World’s 15 Most Unique Beaches   (2)

 

GIANT'S CAUSEWAY

Where: Northern Ireland

Few beaches are more shrouded in mythology than Giant's Causeway. The story goes that the giant, Finn MacCool, created the hexagonal rock formations as stepping-stones in an attempt to reach his beloved giantess in Scotland. When the giantess's boyfriend fought back, Finn grabbed a chunk of land and flung it toward Scotland, creating the Isle of Man and leaving behind a gaping hole—Lough Neagh. The Scottish side of the sea has similar hexagonal structures, supporting the myth. A more scientific explanation maintains that the strange rock formations were created by volcanic eruptions bursting into the sea long ago.

GULPIYURI BEACH

Where: Llanes, Spain

Can you imagine a tiny beach over 100 meters from the sea? In Llanes, Spain, there is such a place. Gulpiyuri Beach was formed by a sinkhole and is fed by salt water from the Bay of Biscay, which flows in through underground caves. Limestone cliffs and grassy meadows hide this little inland beach, which has become a tourist attraction for people who have to see it to believe it.

CHANDIPUR BEACH

Where: Bay of Bengal, India

Don't bother looking for Chandipur Beach on the Bay of Bengal at low tide—you won't find it. Twice a day, the water recedes up to three miles from the shore, leaving long tracts of sand where you can spot horseshoe crabs, seashells, and driftwood. If you hang around for a while, you can watch the sea slowly returning—a strange phenomenon to observe.

HOT WATER BEACH

Where: Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

If you ever wished you could soak in a hot tub right on the beach, Hot Water Beach on Coromandel Peninsula is the place for you. Naturally occurring hot springs bubble up under the sand between high and low tides. For a natural spa-like experience, people dig holes in the sand and lounge in the mineral waters, which reach 150 degrees.

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GLASS BEACH

Where: Fort Bragg, California

Colorful sea glass covers the sand at Fort Bragg, glinting brightly in the sunlight. Glass Beach was once a dumping ground, but when that ended in the late 1960s, the sea beautified the area, smoothing the rough edges of broken glass and creating little treasures. You can't swim here, and it's illegal to take the glass, but the beach is still a nice stop along the Mendocino Coast.