Bizarre Beach Barefoot Tour – WIF 10 Cent Travel

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Bizarre Beaches


Around the World

There’s nothing quite like a day at the beach filled with fun in the sun, sand and surf, but not all beaches are created equal. Some places have sparkling blue or green waters, while others have sand-filled, cloudy waves. Some shorelines are dangerous, filled with rocks and riptides, while others are shallow and lined with soft sand.

For better or worse, these 10 beaches are some of the most notable in the world. While most earned a place on the list due to their incredible beauty or unique offerings, a few belong here not because of how they look, but because they are notable for other reasons.

10. Papakolea: The Green Sand Beach in Hawaii

One of only four green sand beaches, the famous Papakolea beach is made up of a hollowed out volcanic cone that erupted over 50,000 year ago. The cone contained rich veins of a natural mineral called olivine, which when cut into gem form is a semi-precious stone called peridot. The eroded pieces of the olivine turn into sand too find to be sold as gemstones, but still vivid enough in color to shade the whole beach green.

Excited to visit? Well, that’s the one problem with this beach – getting there is a nightmare. To start with, you have to drive on a long, out of the way road and then you have to park 3 miles away from the beach and hike the remaining distance through rugged pastures that offer no signs to guide you towards your final destination. Once you get to the volcanic cone cliffs, you have to climb down the steep hills to actually access the beach itself and on the shore, only strong swimmers are advised to enter the sparkling blue water at all due to a strong undercurrent that sweeps people away with little warning. It should go without saying with a beach this far off the beaten path, but lifeguards are not posted here so should you encounter danger, you’ll be left on your own to handle it.

9. Kaihalulu: Hawaii’s Red Sand Beach

Hawaii seems to have beaches in just about all colors: white, gold, black, green, and even red. Like all beaches, the sand color at Hawaii’s Kaihalulu Beach is directly related to the rock and mineral content around the beach. In this case, like Papakolea, the rocks around the shore are actually remnants of a once-active volcano that has since been eroded into little more than a rocky cove. This volcanic cone happened to have a particularly high iron content, which appears a rusty red color when mixed with salt air and sea mist. The underwater wall of the volcanic cone creates a partial sea wall that ensures the water at the beach is fairly calm, making it a great place to snorkel. Even so, visitors are advised to exercise caution near the cove opening, where strong currents have been known to pull swimmers into the open ocean.

While the unique look of the beach is absolutely worth visiting, it’s worth noting that the sand itself is very coarse, so it is advisable to wear shoes even in the water in order to protect your feet. Also worth noting: the cove is one of only a handful of clothing optional beaches in Maui.

8. The Most Polluted Beach on Earth

When you hear about an uninhabited, remote island, you probably imagine a pristine paradise. But unfortunately, with all the plastic pollution in today’s oceans, when no one visits an island, it means no one is there to clean up the trash. And that’s exactly how Henderson Island, a 14 square mile island in the South Pacific sitting nearly 3,000 miles away from the nearest population center, is both one of the world’s only raised coral atolls unaffected by human contact and the most polluted island in the world.

In fact, the small island is home to over 38,000 pounds of plastic and a whopping 3,570 pieces of trash wash up on the shore every day. Of course, the problem isn’t just the lack of cleanup crews, but also the island’s unfortunate location right in the path of one of the biggest currents in the Pacific, the South Pacific Gyre. In other words, the perfect place to snag all the trash floating through the Pacific.

7. The Glass Beach of California

While Henderson Island shows how much damage trash can do to nature, Glass Beach near Fort Bragg shows that every now and again, nature finds incredible ways to repair itself. It all started after the famous San Francisco earthquake of 1906. Residents of nearby Fort Bragg found that almost all of their buildings were reduced to rubble. Before they tried to rebuild their city, they had to get rid of all the refuse from the earthquake. When burning the trash did no good, they decided to dump it into the ocean, thinking the currents would take the trash to sea forever. Only the debris didn’t go anywhere, and residents were now left with a seaside dump. Since the dump was already there, locals just took to tossing all their trash at the beach up until the mid-1960s, when the practice was made illegal.

