Multicoloured beaches around the world

California’s purple Pfeiffer beach

Pfeiffer beach is the ice cream ripple of sandy beaches – golden sand interrupted by swirly ripples of unexpected purple.

The purple swirls come from the cliffs above, which contain a group of purple minerals called manganese garnets. Wind and rain work together to break these down into purple sand, washing this down to the beach below periodically. In fact, Pfeiffer’s purple coloring varies throughout the year – the best time to see it is in winter, thanks to heavy storms which feed more manganese to the beach. But I visited on a misty May day and the purple swirls were still clearly apparent. 


Slept nearby here

Next: Gozo’s red sand beaches