Best Beaches in Europe
When you think of some of the best beaches in the world, you don't automatically think of Europe.
that should be at the forefront of every traveller’s bucket list.
From one beach with black sand and a unique rock formation, to another with pink sand, here are seven European beaches you simply have to visit in your lifetime.
1. Navagio Beach, Zaknythos, Greece
There are so many amazing beaches in Greece and Navagio is one of the best (as seen in the image above).
Navagio beach is located in Zakynthos and it is easy to see why it made out list. Surrounded by dramatic white cliffs, the beach – also known as Shipwreck Beach – is only accessible by taxi boat from Porto Vromi, so is a truly remote destination.
Offering bright blue waters that are perfect for both swimming and snorkelling, Navagio beach is as tranquil a destination as you can get. With its surrounding stunning cliffs, it is picture perfect and a great place to sit back and relax.
2. Elafonisi Beach, Crete, Greece
What makes Crete’s Elafonisi Beach special is that a red microorganism develops on the coral to give this beach a truly unique characteristic - pink sand! The warm waters of this blue lagoon are surrounded by pink sand, making it one of the most unique beaches in the world. Offering stunningly clear blue waters and an array of rocky landmarks, the beach really is as paradise and easily one of the top beaches in Greece.
3. Olüdeniz Beach, Olüdeniz, Turkey
Also known as the Blue Lagoon, Olüdeniz Beach is a beautiful wide bay and one of Turkey’s most picturesque spots. Surrounded by forests and protected nature reserves, the beach doesn’t suffer from overdevelopment and is one of the world’s most natural, untouched beaches. It is the ideal place to go snorkelling or scuba diving, and is particularly well known for paragliding due to the excellent wind conditions it has during the summer season.
4. Praia da Falesia, Algarve, Portugal
The Algarve is one of the most popular European summer destinations and it is easy to see why. There are spectacular beaches everywhere!
Often regarded as the Algarve’s number one beach, Praia da Falesia is a sandy beach which stretches for six kilometres from Valamoura in the East to Olhos de Água in the West.
Characterised by its incredible red cliffs, the beach offers soft sand and incredibly clear seawater. It is also one of the cleanest beaches the world has to offer, consistently earning its title as a Blue Flag beach.
The beach is so popular in fact, that it was voted as one of TripAdvisor’s best beaches worldwide earlier this year.
5. Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, Vik, Iceland
If you’ve seen Game of Thrones or Star Wars’ Rogue One, you will have definately seen this beach. As its name suggests, the beach features black sand and is located near the small town of Vik. It is totally bizarre and probably unlike any other beach you have been to in the world!
Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach is a must visit destination in Iceland for travellers wanting to take photos of its epic landscape; the beach is surrounded by unique weathered cliffs and has a number of strange geologic features, including sharp sea stacks and clusters.
It’s not, however, the best place to visit if you fancy a swim, as there are cold temperatures and incredibly rough waters most times of the year.
6. Zlatni Rat, Brač, Croatia
Croatia is home to some of the most beautiful beaches Europe has to offer and Zlatni Rat is up there with the best of them.
This stunning beach is located on the island of Brac and is a particularly popular area for kite surfing and other water sports. The sea is clear and blue, and the white-sand beach is incredibly soft and comfortable to walk on.
The beach is the perfect place to sit back, relax and catch some rays (and an ice cream or two), but it can get incredibly busy during the summer season. Make sure to get down there earlier on in the day to guarantee a sunbathing spot.
7. Camber Sands Beach, Sussex, UK
Camber Sands Beach is one of the UK’s best loved holiday destinations. It features on the purest and longest dune systems on the South Coast and draws in sun seekers from all over the country, as well as further afield.
Famed for its kitesurfing and water sports, the Sussex-based beach is one of the best beaches near London, making it a popular destination for international tourists during summer.
There are also a number of historical sites nearby – including Camber Castle and Rye Harbour Nature Reserve – staying in Camber gives a fascinating insight into the coastal British way of life.
8. San Fruttuoso, Liguria, Italy
San Fruttuoso is one of the most stunning small beaches in Italy located between Portofino and the town of Camogli. The location is a bit off the beaten track, reachable either by a trek from Portofino or by catching a ferry. The water colour is spectacular and the backdrop with a medieval abbey surrounded by mountains is picturesque.
9. Saint Ives, Cornwall, England
The UK really does have some of the top rated beaches in Europe, no really! The Cornwall region of England is breathtakingly beautiful with beautiful beaches and landscapes. St Ives used to be a small fishing village but is now one of the most popular summer destinations in the UK.
10. Sveti Stefan, Montenegro
Montenegro is one of the most up and coming destinations in Europe and Sveti Stefan is somewhere you need to add to your itinerary. This destination is a popular place for celebrities and is such a stunning location. The only challenge though, to visit the beach you will need to book a stay at the luxurious Aman resort on the islet.
Other Top Rated Beaches
Europe really is blessed with some of the most scenic beaches in the world and you can find places to go throughout the continent. There are some more beach destinations to consider:
- Maslinica, Šolta, Croatia
- Valun, Cres, Croatia
- Čikat Bay, Lošinj, Croatia
- Blaće, Mljet, Croatia
- Murvica, Brač, Croatia
- Cape Greco, Cyprus
- Tisvilde, Denmark
- Võsu, Estonia
- L’Herbe, Cap Ferret, Gironde, France
- Plage de la Grève Blanche, Île de Batz, Brittany, France
- Villefranche-sur-Mer, Provence, France
- Île de Porquerolles, France
- Heringsdorf, Germany
- Sarakiniko, Milos, Greece
- Voidokilia, Peloponnese, Greece
- Kaladi, Kythira, Greece
- Super Paradise, Mykonos, Greece
- Balos, Crete, Greece
- Fiorenzuola di Focara, Le Marche, Italy
- Cala Tonnarella, Sicily, Italy
- Cala Violina, Maremma, Tuscany, Italy
- Porto Giunco, Villasimius, Sardinia, Italy
- Ventspils, Latvia
- Nida, Lithuania
- Sopot, Poland
- Porto Côvo, Costa Vicentina, Alentejo, Portugal
- Nazaré, Costa de Prata, Portugal
- Praia da Falésia, Algarve, Portugal
- Praia da Foz do Minho, Caminha, Portugal
- Praia da Marinha, Portugal
- Praia dos Galapinhos, Setúbal, Portugal
- Luskentyre Sands, Isle of Harris, Scotland
- Aiguablava, Begur, Girona, Spain
- Islas Cíes, Spain
- Cala Macarella, Menorca, Spain
- Playa de Poo, Llanes, Asturias, Spain
- Kabak, near Uzunyurt Köyü, Muğla, Turkey
- Çirali, Kemer, Antalya, Turkey
- Iztuzu, Dalyan, Muğla, Turkey
- Patara, Kalkan, Antalya, Turkey
- Durdle Door Beach, Dorset, England
Have you been to any amazing beaches in Europe that we have missed? Let us know in the comments section below.