Europe is home to some of the most breathtaking beaches in the world. From the vast stretches of sand and crystal-clear waters of Greece to the dramatic cliffs of Portugal, Europe’s beaches will leave you speechless. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly beach holiday or an escape from everyday life, we’ve rounded up our top ten favourite beaches in Europe so you can plan your next adventure.
When you think of an idyllic vacation spot, chances are Europe is at the top of your list. With over 100,000 kilometers of coastline, Europe’s beaches offer something for everyone; from picturesque white sand coves to world-famous urban hotspots.
For travelers looking for the perfect beach experience, there are many incredible options to choose from. From the stunning Amalfi Coast in Italy to the volcanic sands on Lanzarote in Spain, Europe has some of the most beautiful and diverse beaches in the world.
Whether you’re looking for a peaceful outdoor retreat or a lively nightlife destination, our guide to Europe’s top ten beaches offers plenty of inspiration for planning your next beach holiday.
#1: Santorini, Greece
Santorini, Greece, is known for its stunningly beautiful blue and white villages cascading down the sides of a volcanic crater. This tiny island is home to some of the most idyllic beaches in Europe. With its exclusive luxury resorts, crystal-clear waters and golden sand, Santorini offers one of the best beach experiences in all of Europe. From romantic sunsets to unforgettable swimming spots, Santorini is a destination that should not be missed!
The two main beaches – Kamari and Perissa – are located on either side of the caldera. Both offer stunning views over volcanic rocks and turquoise waters. The Kamari Beach has black sand due to its proximity to an old volcano while Perissa has golden sand that stretches for miles along the coast.
#2: Praia da Rocha, Portugal
Praia da Rocha in Portugal is an iconic beach destination for European travelers. Located about 40 km from the Algarve region, this beach is renowned for its golden sand and crystal-clear waters. Praia da Rocha has something to offer everyone. From the breathtaking views of the cliffs that frame one end of the beach to a variety of water sports such as kayaking, windsurfing, and banana boat rides, there’s always something fun to do at this Portuguese paradise. The area also features many restaurants and bars along the boardwalk so visitors can enjoy local foods and drinks while admiring stunning sunsets over the Atlantic Ocean. In addition, Praia da Rocha is known for its nightlife; with a lively atmosphere filled with music and dancing until late in the evening, it’s no wonder why this beach is so popular among tourists.
#3: La Concha Bay, Spain
La Concha Bay, Spain is a stunning beach destination that should be included in any list of the top ten beaches in Europe. This picturesque bay is located on the coast of San Sebastian, nestled between two rocky promontories. With its soft white sand and crystal-clear waters, La Concha Bay offers visitors an idyllic setting for relaxation or recreation. In addition to sunbathing and swimming in the bay’s pristine waters, visitors can also explore nearby caves or take part in various water sports activities such as sailing and jet skiing. For those looking for a unique experience during their visit to La Concha Bay, there are several bars and restaurants along the shoreline that offer delicious local delicacies like tapas and paella. The breathtaking views of the surrounding mountain range provide an unforgettable backdrop to any visit to this stunning beach destination.
#4: Pampelonne Beach, France
Pampelonne Beach in France is one of the most beautiful and celebrated beaches in all of Europe. Situated on the French Riviera, this stunning beach is renowned for its clear turquoise waters, white sand and glamorous atmosphere. Referred to by some as a “millionaire’s playground,” Pampelonne Beach is known for its luxury resorts, chic restaurants and trendy bars. Visitors can soak up the sun while enjoying delicious seafood dishes or indulge in a massage or beauty treatment at one of the many beachside cabanas. It’s also popular among water sports enthusiasts who enjoy windsurfing, kitesurfing, paddleboarding and kayaking here.
#5: Zlatni Rat, Croatia
Zlatni Rat Beach in Croatia is one of Europe’s top ten beaches. Located on the island of Brac, Zlatni Rat beach has been a popular tourist destination for decades and is considered to be the most recognizable feature of Croatia’s Adriatic coastline. This iconic half-mile long sandy beach features dramatic landscapes and crystal clear turquoise waters that are perfect for swimming, scuba diving, windsurfing and kite surfing. With its soft white sand and pine forests, it provides a perfect backdrop for many activities from sunbathing to sailing in the summer months.
The beach is also known as Golden Cape or Golden Horn due to its unique shape which begins as a narrow stretch of land jutting out into the sea before fanning out into a triangular tip at either end.
