colourful sand beaches

7 Unusually Colourful Sand Beaches Around The World

We love white, golden sandy beaches as much as anyone, but there’s something pretty special about a beach that’s a different colour. These colourful sand beaches around the world range from pastel-pink shores in Greece to striking black sand in Iceland.

You’ll find beaches in a hue of rainbow shades, with stretches of sand in bright pink, red, green, orange or purple. Here’s seven of the most vibrant coloured beaches to visit…

Colourful Sand Beaches Around the World

1. Red Beach – Santorini, Greece

The red beach in Santorini is a striking, deep shade of red due to the red and black volcanic stone.  The area is prone to landslides, and since 2013 parts of the beach have been inaccessible due to said slides, so be careful when visiting!

2. Pfeiffer Beach – California, USA

Pfeiffer Beach is located in the heart of Big Sur and is one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Big Sur. The sand at the north end of the beach is a unique shade of purple, thanks to the finely ground minerals that runoff from the surrounding mountains.

3. Elafonisi Beach – Crete, Greece

Once a local secret, this unusual pink beach has become a popular destination in recent years. The fine white sand is pinkish at several spots because of the crushed seashell powder.

It’s connected by a sandbar to an island nature reserve, so you can stroll along the shore and enjoy the view.

Elafonisi Beach

4. Papakōlea Beach – Hawaii, USA

Papakolea Beach is an amazing beach located near the Big Island’s southern tip that is known for its unique olive green sand. It’s one of only a few green sand beaches in the world and gets its colour from a greenish, semi-precious stone named olivine, which has been extracted out of the base of the Pu’u o Mahana volcanic cone and deposited on the sand by the ocean’s waves.

You’ll have to climb down a mountain path to reach it, but it’s worth the effort!

5. Glass Beach – California, USA

This is no ordinary beach… Glass Beach gets its name from the smooth colourful glass pieces that make up its shore. Once a local dumping site, the glass has become pretty pebbles over the years and the beach is now a protected spot.

Glass Beaches

6. Reynisfjara Beach – Vík í Mýrdal, Iceland

If tropical beaches aren’t your thing, be sure to visit this beautiful black sand beach in Iceland. With enormous basalt stacks that rise out of the sea and unusual black sand, this is an unforgettable beach.

You might recognise it from Season 7 of the HBO Series Game of Thrones.

colourful sand beaches

7. Ramla Bay – Gozo, Malta

This is Gozo’s (and arguably Malta’s!) best beach. The vibrant orange-red sand is a striking contrast to the clear blue waters. The beach is set on a curving bay surrounded by rocky cliffs. Swimming is safe at this long and wide beach and it is popular with families, locals, and snorkelers.

colourful sand beaches

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Sarah Clayton-Lea
Sarah Clayton-Lea

Co-founder of Big 7 Travel, Sarah created the company through her passion for championing the world's best food and travel experiences. Before her career in digital media, where she previously held roles such as Editor of Food&Wine Ireland, Sarah worked in the hospitality industry in Dublin and New York.

Contact [email protected]

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