Top 10 Black Sand Beaches

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When you think about going on vacation or to a getaway trip, you probably pick somewhere warm with inviting weather, people, and beaches. Once you pick that perfect beach you want to visit, you can’t picture anything else but a warm breeze and a clear blue sky that engulfs a beautiful brown sandy beach, with minimal rocks of course.

Think about this. Try picturing a beach with blue water, a crystal clear sky, and black sand. Sounds a little crazy huh? In any case, these beaches do exist. So, the next time you’re planning a vacation or looking for a new place to go to for a few days, try heading to a black sand beach. If you can’t pick just one or you aren’t sure of any, here is a list of the top 10 black sand beaches.

10. Vik Beach, Iceland

Vik Black Sand Beach And Its Trolls

Vik Black Sand Beach And Its Trolls – from BigStock

Vik Beach is located in a small village located in the southern part of Iceland. Though you may think Iceland isn’t the prettiest place on Earth to go to enjoy a beach, Vik Beach was nominated one of the most beautiful beaches on Earth in 1991. Vik is also the wettest village in Iceland, so you want to make sure that you get to the beach on a day that isn’t so rainy. Though this beach isn’t the best one to lie out and soak up some sun, it is definitely a marvel to see.

9. Black Sand Beach, Prince William Sound, Alaska

Prince William Sound, Alaska

Prince William Sound, Alaska

This beach is located just 60 miles from Anchorage. At this beach, you will see tidewater glaciers, waterfalls, green hillsides, and wildlife you won’t find at the zoo. If you look into the water or around you, you will see that the ten-thousand-foot peaks are reflected in the beautiful icy blue water. At this beach, one of the most popular things to do is to go kayaking. Remember, you’re in Alaska so this isn’t the beach that you want to go sport your new bikini at. Bring warmer clothes than you generally would to this beach. Thank me later.

8. Pololu Valley Beach, Hawaii

Polulu Valley Black Sand Beach

Polulu Valley Black Sand Beach – from BigStock

Pololu Valley Beach is located at the end of Highway 270. At this beach, you will find that you have access to an excellent view of the Kohala Mountains as well as the coastline. This beach is probably one of the smallest in Hawaii, and it requires you to hike from the 400-foot lookout area to actually get to the beach. This means about 20 minutes of hiking. At this beach, activities such as snorkeling and swimming aren’t recommended because the currents are generally extremely strong and high surf conditions make the water dangerous. If you do visit Pololu Valley Beach, try hiking and just taking in the scenery.

7. Kehena Beach, Hawaii

Kehena Beach, Hawaii

Kehena Beach, Hawaii

If you plan on going on vacation, this isn’t the place to take your family, especially if you have young children. The beach is said to be a nude beach, though this is illegal in Hawaii. At Kehena, you aren’t alone. Here you will find dolphins, which is why this beach is sometime called Dolphin Beach. You can even swim with these dolphins if the current isn’t too bad. Most people that go to Kehena just sit in the sand and enjoy the weather and water.

6. Kaimu Beach, Hawaii

Palm Trees on Kaimu Beach
Kaimu Beach, though somewhat dangerous, is another great black sand beach that is a must see. During the 1990s, the beach was covered in about 20’ of lava. Recently, those who live near the beach have begun planting new trees and flowers to bring the beach back to life, so to speak. Ferns, palm trees, and other plants can be seen popping out of the cracks in the lava. It is advised that you don’t swim at this beach because of the strong currents, but standing in the water for a little won’t do much harm.

5. Black Sand Beach, Lost coast, California

Black Sand Beach, Lost coast, California

Black Sand Beach, Lost coast, California

The Lost Coast of California stretches about 80 miles long. It is one of the lightest traveled coasts. If you have the courage and skill to master this coast, you will be greeted by peaks that are more than 2000 feet high. The highest is King’s Peak at 4,087 feet. You will also be greeted by a beach named Black Sand Beach. Though you can swim in this beach, most people don’t. It isn’t a beach that attracts a large crowd, except for those that are hiking along the coast and stop to take pictures and such. This beach brings about an extremely dramatic scene, with beautiful water, sand, and peaks all around it.

4. Oneuli Beach, Maui

Oneuli Beach, Maui

Oneuli Beach, Maui

Oneuli Beach is one of the beaches in Hawaii where you probably won’t ever see large crowds of people. However, while on the beach, you will always have a great time while you are there. The water is perfect and the land so great that you can even camp at this beach. If you are just planning on staying for a few hours, you can go swimming, hiking, fishing, and boating. If you’re a natural-type of person, you would love hiking on the Lower Trail as well as the Maluaka. You can also try snorkeling, scuba diving, and kayaking.  The sand here gets extremely hot when the sun is out. Don’t forget your shoes!

