CultureUnited States of America
Snap the ultimate beach selfie at one of the world's most beautiful coloured beaches.
Tangsi Beach, Indonesia
Tangsi Beach, also known simply as Pink Beach, is one of two beaches in Indonesia with surreal pink-coloured sands (the other is on Komodo Island). The distinct pink hue is thanks to a mixture of white sands and tiny fragments of dead red coral that have washed up from the seabed. At the far end of the beach, there is a small hill from which you can see the entire coastline: the limestone rock formations jutting out of the waves are truly spectacular.
Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland
Lying next to a small fishing village called Vík í Mýrdal, Reynisfjara was picked as a filming location for series 7 of Game of Thrones. Walking along the beach's coal-black sands it's easy to see why: enormous basalt stacks pierce the sky that, according to local Icelandic legend, are trolls turned into stone. The beach's black sand is a result of lava from a nearby volcano hardening once it hit the Atlantic ocean's icy waves. But because the sand has a coarse and pebble-like texture, not too unlike gravel, Reynisfjara is a beach for sight-seeing and bird-watching rather than for sunbathing. The columns themselves are home to thousands of nesting seabirds including orange and black billed puffins, fulmars and guillemots.
Hyams Beach, Australia
Hyams Beach located in Jervis Bay is said to have the whitest sand in the world (the beach is even listed in the Guinness Book of Records to prove it!). The beach's turquoise coloured waters and colourful seaside cottages only serve to emphasise just how white the sand is. Visitors to the beach can go snorkelling or diving in the ocean or explore the surrounding Booderee National Park, home to Australia's only Aboriginal-owned and managed Botanic Gardens.
Red Beach, Santorini, Greece
Santorini, a Greek island famous for its white-domed churches and cloudless skies, is also home to a geological gem: the Red Beach. Dramatic black and red lava cliffs loom large over the Aegean sea and hug this small beach made up of tiny red pebbles. The beach is a real suntrap on a hot day, so make sure to pack your towel and sunscreen. It is accessible by foot (it's only a 10 minute downhill trek from a nearby car park) or you can take a boat from Akrotiri Beach.
Punalu'u Beach, Hawaii, USA
At the southern tip of Hawaii's Big Island lies Punalu'u Beach. The beach's sand is jet-black thanks to two nearby active volcanoes. It is also home to two endangered turtle species: the green turtle and the hawksbill turtle. The large honu can often be spotted basking in the sun or seeking shelter under the shade of the coconut palm trees that fringe the upper end of the beach. Although it may be tempting, don't touch or disturb these protected animals.