Best beaches in Europe – 30 Top beach holidays in Europe 2023!

Check out our guide to the Best Beaches in Europe & find an amazing destination for the summer 2023 Beach Holiday in Europe!

Europe is known for its amazing beaches. Every year, 1000s of holidaymakers are on the hunt to find the best beaches in Europe. From amazing Papagayo Beach, stunning beaches in Algarve to many great beaches in Gran Canaria and of course, some of the glamourous beaches in the south of France. You have a huge choice of beach holiday destinations in Europe!

Are you still wondering where to find the best beaches in Europe or which destination to choose for your next beach holidays in Europe? We are here to help!

To find an exotic beach, you do not have to go to the other end of the world. You can find all sorts of amazing beaches in Europe. In fact, we have many white, pink or even black beaches in Europe!

What are the best beach destinations in Europe? We have a few favourite beaches across many destinations in Europe.

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Which country has the best beaches in Europe?

Europe is home to many countries with beautiful beaches, each offering its own unique charm. It’s subjective to determine which country has the “best” beaches as preferences can vary. However, some countries are renowned for their exceptional coastal landscapes and beach offerings. Here are a few countries known for their stunning beaches in Europe:

  • Greece: Greece is famous for its picturesque islands and crystal-clear waters. Islands like Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, Rhodes, and Zakynthos offer a variety of stunning beaches with white sand, turquoise waters, and dramatic cliffs.
  • Spain: Spain boasts a diverse coastline, with the Costa del Sol, Costa Brava, and Costa Blanca being particularly popular. The Balearic Islands, including Mallorca, Ibiza, and Menorca, are known for their pristine beaches and vibrant atmosphere.
  • Portugal: Portugal offers a range of beautiful beaches along its coastline. The Algarve region is renowned for its golden sandy beaches and impressive cliffs. The islands of Madeira and the Azores also feature stunning coastal landscapes.
  • Italy: Italy is blessed with beautiful beaches along its coastline and islands. The Amalfi Coast, Sardinia, Sicily, and the Puglia region are known for their enchanting beaches, clear waters, and breathtaking views.
  • Croatia: Croatia’s Adriatic coast boasts numerous stunning beaches. The Dalmatian Coast, with destinations like Dubrovnik, Split, and Hvar, offers a combination of sandy, pebble, and rocky beaches surrounded by historic towns and stunning natural beauty.
  • France: The French Riviera, or Côte d’Azur, is famous for its glamorous beaches and picturesque towns like Nice, Cannes, and Saint-Tropez. The island of Corsica also offers beautiful beaches and clear waters.

Are there any tropical beaches in Europe?

Europe is not typically associated with tropical beaches, as tropical climates are typically found closer to the equator. However, there are a few destinations in Europe that can offer a tropical-like beach experience with warm weather and beautiful surroundings. Here are some examples:

  • Canary Islands, Spain: Located off the northwest coast of Africa, the Canary Islands offer a subtropical climate with mild winters and warm summers. Beaches in destinations like Tenerife, Gran Canaria, and Lanzarote feature golden sands, clear waters, and pleasant temperatures throughout the year.
  • Madeira, Portugal: Madeira, an autonomous region of Portugal, enjoys a mild subtropical climate. The island features stunning coastal landscapes, with beaches like Praia Formosa and Porto Santo providing a tropical-like setting.
  • Cyprus: Although not geographically part of Europe, Cyprus is a popular holiday destination and offers beautiful beaches with a Mediterranean climate. The island boasts sandy shores, such as Nissi Beach and Fig Tree Bay, along with warm temperatures and clear waters.
  • Halkidiki, Greece: Halkidiki, a region in northern Greece, is known for its three peninsulas jutting into the Aegean Sea. Here, visitors can find sandy beaches, lush greenery, and a Mediterranean climate that provides warm summers.

While these destinations may offer a tropical-like experience, it’s important to note that they do not have the same level of biodiversity or ecosystem as true tropical destinations found closer to the equator.

What month is best for a beach trip in Europe?

The best month for a beach trip in Europe depends on the specific destination and personal preferences. Europe’s beach season generally spans from late spring to early autumn, with the warmest months typically being June, July, and August. However, it’s important to consider factors such as crowd levels, availability, and local weather patterns. Here’s a breakdown of the beach seasons in different regions of Europe:

  • Southern Europe (Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal): The beach season in southern European countries often begins as early as May and can extend until October. June, July, and August are the warmest months, with high temperatures and peak tourist season. September and early October can be pleasant with fewer crowds.
  • Mediterranean Islands (Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Sicily, Cyprus): These islands benefit from a longer beach season. May and October can offer pleasant temperatures, while June to September are ideal for warmer weather and swimming in the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Western Europe (France, UK, Ireland): The beach season in Western Europe is shorter and generally runs from late June to early September. July and August are the warmest months, but these destinations can experience more unpredictable weather and occasional rainfall.
  • Eastern Europe (Croatia, Montenegro, Bulgaria): The beach season in Eastern Europe typically runs from May to September. July and August offer the warmest temperatures and are popular among beachgoers. May and September can be less crowded and still provide pleasant weather.

It’s advisable to check local weather forecasts, as conditions can vary from year to year. Additionally, early and late-season trips can offer more affordable rates and fewer crowds compared to the peak summer months.

Europe beach holidays – car hire:

We have rented cars many times during beach holidays in Europe and we always used

Check out our guide to the best car rental companies in Europe or simply explore the options directly on if you need a car during a trip in Europe.

10 Best Beaches in Europe: At a Glance

  1. Navagio Beach
  2. Tuerredda Beach
  3. Praia da Marinha
  4. Playa de Las Catedrales
  5. Pampelonne Beach
  6. Reynisfjara Beach
  7. Playa Muchavista
  8. Papagayo Beach
  9. Amadores Beach
  10. Ramla

Ready for the best beach holidays in Europe?

