6 of the World’s Most Unusual Beaches


Bucket List Worthy  

When you imagine the perfect beach vacation you probably picture yourself walking on golden or white sand beneath a blue sky while green palm tree sway. However, could you see yourself relaxing on a beach where the sand was pink? Or jet black? Or green?

There are a few amazing and surreal beaches around the world with sand in unusual Technicolor hues, whether due to natural organisms or volcanic rocks. These beautiful and bizarre beaches will make your holiday snaps look like someone has been playing around with the colour filters on Photoshop – but you can assure your friends that the strangely hued sand was real!

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Here are some of the most amazing coloured sand beaches around the world:

Green: Papakolea Beach, Hawaii

The green sands of this beach are a result of the nearby cinder cone hill that has eroded onto the beach. The soils in the area are rich in olivine, which is a mineral that appears green because it is high in nickel. Olivine is not a rare mineral, but it is very rare to find it in such high concentrations – this is one of only four green sand beaches in the world.


One of the only other places you can find it in large quantities is on Mars and the moon, so you can say that this green beach really looks “out of this world.”

The beach is surrounded by pastures and fields and it is only accessible on foot. To reach the beach you must hike and then climb down the cinder cone.

Orange: Porto Ferro, Sardinia, Italy

Located on the Italian island of Sardinia, there is a small beach with sand the colour of a ripe tangerine. The Fanta hue of this beach is caused by a combination of crushed shells, volcanic deposits and orange limestone. On the way to this beach you can also spot stunning ochre coloured sand dunes and Lake Baratz, the only salt lake on the island.

Photo source Roman Königshofer

This beautiful and pristine area of Sardinia is very popular for outdoor adventure tourism and there are many opportunities in the area for surfing, diving and windsurfing.

Pink: Pink Sands Beach, Harbour Island, Bahamas

Your jaw will drop when you step onto this beach – the sweet pink colour of cotton candy. It gets its colour from the white sand mixing with the tiny red shells of single celled organisms known as Foraminifera. The waves wash these microscopic creatures onto the beach in a few locations around the world, including Puerto Rico, Scotland and the Philippines.

Photo Credit: Mike's Birds
Photo Credit: Mike’s Birds

The coral reefs here are known for providing excellent snorkelling and scuba diving opportunities as the waters are tranquil, shallow and warm.

Black: Punaluu Beach, Hawaii

Another Hawaiian beach makes the list of the world’s most colourful and bizarre beaches. Located on the Big Island of Hawaii, Punaluu Beach consists of black sand that comes from lava that has cooled after being spewed by volcanoes into the ocean. This beach is also known for being home to Hawksbill turtles and Green Sea turtles.


If you are tempted to take a little bit of the black sand with you as a souvenir – don’t.  It’s actually illegal to take the sand away and you could be fined.

Red: Red Beach, Santorini, Greece

Located at the base of a dramatic cliff that towers over the crystal blue Mediterranean, this colourful beach is truly a visual delight. The red tones of the sand are caused by the iron-rich black and red lava rocks that are left over from when Thira erupted, the enormous volcano that shaped the island of Santorini in 1450 BC.

Photo Credit: Abir Anwar
Photo Credit: Abir Anwar

Make sure that you visit the beach as early in the morning as possible – as the hot sunshine makes the sand unbearable to walk on in the heat of the afternoon!

Purple: Pfeiffer Beach, California

Photo Source Rosino

How about a purple beach scattered with amethyst coloured pebbles that make the sand look like raspberry swirl ice cream? This surreal beach is located on the coast of California along the expanse known as the “Big Sur” near Monterey. The sand gets its colour from the presence of manganese garnet deposits in the rocks around this secluded cove. The swirls of colour in the sand range from deep purple to rusty red.

From garnet to ruby to olive green and bubble gum pink, these are some of the most amazing hued beaches all over the world… why not add some colour to your next vacation?

About the Author: Kelly Dunning

A Canadian freelance writer with a love of art, culture, literature and adventure, Kelly loves exploring foreign lands and expressing her experiences through the power of the written word. She and her English boyfriend Lee run Global-Goose.com, packed full with guides, stories and inspiration for those who dream of travel. They have been location independent and travelling the world digital-nomad style since 2011, with no address, no car and no fixed schedule.


  • Beautiful, colourful beaches. This is what I wanted to do in this lifetime — travel, take beautiful pictures and write. I guess I’ll have to do it in my next life!

  • Love the pics of the different coloured sand on beaches, but wondered why Bermuda’s Pink Beach was not listed.

  • Thanks for sharing hidden spectacular beaches of different color sands.
    I have seen rainbow color sand dunes in Morton Island, Brisbane, Australia
    which are also out of this world!

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