The Beach Guide

Europe's Top 100+ Beaches

Stretching from the icy waters of the Nordic nations to the myriad of islands in the Mediterranean, Europe has a vast and convoluted coastline. There is no shortage of beaches either and these come in every shape and size imaginable. From wide, powder sand family-friendly resort beaches to breathtaking, secluded bays with fantastical rock formations, Europe has them all.

Of course we have included all the favourites from Spain, France, Greece and Italy as well as the up and coming gems of Eastern Europe such as Croatia and Albania. But Europe has more to offer and there are stunning beaches in every corner of this continent.

So whether you want to escape the summer crowds, find epic surf or just top up your tan you are sure to find it amongst our selection of the very finest European beaches.

  • Oludeniz Beach // Turkey

    Oludeniz Beach
    © Anastasia Tsarskaya / 123RF

    Ölüdeniz or Olu deniz is the Turkish for "Dead Sea" and this refers to the still 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… read more »

  • Hoddevik // Norway

    Hoddevik
    © Frode Inge Helland / CC BY

    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… read more »

  • Luskentyre // UK

    Luskentyre
    © anyka / 123RF

    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… read more »

  • Vestrahorn Beach // Iceland

    Vestrahorn Beach
    © Ludovic Charlet

    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 and even… read more »

  • Primorsko // Bulgaria

    Primorsko
    © www.vacacionesbulgaria.com / CC BY

    One of Bulgaria's premiere beachside resorts, Primorsko also has an illustrious history stretching back to the Bronze Age. The town also served as a medieval fortress and valuable port between Western and Ottoman traders. That legacy of international exchange remains vivid in Primorsko's vibrant café and nightlife culture.

    Regardless of the areas historic credentials, these are just a backdrop… read more »

  • Sinemorets // Bulgaria

    Sinemorets
    © Marcin Szala / CC BY

    Set close to the Turkish border Veleka Beach is one of two beaches in Sinemorets, and by far the nicest. In fact it is one of the most striking and iconic beaches in Bulgaria consisting of a narrow strip of soft white sand which juts out across the mouth of the Veleka River as it empties into… read more »

  • Grama Bay // Albania

    Grama Bay
    © Silva.arapi / CC BY

    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 »

  • Gjipe Beach // Albania

    Gjipe Beach
    © Ross Helen

    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 impressive… read more »

  • Egremni Beach // Greece

    Egremni Beach
    © Milan Baloun / 123RF

    There is little doubt that Egremni beach is one of the finest on the island of Lefkada, which by default makes it one of the best in Greece. It is a beautiful spot with the long white sand beach backed by high limestone cliffs. However, it is the water colour that sets Egremni apart, a fantastic milky blue yet crystal… read more »

  • Reynisfjara beach // Iceland

    Reynisfjara beach
    © Felix Lipov

    Reynisfjara is one of Iceland's most iconic and spectacular beaches. Located around 2 hours from the capital Reykjavik, Reynisfjara is near the village Vik in Myrdalur on Iceland's South Coast. To the southern end of the beach is the 120 meter high promontory of Dyrhólaey, Iceland's most southerly point.

    This black sand beach is a geologist's wet dream with hosts… read more »

  • Plage de L'ile Vierge // France

    Plage de L'ile Vierge
    © Frédérique Voisin-Demery / CC BY

    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 »

  • Dhërmi Beach // Albania

    Dhërmi Beach
    © Linda Saitos

    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… read more »

  • St Malo Grande Plage // France

    St Malo Grande Plage
    © Pline / CC BY

    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, at Parame is the… read more »

  • Baie de Trépassés // France

    Baie de Trépassés
    charlotteinaustralia

    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 faces the full wrath… read more »

  • Benagil Beach // Portugal

    Benagil Beach
    © Sven Grüne

    Like many others on the Algarve, Benagil was a small fishing village. Unlike many others Benagil has managed to retain some of its charm and a little of its industry. Along with the sandstone cliffs, clear waters and golden sand of this archetypal Algarvian cove you will find fishing boats, baskets and nets and a few of the fishermen who… read more »