The most gorgeous pink sand beaches in the world

Slaves to our socials as were are, we at Mr Hudson live to post a flashy tableau. In a bid to one-up the influencers, we ditch the well-documented sands of Copacabana and the mega waves of Bondi in favour of something a little more attention-grabbing. The natural world is always ready to make you go ‘ooh’ at a moment’s notice, with everything from purple sunsets to rainbow-hued lakes, but, in this case, it’s the pink beaches of the world that have us double-tapping our screens with glee, from the bays of Bermuda to the cays of Cali.

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Photo: Alex

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The beach itself is actually an island nature reserve, connected to the southwest coast by a sandbar cutting through warm lagoon waters

1. Elafonisi Beach, Crete, Greece

First up on our feeds is the blushing Grecian beauty of Elafonisi Beach on Crete, the largest of the Greek islands. One of two Crete pink beaches, Elafonisi Beach has all you could need for a great beach day; shallow waters for swimming, bathrooms nearby and sunbeds (plus remote spots for that secluded feeling). The beach itself is actually an island nature reserve, connected to the southwest coast by a sandbar cutting through warm lagoon waters. The beach is accessible even at high tide (if you hoick your shorts up), making for an effortless photo session backgrounded by turquoise water and rare wildflowers. After exhausting all angles on Elafonisi, head to Balos Beach, another of the pink beaches in Crete, or take a four-hour boat tour to the best pink sand Santorini beaches, all preferable outside of high season.

Elafonisi, Greece | Photo: Alexandra Tran

Greece | Photo: Stefan Stefancik

2. Harbour Island, Bahamas

Squint hard enough and you can almost spot the peachy shores of Harbour Island, from Eleuthera Island, a top Bahamas destination. Hop on a five-minute ferry to get a closer view, checking out coral reefs in crystal clear waters while you’re at it. At five kilometres in length, the pink beach on Harbour Island’s eastern shore has plenty of room for everyone, offering snorkelling, diving, horseback riding and fishing opportunities. To explore the island to its fullest, rent a golf buggy to navigate historic landmarks, dining at an authentic restaurant on the marina before staying overnight at a colonial cottage.

3. Pink Beach, Komodo, Indonesia

Indonesia’s contender won’t win any prizes for inventive nomenclature, but it must be said that Komodo Pink Beach needs no fanfare. Otherwise known as Komodo beach or Pantai Merah among locals, this little pink number lies within Komodo National Park, a string of islands off of Indonesia’s east coast. Not the only pink beach in Indonesia, the one in Komodo wins out for its resident dragons, safe waters and snorkelling spots. Tricky to access, this Indonesia pink beach is best visited on a boat excursion from Flores Island, sailing up to picture-perfect shores that come perfectly contrasted by the azure waters surrounding and backed by verdant peaks. Another pink beach Indonesia has to offer, more accessible than the last, is Pink Beach Lombok, a short boat ride from Bali.

Indonesia | Photo: Jennifer Polanco

Bahamas | Photo: Spenser Sembrat

4. Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda

Though the exclusive island of Bermuda has a number of world-class white beaches (your hotel may even claim a stretch), the pink sand in Bermuda is something worth travelling for, particularly Horseshoe Bay on the south coast. Here you’ll find a pastel pink stretch sheltered between limestone cliffs, lapped by the coral-rich waters of the Atlantic. Whether you fancy diving in among marine life with your snorkel or would rather watch volleyball- and kickball-playing land mammals, Horseshoe brings it all. Walk the lengthy bay to find the most photogenic spots, jogging or hiking on the trails ideally before the cruise ships dock up and steal all the best sunbeds. Elbow Beach is a nice alternative but to avoid the crowds, try visiting these Bermuda pink sand beaches outside of peak season (May to October).

5. Spiaggia Rosa, Budelli, Sardinia

The Italians also don’t win any points for naming Sardinia’s Spiaggia Rosa, a gorgeous pink beach in the north that has been off-limits to tourists since 1994. Nevertheless, Spiaggia Rosa on the quaint island of Budelli (in the Maddalena archipelago) can still be viewed from the water (on a boat tour), or from the overlooking cliffs, or even from caretaker Michele Ardu’s Instagram account (job envy; we have it). The neighbouring Spiaggia di Cavalieri is also a good spot to sunbathe and admire the rosy sands from afar.

