7 Breathtaking Beaches of the World
Here we present to you our choice of 7 Breathtaking Beaches of the World. Beaches represent one of the most popular of the wonders of Nature for many people in the world. But no two are the same. They come in an incredible variety. We hope you enjoy this brief listing of some of the most remarkable and distinctive of them all.
Whitehaven Beach Facts
- Whitehaven Beach remains a rather spectacular 4.3 mi (7 km) stretch of the shoreline of Whitsunday Islands, Australia.
- In addition, the island is accessible by boat from the mainland tourist ports of Airlie Beach, Shute Harbor, and the upscale Hamilton Island.
- The beach was also discovered in 1879, by Staff Commander EP Bedwell who also gave the beach its name.
- This was one of the many names from the British county of Cumberland that Bedwell brought to the area.
- It was also James Cookk who gave the Cumberland island group its name, in 1770.
Whitehaven Beach Geography
This phenomenally beautiful beach is also quite famous for its white sands which consists of 98% pure silica giving the beach a bright white color.
Unlike regular sand, the sand on Whitehaven Beach does not retain heat.
This makes it rather pleasantly comfortable enough to walk barefoot on a hot day. We tried and tested it.
Whitehaven Beach Distinctiveness
The geology of the island itself also shows little or no trace of silica. Thus the sands most likely came to the beach via prevailing sea currents.
But, this has likely occurred over a period of several million years.
The sand of Whitehaven Beach is also extremely fine. This means that it can damage electronic equipment such as telephones and cameras.
It is, however, extremely useful for polishing fine jewelry.
Whitehaven Beach Preservation Efforts
In 2008, the beach also gained worldwide fame as the cleanest beach in Queensland, Australia, per Keep Australia Beautiful. This was part of the Clen beach Challenge State Awards.
In July 2010, CNN.com named the beach the number one Eco-Friendly beach in the world. Dogs are not permitted there and cigarette smoking is also prohibited.
Hot Water Beach
Hot Water Beach Facts
- An outing to the extraordinary Hot Water Beach would likely be the one time you actually want to find yourself in hot water while on a trip to the beach.
- The aptly named beach is an extremely unusual geological interface between the ocean and naturally occurring hot springs. This amazing location forms part of Mercury Bay, in New Zealand.
- During part of the day, the localized hot springs remain submerged beneath the waves.
- However, for approximately two hours before low tide, and two hours afterward each day, the unique feature of Hot Water Beach appears. Therefore, you must catch it at just the right time.
Hot Water Beach G
Hot Water Beach owes its nature to the presence of underground hot springs situated almost directly beneath the small beach.
The hot water rarely does more than slightly bubble above the surface on its own.
However, digging even slightly into the sand of Hot Water Beach will cause the cavity to be filled with hot water.
The heated water filters up from two small fissures situated quite close to each other. The water from the hot spring sometimes reaches temperatures of as much as 147 F (64 C).
Hot Water Beach Tourism and Dangers
Unsurprisingly, the uniqueness of this beach has made it a popular vacation spot for both local inhabitants and tourists. Approximately 700,000 people visit the site annually.
The spot does have its perils, however. Even during low tide, Hot Water Beach sits in close proximity to the waves, which can be large and powerful.
As if this wasn’t enough, powerful rip currents also quite commonly occur in the area.
Groupings of large rocks also sit just offshore. Though lifeguards do watch the area, officials wisely recommend that only highly experienced swimmers or surfers venture beyond the beach itself.
Purple Sand Beach
Purple Sand Beach Facts
- The incredible Purple Sand Beach truly ranks as an astonishing sight to see. Also known as Pfeiffer Beach, this wonder of geology sits in a hard to reach locale.
- This beach forms part of the Los Padres National Forest, in California, United States.
- Though not far from Big Sur, Purple Sand Beach, fortunately, remains little-known, aiding conservation efforts. Not even road signs announce its presence.
- Interestingly, the unique color also appears most noticeable in the winter, after seasonal storms.
- As a result, the newly moistened sand glistens in the light, due to its mineral composition.
Purple Sand Beach Composition
The dazzling and unique Purple Sand Beach owes its distinctive color to the nearby mountains. These formed in extremely close proximity to the seashore.
