You thought sand was either white or yellow, right? Wrong! If you are planning your next vacation by the seaside, read on to find out about the world’s most colorful and beautiful beaches and take your pick.
1. Muriwai Black Sand Beach
This one’s in Newzealand, and the black color of the sand is reminiscent of volcanic eruptions that created a mix of iron and titanium among other volcanic deposits. The black sand sparkles like a vast expanse of black pearl dust. If you are going there, try to schedule it between August and March. That’s when about 1200 pairs of Gannet birds nest in their natural habitat. It is a beautiful sight, to say the least.
2. Santorini Red Sand Beach
Imagine a red stretch of sand running along crystal blue of the Mediterranean Sea. Yes, it’s Greece, and the color of the sand is a legacy of the volcano, Thira whose eruption essentially shaped the island of Santorini itself. The color comes from the iron rich black and red lava rocks. This sand is coarse and heats up as the day progresses under the Mediterranean sun. You’ll want to rent beach chairs and probably get back to your hotel after the morning hours.
3. Rainbow Beach
The Aborigines believe that the Rainbow Spirit lost a battle over a beautiful girl and fell down from the sky and scattered his colors on the sand. Science has a different take on the issue – iron oxide buildup and constant erosion since the Ice Age, apparently, contributes to the 74 different hues found on this very small beach (0.62 miles only). Somehow, we like the Aboriginal legend better. If you are in Australia, do visit this beautiful memorial to the Rainbow Spirit – it is only a three hour drive from Brisbane.
4. Orange Sand of Porto Ferro Beach
Volcano again, and this time, the volcanic deposits come together with the native orange limestone and crushed shells to form a very unlikely orange colored beach. You will find this in Sardinia, Italy, and if you get tired of looking at a beach that looks like a giant orange peel, there’s all sorts of surfing and hiking activities to indulge yourself in.
5. White Crescent Beach
This is not your average white sand – it is pristine white, composed almost solely of crushed quartz crystals brought down from the Appalachian mountains, and the consistency is that of powdered sugar. It doesn’t heat up, ever, and there are diverse rock formations (including coral) in the southern end, for variety. Go snorkeling or diving – this is closer to home, at Siesta Key, Florida. On a related note, this is probably the second whitest beach in the world – the first, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, is the Hyams beach in Australia.
6. The Pink Sand of Harbor Island Beaches
This beautiful sand with its rosy hue is found on the Atlantic side of the Harbor Island. A lot of things contribute to the color – calcium carbonate from the remains of the foraminifera, marine creatures covered in shells that are a combination of pink and red – being the primary constituent. There’s also the broken corals and shells that add a certain richness and variety to the pinkness of the sand. There are several beaches where you will find this phenomenon: Eleuthera, Lighthouse Beach, Winding Bay Beach, French Leave Beach and Surfer’s Beach are among the more prominent tourist destinations.
7. Purple Pfeiffer Beach and Californian Gray
Come home to the Californian sun and the purple beauty of the Pfeiffer beach at Big Sur. Quartz and manganese garnet washed down from the nearby hills contribute to purple and violet patches on this beach. Don’t try going into the water – there are some very sharp and very purple rocks offshore as also strong currents. Visit in Winter, preferably after a storm if you can manage it – that’s when the color is at its strongest.
By Californian Gray we meant the Shelter Beach in Humboldt County. Eroded material from the gray shale cliffs give the beach its color and the beautiful but sober gray, somehow, goes well with the remoteness of its location.
8. The Green Papakolea Beach
As you may have guessed from the name, this is a Hawaiian beach, and like the rest of the island, the greenness of the beach is soothingly beautiful. Trust the volcano to come up with such diverse colors, but that’s what has happened here. The lava rocks are rich in olivine crystals and impart the sand with a rich olive green color. The crystal bits are very dense and are not washed away by the surf. Resist the temptation of carrying the sand as memento – it is not illegal to do so, but definitely bad form. There would be no beach left if tourists did this for a few seasons!
Alecia Gilbert is an Online Manager for Classic Adventures RV – expertise in Renting Camper For Rent Reno Nevada. She loves to blog and Travel across the world in search of new places, people and culture.