Top 10 Black Sand Beaches

Posted by Guy Aucoin on 23rd May 2016

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

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

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

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

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 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 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, Maui1

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, bridgesmade 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

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.