Photo: Mo

6. Crane Beach, Barbados

From Bahamas to Barbados, the Caribbean comes blessed by hundreds of beautiful beaches, and Crane Beach is definitely up there with the best. Located on the east coast of Barbados, flanked by rugged rocks and rolling waves, the pink shores of Crane Beach are set to impress. Enter the beach in style, descending the cliffs via the glass elevator of the hilltop Crane Resort, or go old school via the 98-step stairway. Free umbrellas and lounge chairs await guests of the resort (non-guests can pay a small fee), but it’s BYOB – bring your own boogie board – to best embrace the choppy waters. Other than sunbathing on the pink sands, visitors to Crane Beach can also take a hike up to a vantage point, possibly spotting sea turtles in the waters below.

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Known as Komodo beach or Pantai Merah among locals, this little pink number lies within Komodo National Park, a string of islands off of Indonesia’s east coast

Indonesia | Photo: Marcus Woodbridge

7. Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera, Spain

If you’re a stranger to the gay paradise of Spain’s Balearic Islands let us fill you in on the secret that is Ibiza and Formentera. Today we focus on the pink sands of Formentera, the smaller and less crowded of the two islands, home to Playa de Ses Illetes. The anchor site of choice for Mediterranean yacht owners, Playa de Ses Illetes is located among a cluster of tiny islets, which are collectively protected as a national park. Remote yet glamorous as heck, visitors to Playa de Ses Illetes can expect to find luxury yachts bobbing just offshore, while, behind the rosé shores, fancy restaurants vie for their custom. Pack your own food to swerve the expensive eateries and instead walk further north on Trucadors Peninsula, to find the fewer crowds on Llevant Beach and views over neighbouring Espalmador.

Photo: Simone Fischer

Photo: Jonnas Duarte

8. Pfeiffer Beach, California

Beaches with pink sand are hard to come by in the continental US, but California’s Pfeiffer Beach is perhaps a notable exception. Part of the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in the Big Sur region, this beach is said to have a purplish hue – especially when wet – but the manganese garnet deposits (!) are not the only reason to visit. As well as impressive tones, Pfeiffer Beach also benefits from its very own 24-metre waterfall, crashing from the granite cliffs above, in addition to rock formations and sea caves for geological exploration. Take your photos at sunset through the arch at Keyhole Rock, showcasing the beauty of erosion to all your jealous followers. Though swimming isn’t advisable on Pfeiffer Beach, clambering the rocks and hiking on the cliffs above is sure to keep you satisfied.

9. Barbuda Pink Sand Beach

A Caribbean isle belonging to the double-barrelled nation of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbuda may be small but she sure is worthy. Only 160 square kilometres in size and with just one town on the entire island, Barbuda is for beach lovers first and foremost. Dominating the south side of the island, the 12-kilometre Barbuda Pink Sand Beach is a timeless paradise, tinged pink with shells akin to rose petals and lapped by gentle baby-blue waves. Dip your toes and your face into the crystal waters to find marine life abound, but beyond snorkelling and diving, visitors can spend an afternoon roaming the endless stretch of beach from Spanish Point to Palmetto Point, before returning to the jetty to catch the ferry back to Antigua.

Photo: Alex

Photo: Alonso Reyes

10. Kaihalulu Beach, Maui, Hawaii

Pocketing more than its fair share of sensational beaches, Hawaii necessitates that extra bottle of reef-safe sunscreen. Focusing on stand-out shores, we head straight to Kaihalulu Beach, the number one pink sand beach Hawaii has to offer. Nit-pickers may tell you that there are no proper pink sand beaches in Hawaii, but we’ve relaxed the rules here for Kaihalulu Beach. Found on the island of Maui, near Hana Bay, Kaihalulu Beach is more rust-red than pink, owing to erosion from the lava cinder cliffs surrounding. As much as you’d like to see this ‘pink sand beach in Hawaii’, visitors must be confident hikers in order to make the descent, as the trail was lost in a landslide a while back. Those who brave the hike down to this hidden cove will find themselves walled in by red rock, alone with the pristine waters and dramatic views of koa‘e kea tropicbirds soaring overhead.

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