We all daydream of the picture-perfect tropical beach, with boundless blue sea and fluffy white sand. But if you wish to try something new this year, how about sunbathing on a… green beach? You would think that relaxing with a cocktail on a lilac beach or lying down on sand as sparkling as a gemstone would only be possible in the most imaginative of dreams, but in these enchanting places dreams come true. They are the 10 most colourful beaches in the world, exquisitely beautiful but often unknown. A feast for the eyes as well as an experience of true pleasure, surrounded by nature.

Pink: Budelli beach, Italy

We’re starting with an Italian beach: the heavenly Spiaggia Rosa on the island of Budelli, in the Maddalena archipelago, in Sardinia. The adorable baby-pink colour is owed to microscopic fragments of corals and calcareous shells of foraminifera, mainly the species Miniacina miniacea. This romantic beach is a protected area, belonging to the Maddalena National Park. Unfortunately, visitor access is prohibited, due to the damage caused by tourists through the years.

Yellow: Porto Ferro beach, Italy

Orange sand and coastline of Porto Ferro, one of the most colorful beaches in the world
Photo by absolutmachal via Wikimedia

We’re still in Sardinia, on the radiant yellow beach of Porto Ferro. The homonymous cheerful bay, located on the northern end of the gorgeous Riviera del Corallo, near the city of Sassari, houses this sun-coloured beach, one of the most eco-friendly according to the FEE. Indeed, Porto Ferro was awarded the Blue Flag and is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the Nurra coastline and in whole Sardinia. It’s also the perfect destination for surf and windsurf enthusiasts and, in the northern strip, for naturism lovers (it earned a place among the 10 best nude beaches in Europe!).

Orange: Xi beach, Greece

If you’re looking for bolder colours, the stunning Xi beach, in the peninsula of Kefalonia, Greece, is the perfect choice. This is one of the most colourful beaches in the world because of the deep contrast between the crystal blue sea and the long, narrow, bright orange-coloured beach, delimited by a white chalk cliff. The water here is shallow even a long way from the shore, making it the perfect destination for holidays with children.

Red: Kaihalulu beach, Hawaii

Kaihalulu's red and black rocks and deep blue sea
Photo by paul (dex) bica via Wikimedia

The fourth of the world’s most colourful beaches is Kaihalulu crescent shaped shore, on the eastern coast of the island of Maui, in Hawaii. It’s known as “infernal beach” because of its strong and otherworldly colours, resulting from the high concentration of iron and volcanic ash residues. In fact, on the sapphire blue sea and astonishing crimson sand, jet-black rocks and vibrant green vegetation stand out, creating a dramatic, almost lunar effect.

Green: Papakolea beach, Hawaii

But Hawaii offers more than just a blood red beach: on the Big Island, the archipelago’s main island, we can find the unique green beach of Papakolea. Its characteristic emerald colour is caused by a mineral called olivine, which comes from the rocks of the Pu’u Mahana volcano. So, a full-fledged green, eco-friendly beach: because of its location, far from the most widely known popular attractions, Papakolea is never crowded. This makes it very peaceful and perfect for meditation and marine wildlife viewing, with a constant respect for the environment.

White: Hyams beach, Australia

Beach with pristine white sand
Photo by Dave Naithani via Wikimedia

White may be a pretty common sand colour, but Hyams Beach, in Australia, isn’t just any white: this is the whitest beach in the world, according to the Guinness World Records. Made up of microscopic particles of sparkling quartz, this pristine beach is located in New South Wales. It’s on the shores of Jervis Bay, close to the Jervis Bay Marine Park and the Booderee National Park. Here, nature is lush and unspoiled, with a rich and prosperous local wildlife. Indeed, it’s an extraordinary spot for whale watching, and it’s even possible to catch sight of the rare blue whale. But be careful: sunglasses are absolutely essential!

Multicolour: Glass beach, California

Ground level view of glass beach and sea
Photo by Gustavo Gerdel via Wikimedia

In Fort Bragg, a Californian town, glass takes over from sand, creating spectacular light tricks and breath-taking colourful glares. One of the most colourful beaches indeed! But how is this possible? In the early 1900s, the area was used by the residents as a huge trash dump. This polluting custom carried on until the 1960s, when various cleanup programs were undertaken. However, removing all the glass piled up through decades of environmental damages would have been impossible. But the sea worked a miracle, smoothening the glass shards and forging a rainbow beach, shinier than a jewel. An example of how nature can survive the devastating deeds of men.

Breiðamerkursandur diamond beach, Iceland

Blocks of ice on black sand, sea and pink sky in the background
Photo by Giuseppe Milo via Wikimedia

This glittering Icelandic beach looks as if it was made of glass as well, but this time, nothing is artificial: it’s just covered in ice! Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon is located south of Vatnajökull glacier, the largest one in Europe, within Iceland’s main national park. From the glacier, icebergs drift through the lagoon and wash up on Breiðamerkursandur black volcanic beach, covering it like a diamond blanket on a black velvet bed. This dazzling and alluring sight is unique in the whole world. If you visit this mystical place in winter, with a little luck you will be able to see it lit by the northern lights: an unforgettable, dream-like view.

Purple: Pfeiffer beach, California

Purple beach and sea, at sunset, the last picture of the most colourful beaches
Photo by Robert Brett via Wikimedia

Pfeiffer Beach, on the Big Sur coast, in California, is the only one in the world to boast purple-coloured sand. It owes this delightful hue, especially visible after storms, to the manganese garnet crystals from the surrounding hills being eroded and deposited on the shore. The best time to marvel at this magnificent place is at sunset, when the waves and the beach are refulgent, shining in hundreds of incredible shades, from silver to coral red and violet.

Vaadhoo sea of stars, Maldives

The last breath-taking beach is on the island of Vaadhoo, in the Maldives. What makes this beach so special is the fascinating phenomenon of phytoplankton’s nocturnal bioluminescence. These microorganisms glow in the dark because of certain chemical reactions, glimmering in the water like stars. This is where sky and sea blend together, in a magical blur of blasting light, worthy of a movie’s visual effects, but all natural.

Once again, nature surprises us, presenting us with remarkable and unforgettable gifts of unbelievable beauty that leave us speechless. So, are you ready to dive into the rainbow of these natural wonders? Let us know which of the most colourful beaches in the world you love the most!

Cover image: Photo by Fezbot2000 via Unsplash

Author: Vittoria Sassi

I'm Vittoria, a 20-year-old based in Emilia-Romagna, Italy. I'm addicted to all the languages and cuisines of the world, but above all I love animals, and I believe it's our duty to protect and respect them. My dream is to see, one day, an even more beautiful world, thriving in fairness and harmony.
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