There's a hidden beach in the middle of a field in Spain

The world is packed with beautiful beaches but none are in a weirder place than Playa de Gulpiyuri, the sandy spot right in the middle of a field on Spain's northern coast.

SEE ALSO: Ten paradise islands you've never heard of

SEE ALSO: The world's most colourful beaches

A tiny beach in Llanes that could almost have been designed by a surrealist artist, it features 50 metres of sand backed by majestic crags of limestone.

Playa de Gulpiyuri lies more than 100 metres from the sea shore and is no lake beach or illusion: a tunnel beneath the rocks channels water from the Cantabrian Sea into a cove.

Timid bathers can swim with confidence, knowing there's absolutely no risk of being swept out to sea.

The strange but beautiful beach features in Lonely Planet's Secret Marvels of the World book, a compilation of 360 jaw-dropping weird and wonderful places the crowds don't know about.

Explore more natural wonders and man-made oddities from the book, available from the Lonely Planet shop priced at £19.99, below...

Secret marvels around the world
See Gallery
Secret marvels around the world
Hawaii's Stairway to Heaven, a beach in the middle of a field in Spain and Kazakhstan's picture-perfect lake with a drowned forest are some of the weird and wonderful sights you need to see to believe. Lonely Planet's new Secret Marvels of the World book explores 360 jaw-dropping places the crowds don't know about and we've picked some of the extraordinary locations featured in the book to give you a special preview.

From eerie natural wonders to man-made oddities, Secret Marvels of the World celebrates the mysterious, mesmerising and downright bizarre.

Discover the Italian chapel in Scotland’s Orkney Islands, the magnetic stones of Easter Island and a 'painted forest' of rainbow eucalyptus trees in Hawaii - the mind-blowing collection of natural and man-made marvels provides the perfect inspiration for your weird holiday bucket list...

Bands of colour from vermilion to pale green cover a mountainous 500 sq. km site in Gansu province, where more than 20 million years of geological movement have pressed the sandstone into a multi-coloured layer cake. Over centuries, the sandstone was weathered into pillars, while extreme desert temperatures split the rock to form creeks and cliff faces hundreds of metres high.

Stretching towards Japan, the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia's far east is a place where the Earth's fuming fury is never far from the surface. Kamchatka's 6km-long Valley of the Geysers is fed by the 250C heat of the stratovolcano Kikhpinych. More than 100 hot springs and geysers huff steam into frigid air. It's so far-flung that the geological marvels were only fully explored in the 1970s.

The road to Hana is one of the most incredible drives anywhere on the planet, featuring an overwhelming abundance of sights, sounds and colours as the road winds its way down to the sleepy town nestled in the fragrant bosom of Maui's rainforest. Perhaps one of the most extraordinary things you'll see on this journey is the 'painted forest' of rainbow eucalyptus trees: a quirk of nature producing trees that literally look like frozen rainbows.

