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
Sigurdur Bjarnason / CC BY
Sólheimasandur Beach // Iceland
In geological terms, the black sand plains of Sólheimasandur are a baby. Formed centuries, rather than millions of years ago the bleak landscape here is the result of glacial action caused by an eruption of one of Iceland's largest and most active volcanoes - Katla.
However, this uniquely Icelandic landscape is only the backdrop to... read more »
Rabbit Beach // Italy
Located on the little island of Lampedusa, 176 km (109 miles) south west of Sicily, Rabbit beach is named after its original inhabitants. Lampedusa is actually closer to the coast of North Africa than it is any other part of Italy and the weather certainly reflects this; rain is rare and summer temperatures can reach 40°C, that's well over 100°F... read more »
Milan Baloun / 123RF
Falassarna Beach // Greece
The island of Crete is famed for its great beaches, particularly in the north west. Falassarna beach is among the very best of these with its fine white sand and crystal-clear, azure waters. Set in a long sweeping bay backed by agricultural land Falasarna rarely feels crowded owing to its size. Visitors are well catered for with several bars and... read more »
Balint Roxana / 123RF
Lalaria beach // Greece
The beach of Lalaria is situated on the remote north coast of Skiathos. It is named after the round, white pebbles that make up the beach and give the waters here their aquamarine hue. There is little shelter from the sun here to which the sheer, sun-bleached limestone cliffs are testimony.
What makes Lalaria one of the most photographed... read more »
Woolacombe Beach // UK
Woolacombe beach in North Devon was recently voted the best beach in the UK by TripAdvisor users. Whilst I can think of at least twenty beaches I prefer to Woolacombe, there is no denying it is a good beach, especially for families.
The beach at Woolacombe is a vast stretch of flat golden sand backed by a warren of sand dunes.At the northern... read more »
Prayuth Chiarakul / 123RF
Paradise Beach // Greece
The person who named Paradise beach was probably inspired by the soft golden sand and warm crystalline waters. Straw umbrellas and loungers adorn the waterside and there are plenty of beach-side cafes and bars. Possibly not the best family beach in the area but the nightlife is very lively.
Giuseppe Milo / CC BY
Djúpalónssandur Beach // Iceland
Sitting on the tip of the wonderous Snæfellsnes Peninsula is the black pebble beach of Djúpalónssandur. Being Iceland you will not be disappointed by the other-worldly volcanic rock forms including one with a hole in the middle as you approach the beach. There is also a small lagoon set among the pebbles towards the back of the beach.... read more »
Cefalu Beach // Italy
Cefalù beach is a long golden stretch of sand which follows the gentle curve of the bay and culminates in the medieval old town with its towering 12th-century cathedral. Whilst the beach here is no secret and it does get busy in the summer months, compared to resort towns such as Taormina it has not been over-developed and retains plenty of charm... read more »
Brela Beach // Croatia
Brela is a charming little town on Croatia's Adriatic coast roughly midway between Split and Makarska. With the backdrop of the Biokovo mountains and lapped by the crystal clear azure waters of the Adriatic this largely unspoilt stretch of coast is quite stunning.
There are a number of separate coves that make up the 6km stretch of Brela Beach... read more »
Tonnara di Scopello // Italy
This little cove is hidden away near the village of Scopello in the Zingaro nature reserve. It is the prefect meeting of a beautiful natural location with some fine old crumbling buildings. Just off the coast, rising dramatically out of the crystal clear waters are the faraglioni, a series of natural rock towers. These are echoed by the ruins of... read more »