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

  • Oludeniz beach, Blue Lagoon, Turkey 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 »

  • Hoddevik beach, Norway Frode Inge Helland / CC BY

    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 »

  • Vestrahorn Beach - Iceland Hansueli Krapf / CC BY

    Vestrahorn Beach // Iceland

    Vestrahorn, on the Stokksnes peninsula is one of those extremes of natural beauty that make Iceland such a fascinating destination. A wide, flat plain of volcanic black sand, backed by the still waters of a lagoon, suddenly rises up to the phenomenal heights of a series of jagged peaks of snow-capped gabbro rock. This is a photographer's paradise... read more »

  • Baie des Trépassés - Brittany Foudebassans / CC BY

    Baie de Trépassés // France

    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... read more »

  • Gjipe Beach - Albania Ross Helen

    Gjipe Beach // Albania

    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... read more »

  • Plage de L’ile Vierge Frédérique Voisin-Demery / CC BY

    Plage de L'ile Vierge // France

    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 »

  • Grand Plage - St Malo Pline / CC BY

    St Malo Grande Plage // France

    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... read more »

  • Grama Bay - Albania Silva.arapi / CC BY

    Grama Bay // Albania

    Situated on Albania's Ionian Sea coast Grama Bay is a small but beautiful cove almost surrounded by high, rocky cliffs. This semi-secret little beach is one of the real gems of the Albanian coast and as of yet completely untouched or spoiled by mass tourism. If you do make it here you won't be disappointed; the crystal clear azure water... read more »

  • Dhermi beach - Albania Linda Saitos

    Dhërmi Beach // Albania

    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 the... read more »