35 Best Black Sand Beaches in the US and World

Have you ever set foot on an amazing black sand beach somewhere in the world? If you have, then you know how amazing they truly are. And if you haven’t, well, then you will want to visit one really soon! The black sand on these beaches is mostly from volcanic minerals and rocks. However, other minerals like iron, tourmaline, magnetite, staurolite, and so many others can cause sand to turn black. While walking along a black sand beach or black beach may not seem too appealing at first, it honestly is an experience that you will love after taking your very first step!

35 Amazing Black Beaches in the World


 1. Venice Beach in Venice, Florida

The black sand beach in Florida is not as black as you will see in many parts of the world. Both Venice Beach and Caspersen Beach in Florida have some black and brown fossil fragments mixed in amongst the sand, so it appears black when the light hits it the right way.

Caspersen Beach
Credits: Andy Montgomery, Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

While you may be slightly disappointed with the color of the sand, you can at least benefit from knowing that these beaches are some of the best when it comes to finding shark’s teeth. And just know that with the right light, this becomes a black sand beach. 

2. Shelter Cove Black Sand Beach, California (Black Sand Beach California)

There are not too many black sand beaches in California, or in the US, but that makes the ones that are in the area that much more special. You will need to drive along a windy road to reach this beach, sometimes fearing for your life along the way. However, once you reach Shelter Cove Black Sand Beach, you will be greeted with stunning views. The entire beach is covered with charcoal and black pebbles, so shoes are probably going to be a must unless you want your feet black by the end of the day. 

3. Cobble Beach, Oregon

The black sand beach in Oregon is Cobble Beach and it is covered with tens of thousands of round cobblestones that are quite smooth.

Cobble Beach
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The cobblestones are believed to be from when lava flow filled the area more than fourteen million years ago. This is a smaller beach, but it is a must-see if you want to also walk up to the lighthouse that can be found at Yaquina Head. This is one of our favorite black sands beach in the US. 

4. Black Sand Beach, Prince William Sound, Alaska

No one really thinks of black sand beaches when they are considering vacationing in Alaska. However, there is a black sand beach in Alaska! The Black Sand Beach is in Prince William Sound and it is the perfect place to go when you want extraordinary views of the mountains and glaciers. There are always sea kayakers out on the water, so you can watch them paddle along, as you wander up and down this beach. This beach is only a quarter mile in length, and you may come across a stranded iceberg or two on the sand. This black sand beach in Alaska is one of the best black sand beaches in the USA. 

5. Playa Negra, Vieques, Puerto Rico

Black sand beach Puerto Rica is Playa Negra over in Vieques, Puerto Rico. This black sand was created from the volcanic fragments being washed up onto the shores over the years. This is another amazing black sands beach in the US and one of the best beaches in the US and Caribbean. 

Playa Negra in Vieques
Credits: Jaume Escofet, Flickr CC BY 2.0

You must hike to this popular beach and once you arrive, you will be mesmerized by the golden cliffs that surround the black sand on the shoreline. 

6. Black Sands Beach, Marin County, California

One of the best black sand beaches in California is within Marin County. This black sand beach Marin is Black Sands Beach and it is within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. You must conquer a steep hike to reach this beach, but the adventure is worth all the beauty you will see once you arrive. When you are done admiring the sand, make sure you take a little time to appreciate the unique views of the Golden Gate Bridge. If you are looking for a black sand beach in Sausalito, then this is the beach that you want to visit. 

7. Kehana Beach, Island of Hawaii

Another black sand beach in Hawaii is Kehana Beach Island of Hawaii. This beach is where many people often go to sunbathe in the nude, so it isn’t going to be the one you want to visit with your family.

Kehana Beach
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

It is illegal to sunbathe nude in Hawaii, but that doesn’t mean you won’t see people doing it at this beach. This beach also has another name, Dolphin Beach, because there are always dolphins swimming around out in the water. 

8. Waimea Black Sand Beach Kauai, Hawaii

Another Hawaii black sand beach can be found on the island of Kauai. This is not the beach to visit when you want to go for a swim, but it is perfect for those long walks when the sun is setting or you just want to spend a little time on a black sand beach. You will meet a lot of the local fishermen at this beach, because it is an excellent spot to grab the catch of the day for meals. We think it’s a great black sand beach. 