How to pick the best beach from the top beaches across the continent? The task is surely not easy!

We totally get you! 😉 So what are the best beach Europe destinations?!

It can be really tough to decide which of the beaches in Europe is the right one for you.

If you also have that dilemma check out our ranking of the most stunning beaches in Europe and choose the perfect place for your next European beach holiday.

If you are curious, where the best beaches in Europe are, we have the list for you. So, without delaying it further, we are glad to present Europe best holiday destinations.

Best Beaches in Europe
EU beach holidays

Explore the best beach destinations in Europe and top ideas for most beautiful beaches in Europe:


1. Navagio Beach – The most beautiful beach in Europe!

Nicest beach holidays Europe? Let’s start with an amazing day trip to Shipwreck Beach in Zakynthos – one of the most famous in all of Greece and the best beach holidays Europe!

If you have seen photos of Navagio Beach, I bet you have added the Ionian island of Zakynthos to your travel bucket list. This white sand beach with the turquoise sea makes it a stunning setting for swimming and sunbathing.

The views are just breathtaking – the colour of the sea and sand in Zakynthos have to be seen to be believed. You will be blown away by how stunning this place is! It really is one of the best beaches to visit in Europe 🙂

Read more about Navagio Beach & Zakynthos one of the best beach holidays destination in Europe in September.

Why Navagio Beach is one of the best beaches in Europe?

Navagio Beach is the kind of beach that you see in your mind’s eye when you think of paradise. The water is beautiful turquoise. The sand is pristine and shimmers white in the sun – just stunning! It really is one of the best natural wonders in Europe!

So, would you add this stunning beach to your list of the best European beach holidays?

Best Beaches in Europe - Navagio Beach – The most beautiful beach in Europe
Nice beach holidays – Navagio Beach, Zante GREECE

Read also: TOP 13 Things to do in Zakynthos [Zante – Ionian Island in Greece]

2. Tuerredda Beach, Sardinia

Looking for best European beach destinations for families? Sardinia is home to some of the most stunning beaches in Europe, there’s no question about that! It’s one of the best places to visit in Italy.

Spiaggia di Tuerredda, with its gleaming white sand, is one of the best beaches in Europe. And definitely one of the most amazing beaches in the southwestern coastline of Sardinia. We have been to a lot of beaches in Europe and can’t recommend Tuerredda Beach enough!

The fabulous Tuerredda beach is located in a gorgeous cove between Capo Malfatano and Capo Spartivento – the setting is just stunning!

We are 100% sure that Tuerredda Beach has the right to be counted among the most beautiful European beaches.

Why Tuerredda Beach is one of the best places for beach holidays in Europe?

The crystal clear waters are calm and perfect for swimming. The soft, fine sand makes you feel like you are in the Caribbean. It really is one of the top white sand beaches Europe! The encircling mountains provide a wonderful sheltered environment so you can enjoy the beach at its best.

Best Beach Europe Destinations - Tuerredda Beach, Sardinia
Top 10 beach holiday destinations – Tuerredda Beach, Sardinia ITALY

Read also: When is the best time to visit ITALY? [Month-by-Month Guide]

3. Ayia Napa

Best beach vacations in Europe? Ayia Napa is famous for its amazing beaches. If you’re looking for a beautiful sandy beach filled with life and fun, you’ll want to visit Nissi Beach. The long stretch of golden sand is the perfect spot to enjoy the bustling and exciting atmosphere. You can hire a sun lounger, relax on the beach, try the beachfront bars, or even ride on a banana boat.

While Nissi beach is the most popular option there is a total of 14 blue flag beaches in Ayia Napa, so you’ll have plenty to choose from.

Best European beaches in September - Ayia Napa
Top 10 beach holidays in Europe: Ayia Napa

4. Praia da Marinha – The Prettiest Beach in Europe

Cheap beach holidays Europe? No list of best beach destinations Europe would be complete without Praia da Marinha. Portugal is famous for its amazing beaches and Praia da Marinha in Algarve is probably the most beautiful of them.

The picturesque cliffs, golden sand and amazing turquoise water make the scenery fantastic! You just have to agree that this is one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe! 🙂

Perhaps that’s why a lot of travel bloggers and beach lovers host so often here. But who wouldn’t!? Learn more about the best beaches in Algarve.

Would you visit this stunning European sandy beach? 🙂

Why Praia da Marinha is the best beach holiday destination?

Considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, you can enjoy the panoramic views from the cliffs that surround the beach. The rock striking rock formations are bound to be some of your favourite holiday pictures.

This beach has a really special place on our list of top beaches in Europe as we had an amazing holiday while we visited Algarve in Portugal!

Best Beaches in Europe - Praia da Marinha – The Prettiest Beach in Europe
Beach holiday Europe – Praia da Marinha, Algarve PORTUGAL

Read also: Best beaches in Algarve Portugal – Algarve’s TOP 13 beaches!

5. Playa de Las Catedrales (Spain)

If you are looking for top beach destinations in Europe, then Playa de Las Catedrales is the place to go! Known as Cathedral Beach, this Spanish beach is located on the north coast, not far from Ribadeo. The name comes from the characteristic rocks that were formed by wind and water.

The amazing rock arches reach up to thirty meters, and the best time to watch them is at the low tide. This is also the only time when you can see the caves under the cliffs from the beach level.

This beach is just fabulous! We are not surprised that this beach isn’t more well-known outside of Spain. I bet, the locals want to keep this one to themselves as this is one of the best places to visit in Spain! 🙂

Taking a walk on this spectacular beach is an unforgettable experience. A must-have on your beach holiday in Europe!

For us, this is one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe.

Why Playa de Las Catedrales is one of the best beaches in Europe?

The tide carved arches of this beach appear with low tide and will leave you awed by the majesty of nature. Check the timing of the tides before you go to fully appreciate the wonder of this beach.

