You know what it’s like when you’re searching for ideas for your next beach holiday: every brochure seems to boast about ‘white sand’, and all the photographs look the same. But if what you’re looking for is a beach with a difference, look no further. Here is my selection of the world’s most beautiful stretches of coastline that are absolutely, one hundred per cent white-sand free.
Black is the New Black
Anyone who has been to Tenerife will know that there is nothing more dramatic than the crystal clear waters of the Atlantic lapping against black sand. The volcanic lava which formed the island has meant that many of its beaches feature this stunning black coastal feature. My personal favourite (and there are a wide range on the island to choose from) is the Playa Jardín in Puerto de la Cruz.
Set amidst the sympathetic landscape designs of local artist César Manrique, featuring palm trees, waterfalls, rock pools and a stunning botanical garden, the Playa Jardín has a backdrop like no other. Step into the warm water and discover a rich marine habitat perfect for exploring with a snorkel.
In the Pink
A quirk of nature, which has lead to a thriving community of pink organisms (known as foraminifera, if you’re interested), means that the fine, powdery sand of the beautiful sub-tropical island of Bermuda appears pink in colour. This unique feature – combined with a perfect climate and warm tranquil waters – have meant that Bermuda has long been a popular spot for those looking for a beach holiday with a difference.
Of all the beautiful stretches of pink sand on the island, my favourite would have to be West Whale Bay Beach (so named because it is on the migration trail of the regal giants, the humpback whale). You’ll only need to see the crystal blue waters lapping against this soft pink sand once to be convinced that Bermuda is genuinely a paradise on earth. And just in case you needed a bit of added drama to this tranquil scene, there is a historic fort set in the cliffs above. What more could you ask for?
Pebbles in the Sand
A lot of holidaymakers I talk to turn their noses up at the idea of taking a beach holiday to a destination with a pebble beach: that is until I show them pictures of Zlatni Rat in Croatia. Set on a 500 metre peninsula reaching out into the Adriatic, Zlatni Rat was formed by millions of small pebbles settling on the surrounding reef and creating a natural jetty into the crystal waters. Today the enchanting beach is a mecca for tourists looking to marvel at the natural phenomena and swim in the clear waters of the reef.
I hope I’ve proved that there is more to picking a beach holiday than just looking for white sand and palm trees. Perhaps next time you’re choosing your holiday location you might look for something a little different, one of the stunning beaches from my list for example.
John Dixon is an experienced world traveller and the Managing Director of Prestige Holidays. For over 30 years, he has been providing the ultimate luxury beach holiday, to destinations as diverse as Bermuda, Sicily and many others around the globe. John tries to visit each of the destinations regularly in order to ensure the quality of his properties, and stay up-to-date about the latest local news and events. He has a taste for the finer things in life and has an interest in arts, history and culture.