The 2017 Most Unusual Beach Awards
Posted: May 2017
Our Unmissable® travel team spends all day researching incredible prizes and group travel experiences with a difference. Thanks to them, our clients’ promotions really do have that extra special wow factor, which we get to pass on to hundreds of lucky prize winners.
Take beach holidays. We don’t send winners to just any old playa. We like a beach with a story. And boy have we come across some really unusual ones. So we’ve put together our 2017 Most Unusual Beach Awards. Which one would you love to win?
Most Secluded Beach (seen above)
Hidden Beach, Marieta Islands, Mexico
Just a few miles off the coast of Mexico in the Pacific Ocean lie the tiny uninhabited Marieta Islands. Used as target practice for the Mexican military in the early 1900’s, the result is perhaps the world’s most picturesque bombsite. Also known as Love Beach, Hidden Beach is a real bomb site located so near the edge of the island that it created an underground beach.
Sadly, the popularity of the islands has jumped in recent years, resulting in massive destruction of the delicate coral surrounding the island. Right now it’s off limits to tourists until a controlled tourism plan is approved. We’re keeping our eye on it to be first in line when the tickets are released.
Beach with the Best Legend
Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim, Ireland
If you like your beach stonier than most, complete with legend, then there is no better place on earth than Giant’s Causeway. There are two tales attached to this impressive rocky shore on Ireland’s north coast.
The science: Approx. 59,988,000 years before modern day humans appeared in Ireland, a massive volcanic eruption occurred. The ferociousness of the eruption and the rapid cooling of the lava created the 40,000 interlocked and almost perfectly hexagonal basalt columns, seen today.
The myth: Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhailll was having trouble with Scottish giant Benandonner. Enraged by the threat to his land, Fionn grabbed chunks of the Antrim coast and threw them into the sea to form a path to Scotland so they could fight – hence the name Giant’s Causeway.
If you take an 82-mile boat trip directly north to the Scottish Isle of Staffa you can see almost identical rock formations. Is this the other side of the volcanic eruption or the other side of Finn’s path to Scotland? Either way, we know which tale we prefer..
World’s Cleanest Beach
Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Australia
Whitehaven Beach in Australia’s Whitsunday Island is renowned the world over for pristine white sand and clear waters. Having won the award for Queensland’s Cleanest Beach, with the sand’s silica levels running around 98%, not only does the sand never heat up (so you won’t have to start running halfway to the sea because your feet are burning) but it is also perfect for cleaning your jewellery. Clean sea, clean beach and clean jewellery; it doesn’t get more spotless than this.
Beach with Least Chance of Sunburn
Cave Beach, Benagil, Portugal
The limestone cliffs around Benagil in Portugal have been eroded into various weird and wonderful forms over the years. In varying degrees of yellow and orange, grottoes, arches, pinnacles and caves have all been carved into the cliffs. Perhaps the most impressive example of this is just around the corner from Benagil.
The Algar de Benagil is a cathedral like cave with arched entrances and a small beach inside. Cut off by the sea, the cave is best reached by boat or kayak, you can swim but as the sea can be quite rough, it’s only recommended for strong swimmers.
Beach with the Craziest Rocks
Koekohe Beach, South Island, New Zealand
The Moeraki Boulders on Koekohe Beach began life in ancient sea floor sediments around 60 million years ago and took around 4 million years to finish forming. Almost perfectly spherical, there are over 50 boulders of various sizes dotted along the beach.
According to the Maori’s, the boulders are the remains of water gourds that were turned to stone when they washed up on the shore following the sinking of legendary Āraiteuru, the canoe which brought the ancestors of the Ngāi Tahu people of the South Island. But they look like Dragon’s eggs to us….
Best Beach for Geeks
Maho Beach, Saint Martin, The Caribbean
Known colloquially as Aeroplane Beach, Maho Beach on the sunny island of St Martins in the Caribbean is adjacent to Princess Juliana International Airport with the runway beginning where the beach ends. Unusually close to the threshold of a runway, and directly under the flight path, aircraft make their final approach by flying over the beach at altitudes of less than 100 feet above ground level. An incredible view for plane-spotters!
In fact, watching airliners pass over the beach is such a popular activity that daily arrivals and departures are displayed in most bars and restaurants. But you’ll need quite a few rums to sunbathe under the thunderous roar of the aircrafts overhead…
Best Beach for Animal Lovers
Tin Can Bay, Queensland, Australia
Tin Can Bay is home to the Australian Humpback Dolphin. A river and estuary dolphin, the humpback is beautifully adapted to swim and hunt in shallow waters. So what makes Tin Can Bay so special? The resident pod of dolphins come close to shore each morning around 8am looking for treats from the locals. Having been fed here since the 1950’s when an injured dolphin sought refuge in the Bay, the pod has been coming back ever since looking for tasty treats.
For $10, you can wade into the waters and feed these incredible creatures for yourself. A warning: the conservation of these rare animals is of utmost importance and to swim, touch or feed them with anything other than the provided fish carries a whopping $8,000 fine. Get near them with a boat or jet ski and the fine rises to $12,000. Suddenly $10 doesn’t seem that much.
If you’re looking for inspirational prize ideas, motivating rewards or a whole host of new destinations for group incentive travel, please do get in touch. Call our award-winning prize team on 020 7428 3090.