Assateague, a barrier island off the coast of Virginia, is most famous for its herd of wild horses. There are numerous theories about how these wild horses arrived on the island, ranging from surviving a shipwreck off the Virginia coast to the more likely explanation that the herds were originally kept on the island by their mainland owners in order to avoid livestock taxes.
The unique Wave Organ is both a visual and auditory work of art where visitors can fill their senses with their surroundings. Located on a small jetty in the Marina District, the site takes in fine views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Fort Mason and further out across the bay.
The so-called Navel of the World is a perfectly round-shaped stone that lies on Easter Island's north coast. The legend claims that king Hoto Matua brought this stone here, symbolising the navel of the world. It's magnetic - when a compass is placed on the rock it loses its direction.
The fine sand and cool seawater are exactly what you'd expect of a beach on Spain's northeast coast; the only difference is that Playa de Gulpiyuri is right in the middle of a field. This tiny beach in Llanes could almost have been designed by a surrealist artist. Its 50m of sand, backed by majestic crags of limestone, lies more than 100m from the sea shore.
If you've ever defended a picnic from pestering pigeons, it might seem baffling that generations of Iranians built towers to attract flocks of these birds. But pigeon poop was big business in 17th-century Iran. It was used as a fertilizer, and in an area such as Isfahan, where melon-farming was widespread, enormous quantities of pigeon guano was required to keep dinner tables laden with fruit.
Spears of spruce rise up from the water at this pristine lake, where a forest was drowned after an earthquake. The Kebin earthquake in 1911 triggered a landslide in the Tian Shan Mountains, creating a natural dam that eventually brought this glassy, 400m lake into existence, submerging part of the forest.
Corroded by time and the unrelenting salt winds that blow from the Salar de Uyuni - the world's largest salt flat - desolate train hulks sit eerily against the backdrop of a desert landscape. The Great Train Graveyard sits on the outskirts of Uyuni, a small town high up on the Andean plateau.
This massive sculpture park was a nearly 30-year labour of love - or more accurately, heartbreak. Built entirely by hand using primitive tools, the fantastical sculptures are the creation of Latvian immigrant Edward Leedskalnin who spent 28 years sculpting them out of coral stone found near his home in Florida. They comprise over 1100 tons of coral, all carved as a monument to the woman who left him a day before their planned wedding.
An ornate Italian-style chapel, which was built by prisoners of war, is now a symbol of reconciliation on the wind-blasted island of Lamb Holm, one of Scotland's Orkney Islands. In 1942, Italian prisoners of war were brought to work on causeways linking Orkney to the southern islands. When Italy capitulated in 1943, they were prisoners no more. They lobbied for a place of worship, and were soon using every spare hour to line the chapel's walls, paint frescoes, and mould a font out of concrete.

Otherwise known as the Stairway to Heaven, this flight of 3,922 steps steers itself up to the giddy apex of Oahu's breathtaking Ko'olau Mountain Range. They were created in 1943 to provide access to a top-secret radio facility but when it was decommissioned in 1950s, photographers and risk takers began using the stairs to take in the spectacular views.

Radioactive soil, termites and plant toxins - they've all been considered as causes, but despite all the science, Namibia's fairy circles are still a mystery. Dotted randomly across the eastern fringes of the Namib Desert, these countless circle patches (2m-15m in diameter) are devoid of any vegetation, their red soils standing out in a sea of golden grass.

Ever grumbled about noisy neighbours or dreamed of having river views? This tiny house is marooned on a rocky islet on the Drina River, the watery seam that separates Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia. Built in the 1960s by locals yearning for some blissful isolation, the photogenic chalet seems to defy gravity on its rocky perch, with barely enough shore space to moor a kayak.

It has taken millions of years and trillions of litres of water to sculpt out the beautiful rock formations at Vale da Lua (Moon Valley) in Brazil's Sao Miguel River. Stretching along a 1km course of water, the site is a bizarre looking series of natural rock formations, caves, waterfalls, pools and crevices. It's a bit like a water park, but without the screaming tourists or garish swimming trunks.
South of the Ohio River in Petersburg, Kentucky, lies the 18ft Sachem, its rusting prow sticking sharply out from the surrounding vegetation, the hull tilted slightly askew in the muddy banks of the river tributary. First setting sail in 1902, the boat served as a luxury yacht, carried Thomas Edison, trained naval soldiers, fought in two world wars, and appeared in a pop music video before being banished to its current isolated locale.
With its backdrop of mountains and forested shores, Reschensee is a snapshot of pristine nature - until you notice a bell tower jutting from the water. This lake in Italy's South Tyrol was created artificially by the building of a dam in 1950, merging three lakes into one. In midwinter when the lake freezes over, it is possible to walk out to the tower.
Tucked away in the fiery sandstone mountains of rugged Utah is one of the world's largest - and oldest - outdoor galleries. Nine Mile Canyon (which is actually 46 miles long, but was originally formed by Nine Mile Creek), contains thousands of ancient petroglyphs, carved by the native Fremont and Ute tribes between AD 600 and 1300. The scenes depict everything from war and sacrifice to animal husbandry and family dynamics.
Browse more extraordinary places you never knew existed in Lonely Planet's Secret Marvels of the World, priced at £19.99 and available from the Lonely Planet shop.

Read Full Story