Not much in life beats a beautiful beach. With a clear blue sky, lush waters, and the golden sand, discovering an exquisite beach is like waking up in paradise. Anyone with a slither of geographic knowledge will know that the world isn’t short of stunning beaches. What is less known is that sandy beaches don’t just come in one color. Golden grains are the most common, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find beaches in other shades and colors. In fact, the world is full of vivid beaches of varying hues.
From baby pink to jet black, you’ll find beaches in a kaleidoscope of colors throughout the globe. We’re not saying golden sands aren’t gorgeous, but it’s sometimes nice to see something different. These beaches we’re about to show you are some of the most unique shorelines in the world. And some of them aren’t so far away.
If you are looking to see more from the world and discover more exclusive things, it’s worth considering these 20 beaches. Until now, we thought beaches generally came in varying shades of yellow. Discovering these 20 beaches has changed our mind. There are black beaches, pink beaches, and even green beaches to name a few.
20 Red Beach, Santorini - Aptly named with a fascinating story
In contrast to its notable white-washed buildings, Santorini boasts several bright beaches on the island. One of them is the Red Beach. With its impressive rock formations and red grains, it’s no wonder this is the island’s most famous beach. Interestingly, these crimson sands were created from the remains of volcanic activity that formed the island thousands of years ago. See, not only is it picturesque, it also bears a fascinating story. And it’s a setting few have seen before.
Greece is known for its beautiful beaches anyway, so you can expect to see more on the way from the Greek islands.
19 Diamond Beach, Iceland - A photographer's dream
Wow! A stretch of shoreline covered in precious diamonds? Unfortunately, no. If that was the case, they would have called it Cartier Beach. Plus, there probably wouldn’t be any diamonds left after tourists had their way.
On Diamond Beach, Iceland, the diamonds actually refer to crystal-like icebergs that wash up on its black beaches. This makes the sand appear like gemstones or diamonds, particularly when they glisten in the sun. This results in a stunning contrast of colors that makes for a photographer’s dream.
No wonder photographers from all over the world flock to Diamond Beach in the quest for a perfect picture of this exquisite beach.
18 Harbour Island, Bahamas - Pretty in pink
A pink beach isn’t just a Barbie-lovers fantasy. It’s a reality on Harbour Island in the Bahamas. It’s one of the most famous beaches in the world and we can see why.
With its bright blue skies, clear waters, and pastel pink sand, it is the definition of a tropical paradise. Pink-lovers will find themselves besotted with this beach. Stretching for over three miles, there is plenty of pink sand to fulfil even the biggest pink-lover’s desires.
Did you know that the color of the sand actually comes from these tiny microscopic insects called Foraminifera? We know it sounds a little less dreamy, but it’s still mesmerizing.
17 Papakolea Beach, Hawaii - Green with envy
There are only four green sand beaches in the world and Papakolea Beach on Big Island, Hawaii is one of them.
This unusual stretch of green sand gets its color from Hawaii’s volcanic past. It was actually a result of the erosion of a substance known as olivine. Anyway, it is well worth the visit. Seeing as it’s so rare to find a green beach in the world, you won’t want to overlook something as special as this beach.
As much as we like our golden sand beaches, there’s just something about these colourful shorelines that we can’t get enough of.
16 Porto Ferro, Sardinia, Italy - Orange you glad we told you about this one?
And now for the orange beach. Sardinia is a popular beach destination and home to stunning shorelines. One of the most mesmerizing beaches of them all is Porto Ferro, which boasts ochre-hued sands.
This sand is a combination of orange limestone, volcanic deposits and crushed shells. Between the contrast of the bright orange sand and the crystal blue water, this beach will blow you away. This attraction is totally natural and well worth the visit. We already know Italy is a beautiful country, but who knew it had beaches as amazing as this one? Even better, the sand is fine so it’s a pleasure to walk along it.
15 Clearwater Beach, USA - Sand like sugar
Everybody already knows that Florida has fabulous beaches. As a matter of fact, its Clearwater Beach is ranked as the number one beach in the United States.
