Europe has a wonderfully diverse range of beaches many of which are quite breathtakingly beautiful. There are white sand beaches fit to rival those of the Caribbean along with rugged coastline with improbable rock formations sculpted by the elements.
Best Beaches in Europe
Best beaches in Europe
Inacio Pires / 123RF
Praia da Marinha // Portugal
Ocre coloured cliffs are a trademark of the coves of the central Algarve, as are the amazing rock formations and clear aquamarine waters. However, with the possible exception of Praia Dona Ana in Lagos, nowhere are these rocks as spectacular as at Praia da Marinha. Over the millennia the ocean has carved the limestone cliffs here into various... read more »
Benagil Beach // Portugal
Like many others on the Algarve, Benagil was a small fishing village. Unlike many others Benagil has managed to retain some of its charm and a little of its industry. Along with the sandstone cliffs, clear waters and golden sand of this archetypal Algarvian cove you will find fishing boats, baskets and nets and a few of the fishermen who still... read more »
Reynisfjara beach // Iceland
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... read more »
Milan Baloun / 123RF
Egremni Beach // Greece
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 clear. The 325 steps down to... read more »
Breidavik Beach // Iceland
The pretty little settlement of Breiðavík is located just around the corner from Iceland's (and Europe's) most westerly point, Látrabjarg. Besides the weatherboard church and a clutch of houses there is one thing that draws people to Breidavik - the enormous stretch of white sand beach.
Breidavik Beach is said by many to be the finest beach in... read more »
Yesuitus2001 / CC BY
Cala Goloritze // Italy
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 »
Kynance Cove // UK
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 years. With near... read more »
Red Beach // Greece
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 of arid hillsides and... read more »
Panagiotis Karapanagiotis / 123RF
Myrtos Beach // Greece
Set on the north-west of the island of Kefalonia is the spectacular Myrtos Beach. The landscape here is one of lush, verdant hills rising steeply from the azure waters of the Aegean Sea. The mile long Myrtos beach sits in a natural amphitheatre at the foot of two mountains with a steep, winding road leading down to it. Often cited as the best... read more »
Anastasia Tsarskaya / 123RF
Oludeniz Beach // Turkey
Ölüdeniz or Olu deniz is the Turkish for "Dead Sea" and this refers to thestill 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 a curving spit of sand which... read more »