denali National Park is one of its top attractions, with over 18,000 feet of ascending rock, ice and snow spread over six million acres of wild land, where visitors can enjoy dog sled rides in the winter and beautiful lakes in the summer. Alaska also offers opportunities to spot wildlife including whales, otters, bears and eagles and, when night falls, the shimmering Northern Lights.
Waianapanapa State Park’s Pebble Beach was formed in the same way as Reynisfjara, though has a slightly warmer climate. Dotted with freshwater caves, lava formations, ancient burial grounds and temples, this beach is a perfect spot for tanning and dipping your feet in to cool off, as black sand is considerably hotter than white or golden sand.
In addition to exploring the rest of the state park and its natural crowd-pleasers such as the anchialine pools and its seabird colony, Hawaii has plenty to offer visitors including island-hopping activities, stretches of beautiful coastline and excellent hiking opportunities including Haleakala Volcano, which is the perfect spot to catch a sunrise.
This Greek island may be famous for its whitewashed buildings, but in Santorini, you can also find sumptuous black sand and the warm Mediterranean Sea that laps up on it. One of the island’s top spots for relaxation are the beaches of Perissa and Perivolos, which are essentially the same strip of black sand, just one is in the north and the other is in the south.
But Santorini isn’t all about catching rays and relaxing the day away, as there are plenty of things to do on the island. Head to its most famous monument, Imerovigli, a white church with a blue dome that looks out across the sea, ascend Santorini Volcano for incredible views across the region or even head to Kamari Village and catch a movie at the open-air cinema.
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