Bermuda conjures up images of beautiful homes with its unique white roofs, crystal clear waters, iconic shorts and, of course, the pink sands that make their beaches more idyllic than your average tropical paradise. These pretty-in-pink beaches are all found along the island’s south shore between Horseshoe Bay Beach (my personal favorite) and Warwick Long Bay Beach. But what gives the sand its rosy hue? It’s the result from the blending of crushed shells, coral and calcium carbonate called red foraminifera.
The Science of Pink
The south shore of Bermuda is lined with coral reefs, which are the preferred home of these miniscule organisms. The foraminifera aren’t classified as either plants or animals and are instead known as protists — singlecelled organisms that don’t quite fit into any other category. The foraminifera live in red shells made of calcium carbonate. When the red foraminifera die, their shells collect on the ocean floor and get washed to shore by the continuous tide. When the red hue gets exposed to the sun and mixes with the sand, it creates that famous pink shade that Bermuda is known for.
Your trip to Bermuda wouldn’t be complete without spending at least a few hours at Horseshoe Bay Beach. Named for its curved shape, popular Horseshoe boasts Bermuda’s trademark translucent and strikingly blue waters and rose-colored sands. The beach is easily accessible from either Hamilton or Royal Naval Dockyard. If you want to arrive like a local, hop on the #7 bus and it will take you directly to the shore. There is no need to bring anything other than your bathing suit, as you can rent everything else there, from towels and beach chairs to boogie boards. If you’re the more adventurous type, you can hike the dramatic rock formations surrounding Horseshoe Bay and explore hidden caves and its tucked-away coves. Make Horseshoe the first of the many pink-sand beaches you explore in a day, as you cover the entire South Shore of Bermuda walking its beautiful beach trails.
Beyond the Sand
After sinking your toes in pink sands of every hue, you’ll have surely worked up an appetite. There are many beach restaurants with fresh fish sandwiches and delicious Rum Swizzles. My choice while there was to walk down South Road in search of Henry VIII, a beautiful restaurant overlooking the south shore. I couldn’t pass up the chance to take in the view, so I had my sushi on the patio. Re-energized, I continued on my walk where I found Gibb’s Hill Lighthouse — where the views of the ocean were even more breathtaking.