Europe's Top 50+ Beaches

  • El Papagayo Beach // Spain

    El Papagayo Beach
    © Tono Balaguer / 123RF

    Set in Los Ajaches Nature Reserve near the southern tip of Lanzarote is El Papagayo beach. Actually there are four beaches collectively termed the Coasta de Papagayo but it is Playa de la Cera that is the best known. Frequently described as the most beautiful beach on Lanzarote Papagayo comprises a small crescent of white sand protected by cliffs to… read more »

  • Benagil Beach // Portugal

    Benagil Beach
    © Sven Grüne

    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… read more »

  • Forno Beach // Italy

    Forno Beach
    © Luciano Mortula

    The third and smallest of three beaches in Biodola Bay, Forno beach is also the best. Set in a picturesque little cove surrounded by forested hillsides and overlooked by fine villas this little beach also manages to escape the worst of the summer crowds.

    The beach here is fine golden sand and the warm Mediterranean water crystal clear, but what… read more »

  • Porthcurno Cove // UK

    Porthcurno Cove

    Porthcurno is one of the most westerly beaches in mainland Britain, just a few miles around the coast from Land's End. This cove is stunning in so many respects; the near white sand which is made from ground up sea shells, the clear turquoise water and the rugged granite cliffs that form a natural amphitheatre. The cove is not only… read more »

  • Plage de L'ile Vierge // France

    Plage de L'ile Vierge
    © Frédérique Voisin-Demery / CC BY

    Quite possibly the most stunning beach in Brittany, if not France, Plage de L'ile Vierge was once voted the "7th Most Beautiful beach in Europe". Set on the sheltered eastern side of Brittany's Crozon Peninsula the beach here is mostly pebbles backed by high white cliffs to which pine trees cling. The water here is a crystal clear turquoise… read more »

  • Dhërmi Beach // Albania

    Dhërmi Beach
    © Linda Saitos

    Dhërmi beach is often cited as the finest beach in Albania - hard to argue with this when this is where Albaninian prime ministers allegedly come to holiday! It isn't hard to see why. Set in a small bay, the village clings to the high sloping cliffs which rise up from the beach.

    The beach here is everything you would expect from… read more »

  • St Malo Grande Plage // France

    St Malo Grande Plage
    © Pline / CC BY

    Stretching from the Intra Muros (walled town) to Pointe de Rochebonne the aptly named "Big beach" consists of over 2 kilometres of gently sloping golden sand. This north facing beach can be divided up into several sections, the longest, and most popular of which is the Plage du Sillon which backs onto St Malo itself. Further along, at Parame is the… read more »

  • Baie de Trépassés // France

    Baie de Trépassés
    charlotteinaustralia

    The beautiful unspoilt beach of Baie de Trépassés is tucked away behind the rugged Pointe du Raz, France's most westerly point. These jagged 70 metre cliffs not only provide a stunning backdrop but help protect the beach from the south-westerly winds. However, there is no getting away from the fact this is an exposed beach which often faces the full wrath… read more »

  • Saint George Beach // Greece

    Saint George Beach
    © saiko3p

    Agios Georgios, better known to pretty much everyone as Saint George Beach, is perhaps the most visited beach anywhere on Naxos. Taking its name from an attractive little chapel at its northern end, it lies just south of Naxos town, only 300 metres from Plateia Protodikiou, the town's main square.

    Easily reached on foot, Saint George Beach sits firmly within the… 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 »

  • Vai Beach // Greece

    Vai Beach
    © Karapas

    Vai beach sits at the foot of the Vai palm forest, the largest of its sort in Europe. There are various stories of how the palm trees came to be here ranging from Arab pirates spitting date stones ashore to Phoenician traders planting them. The truth is though, they were always here and as a protected site will hopefully remain.… read more »

  • Ramberg // Norway

    Ramberg
    © Æøå

    The description of Ramberg beach on the Lofoten Islands begins like many of the other tropical beaches on the World Beach Guide. A crescent of white sands washed by crystal clear turquoise water...

    ...but hold on a minute. Ramberg is anything but tropical, it is located in the Arctic Circle. In fact you are more likely to be chased polar… read more »

  • Holkham Beach // UK

    Holkham Beach

    Holkham beach is widely regarded as the finest beach in Norfolk, and by some the UK. In fact a recent survey amongst travel editors and writers put Holkham beach right at the top of the list. Whilst I don't agree with this result, it is still a very fine beach.

    The beach at Holkham is a great expanse of fine… read more »

  • Breidavik Beach // Iceland

    Breidavik Beach
    © Danilo Forcellini

    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 Iceland and… read more »

  • Sunny Beach // Bulgaria

    Sunny Beach
    © Boby Dimitrov / CC BY

    There is little doubt which of Bulgaria's beaches is best known (and liveliest). Sunny Beach (Slanchev Bryag to the locals) is legendary for its golden sands and entertainment, both on and off the beach. The resort is extremely popular with Europeans and tourists from further afield looking to sun themselves in the day and dance the nights away at one of… read more »