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

  • Isola Bella, Taormina, Sicily

    Isola Bella // Italy

    Also known as the "Pearl of the Ionian Sea", Isola Bella is a tiny island in a protected bay on Sicily's west coast. With crystal clear azul waters and a backdrop of mountains and pine forests this is a truly beautiful spot.

    The beach here is a pair of coarse, stony sand crescents either side of the island which meet to form a narrow spit of... read more »

  • Ramberg beach, Lofoten islands, Norway Æøå

    Ramberg // Norway

    The description of Ramberg beach on the Lofoten Islands begins like many of the other tropical beaches on Super Cool Beaches. 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 bear... read more »

  • Elafonisi beach, Crete, Greece Halina Jasińska

    Elafonisi Beach // Greece

    The beach here is a strip of sand that just connects the tiny island of Elafonisi off the far western coast of Crete. This area has a wild, unspoilt feel to it and development has been restricted leaving the pristine beaches a beautiful spot to unwind. Whilst the sand at Elafonisi appears white at first glance you may notice a pink hue. This is... read more »

  • Holkham beach, Norfolk

    Holkham Beach // UK

    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 golden white sand which stretches... read more »

  • Notre Dame beach, Porquerolles

    Notre Dame Beach, Porquerolles // France

    Set on the sheltered north coast of the island of Porquerolles is the stunning Plage Notre Dame (beach of Our Lady). Fringed with eucalyptus and pine forest the beach here is reminiscent of a Caribbean bay with the yachts bobbing in the clear turquoise waters of the French Riviera.

    The Île de Porquerolles is just over a mile from the French... read more »

  • Vai Beach, Crete Karapas

    Vai Beach // Greece

    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. Such a backdrop... read more »

  • Cala Mitjana and Mitjaneta, Menorca Tono Balaguer

    Cala Mitjana // Spain

    Located in a wide rocky inlet on the south coast of Menorca are two of the islands most beautiful beaches; Cala Mitjana and the tiny cove of Cala Mitjaneta. Here you will find a bay with brilliant turquoise sea which contrasts with the low white cliffs surrounding it. All around the beaches and bay are pine and olive groves and there is virtually... read more »

  • Matala beach, Crete

    Matala Beach // Greece

    The fishing village of Matala was just that until the 1960s. However, since then, like many other things, it hasn't been quite the same! It was then that Matala became a popular destination for hippy travellers attracting the likes of Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens and Joni Mitchell (who even wrote a song about it) in its heyday. Many of these hippies... read more »

  • Maspalomas beach dunes, Canary Islands Tono Balaguer

    Maspalomas Beach // Spain

    Set on the southern tip of the island of Gran Canaria is a little slice of the Sahara Desert. Over the centuries the fine golden sand here has been sculpted into an extensive network of dunes extending several hundred metres back from the beach. With a landscape like this you won't be surprised to know it hardly ever rains and the temperature... read more »

  • Forno beach, Elba, Italy Luciano Mortula

    Forno Beach // Italy

    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... read more »

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