There’s nothing quite like soft, white sand. But, have you ever wondered what makes them that gorgeous pearl colour? Yes, us too. Apparently, white sand beaches get their colour from eroded coral and shell fragments, as well as organic remains, which are made of calcium carbonate. Over time granules are crushed under the waves and grind against each other into a fine powder-like grain. Since water reflects the sand beneath it, white sand beaches often have the clearest water, making them some of the most beautiful beaches to visit.
With that in mind, these are the beaches with some of the whitest sand on the planet.
1. Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay, Australia
Surrounded by national and Marine Parks, Hyams Beach has an abundance of native plants and animals, and the crystal clear water is frequently visited by whales and dolphins. The real standout though is the impossibly white sand, widely regarded as the whitest in the world.
2. Matira Beach, Bora Bora, Tahiti
Framed by lush palms and rolling green hills, the powder-white sand slopes gently into a sheltered lagoon. This has made it one of the most photographed beaches in the world. Matira Beach is available to the public and has plenty of natural shade and nearby cafes for travellers.
3. White Beach, Boracay, Philippines
Boracay is known as one of the top destinations for relaxation and tranquillity. The name Boracay is said to derive from the local word for ‘white cotton’, describing the sugary sand it’s so famous for. White Beach is the most popular on the island with four kilometres of famous white sand to relax on.
4. Datai Bay, Langkawi, Malaysia
Believed to have once been a refuge for pirates, the name ‘Langkawi’ translates to ‘land of one’s wishes.’ Featuring uncrowded white sands that roll into clear blue waters, Datai Bay is a modern retreat well worth visiting.
5. Kauna’oa Bay, Hawaii
Quintessentially Hawaiian, Kauna’oa Bay can be found on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island. The crescent shaped beach is filled with gorgeous white sand and is routinely maintained by the resort. This ensures you’ll always find it in pristine condition.
6. Luskentyre Beach, Isle of Harris, Scotland
Not the typical tropical paradise, Luskentyre is a remote beach on the Isle of Harris in Scotland’s North. The sweeping sand is a brilliant white, the water icy and clear. It’s not uncommon to see wild horses among the rugged hills.
7. Playa Flamenco, Culebra, Puerto Rico
Stretching for more than a kilometre around a sheltered bay, Playa Flamenco is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It has the whitest sand in all of Puerto Rico, which stretches across the entire bay, and is the perfect place to soak up the Caribbean sun.