So, what do you think? Is Playa de Las Catedrales on your list of Europe best beach destinations? It really has to be! 🙂

Best Beach breaks Europe - Playa de Las Catedrales (Spain)
Good beach holiday destinations – Playa de Las Catedrales SPAIN

Read also: As Catedrais Beach in Ribadeo, Spain – The Beach of the Holy Waters!

6. Corralejo, Fuerteventura

Best family beach holiday destinations in Europe? Corralejo is home to a wide collection of different beaches for you to enjoy. With 15 beaches each with their own character, you’re sure to find the perfect spot for your ideal beach day. If you’re looking for a great family beach that’s easy to get to you’ll want to try Playa Hoplaco or Muelle Chico.

For those wanting a smaller and quieter beach, there’s Tres Vistas and Real playa. The best all-round option is probably Flag Beach. Here you have enough space to find a calm spot, access to restaurants and facilities, and plenty of water sports options. 

Leran more about the best things to do in Fuerteventura!

Quiet beach holidays Europe - Corralejo, Fuerteventura
Quiet beach holidays Europe: Corralejo, Fuerteventura
Gabi Moisa/

7. Isola Bella

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Warmest beaches in Europe in May? One of Europe’s best beaches lies on the island of Sicily below the hilltop city of Taormina. It’s called Isola Bella and is easily reached from downtown Taormina by taking a cablecar to the beach. Isola Bella is a pebble beach that’s easily recognized by the narrow strip of beach that connects the mainland to an islet just off the coast. The islet is dotted with sea grottos and is also a nature reserve. It’s lush with vegetation, which adds to the beauty of Isola Bella.

At high tide, the connecting strip of land is completely submerged. Many visitors will still wade through the warm turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea to check out the islet. Even during high tide, sunbathers don’t mind getting a little wet to experience such a unique and beautiful beach. Other beach-goers opt to stay on the mainland beaches that line the coast. There you can rent a sunchair and umbrella and enjoy food and drinks on the beach.

Definitely one of the best Europe beach destinations!

With plenty of great restaurants, ancient ruins, and nearby attractions, Taormina is a top destination for anyone visiting Italy. The famous Isola Bella, however, is the ultimate beach destination in Sicily. It translates to “the beautiful island” and when you visit this stunning beach, you will agree it’s well-named.

Isola Bella - best European beaches
Top 10 beaches in Europe – Isola Bella, ITALY

8. Ramla – amazing European Red-Sandy Beach

Top beach vacation destinations? If you want to go to the most beautiful beach in Malta and Gozo (small European islands), be sure to choose Ramla Bay.

One of Malta’s beauty spots, Ramla beach will charm any visitor with its idyllic azure waters and fine orange/red sands. This place is one of the best beach holidays in Europe for couples.

So, what are you waiting for?

Check out if Ramla Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe!

Why Ramla beach is the top beach holiday destination?

The fiery red sands of this beach are held inside the rocky arms of the twin headlands. This beach is relatively untouched by development and gives you a real chance to submerge yourself in a natural beach. This little beach is definitely in the 10 most beautiful beaches in Europe!

Best Beach Europe Destinations - Ramla – amazing European Red-Sandy Beach
Beautiful beaches Europe – Ramla beach, MALTA

Read also: Best things to do in Malta & Gozo – TOP points of interest on Malta Island!

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9. Elafonissi Beach

Looking for cheap European beach holidays? Elafonissi Beach is one of the most famous beaches, not only on the island of Crete but in the whole of Greece. This all-natural beach is, without doubt, one of the best beaches that the world has to offer. Elafonissi is more than just a beach; it’s a rare and beautiful habitat for a wide variety of flora and fauna.

The white and pink sands are something you have to experience for yourself. There is a full selection of amenities on the beach, and it’s large enough that you can easily keep walking until you find the perfect spot to sit.

Cheap European beach holidays - Elafonissi Beach
Europe beach vacations: Elafonissi Beach

10. Nice – four miles long European Beach

Looking for cheap places to go in Europe with a beach? What would you say about not one, not five but 35 beaches in Nice?

Yes, 35! 🙂 It really is a contender for the best beach holidays in Europe.

There are 15 private and 20 public beaches along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, southern France. Every beach-lover searching for a beach holiday in Europe will love to spend a beach vacation in the capital of the French Riviera – one of the most romantic destinations in Europe!

Why Nice is one of the best holiday destinations in Europe?

With its mix of sand and pebble, Nice beach is the perfect spot for lounging in the sun. Watching the sunset from the shore is a must. The chic bars and seemingly endless beach make this a lively place to visit and it really is one of the most famous beaches in Europe.

TOP destinations for a Beach Holiday - Nice – four miles long European Beach
Best beach in Europe – Nice Beach, FRANCE

Need more beach holiday destinations in Europe?

11. Pampelonne Beach near St Tropez

Looking for luxury beach holidays Europe? Yes, another beach from the French Riviera has made to our top list of Europe best beaches. But you shouldn’t be surprised as southern France is one of the best destinations in Europe for beach breaks.

Pampelonne is not a hidden gem, it’s known not only as one of the best beaches in Europe but in the whole world. Many VIPs relax there during the European beach vacation. Would you join them? 😉 We bet, you would as France is one of the top Europe beach destinations!

Why Pampelonne is one of the best white sand beaches in Europe?

We loved this beach as French Riviera was one of our best beach holidays in Europe we have ever done!

This 5km long beach is the most iconic beach in St Tropez. If white sands and sparkling water aren’t enough to captivate you, then you can spend some time spotting the A-listers who are known to frequent this world-class beach.

