8 Of The Best Black Sand Beaches

By Rebeccah Worth and Justin Wooley |
6th March 2019

They’re moody, intriguing and definitely verging on gothic, but what makes sand black?! Well, the likelihood is that fragments of lava and other volcanic minerals were broken down over centuries by the ocean causing a rather new outtake on typical white sand beaches. And luckily for the black sand seekers amongst us, the aesthetically intriguing offerings can be found in multiple crevices across the globe, from Hawaii and Iceland to lesser expected spots such as Greece and Italy.

Stokksnes Beach - Iceland

Stokksnes Beach - Iceland

The eerie, Twilight Saga-esque offering that is Stokksnes Beach is an Icelandic must-visit for those in hunt of a bucket list black sand beach. Stokksnes Beach shows the Earth’s natural beauty at its finest with the black sand taking centre stage, whilst a calm, clear lagoon rises at the shore. This picturesque contrast will make you, and your Instagram followers fall in love faster than the hot black sand sinks through your toes.

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Keramas Beach - Bali

Keramas Beach - Bali

Bali has exploded onto the scene as a must-go vacation destination and the holiday-gem of Indonesia, with our pals making us jealous beyond belief as they spam our social feeds with Bali snaps. And, as striking as the foliage and landscape is, the beaches too follow suit and are an integral reason for the tourist attention. Keramas is one of many beaches with dark-complexioned sand that have been garnering international attention. Located in the southwest Gianyar regency it is one of the more serene and recluse destinations in Bali, which has only recently started to attract the gaze of visitors. The accommodation surrounding the beach are all private villas, which makes the space honeymoon heaven!

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Playa Negra - Vieques, Puerto Rico

Playa Negra - Vieques, Puerto Rico

Vieques, known for its plentiful white sand beaches, hides a little black sand beach that definitely requires a looksy! Although it takes a bit of effort to find this oddity, hand-made signs are put into place to guide you along. Once you finish this adventurous trek, a gem of a beach awaits you, allowing you to spend some time immersed in a treasure trove of black sand and relaxation. The surf has become famous for its rock reef which creates a vortex within the water for the brave-hearted to fly through the tight tubes. But if the extent of your aquatic recreation involves lounging in a tube, don’t worry, there is space for you yet.

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Perissa Beach - Santorini, Greece

Perissa Beach - Santorini, Greece

Your beach bod isn’t the only thing that’ll be smokin’ during a visit to Perissa Beach. The black sand lathering the beach is notoriously hot under foot, meaning you’ll definitely need to remember your sandals. But, health hazards aside, the location is a haven for soaking up sunshine rays, dipping in and out of clear blue ocean water and embracing a laid back island vibe. And, for the adventurers amongst you,  why not hit up the rental shops and grab jet skis and banana boats to further enhance your beach vacay.

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Wai'anapanapa Black Sand Beach - Maui, Hawaii

Wai'anapanapa Black Sand Beach - Maui, Hawaii

Wai’anapanapa, literally meaning ‘glistening water’ lives up to its namesake as a Maui must-see. Surrounded by black lava cliffs and tropical flora, the beach makes for a vibrant photo opportunity. Since the beach is known for its rough waters, swimming is only optional when the waters are calm. In the meantime, visitors are able to catch some rays and take plenty of Insta-worthy pics.

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Miho Beach - Japan

Miho Beach - Japan

The definition of a double-take is when you realize that you are staring at Mount Fuji from the rocky, black sand of Miho Beach – #lifegoals. The beach’s three-kilometer expanse stretches across the eastern coast of the Miho Peninsula and offers a variety of activities for guests including biking, hiking, kayaking, and much more. The pine tree covered beach became part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mount Fuji in 2013.

And, because we love a back story, encompassed in the signature pine trees that line the area is Hagoromo-no-Matsu. This tree is the subject of folklore, which holds that the tree was blessed with eternal youth after a fisherman found a robe from a heavenly maiden. The unwithering spirit of Matsu will surely be embodied by the unforgettable views that you witness from the sands of Miho.

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El Médano Beach - Canary Islands

El Médano Beach - Canary Islands

This Blue Flag destination, which guarantees top-notch swim conditions and service accommodations, is the highlight of Tenerife. The beach overlooks the Montaña Roja volcanic cone, whose explosive capacity is embodied in the vibrant beach community. The various resorts, restaurants, and shops, which are easily accessible by shuttle or taxi, will have your itinerary busting at the seams from sunup to sundown.

The well-established commercial destination extends past the golden grains that transform into sable-colored sand as you approach the water, and offer a variety of activities and accommodation, which make it the place for a perfect getaway.

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Stromboli - Italy

Stromboli - Italy

When we think of black sand beaches your mind does tend to conjure up moody and dramatic landscapes in places such as Iceland, and perhaps not the sunny coastlines of Stromboli, Italy. However, defying common opinion, the sunny climes of the Italian island known as Stromboli boast black sand beaches galore due to it being  one of the most active volcanoes on Earth. The volcano doesn’t stop erupting to be quite honest, and has done for the past 2,000 years!

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