Heading for the beach this summer season? Avoid these 10 worst beaches!
Time to pack up! Not in the literal sense, but to pack your bags, tuck in those bikinis (and/or boxer shorts) lurking somewhere there in your wardrobes, flip flops, sunglasses, lotions, brushes and what else. Hey, wait a second. You would have definitely browsed for some of the best beaches to head for, but there are some well known names that are best avoided. To help you avoid the heartbreak later on, we have compiled a list of some of the worst beaches that ought to be struck off your itinerary list.
That stinking feeling:
- Blackpool, England: England may boast of being host to some of the finest beaches in the world, but Blackpool isn’t one of them. Described as the ‘most unhealthy place in England’, it has the highest smoking rate in the country, alcoholism is rife and drug abuse related deaths rival those elsewhere in Glasgow and London.
Once the crown jewel of UK’s seaside resorts, Blackpool has become a pale shadow of its glorious past. Two beaches here were red-flagged by the Marine Conservation Society for the filthy conditions prevalent here, but even that hasn’t prompted any positive action from the authorities. As a result, it lurks in the list of the worst beaches you would find anywhere. The service at hotels and restaurants is so appalling that they attract the worst reviews from customers.
- Pattaya, Thailand: Pattaya rose to prominence as a beach destination during the Vietnam War when US GIs would head for there while seeking a break. It has somehow degenerated into becoming infamous for its in-your-face sex industry, sex shows, and go-go bars and less about its sea and sand offerings. The beaches are dotted by uncomfortable deck chairs and grimy umbrellas.
The beaches are impossibly dirty, thereby making swimming here difficult. Rodents roam around here with impunity while digging for food. The place has become filthy with no one here to fix the broken system except the pimps and hookers who would swarm the place during the evenings offering easy deals.
Visitors have also complained about sky-rocketing prices and vendors charging exorbitant rates. The place is bereft of basic facilities like toilets and wheelchair access. Stealing stuff has become so commonplace that if you left your belongings on your chair, better wave a goodbye to the same!
- Beaches of Greece – The renowned azure waters across the coasts of Athens, the capital city, Patra in south-western Greece and Thessaloniki in northern part of the country have become deeply infested with polluted water, courtesy the untreated industrial and household waste which is thrust down the oceans. This has left Greek beaches in dire conditions but nothing is being done.
“A few years ago I swam here every day but in the past two summers it is just too dirty so I just play on the beach,” says Stavros Georgiadis a local, who plays racquetball along the coast almost daily. “I don’t know if it is actually dirtier but it just looks filthier, more stuff floating on the water – I’m not going to swim in there,” he laments. All hope is lost, feels Greenpeace Greece director Nikos Haralambidis. “Some areas in the bays of Athens and Thessaloniki are complete dead zones. For some, there is no chance of ever recovering,” he said.
- Xinghai Beach, China – The enormous 1.3 billion population of China would not descend on the otherwise beautiful Xinghai Beach, but it seems like that at times. The favored beach for Russians, Koreans and the Chinese, it is massively overcrowded. Scrum of humanity throngs the beach during weekends and it is almost impossible to find even a few inches free!
This is precisely the reason why the Xinghai Beach near port city of Dalian has repeatedly featured in the list of worst beaches of the world despite being incredibly beautiful. It would be interesting to note that it is the largest artificial seawater bath of the country but even that does not prevent it from featuring in this unfortunate list. Even if you do land up here, make it a point to visit the Dalian Shengya Ocean World, inside Xinhai Park, which is touted at the longest transparent underground sea channel in Asia, to have a close look at the exotic sea life including coral reef, sharks, and other colorful species.
- Doheny Beach, California, United States: The land of sand, sea and sun has poor track record when it comes to cleaning its beaches. California is otherwise renowned for thousands of miles of beaches and hundreds of sea-side resorts. It is home to the finest as well as the dirtiest stretches of sands in the country and the Doheny Beach, unfortunately, belongs to the latter category.
