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Exploring the World’s Pink Sand Beaches: Some Closer Than You Think

Exploring the World’s Pink Sand Beaches: Some Closer Than You Think

Pink sand beaches offer a unique and picturesque experience for beach lovers. These rare beaches owe their distinctive hue to tiny marine organisms known as foraminifera, which have red and pink shells rich in calcium carbonate. When these creatures die, their shells are crushed by waves and mixed with sand and bits of coral, creating the soft, rosy sands that draw visitors from around the world. These are different from pink lakes which gets it color from algae and bacteria.

Harbour Island, the Bahamas

Gentle waves on a pink sandy beach.
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The Bahamas is home to some of the most stunning beaches in the world, and its vibrant pink sand beaches are the most popular ones as well. And for good reason. Harbour Island is famed for its Pink Sands Beach, stretching over three miles along the east coast of the island.

French Leave Beach, Eleuthera, the Bahamas

Intense pink colored beach with small waves up close.
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French Leave Beach, also found in Eleuthera, offers a less frequented yet equally beautiful pink sand experience. The beach is known for its wide expanse of soft, pale pink sand and is a haven for those seeking tranquility. The calm and clear water here makes it excellent for swimming.

Horseshoe Bay Beach, Bermuda

Pink sandy beach with turquoise calm sea
Photo credit: Diane Frebert via Unsplash.

Horseshoe Bay Beach is situated in Southampton in Bermuda. The sand here has a soft pink colour, a vivid contrast to the bright teal seawater. The beach’s crescent shape means usually serene waters, making it an ideal spot for swimming.

Pink Sands Beach, Barbuda

Pink sandy beach with calm turquoise waves.
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Pink Sands Beach stretches along the coast of Barbuda until 17-Mile Beach and is a draw for tourists seeking its photogenic shores. The beach’s sand gets its pink hue from tiny shells and pieces of coral that blend with the white sand. It’s a natural phenomenon that’s particularly prominent from October to January each year. The last of it remains the longest near the Frigate Bird Sanctuary.

Crane Beach, Barbados

A beach with sand, palm trees and turquoise water.
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Crane Beach, located in St. Philip, is celebrated for its distinctive soft pink-hued sand, resulting from finely crushed coral. The sand’s soft texture and the beach’s crystal-clear waters make it a preferred spot for swimming and sunbathing.

Pantai Merah Komodo, Indonesia

Pink sandy beach with light blue calm water and small rocky hills in the background.
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Komodo National Park is home to the famous Pink Beach, also known as Pantai Merah. This beach is one of only a handful vibrant pink sand beaches. The coloration comes from red coral fragments mixing with white sand. The area is inhabited by the iconic Komodo Dragons, contributing to the national park’s protection status. Visitors can enjoy the contrast of the light pink sands against the backdrop of blue waters.

Tangsi Beach, Lombok, Indonesia

Pink sandy beach from above with green ocean and rocks.
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On the east coast of Lombok lies the lesser-known Tangsi Beach, commonly referred to as Pink Beach. Its secluded locations contribute to its pristine conditions and enchanting appeal. Reaching this remote area involves a 35-mile journey on the road, making the tranquility all the more rewarding for those who make the trip.

Elafonissi Beach, Crete, Greece

Pink sand with gentle waves and rocks
Photo credit: Depositphotos.

Elafonissi Beach is celebrated for its distinctive pink sands, which owe their color to the tiny red organisms that, when mixed with white sand. This beach is not only a visual marvel but also a protected nature reserve.

Balos Lagoon, Crete, Greece

A lagoon from above surrounded by rock and sandy shores.
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Similarly, Balos Lagoon Beach has pink sand, contrasting with the turquoise sea and wild, natural surroundings. This remote and unspoiled location is accessible by trekking or by boat, offering a more secluded experience. Since facilities are limited, bring necessities with you.

Playa De Ses Illetes, Formentera, Spain

A beach from afar with turquoise water, sandy beach with small islands in the water.
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On the tranquil island of Formentera, visitors can find Playa de Ses Illetes, renowned for its crystalline waters and subtle pink-hued sand. It is more like a rosé effect that is particularly visible during sunrise and sunset. This beach not only offers a picturesque environment but is also easily accessible, adding to its appeal for those exploring the Spanish coasts.

Spiaggia Rosa, Budelli, Sardinia, Italy

A beach with rocky, sand and calm sea.
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Spiaggia Rosa, situated on the small island of Budelli, stands out with its visibly pink sand. The beach is within the Maddalena archipelago in northern Sardinia, which is known for its crystal-clear waters and captivating natural landscapes. It belongs to the La Maddalena National Park, so you need a tour guide to access it. The national park fee is EUR 3 in addition to the guide’s fee.

Great Santa Cruz Island, Philippines

Little girl making an angel in pink sand.
Photo credit: Depositphotos.

Great Santa Cruz Island in the Philippines is famous for its soft pink sand beach, a rare sight caused by the pulverized red organ-pipe coral mixed with white sand. Located off the coast of Zamboanga City, the island offers pristine waters and a peaceful retreat from the busier mainland.

Les Sables Roses, French Polynesia

Mix of pink and white sand with calm light blue waters.
Photo credit: Julien Couanon via Canva Pro.

Les Sables Roses, in French Polynesia, offers a secluded paradise with its blush-tinted beaches set against the backdrop of crystal-clear lagoons. This remote pink sand beach is located on the atoll of Rangiroa, renowned for its untouched natural beauty and vibrant marine life.

Pfeiffer Beach, California, USA

Purple hue on brown sandy beach with waves and a giant rock formation with a hole in the middle behind it.
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Pfeiffer Beach, located in Big Sur, California, is known for its unique purple sand, which acquires its color from manganese garnet particles washed down from the surrounding cliffs. This beach is not only famous for its distinctive sand but also for its stunning rock formations and the iconic keyhole arch.

Map of Pink Sand Beaches in the World

Located in 11 countries all over the world, pink sand beaches are natural marvels that offer visual splendor, but also provide ideal conditions for water-based activities such as snorkeling and swimming. Use reef safe sunscreens to help preserving the conditions that gives rise to the pink sands.

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White sandy beaches with palm trees and blue sky and waters.
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Travel Writer | Website

Emese Maczko is a travel blogger behind Eco Lodges Anywhere. Having explored several destinations around Europe, the US, Indonesia, and Australia, and resided in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Luxembourg, Emese possesses a keen understanding of diverse cultures and an appreciation for the beauty of each destination she visits. She advocates for sustainable travel and ecotourism.