Powdery white sand beaches are all well and good — you'll hear no complaints from us there. But how about red, pink, black, orange — or even jewel-swirled sand to keep things interesting? A visit to these weirdly colored beaches will make for conversation-starting fodder for years... not to mention really up your vacation photo game. No filter needed.
1. Kaihalulu Red Sand Beach, Maui, Hawaii
Getting to this dramatically beautiful beach, hidden away in a cove on the eastern side of Maui, requires effort and a touch of daring. Kaihalulu, which means "roaring sea" in Hawaiian, can only be reached via a short but perilous hike along sharp cliff edges. If you make it, you'll be rewarded with the otherworldly sight of a deep red, crescent-shaped beach backed by the volcanic cinder cone, which supplies the beach with its red sand.
2. Horsehoe Bay, Bermuda
A mixture of crushed shells, coral, and calcium carbonate make this beach on Bermuda's southern coast blush. Horseshoe Bay is the island's most famous beach, but not the only one with pink sand. Beat the crowds by visiting the pale pink sands of nearby Chaplin Bay.
3. Reynisfara Beach, Vík, Iceland
Backed by cathedral-like basalt columns, the jet-black sand of Reynisfara makes for a perfectly composed photograph when lapped by white foam from the beach's strong waves. Be careful, though: There have been recent cases of tourists ignoring warning signs and some unfortunately being pulled into the unforgiving sea.
4. Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur, California
Tucked away in a secluded stretch of Los Padres National Park, Pfeiffer Beach is worth the effort of finding it for its stunning swirls of violet-colored sand, courtesy of the manganese garnet that tumbles down to shore from the surrounding rocks.
5. Papakolea, Big Island, Hawaii
The deep-green sand of the Big Island beach is made up of olivine crystals that have been deposit on the beach by lava flows. If you want to get down onto the beach, be prepared to hike about three miles along the sea cliffs.
6. Ramla Bay, Gozo, Malta
The fiery orange colored sand on the little Mediterranean island of Gozo is courtesy of its rich iron content. While there, don't miss visiting Calypso Cave where, as Homer recounted in The Odyssey, the nymph Calypso held Ulysses for seven years.
7. Rainbow Beach, QLD, Australia
Once known as Black Beach, Rainbow Beach got its new name from its mineral-rich, multicolored sand cliffs. Rainbow Beach puts you just 10 minutes from Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island, famed for its wild dingo population.
8. Hyams Beach, New South Wales, Australia
If, after all, you just want to chill on a gorgeous white sand beach, go big and go to the one listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as having the whitest sand in the world: Hyams Beach in New South Wales, Australia. The dazzling sand is created by fine quartz particles.
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