6 Black-Sand Beaches to Visit for an Edgy and Romantic Getaway

Updated 05/01/19
a woman at a black sand beach resort
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There's nothing in the world more photogenic and more romantic than a black sand beach. Like our friends over at Who What Wear, we strongly believe that black is anything but boring. In fact, it's arguably the sleekest, chicest, and most flattering color of all. And yes, the same logic came be applied to beaches. Just like an all-black ensemble, black-sand beaches exude drama, edge, and glamour. Thanks to their unique beauty, they've become quite the destinations for every kind of traveler.

Do you prefer chillier beaches or tropical ones? Though black-sand beaches are pretty rare compared to gold- or white-sand beaches, the good news is that you can find them in several different regions with varying climates. From gorgeous lookout points to sunny seaside lounging spots, this roundup of black-sand beach destinations will make you want to start packing. Scroll through the six black-sand beaches below to get some inspiration that'll make your next coastal getaway a little edgier and a lot more photogenic.

A Volcanic Island Getaway in Greece

Black Sand Beach in Greece
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Santorini, Greece, is known for its sands of many colors. Since it's a volcanic island, the beaches are vibrant shades of red, black, gold, and white. Aside from the gorgeous seaside spots that dot the island, the delicious food, upscale resorts, and charming architecture alone are worth the trip. We recommend renting an AV so you can relax on the black-sand beaches of Perissa or Kamari, and then drive over to explore Akrotiri, a red-sand beach.

A Surfing Beach Town in Central America

Black Sand Beach in El Salvador
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This hidden retreat is located in Central America's smallest country, El Salvador. In the coastal tourist town of El Tunco, you'll find black-sand beaches like this one, complete with big waves and plenty of surfing. If you love water sports and laid-back beach town vibes, this is the vacation for you. You'll enjoy the picturesque sunsets and slower pace after a long day of surfing and lounging on the photogenic shore.

An Otherworldly Escape in Iceland

Black Sand Beach in Iceland
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If you love swimming, we're sorry to say you'll have to sit this one out on the shore. On the other hand, if you appreciate the ocean and a good waterfront view but prefer being bundled up rather than bikini-clad, here's your version of paradise. This Icelandic black-sand beach in Vestrahorn is the perfect destination for anyone who loves discovering unexpected, beautiful locales. Here you'll find moody hues plus dramatic cliffs and stormy skies, proving that tropical beaches aren't the only ones worth escaping to.

A Cliffside Paradise in Italy

Black Sand Beach in Italy
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A trip to the Amalfi Coast, anyone? Nestled at the bottom of the cliffs in Positano, Italy, this black-sand beach has a lot to love. It's adorned with colorful umbrellas and lounge chairs to make it even more visually appealing. And much like other black-sand beaches, it's pretty rocky, so you'll want to thank these pretty recliners for their functional value too. Just make sure you wear extra sunscreen while lying out here.

A Tropical Retreat in Hawaii

Black Sand Beach in Hawaii
Nicole Franzen

Still not sold on black sand beaches? That's okay, we understand that some folks would rather keep their beach vacations, well, beachy. So if you want to take the tropical route, we suggest visiting Punalu'u Beach on Hawaii's Big Island. This way, you'll have the best of both worlds, since you'll get a taste of the tropics and all it has to offer (think balmy climate, lush greenery, pretty views, and warm, swimmable waters), while also enjoying the unique beauty of a black-sand beach.

A Seaside Adventure in California

Black Sand Beach in California
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Here's another brooding favorite for those of us who don't mind our beaches a little foggier and windier than most. Tucked behind rows of trees away from the crowds, Pfeiffer State Beach is definitely worth the trek. Depending on when you go, you'll see a variety of color in the sand, predominately black or white, and sometimes even purple. Located in Big Sur, California, this spot is famous for its seaside views, so remember to pack an extra memory card for your camera.

Would you rather visit a pink-, white-, or black-sand beach? Sound off in the comment section below.

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