NEW YORK – If you’re looking for a departure from your usual beach getaway, you may want to book a trip to one of these stunning spots.
These are some of the world’s most unusual beaches, offering visitors an experience they’re unlikely to find anywhere else.
Some of them are very public, while others are incredibly difficult to reach.
Hidden Beach on the Marieta Islands in Mexico earned its name for a reason. The secluded beach, concealed within a cavernous hole in the ground, can only be accessed through a small tunnel by swimmers or scuba divers.
The idyllic paradise has an incredibly unique history. It is believed to have formed when it was used as a bomb testing site in the early 1900s.
While some beaches developed thanks to the actions of man, others are unspoiled natural wonders.
And then there are the ones that are famous because of their quirks.
Take Maho Beach, for example. Holidaymakers who visit the beach on the Caribbean island of Saint Martin are treated to an amazing – and slightly frightening – display as planes zip over their heads at low altitude on approach to Princess Juliana International Airport.
Given the noise, it may not be the most relaxing spot, but it is definitely one of the most thrilling beaches in the world.
Look out below! You’re not seeing things – airliners zoom over holidaymakers’ heads on Maho Beach as they land on Saint Martin Island in the Caribbean
Paradise: The stunning Algarve caves in Portugal are a popular destination for curious tourists, who can also spot dolphins in the waters nearby
It’s a secret: Hidden Beach in Mexico’s Marieta Islands is believed to have formed when it was used as a bomb testing site in the early 1900s
Pretty in pink: Harbour Islands in the Bahamas is famous for its pink sand beaches that stretch for several miles
From sea to sky: A beach near the small Icelandic peninsula of Dyrholaey, a former volcanic island, features incredible black basalt sand that developed after eruptions
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure: Glass Beach formed in California’s MacKerricher State Park after locals’ rubbish was pounded into the sand by the surf
Magnificent: Cathedral-like arches are pictured at low tide at Praia As Catedrais (‘beach of the cathedrals’) near Ribadeo, Spain
Dragon eggs: The large Moeraki Boulders at New Zealand’s Koekohe Beach are concretions that formed in ancient sea floor sediments around 60 million years ago
Rugged beauty: Giant’s Causeway is a series of nearly 40,000 basalt columns of cooled molten lava in County Antrim on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland
Looks like tar: The black sand on Punaluu Black Sand Beach in Hawaii is created when basalt lava flows into the ocean and rapidly cools
Lazy day: Sea Lions frolic on Red Sand Beach on Rabida Island, where the red sand is believed to have formed by the oxidization of volcanic material
Starry night: This mesmerising display on the beach at Vaadhoo Island in the Maldives is caused by bioluminescent phytoplankton, which emanate a blue glow
Shell of a time: Australia’s Shell Beach, in the Shark Bay World Heritage Area, is made of trillions of tiny Hamelin cockle shells and is one of only two in the world
Big Pur-ple: Secluded Pfeiffer Beach in California’s Big Sur region has purple sand, which gets its colour from mineral deposits in the soil