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
Tono Balaguer / 123RF
Benirras Beach // Spain
The small secluded bay of Cala Benirrás is on the north coast of the party island of Ibiza. Set at the foot of a pine covered valley this sheltered cove is ideal for swimming and the crystal clear water makes for great snorkelling. Being sheltered it is also a popular spot for yachts and motor boats to drop anchor and take in the sunset.... read more »
Shell Bay, Studland // UK
Shell Bay is at the very end of the beautiful, unspoilt stretch of golden sand that forms Studland beach. Despite being on the edge of the busy Poole harbour and opposite the super exclusive developments at Sanbanks, Shell Bay retains a feel of the wilderness. This is partly due to being owned by the National Trust with the extensive sand dunes... read more »
Phaselis // Turkey
Set on the aptly named Turquoise Coast and backed by pine covered mountain slopes are the three little sheltered bays which make up Phaselis beach. This area between Kemer and Olimpos is part of a protected national park and the scenery is everything you would expect. The beaches at Phaselis are a welcome relief from the somewhat overdeveloped... read more »
Saplunara // Croatia
Set at the far end of the somewhat undiscovered Dalmatian island of Mljet is the seaside village of Saplunara. Even as Croatia edges its way from the peripheries of the tourist map Mljet remains one of the hidden gems of the Adriatic and this is despite being only 30 km from Dubrovnik. The northern end of the island is a national park but there... read more »
Dirk Vorderstraße / CC BY
Sotavento // Spain
Situated on the "Calma Costa" which runs along the south east coast of Fuerteventura is Sotavento beach. A vast tract of golden, windswept beach this stretch of coast is about one of the most remote areas on the island.
Sotavento is a collection of beaches which together create a virtually unbroken stretch of sand from Playa Barca right down... read more »
Bolonia // Spain
In the province of Cadiz in Andalucia are the white sands of Bolonia beach which stretch out far along the coastline. Untouched and secluded, the soft sandy beach is backed by the remains of the Roman city of Baelo Claudia, which are worth exploring. There is also a nudist section of the beach at the southern end of the bay.
Yyteri Beach // Finland
Yyteri Beach is a magnificent 6-kilometre stretch of golden sands on Finland’s west coast. It looks out over the chilly waters of the Gulf of Bothnia, which merges with the Baltic Sea at its southern end. Backed by extensive sand dunes, and woodland beyond, the beach at Yyteri has a wild feel.
This beach resort is one of the most popular... read more »
Boby Dimitrov / CC BY
Albena Beach // Bulgaria
This beautiful expanse of fine golden sand stretches for 5 Km (3 miles) and is largely backed by the woodland of the Baltata National Reserve. Despite being on the Black Sea coast the water is anything but black here. Maybe the "crystal clear azure coast" would have been a more appropriate name as this beach is the proud owner of a Blue Flag... read more »
Pampelonne Beach // France
In the playground for the rich and famous that is St Tropez, it is Pampelonne Beach that has been at the centre of this glamorous scene since the 1950s. This stretch of coast was made famous by Brigitte Bardot in when she appeared in a gingham bikini on Tahiti beach in the 1956 film "And God Created Woman". In the years that followed the dress... read more »
Zlatni Rat // Croatia
The beach of Zlatni Rat is one of Croatia's best known with the most familiar view probably being from above. From here you will be left in very little doubt as to why the beach is often referred to locally as the "Golden Horn". Zlatni Rat juts out into the Adriatic Sea forming a triangle of beach fringing pine forest which is home to the ruins... read more »