Cave Beach in Algarve, Portugal
Benagil, a small Portuguese village on the Atlantic Ocean in Lagoa Municipality, is a big draw for tourists with the increasingly popular beach, Praia de Benagil. Benagil’s cave is actually one of many caves along Lagoa coastline but certainly, the most stunning attracting hundreds of visitors each summer. Many locals tour companies offer boat trips to visit the caves from Benagil beach.
Mineral beach, Dead Sea, Israel
The Dead sea lies about 400 meters below sea level at the lowest point on earth in any land mass. The quantity of water that evaporates from it is greater than what flows into it, creating a water body with the highest concentration of salt in the world (340 grams per liter of water).
It is called the Dead Sea because its salinity prevents the existence of any life forms in the lake. Yet the sea salts produced here are renowned for their healing properties. The sea bed also has deposits of black mud that is easy to spread on the body and provides the skin with nourishing minerals. As if that weren’t enough, the bromide in the air is also beneficial to the body’s systems, thus making the Dead Sea the lowest health spa in the world.
Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, Iceland
Situated at the head of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, one of the most amazing natural wonders of Iceland and one of its most popular attractions, the lagoon started to form in 1934, when the glacier started to retreat in the area. The size of the lake has increased fourfold since the 1970s. Today, it is estimated to be around 25 square kilometers, and is expanding with the approximately 500 square meters of ice breaking off the glacier every year.
Jokulsarlon is located in the southeast part of Iceland, roughly 379 kilometers east of Reykjavik.
Scala dei Turchi
Italian for ‘Stair of the Turks’ is a rocky cliff on the coast of Realmonte, in southern Sicily, Italy. The Scala is formed by marl – a sedimentary rock with a unique white color, clay and silt and is accessible through a limestone rock formation in the shape of a staircase, hence the name.
Visitors can climb the bluffs for breathtaking views or just laze out on the beaches and take a mud-bath (wet Marl is said to have skin benefits). For the adventurous there’s cliff-diving into the warm Mediterranean waters.
Beach of the Cathedrals, Spain
Also known as ‘Beach of the Holy Waters’, this magnificent example of nature’s raw power in action is located in Galicia, northwest of Spain. Carved by the waves of the Cantabrian Sea, engulfing and exposing this amazing coast sprinkled with arches and caves.
What sets this beach apart is the cluster of impressive rock formations which transform the cliffs into a magical place where erosion has sculpted arches over thirty meters high, creating nature’s cathedral. To fully appreciate this amazing display, the site should be visited at low tide.
Punaluʻu Beach, Hawaii
Also called Black Sand Beach, the Punaluʻu lies between between Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the small town of Naalehu. Surrounded by palm trees, the beach’s jet black shores are an unforgettable sight. The sand made of basalt, was created by lava flowing into the ocean, exploding as it cooled.
Punaluʻu is also a wildlife lover’s delight! Frequented by endangered hawksbill and green turtles, which can often be seen basking on the black sand along with the Hawaiian monk seal and the endangered Hawaiian hawk that nests in the trees. Spinner dolphins and humpback whales can also be sighted offshore from Punaluʻu.
Bowling Ball Beach, California
A part of Schooner Gulch State Beach, in Mendocino County, California, in the United States, this beach is named for the spherical sandstone concretions found there.
Concretions are hard bodies that for a variety of reasons can form in sediment before they become sedimentary rocks. Also here at Bowling Ball Beach, visitors can see the sedimentary bluff where concretions emerge as the wall erodes.
Glass beach, California
In Fort Bragg, California, lies this strange beach filled with multicolored glass. The source of this treasure — trash. From 1906 to 1967, everything from cars to batteries to bottles, cans and appliances were unceremoniously pushed over the cliffs into the ocean — a common practice of seaside cities for centuries. Mother Nature responded to this abuse with a nice surprise in the form of smooth, sea glass treasure in a rainbow of colors.
Giants Causeway, Ireland
The Giant’s Causeway lies at the foot of the basalt cliffs along the sea coast on the edge of the Antrim plateau in Northern Ireland. It is made up of some 40,000 massive black polygonal columns of basalt cut in perfect horizontal sections, forming a pavement sticking out of the sea. The dramatic sight has inspired legends of giants striding over the sea to Scotland.
The Giant’s Causeway is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland. Resulting from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago, its outstanding natural Beauty and has attracted visitors for centuries. The strata exposed in the cliff faces have also been key to shaping the understanding of the sequences of activity in the Earth’s geological history.
Red Sand beach, Hana, Hawaii
Red Sand Beach is a beautiful hidden cove with a dramatic and rugged coastline. The crescent-shaped beach is cut deep into the Ka’uiki Head cinder cone, whose rust-red lava cinder cliffs supply the beach with its red sand. The cove is protected on the ocean side by a wall of jagged black lava rock, further contributing to this almost otherworldly scene.
Pacific Grove, Monterey, California
Ice plants that bloom in May, go right down to the sea, and create this surreal vista in Monterey, California. The Pacific grove plants flowers to constantly attract the monarch butterfly for which the town is famous.
Ruins of Thera, Santorini
Ancient Thera is an antique city on a ridge of the steep, 360 meter high Messavouno mountain on the Greek island of Santorini. Named after the mythical ruler of the island, Theras, it was inhabited from the 9th century BC until 726 AD.
The ruins are poised on the mountain cliff-face, with a spectacular view of the ocean. Visitors can see the ancient temples, Byzantine churches, the shrine of Artemidoros, the Royal Portico, a City Theatre with its beautiful view of the Aegean, terraced streets, mansions, baths, religious edifices. Most of those belong to the Hellenistic and Roman period (3rd B.C- 2nd A.D).