If you’re longing for a relaxing escape, the best beaches in Europe promise to deliver a paradise of white sands and blue seas. Nothing beats a beach vacation and you don’t have to travel to the tropics to indulge in a sun-drenched getaway. In fact, Europe has an array of fantastic beach destinations, especially around the Mediterranean. So before you book your next trip, take a look at our pick of the best beaches in Europe!
The Algarve is home to some of the best beaches in Europe, if not the world. What makes this coastal region so special is the diversity of its beaches. Here, you can find sandy coves, endless stretches of white-sand beaches and rugged coastal enclaves. Search for turquoise sea grottoes, take a dolphin-spotting cruise or simple relax in the shade, it’s all possible in the Algarve. Some of the most popular beach destinations in Portugal are Lagos, Faro, Albufeira and Portimao. With a shoreline lapped by the western Atlantic and a rich local gastronomic culture, a vacation to Portugal is a great choice if you’re looking for a beach destination in Europe.
Stylish, romantic and eternally cool, Santorini is the most coveted Greek Island. Situated in the Cyclades island group, Santorini is home to some of the best beaches in Europe. Santorini stands out thanks to its volcanic sand beaches, ranging in colour from charcoal black to vibrant red and classic white. Lapped by the warm waters of the Aegean, Santorini is an eternally popular beach destination in Europe. One of the most famous beaches on the island is Red Beach, flanked by rugged ochre-coloured cliffs. Other beaches to enjoy on the island include black-sand Perissa Beach, peaceful Vlychada Beach and idyllic White Beach. Furthermore, Santorini is famed for its upmarket resorts and soul-stirring sunsets. What more could you wish for on a European beach vacation?
French Riviera, France
You can’t beat the French Riviera for a beach vacation. Mouth-watering cuisine, beautiful wines and the best beaches in Europe make it a traveller’s paradise. The hundred-mile stretch of the Cote d’Azur offers immaculate beaches and warm Mediterranean waters. Nice, Cannes and Antibes are some of the most popular beach resorts, whilst Marseilles, Monaco and Juan-les-Pins also offer beautiful stretches of coastline and an array of accommodation options.
Amalfi Coast, Italy
A 50-kilometre stretch of coastline on the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Amalfi Coast is a rainbow palette of hillside villages, fishing ports, turquoise bays and verdant forests. The jet-set have long adored this idyllic corner of Italy for its tranquil setting and stylish, cliff-hugging towns. A total of 13 seaside towns are the jewels in the crown of this stretch of coastline, and glamorous Positano, verdant Ravello, historic Amalfi and tranquil Sorrento are just a handful of the most popular destinations. The beaches are mostly golden-sand coves with idyllic views of the sea and surrounding hilltop villages. Amalfi Coast offers a luxury beach escape in the heart of the Mediterranean.
Better known for its historic walled old town, Dubrovnik is also home to some of the best beaches in Europe. Just a stone’s throw away from the city walls you’ll find an array of idyllic beaches. Sat on the shore of the Adriatic Sea, the beaches of Dubrovnik make it an attractive choice for a relaxing getaway. Danče, Banje, Sveti Jakov and Kopakabana beach are just some of the most popular and beautiful beaches around Dubrovnik. With a combination of fascinating historic sights and immaculate beaches, Dubrovnik is one of the best beach destinations in Europe.
Balos Lagoon, Crete, Greece
Crete is the largest Greek Island and is home to the famous Balos Lagoon. This amazing natural wonder is a paradise of white sand and turquoise sea. Undoubtedly, it is one of the most popular beaches on the island. The crystal clear water is shallow, so suitable for children, and the white sandbanks are the perfect place to pitch your umbrella and soak up the Mediterranean sunshine. This natural lagoon is best reached by boat, but you can also drive, although it is a lengthy 56 kilometres from the popular town of Chania. Kissamos is closer, just 17 kilometres away. Indeed, one of the best beaches in Europe, the beauty of Balos Lagoon has to be seen to be believed!
Sicily is a fabulous choice for a beach vacation in Europe. Many of the island’s beaches are largely undeveloped and unspoilt. Rich in culture and filled with historic sights, Sicily is a large island just off the coast of southern Italy. Some of the most beautiful beaches include little-known Lascari, dramatic San Vito lo Capo and wild Torre Salsa, known for its loggerhead sea turtles. A natural paradise, you’ll find some of the best beaches in Europe on this Mediterranean island.
Antalya, situated on Turkey’s ‘Turquoise Coast’, is a haven of sandy Mediterranean beaches and palm-fringed promenades. An eternally popular beach resort, Antalya’s well-preserved old town and yacht-filled Roman-era harbour offer all the romance necessary for a blissful getaway on the Turkish riviera. Furthermore, the area is known for its high-end all-inclusive resorts and beach clubs. Antalya is Turkey’s most popular beach destination for a reason. Its white-sand beaches are simply sublime. Furthermore, the warm, year-round climate, make it a great choice at almost any time of year.
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