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5 truly fabulous beaches

When is a beach more than just a beach? When it’s a beach with a very special reason for visiting. As you find yourself surrounded by rubbishy wintry weather, we bring you a round-up of some of the world’s most amazing beaches. Why not treat yourself to a trip to one of these areas? Booking the holiday will bring a grin to your face, despite the wind and rain battering your windows right now. Boulders Beach, Cape Town, South Africa Penguin spotting is 100% guaranteed at this special South African beach, which is home to a colony of these amazing creatures. The African penguins settled here in the early 1980s and have become a popular tourist attraction. The beach forms part of Table Mountain National Park. Glass Beach, Fort Bragg, California Located in MacKerricher State Park, this beach looks like it’s created from beautiful bits of coloured glass. Sadly, the history is a little less of an attractive story, in that the glass has come about because of years of dumping rubbish into an area near the beach. The pounding of the waves has worn the bits of glass into polished gems and today the beach has been treated to a big clean up. Punaluu Beach, Hawaii Black sand might not sounds too gorgeous but when you first see this sight you will be more than a little blown away.  The black sand is made of basalt and has been created by lava flowing into the sea and then cooling and exploding.  Another plus-point of this stunning beach is the chance to spot basking turtles. Hot water Beach, North Island, New Zealand This famous beach has water heated by volcanic hot springs. Hot pools can be dug out of the sand at low tide near the rocks. And steam can be seen rising from the open sea at high tide. It's a great family activity – and there are spade available for hire. You’ll be pleased to know that volcanic activity is no longer prevalent in this area along the Coromandel Peninsula, and the hot mineral pools are simply a legacy of an exciting geothermal past. Pink Sand Beach, Harbour Island, Bahamas Just as it’s described, this beach is a pale pink hue. Harbour Island is just 3.5 miles long and 1.5 miles wide, but it’s a hugely popular destination thanks to the pretty pink beach. The red shells of the foraminifera—single-celled marine animals—mix with the island’s white sand, to create the soft rosy shade of sand. Seeing is believing!  
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