9. Punalu’u Black Sand Beach, Big Island, Hawaii

Many people ask where is the Black Sand Beach in Hawaii, and the answer to that is the Big Island of Hawaii. Punalu’u Beach is also known as the Black Sand Beach on the island. And mostly referred to as black sand beach big island. 

Punalu’u Beach - Black Sand Beach

The gorgeous black sand was created by the lava from the nearby volcano as it flowed into the ocean. You will see many sea turtles basking in the sun on the sand. These turtles are protected, so don’t touch them as you are visiting. This is where you should go if searching for – black sands beach Hawaii. 

10. Kona Black Sand Beach Kona, Hawaii

The black sand on Kona Black Sand Beach in Hawaii was made from the lava that cooled automatically when it was flowing. That lava was then broken into millions of tiny pieces when the water hit it. This black sand is just like any other black sand and it is much hotter than white sand when walked on. This is one of the best black sand beaches in the Hawaii and the US. 

11. Paioa Black Beach, Maui, Hawaii

There are quite a few black sand beaches in Hawaii and one of them is on the island of Maui. The Maui black sand beach is Paioa Beach and you will find it inside Waianapanapa State Park. If you’re in Hawaii and looking for a black sand beach then this black sand beach Maui should be on your list. 

Waianapanapa Beach
Credits: Matt McGee, Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0

The sand itself gets its black color from the small black rocks. The black sand looks stunning against the sparkling blue water, so make sure you take a camera with you for some pictures. You can visit this Maui black sand beach during a drive along the Road to Hana.

Amazing Black Beaches in the Rest of the World

1. Perissa Black Sand Beach in Santorini, Greece

When it comes to black sand beaches on the Greek Islands, none of them are better than the black sand beach on Santorini. Perissa Black Sand Beach can be found on the southern coast of the island, which is perfect since that is where many of the hotels are located. You will find it extremely easy to walk to this black sand beach from your hotel room whenever you wish. You may want to escape the black beach Santorini one day though, so you can explore the Ancient Thera ruins that are nearby. 

2. Vik Beach, Black Sand Beach, Iceland

Not many people are aware that there is a black sand beach in Iceland. However, Vik Beach is covered in black sand. It often rains in this part of the country, so the water is colder than cold all year long. Therefore, this is not the best place to go for a swim. Despite the cold water, many people travel to this beach to admire the black sand and the gorgeous rock formations that surround the sand.

Vik Beach

Of course, the group of puffins that are often roaming around this beach helps the atmosphere as well. This beach also goes by the name, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, so keep an open mind as you are asking for directions and talking to the locals. 

3. Tulamben Beach in Bali, Indonesia

Everyone loves vacationing in Bali, but not many people think to ask about black sand beaches in Bali. This is not the beach you want to walk along barefoot, since it is completely covered with large volcanic pebbles. We recommend venturing out into the clear water with your scuba gear, because there is a plethora of marine life waiting for you out there. Dive in and see all the sea creatures and the plant life that is lurking below the water’s surface.  If you’re in Indonesia, this beach should make your list of black sand beaches in Asia or Indonesia

4. Piha Black Sand Beach in Auckland, New Zealand

An amazing black sand beach New Zealand is Piha Black Sand Beach. You will find that it takes a half hour to drive to this beach from Auckland, but the journey is worth the time. If you love to surf, this is the New Zealand black sand beach for you.

Piha Black Sand Beach in Auckland
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

However, even non-surfers will find something to love during a visit. The Lion’s Rock is a rock formation that is located at the edge of the water and it is perfect for selfies. The trail that leads to Kitekite Falls is also a must-do when visiting this beach, so do not forget your hiking boots. 

5. Shipwreck Beach on St. Kitts

The only black sand beach on St. Kitts is Shipwreck Beach, and it is one of the best black sand beaches in the world. The surrounding mountains filled with lush greenery seem to disappear into the clouds, while the water’s waves rush up to the shoreline. There are not too many frills at this beach, but you will have everything you need during your visit. We recommend grabbing a hammock or picnic table when you arrive, or the crowds of the day will have them all in use by the time you want one. This is an amazing black beach to visit! 