Best Beach breaks Europe - Pampelonne Beach near St Tropez
White beaches in Europe – Pampelonne Beach, St Tropez FRANCE

Read also: Best Places to visit on the French Riviera – Cote d’Azur’s TOP 7

12. Balos Beach

Where to go for the best beach holidays for families in Europe? The turquoise waters of Balos lagoon are one of the reasons that this may be the most photographed beach in Greece. The gorgeous waters combined with the wild and rugged beauty of the surrounding landscape draw thousands of people every year. Because it’s such a famous beach, you need to time your visit well.

The best time to avoid crowds is to arrive early in the morning. There’s nothing like watching the sun climb the sky over the tranquil and shimmering waters of the lagoon. 

Beach vacations in Europe - Balos Beach
European beach holiday destinations: Balos Beach
Ivan Baranov/

13. Playa Muchavista, Alicante

Top cities with beaches Europe? Some of the best beaches in Europe are obviously located in Spain! While on holiday in Alicante (Spain), make sure to visit one of the longest beaches in Europe. Just jump on a tram and get off at Carrabiners tram-stop. You will be blown away by the size of the beach!

The beach has a length of 3,300 metres and a width of 80 m – so there is more than enough space to enjoy the white sand 🙂

Alicante beach is one to visit for warm water, water-sports and amazing tapas.

Do you agree that Playa Muchavista is one of the best beaches in Europe?!

Why Playa Muchavista is one of the best beach holidays in Europe?

This beach is impeccably maintained, so you know that the sand will always be tempting you to stroll along. The water is warm and inviting making Alicante the top beach holidays Europe. There are plenty of great restaurants lining the beach as well. 

TOP destinations for a Beach Holiday - Playa Muchavista, Alicante
Most beautiful beaches Europe – Playa Muchavista, Alicante SPAIN

Read also: (NOT) Unusual Things to do in Alicante Spain – Top 11 must-see places!

14. Herceg Novi Beach

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If you are looking for the best beach resorts in Europe, think about Montenegro too!

When most people think of a beach, they think of golden sand stretching in all directions. However, sometimes the most beautiful beaches aren’t sandy at all, and their unique characteristics are what make them so special. This ideology is especially true when it comes to Bolivar beach in Herceg, Novi Montenegro.

Montenegro is located right along the Adriatic Sea, which means the whole coast is covered in beautiful beaches. But the beaches in Montenegro are mostly built on levelled out stone platforms and rocks.

Is this a perfect European beach holiday destination?

Every beach in Herceg Novi – a small coastal town in Montenegro – is built on rocks and stone platforms, and Bolivar beach is no different! This beach has both a beach-like area to lay out on that is close to the water and a beach bar right above it. On the beach, you can rent a sunbed for 5 euros a day and layout in the sun for hours on end while listening to the music from the speakers mixed with the waves. What’s even better is that on this beach, you get food and drink services straight from your sunbed. Pizza and Mojitos on the beach, anyone?

This is the perfect beach to head to for a relaxing day in the sun, with great views, blue water, and perfect service.

Stunning European beach - Herceg Novi
Best European beach vacations – Herceg Novi Beach

15. Zlatni Rat, Bol

Where to find the cleanest beaches in Europe? Zlatni Rat is the kind of beach you picture in your mind when you think of paradise. It has beautiful white sand and crystal clear waters. What’s more, it’s never quite the same each time you visit. The tides and the winds are constantly changing the shape of the beach’s tip, making it a truly dynamic place to explore.

The natural beauty draws all sorts of people. However, the beach is a particular favourite for anyone who enjoys surfing and kitesurfing. You can get out on the waves or enjoy watching the experts who flock here. 

Top 10 beach holidays in Europe - Zlatni Rat, Bol
Best sandy beaches Europe: Zlatni Rat, Bol

16. Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland

Weekend beach breaks in Europe? Fantastic, impressive, spectacular – you can go on and on

Reynisfjara Beach in the south of Iceland has really deserved to be on our list of best beaches in Europe.

Yes, it doesn’t have white sand.

Yes, you can’t find any palm trees on the beach. And it’s not one of the most exotic beaches in Europe.

But who cares?! It is still one of the best beaches in Europe!

Recently, Reynisfjara is one of the most sought-after beaches among travellers from all over the world! We were so happy when we visited this beach, even on a raining day it was fab! Make sure you rent a car and visit the beach early in the morning to avoid crowds.

Read more about Reynisfjara Beach it’s only a short drive from the Golden Circle.

Why Reynisfjara Beach is one of the best beaches in Europe?

Considered the most beautiful of Iceland’s black sand beaches, you will find panoramas, unlike anything you have seen before. The imposing basalt stacks and the roaring ocean have inspired countless folktales. Even though it doesn’t have white sand, Reynisfjara Beach rally is one of the best beaches Europe.

Best Beaches in Europe - Reynisfjara beach, Iceland
Nicest beaches in Europe – Reynisfjara Beach, ICELAND

Read also: Reynisfjara beach, Iceland – a new standard of a beautiful beach!

17. Positano Beach

Best beach resorts in Europe? Positano in Italy is home to some of the best beaches on the Amalfi Coast and top European beach holidays.

For sure, you will not be alone there in high season, as the beach has become a very popular destination for VIPs and day-trippers. It really is one of the best beaches to visit in Europe.

It’s very easy to see why this location is so popular. Its combination of gorgeous views and amazing sea make it everything you dream of on an Italian beach. Book your beach break in Europe today!

Why Positano Beach is one of the top European beach destinations?

This pebbled and black sand beach gives you a different type of experience than you’d expect. The hot sand will make you appreciate the cool water all the more.

The surrounding town encircles the beach making for postcard-perfect views at every turn. This really will make your stay special and push Positano to the top beach holiday destinations in Europe!

Best Beach Europe Destinations - Positano Beach
Best beach resorts Europe – Positano Beach ITALY

Read also: Amalfi Coast Italy (Campania) – Italy’s most scenic & famous coastline!

