When we think of beaches, the first image that comes to our mind is of pristine white or golden sands with turquoise waters. But black sand beaches are something else entirely, with dark-hued volcanic lava sands, making them mysterious, dramatic, and fascinating. Here are a few stunning black sand beaches from across the world, perfect for experiencing the unrivaled contrast created by azure waters lapping charcoal shores.
Playa Jardín, Canary Islands, Spain
Playa Jardín is located on the northern coast of Tenerife island, the largest of the Canary Islands. Artist Cesar Manrique landscaped the long stretch of this urban beach with its scenic promenade by creating a striking juxtaposition of matted black volcanic sands and lush plant life lining the shore. The name itself is Spanish for ‘Garden Beach.’
Perivolos Beach, Santorini, Greece
Located on the island’s southern shore, Perivolos Beach is mainly known for its long stretches of black sand, with the backdrop of deep blue Mediterranean waves. In true Santorini fashion, the façade of the beach is contrasted with strikingly colorful beach chairs.
Diamond Beach, Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland
A natural hotbed of geothermal and volcanic activities, Iceland features several volcanic black sand beaches. Located in southeastern Iceland, Diamond Beach is particularly striking for its glistening black sands, covered in large pieces of glittering ice that give the beach its name. The beach also forms the coastline of Jökulsárlón, the most famous glacial lagoon in Iceland.
Playa Negra, Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica
Playa Negra offers a variety of adventure activities alongside the carbon-colored sand. The warm water and right-hand barrel waves are particularly sought-after among surfers of all levels. You will also have several other options like swimming, snorkeling, paddle boarding, and zip lining through the lush rainforest.
Black Sands Beach, California, U.S.
Black Sands Beach is located in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, just a 30-minute drive from San Francisco. A welcoming departure from the usual quartz-rich light-colored sandy beaches in California, this hidden gem of a beach boasts a dramatic dark coastline. The stunning stretches of black sands provide a wonderful getaway option for U.S. beach lovers.
Keramas Beach, Bali, Indonesia
A haven for surfers, the azure waters of this beach in Bali are great for hitting the waves. Like most black sand beaches, Keramas Beach also features long stretches of sparkling black volcanic sands. The sands here are pebbly but comfortable enough for sunbathing. Despite its surfing appeal, this is one of the most remote beaches located south of Ubud, just 30 minutes from Bali.