UNIQUE BEACHES

BEST BLACK SAND BEACHES IN THE WORLD

We’ve covered many white sandy beaches but nothing captures our attention like black sand beaches. There is something just so dramatic about the entire setting with the contrast of white foamy sea water on dark sand.

What makes a Black sand beach?

The most widespread type of black sand is composed of volcanic minerals or heavy minerals such as garnet, magnetite , epidote and lava fragments. Black sand beaches are black because many volcanic minerals and rocks are dark-colored. Black sand beaches are particularly common in areas near volcanoes such as Hawaii and The Philippines. Black sand is heavier than ‘normal’ light-colored sand and can become very hot on a sunny day so finding the right beach footwear is recommended.

You May Also Like: Find out why there are different colours of the sea

To access most black sand beaches around the world, you most likely have to get off the beaten path to get rewarded with a beautifully rugged landscape.

Here is our Top 10 List Of The Best Black Sand Beaches Around The World:

Samyang Beach, Jeju, South Korea

Black sand beach of Jeju Island Korea
Photo: 장성수

Jeju is located in the Korean Strait, off the coast of South Korea. This volcanic island is dominated by Halla Mountain which consists of 360 satellite volcanoes. Halla is responsible for the volcanic soil and the sparkling black sand that forms Samyang Beach on the island.

The water is clear and locals believe that the black sand has therapeutic effects, particularly for Neuralgia and obesity. Don’t be surprised to see people burying themselves in the black sand and why not join them too!

Best Time to Visit:

Summer is between August to September in Jeju with temperatures around 30°C.

Facilities:

There is a small car park space at Samyang Beach and you’ll find shower and toilet facilities around.

Getting There:

From Jeju International Airport take bus No. 100 and get off at Samyang Beach (삼양해수욕장). The trip is around 20 minutes.

Batu Putih Beach, Sulawesi, Indonesia

black sand beaches of tangkoko with trees and clear sea
Photo: R. Rahasia

Batu Putih Beach is located in Ranowulu , a sub-district of Bitung City in North Sulawesi. The beach can be accessed from Taman Wisata Alam Batu Putih Tangkoko which sits in Tangkoko National Park.

The calm sea and soft black sand complements the beauty of this beach.  You won’t see many tourists but you’ll definitely spot some interesting wildlife around.

Best Time to Visit:

The dry season begins from May to November with temperatures between reaching up to 35°C.

Facilities:

There are no facilities around the beach.

Getting There:

Batu Putih Beach is around 3 hours away by road from Sam Ratulangi International Airport in Manado and 1 hour away from Bitung CIty. From Bitung City, there are signage that will lead you to Taman Wisata Alam Batu Putih Tangkoko.

El Bollullo Beach, Canary Islands, Spain

panoramic view of playa el bollullo
Photo: Tenerife Tourism

The Canary Islands, located just off the northwest coast of Africa, are volcanic in nature and mostly composed of basalt. Tenerife, the largest island, is home to El Bollullo beach. Located near Puerto de la Cruz, El Bollullo is hidden in a secluded bay and is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Tenerife.

Large volcanic rock formations and fine black sand is what makes this secluded beach stand out from the rest. 

Best Time to Visit:

Canary Islands has a subtropical climate making it the ideal destination to visit year-round. May to July is a good time to visit El Bollullo with warmer temperatures while August brings in more tourists.

Facilities:

There are no facilities around the beach other than a beach cafe.

Getting There:

El Bollullo is 1.5km east of Puerto de la Cruz. If you’re renting a car, take the exit to Rincón off the TF-5 motorway. You could also get there on foot by walking 30 minutes through the banana plantations and coastal trek from Puerto de la Cruz.

Muriwai Beach, Auckland, New Zealand

family of 4 having a picnic on a grass cliff overlooking black beach
Photo: Camilla Rutherford

Muriwai Beach is a popular beach in the Auckland, New Zealand. Found on the North Island, this beach is renowned for its silty black sand. This is the result of iron content in the silt deposited by ancient volcanoes such as the Kaipara Volcano, which was active 16 million years ago.

This 60km long rugged black sand surf beach is also home to the takapu gannet sea bird.

Best Time to Visit:

August to March is the best time to see the gannet sea birds nesting. The summer season begins from December to February but the sand might be too hot for your feet. March and April will still be warm enough without the scorching heat to visit Muriwai Beach.

Facilities:

Car park and restrooms are available on the cliff top overlooking the beach.

Getting There:

Muriwai Beach is around 40km from Auckland by car. There are no public buses to the beach and the only other option is by booking a tour.

Anse Ceron, Martinique, Caribbean

Black sand shoreline of martinique beach
Photo: Tourism Martinique

The wide beach offers plenty of room for sun-bathers to work on their tan while the gentle shoreline waters are perfect for swimming at Anse Ceron Beach.

Anse Ceron is located at the northwestern outskirts of Le Precheur, North West coast of Martinique and is a relatively quieter beach. The black sand beach here is soft and lined with coconut trees completing the whole tropical vibe.