18. Amager Strand

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Summer beach holidays in Europe? Visitors to Copenhagen don’t often think of the city as a beach destination. Still, it’s located directly on the Baltic Sea and in the summer, Copenhagen is warm and gets sun. Denmark may not be a popular beach destination like Greece, Spain, and Italy, but Copenhagen has a number of great beach spots.

The best beach in Copenhagen is just a short walk from the city’s metro stop that shares its name – Amager Strand. Amager Strandpark (Amager Beach Park) is easily accessible, and visitors can reach it from the city centre in under 20 minutes. The beachfront is located on a manmade island built off of the original beach. When you visit the beach park, you cross three bridges over the lagoon that separates the island from the original beach. It’s flush with fine white sand and stunning seaside views. The Baltic Sea is chilly, even in mid-summer, but the beach is popular and full of sunbathers every sunny day.

Off the coast, beachgoers will see a windfarm as they lay on the beach. It’s a nice reminder of Denmark’s commitment to sustainability and green energy. There are often sailboats in the Baltic that dot the horizon. Some of the most beautiful sunsets in Denmark are witnessed from Amager Strandpark. This pristine beach in Copenhagen is often overlooked by tourists, but when the weather is right – it’s a must-see spot in the Danish capital.

So, is Amager Strand on your list of the best beach holiday destinations in Europe?

Amager Strand - best beaches in Europe
Best Europe beaches – Amager Strand, DENMARK

19. Papagayo Beach – best beach in Lanzarote

Cheap beach destinations Europe? There are many stunning beaches in Lanzarote. But which one is the best one?

If you’re looking for the most beautiful beaches in Lanzarote, then you don’t have to look further than Playas de Papagayo – perhaps the most beautiful complex of beaches of all Canary Islands 🙂 A top beach holiday destination!

It’s a perfect choice for a winter-sun holiday when the Mediterranean is too cold and too windy. There is nothing better than Christmas in Lanzarote! 😉

Make sure you have the Papagayo Beach on your list of things to do in Lanzarote and it really is one of the best European holiday destinations.

Need more inspiration? Learn more about top things to do in Tenerife!

Why Playas de Papagayo is one of the best beaches in Europe?

This sheltered beach is the most popular in the area because the surrounding cliffs offer not only shade and shelter from the wind, but also make the perfect viewpoint to take in the beauty of all the beaches that dot the coastline.

Best Beaches in Europe - Papagayo Beach – best beach on Lanzarote
Nice beaches in Europe – Papagayo Beach, Lanzarote SPAIN

Read also: 21 Things to do in Lanzarote, Spain – TOP Attractions & Places to see

20. Go to Hel[l] in Poland!

Looking for best beach towns in Europe? Head out to Poland!

Has anyone ever told you to go to Hell?

Yes? A few times? 😉

Next time when you hear that, just book a ticket to Gdansk. From there is just a stone’s throw to Hel Peninsula.

The brilliant beach of Hel is one of the hidden gems of Poland’s coast, which can get very busy in high season. Many polish people and tourists from the whole of Europe will visit the beach during the summer months.

In my childhood, I was lucky to spend every summer holiday on the best beaches in Poland. At the very end of northern Poland, you will find stunning wild beaches surrounding a small town of Hel.

There is a small, secluded public beach right in the centre of the town. But if you really would like to enjoy the best of Polish white-sand beaches, take a 45-minute walk to the end of the Hel Peninsula and get lost in the beautiful natural beaches.

Would you add Hel in Poland to your list of the best beaches in Europe?

You will love it! 🙂

Why beach in Hel is one of the top white sand beaches in Europe?

The beach at Hel offers you the chance to enjoy both wild and tamed beaches side by side. Whether you prefer to relax on a pristine maintained beach or walk along to the wild ends of the beach Hel has it all.

Best Beach Europe Destinations - Go to Hel in Poland
Best beach places in Europe – Natural Beach, Hel POLAND

Read also: Go to HEL in Poland – it’s better than Heaven!

21. Cala Salada, Ibiza

Luxury beach vacations Europe? Many of the beaches in Ibiza are busy and crowded, which is why making the trek to Cala Saladeta is so rewarding. This is a hidden treasure of Ibiza that many tourists never experience. The beach is secluded and has few amenities, so make sure to bring a picnic and an umbrella with you.

The peace and quiet are, however, well worth the extra effort. This is an ideal place to enjoy some snorkelling and to watch one of the most beautiful sunsets you may ever enjoy.

Best beach holidays in Europe in September - Cala Salada, Ibiza
Top beach resorts in Europe: Cala Salada, Ibiza
Kristiyan Velkov/

22. Dierhagen beach

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Best beach holidays in Europe in May? Germany should be on your list! Looking for the perfect spot on the Baltic Sea for your Europe beach holidays? Look no further than Dierhagen. A small, quiet coastal town that comes alive in summer. Whenever we return to Germany this is one place we visit for some quality family time.

The beach itself is paradise and there is a spot for everyone including the dog. We often rent a ‘Strandkorb’ (beach hut) for a few days. Cost around €4 per day, in the evening we lock it up with our beach toys inside ready for our return the next day.

One activity we love is hiring bikes and cycling up or down the coast on the cycle trails. Here we often check out other towns and villages and sometimes other beaches.

Dierhagen has a range of accommodation however we opt for Ostsee camping. The facilities here are 1st class and it’s only a 5-minute walk to the beach. There are also plenty of places to eat, restaurants and cafes alike. We love grabbing a ‘fischbrötchen’ and at €2.50 you can’t go wrong. There are also a few shops where you can buy cheap beach toys, shade tents or tourist souvenirs.

So, is Dierhagen on your list of the most beautiful beaches in Europe?

Dierhagen - best beach holiday in Europe
Best beaches in the Europe – Dierhagen

23. Praia de Benagil

Beach and sightseeing holidays Europe? Let’s be honest, any number of beaches from Algarve in Portugal could be on this list of the best holidays in Europe!

