No rose-colored glasses are needed at these stunning stretches of sand.
You may have heard of white and black sand beaches, but what about shores with pink sands? Though rare, several countries around the world, including Greece and Indonesia, are home to beautiful pink-hued shorelines. As if turquoise seas weren’t stunning enough, pairing them with blush-colored sands makes for a photo no Instagram filter can rival. Read on to see which famous shorelines are worth adding to your bucket list.
Horseshoe Bay Beach: Bermuda
One of the most famous and photographed beaches in Bermuda is Horseshoe Bay Beach. Located in South Shore Park, this pink beach (which is named for its curved shape) features a coastal trail that connects it to other area beaches, plus limestone rocks and cliffs that add to its beauty. The beach offers a variety of amenities, such as a concession stand, lifeguards and beach and water sports equipment rentals like snorkeling gear and boogie boards. Beachgoers can also play a game of volleyball or attend one of several annual festivals hosted on-site. For nearby accommodations, check out The Reefs Resort & Club.
Pink Sand Beach: Harbour Island, Bahamas
The Bahamas’ 3-mile-long Pink Sand Beach gets its color from crushed pink and red shells of microscopic coral insects. The shells of these critters mix with the sand, making it cool on bare feet. Visitors to Pink Sand Beach can enjoy snorkeling and swimming in the calm and shallow reef-protected waters or linger on shore to go horseback riding. Pink Sands Resort sits right on the beach, giving guests access to sweeping ocean panoramas from luxurious colonial-style cottages.
Elafonissi: Crete, Greece
Elafonissi, which occupies a peninsula that’s connected to mainland Crete underwater, boasts breathtaking beaches with pink sands and turquoise waters. The area’s shores get their noticeable color from broken shells. While exploring Elafonissi, visitors will find a cedar forest with secluded beaches for skinny-dipping. The region can get busy in July and August, so plan your visit accordingly.
Pink Sand Beach: Barbuda
Barbuda, a Caribbean island located north of Antigua, has an impressive 17 miles of pink sand shoreline. Popular pursuits at Pink Sand Beach include snorkeling and swimming. Should you need a break from the beach, you can take part in nearby activities like exploring caves (including one that contains a tropical rainforest) and birding at the Frigate Bird Sanctuary (home to approximately 100,000 birds).
Pink Sand Beaches: Tikehau, Tahiti
On Tikehau, pink and white sand beaches surround a gorgeous oval-shaped, emerald-colored lagoon. Located about an hour away (by plane) from Papeete, the capital of Tahiti, Tikehau’s lagoon is home to eagle rays, grey reef sharks, turtles and dolphins. Its pink sand beaches are prime spots for scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking and fishing. Those who plan to stay awhile have several accommodations to choose from, including Le Tikehau by Pearl Resorts, Hakamanu Lodge and Pension Hotu.
Pink Beach: Komodo Island, Indonesia
This striking stretch of pink sand on Indonesia’s uninhabited Komodo Island gets its color from a red pigment left on the surrounding coral reefs by microscopic creatures. Part of Komodo National Park, Pink Beach (or “Pantai Merah” in Indonesian) features vibrant underwater coral gardens and shallow waters that are ideal for snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking and swimming. You may even spot wild Komodo dragons swimming off shore. If you’d rather stay on land, arrive around sunset to snap the perfect selfie for Instagram.
Crane Beach: Barbados
In addition to its scenic views, Crane Beach in Barbados offers top-notch waves for boogie boarding. At The Crane Resort, the oldest continuously operating hotel in the Caribbean, visitors can directly access the pink sand beach by descending a staircase or riding in the property’s glass-front beach elevator. To keep beachgoers safe, there is a lifeguard on duty most days. Resort guests also have access to free beach umbrellas, towels and chairs, plus several pools, a spa and a fitness center on the property.