3. Honokalani Black Sand Beach, Maui

Honokalani, Maui

Honokalani, Maui

Honokalani Black Sand Beach is located in the Wainapanapa State Park. The beach offers lava pebbles that are smooth and small. Around the beach you will find lava cliffs. You will also find sea caves, a sea arch, as well as seaside lava tubes. From the beach you can walk the King’s Highway, which is a path from the beach along the coast that takes you to Hana. As well as enjoy the beach, you can go diving and snorkeling at this beach.

2. Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach, Maui

Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach Maui

Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach Maui – BigStock

Waianapanapa Beach is a great black sand beach that was formed by waves crashing against volcanic rock over decades and decades. At this beach you can find some of the most beautiful sites you’ll ever see. You can look and go into sea caves, bridges made of natural stone, and you can look at the old King’s Highway. This highway used to encircle the island. If you are bringing your family to this beach, make sure that you try to visit during the summer months. In winter, the surf becomes extremely high, so swimming, surfing, and diving are all very dangerous here. When the surf is calm, you can kayak, swim, and scuba dive.

1.  Punaluu Beach, Hawaii

Punaluu Beach, Hawaii

Punaluu Beach, Hawaii

The top black sand beach in the world is Punaluu Beach, which is located on the Big Island of Hawaii. The beach is surrounded by black sand that was created by lava from volcanoes flowing into the ocean and then cooling. The ocean is said to be rocky, so be aware if you plan on going into the water. At this beach you will find Hawksbill turtles as well as Green sea turtles. Though the black sand is beautiful, it is illegal to take the sand off of the beach. Sometimes you just can’t take a piece of everything with you.


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24 Comments

  1. This list is extremely partial and US-centered (9 of 10 beaches of this list are from USA territories)

    Where are the famous Canary Islands black-sand beaches?

    And all the incredible black-sand beaches of the North-West African coast?

    • I have to agree with you that the list is partial to the US. There are also very beautiful black sand beaches in the Caribbean including St. Vincent and Dominica, some of which can be seen as the backdrop to the three Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

  2. In the Mediterranean Sea near Greece is an island called "Samothraki" which has an amazing black beach. At night the plankton in the seawater is glowing green when the waves are breaking at the coast. Truly amazing

  3. I'm with Slade, Most of the west coast of New Zealand is Black Sand. With some of the most righteous surf breaks around – Raglan, Stent Road etc. Taranaki in particular, we even have Black Sand bumper stickers

  4. I can't remember the name, but I visited a beautiful black sand beach in Tahiti. your list seems slanted toward Hawaii. I've been all over the hawaiian islands. I aree that it's one of the most beautiful places in the world. I just like a little more variety I guess. you did put an Iceland beach in there though. I'll have to check that one out. have a great day. and thanks for the pics of the beaches!

  5. i agree that this is US centered list. there are also lots of black sand beaches in the philippines being a volcanic country. please revise the list. thanks

  6. I’m with Slade, Most of the west coast of New Zealand is Black Sand. With some of the most righteous surf breaks around Raglan, Stent Road etc.

  7. Just outside of Saint John, NB, Canada (in Lorneville) there is a black sand beach called Black Beach. Not great for swimming though because it is the Bay of Fundy. Brrrrrrrrr!

  8. I agree … PIHA, KARE-KARE, BETHELL’S BEACH are all located on Auckland’s West Coast and are way more breathtaking than many of the beaches listed on this list.

  9. Ur list is totally one sided have u been to the black sand beach of fogo island, cape verde in africa? Try to and see if u will not re-edit ur list.

  10. i think the author’s list was top ten black beaches that he went to..all the other black beaches that you say were not included because he did not see them yet..albay, phils have amazing black beaches too. plus you get to see the beautiful mayon volcano(renowned perfect cone).

  11. you can NOT swim on the black sand beach in the lost coast, shelter cove CA… you will get swept out to sea and most likely drown. It looks very calm, but the current will suck you out!

  12. i agree wth most of you that list is so blank coz as u knew guys black sand is common very rich of special important minerals can be 1 of da primary matrial for missles& rockets industry im from egypt orignally live at mexico ensenada baja california at south sinai theres place called marsa alam full of beaches wth black sand

  13. This list is kinda disappointing. I live in Indonesia and there are lots of black sand beaches – in Lombok (Gili Islands), Bali, even Java Island, very beautiful beaches where you can actually swim, go snorkeling or other activities – with your bikini/swimsuit, and not only sitting around or go hiking in warm clothes – it’s beach, for gosh sake!

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