The magnificent Praia de Benagil beach, located near Lagoa, is the door to Benagil Caves Portugal – a sensational cave!

The beach itself is not the most spectacular but due to the proximity to the Algar de Benagil it has made to our top 30 ?

Would you agree? Is Benagil Beach worth visiting while on a European vacation?

Why Praia de Benagil beach is the best sun holiday destination?

The soft sand and pristine cool water make this a beach more than worth visiting. The famous and iconic Algar de Benagil cave push this beach into being one that should be on everyone’s must-see list. We really loved this beach as it’s one of the top European holiday destinations.

Best Beaches in Europe - Praia de Benagil
Best beach holiday Europe – Praia de Benagil, Algarve PORTUGAL

24. Malagueta Beach, Spain

Top beach cities in Europe? Spain is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe with some of the most beautiful beaches on our continent. There are a few of Spanish beaches on our list 🙂

Málaga, a city on the Costa del Sol, is one of the best beach holiday destinations in Spain.

The city has its own unique charm, and it has a lot to offer. Sun, historic buildings, delicious food and top-rated beaches. Including Malagueta Beach – a major tourist attraction. Arguably the most beautiful beach on the Costa del Sol.

Learn more about Playa de la Malagueta.

Why Malagueta Beach is the best beach holiday destination?

Malagueta really is one of the most interesting and beautiful beaches in Europe.

The dark sand of this beach makes it an unusual sight, especially as it sits in the heart of the city. This means there is a large array of restaurants and bars lining the beach. 

Best Beach breaks Europe - Malagueta Beach, Spain
Beach holiday destinations Europe – Malagueta Beach, Malaga SPAIN

Read also: 11 Best things to do in Malaga, Spain [Costa del Sol]

25. Porto Santo Beach

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Best beaches to visit in Europe in September? Porto Santo is a small island belonging to the Portuguese Archipelago of Madeira. It is much smaller than Madeira and the landscape differs greatly as well. While Madeira is known for rather unattractive pebble beaches, Porto Santo is a real heaven for all beach lovers. This place really can be one of the best beach holidays in Europe!

The main beach of Porto Santo is 9km long and wide. It is a beautiful, golden sand beach, along which you can find some beach bars and cafés.

The waters around Porto Santo are pristine – it is a great destination to snorkel, dive, sail and observe dolphins. Most Porto Santo hotels are very affordable and have direct access to the beach. Many parts of the Porto Santo beach are guarded.

Why is it worth visiting Porto Santo beach?

Porto Santo is a great European beach destination for people travelling out of season. Most tourists come to Porto Santo in July and August, and that’s when it gets pretty crowded. However, in September, the weather is still great while the beach is almost empty. There are also a lot of viewpoints permitting you to have a great view of the entire beach; one of them is Portela Viewpoint.

You can get to Porto Santo by plane or by ferry. The Porto Santo Line ferry operates daily and it is possible to return to Madeira even the same day.

Beach Holiday Destinations in Europe - Porto Santo
Top beach holiday destinations Europe – Porto Santo Beach

26. Blankenberge Beach

Looking for affordable European beach vacations? Did you know that one of the best European beaches is located just 25 minutes from Bruges? You probably wouldn’t expect to find one of the best beach holiday destinations in this part of Europe, would you?!

If you love amazing views and typical European beach feeling with the huts and umbrellas to rent then this Blankenberge Beach is just perfect for beach holidays in Europe.

Why you should visit one of the longest and best beaches in Europe?

This sandy beach in Belgium seems to stretch on endlessly. Once the exclusive destination for royalty, it is now open for all to enjoy the beautiful sands, iconic pier, and bustling bars. This is one of the best white sand beaches in Europe.

Best beaches in Europe Blankenberge Beach
Best beach locations in Europe – Blankenberge Beach, BELGIUM

Read also: 30 Best Things to do in Bruges – chocolate & Belgian fries included!

27. Haukland Beach, Lofoten

Where to find best beaches in Northern Europe? Lofoten is a place you visit if you want to experience the beauty of rugged, arctic landscapes. Haukland beach does a great job of living up the reputation of the area. The waters wouldn’t be amiss on a Caribean beach but have the most stunning mountainous backdrop.

Haukland Beach is the swimming beach of Lofoten. However, don’t expect the water to be warm, even at the height of summer it doesn’t reach above 15oC. Whether you’re passing through on a hike or visiting to photograph the beauty, Haukland beach should undoubtedly be on your list if you’re in Lofoten.

Europe beaches - Haukland Beach, Lofoten
Europe beach break: Haukland Beach, Lofoten
Alex Kotlov/

28. Amadores Beach

Beautiful beach holidays in Europe? Amadores Beach is one of the best beaches in Gran Canaria. This beauty is located in Gran Canaria and is visited by 1000s of tourists every year. We couldn’t forget to shout out Amadores beach as one of the best beaches in Europe, could we? Ready to explore one of the best Spanish islands?

There are many interesting things to do in Gran Canaria but Amadores Beach is a must-visit place! Would you spend a relaxing day on this stunning Europen beach? 🙂

Why Amadores Beach is one of the best beaches in Europe?

This human-made beach has been designed so that the water is always calm and inviting. Tranquillity is the feeling of this beach, the perfect spot to soak up the sun and relax.

Amadores Beach Gran Canaria
Best beach vacations in Europe – Amadores Beach, Gran Canaria SPAIN

Read also: 20 Things to do in Gran Canaria & best places you HAVE to visit!

29. Derrynane Beach

Still looking for the best sandy beaches in Europe?

This real gem can be found in Ireland! Would you believe that? Located on the Ring of Kerry, Derrynane Blue Flag Beach is one of the main attractions in this part of the island.

This extensive sandy beach in Derrynane Bay can be easily named as one of the best beaches in Europe! Make sure you add this beach to your travel bucket list and definitely spend there a few hours while you are on a European road trip in Ireland!

