25 Best Beaches in Europe for a Sunny Holiday
When it comes to sunny holidays, you might think of snow-white beaches with a deep blue sea and waving palm trees. We all know from the many beautiful cities in Europe that the continent is full of beautiful architecture and intriguing history. But what about more relaxed holiday — one that involves your cutest swimsuit and lazy days in the sun? Well, surprise! You can find plenty of beautiful beaches here. To prove that, I’m listing 25 of the best beaches in Europe for the ultimate holiday!
25 of the Best Beaches in Europe
1. Spiaggia Rosa, Sardinia
Yes, a pink beach exists in Europe. Whether you come for the instagram photos or you want to see this special phenomenon with your own eyes: you can find it in Sardinia.
Bear in mind that you can no longer use Spiaggia Rosa because too much sand was taken as a souvenir. Disappointing but true. You can still admire the beach from a distance. Fortunately, Spiaggia Rosa is located in La Maddalena National Park where you can enjoy views, rocks and more beautiful nature anyway.
2. Ksamil Beach, Albania
Albania is one of the surprises when it comes to beaches. After all, it is not a country that you are thinking of in the sunny holiday. Yet Albania surprisingly has many beautiful beaches. Ksamil Beach is one of the easily accessible ones on the Albanian coast, so it often has a pleasant, lively bustle. The people are friendly, the food is tasty and very affordable, and the surroundings are beautiful: what more could you want?
3. Jale Beach, Albania
If we stay in the Albanian atmosphere then Jale Beach should certainly not be missed. The water is crystal clear, the view is breathtaking and the beach relatively quiet. Jale Beach is one of the hidden gems in Albania. You have to travel a little further for it, but that is well worth it. Thanks to the clear water, this is also the ideal place for snorkeling fans. The underwater world at Jale Beach is certainly also worth exploring.
4. Tropea Beach, Italy
When you visit southern Italy in the off-peak season , you will find Tropea Beach one of the nicer beaches in the area. At the foot of Santa Maria Dell’Isola, a small church, lies Tropea. You climb the rocks from the beach (there are stairs on the rocks, no worries) and you are directly opposite this beautiful church. From here you also have a beautiful view.
5. Ölüdeniz, Turkey
A white sandy beach that flows into an azure blue sea, the warm sun, and a pleasant breeze. Sounds like a fantastic summer day, right? All this can be found on the beach of Ölüdeniz on the Turkish coast. Surrounded by a beautiful nature reserve, you are really in paradise here.
Although you have to pay an entrance fee for this beach, it is certainly worth it. By the way, you can also paraglide over the beautiful Blue Lagoon of Ölüdeniz. Float silently over the breathtaking nature and enjoy the warm beach of Ölüdeniz.
6. Spiaggia dei Conigli, Sicily
Spiaggia dei Conigli, also known as Rabbit Beach, is located on the coast of holiday destination Sicily. Once voted the most beautiful beach in the world (Tripadvisor, 2013), it’s still one of the most beautiful beaches there is. The idyllic Spiaggia dei Conigli has white sand, a clear blue sea, and pleasant weather. When you return from Italy you can even say that you have been on the African continent. Lampedusa, the island to which Spiaggia dei Conigli belongs, is geologically seen in Africa! Yet we count it to Europe, because it belongs to Italy.
7. Zlatni Rat, Croatia
Croatia is one of the most beautiful European countries when we talk about nature, so it’s not surprise its beaches have a place on this list. Zlatni Rat is a beautiful pebble beach that is loved by many. You are here in a beautiful setting with a nice breeze and access to all kinds of useful facilities such as toilets and small stalls full of tasty food and drinks. The day flies when you are on Zlatni Rat.
8. Falsterbo, Sweden
Although most beautiful beaches are in southern Europe, the north cannot be missed either. There are several beaches in Sweden, of which, Falsterbo is one of the most popular beaches. The fine, white sand is not only photogenic, but also ideal for that pleasant holiday feeling on the sunny, warm days in Sweden. Moreover, Falsterbo is only an hour’s drive from Copenhagen . So you could even combine your city trip with a day at the beach.
9. Porthcurno, England
On warm summer days you can also find a nice beach in Cornwall, England. Porthcurno is a special part of England. You may not expect the photogenic beach and beautiful natural surroundings in England. You stand on golden sand with a view of the clear blue sea on one side and beautiful green rock formations on the other. You should definitely not miss the idyllic Porthcurno when you are in Cornwall.
10. Cala Macarella, Menorca
When you look for sunny European vacations you will soon come across Mallorca and Ibiza. The small, but just as beautiful, brother of these beloved islands is Menorca. Cala Macarella is a beautiful beach in the south of the Spanish town of Menorca. Relax on the beach by the clear blue sea or take a walk on and around Cala Macarella. It is a green area where you have the best views of the island.
Enjoy a trip around Menorca with caves and sailing and a paella lunch with this day tour
11. Praia do Castelo, Portugal
The Portuguese Algarve has many beaches, of which Praia do Castelo is definitely worth it. Surrounded by rocks, you can enjoy the golden sand under your feet and the pleasant, clear water on this beach. Moreover, this beach has excellent facilities for a day trip. Eat a snack in the small beach club or rent a parasol if you want to sit out of the sun.