The environmental groups that give rankings to the top beaches have not been too favorable for the Doheny Beach and ranked it among the worst for three straight years in the early 2000s. Consider this – for a beach to be declared safe, the levels of enterococcus, total and fecal coliform must not exceed 10 percent. The levels of the same found here are in excess of 90 percent and the figure says it all. Even a multi-million dollar program to bring remedy to the troubled waters hasn’t been successful! http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/06/beach-report-card-pollution-remains-high-swimmers-at-risk-.html
- Kamilo Beach, Hawaii, United States: The Kamilo Beach seems to be a world away from everything what Hawaii stands for – golden sand beaches, impeccable weather and yes, the party atmosphere. It is the biggest recipient of trash from Great Pacific Garbage Patch, estimated to be between 270,000 square miles and 5,800,000 square miles, a whopping 8 percent of The Pacific. The beach is littered with waste, 90 percent of which is plastic. The beach’s natural sand seems to be overwhelmed by plastic sand, made from pallets broken down from bigger plastic items.
The beach has become a catastrophic ecological failure and multiple efforts to clean out the same have not yielded results. The extent of the problem can be gauged from the fact that the debris can grow up to two to three feet in some places. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/15/opinion/sunday/from-ocean-to-beach-tons-of-plastic-pollution.html
- Calangute Beach Goa, India: The Calangute Beach Goa stands apart from the worst beaches for a variety of reasons, including the holy cow. One of the reasons behind the once pristine beach turning ugly is mass tourism. Overcrowding is a major problem here along with pushy vendors and filthy hotels.
Freely roaming cows present another ugly picture of the place. Owing to their holy status in their country not many can dare challenge their freedom to throng the place. The omnipresent canines too have laid claim to the Calangute Beach and many other beaches of Goa and Mumbai, once considered the country’s prized jewels.
Watch out, there is a shark in the waters! Here are four shark infested beaches that are best avoided:
- New Smyrna Beach Florida: What a pity! The otherwise magnificent New Smyrna Beach is infested with deadly sharks. As many as 238 shark attacks were reported from here in 2013 and there are no visible signs of their abatement ever since. While no fatal attack has taken place, but the number of shark attacks are rising ever since. The weather here is impeccable and hence loads of people throng here almost every day, particularly during the weekends. Sharks love the beach too and make merry almost every other day.
Quite astoundingly, fishermen, surfers and swimmers are undeterred by the shark attacks and keep coming back here. It must be said that the beach some good places worth visiting here and cool restaurants and hotels offering service worth the heavy price tag. If you are game for sharks, you are welcome here!
- Perth, Western Australia: The Land of the Oz has had its fair share of the marine predators and is a well known breeding ground for sharks along with Brazil, Mexico and New Zealand. The sharks have taken the fun out of beach culture in Australia. So much so that an entire generation of children is too frightened to set for the waters and learn swimming. Owing to the regular attacks authorities have been forced to close some popular swimming spots across Western Australia, which is otherwise home to finest beaches in the country.
Shayne Hanks, the Perth-based chairman of the National College of Sport and Exercise Psychologists expresses concern over the psychological impact of the repeated attacks. “There are adults saying that they won’t go in the water or won’t swim out very far or they’ll stop some of those activities, and that’s because their sense of threat is heightened,” he said.
- Reunion Island – French Overseas Deptt. In the Indian Ocean: Once a paradise for surfers in the recent past, the pristine Reunion Island has only sharks left in its waters, it seems. “To see the perfect wave and not be able to surf, it is too difficult,” says Nicolas Dantec, from mainland France, who once bought a home here, which overlooks the beach on the western shore. Shark attacks have multiplied manifolds since 2011, in which several people have been injured. There are confirmed reports of many surfers getting killed by sharks here.
The place shot into notoriety when a piece of wing of a jet, presumably the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 which disappeared mysteriously in 2014 along with 239 people onboard, was found here. A ban on surfing is in place here and is routinely defied by surfers, who get attacked by the sharks. A young surfer named Elio Canestri, aged 13, defied the ban and paid the price with his life. His death sparked outrage, but no solution to the shark could be found.