Crystal Beach

In our imagination there may exist a beach where the sand is mixed with multicolored gems, creating a wonderful paradise. What few know is that such a beach actually exists, although the gems are not precious, but are actually pieces of glass. The Playa de los Cristales is in Galicia, Spain, and originated on a whim of nature, perhaps to give us a lesson on environmental care.

La Playa de los critales
Beach of the crystals –
The Beach of the Crystals

In the region of Bergantiños, in the north of Galicia, a few decades ago, they deposited waste as if it were a landfill. That garbage included glass bottles of various colors. That was how, what was a beach became a landfill by the sea. Although, with time, the tides and the slow work of the waves, the bottles were breaking. The result was a beach of sand and multicolored beads as if they were made of glass.

To understand why Playa de los Cristales is a lesson of nature, you have to travel back a few years. In the town of Laxe, in Bergantiños, where about 3,000 people live, the municipality decided to dump waste in a sector by the sea, turning it into a landfill. The tide took care of polishing those glass fragments.

Originally, the beach was called Areal dos Botiños. The botiños are a kind of dolphins that can sometimes be seen on the shores of this place in A Coruña. Over the years, the cove of the cove of Baleeira was filled with multicolored beads of polished glass, and thus became known as the Playa de los Cristales (Beach of the Crystals).

Place very visited by local and foreign tourists.

Two decades ago, this natural beauty almost disappeared by human hand. In 2004, the Xunta de Galicia decided to clean this beach. The neighbors and environmentalists did not want them to carry out this task, because the glass beads give the site an incredible beauty. Due to the pressure exerted by these people, they stopped the work, although a considerable amount of glass beads had already been removed, which could never be recovered.

More and more tourists came to the area to see the wonderful beach with glass gems. However, the problems also began. Visitors want to take some of the multicolored beads as souvenirs. Although there are signs indicating the prohibition of such action, they ignore them and had to increase surveillance to prevent it.

The currents of Playa de los Cristales are intense, and therefore it is not a suitable area for bathers to enjoy the sea. However, this does not prevent tourism from visiting it. Likewise, there is another Playa de los Cristales, also in Spain. It is in Andromero, south of Luanco, in Asturias. They also used this place as a garbage dump, some decades ago. Although its real name is Bigaral beach.

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