Perhaps the single most compelling reason to choose a luxury yacht charter over any other kind of holiday is the spectacular variety of scenery a single group can experience within a single week, from ancient forts hanging on the edge of cliff faces and blue-tinted icebergs to colorful beaches unlike anywhere else on Earth.
The purple sand of Big Sur in California is picturesque at anytime of the day, but the sunset through the famous Keyhole arch is well worth the wait. Vik in Iceland has black sands that make a striking contrast against the verdant slopes and thrill seekers will also enjoy seeing the rainbow sands of Australia from the air.
Some of these beaches are accessible only by yacht and your crew can organize a beach picnic or candle-lit dinner under the warm sunset of these deserted shores. Not only are these beaches striking to look at, many of them are child-friendly due to surrounding lagoons and reefs that protect the coasts from harsher conditions that might wash the color away. Add one of these 10 arresting beaches to your next charter itinerary while playing with the water toys or reclining to the tranquil soundscape of calling gulls and crashing waves.
Black – Vulcano, Aeolian Islands, Sicily
These black sand beaches are often visited by superyachts and their popularity stems from the natural phenomenon to be found in the local area: warm mud baths, bubbling sea fumaroles and a smouldering volcano. The island has a developed tourism industry with cycle paths through the UNESCO World Heritage site, kayaking tours and a strong cafe culture for fulfilling summer holidays under the Mediterranean sun.
Red – Santorini, Greece
Rich iron deposits colour the cliffs along the Santorini coast and create a coarse granule beach. The dramatic sloping cliffs against cerulean water make for great photographs and the calm, sheltered bay will tempt visitors to go snorkelling. However, be wary of any rough rocks under the water as you enter and leave the shallows.
Orange – Kefalonia, Greece
What makes the location of Xi Beach in Kefalonia so unique is its contrast against the white clay cliffs and brilliant blue lagoons. Shallow waters make Xi Beach an excellent choice for families with small children and the sand and clay blend can be applied to the skin for a natural spa experience.
Caribbean, Bahamas and Americas
Pink – Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda
Pink sand beaches are not exclusive to the Caribbean and the Bahamas: Bermuda is covered in rosy coloured coastline framed by rock pools and crystal clear topaz waves for visitors to explore. The offshore reef surrounding Bermuda forms a natural barrier that creates excellent conditions for young swimmers and those learning to dive or sail for the first time.
Horseshoe Bay is one such stretch ideally positioned close to the landmark of Gibbs Hill Lighthouse and the local parks and golf club for a day of outdoor entertainment. Bermuda will host the 35th America’s Cup in 2017, and visitors from the 17th of June will be able to watch the action up close while sunbathing along the sunny shores.
Red – Kaihalulu Bay, Maui (Hawaii)
Known mostly to locals, Kaihalulu Bay is a nudist beach accessed by a narrow path that leads down to the red coloured sand formed by a constantly eroded cinder cone. An offshore reef acts as a natural sea wall, preventing the sand from being swept out to sea. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended for anyone wishing to hike to Kaihalulu Bay due to the ironwood needles littering the path.
Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific
Pink – Komodo, Indonesia
Literally named ‘Pink Beach’, or Pantai Merah, holiday makers will find this aptly named location within the Komodo National Park, giving you one more reason to visit this pristine section of the coast. The rosy tint is most noticeable where the waves lap the shore and it is crushed red coral which has built up among the fine sand particles that give this beach its color. See the Komodo dragons and spend the afternoon snorkeling and diving in the surrounding waters.
White – Hyams Beach, Australia – The whitest sand in the world
The whitest sand in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records, Hyams Beach is located in Jervis Bay south of Sydney. Powdery white granules like fine sugar meet with emerald waters and fill the view to the horizon. A particularly evocative sight even on stormy days, visitors will find they have the beach almost to themselves: the nearest settlement has a population of only 290.
Pink – Rangiroa, French Polynesia
French Polynesia has enough spectacular sights to recommend it: vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life, steep viridian islands and rich local culture. Add to that the pink sands of Rangiroa and you have the perfect romantic destination.
Black – Muriwai Beach, New Zealand
Located on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island, Muriwai beach is at the edge of Auckland’s conurbation and has an established gannet colony and nearby golf course. The area is known to locals for its surfing, hang gliding and paragliding, making this beach an excellent choice for adrenaline seekers as well as an unusual photo opportunity.
Luminescent – Vaadhoo, Maldives
Although the sand grains aren’t luminescent, themselves the bioluminescent phytoplankton that washes up on these shores creates a starry blue glow in the swash of Vaadhoo Beach. Just awe-inspiring!
Written by Rachael Steele / CharterWorld Luxury Yachts
Lead photo: Princess 40M SOLARIS Fun with Water Toys – Image credit: Princess Yachts