Best Hidden Beaches

Summer is coming. After another long winter, the sun is once again starting to shine, and (the rapid effects of climate change notwithstanding) the weather is starting to become more friend than enemy. This is all to say… it’s almost beach season, and we want you to spill the beans about your favorite hidden beach spot.

I think my favorite beach has to be Navagio Beach in Greece, which I’ve unfortunately never actually had the chance to visit, but which still stands out as the perfect “hidden” beach in my mind. Otherwise known as “Shipwreck Beach” thanks to the remains of a large boat that washed up there, Navagio Beach is hidden away in a semi-circular cove, and only reachable by ship. Since a number of tourist-bearing vessels now visit the secluded shore, it’s somewhat less hidden, but it looks magical.

(Image: Ghost of Kuji/CC BY 2.0)

Because beaches are better when they aren’t overrun, they tend to inspire a fierce sense of ownership and forced secrecy, so really every great beach is a hidden beach! Tell us in the comments below about the greatest beach spot you’ve ever found. Tell us it’s name and general location (no need to expose it totally…), how you found it, and most of all what makes it so special to you. If you have any terrific pictures of your hidden beach, please show us! Your response may be used in an upcoming round-up article on Atlas Obscura. Don’t be shy, lets share our favorite hidden beaches and shake off those winter blues!

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This beach in the Florida Keys is probably my most favorite. A few years ago I visited during a company trip with 14 hour work days, endless crowds of people, and an apparent strong allergic reaction to the coral that blooms and evaporates into the air in the summer, so I was E X H A U S T E D. In a rare moment of free time I found this beach tucked away with hardly any other visitors and got to watch the sunset in peace.

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I know it’s got mixed reviews but a beach that I remember loving was a small island 20 km off the coast of Thailand called Koh Lao Liang. All it has is 20 tents on it. Really all there is to do is rock climb or lay on the beach. You can also borrow one of the kayaks to go to an uninhabited nearby island or snorkel. It was one of my favorite places I went in Thailand.


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I love beaches! Do you think this beach cove might have been the inspiration for the hidden beach in Porco Rosso?


Image from this website

The hidden beach I’ve been to was inside a volcano called Taal Lake. It was pretty cool.


Image from this website

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Inside the volcano?! That sounds incredible. Also, :heart: Miyazaki!

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My favorite from many years ago was Chiaia di Luna on the Italian island of Ponza in the Mediterranean. It’s a gorgeous little crescent at the foot of a cliff. Alas, that’s the problem: the cliff is crumbling, so the beach had to close a couple of years ago. :cry: But back in August 1983, when I last saw it, it was charming. I had a ball swimming through nearby caves and diving off rocks into the crystal-blue sea (ah, youth!). And I got to see the Perseids from the cliff above. Magical.

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Then what can be more hidden than this? :slight_smile:

I went to Navagio beach on Zante last summer.
There’s a clifftop viewing point you can walk along from to get a better vantage point.
It’s every bit as breathtaking as you’ve seen in photos.
I took my drone with me and got this photo, once most of the tourist boats had left for the day.

My favourite hidden beach is on a small desert island called Lime Cay, off the coast of Port Royal near Kingston in Jamaica.
It’s a perfect white sand beach surrounded by ocean on all sides. You have to hire a boat to take you there and arrange to be picked up later which is an adventure in itself.

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My favourite beach is Teluk Keke on the Perhentian Islands in Malaysia. My girlfriend (now wife) and I were taking a walk and stumbled across a small empty beach surrounded by large boulders. The sea is turquise blue and shallow so we went snorkelling and swam with turtles, baby sharks and angel fish. It was one of those rare and perfect moments… It was so idyllic.

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I thought this would come up right away. Its a short boat trip off the west coast of Mexico north of Puerto Vallarta. Stay in Sayulita which is a gem of a little beach town and the best surfing in Mexico. Definitely worth the trip.

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If I tell AO it won’t remain hidden :stuck_out_tongue:

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Isle of Barra, Outer Hebrides, Scotland

Only beach airport in the world, pilots check tide as well as weather reports. Planes land on the coral beach, after last flight has landed they take the airsock down and it reverts to a beach again.