Eventually, the currents did wash away much of the refuse and the government took away many of the larger items. Meanwhile, glass left at the beach was tumbled and smoothed away into small pieces of sea glass, which now are mixed in with tiny pebbles, creating the “sand” for this beautiful beach.

If you do visit, please note that as Glass Beach is part of the MacKerricher State Park, taking pieces of sea glass is illegal. Also, the water can be a bit rough, especially for young and inexperienced swimmers, so it’s probably best to stay on shore here.

6. Hot Water Beach in New Zealand

Unlike most beaches, the ocean itself isn’t a big attraction at New Zealand’s Hot Water Beach. Instead visitors come far and wide to enjoy the warm underground river that happens to flow right into the Pacific. Two hours before and after low tide, beachgoers can hit the hot water as it bubbles through the beach sand. One of the most common activities here is to dig a nice pool in the sand, essentially building a hot-spring spa. By the next tide, the pools will all be washed away, leaving a pristine patch of sand ready for the next batch of visitors eager to dig their own steamy, sandy bathtubs.

It is worth noting that Hot Water Beach is home to some very strong rip currents, so as refreshing as it may be to soak in the warm hot springs and then plunge in the cool ocean, it’s probably best to avoid that urge unless you’re a really strong swimmer or if there’s a lifeguard on duty.

5. The Swimming Pool Beach in Chile

Like the idea of the beach but don’t want to swim in the actual ocean? Then you’ll love the swimming pool at San Alfonso del Mar in Chile. The biggest pool in the world, this monstrosity stretches across nearly 20 acres of beachfront property, reaches depths of up to 115 feet and holds over 66 million gallons of constantly circulating, heated, and filtered seawater. It’s so big the resort even allows people to sail and canoe in it.

Best of all, its location allows you to take a stroll along the beach just between the natural ocean waves and the clean, filtered water of the pool. And the pool itself even has its own sandy beaches leading into it, ensuring you’ll always feel like you’re at the beach even when you’re within the confines of the world’s largest swimming pool.

4. Boulders: The South African Beach Ruled by Penguins

You’d be hard pressed to find another place on the entire globe where you can spend a nice day at the beach split between refreshing dips in the ocean and delightful walks to check out penguins in their native habitat. Boulders Beach is famous for its playful, tuxedoed residents, who are partially responsible for making this otherwise sleepy shoreline one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area.

Fortunately for both humans and penguins, the swimming area for both species are kept completely separate thanks to the natural rock formations that split the beach into a number of coves. The best viewing area for the birds is on a wooden boardwalk that keeps humans away from the protected animal habitat known as Foxy Beach. This means the penguins can feel safe in their home and that humans can swim and sunbathe without fear of running into an angry penguin with a razor sharp beak or stepping in the bird’s droppings.

3. The Irish Beach That Disappeared and Reappeared 30 Years Later

When visiting a sandy beach, it’s easy to take for granted that it won’t be around forever. Eventually the sea will wash away the sand and you’ll just be left with a rocky coast. Even those who know that beach sands can be washed away and carried off to other coasts probably still wouldn’t expect a beach to disappear… and then reappear only 33 years later. But that’s exactly what happened to the small beach beside the tiny Irish town of Dooagh on Achill Island.

In 1984, severe storms stripped the sand away from the shore, leaving little more than rock pools along the coast. But in May of this year, locals were happily surprised to see the beach covered in sand again after a series of high spring tides. The town once had a lively tourist industry based around the beach, so locals were pretty happy to see it return.

2. Maho in St. Martens

Most of the time, this world famous beach is just like any other beautiful Caribbean coastline, but Maho’s proximity to the airport is what made it famous. That’s because the Princess Juliana International Airport is right next door to the beach and it has a particularly short runway, so planes need to get as close as possible to the ground before hitting the official airport property – meaning the planes approach their final descent just above the beach.

Plane watching is such a popular pastime at the beach that almost all of the local bars and restaurants have airport timetables so tourists can run to the shore in time to feel the rush of the engines push them towards the water. Aside from the obvious thrill of standing right below a landing plane, visitors are also rewarded with some strikingly awesome vacation photos. Unfortunately for thrill seekers, though, the most exciting landings are now a thing of the past as jumbo-jets no longer fly into this island airport.

