5 black sand beaches for adventurous travelers

Stop your vacation planning and listen up! We know you’ve read those ’10 Best Beaches’ lists and dreamed about white sand between your toes, but chances are, you’ve already been there and done that. So why not go for something a little more daring? Something a little more out of the ordinary? Those are a little more your style after all, aren’t they? Consider one of these black sand beach adventures instead, your bucket list and Instagram friends will thank you.

Perissa, Santorini, Greece

Between the crystal clear water and smooth, but devilishly hot sand, you may have just found your new favorite beach in the world. Protected by Mesa Vouno and the ruins of the ancient Spartan city Thera to the north, Perissa is considered one of Greece’s top beaches. The stark contrast between the black sand beach and the white buildings of the city make for one picture perfect scene. Make the ambitious 3 kilometer hike to Mesa Vouno at dawn to take in a sunrise fit for the Gods.


Vík Beach, Iceland

In the southernmost point of Iceland you’ll find the village of Vik, home to one of the prettiest black sand beaches in the world. This stretch of black basalt sand is one of the wettest places in Iceland, getting about 90 inches of rain a year and is surrounded by volcanos and glaciers – which if you ask us, makes for one heck of a unique destination.


Black Sand Beach, Prince William Sound, Alaska

Glaciers, green hillsides and wildlife will compete for your attention when you’re at Prince William Sound. Just 60 miles from Anchorage, getting to the sound is worth the trek. Experienced kayakers try braving the waters to get to the beach. Not so experienced kayakers, opt for the boat tour. Either way, take it all in, there’s nothing else like this in the world.

Prince William Sound

Punaluu Beach, Hawaii

Located on the Big Island, Punaluu Beach is actually a result of lava that’s flowed to the ocean and cooled, creating a beautiful, but rocky beach. Watch out for sun-bathing Hawksbill and Green turtles, you’re on their turf after all. Be sure to stay at least 15 feet away from these endangered creatures otherwise the beach patrol might cut your visit short. Oh, and taking some of that stunning sand home with you as a memento isn’t allowed either.


Black Sand Beach, Lost Coast, California

4,000 feet below the surrounding mountains California is so famous for, this black sand beach lies pristine and relatively untouched. Hard to get to in any form, small mountain roads might be your only chance to get to this remote beach. Camping and hiking are big in this area, connect with nature but don’t forget your camera, there will surely be some picture-perfect opportunities.

Lost Coast

Think we missed a must-see black sand beach destination? Let us know in the comments!

Comments (7)

  1. Would love to visit at least one of them some day. The one in Iceland looks most promising. Until then, i guess i will have to settle with the golden ones in Corfu…

  2. Lizi Oldham says:

    There’s something really special about black sand beaches. Piha Beach in New Zealand is another black sand beach well worth a visit.

  3. Breanna Wilson says:

    Silviu – the black beach in Iceland is my absolute favorite :) Thanks for reading!

  4. Andrea Dudding says:

    How about Piha or Karekare beaches in New Zealand?? Both beautiful and black sand!

  5. Nick says:

    Nice collection of black sand beaches, thanks! But I think the beach(es) of Stromboli, Italy should absolutely be on this list. The active volcano of the small island gives the place a special energy.

  6. Nicole says:

    Great post! Black sand beaches are so special. How about The Black Sand Beach / La Spiaggia Sabbia Nera at Vulcano Island (Aeolian Islands, Sicily)

  7. JL says:

    How about the black sand beaches in Costa Rica? Just don’t forget to rinse out your swimsuit– the lava particles in the water can start to feel like fiberglass as they dry!

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