These aren’t your average stretches of sand

Awe-inspiring beaches to admire

Dreaming of your next beach vacation is one of the best ways to get through the winter season—especially if the beach in question is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. From pink-sand beaches in the Caribbean to otherworldly shores in Iceland, these unique destinations are guaranteed to liven up your travels.

Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach

Vik, Iceland

The inky black shore of Reynisfjara Beach is an easy day trip from Reykjavík (about 2.5 hours each way). Located on Iceland's southern coast, Reynisfjara attracts visitors with its black sand, stacked basalt caves, and lunar rock structures. This isn’t exactly a beach made for soaking up the sun—the water is far too rough and cold for swimming—but it’s well worth visiting for its natural beauty and moody atmosphere.

Playa del Amor (aka “Hidden Beach”)

Marieta Islands, Mexico

West of Puerto Vallarta in Mexico's Marieta Islands, Playa del Amor is easily one of the most beautiful and unique beaches on the planet. Commonly referred to as “Hidden Beach,” Playa del Amor is surrounded by a cave with a gaping natural skylight on top. The beach isn't exactly easy to reach (it requires an hour-long boat ride from Puerto Vallarta's coast), but swimming or kayaking through the warm waters is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Pink Sands Beach

Harbour Island, Bahamas

If you want your next photo to be as frame-worthy as they come, start planning a trip now to the Bahamas' Pink Sands Beach. As its name suggests, the hot spot is famous for its rosy-pink color, resulting from microscopic coral shells. The beach stretches for some three miles along Harbour Island’s eastern shore, opening up to the lovely Atlantic Ocean.

Glass Beach

Fort Bragg, USA

Located near MacKerricher State Park in Fort Bragg, California, the allure of Glass Beach lies in its name: here, you'll find a shore filled with glass instead of sand. The area was originally used as a dumpsite for glass and metal in the 1950s and '60s. Over the next several decades, some of the waste decayed while the metal was sold for scraps, and the glass became smoothed over by the crashing waves. The erosion resulted in the stretch of smooth, jewel-like pieces of glass that you see today.

Navagio Beach (aka “Shipwreck Beach”)

Zakynthos, Greece

There's no shortage of incredible beaches in the Greek Isles, but perhaps none gather quite as much attention as Navagio Beach on Zakynthos. The cliff-lined beach is one of the most popular in the country, thanks to the abandoned metal ship that crashed on its shores in the 1980s. Shipwreck aside, Navagio Beach's calm surf and towering cliff bookends make this a spot you should add to your bucket list.

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