Multicoloured beaches around the world

Gozo’s red sand beaches

Gozo has two main red sand beaches: Ramla l-Hamra and San Blas. Ramla l-Hamra is the big sister, whereas San Blas is its more elusive, miniature version. Depending on the time of day and sand wetness, their colour can vary between a burnt orange to a muddy red. And somewhat ironically, this colour comes from greensand.

Greensand is one of Gozo’s five rock types, rich in iron and normally found sandwiched between other rock layers. But when exposed to the air, the iron reacts with oxygen, forming red iron oxides. (The same chemical family as rust.) At Ramla l-Hamra and San Blas, this oxygen exposure happens when the surrounding rock is eroded by winds and rain.


In another ironic twist these same winds have taken away much of San Blas’ sand in recent years. However, it should soon return to its original state through the same erosion cycle.  

Slept nearby here

Next: New Zealand’s pink Hahei beach