The 10 Prettiest Pink Sand Beaches in the World

You don’t need rose-colored glasses at these pink sand beaches.

A pink shoreline in Elafonisi, Crete, with turquoise waters beyond

Elafonisi, in Greece, is popular for its mild temperatures and clear Mediterranean waters.

Photo by Georgios Tsichlis/Shutterstock

Pink sand beaches are a special (not to mention, cute) phenomenon that happen in only a few places around the globe. Though they are very rare, pink beaches can be found from California to the Caribbean, and from Greece to Southeast Asia.

Forget soft white sand or golden beaches—it’s all about pretty in pink at the seaside these days, and there are several places where you can find sun, sea, and pastel-pink-hued sands—which get their color from rocks, red shells, coral, and more.

Whether you’re seeking out a shady spot to take in turquoise waters, rock formations to ponder, spots to snorkel through coral reefs, or shallow waters to watch sea turtles swim, we’ve picked the 10 best pink sand beaches to plan your next beach getaway around. In addition to some next-level photos and memories, you may even find a few pink shells to bring back home.

Aerial view of the pink sands and turquoise waters of Elbow Beach, Bermuda

Elbow Beach is one of Bermuda’s most popular stretches of sand.

Courtesy of Kino/Unsplash

1. Elbow Beach, Bermuda

At this well-loved Bermuda beach, you’ll find plenty of sun-seekers lounging on the pink sand. It can get especially busy around spring break, so steer clear of it then if you’re looking for a more peaceful experience. And keep in mind: There aren’t any public facilities on this stretch of sand, so bring your own chairs, umbrellas, and snacks.

Thanks to the fair share of shipwrecks located around its waters, Bermuda is a haven for those into navel and maritime history who also love to scuba and snorkel. One of the island’s most popular sites is Pollockshields, the remains of a World War I cargo ship that struck a reef and sank in the area in 1915. It’s located about 100 feet from Elbow Beach, and you can explore it by bringing snorkels and flippers or scuba gear.

The pale pink sands and craggy cliffs of Spiaggia Rosa on Budelli Island, Italy

A unique melange of crushed fossils, corals, crystal, and dead marine life give Italy’s Spiaggia Rosa its gentle pink hue.

Photo by Cory Seamer/Shutterstock

2. Spiaggia Rosa, Italy

The pink sands of Budelli (an island located in the Maddalena archipelago, off the coast of northern Sardinia) have been photographed far and wide, drawing visitors from across Europe (and beyond) to experience its beauty in person. The pink hue at this beach varies depending on how much bacteria is present on the beach. The catch: There’s no sunbathing or even stepping foot on the beach. In 1994, the Italian government made it illegal to tread on the sand in an effort to preserve this rare place—seriously, expect a major fine if you get caught strolling on the pink sand. You can take day trips to the island and enjoy its many other features—even if you can’t relax on the shore, it’s still well worth seeing from a boat.

The Keyhole Rock at Pfeiffer Beach, with pink-purple sand beach

Manganese garnet rocks give the sand at Pfeiffer Beach its unusual pinkish purple color.

Photo by TravelEatShoot/Shutterstock

3. Pfeiffer Beach, California, USA

Just off California’s stunning Pacific Coast Highway in Big Sur, Pfeiffer Beach is tucked away from the main road at the end of Sycamore Canyon Road, an unmarked two-mile-long winding track. The pinky-purple color of the sand—which comes from manganese garnet rocks—isn’t immediately obvious, but stroll out to where the blue water is lapping the shore to the north and you’ll find some interesting shades as the water flows in and out.

Related: The Best Stops for a Road Trip on the Pacific Coast Highway

This part of the coast is beautifully craggy, with rocky outcrops just offshore, including the much-photographed Keyhole Rock where the last light of day shines through a natural arch come sunset. There’s a car park (a fee is charged) but no other facilities, so bring your own picnic if you want to stop for the day.

The pink-tinged sands of Horseshoe Bay Beach, with a few people in distance on beach and in water

Horseshoe Bay Beach is Bermuda’s most iconic beach.

Photo by Shutterstock

4. Horseshoe Bay Beach, Bermuda

Don’t expect to have the sands to yourself on Bermuda’s most famous beach. Horseshoe Bay is an extremely popular spot for visitors and locals alike. Don’t let that put you off, though—it’s still a fantastic day trip. Rocky outcrops in the azure ocean have small pools and caves to explore, and the beach trails along the rugged coastline make for spectacular walks.

There are plenty of facilities, including loungers and chairs for rent from Rum Bum Beach Bar and public restrooms and showers. Local minibuses and public buses stop here from all over the island, so it’s an easy do-it-yourself excursion, and there’s a free car park behind the sands.

Wide expanse of delicate pink sand beach in the Bahamas, covered with shallow water

Harbour Island’s pink sands stretch along for nearly three miles.

