10 Most Amazing Pebble Beaches in the World

by Aleena Khan3 weeks ago
Picture 10 Most Amazing Pebble Beaches in the World

While sandy beaches are convenient to walk on and play around, pebble beaches have their own charm. First, you don’t have to deal with sand in your food and every crevice of your body. You can also explore unique rocks as souvenirs among the slippery pebbles that have been pounded smooth by the relentless waves.

Regardless of what you prefer, the question that hangs in the air is why some beaches have pebbles while the majority are covered in sand. What is it that makes these pebble beaches so unique?

Here are ten beautiful pebble beaches carved by nature into something truly unique!

1 Iona’s Beach, Minnesota, USA

Iona’s Beach in Minnesota
Peaceful shores with special salmon-colored pebbles at Iona’s Beach in Minnesota.

Iona’s Beach, stretching over 274 meters along the north shore of Lake Superior, is a Scientific and Natural Area. Although this status prevents visitors from collecting rocks and fossils from its shore, the beach’s aesthetics make up for what it lacks in beachcombing.

Pink rock beach at Iona's Beach in Minnesota
Pink rock beach at Iona’s Beach in Minnesota.

To the north of the crescent beach stands a cliff of pink rhyolite, a part of which, over the years, has made its way on the beach in fragments. The waves eroded these fragments of rocks nice and smooth, and the beach is now covered with polished salmon-colored pebbles that give the place a charm like no other.

But what makes this place truly magical is the low rhythmic tinkling sound that emanates from the pebbles as they settle down with the receding waves. (1,2)


2 Pebble Beach, Nice, France

Pebble Beach, Nice, France
Pebble Beach, Nice, France. Image Credit: Saiko3p/Shutterstock.com

Located on the northeastern coast of Baie des Anges, or the “Bay of Angels,” Nice’s barrier beach is made of pebbles, which the Var River mainly supplied.

The beach’s 4.5 km stretch also received 6,00,000 cubic meters of pebbles from the late 1960s until 2015 as part of a beach nourishment policy. The beach suffers from drastic erosion, and the artificial replenishment helps stabilize it.

Pebbles beach at city Nice
Smooth, colorful pebbles adorn this stunning coastline, inviting visitors to enjoy its unique charm.

Being one of the most visited destinations in France, tourists throng Nice’s shoreline with many private beaches, too. But, the public beaches are perfect for lounging on, provided you have something padded, like a yoga mat, to sit on. The pebbles here are tan-colored, and the water is clear and blue. (1,2)


3 Jade Beach, Itoigawa, Japan

Jade Beach, Itoigawa, Japan
Jade Beach, Itoigawa, Japan

Itoigawa City, located in the Niigata Prefecture, has been known for producing jade since the prehistoric Jomon period, which lasted between 10,500 BCE and 300 BCE.

The city has a long stretch of pebble beach facing the Sea of Japan. As the Sea of Japan receives jade from the Himekawa and Kotaki rivers, the gemstone gets washed on the Itoigawa coast, aptly named “Jade Beach.”

jade stones
Jade Beach in Itoigawa has so many jade stones. Image Credit: Swanee/Wikimedia.org

The beach is so rich in jade stones that it has become a treasure hunt destination, with a gemstone museum nearby that helps collectors identify their stones. (1,2)


4 Chesil Beach, Dorset, England

Chesil Beach
Located in Dorset, England, Chesil Beach stretches along the coastline.

Chesil Beach is a straight stretch of shore in Dorset, running 28 km along the English Channel on the southern coast of England. It is considered among the best barrier beaches in the world, protecting the Fleet Lagoon and the lowlands of Weymouth.

 Chesil Beach pebbles
Chesil Beach pebbles change size along its length, revealing its ancient past.

The beach is covered entirely with pebbles made of flint and chert, with their origin tied to the Cretaceous period. They are pea-sized at West Bay and gradually increase in size as you start moving towards Portland in the east.

It’s said that, back in the day, fishermen who arrived late in the night would locate themselves on the bank by the size of the pebbles. (1,2)


5 Neptuni Arkar, Oland, Sweden

Jade Beach, Itoigawa, Japan
Neptuni Arkar, Oland, Sweden. Image Credit: Fry72, Karel Frydrýšek/ Wikimedia.org

Neptuni Arkar, or “Neptune’s Fields,” on Oland Island is a vast pebble beach made of stones from the last ice age and fossils, including brachiopod and trilobite. Adjacent to the beach is a Viking-era graveyard with numerous stone circles, cists, cairns, and the Forgalla Ship, a ship-shaped burial mound from the Bronze Age.