So, what do yuo say? Is Derrynane Beach on your list of the top European beach destinations?

Derrynane Blue Flag Beach
Top beach destinations Europe – Derrynane Beach, IRELAND

Read also: 3 days Ring of Kerry itinerary. Is driving the Ring of Kerry worth it?

30. Cap Taillat

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What are the best beach Europe destinations? Cap Taillat is this picturesque beach in Ramatuelle, Saint-Tropez, France. Located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of Southern France. Dreamy white sand, and crystal clear, turquoise water. If you are like me, then crowded beaches are not your thing! Cap Taillat offers so many secret sand beaches! You can hike in a bit or rent a kayak!

You will head through an absolute gorgeous nature reserve full of the Mediterranean colours!

Why is it worth visiting Cap Taillat beach?

If you are looking for a quiet secluded place for you and your significant other, some friends, or just a peaceful spot for yourself then you must check out Cap Taillat! This beach is Pure magical! If you continue to walk, you will eventually find a secluded spot away from the crowd! It’s worth the hike!

One of the most beautiful sights in the area! Breathtaking! It’s wild, unpolluted and preserved flora is why it’s so beautiful! So many panoramic views. Peaceful, calm waters, the quiet area’s where you can just take it all in and enjoy life! However, it is only located by foot. You must park at the l’Escalet, which is a beautiful rocky beach, typically crowded and then walk into Cap Taillat, which can be about a forty-five-minute walk for some.

Cap Taillat Ramatuelle - best beaches in Europe
Best beaches in Europe for families – Cap Taillat, FRANCE

Best family beach holidays in Europe

Europe offers several excellent destinations for family beach holidays. Here are some of the best options:

  • Costa del Sol, Spain: With its beautiful sandy beaches, family-friendly resorts, and pleasant Mediterranean climate, Costa del Sol is a popular choice for families. Marbella and Torremolinos are particularly well-known for their family-oriented amenities.
  • Algarve, Portugal: The Algarve region boasts stunning beaches, such as Praia da Rocha and Praia da Marinha, along with a range of family-friendly resorts and attractions. The warm weather and clear waters make it a great destination for beach-loving families.
  • Crete, Greece: Greece’s largest island, Crete, offers a mix of gorgeous beaches, rich history, and vibrant culture. Families can enjoy resorts in places like Chania or Rethymno, while exploring ancient ruins, visiting water parks, or taking boat trips to beautiful islands.
  • Côte d’Azur, France: The French Riviera is renowned for its glamorous towns like Nice, Cannes, and Saint-Tropez, but it also offers family-friendly beach options. Head to places like Antibes or Villefranche-sur-Mer for relaxed beach days and explore the nearby attractions and picturesque villages.
  • Sardinia, Italy: Sardinia’s crystal-clear waters and stunning beaches make it an ideal destination for families. Places like Costa Smeralda and Villasimius offer family-friendly resorts, water sports activities, and opportunities to explore the island’s natural beauty.
  • Paphos, Cyprus: Paphos, located on the southwest coast of Cyprus, is known for its family-friendly beaches and resorts. Coral Bay and Alykes Beach are popular choices, and families can also explore ancient ruins, water parks, and enjoy boat trips along the coastline.

Remember to check travel advisories, local guidelines, and availability before planning your trip, as conditions may vary.

Luxury beach holidays Europe

Europe offers a variety of destinations for luxury beach holidays. Here are some top choices:

  • French Riviera, France: The French Riviera, also known as the Côte d’Azur, is synonymous with luxury. Places like Saint-Tropez, Cannes, and Nice offer glamorous beach resorts, upscale dining, high-end shopping, and exclusive beach clubs.
  • Amalfi Coast, Italy: The Amalfi Coast is renowned for its stunning scenery and upscale ambiance. With picturesque towns like Positano and Ravello, visitors can enjoy luxury resorts, private beach clubs, Michelin-starred restaurants, and breathtaking coastal views.
  • Ibiza, Spain: Known for its vibrant nightlife, Ibiza also offers luxurious beach experiences. Alongside the famous clubs, the island boasts upscale beach clubs like Nikki Beach and luxurious resorts, providing a combination of relaxation and entertainment.
  • Algarve, Portugal: The Algarve region offers a mix of beautiful beaches and upscale amenities. Destinations like Quinta do Lago and Vilamoura feature luxury resorts, golf courses, spa facilities, and exclusive beachfront accommodations.
  • Mykonos, Greece: Mykonos is a popular destination for luxury beach holidays in Greece. The island offers pristine beaches, high-end resorts, boutique hotels, gourmet restaurants, and a vibrant nightlife scene, attracting discerning travelers seeking luxury and style.
  • Costa Smeralda, Sardinia, Italy: Costa Smeralda is a glamorous coastal area in Sardinia renowned for its luxurious offerings. With its white sand beaches, upscale resorts, world-class dining, and designer shopping, it attracts a sophisticated clientele.

When planning a luxury beach holiday, it’s important to consider the specific amenities and services that align with your preferences, as well as the availability and seasonality of each destination.

Best white sand beaches in Europe

Europe is home to several beautiful white sand beaches. Here are some of the best ones:

  • Porto Santo, Portugal: Located off the coast of Madeira, Porto Santo boasts a stunning 9-kilometer stretch of golden-white sand. The island’s pristine beach, known as Porto Santo Beach, offers crystal-clear waters and a tranquil atmosphere.
  • Navagio Beach, Zakynthos, Greece: Navagio Beach, also known as Shipwreck Beach, is one of the most iconic beaches in Greece. Its white sand is contrasted by dramatic cliffs and the wreckage of a stranded ship, creating a picturesque setting.
  • Spiaggia Rosa, Budelli, Italy: Spiaggia Rosa, or Pink Beach, is a unique beach on the island of Budelli in Sardinia, Italy. The sand gets its pink hue from tiny fragments of coral and shells. The beach is protected, and access may be restricted to preserve its natural beauty.
  • Elafonissi Beach, Crete, Greece: Elafonissi Beach in southwestern Crete is renowned for its pink-tinged sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters. The beach is part of a nature reserve, offering a serene and unspoiled environment.
  • Zlatni Rat, Brac Island, Croatia: Zlatni Rat, also known as the Golden Horn or Golden Cape, is a unique beach located on Brac Island in Croatia. The beach features a distinctive shape, with its long sandy peninsula shifting with the ocean currents.
  • Sotavento Beach, Fuerteventura, Spain: Sotavento Beach, located in the Canary Islands, offers stretches of pristine white sand backed by impressive sand dunes. The beach is particularly popular among windsurfers and kitesurfers due to favorable wind conditions.

