4 Places With Multi-Colored Beach Sand & How They Were Formed

multi-colored beach sand
Written by Bertie

As if the thought of a day on the beach wasn’t enough to tempt the roaming traveler in your soul, we have another reason for you to book a plane ticket right now. There are beaches that have sand with all the colors of the rainbow! Can you imagine lying on a blanket on red beach sand? Or lounging on a beach chair on red sand? Or sipping a beer under a sunshade, burying your toes in green sand?

Okay, maybe you can't do this all in one beach. But from the Red Beach in Santorini, Greece to the serene green shores of Papakolea Beach in Hawaii, the world is packed full of colorful beaches for you to explore. They may sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, but there’s not a lot of mystery behind how these gorgeous shores came to be.

Beach sand is created by the breakdown of the reef, either by mechanical forces like waves or from bioerosion caused by grazing fish. Some sand includes remnants of volcanic glass or other elements as well, which helps to lend it a more interesting hue.

White sand beaches are great, but there are hundreds of other beaches in the world with black, green, and even red sand. You need to explore these beaches pronto!

Red Beach Sand - Santorini, Greece

red beach sand - santorini

Red beach sand can be formed in a variety of ways, but it is most commonly caused by the deposits of iron-rich red and black lava rocks. The Red Beach in Santorini, Greece is one of the best places to glimpse the beautiful work of of past volcanic action.

Papakolea Beach - Big Island, Hawaii

green beach sand

Papakolea Beach is located at the southernmost tip of Hawaii’s Big Island, and if the name is too tough for you to pronounce, don’t worry - most people just call this beach the Green Sand Beach. And it’s no wonder why! This beach is covered in olive-green sands. They are the results of olivine crystals that were deposited from surrounding lava rocks in the Pu’u Mahana cinder cone of Mahana Bay, just one of many gorgeous natural places on the Big Island that were formed as the result of ancient (and recent!) volcanic activity.

Muriwai Black Sand Beach - Auckland, New Zealand

black beach sand

New Zealand has plenty of natural treasures, and the Muriwai Black Sand Beach is one of them. This gorgeous beach is home to over 37 miles of sparkling black sands. These sands were composed out of volcanic matter such as iron and titanium, and the shores offer a great place to lay in the sun, relax in your beach tent - or catch a wave. 

There are lots of other places around the word with black sand beaches. Other notable beaches can be found in Hawaii, Iceland and several beaches in Fuerteventura, Spain.

Hyams Beach - New South Wales, Australia

white beach sand

The world is packed to the brim with white sand beaches, and we would be remiss if we concluded this article without mentioning a single one. One of the most gorgeous white sand beaches in the world is Hyams Beach in Australia. It is actually listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the whitest beach on the planet. The sand here is made out of tiny quartz particles, which give the ground its luminescent glow.

What are you waiting for? These beaches are calling you. Grab your camera, and make sure you bring your sunglasses - the colors will be absolutely dazzling.

About the author


I’m Bertie and I’ve been enjoying the wilderness for as long as I can remember. I get out camping, hiking and backpacking whenever I can. And when I can’t, I enjoy writing about outdoor-related stuff!

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