1. The Florida Beach With the Softest, Coolest Sand on Earth

Consistently ranked as one of the top beaches in the US, what really makes Siesta Key famous isn’t its crystal clear water but its powdery white sand. While the sand from most beaches is made up of quartz, there’s something special about the quartz-based sand at this beach, most likely because it is both so pure (measuring it at around 99% crushed quartz) and ground up so fine. Scientists believe this particular quartz took millions of years to make its way from the Appalachian Mountains through rivers into the Gulf of Mexico, and eventually onto this Florida island.

The end result is almost pure white powder that doesn’t heat up in hot weather, leaving the beach comfortable to walk around on while barefoot under even the warmest summer sun.

Bizarre Beach Barefoot Tour –

WIF 10 Cent Travel

Little Known Island Retreats – WIF Travel

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Travel the world for 10 cents on the dollar

Travel the world for 10 cents on the dollar

Islands You Probably

Don’t Know About

10. Prince Edward Island, Canada


Sunbathing is rare most of the year on this island, but you’ll enjoy exploring the land of Anne of Green Gables, who lives on Prince Edward Island in the stories by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Tracing the path of this character is just one of the options here. This island that many have forgotten has been ranked among the best in the year by such publications as Travel + Leisure. While the weather here isn’t warm most of the year, you can always put on a jacket and head to the beach for one of the island’s breathtaking sunsets. Or, enjoy a picnic in the green grass with local produce and seafood.

Prince Edward Island is also filled with history. In 1864, it was the site where the Canadian Confederation was formed by the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Ontario.

9. Shelter Island, New York


While the traffic doesn’t move as hordes of people escape to the Hamptons and Montauk each summer, nearby Shelter Island is not as busy. Getting to this part of Long Island does require a ferry from Greenport, but it’s all worth it when you hit land. You’ll find a selection of small inns and bed & breakfasts to stay at on Shelter Island. The restaurants, like the accommodations, do not include any chains, but the long acclaimed Rams Inn hotel and restaurant will satisfy any need you have for luxury.

On Shelter Island you can spend your days fishing Peconic Bay, browsing through art galleries, or shopping boutiques. In the summer, hike through the Mashomack Preserve, attend a workshop at Sylvester Manor Educational Farm, or go Kayaking. In the fall it’s worth a trip to Shelter Island just to see the beautiful foliage.

8. Siesta Key, Florida


TripAdvisor, AARP, Yahoo! Travel, and USA Today have all named the sands of Siesta Key among the very best beaches in the U.S. This island is not near the more known Key West, but is instead one of the western Florida Keys, just across from Sarasota on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico.

This eight mile long island is especially known for its perfectly powdered white sand, making it popular for runners, volleyball players, Segway riders, and those scouring the shore for sea shells. Siesta Key is filled with places to stay, shop, and eat, but on Sunday evenings, an hour before sunset, you’ll find most at the beach, watching the unique Sunset Drum Circle. The music and dancing have become a tradition on the island which frequently brings onlookers from around the region.

7. South Bass Island, Ohio


Anyone who hasn’t been to Lake Erie Shores would probably be surprised to find that there is an island in Ohio. In fact, there are five islands off the shores of Lake Erie in this Midwestern state. Among them, South Bass Island is the one which will have you imagining you are really in the Caribbean. The town of Put-in-Bay is home of the world’s largest swim-up bar, SPLASH, as well as a bar filled with swings instead of stools, Mojito Bay. Take a train around to see the sites, or rent a scooter and enjoy it at your own pace.

You’ll also find a lot of history on South Bass Island. Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial is the third largest National Monument in the nation. Take a tour to the top and relive the Battle of Lake Erie that took place here during the War of 1812.

6. Block Island, Rhode Island


Whether you’re traveling from Newport, Rhode Island, or Montauk on New York’s Long Island, you will be impressed when you arrive onBlock Island. Between the clear water on the miles of beachfront and the bluffs in the background, this is a place all its own.