Does Croatia have sandy beaches?

Croatia is known for its stunning coastline and clear waters; however, sandy beaches are less common compared to other types of beach formations like pebbles, rocks, and cliffs. While sandy beaches are not as prevalent in Croatia, there are still a few notable sandy stretches along the Adriatic coast. Here are some of Croatia’s sandy beaches:

  • Sakarun Beach (Dugi Otok): Located on the island of Dugi Otok, Sakarun Beach is known for its soft white sand and turquoise waters. It is considered one of the few sandy beaches in Croatia and is popular among visitors seeking a sandy coastal experience.
  • Sunj Beach (Lopud Island): Sunj Beach is located on the island of Lopud in the Elafiti archipelago. This sandy beach offers a shallow and sandy sea bottom, making it suitable for families and swimmers of all ages.
  • Prapratno Beach (Pelješac Peninsula): Prapratno Beach is situated on the Pelješac Peninsula near Ston. It features a mix of sand and pebbles, with a sandy seabed. The beach is spacious and surrounded by natural beauty.
  • Paradise Beach (Rab Island): Paradise Beach, also known as Rajska Plaža, is located on Rab Island. This sandy beach stretches over 1.5 kilometers and is known for its shallow, crystal-clear waters, making it family-friendly.

While these sandy beaches provide a different beach experience in Croatia, it’s important to note that the majority of Croatia’s beaches feature pebbles, rocks, or concrete platforms. These beaches still offer beautiful views and pristine waters, but the surface may be different from traditional sandy beaches.

Which country has the cleanest beaches in Europe?

Several European countries are known for their clean and well-maintained beaches. It’s important to note that beach cleanliness can vary from region to region and even within specific beaches. However, countries that often rank highly for the cleanliness of their beaches include:

  • Cyprus: Cyprus is known for its pristine beaches and clear waters. The island takes beach cleanliness seriously and has been recognized for its efforts in maintaining high standards of cleanliness and environmental stewardship.
  • Greece: Greece is home to many beautiful and well-maintained beaches. The country has made efforts to improve beach cleanliness and has received Blue Flag certifications for numerous beaches, indicating their high environmental standards.
  • Portugal: Portugal’s beaches are known for their cleanliness and natural beauty. The country has implemented rigorous coastal management practices and has been awarded many Blue Flag certifications for its clean and well-managed beaches.
  • Croatia: Croatia’s beaches are renowned for their cleanliness and clear waters. The country has implemented measures to preserve the cleanliness of its coastline and has received recognition through Blue Flag certifications for several of its beaches.
  • Spain: Spain’s beaches are popular and well-maintained, with many meeting high cleanliness standards. The country has a long coastline with a variety of beaches that are regularly cleaned and monitored for water quality.

What is the clearest sea in Europe?

Europe is home to several destinations with remarkably clear and transparent seas. While the clarity of the water can vary depending on weather conditions and other factors, here are some regions known for having exceptionally clear seas in Europe:

  • Cyprus: The island of Cyprus is renowned for its crystal-clear waters. The Mediterranean Sea surrounding Cyprus offers excellent visibility and beautiful turquoise hues.
  • Sardinia, Italy: Sardinia is known for its stunning coastline and transparent waters. The beaches of the Costa Smeralda and the La Maddalena Archipelago are particularly famous for their clarity and vibrant colors.
  • Greek Islands: Greece’s numerous islands are known for their pristine waters. Islands like Zakynthos, Crete, and Mykonos often have clear seas with high visibility, showcasing shades of blue and green.
  • Malta: Located in the Mediterranean Sea, Malta offers clear waters that are ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. The Blue Lagoon on the island of Comino is especially renowned for its transparent turquoise waters.
  • Montenegro: Montenegro’s Adriatic coastline boasts stunningly clear waters. Places like the Bay of Kotor and the Budva Riviera offer beautiful transparency and a range of vibrant shades of blue.

Top 5 of the best beach holiday destinations in Europe:

If you are looking for the best beach holidays in Europe, then consider visiting one of the below European destinations. All of them can almost guarantee that you will have amazing beach holidays in Europe!


Best beaches in Europe FAQ:

Where in Europe has the best beaches?

There are many great beaches in Spain but you should also consider southern France and Algarve as the best beach holiday destinations.

Where are the best sandy beaches in Europe?

The beaches in Algarve are known as the best sandy beaches in Europe.

Where is the clearest water in Europe?

Zakynthos island in Greece and Italian Santorini are the best places with the clearest water in Europe.

Where is the best beach with black sand in Europe?

Reynisfjara Beach on the Golden Circle in Iceland is the most famous black sand beach in Europe.

Which has better beaches Spain or Portugal?

Both are great! You have to visit Papagayo Beach on the Spanish island of Lanzarote and Praia Do Camilo on Algarve Coast.

Have we covered all the best beaches in Europe?

Probably not! 😉 There are many amazing landscapes in Europe! Our continent is known for its unique beaches and it’s always a bit tricky to create a list of the best beach holiday destinations in Europe. Make sure you visit few of them during your next beach trip in Europe 🙂

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