Best Time to Visit:

The best time to visit Martinique is in May. Temperatures stay consistent around 27°C throughout the year, but there is a chance of hurricanes in summer and fall. December to April is high season signalling inflated prices. 

Facilities:

Toilet and shower facilities provided. There are also picnic facilities available.

Getting There:

The beach is located right off Highway D-10 from the Bourg Nord du Precheur route.

Perissa Beach, Santorini Greece

people suntanning under parasols on the black beach of perissa santorini
Photo: flickr/DangerousBiz

Perissa’s 7km stretch of black-as-night sand sits in stark contrast to the gleaming white houses and bright blue water that’s made Santorini famous. Dotted with shady palapas, the beach is lined with cafes and bars. You’ll also get to see the magnificent Mount Vouno in the distance.

Best Time to Visit:

The best time to visit Santorini is between late April and early November when the weather is warm and there is little rain. For hot weather, nightlife, swimming, and sunbathing visit in June, July, August, or September.

Facilities:

Lots of bars and hotels along the beachfront with toilet facilities and sun loungers.

Getting There:

The beach is accessible by  a 20-minute bus ride from Fira.

Keawaiki Beach, Hawaii

aerial view of black beach with lone palm tree
Photo: Jeremy Bishop

Keawaiki in South Kohala Bay on the Big Island of Hawaii is starkly beautiful with black sand and a lone palm tree on its shore. The beach was created in 1859 as a result of the Mauna Loa lava flow.

The beach is mostly empty and you’ve to hike over lava rocks to get here. It is suggested to wear proper footwear and bring adequate supplies if you wish to spend the day here.

Best Time to Visit:

The Big Island’s weather is pleasantly warm and tropical all year-round. To beat the crowds, April to June is a great time to visit Keawaiki.

Facilities:

There are no facilities available.

Getting There:

Keawaiki Bay is 10-15 minutes by car south of Anaeho’omalu Bay. Follow the path from the parking pull-off near Mile 79. 

Santo Domingo Beach, Albay, The Philippines

Santo Domingo black sand shoreline
Photo: Pinterest

Because of the volcano presence in Albay, you’ll come across a handful of black sand beaches around the area. The most famous of them all is in Santo Domingo and it’s not difficult to see why. The odd but fine-textured sand comes from the natural erosion of volcanic rocks from Mount Mayon’s ground lava which makes a great natural exfoliant.

The contrast of the cool, blue water, black sand, and green trees captures the charms of Santo Domingo Beach.

Best Time to Visit:

April to May sees warm temperatures up to 38°C with little to no rain.

Facilities:

There are no on-site facilities available, however there are numerous beachfront resorts.

Getting There:

From Legazpi Airport, make your way to Legazpi City Terminal to take a jeepney or van towards Sto. Domingo and exit at the last stop, Poblacion. From there, take a tricycle to Kayalukai Beaches. For more convenience, take a private transport from the airport directly to Kayalukai Beaches.

Mosteiros Beach, São Miguel, Portugal

two lava rock formations in the background of black sand Mosteiros beach
Photo: flickr / Denis (only 1 n)

One of the more dramatic sections of coastline on the Azores, Mosteiros is most recognizable by its huge black volcanic rocks jutting out from the sea. Combined with beautiful scenic views and natural sea-side swimming pools, a visit to this 570 year-old fishing village is well worth the trip.

Best Time to Visit:

June to September is the best time to visit Mosteiros Beach with sunny weather and clear blue skies.

Facilities:

Toilets, showers and changing rooms are free for public use. Car parks are also available.

Getting There:

Azores airport is about 2 kilometers from the centre of Ponta Delgada, the capital city of São Miguel. The distance from Ponto Delgada to Mosteiros is roughly 30km by car.

Ibusuki Beach, Kyushu, Japan

ladies in yukata by the black sand beach sand bathing
Photo: Kyushu Tourism Promotion Organization
 
In Ibusuki, a beachside city on Kyushu Island in Japan’s subtropical south, it’s all about the sand. The black sand is actually warm to the touch and widely used for suna-mushi (sand bathing).
 
For more than 300 years, Japanese people have traveled to Ibusuki’s shoreline in search of a sandy cure for rheumatism, back pain, post-stroke paralysis, hemorrhoids, asthma, diabetes, menstrual disorder, infertility, anemia, constipation and obesity. It is believed that the 50°C – 55°C black sand helps to cure these ailments.
 

Best Time to Visit:

June through August is summer season in Kyushu with no rainfall. However, early June is the best time to visit Ibusuki without facing the sweltering heat.

Facilities:

At sand baths, guests get provided with yukata robes and are then buried by staff members in hot sand that is heated by natural steam coming up from below. After staying buried for typically 10 to 20 minutes, guests wash off the sand and enter regular hot spring baths.

Getting There:

Ibusuki Station can be reached directly from Kagoshima Chuo Station by limited express train (50 minutes, 3 connections per day) or local train. Both are covered by the Japan Rail Pass.

 
 
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