#6: Lorient Beach, France
Lorient Beach in France is a hidden gem on the shores of the Bay of Biscay. A stunning stretch of white sand, crystal clear waters and breathtaking views make Lorient Beach one of Europe’s top ten beaches. Located just south of Quimper in Brittany, this beach offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day lounging around or an afternoon filled with activities like kayaking and swimming, Lorient Beach has it all! Not to mention its incredible backdrop – towering cliffs that offer some of the most picturesque views in all of Europe. With its warm weather and tranquil atmosphere, it’s no wonder why travelers flock to Lorient Beach year after year to experience its beauty first-hand. If you’re planning a trip to Europe anytime soon, be sure to add Lorient Beach to your list – you won’t regret it!
#7: St. Brelade’s Bay, Jersey
St. Brelade’s Bay, located in Jersey, is one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. With its stunning white sand and crystal clear waters, this beach offers an idyllic setting for a relaxing getaway. Its unique location on the Channel Islands gives it a secluded atmosphere that many find calming and peaceful – perfect for kicking back and soaking up some sun! Visitors to St. Brelade’s Bay can enjoy taking part in a range of activities such as swimming, snorkelling or simply exploring the surrounding area by foot or boat. The bay also has several restaurants overlooking the sea where you can enjoy delicious local seafood dishes while admiring panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. The nearby town of St Aubin provides plenty of opportunities to explore Jersey culture and history with its cobbled streets filled with quaint shops selling handmade crafts and souvenirs.
#8: Elafonisi Beach, Crete
Elafonisi Beach in Crete, Greece is most certainly one of the top ten beaches in Europe. Located on the south-westernmost part of Crete, this stunning beach offers visitors unparalleled and breathtaking views throughout their stay. The shallow waters are a light turquoise blue, clear enough to observe the small sea creatures swimming beneath your feet as you walk through them.
The landscape surrounding Elafonisi beach is an absolute dream for nature lovers and photographers; sandstone cliffs, white sand dunes peppered with flowering plants, and soft pink sandy shores that stretch out into the Mediterranean Sea create an idyllic environment for relaxation. Visitors can also explore some fascinating nearby sites such as the Monastery of Chrisoskalitissa or take a boat trip to discover hidden coves and grottoes along this picturesque coastline.
#9: Cala Mariolu Beach, Sardinia
Cala Mariolu Beach, located on the east coast of Sardinia in Italy, is a must-see destination for beach lovers. With its crystal clear waters and breathtakingly white sand, it’s easy to see why this beach is considered one of the top ten beaches in Europe.
The stunning landscape of Cala Mariolu Beach offers a unique experience for travelers. The bright turquoise waters lap against brilliantly white sand that reflects the sunlight and creates an idyllic setting. Visitors can explore the nearby caves or take a boat tour to enjoy views of the surrounding cliffs as they bask in the sun. There are plenty of activities to be enjoyed here such as swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and scuba diving – making it an ideal spot for both relaxation and adventure seekers alike.
#10: Ksamil Islands, Albania
The Ksamil Islands of Albania are a hidden gem in the Mediterranean Sea. Located in the beautiful Ionian Islands, these islands offer stunning views and plenty of things to do for visitors. With crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches, it is easy to understand why so many people flock to this area every year.
The Ksamil Islands may be small but they are packed with activities. From swimming and snorkeling to kayaking and sailing, there is something for everyone here. Visitors can also enjoy hiking along the rocky coastline or take a boat tour around the islands. And while you’re here, don’t forget to sample some of Albania’s delicious seafood dishes! With its incredible scenery and plethora of activities, it’s no wonder that the Ksamil Islands have become one of Europe’s top beach destinations!
With so many amazing beaches to choose from, it’s hard to narrow down the best of the best. After considering all of the factors that make a beach great—including sand, surf, amenities and atmosphere—we’ve come up with our top ten beaches in Europe. From picturesque lagoons in Croatia to hidden gems on Portugal’s Atlantic coast, these beaches offer something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for an exclusive escape or a fun-filled family getaway, there’s sure to be something here that will fit your needs.
No matter which beach you decide on, you can rest assured knowing that you’ll have made the right choice. With stunning scenery and a host of activities such as swimming, snorkeling and sailing available at each location, there is no better way to enjoy the warm sunshine than spending time at one of Europe’s best beaches. In the following travel videos you may explore some more beautiful beaches along Europe’s coast. Enjoy your virtual travel and discover your next vacation destination.
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