Culture & Travel3 August 2022
Same sea, same beach… Preferably white? Try to change up this summer, perhaps by choosing a black beach. Yes, it’s pitch black. Unique places inspired by hell that will leave you speechless. The dark color of the sand is mostly due to the volcanic origin of the earth. These are practically lava and other minerals that have crumbled over time. For this reason, you may find the most beautiful black beaches in the world in places such as Hawaii, Iceland, and Costa Rica.
1. Punalu'u Beach, Hawaii
Punaluʻu Beach is a black sand beach that is perhaps the best known of the Hawaiian Islands. It is located on the southeast coast of the Kau region on the Big Island of Hawaii. Those coming to Punaluʻu Beach will have to forget about the white beaches of soft sand and the calm and warm waters. The character of Punaluʻu Beach derives from the wild and volcanic nature of this island. The sand here has a special black color, as it consists of pulverized basalt from the eruptions of the Mauna Loa volcano. The peculiarity of the dark beach is its ability to absorb and reflect sunlight. To make the place even more impressive, there are palm trees all over the bay. Probably one of the main attractions of the area is the sea turtles that come here to nest. They are endangered species, and local people are active in every way to protect their natural habitat, so tourists are requested not to approach or touch these animals because their immune systems cannot protect them from human bacteria. Visitors should stay at least four meters away from turtles. There is another prohibition to consider when reaching Punaluʻu Black Sand Beach: the black sand that makes this place so unusual cannot be collected and taken away as a souvenir. Swimming is, of course, possible in Punaluʻu bay, but it is recommended not to go too far from the shore as the currents are very strong, dangerous even for the most experienced swimmers, and there is no lifeguard service on the beach. The same is true for canoe rentals. The safest place to reach Punalu’u beach from the sea is at the northeast end, as there are lava rock groups that make a good landing spot for boats and swimmers.
2. Vik Beach, Iceland
Among the main attractions of Iceland is Vik, a unique dark pebble beach in the world. The beach is about 180 kilometers from Reykjavik and can be easily accessed via the village of Vik. The beach is quite small, as it is split by the Reynisfjall mountain that bisects it. When you reach the beach from the road, the view is breathtaking. Among the features that make Vik one of the most preferred destinations by travelers are the wonderful bird fauna that live on the beach during the nesting period, apart from the color of the beach. It is especially possible to admire the sea ducks and seagulls, which are busy digging deep pits to lay their eggs. Reynisfjara is also very popular with photographers. The dark color of the volcanic sand and the tall basalt columns are a great source of inspiration for any nature and photography enthusiast. Despite its extraordinary natural treasures, the water is cold, the waves rise unexpectedly, and they are very strong. Hence, we advise tourists not to get too close to the sea and to be safe by walking on the first part of the beach.
3. Playa Negra, Costa Rica
Everyone wants to enjoy the pristine conditions of Playa Negra with the black of its beach and the blue view of its water. The black sandy shoreline is surrounded by rocky borders that create ideal conditions for small tide pools. Although most of the water is not ideal for swimming, there are small protected areas for swimming south of the beach. One of the great things about Playa Negra is that it’s a great surf spot for experienced surfers, although beginners can find the perfect break here to try their skills. However, the small departure area of this beach tends to be crowded, especially at high tides. Steady waves year-round regularly attract professional surfers, but whatever your experience level is, it’s best to avoid this area during low tide.
4. Kehena Beach, Hawaii
The beach owes its black volcanic sands to a mid-20th century lava flow, and an earthquake in 1975 destroyed the ladder that once accessed two black sand areas. Now, to reach Kehena Beach, it is necessary to travel a difficult path down the lava cliffs. The majestic dark sands here make for a stunning beach, even if it is small and narrow. Coconut palms provide shade, while the mighty shoreline offers dramatic ocean viewing. In calmer conditions, you’ll often see people swimming here, but generally speaking, the currents here are potentially dangerous. You’d better stay away from the water. There are no lifeguards here, and strong waves and currents can cause serious mishaps to swimmers. There are also no facilities on the beach, but vendors often sell coconuts here, especially on weekends. The black sand here is Kehena’s prime sight, but there is also a different kind of “scenery” that is often on display in the area: lots of naked people. Kehena Beach is famous for its clothes-optional shore excursion, and some people may be wearing fewer clothes than you. Shocked if you go without knowing it
5. Scari Beach, Italy
Arriving at the port of Stromboli, you can immediately admire the Scari beach, which is located near the pier. The northern part of the beach is reserved for mooring small boats, while the southern part is designed for swimming. Scari beach is one of the largest and best-equipped beaches on the island and is equipped with an efficient restaurant service where typical local dishes based on fresh fish are served daily. Made up of several kilometers of lava pebbles, the beach offers a special view of the natural black beach that was formed by imposing volcanic eruption thousands of years ago. Scari beach is strategically located near the village of San Vincenzo and the port where ferries and hydrofoils depart daily to Stromboli. Scari is an ideal beach for a relaxed trip to the sea with the whole family.