What an achievement! The bright white sand is like something you would expect from a Caribbean island. It’s so pristine and breathtaking, no wonder so many locals – and tourists in general – come to Florida for vacation. White sands aren’t red sands, but white sands spell a lush beach to us and we definitely love a lush beach.
Clearwater Beach’s sand looks like sugar it’s so white. You won’t find many beaches more beautiful than this one.
14 Playa Negra, Costa Rica - Striking contrast of black and blue
The idea of a black beach might not sound appealing, but Playa Negra in Costa Rica is simply stunning. You only have to hear its name to guess that the sand on this beach could be black. Some people don’t believe it till they see it because, well, people tend to like their sands golden, not black.
But if you give this beach a chance or even a glimpse, you will see that there’s something unique and remarkable about its shoreline. Combined with turquoise waters, it’s breathtakingly beautiful. Although, we imagine that black sand must scorch your toes under the hot sun.
13 Pfeiffer Beach, USA - Sandcastles look better in purple
Pfeiffer Beach is a scenic, unspoiled beach that’s pretty unknown to tourists but popular with the locals. What makes this beach so unusual is its purple sand. Quartz is actually what gives sand its color, but it’s the high concentration of garnet – a stone used to be jewellery – that gives Pfeiffer Beach its purple color. Kids just love making sand castles on this beach. Purple sand castles look cool!
It’s not often you get to lie on a purple beach, so it’s definitely worth the journey if you like the sound of this beach. Remember to take your camera – you don’t want to miss out on taking some awesome snaps!
12 Glass Beach, USA - Trash into treasure
By now, US residents must be pleased that so many of these colourful beaches are located in their country. You might even only be a drive away if you want to visit. The next one on the list is Glass Beach in Fort Bragg. But this time it’s multicoloured glass.
This colourful glass sand adds shininess to this beach that we’ve never seen before. If you’ve never been to a glass beach before, you should definitely check one out. There are quite a lot of them in the world actually. It’s so shiny, colourful and simply spectacular. Visitors love it.
11 Rockaway Beach, USA
Rockaway Beach is a popular beach on the Californian coast. Filled with chocolate-colored sand, this beach was formed from volcanic stone mixing with eroded limestone. Not a lot of people like the sound of a brown colored beach, but don’t let the picture you have in your head put you off. It’s actually way prettier than you’d expect.
The problem is, when you think of a brown beach you tend to think of dirt and mud. Rockaway Beach isn’t that way at all. There’s so much character to this beach and it’s still extremely colourful, even though it’s not pink or red.
10 Porto Covo, Portugal
Two hours away from Portugal’s capital Lisbon, you will find beautiful red beaches of a small fishing village called Porto Covo. The main beach in Porto Covo is red with an orange tint and it’s one of the most amazing things you will ever see. And it’s even more beautiful at sunset. The best time of all to capture the red beach’s beauty is when the sun sets over the Atlantic.
It’s an experience you will not want to miss. Who would want to miss out on witnessing a red beach? It’s not very often one sees a red beach.
9 Hyams Beach, Australia
We’ve seen so many colourful beaches so far, you might think this stretch of white shoreline isn’t so exciting. However, this isn’t an ordinary white sand beach.
It is the whitest sand on the planet, according to the Guinness World Records.
So what you are seeing isn’t just another white beach (not that white beaches are lackluster whatsoever!) but the whitest sand in the world. While it may not be red, black, or pink, there is something spectacular about a classic white beach – especially when it’s the whitest in the world. It’s a still a color that needs to be recognized.
8 Ir-Ramla Bay, Malta
Favoured by tourists for its vibrant colors and soft sand, Malta’s Ir-Ramla Bay is a gorgeous stretch of shoreline translated as the Red Sandy Beach. No wonder tourists come here!
Malta isn’t typically famous for its beaches, so Ir-Ramla is one of the most beautiful and popular beaches in the country. But it isn’t just the beach’s appearance that makes it interesting. It is also an important historical site because the cove is supposed to be the cave referenced in The Odyssey by Homer. It is also said to have Roman remains beneath the beach’s surface, which makes it all the more interesting.