These mountains also remain rich in deposits of the mineral manganese garnet. As you probably guessed, this delicate mineral also is a purplish-colored silicate.
Local rains wash fine crystals of the mineral down to the nearby seashore, providing a naturally renewed pigmentation of the beach.
While pure purple predominates, traces of lilac and magenta may also be seen.
Purple Sand Beach Location and G
Located in North America, the lovely Purple Sand Beach does not merely represent a one-hit wonder of geology. Its brilliantly colored sand is not the only distinctive feature found in this one location.
Believe it or not, several sea caves also appear just along the shoreline. Quite understandably, these remain extremely difficult to access, however.
Additionally, just offshore sits the locally famous Keystone Arch, with a naturally occurring hole near its center.
Due to its angle and placement, the setting sun shines directly through the keyhole only during the weeks of the Winter Solstice.
Reynisfjara Beach Facts
- Without a doubt, Reynisfjara Beach ranks as one of the most unusual beaches in the world, and also one of the most isolated known to man.
- But its isolation also helps this geological wonder to remain relatively pristine. Very few tourists choose to brave the environmental conditions of its location, so tourism stays rather limited.
- We have been there – check out our photo in our OBP Around the World gallery.
- The waves in the area stay extremely powerful and rather unpredictable. Previously, numerous fatalities also occurred there among those attempting to swim in the dangerous waters.
- As a result of the unique landscape, numerous science fiction and horror movie filmmakers continue to use the site for filming movies.
Reynisfjara Beach Location and Physical Characteristics
Reynisfjara Beach sits roughly 112 mi (180 km) from Reykjavik, in Iceland, and faces the cold, open waters of the northern Atlantic Ocean. This incredible site stretches for about 3.1 mi (5 km).
Most noteworthily, the beach actually has a black color, is composed of basalt gradually eroded over time.
In addition, the location continues to be famous for the presence of incredible stone features just offshore.
These constitute black basalt columns known as Reynisdrangar, which began as enormous volcanic boulders.
Since their expulsion from the earth ages ago, erosion occurred from the action of wind and waves.
Reynisfjara Beach Climate and Ecology
The climatic conditions at Reynisfjara Beach remain extreme, usually enough to dissuade investigation by all but the most ardent beach fans.
It also rains there an average of 340 days per year, making it the wettest place in Iceland. And it already rains in Iceland a lot.
One magazine named the location one of the 10 most outstanding non-tropical beaches on earth, in 1991. This was despite (or perhaps as a result of) these conditions.
Surprisingly, rather than being devoid of wildlife, the location teems with a variety of birds. These include fulmars, guillemots, and puffins, showcasing the extraordinary adaptability of Nature.
Red Beach Facts
- Red Beach rather appropriately names and describes a visually astounding site, located in a remote and rather isolated location.
- However, and also quite surprisingly, the vibrant red coloring does not come from the color of the sand of the remarkable beach.
- Instead of sand, this location possesses an extensive covering of a specific type of seaweed, named Sueda. The entire area remains covered in it.
- This location also forms part of a greater region that serves as home to nearly 400 species of animals. This also includes 260 known bird species.
Red Beach Physical Description
The breathtaking Red Beach actually represents a reed covered wetland. As such, its physical dimensions change continuously, making listing an exact size impossible. It remains rather extensive, however.
This incredible marvel of Nature comprises just part of the largest wetland and reed marsh in the world. The landscape is primarily composed of tide-lands and shallow seas.
The prodigious quantities of the unique form of seaweed actually give the location its distinctive hue. The plant actually remains rather common throughout the world.
However, the unique properties of this region combine with the nature of the seaweed to produce this utterly unique and fascinating spectacle.
Red Beach Location, Distinctiveness, and Importance
The plant sprouts as green in the early spring then transforms into various shades of crimson during the period between August and October.
Experts also theorize that the rather unique ratio of alkaline and saline in the local soil gives rise to the unique appearance of what would otherwise be an unremarkable seaweed.
Consequently, the region also represents an environmentally important zone. Many of the bird species living here are endangered, yet here they thrive among the nesting opportunities and abundant fish.
Humans also benefit from the region, as the unique habitat serves as home to prodigious numbers of crabs.
Playa de Gulpiyuri
Playa de Gulpiyuri Facts
- Playa de Gulpiyuri ranks as one of the smallest, yet most amazing, beaches in the world. It is actually an inland beach, not one accompanying a river.