Block Island, which is considered part of Rhode Island, is only seven miles long and three miles wide. Along with the free public beacheswithin walking distance of almost everywhere, this haven is filled with boutique shops, art galleries, and gourmet restaurants. You’ll also find Block Island to be an active vacation spot, offering scenic spots for hiking, horseback riding, and biking. On the water you’ll have no problem making arrangements for kayaking, sailing, fishing expeditions, or snorkeling.

5. Nevis, Leeward Islands, West Indies


St. Kitts and Nevis fall under one tourism board and are often joined together in thought as if they are one island, but they are vastly different. Nevis is just 36 square miles and doesn’t have a cruise port or a major airport. You also won’t find anything close to a Marriott or a shopping mall on this island.

Nevis has been recognized for its green thinking clean air and lush plant life, and where you are likely to find more than a few monkeys hanging out. The island gets its renewable energy from the dormant volcano at Mount Nevis. Its turquoise water and soft sand beaches comes from both the Atlantic and the Caribbean as this island is on the peak of where both bodies of water meet. This paradise is filled with small boutique hotels and was a favorite of Princess Diana.

4. Mackinac Island, Michigan


Mackinac Island was as much a star in the movie Somewhere in Time as Christopher Reeve was. This island will definitely take you back in time from the moment you step off the ferry and onto a horse and buggy, the most modern form of transportation on the island.

It won’t take long for you to forget about cars and settle in to long walks, scenic hikes, and rides on horses, but that doesn’t meanMackinac island lacks amenities. You’ll find all the comforts of home at the two large resorts, Mission Point and Grand Hotel, but if you prefer something quainter, there are plenty of bed and breakfast accommodations. The island is only eight miles around so you can easily bike or walk anywhere. Just don’t leave without Mackinac Island’s famous fudge, available at a dozen different shops downtown.

3. Brijuni Islands, Istria, Croatia


It’s hard not to consider the Brijuni Islands, which are off the coast of Pula, Croatia, as one island because of their proximity to each other. The 14 islands together make up a stunning archipelago in the Adriatic Sea. You can snorkel an underground trail in the clear waters or explore them with one of the small boats available. As beautiful as the water is, be sure to also explore on land. You’ll see remnants of the ancient European culture that vacationed here.

You can easily reach the Brijuni islands by taking a ferry from the village of Fazana. They are a short ride from mainland Istria, separated by the Fazana Channel. Once there, you can explore all the islands after checking in at Brijuni National Park, the only national park in Croatia. Hotels and Villas are available on Veliki Brijun if you’d like to extend your stay overnight.

2. Pantelleria, Italy


The beauty of Pantelleria, with its dramatic cliffs over the Mediterranean Sea is only part of the attraction that has drawn celebrities from Giorgio Armani to Madonna, and visitors from two continents. This island is not far from Tunisia and shows African and Ancient Arabic roots that extend the culture beyond its kinship with Sicily.

Pantelleria is the remnants of a volcano and bears the lava stone, hidden coves, and natural mineral hot springs from that eruption. The land has proven to be perfect to grow high quality capers and vineyards filled with grapes, from which vintners such as Donnafugata make sweet white wines. The blue Mediterranean waters also make for great diving, when you’re not feasting on the Italian delicacies the island is abundant in. Your best bet for accommodations here is to look for a quiet inn a few blocks from the beach.

1. Kangaroo Island, Australia


Words do not do justice to an island with over 300 miles of coastline with a selection of beaches for every week of the year. Whether your desire is to watch sea lions frolic, dolphins play, New Zealand seals climb, or pelicans fly, you’ll find a spot in the sand just for that. And, if you’d like to get in the water yourself, you’ll find places to swim, snorkel, dive, or even surf.

What makes Kangaroo Island such an amazing place is that the interior offers as much as the exterior. Within the island you’ll find acres filled with wildlife such as kangaroos, koalas, and wallabies, vineyards, restaurants, and shopping. You’ll also find accommodations that range from luxury on the Southern Ocean to a wildlife sanctuary inside the trees. The one thing you won’t find a lot of is crowds. Kangaroo Island, which can be reached from Southern Australia by plane or ferry, has plenty of open space.

Little Known Island Retreats

– WIF Travel