7 Muriwai Beach, New Zealand
Once again volcanic activity is the explanation for New Zealand’s black beach. Muriwai Beach is a destination loved by sun worshippers, artists and especially surfers. This is another black beach that you can visit in the world. No beach is the same. That’s a big part of what makes travelling so much fun. Even if you don’t travel far, every beach you visit will be different from the rest. So even though there are other black beaches in the world, Muriwai Beach is completely different in appearance and character to other raven-colored beaches. There is always variety with different beaches.
6 Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda
Another pink paradise can be found on the southern coast of Bermuda. Horseshoe Bay boasts blushing pink sands that even adds rosiness to its shores.
The delicate sands are a mixture of coral, crushed shells, and calcium carbonate and they look absolutely divine. We can see why Conde Nast Traveller ranked it in the top 20 beaches in the world back in 2016.
It’s also a great beach for families with kids thanks to the range of activities you can do here including swimming, snorkelling, and of course building pink sand castles. What’s not to love about Bermuda’s best beach?
5 Kaihalulu Beach, USA
There is just something about a red beach that seems to exotic and surreal. Maybe because it’s such a stark contrast to the golden or white sand we’re used to. Kaihalulu Beach on Maui’s east side is nothing less than enchanting.
With its green forests, blue waters, and red-black sands, this beach is one of the most unique destinations we’ve ever seen.
There’s a certain warmth to it that makes you think of Christmas, only there’s no Santa and no snow. The beach’s color is a result of eroding deposits of iron in the nearby hillside. They constantly erode and bleed like rust, giving the sand that dark red hue.
4 Punta Cormorant, Ecuador
The world is short of green beaches. But not so short. There are five green beaches in the world. In comparison to red beaches and black beaches, green beaches are definitely not so common. That’s what makes Punta Cormorant so special. With its radiant green beach, you’ll be green with envy at those who get to see it.
Formed from the olivine crystals from volcanic sites close by, this beach looks like nothing you’ve ever seen before. No wonder it’s so popular with tourists! And it’s just as popular with sea turtles and stingrays. In other words, it needs a place on your bucket travel list.
3 Black Sands Beach, USA
When we think of Californian beaches, we tend to think of golden sands. Black sand, on the other hand, is something that we rarely connect with California. That’s what makes Black Sands Beach such a big deal for locals and tourists. It’s something totally different to what everyone is used to. Located in Shelter Cove, California, Black Sands Beach is especially loved by walkers. Lost Coast Trail backpackers will also find themselves north on this beach to endless camping spots.
It’s totally different from the average beach in California which is probably why it’s so popular amongst locals and tourists.
2 Red Sands Shore, Canada
Until now, we’ve seen a number of red sand beaches around the world. Are we getting tired of seeing them? Absolutely not! We can’t get enough of red sand beaches.
If there’s one place you’ll find red sand in large quantities, it’s Prince Edward Island in Canada.
Half of the island’s 500 miles of coastline has red sand – especially the island’s southern shore.
Whether you just want to bask in the sun, take pictures, go for a swim or dig for clams, you’ll find yourself besotted with Red Sands Shore’s rusty beach. It’s a gorgeous backdrop for whatever activity you want to do.
1 Vik Beach, Iceland
White sandy beaches are nice and all, but isn’t a lava beach of black sand, towering cliffs and caves more interesting? That’s what Vik Beach in Iceland offers you. It may be a non-tropical beach, but it is nonetheless breathtaking in its individuality. What we’re trying to say is that this isn’t a tanning kind of beach. It’s more of a visit and look kind of beach. Created by lava flowing in the ocean, Reynisdrangar Beach, as the locals call it, is simply stunning. It’s unusual and not a typical white sandy beach that you can lie on, but the stunning beach and panorama views deserve to be seen.
References: bbc, tripsavvy, nytimes, theguardian, travelandleisure, californiabeaches