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
El Bollullo Beach // Spain
El Bollullo beach is located on Tenerife's north coast, a world away from the package-tours and resorts the island is often associated with. This small cove has a wild, natural feel right down to the black volcanic sand - there's no sprinkling golden sand imported from the Sahara here like on some of Tenerife's beaches.
Set in the island's... read more »
El Cofete Beach // Spain
Cofete Beach is located just around the headland from the southern tip of Fuertaventura. The bright lights and resorts to the north of the island will do nothing to prepare you for the awe-inspiring scale and wildness of this beach. The beach is a wide expanse of golden sand that continues for as far as the eye can see. Directly behind the beach... read more »
Cala Mariolu // Italy
Not far along the coast from the stunning cove and rock formations of Cala Goloritze is another Sardinian gem, Cala Mariolu. This little beach is set at the foot of plunging limestone cliffs which contrast with the stunningly clear blue water of the Gulf of Orosei. So alluring is the water here that I challenge anyone to not take a dip. Given how... read more »
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 »
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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 »
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 »
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 »