Pink Beach: Budelli Island, Italy
Known locally as “Spiaggia Rosa,” this beach gets its pink hue from a mixture of coral, granite and shells. The pink shore sits on Budelli Island, an isle north of Sardinia in the Maddalena Archipelago that’s only inhabited by one person. Bordered by granite rocks and deep blue water, this beauty, which was featured in the 1964 movie “Red Desert,” can only be admired from nearby beaches due to regulations to help protect its precious color. Be sure to keep an eye out for whales and dolphins as you take in the view, as they often frequent the area.
Pachia Ammos: Crete, Greece
Crete’s world-renowned Pachia Ammos beach offers nearly a mile of gold and pink sands. Surrounded by mountains, this beautiful beach boasts plenty of bars, beach umbrellas and activities like volleyball and water sports. It’s also a terrific spot to catch a sunset. Plus, ancient ruins, a church in a cave and other noteworthy sites are situated nearby.
Pink Beach: Bonaire
Bonaire’s Pink Beach gets its rose-colored hue from the pulverized pink shells of microscopic creatures. This stretch of beach is narrow, but it offers excellent views and superb conditions for snorkeling and scuba diving – two of the island’s most popular activities. Not far from the beach is the Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino, which features a PADI dive center, three eateries, a spa and ocean view rooms, among other facilities. All-inclusive packages that cover activities like snorkeling, sunset yoga and salsa dancing lessons are available as well.
Elbow Beach, Bermuda
Offshore coral reefs help protect Elbow Beach from waves, making this Bermuda beach a great option for swimming. The mile-long, gently curving pink sand beach on the island’s South Shore offers public restrooms and is home to a number of bars and restaurants. What’s more, snorkelers and divers can check out the area’s vivid reefs, impressive shipwrecks and colorful fish. At the adjacent Elbow Beach Bermuda Resort & Spa, travelers can enjoy a private half-mile stretch of the pink sand beach, plus on-site amenities like multiple tennis courts, multiple restaurants and a large free-form pool.
Pink Sand Beach: Great Santa Cruz Island, Philippines
The pink sand beach on Great Santa Cruz Island, which can only be reached by boat, gets its color from pulverized red organ pipe coral. Snorkelers and scuba divers flock here to take advantage of the beach’s clear water and excellent visibility, though much of the area’s marine life has been destroyed due to illegal coral mining. You’ll also find a small village and a lagoon filled with mangroves on the island.
Balos Lagoon: Crete, Greece
A scenic spot on the northwestern coast of Crete, Balos Lagoon greets beachgoers with striking turquoise water and pale pink-hued and white sand. This sandy shoreline (also known as Balos Beach) is popular with families due to the calm and shallow nature of the water. While the views are beautiful and the atmosphere tranquil, getting to this beach takes a bit of effort. The final few miles of road to get to the parking spot is rough and rocky (four-wheel drive is recommended), and once you park, you’ll have about a 20-minute hike via a rocky trail to get to the beach. You can also reach Balos Beach via boat from Kissamos.
Pfeiffer Beach: Big Sur, California
California’s Pfeiffer Beach is set along the Pacific coastline and parts of the beach feature pinkish purple sand caused by manganese garnet runoff from the surrounding mountains. The secluded beach is home to Pfeiffer Keyhole Rock and many make their way here to walk along the beach and to take photos of the sun setting through the rock’s keyhole arch. Those looking to book a stay nearby should consider the luxurious Post Ranch Inn.
Tangsi Beach: Lombok, Indonesia
One of the more striking pink-hued shorelines in the world, Tangsi Beach on Lombok island (just east of Bali) in Indonesia is a sight to behold. This beach gets its pink coloring thanks to the reddish-pink coral fragments that wash ashore from the sea and get mixed in with the sand. Swimming and snorkeling are popular here thanks to the coral reefs filled with fish, and you may see boats ready to take tourists to some of the islands further out in the sea. Recent visitors say the best time to get photos of the beach at its pinkest are in the afternoon and later in the evening around sunset.
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