6. Monterrico Beach in Monterrico, Guatemala

The black sand beach in Guatemala is Monterrico Beach. This stunning beach is considered part of the Biotopo Monterrico Hawaii, which is a nature reserve that contains thirteen miles of beach, as well as the nearby mangroves.

Monterrico Beach
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Sea turtle conservation is popular here, so make sure you do not disturb any turtles you see. Enjoy your visit to black sand beach Guatemala if you visit Central America

7. Ficogrande Black Sand Beach in Aeolian Islands, Italy

There are not too many black sand beaches in Italy, but Ficogrande Black Sand Beach Italy is one that you must see when vacationing in the country. You will find this stunning black sandy beach over on the island of Stromboli, which is one of the Aeolian Islands in Italy. The entire beach is lined with volcanic pebbles and there are normally plenty of chairs and umbrellas to choose from for your visit. 

8. Ureki Black Sand Beach in Ureki, Georgia, Europe

The warm water off the shores of the Ureki Black Sand Beach in the country of Georgia is perfect for those who want to take a little swim in between sitting on the black sand.

Ureki Black Sand Beach
Credits: Kakha Kolkhi, Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

The sand at this beach is also magnetic, which is said to help those with different types of ailments. This may or may not be true, but it never hurts to relax on a sandy beach! 

9. Santo Domingo Black Sand Beach in Luzon Islands, Philippines

When you are looking for a black sand beach Philippines, you do not need to venture any further than the Luzon Islands. There are many volcanoes located within the Philippines, so it shouldn’t be surprising that there are so many black sandy beaches there. As you sit on the black sand, you will want to look around at the stunning lush scenery that surrounds you. This is a place you want to visit if you’re thinking about the best beaches in Philippines. 

10. Anse Ceron in Martinique, Caribbean

As you are researching black sand beach Caribbean, you will quickly discover Anse Ceron in Martinique. And then you’ll want to visit this amazing and one of the best beaches in the Caribbean. 

Anse Ceron
Credits: WikiPedia

One of the most popular activities at this Caribbean black sand beach is swimming, but it is also an excellent spot for surfing, snorkeling, and simply relaxing under the shining sun. 

11. Playa el Cuco in El Salvador

There really aren’t any black sand beaches in El Salvador, but you will find a couple that have darker sand than usual. One of those beaches is Playa el Cuco, which is also the name of a beach town that is quite popular with the tourists. You will find many restaurants lining the shores of this beach and it is the best place to catch the perfect wave. So, even though it’s not entirely a black beach, it’s also not your regular beach! 

12. Playa Negra in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

As you are planning a trip to Costa Rica, you may discover that there is a black sand beach there. The Costa Rica black sand beach is Playa Negra and it is down near the southern shoreline. This is one of the best beaches to visit in Costa Rica and Central America. 

Playa Negra in Puerto Viejo
Credits: Leonora (Ellie) Enking, Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

This is a family friendly beach and it is extremely safe to swim there while visiting. As interesting as the black sand is on this beach, you will be even more amazed when you realize it is magnetic too. The magnetic qualities come from the iron that is in the sand itself. 

13. Black Bay in Marigot, Grenada

The black sand beach in Grenada is Black Bay and it can be found over in Marigot. However, you must be forewarned that this beach is not that easy to find, due to its unmarked path. You must hike through the jungle to reach this black sand beach. Since not too many people can find this black sandy beach, you may find that you are the only one there during your visit. This is considered  secret or hidden beach in the Caribbeans. 

14. Anse Chastenet Beach in St. Lucia

There are many beaches in St. Lucia, but none of them are as stunning as the black sand beach in St. Lucia. This is a public beach, but since there is a resort there, you may not be able to do as much as you could at other beaches in St. Lucia.

You can take many tours from this beach, but you may prefer to spend an entire day swimming and soaking in the rays from the sun as you sit on the black sand. 

15. Point Venus Black Sand Beach in Tahiti, French Polynesia

You will find this amazing black sand beach up on the northern coast of Tahiti. Around the sand, you will see palm trees and casuarina trees swaying in the breeze. There is only one lighthouse on this island and that 19th century lighthouse can be found directly on this black sand beach. This is one of the best beaches in Tahiti. 