Great haddock and chips in the restaurant

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Frisco Campgrounds on Hatteras Island. You can see both the sound and the ocean from there. Also, it’s the only place that’s not flat on the entire island. Not really secret, but I still love it.

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Teddy Bear Cove - Bellingham, WA. Not terribly “hidden” per se, but you have to hike down to it from a switchback (and the entryway to that is not super obvious, so you kind of have to know it’s there) An incredibly beautiful and quiet spot to sit and just BE. Also, found some cool sea glass more than once here, and it’s a great spot to see bioluminescence during certain times of the year.

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This is the island of Pisar in the state of Chuuk in the Federated States of Micronesia. On the map above, it’s just next to Engenenimo on the eastern side of the fringing reef. Most of the islands within Chuuk lagoon have mangroves with few— if any—beaches. Since Pisar is on the fringing reef, it’s surrounded by sand. In fact, I was told that the name Pisar means “shifting sand” in Chuukese. Tourists who venture to Chuuk usually only come for the scuba diving opportunities among the wreckages of Japanese ships and planes. Pisar offers none of that; it’s mostly a place where one can soak in warm water, swim, read a book, snorkel and just take in the beautiful surroundings. I took the opportunity to recharge and to take a break from a summer school assignment at a high school on Weno.

The island is about the size of a football field and is covered with coconut palms. There is one house in the middle of the island and a few other shelters to sit or sleep in. Numerous hammocks are also available. The people who own the Truk Stop Resort on the main Chuukese island of Weno own Pisar. Travelers to Pisar must book with Truk Stop Resort, who will also arrange for the boat transportation from Weno and back. It’s a 45 to 75 minute boat ride from Weno to Pisar, depending on where on Weno one starts from. There is no food or potable water on the island; we brought our own water and packed enough food for our 24 hour stay. It’s similar to preparing for an overnight backpacking trip. When you arrive, most likely the only other people that you will encounter are the two caretakers and the people you came with. The water is bathtub warm and clear but sadly, the coral seemed to be bleached. I did, however catch a glimpse of some clown fish, a dory and witnessed an amazing underwater dance between two manta rays. While sitting on the beach a school of flying fish slipped by as we watched in stunned amazement. The sunsets were also achingly beautiful.

Considering the fact that Pisar is at least a 45 minute boat ride from Weno, and Weno is a one hour flight from Guam, which is a 3 hour flight from Tokyo or an 8 hour flight from Honolulu, this has to be one of the more secluded beaches on this list! Even if this article is widely read, Pisar will probably remain secluded. :palm_tree::swimming_woman:t3:

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There are some beautiful hidden beaches around the Algarve in Portugal. You could debate how ‘hidden’ they really are considering their popularity with beachgoers, but the fact that you have to swim or sail to some of them leads me to mention them here!

I’m guaranteed to get all their names mixed up (maybe someone else can help out!) so here are some photos simply to give a taste of the coves that captured my imagination and sent me into my own personal pirate adventure fantasies…

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Well, my favorite is hejsager strand (beach) in Denmark. But this just has to do as much with proximity as it’s nature as it’s only a short bike ride away. Though besides going for the beach itself I also go to harvest strandkål (beach cabbage), seaweed, and rosehips.

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Wow, these are beautiful!

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Nothing better than biking to the beach!

I’ve never heard of strandkål before. (I find it very satisfying to cook and eat things I gather or catch at the beach.) What do you make with the beach cabbage and seaweed? I’d love to know!

Strandkål is the Danish for Crambe maritim or sea kale. The leaves have the thickness of head cabbage but it grows as leaf cabbage. So I use it for a lot of stuff like kale just pull out the rib of the leaf or like most stuff for head cabbage. So works well for stuffed cabbage, or coleslaw, or just shredded up into a salad.

In fall I will do a mostly wild forage salad of
Cabbage (wild forage)
Rosehips (wild forage)
Hazelnuts (wild forage)
Lemon juice
White or black Pepper
Oil

Can replace the hazelnuts with almonds or walnuts, and the rosehips with semi dried tomatoes when not in season.

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