Pretty in Pink: 14 Surreal Pink Sand Beaches to Visit

Attention all beach lovers! If you’re in the market for a new oceanside adventure, it’s time to add pink sand beaches to your bucket list.

With their unique rosy hue and sparkling waters, these breathtaking stretches of sand offer Instagram-worthy blends of sun, surf, and serenity.

However, unlike the white and black sand beaches you know and love, these magnificent rose-tinted shorelines are much less common. So the question becomes: where on earth can you find them?

In this post, we’re going to tell you. So grab a towel, slap on some sunscreen, and get ready to discover 14 of the best pink sand beaches in the world.

1. Playa de ses Illetes (Formentera, Spain)

Welcome to one of the most pristine pink sand beaches in Europe – if not the world! Playa de ses Illetes is like a spectacular natural walkway between two expanses of crystal clear turquoise water, located on a narrow strip of land on the northern tip of Formentera in the Mediterranean.

As you can imagine, it’s a popular place. Thankfully, the beach maintains a blissful atmosphere, and there’s plenty of space to unwind, no matter how many fellow beach lovers you share it with.

2. Les Sables Roses (Rangiroa, French Polynesia)

Remote rose-tinted beauty. That’s what awaits you at Les Sables Roses – the glorious pink beach located in Rangiroa, Tahiti. Accessible by boat alone, it’s far from the easiest beach to access, but it may tip the scale as the most striking. This beach is a veritable gift for lovers of boats, nature, adventure, and solitude.

Expect pink sand, clear water, and not a lot else – until you dive into the depths, that is. Below the surface, you’ll find an endless array of:

  • Colorful fish
  • Dolphins
  • Occasional shark

3. Spiaggia Rosa (Budelli Island, Italy)

Italian for “pink beach,” Spiaggia Rosa is a striking stretch of blush-colored sand in the Mediterranean. Unfortunately, tourists of bygone days took so much of its sand as a souvenir that its pink tint began to disappear.

As a result, the authorities stepped in about 20 years ago, making it illegal for tourists to set foot on the beach. If you want to see this magical place today, you can only do so via a day trip to Budelli Island. Like a museum tour, you can admire the pale pink sand from afar – but you’re not allowed to touch it.

4. Anse Source d’Argent (La Digue Island, Seychelles)

This pristine pink sand beach in the Seychelles is often praised as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Boasting crystal clear turquoise waters, palm trees to the rear, and a jumble of enormous granite boulders, it isn’t hard to see why!

Located on the west coast of La Digue, you can get here by foot or bike from the main village. Remember to take some cash with you, though. This private beach charges a small entrance fee of around $8.50.

5. Tangsi Beach (Lombok, Indonesia)

The picture-perfect Tangsi Beach (otherwise known as Pink Beach) is tucked away in a secluded part of Lombok. Another enchanting place, it’s roughly 3 hours from Tanjung and 2 hours in the car from Mataram City.

However, like other pink sand beaches on this list, the effort of getting there (not to mention the 50,000 rupiah entrance fee) is easy to justify! You’ll marvel at this remote, untouched, and otherworldly environment – with beautiful cliffs to explore and jump off into the clear waters below.

6. Horseshoes Bay Beach (Bermuda)

Horseshoe Bay Beach is one of the best-known pink sand beaches in Bermuda. So named for the shape of the coastline, you’ll find it in the Southampton neighborhood on the island’s south coast.

Thousands of tourists flock to this popular place each year to witness the sand’s unique tint and take advantage of the surrounding:

  • Cliffs
  • Coves
  • Reefs
  • Walking trails

Better still, it’s free to enjoy and easily accessible via public transport.

7. Pfeiffer Beach (Big Sur, California)

Located in the Los Padres National Forest is a stretch of coast that beggars belief with its natural beauty. Not only does its sand shimmer in shades of pink (especially after rainfall or when the waves crash upon the shore), but it’s also surrounded by striking cliffs, sea caves, and boulders – including the inimitable Keyhole Rock.

Swimming is generally off-limits here because of the strong waves and currents. But don’t let that put you off! Pfeiffer Beach is a must if you’re looking for a pink sand beach in the US that’s off the beaten path and rife with adventure.

