The sound of waves lapping on a white-powder sand beach. Whiling away the afternoon with a cocktail in hand. Pure bliss. But it's not just the obligatory white tropical beaches that are worth a visit this year. What about giving green sand a try?! Check out our round-up of amazing beaches you have to see to believe

At first glance you could be forgiven for thinking this was just a huge expanse of astro turf but Kourou Beach in Hawaii is one of only four green beaches in the world. The sand is given its vibrant green colour by the mineral olivine which forms from lava in the sea… A perfect picnic spot, perhaps?!

Amazing beaches: green sand, beach, Hawaii

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Sand can be found in all colours of the rainbow….

Beaches like this one on Rabida Island in the Galapagos Islands have distinctive dark red sand due to high levels of iron in the lava from the volcanoes. It also happens to be home to hordes of snoring sea lions! Cute or what?

amazing beaches:  red beach, Galapagos Islands, sea lion

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We love a beach that’s only accessible by boat and they don’t come any more impressive than this one. Whitehaven Beach is a 7km stretch in Australia’s Whitsunday Islands. Renowned for its white sand unusally made up of 98% silica. And the best bit? You wont burn your feet strolling along here as, unlike ordinary sand, it doesn’t retain any heat!

amazing beaches: Australia, Whitsunday Islands

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From the magical to the mysterious…

These quirky spherical boulders can be found on Koekohe Beach in New Zealand. They form through erosion of mudstone and sea landslides and pop up right along the shore… Some are broken open which is why they’re commonly referred to as dragon’s eggs. But most are still whole… Game of stone beach ball anyone?!

amazing beaches: New Zealand, boulder

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And we all know the Maldives are idyllic by day but what happens at night?! This really does need to be seen to be believed…the beach at Mudhdhoo Island literally glows in the dark! It happens when organisms like phytoplankton in the sea are washed up along the shore and emit light from their cells as they break the water. Cue a beach resembling a starry night sky…

amazing beaches: Maldives, night, beach, light

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You might need some trusty jelly shoes for this one…..

Believe it or not Glass Beach in California used to be a dumping ground for residents’ rubbish back in the 1950s and 1960s before the ‘dump’ was moved to a new location in 1967. But something magical happened with the remains…years of crashing waves has resulted in a beach full of smooth and polished sea glass!

amazing beaches: glass beach, California

Glass Beach, Fort Bragg by Jef Poskanzer – Flickr

‘She sells sea shells on the sea shore…she sells sea shells on the sea…’ Remember the tongue twister?! Well it couldn’t be more apt for this next beauty spot. Shell Bay is a 68 mile stretch along Western Australia and one of only two beaches in the world to be made up entirely of shells…

amazing beaches: shell, beach, Australia

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And you can put your bikini away for this last one…

Jokulsarlon lake is considered to be one of Iceland’s natural wonders. Where else could you sit on the beach surrounded by icebergs?! Anyone for a cold dip? Brrr!

amazing beaches: iceland

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Have you visited any breathtaking beaches? Let us know…