- This remarkable geological feature is located near Llanes, Spain, on the northern coast of the country, and forms part of Spain’s Regional Network of Protected Areas.
- It also holds the distinction of having been named a natural monument, as well. Playa de Gulpiyuri also, quite understandably, forms an extremely popular tourist attraction in the region.
- However, it can be difficult to locate and reach (which helps to preserve it). It remains one of the few hidden beaches in the world, yet most experts believe it to be the only one of its kind on earth that has a fully tidal nature.
Playa de Gulpiyuri Physical Description
The remarkably picturesque (don’t forget unique) Playa de Gulpiyuri also constitutes perhaps the smallest ocean beach on earth. This simply provides further proof that tiny can be beautiful. It measures roughly 131 ft (40 m) in length, while its width averages about 65.5 ft (20 m) when the tide is at its lowest.
It formed a mere 328 ft (100 m) from the Cantabrian Sea. The reason for its fully tidal nature is the existence of a network of small underground tunnels connecting it to the ocean. This direct link to its source actually allows for the creation of minor wave activity.
But its uniqueness does not end there. Playa de Gulpiyuri also sits tucked away in a small hollow area, set into the ground. This hollow region itself lies situated almost perfectly in the center of a lovely green meadow.
Playa de Gulpiyuri Formation and Preservation
The remarkable Playa de Gulpiyuri was actually formed by the combination of two separate natural events, which doesn’t happen every day.
To begin with, the endless activity of the ocean waves carved several small tunnels into the sea cliffs. Then (and scientists are uncertain of when it happened) a naturally occurring sinkhole formed.
Over time, the relentless motion of the waves washed away the debris and deposited sand, and thus a beach was formed.
The site is not widely advertised, to help protect it. However, tourists from around the world visiting the area hear about it from local inhabitants and inundate it during warmer parts of the year.
Papakolea Beach Facts
- The marvel of geology that is Papakolea Beach is one that will leave other beaches really green with envy.
- Just look at the incredible olivine beauty. Papakolea Beach actually formed from green sand.
- It formed in the Ka’u District, on the island of Hawaii. It also represents one of only four known green beaches in the entire world.
- Getting to the incredible location can be tricky, though. The terrain near the region remains quite rugged, and a strong undertow develops during high tide.
Papakolea Beach Geological Origins
Would you believe that this great beauty formed from a volcano? It’s true. Papakolea Beach actually resides in what remains of the cinder cone of the extinct volcano named Pu’u Mahana.
It first formed more than 49,000 years ago, with the last eruption occurring around 10,000 years ago. Since the time of that last activity, the cinder cone has partially collapsed into the sea.
The unique green sand of Papakolea Beach remains much more abundant near the bottom of the cinder cone remnants. Also, in the Hawaiian language, Papakolea means plover flats.
Papakolea Beach Mineralogical Composition
With great power comes great responsibility. This holds true for the origins of Papokolea Beach: the great power of the ancient volcano was responsible for the unique beauty of the beach.
Located in the United States, this particular cinder cone is rather rich in the mineral olivine, a unique silicate compound. It contains both magnesium and iron.
It actually ranks among the first crystals to form as lava cools. The same mineral that gives Papakolea Beach its incredible color occurs much more commonly in Hawaiian volcanos than in most others.
Papakolea Beach Formation
In a sense, Papakolea Beach formed from the decay of its parent volcano. Over time, the motion of the waves eroded much of the cinder cone.
Additionally, the combination of carbon dioxide and water decomposes olivine. These dual actions released the mineral from the lava.
The olivine which forms Papakolea beach is also denser and heavier than the other individual components of lava.
As the ancient lava erodes, the other components are washed out to sea, while the crystals are washed ashore. Also, the constant erosion of the cinder cone continues to renew the beach.
However, the olivine will eventually be gone, and then the green color will disappear. What a shame.
7 Breathtaking Beaches of the World
We sincerely hope that you have enjoyed our article about 7 Breathtaking Beaches of the World. It remains up to us to protect and preserve the beauty of such places, however. Like many parts of our beautiful world, they are in grave peril. Enjoy their beauty…but protect it. If you know of other beaches that you consider especially beautiful and/or unique, let us know.