8. Elafonissi Beach (Crete, Greece)

Elafonissi Beach is another slice of Cretan paradise. Tucked away on the island’s western corner, about 75km from Chania, it was surprisingly unknown until recently – a true hidden gem that’s now been transformed into a tourist hotspot.

The busy pink beach itself faces an islet of the same name, which is separated from Crete by a wonderful shallow lagoon. Interestingly, Elafonisi means “treasure island” in Greek – a reference to the swashbuckling pirates that once roamed the area (and supposedly stashed their gold here).

9. Balos Lagoon Beach (Crete, Greece)

On the northwest coast of Crete sits the amazing pink beach of Balos Lagoon. Said to be “kissed by the three seas” because of its location near the confluence of the Ionian, Libyan, and Aegean seas, it’s a tranquil, family-friendly place that’s a haven for beach lovers.

Accessing Balos Lagoon involves a bumpy drive to the parking area followed by a 20-minute hike over equally rocky terrain. But trust us, it’s worth the effort!

10. Crane Beach (Barbados)

Visit St. Philip on the southeast coast of Barbados to see one of the island’s best-known and most beautiful shorelines. At Crane Beach, the turquoise waves cry out to be boogie-boarded on, the cliffs call out to be explored, and both the lush vegetation and pink-tinted sand are a delight to behold.

An added bonus is that The Crane Resort and its many amenities are at your fingertips. If you stay there, you’ll get beach chairs and umbrellas included for free; visit from further afield, and you can rent them for a small fee.

11. Pink Sand Beach (Harbour Island, Bahamas)

Pink in both name and nature, Pink Sand Beach is located on the eastern side of Harbour Island. An endless expanse of paradisiacal Bahamian shoreline, it stretches for 3+ miles and is around 100 feet wide in places!

Like most of the beaches on this list, its striking rosy hue is caused by something called Foraminifera – microscopic coral insects with bright pink and/or red shells. When the insects die, the waves crush their shells into tiny pieces and eventually wash ashore.

12. Pantai Merah (Komodo Island, Indonesia)

Pink sand
Pink sand beach at Komodo Island. Photo credit: [DKart via Canva.com]

Pantai Merah, often referred to simply as “Pink Beach,” offers visitors a magnificently remote and exotic environment. Expect clear waters, coral reefs, abundant marine life (keep your eyes peeled for sea turtles!), and – of course – that all-important pink sand, which glistens in the golden sun.

You’ll find this magical place within the Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site also home to the infamous Komodo dragon. However, you can only get there by boat! To visit Pantai Merah, you’ll need to go to Labuan Bajo first, where you can pay for a boat trip to take you to the beach. 

13. Great Santa Cruz Island (Mindanao, Philippines)

Great Santa Cruz Island is a spectacular, unspoiled island off the coast of Mindanao in the southern Philippines. While visitors aren’t allowed to stay there overnight, a relaxing day trip allows you to revel in its many natural wonders.

Chief among them is the vast, immaculate pink sand beach that’s fringed with lush vegetation and surrounded by warm, clear waters full of colorful marine life. But if you happen to tire of that, there are plenty of friendly locals to meet and interact with too. Oh, and be sure to buy some fresh seafood from one of the vendors!

14. Playa Flamingo (Costa Rica)

Last but not least is the inimitable Playa Flamingo, a popular pink sand beach on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Its calm waters, scenic views, epic sunsets, and semi-secluded feel make it a favorite destination for couples, families, and other tourists searching for a relaxing vacation.

The fun doesn’t stop on the beach, either! There are boat tours you can do along the coast, an abundance of quality kayaking and swimming opportunities, and some awesome hikes you can do in the nearby hills as well.

Visit These Beautiful Pink Sand Beaches

For sun and nature lovers alike, pink sand beaches are a world treasure worth cherishing. Both uncommon and unbelievably picturesque, they’re the perfect places to gawk at Mother Nature’s majesty and soak up some rays with friends and family!

The tricky part’s knowing where to find them. With any luck, the 14 stretches of rose-tinted shoreline in this post will help in that regard. All that’s left to do is book your flights, pack your bags, and go see them in person. 

This article originally appeared on Savoteur.

Featured image credit: [Wenika Febrianti via Canva.com]

About the author

Danny Newman

Danny Newman is currently writing and traveling around the world to figure out exactly what he’s doing with his life. He’d love you to follow along with his journey over at What’s Danny Doing.