Photo by Gus Garcia/Shutterstock

5. Pink Sands Beach, Harbour Island, Bahamas

On a thin peninsula at the northern end of the Bahamas, Pink Sands Beach is a strikingly beautiful 2.3-mile stretch of sand. The soft, fine grains get their color from the shells of microscopic foraminifera that wash up with waves of clear water from the ocean. The result is a gorgeous pastel pink beach, soft under bare feet and superb for swimming.

The four-star beachfront Pink Sand Resort has unrivaled views out to the ocean from its rooms and excellent restaurants (expect locally caught seafood cooked with a European bent), and offers bicycle, kayak, and paddleboard rental. Just 10 minutes east on foot from the beach, Dunmore Town offers plenty to entertain—stop in at Princess Street Gallery for local art and crafts, and don’t miss the barbecue at Brian’s Grill and Jerk. The nearby island of Eleuthera is also home to pink sand beaches, many relatively unknown and crowd free.

Aerial view of Crane Beach in Barbados, with distant row of blue lounge chairs and palm trees

Crane Beach has palm trees, gentle waves, and a beach bar with tasty cocktails.

Photo by Filip Fuxa/Shutterstock

6. Crane Beach, Barbados

A quintessential Caribbean beach, Crane Beach in Barbados is backed by swaying coconut palms and looks out to the azure waters of the North Atlantic Ocean. Rent a sunbed on its pink-hued sand (available from the Crane Hotel; free to staying guests) and listen as the waves gently land on the shore, or hire a boogie board to get out into the surf. An informal beach bar under parasols on the sand sells cocktails in coconuts—it doesn’t get much better than this!

Shallow water at Elafonissi beach over stretch of pink sand

Elafonissi beach features a long sandbar that leads to an island.

Photo by Anna Pointner/Shutterstock

7. Elafonisi, Crete, Greece

One of the world’s most famous pink sand beaches, Elafonisi on the Greek island of Crete is a popular vacation hot spot from spring through fall, thanks to the region’s balmy temperatures. Its pink-tinged sands are lapped by clear Mediterranean waters; at low tide, a sandbar provides access to an island with a small chapel.

There are sunbeds to rent, as well as plenty of space for setting down your towel, and active types can get thrills with kite surfing lessons from Elafonisi Kite Club. There’s a handful of restaurants around the free car park and further up the road inland, though you’re better off bringing a picnic. For a change of scenery, drive 90 minutes to another of Crete’s famous pink sand beaches: Balos.

An aerial view of empty coral pink sand beach at great Santa Cruz Island

The sands of Great Santa Cruz Island get their pink hue from coral.

Photo by Akarawut/Shutterstock

8. Great Santa Cruz Island, the Philippines

Just over a mile south of Zamboanga City, the uninhabited Great Santa Cruz Island has the only pink beach in the Philippines. Reachable on day tours from the mainland (book via the kiosk on the Paseo del Mar walk), it’s an appealing escape from the city. Swimming isn’t recommended because the current can be very strong, but you can paddle and take plenty of pictures on the pink-tinged sand.

Visitor numbers are restricted, so arrive at the kiosk early, and note that all visitors are required to vacate the island by 2 p.m. in the interest of conservation.

Blue waters meet pink sand at Tangsi Beach, Indonesia

Tangsi Beach’s sand is so pink, it almost looks surreal.

Photo by OHishiapply/Shutterstock

9. Tangsi Beach, Lombok, Indonesia

Tucked away in the remote southeastern corner of Lombok, Tangsi Beach is a little-visited gem. Rent a scooter and ride out to the peninsula and you’ll be treated with glorious scenic views of rice paddies and rural life in Indonesia before reaching the pink-colored sands, which get their color from minuscule pieces of dead coral washing up on the shore.

There’s a casual restaurant, Lombok Rasa Waroeng Pantai Pink, among a cluster of corrugated iron huts on the western end of the beach, serving local delights such as nasi goreng (fried rice) and satay ayam (chicken satay).

Aerial view of pale Pink Beach, on Komodo Island, with a few people and small boats

The most famous residents of Pink Beach, on Komodo Island, are its prehistoric-looking komodo dragons.

Photo by Shutterstock

10. Pink Beach, Komodo Island, Indonesia

Komodo Island is best known for the prehistoric-looking komodo dragons that roam its pristine wilderness areas, but it’s not all about reptiles here. The striking pink beach, part of Komodo National Park, also gets its hue from fragments of dead coral, has excellent snorkeling opportunities, and you might spot manta rays or even sperm whales in the ocean.

Komodo Island is a national park and can only be reached on tours from Flores or on multi-day boat trips from Lombok. Elsewhere on the island, there’s superb trekking and bird-watching—look for the megapode bird, which builds huge ground nests and incubates its eggs in warm dung.

This article originally appeared online in 2019; it was most recently updated on December 18, 2023, to include current information.

Lottie Gross is a travel writer based in Oxfordshire, England, who has spent the last four years exploring her home isles to become an expert on all things Britain. She has over a decade’s experience as a travel writer and has specialized in dog-friendly travel across the U.K. and Europe, penning various books on traveling with pets, including Dog-Friendly Weekends.
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