When someone says ‘beach’, we probably think of white sand, fierce waves, cool breeze and the beautiful view of sunrise and sunset. Though there are plenty of tropical beaches around the globe, there are few which are uniquely different from the usual ones and are also known for its appearances. With summer on the horizon, we set out on a quest to discover the best beaches around the world, the kind that leave you longing for sunset strolls and give you the ‘feel-good’ feeling. And trust us, with so many heavenly coastlines, it wasn’t easy to narrow down the choices. So, here are the 10 most extra-ordinary beaches that, in one way or another, might not be anything like the beaches you normally visit or have seen.
Bioluminescent Beach, Maldives:
What’s Extra-Ordinary – Glowing Planktons
This one is truly incredible when you see it at night and it’s almost like a dream. Just imagine, you’re walking in a quiet, peaceful sandy beach on a tropical island, and all you can see is millions of stars scattered across the water. A rare view, the lights on the sandy shores of this beach is caused by a bioluminescent phytoplankton. These Tiny, bioluminescent sea creatures glow in the night and they can be found only in few beaches all over the world, but one of the best places to view them at Bioluminescent Beach in the Maldives.
Hidden Beach in Marieta, Mexico:
What’s Extra-Ordinary – It is Hidden!
Situated on the Islas Marietas, off the coast of Puerto Vallarta, Hidden Beach is one of Mexico's most remarkable wonders. Also known as ‘Beach of Love’, the Hidden beach is engulfed by a cave with a large open roof that lets the sunlight in. This strip of sand in the Marietas Islands, off the coast of Puerto Vallarta, is so secret that it cannot be seen from the sea or reached by land... and you have to swim through a long underwater tunnel from the Pacific Ocean to get to it. A permit is needed to visit the islands by boat and once there, visitors need good swimming skills to make the underwater swim to the beach.
Venice Beach, Venice, Florida:
What’s Extra-Ordinary – Fossiled Shark Tooth
Referred as the ‘Shark Tooth Capital of the World’, Venice Beach’s sandy shoreline is littered with fossilized shark teeth; yes your heard that correct – shark teeth. Fossilized from millions of years ago and not harmful at all, it is not common for a beachgoer to find any such teeth lying in the sand. And if you are lucky enough, you may surprisingly step on a massive Megalodon tooth - and yes they are said to be bigger than your palm, Amazing right!
The Glass Beach, Fort Bragg, California:
What’s Extra-Ordinary – All Glass No Sand
Looks as if glass confettis is strewn across the shores, Glass Beach is no secret, and still ranks high on the list of unique beaches anywhere. Tiny glass shards from an old trash dump on the beach have been churned around in the surf for years and turned into billions of colorful pieces of sea glass. Although it is illegal, some of the glass has been stolen over the years, but there are still a lot which has remained on the beach.
Hot Water Beach, The Coromandel, New Zealand:
What’s Extra-Ordinary - Warm Water
Also to be known as a spa retreat, in New Zealand, Hot Water Beach is the favourite amongst the beachgoers. When the tide is low, visitors dig a hole in the sand near the edge of the sea water, which allows the volcanic-heated mineral water expose below the surface. It's a strange but very pleasant feeling to be lying in a pool of hot water just metres from the refreshing sea. Here you'll find sheltered and secluded spots for quiet, sleepy sunbathing. For surfers, Hot Water Beach has good beach breaks in moderate easterly swells, however the presence of strong undertows means this beach is often dangerous for swimming.
Shell Beach, Shark Bay, Australia:
What’s Extra-Ordinary – Millions of Clam Shells
Located on the Shark Bay, This beautiful snow-white beach is made up of millions of tiny shells scattered all over, up to 10 metres deep and stretching for over 70 kilometres. There is no sand, only shells! This prolific presence of shells comes from the cockle clams that inhabit this area. The water is so saline that cockle clam predators can’t survive the harsh conditions. This has led to a fertile outburst of shells on the beach. With not much Marine life, the beach is a good place for a cool dip. The site is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Pink beach - Harbour Island, Bahamas:
What’s Extra-Ordinary – The Pink Sand
Pink is the new white, or so it seems when it comes to beaches. Having a soft pinkish hue, Harbour Island beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on the face of this earth. The pink color of the sand comes from microscopic coral insects, known as ‘Foraminifera’, which have a bright pink or red shell full of holes through which it extends a footing, called pseudopodia. Dainty looking pink shells are often lying around the beach. The pink stands out more in the wet sand at the water's edge. Unlike other parts of the world, the sand here is always cool, so you can walk about freely with bare feet.
Bowling Ball Beach, Schooner Gulch, California:
What’s Extra-Ordinary - Rocks resembling big balls
At the edge of the Pacific Ocean, the beach at Schooner Gulch State Beach near Mendocino, looks as though it’s been scattered with oversized bowling balls. Almost perfectly spherical, stones like these have caused wild speculation wherever they’ve been discovered, with answers from aliens to dinosaurs, but the answer is actually simple geology. So, formed by some unknown geological wonder, this spherical rocks definitely adds to the distinctiveness of the shoreline. The beach and headlands preserve a scenic spot along the Mendocino coast and offers a stunning perch for watching sunsets, or merely sitting in the grass as the afternoon sun glistens on the water below. Fishing, picnicking, and surfing are popular activities here.
Jokulsarlon Beach, Iceland:
What’s Extra-Ordinary – Snow chunks lying on the beach
Jokulsarlon beach as known as Diamond Beach Iceland by the locals, is one of the most magnificent and fun spots for tourists and photographers alike in the country. This is where you can observe sparkling icebergs escaping the lagoon and washing up on the back sand beach. This is a surreal place where you are surrounded by small and huge blocks of ice of many shapes and colors over black sand. The chunks of snow-white glaciers on the black volcanic sand depicts the picture of a perfect match and gorgeous contrast in one frame.
Cow Beach, Goa, India:
What’s Extra-Ordinary – Cows and lots of them.
Possibly coming in first place for the extraordinary beach is this gem. India’s ‘Cow Beach’ in Goa, inhabits large Goan cows as its biggest attraction. In India, cows are considered as sacred animals. These cows are permitted to venture where they please, so finding them wandering across a busy road or sitting outside a supermarket isn’t too unusual. It’s a stress-free life for these cows, as they enjoy sunbathing by your side, or maybe even join you for a swim in the ocean. They’ll even munch up your left overs once you’ve finished to save you walking to a rubbish bin! What more could you want when you’re on holiday?
So, if you’re looking for the perfect summer getaway, why not choose to travel across the world to visit one of the world’s most extraordinary beaches. Break the flatness of a stereotype beach holiday and fly high, plan your tropical getaway now, as these are the best yet extraordinary beaches in the world.