The beach, though rich in history, is barren and dull. But when the viper’s bugloss flowers bloom in the summer, the landscape changes into a sea of blue. (Source)


6 Birdlings Flat, Canterbury, New Zealand

Birdlings Flat
Beautiful Birdlings Flat, Canterbury, New Zealand.

Birdlings Flat is a small village on the south coast of Banks Peninsula in Canterbury, New Zealand. It has a stone beach with plenty of agates and other gemstones like quartz, jasper, and greywacke in the mix, making it an ideal spot for rockhounds.

Stone pyramid at Birdlings flat beach
Stone pyramid at Birdlings flat beach.

The nearby Gemstone and Fossil museum is stacked with precious stones, attesting to their number on the beach. Apart from being popular among fossickers, Birdlings Flat is notorious for rough weather, with wild ocean waves pounding the beach stones smooth. (1,2)


7 Schoolhouse Beach, Washington Island, USA

Schoolhouse Beach
Beautiful Schoolhouse Beach, Washington Island, USA

Schoolhouse Beach gets its name from a tiny wooden schoolhouse that once stood nearby. This sandless beach is on the tiny Washington island of Door County. With its clear azure water, it ranks number one on the list of beaches with the most transparent water in the USA.

Smooth rocks seen through the clear water at Schoolhouse Beach on Washington Island
Smooth rocks seen through the clear water at Schoolhouse Beach on Washington Island.

The beach appears to be a milkyway of white stones, often stacked in cairns. Centuries of glacial erosion and battering waves have smoothed these pebbles, which are made of limestone. But, as beautiful as they are, visitors must not collect pebbles from the beach. As beachcombers have carried off too many of the stones, doing so now incurs a steep fine. (1,2)


8 Jasper Beach, Howard Cove, Maine 

Jasper Beach, Howard Cove, Maine
Jasper Beach, Howard Cove, Maine. Image Credit: Kim Carpenter/ Wikimedia.org

Jasper Beach is a small pocket beach in Howard Cove, Maine. The half-mile-long beach is stacked with boulders, cobbles, and pebbles, with the larger disc-shaped volcanic stones on top and the smaller, well-rounded granites and quartzites at the bottom.

However, there’s no red jasper among the stones. It’s the red volcanic stone of rhyolite that lends the name “Jasper” to the beach. (source)


9 Slapton Sands, Slapton Ley, UK

The Slapton Sands near Torcross is in Devon, England, and the UK.
The Slapton Sands near Torcross is in Devon, England, and the UK.

Slapton Sands at Slapton Ley in the UK is a 3-mile-long (4.5 km) shingle ridge made of fine gravel overlooking Start Bay. The ridge was formed some 10,000 years ago, and the pebbles were brought to it by the melting ice at the end of the last ice age. Over the course of its existence, this location has been a witness to a series of remarkable events.

Slapton Sands features a stunning 3-mile-long pebble ridge.
Slapton Sands features a stunning 3-mile-long pebble ridge.

Among these events are the rehearsals for the D-Day landings, which tragically claimed the lives of 750 individuals. Additionally, the area saw a six-week visit from a humpback whale, the discovery of a prehistoric jawbone, and the tragedy of a village that fell into the sea. These historic incidents make Slapton Sands stand out from the other pebble beaches. (source)


10 Mabua Pebble Beach, Surigao City, Philippines

Mabua Pebble Beach, Surigao City, Philippines
Mabua Pebble Beach, Surigao City, Philippines.

Although the Philippines archipelago, with its 7,000 islands, boasts beautiful beaches, the Mabua Pebble Beach in Surigao City stands out with its countless smooth white pebbles that completely cover the beach.

The waves come to the beach with a strong “swash” and recede with a weaker backwash. Over time, the forward swashes push the pebbles onshore, and the weak backwash ensures the deposition of the pebble materials.

Pile of stones in Mabua Pebble beach
The smooth and rounded pebbles of Mabua Beach.

The beach is stunning to look at, and if you walk barefoot on the smooth, multi-sized, and multi-shaped pebbles, it will stimulate the reflex points in your feet, giving you a therapeutic experience. (source)

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