Best Beaches in Europe

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

  • Hoddevik beach, Norway Frode Inge Helland / <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/">CC BY</a>

    Hoddevik // Norway

    Set at the foot of a green valley between towering cliffs on the far western coast of Norway is Hoddevik. This little fishing outpost with its weatherboard huts sits in front of one of the regions finest beaches. With almost a mile of fine white sand and clear blue waters this is an idyllic spot to (literally!) chill out and relax.

    Hoddevik is... read more »

  • Luskentyre beach, Isle of Harris, Scotland anyka / 123RF

    Luskentyre // UK

    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 Harris... read more »

  • Praia da Marinha, Algarve, Portugal 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 »

  • Bordeira beach, Algarve, Portugal CanStockPhoto

    Praia da Bordeira // Portugal

    Bordeira beach is located on the wild, western coast of the Algarve which is a very different place to the resort beaches further south. This magnificent stretch of wide open golden sand is pounded by the full force of the Atlantic waves making it one of the most popular surf spots in the Algarve region. One of the lovely things about Bordeira is... read more »

  • Durdle Door beach, Dorset

    Durdle Door // UK

    Durdle Door is the name of the limestone rock arch at the eastern end of this sand and shingle cove. Located on Dorset's World Heritage Jurassic Coast this is just one of several geological curiosities within a stone's throw of each other. The beach sits at the base of high, white limestone cliffs and is only accessible from neighbouring Lulworth... read more »

  • Balos beach, Crete Pavel Timofeev / 123RF

    Balos Beach // Greece

    Located on the north-western tip of Crete, Balos beach is a strip of sand and lagoon stretching between the Gramvousa Peninsula and the headland of Cape Tigani. The landscape of Balos is stunning with white / pink sand interspersed with turquoise pools all dominated by the bulk of cape Tigani. Despite the beach here being immensely popular there... read more »

  • Sennen cove beach, Cornwall Chris Leather

    Sennen Beach // UK

    Situated just around the corner from Land's End is one of Cornwall's finest stretches of sand, Sennen cove. The beach itself isn't really a cove at all, it is a wide open expanse of golden sand backing onto sand dunes and craggy hillsides. At one end of the beach is the little village of Sennen with its quaint harbour. Heading in the opposite... read more »

  • Praia da Rocha, Algarve CanStockPhoto

    Praia da Rocha // Portugal

    Praia da Rocha is one of the Algarve's best known and certainly most impressive beaches. A vast expanse of golden sand backed by the ocre coloured sandstone cliffs unique to this stretch of the Algarve. The beach's name translates to 'rock beach' and this refers to the numerous rock formations that punctuate the golden sand towards the western... read more »

  • Papagayo beach, Lanzarote, Canary Islands Tono Balaguer / 123RF

    El Papagayo Beach // Spain

    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... read more »

  • Porthcurno beach, Cornwall, UK

    Porthcurno Cove // UK

    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 a natural gem... read more »

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