Where to Find the World's Most Beautiful Pink Sand Beaches
Forget sugar-white or golden stretches of sand. Travelers seeking rare, unusual destinations can't get enough of pink sand beaches.
Often formed by crushed coral or fragments of shell, the world's blushing pink shores are so sought after, one is even closed to the public to combat sand theft. But there are still plenty of places where you can bury your toes in rosy sand. From Greece to California, add these pink sand beaches to your travel to-do list.
Elafonisi Beach, Elefonisi, Greece
Just off the coast of Crete lies Elafonisi, a small island known for pink sands created by colorful microorganisms and pieces of coral. When the tide is low, it’s even possible to wade here by foot from the island of Crete. Elafonisi is a protected nature reserve, so be sure to leave nothing behind.
Pantai Merah, Komodo Island, Indonesia
Aside from being home to the world’s largest lizard (the Komodo dragon), Komodo Island in Indonesia is also home to Pantai Merah, a stunning pink sand beach. The vast stretch of sand shows a gradient of pink hues, which are essentially a mixture of white and red sands teeming with microscopic rose-colored marine animals.
Spiaggia Rosa, Isola Budelli, Italy
The sands on Spiaggia Rosa, a pink sand beach in Italy, are known to range in color from fuchsia to salmon. This idyllic stretch of beach is located on Isola Budelli, a small atoll off the northern coast of Sardinia. Fossils, crushed coral, and colored stones are responsible for the pink sand beach, which is now off-limits because of a history of sand theft.
Harbour Island, The Bahamas
On the east side of Harbour Island, located in The Bahamas, the beaches are famous for their pinkish tint. Foraminifera (a small sea creature with reddish shells) is responsible for the hue. Visitors will also find incredibly clear waters, making the beaches on Harbour Island ideal for snorkeling and diving.
Pfeiffer Beach, Los Padres National Forest, California
While driving California’s Big Sur, you will discover both breathtaking mountain views as well as expansive blue seas — and the pink sands at Pfeiffer Beach. Thousands of years of quartz and manganese from nearby rock formations have given this beach an almost purple color.
Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera, Spain
On the Mediterranean island of Formentera, there is a strip of peninsula called Es Trucadors. In addition to attracting a chic, upbeat crowd, this area also draws visitors who want to see white sands laced with pink pieces of coral.