Close your eyes. Breathe. Forget the cloudy winter sky, the icy air, the long nights. If you could teleport yourself somewhere, where would you go? More than likely, many of you would be dreaming of a tropical beach - palm-fringed, with clear cobalt blue waters, maybe a beach shack whipping up mean cocktails, or a small restaurant serving the catch of the day.

What about the sand - what color would it be? When we dream about paradise beaches, most of the times we imagine white or golden sand - but did you know that sand comes in many different colors? After all, sand is the product of erosion, a fine mixture of rock and mineral particles, crushed by the waves and the movements of the sea. As a result, sand color may vary - for instance, volcanic regions often have black sand beaches, and orange sand beaches often occur in areas with a high density of iron-rich rocks. 

Here we've listed our five favorite colorful beaches from all over the globe - including green, pink, purple and even multicolored beaches!

1) Pink Beach, Komodo - Indonesia

The Indonesian island of Komodo is famous for its dragons and spectacular diving, but there's also one more reason to visit the island - Pantai Merah or Pink Beach, one of only 7 pink-hued beaches all over the world. Most pink sand beaches take their color from the presence of a high percentage of broken shell and coral pieces, but the secret behind the color of Pink Beach are microscopic animals called Foraminifera, producing a red pigment on the coral reefs. 

To make matters even better, there's also great snorkeling just off the shore!

Getting There - rent a boat on Komodo and get our local operators to take you this amazing beach!

2) Porto Ferro, Sardinia - Italy

While sailing around Sardinia, don't miss this spectacular beach on the northern coast - Sardinia is known for its islands, but Porto Ferro definitely deserves a visit because of its ochre-colored sand, resulting from a mix of orange limestone, crushed shells, and volcanic deposits. Reaching the beach on your private yacht charter, the contrast between the orange sand and turquoise water is spellbinding - but don't forget to explore the area just behind the beach, where sand dunes conceal a natural salt lake. 
Getting There - a day yacht charter from a marina in Northern Sardinia, or a multi-day cruise around the island!


3) Papakōlea Beach, Hawaii - US

The idea of a pink or orange beach doesn't sound too crazy - but what about a green beach? The area surrounding Papakōlea Beach, on the southern tip of Big Island, is rich in olivine crystals, resulting in a striking green sand beach. The beach is slowly carved by the waves into the side of Puʻu Mahana, a 50,000-year-old cinder cone - the olivine crystals have a different density compared to the rest of the sands, which prevents them from being washed away by the tides, accumulating instead along the coastline. 

Getting There - it's a 2.5-hour hike along the Kohola Coast, or you can opt for a boat rental.

4) Pfeiffer Beach, California - US

There are two Californian beaches featured in our collection of colorful sand beaches around the world - make sure you include them both in your itinerary if you decide to sail around the Californian coast! The first is Pfeiffer Beach, also known locally as Purple Beach, located near Big Sur, in the Monterey area. Unlike all the other beaches, this one is not entirely purple - there are some patches of vivid pink and purple sand, the result of quartz and manganese garnet deposits found in the nearby hills and washed down to the shore. The patches are at their most vivid after storms - so if you don't find great weather, you may be in for a treat at Pfeiffer Beach!

Getting There - 
on a yacht charter cruise between San Fran and LA!

5) The Glass Beach of Fort Bragg, California - US

Remember those colorful sea glass pieces sometimes found around beaches, that little kids imagine being precious stones? Glass Beach near MacKerricher State Park is entirely made of that - a colorful expanse of multicolored crystals, smoothed and weathered by the sea and the elements. The beach is a result of the site being used as the city's rubbish dump for the best part of the 20th century. Biodegradable materials broke down over time, while glass and pottery were broken down and pounded over time into smooth, shiny crystal pieces. 

Getting There - it's located in Northern California, about 4 hours drive from San Francisco. 

Just one word of warning - if you visit these colorful beaches around the world, make sure you don't take any of the sand away with you. It may sound harmless, but remember that if everyone took colorful sand away with them, there will be nothing left for people to enjoy.

Remember the old adage - take only pictures, leave only footprints!

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