The word "beaches" takes our imagination to gorgeous seaside resorts, warm weather, and tropical parasol-decorated drinks. But a beach is still a beach, no matter where—or what—it is.

Beaches stretch out along coastlines where the motions of waves deposit sediments, thereby contributing to the sand. Beaches contain fragments of small particles and rocks made from sand, small stones, pebbles, or even the remains of small organisms. The majority of the beaches in the world are natural, but some are man-made. Depending on the chemical make-up of the sand and the light reflecting on the particles, some beaches display unique properties.

Black Sand Beaches

Credit: mantaphoto / iStock

Black sand beaches come from turbulent beginnings. They are created from volcanic eruptions, after which lava fragments and volcanic minerals are broken down by the ocean over centuries. Black sand beaches are the best seascapes for taking photographs: During a sunny day, there is less reflection of sunlight due to the dark surface. When too much light reflects off the images, they are not clear and sharp. There many black sand beaches around the world:

Reynisfjara Beach

Considered the most magical is Reynisfjara beach near the village of Vik Iceland. This is quite a fantastic, fairytale island. There are close to 130 volcanos on the island, and a number of them have erupted since the ninth century.

Kaimu Black Sand Beach

Hawaii is home to Kaimu Black Sand Beach in Kalapana. In 1990, the volcano erupted, covering the beach in lava and ash. Erosion over time transformed the lava rocks into small particles of new black sand.

Black Sands Beach

Not to be left out, Whitethorn, California, boasts a hike-able 20-mile black-sand coastline. Black Sands Beach is very scenic; however, you must be cautious. This beach has sharp pieces of lava and is not safe for swimming because of its strong tides. The beauty of this place is the major tourist attraction and, viewed from a distance, it’s spectacular.

Tahiti Beach

Lush vegetation surrounds Tahiti beach in French Polynesia. Its large open areas and fields appeal to athletes and footballers. Looking for more black sand beaches to add to your travel list? Visit popular spots in Bali, Indonesia; New Zealand; Japan; and Italy.

Pink Beaches

Credit: Mustang_79 / iStock

Pink beaches are as lovely—and rare—as they sound. This makes them a sought-out destination for travelers all over the globe. The pink hue comeas from broken shards of coral reefs. These particles of calcium carbonate were the homes of small red-shelled sea and ocean creatures. The color is a reflection of billions of microscopic-sized pink and red compressed shells.

Bonaire Beach

The pink Bonaire Beach is in the Dutch Caribbean island of the same name. Generally, this beach is the best to visit because of its calm environment and its deep waters. This makes diving and swimming safer. For the photo enthusiast, there are lines of palm trees in the upper section of the beach that make for a stunning panorama.

Elafonisi Beach

Fly off to Greece and visit Elafonisi Beach. The unique characteristic of this beach is that it is shallow, with warm water, making it a welcome place for all ages. With pink sand, bright sun, balmy waters, and the native alcoholic drink, ouzo, you'll be ready to relax and enjoy nature.

Balos Lagoon

While in Greece, take in the pink beach at Balos Lagoon. It is the most photographed beach on the island of Crete. This beach has clear water. The sand is pink and white, with some spots very pink from the concentration of crushed shells.

Other examples are Santa Cruz Island in the Philippines, the beach of Kamondo in Indonesia, and the famous Pink Sand Beach in the Bahamas.

Glass Beaches

Credit: Adrienne Wagner /

Nature transformed discarded glass into the sparkling stardust that makes up glass beaches. Smooth, colorful glass pieces found on the pebbly beach are from glass waste along the sea. The beaches have turned into colored gems themselves as they come in different colors.

Kauai Sea Glass Beach

Kauai Sea Glass Beach in Kauai is covered with glass pebbles, which are colorful and beautiful. As a primary tourist attraction, people hunt for interesting pieces of glass as souvenirs.

California Glass Beaches

In Monterey, Del Monte Beach, is covered with many types of glass. Although this place is not as warm as many other beaches, it is covered with colorful crystals that attract tourists. Other examples are Glass Beach in Fort Bragg and La Jolla Cove Sea Glass Beach in San Diego.

Whether the beach is black, pink, glass, sand, or otherwise, they all offer sun, fun, and an opportunity to relax and meditate on the motion of the ocean. Visitors who venture to these beaches will surely have the desire to visit them again and again.