Europe's Top 100+ Beaches

Stretching from the icy waters of the Nordic nations to the myriad of islands in the Mediterranean, Europe has a vast and convoluted coastline. There is no shortage of beaches either and these come in every shape and size imaginable. From wide, powder sand family-friendly resort beaches to breathtaking, secluded bays with fantastical rock formations, Europe has them all.

Of course we have included all the favourites from Spain, France, Greece and Italy as well as the up and coming gems of Eastern Europe such as Croatia and Albania. But Europe has more to offer and there are stunning beaches in every corner of this continent.

So whether you want to escape the summer crowds, find epic surf or just top up your tan you are sure to find it amongst our selection of the very finest European beaches.

  • Luskentyre // UK

    Luskentyre
    © anyka / 123RF

    Despite being located on the Isle of Harris in the north of Scotland, Luskentyre beach could almost be Caribbean in appearance. The vast expanse of silvery white sand and the crystal clear aquamarine / turquoise sea all combine to create what is often cited as the best beach in the British Isles. In the distance are the mountains of North… read more »

  • Egremni Beach // Greece

    Egremni Beach
    © Milan Baloun / 123RF

    There is little doubt that Egremni beach is one of the finest on the island of Lefkada, which by default makes it one of the best in Greece. It is a beautiful spot with the long white sand beach backed by high limestone cliffs. However, it is the water colour that sets Egremni apart, a fantastic milky blue yet crystal… read more »

  • Cala Goloritze // Italy

    Cala Goloritze
    © Yesuitus2001 / CC BY

    Perhaps one of Italy's most iconic beaches, Cala Goloritzè is beautifully positioned at the base of a ravine on the north eastern coast of Sardinia. As with other beaches in the vicinity, the water here is a brilliant azure blue and crystal clear whilst the beach is bleached white by the sun.

    But it is the stunning limestone cliffside and rock… read more »

  • Reynisfjara beach // Iceland

    Reynisfjara beach
    © Felix Lipov

    Reynisfjara is one of Iceland's most iconic and spectacular beaches. Located around 2 hours from the capital Reykjavik, Reynisfjara is near the village Vik in Myrdalur on Iceland's South Coast. To the southern end of the beach is the 120 meter high promontory of Dyrhólaey, Iceland's most southerly point.

    This black sand beach is a geologist's wet dream with hosts… read more »

  • Šunj (Lopud Island) // Croatia

    Šunj (Lopud Island)
    dronepicr

    Located on the island of Lopud, one of the Elaphite Islands close to Dubrovnik, Šunj Beach offers an enticing tranquillity amid rich blue waters, Mediterranean forest, and appealing sands with a shallow draft into the sea. Famously, visitors to Šunj can have to walk up to 100 metres to reach a depth where it is possible to swim, making the… read more »

  • Kynance Cove // UK

    Kynance Cove

    It is a surprise not to see Kynance Cove in Cornwall on more best beach lists. It isn't exactly a secret and can be summed up in one word - stunning!

    Situated just along the coast from Lizard Point (the most southerly point in Britain) this beach has been painted and photographed countless times over the past couple of hundred… read more »

  • Gjipe Beach // Albania

    Gjipe Beach
    © Ross Helen

    Gjipe beach is set along the same stretch of the Albanian coast as some of the other most popular, highly rated beaches on the Riviera. Located between the resort beaches of Drymades and Himara the beach at Gjipe has barely been touched by development.

    Obscured by the mountainous terrain, the beach here sits at the end of the Gjipe Canyon, an impressive… read more »

  • Elafonisi Beach // Greece

    Elafonisi Beach
    © Halina JasiÅ„ska

    The beach here is a strip of sand that just connects the tiny island of Elafonisi off the far western coast of Crete. This area has a wild, unspoilt feel to it and development has been restricted leaving the pristine beaches a beautiful spot to unwind. Whilst the sand at Elafonisi appears white at first glance you may notice a… read more »

  • Zlatni Rat // Croatia

    Zlatni Rat
    © Kelovy

    The beach of Zlatni Rat is one of Croatia's best known with the most familiar view probably being from above. From here you will be left in very little doubt as to why the beach is often referred to locally as the "Golden Horn". Zlatni Rat juts out into the Adriatic Sea forming a triangle of beach fringing pine forest… read more »

  • Yyteri Beach // Finland

    Yyteri Beach

    Yyteri Beach is a magnificent 6-kilometre stretch of golden sands on Finland's west coast. It looks out over the chilly waters of the Gulf of Bothnia, which merges with the Baltic Sea at its southern end. Backed by extensive sand dunes, and woodland beyond, the beach at Yyteri has a wild feel.

    This beach resort is one of the most… read more »

  • Kaputas Beach // Turkey

    Kaputas Beach
    © Umit Ozkan

    This tiny, but perfect stretch of sand sparkles against the beautiful,clear turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea. It is surrounded by steep golden cliffs, and the views out over the beach are something to behold. You do need to climb down a long set of steps to reach the beach, but it is worth the effort.

    Once you reach the… read more »

  • Red Beach // Greece

    Red Beach

    Red beach, so named because of the pinkish hue of the sand, is located just south of the better known beach of Matala. Both were firm favourites on the 1960s and 70s hippy trail and whilst Matala may have gone mainstream, Red beach still retains some of its laid back credentials.
    It's a lovely little beach set at the base… read more »

  • Oludeniz Beach // Turkey

    Oludeniz Beach
    © Anastasia Tsarskaya / 123RF

    Ölüdeniz or Olu deniz is the Turkish for "Dead Sea" and this refers to the still waters of the lagoon that lies behind the beach. A more fitting and commonly used translation is the Blue Lagoon.

    The lagoon has crystal clear waters and provides an ideal safe place for children to play. It is separated from the sea by… read more »

  • El Bollullo Beach // Spain

    El Bollullo Beach
    © Tono Balaguer / 123RF

    El Bollullo beach is located on Tenerife's north coast, a world away from the package-tours and resorts the island is often associated with. This small cove has a wild, natural feel right down to the black volcanic sand - there's no sprinkling golden sand imported from the Sahara here like on some of Tenerife's beaches.
    Set in the island's… read more »

  • Cala Saona // Spain

    Cala Saona

    Small but perfectly formed Formentera is known for its superb beaches and being a relaxing getaway from its noisy neighbour Ibiza.

    The beach of Cala Saona sits within a small bay surrounded by red rocks where the soft white sands are gently lapped by the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean. It is very much a haven for peace and relaxation,… read more »