When the summer months roll in, everyone seems to be in search for that perfect white sand beach. For most of us, the idea of paradise is the finest powdery white sand beneath our feet. But the Philippines is blessed with a lot of other types of beaches. Beaches lined with pebbles and small to medium sized cobbles or boulder beaches may not be the most ideal for swimming, but they have their own charm.
Shingle beaches provide a great venue for unique landscape photography. You know those dreamy long exposure landscape shots with the silky water effect you’ve always wanted to take? Shingle beaches are great for those. You can also try the zen art of rock balancing on beaches with larger stones.
Shingle beaches are not that commercialized and often not as crowded as their sandy counterparts, so you can enjoy quality time during your visit. Here are a few stunning ones you can find around Philippines.
Valugan & Chadpipan Boulder Beach, Batanes
One of the most iconic images of Batanes is the sight of huge boulders lining the beach. With rolling hills in the distance and the waves crashing on the rocks, Valugan (East) Boulder Beach, just a few minutes away from the Basco airport, offers an incredible landscape. The volcanic rocks are said to have come from Mt. Iraya when it erupted.
Valugan is the most popular, but it’s not the only boulder beach in Batanes. Downhill from Vayang Rolling Hills, on the Western side of the island, you can find Chadpidan Boulder Beach, which is just as stunning especially during sunset.
Luna Pebble Beach, La Union
While La Union is known mostly for its sandy shores and surf, in the town of Luna you can find a beautiful coast facing the West Philippine Sea lined with multicolored pebbles. In fact, the town has been nicknamed “the pebble capital of the North” because of the landscape and its thriving stone-picking industry. While you’re there, you can also visit the rebuilt Baluarte Watch Tower and the Bahay na Bato, a rest house built from stone and rocks.
Read more about La Union attractions here.
Pitogo Beach, Caramoan
If you’re island-hopping around Caramoan this summer, try and make a stop at Pitogo Beach in Lantangan Bay. This beach has unique white-pebbled shores lined with smooth and flat stones instead of sand. There’s something very melodious and peaceful about the sound of water crashing onto the rocks and moving them about, similar to chimes being blown by the wind. You can also hike a point in the grassy hill to get a view of two beaches facing opposite sides of the island.
Read more about Caramoan here.
White Pebble Beach, Camarines Sur
About an hour away from Naga City in the province of Camarines Sur is another pebble beach in Bagolatao, a town Minalabac. The shore here is lined with small white and gray pebbles, which stretches about three kilometers. At the far end of the beach is Bagapuso Point, which you can actually hike up to get a panoramic view of the island. If you’re visiting, you can also pay a visit to the Bicol Shell Museum nearby.
Read more about White Pebble Beach here.
Mabua Pebble Beach, Surigao del Norte
One of the most popular stone beaches in the country can be found in Surigao City, along a three-kilometer coast in three villages: Looc, Mabua and Ipil. Though the place is known as Mabua Pebble Beach, the shores are actually made of smooth and round stones roughly the size of an adult hand and not really pebbles. Visitors usually climb a rock formation at the north-end of the beach to get a better overlooking view of the beach.
Take note, though, that it’s forbidden to take home stones from the beach as souvenirs!
Know of any other stone beaches around the country worth visiting? Let us know in the comments section!