16. Mosteiros Black Sand Beach in The Azores, Portugal

If you are searching for black sand beaches in Portugal, make sure you take the time to do a little island hopping over to Sao Miguel.

Mosteiros Black Sand Beach
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

This is the largest of all The Azores Islands in Portugal and it is where you will find Mosteiros Black Sand Beach. The beach is surrounded by large black lava rocks and they are the perfect workout if you take the time to climb them. And Azores is not too far from the US so this black beach should go on your list of black beaches in Europe that you should visit when possible. 

17. El Bollullo Black Sand Beach in Canary Islands, Spain

Over on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, you will discover the incredible El Bollullo Black Sand Beach. This crescent shaped beach is within a secluded cove, which makes it perfect for relaxing. However, families love this beach, since it is easy to swim there, so you may not find the quiet you are looking for. However, one look at the beach as the water comes onshore will have you sinking your toes into the black sand anyway. Add in the delectable seafood you can indulge in from the local beach shack and you will be more than ready to stay until the sun sets in the sky. This beach is not only one of the top black beaches in Europe but also one of the best beaches in Europe. 

18. Playa las Penitas in Leon, Nicaragua

Need to find a great black beach in Central America and not sure where to start? Try the black beach in Nicaragua. The black sand at this black sand beach in Nicaragua is much softer than most of the traditional soft sand around the world. This is one of the most popular black sand beaches in this part of the world, even though it only recently achieved this designation.

Playa las Penitas - Black Sand Beach
Credits: Brian Johnson & Dane Kantner, Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

At one time, this beach was quite unknown amongst the tourists, so you can see how times have changed with people venturing further from home more often. 

19. Rosalie Bay Beach in Dominica

This is one of the longest beaches in Dominica, so do not be surprised to see a ton of people there when you arrive. In addition to having lots of space, this is also the beach where people go to take long walks and enjoy the gorgeous views. Sea turtles normally nest on this beach, so you will want to take care to not disturb them during your visit. This black beach is one of our favorite and best beaches in Dominica and the Caribbean. 

20. Miho no Matsubara in Shizuoka, Japan

This black sand beach in Japan used to be white. However, the color of the sand changed when a train line was being installed and volcanic rock sand was discovered.

Miho no Matsubara - Black Sand Beach
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

These four miles of black sand at Miho no Matsubara offers gorgeous views of Mount Fuji. You will want to pay close attention to the pine trees nearby as well, because they are ancient and on the World Heritage list. This is a truly amazing black beach and one you should visit when you’re in Japan. 

21. Black Point Beach in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

This popular black sand beach is the perfect spot to go for a walk. You will find this beach within the Black Point Heritage and Recreational Park, which is also where the Sable River and Black Point Tunnel are located. You probably won’t want to spend all day at this beach, but it is the best spot to relax after exploring the rest of the area. We have this on our list of best black beaches in the Caribbean. 

22. Spiaggia Sabbie Nere in Vulcano, Italy

Black sand beaches in Italy are rare, but there are a couple you will fall in love with. Spiaggia Sabbie Nere is one of them.

Spiaggia Sabbie Nere in Vulcano
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Vulcano is one of the closer Aeolian Islands, so many people will head there for their island-hopping adventures. It is easy to reach this island in a short amount of time, so you can spend more time relaxing on the black sand. If you’re looking for  a top black beach in Europe, you’d want to head to this beach. 

23. Samyang Beach in Jeju, South Korea

The sand on this black sand beach in South Korea does not turn black until it gets wet. Since it is so close to Jeju City, it is a beach that can easily be reached when you only have an hour or two to spare during your day. This is one of the more popular black beaches in South Korea. 

24. Diamond Beach in Iceland

There are quite a few black sand beaches in Iceland, although, Diamond Beach is one of the ones that offers special views. When you arrive on this black sand beach in Iceland, you will see pieces of glaciers up on the shore.

Diamond Beach - Black Sand Beach

These little pieces look like diamonds scattered in the sand and that is where this beach got its name from. What’s there not to love with this black sand beach in Iceland?

These are thirty-five amazing black sand beaches in the world, and you will want to see as many as you can during your travels. We recommend simply choosing one and then checking off down the list as you continue to travel to nearby locations. 

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