9 amazing beaches you have probably never heard of

May 29th, 2017 by Mariah

We’ve all been there: Beaches so packed with bodies it’s impossible to take a decent picture without forty random photobombers in the background.

But there’s good news. About 71 percent of the Earth’s surface area is water, so there are plenty of empty, albeit scenic stretches of sand silently waiting to become your next cover photo. And what they lack in crowds, boardwalks, surf shops and ice cream trucks, they more than make up for in Mother Nature.

Below are nine lesser-known beaches worth knowing, along with tips for getting your toes in their sand.


1. Secret Beach, Dominica


Dominica is a far cry from the Dominican Republic people often confuse it with. Pronounced “doe-min-EE-ka,” it’s a Caribbean island relatively untouched by resorts. Known as the “Nature Island” because, appropriately, nature has been left alone to do its thing– Secret Beach is a wonderful example of that. This private cove near Dominica’s Secret Bay boasts unique rock features like a natural bridge and a sea-cliff cave filled with rich marine life. So even if the thought of putting on a snorkeling mask and breathing through a plastic pipe scares you, you’ll definitely want to snorkel here.

Getting there: Guests staying at Secret Bay can take complimentary kayaks or paddle boards to Secret Beach. Otherwise, go to Portsmouth to charter a fishing boat from the Indian River Visitor Center or rent a kayak or sailboat from WaveDancer Water Sports & Park at Coconut Beach.


2. Benijo Beach, Tenerife


When it comes to beaches, Tenerife isn’t really on the tip of most Americans’ tongues. But this Canary Island off the coast of North Africa boasts 70 beaches including Benijo beach, something Sergio Barros of Quest Travel Adventures likens to a natural experience at its purest. “It has fabulous views of the Roques de Anaga rock formations and its sunsets are magical. Especially when the glimmering sea contrasts with the red horizon and the dark outline of the volcanic rocks rising from the ocean depths.” Note: This beach is popular among naturists, so you may see a naked beachgoer or two.

Getting there: Tenerife is a four-hour non-stop flight from London. WOW air also offers Newark to Tenerife fares starting at $239. From Tenerife, drive the winding mountain roads to the village of Taganana where you’ll find a path of steep stairs down to the beach.


3. Kennedy Island, Solomon Islands


Although it’s named for one of the most beloved U.S. presidents, Kennedy Island receives only a handful of American visitors each year. (It has just six reviews on TripAdvisor.) While the uninhabited island has great snorkeling, most visitors come for the historical significance. “JFK, who would be 100 years old this May, was stationed nearby when his patrol boat was struck by a torpedo and he swam to this island,” says recent visitor Lisa Niver of We Said Go Travel.

Getting there: From Fiji, fly Solomon Airlines to Gizo where you can pay a tour operator about $30 to take a half-day boat trip to Kennedy Island. You can also stay at Fat Boys, a budget-friendly resort that takes guests to the island.


4. No Name Cay, Bahamas


The only inhabitants of this aptly named beach are Bahamian swimming pigs. Although these feral pigs are friendly (yes, you can doggie-paddle with them), they don’t appear on Instagram nearly as often as Exuma’s aquatic swine. In other words, No Name Cay is not yet an international swimming pig sensation. Still, it’s only a matter of time before the beach, which locals have deemed “Piggyville,” becomes a major tourist trap.

Getting there: The most direct way to get to No Name Cay is to fly into Marsh Harbour from Nassau or select cities in Florida. From there, head to Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour Marina to rent a boat or book an eco-tour. It’s just a 30-minute scenic ride from the marina.


5. Praia Formosa, Santa Maria Island, Azores, Portugal


Praia Formosa on the island of Santa Maria was once home to a 16th century fort built to deter pirates. Today, visitors who navigate the winding cliffside road down to the beach can walk among the remaining ruins. They can also search for sea life in the pollution-free tidal pools. In fact, Praia Formosa was awarded Blue Flag status — indicating it meets the most stringent international water quality standards set by the Foundation for Environmental Education.

Getting there: The fastest way to get to the Azores from the U.S. is to fly nonstop on Azores Airlines. It’s a four-hour flight from Boston. From the Azores, take a 20-minute flight to Santa Maria where you can rent a car or take a 20-minute taxi ride to Praia Formosa.


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