12. Playa de las Catedrales, Galicia
The beach of the cathedrals, or Playa de las Catedrales, in Galicia, Spain, is a spectacular beach. It is not a sun beach (your towel will blow away rather quickly), but a nature reserve. The beach has various rock formations that are spread over the beach like arches and vaults. It is a photogenic location from which you have a beautiful view from the boulevard at the top of Playa de las Catedrales.
13. Playa de Rodas, Spain
One of the beaches where you can go on a sunny day is Playa de Rodas. Soft sand, green nature, and water where you can take a dip in: no more is needed for a nice day at the beach. Playa de Rodas is located in a nature reserve in Spain that is only open for part of the year (summer months). This makes it one of the lesser-known beaches and a truly beautiful area to be. Be sure to take a stroll around the beach and enjoy the unspoiled nature that the island has to offer.
14. l’île Vierge, France
France is really a perfect holiday country, in my view. After all, you are there in no time and you can go to beautiful cities such as Paris and Lille, but also to relax on holiday. When you see l’île Vierge you immediately understand that not everything in France has already been “discovered.” The secluded beach is one of the hidden gems. Take a nice walk in the region and end up at the beach of l’île Vierge. Admire the deep blue sea and the rocks that surround the beach. One of the most photogenic places to visit in France!
15. Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera
You can enjoy tasty tapas and a good glass of wine on the boulevard of Playa de Ses Illetes. The beach in Formentera, Spain, is a popular destination and has the advantage that it has all kinds of facilities. The beach itself has crystal clear water and a wonderful sandy beach. If you visit Playa de Ses Illetes outside of the high season, the beach is already considerably quieter.
16. Plaka Beach, Greece
Plaka Beach is located on the Greek island of Naxos. On this quiet beach you can enjoy a nice breeze while you read a good book on the sand or take a dip in the water. Want to get out of the sun? Rent a parasol on Plaka Beach or go up on one of the terraces at the restaurants adjacent to the beach. Walk on the beach at the end of the day and watch the sun go down. You can completely unwind on the less well-known Naxos.
17. Pupnatska Luca Beach, Croatia
On the pebble beach of Pupnatska Luca, you can enjoy the beautiful nature in Croatia . It is one of the lesser-known beaches, so it is often quiet there. Don’t forget to bring enough food and drinks when you spend the day here. After all, there are not as many facilities if you go to a smaller beach. However, you should not miss Pupnatska Luca Beach when you are in this region. Look out over the photogenic green background, deep blue sea, and the beautiful pebbles that form the path to the water.
18. Dune du Pilat, France
You will find a very special French beach after a steep climb. Dune du Pilat is the highest dune in Europe and extends over 100 meters above the sea. Imagine seeing the sun set in the sea from this location. Truly a spectacular experience. In line with this huge dune you will find the beach where you can actually take a dip in the sea. But of course you can also fall down on the dune elsewhere, because the climb to the top is a considerable one.
19. Vik Beach, Iceland
You will not soon enjoy the sun on your towel on Vik Beach, but that does not mean that you should skip this place in Iceland. Vik Beach is also called “Black Sand Beach.” The waves have a considerable force and that together with the rocks and the black sand create a mysterious whole. Make sure you dress well, because the wind is considerably colder here than on most beaches. It’s a beautiful natural phenomenon that you will not find in many places in the world. Be sure to stop by when you are in Iceland!
20. Sandwood Bay, Scotland
When you are traveling in Scotland, it is definitely recommended to take a walk around Sandwood Bay. The quiet beach is not very easy to reach and therefore relatively quiet. After the walk you will arrive at a breathtaking piece of Scotland. The deep blue waves wash rapidly over a part of the sand and the wind and rocks in the background make Sandwood Bay a beautiful piece of nature.
21. Grandes Playas, Fuerteventura
In Corralejo you will find one of the most beautiful bounty beaches in Europe. Grandes Playas has white sand, a beautiful blue sea, and nearby restaurants to complete the day at the beach. Rent a beach umbrella when you need some shade on the warm sand. You can, of course, also cool off by taking a dip in the water of Fuerteventura in Spain.
22. Seitan Limania Beach, Crete
On the route to the small beach Seitan Limania you pass the beautiful nature on the Greek island of Crete. You are on your way to one of the lesser known places of the island. Due to the inlet where Seitan Limania is located, the water is not nearly as rough here as at other locations of the island. To get there you must drive on an adventurous stretch of island and then you’ll have a rocky descent to the beach before you’re rewarded with this azure view.
23. Praia do Beliche, Portugal
Portugal has many beautiful places where active relaxation is the goal. Also on Praia do Beliche, you’ll feel completely at home when you are a fan of surfing. Due to the location between various rock formations, there are enough waves that are just right for surfers. Do you prefer to watch? The beach is also perfect for sun worshipers. Actively working on land can also be done by climbing the stairs that border the beach. After that climb you have a spectacular view of the beautiful Praia do Beliche.
24. Plage de Saleccia, Corsica
A real jewel in Corsica is the Plage de Saleccia. Because the route goes through the nature of Corsica and “just as fast” to the beach is less easy, it is also considerably quieter than on other beaches. The beach is a protected nature reserve, making it look beautiful. Fine, white sand, calm sea, and some dunes together form Plage de Saleccia.
25. Plage du Sillon, France
Just outside the city walls of St. Malo, France, lies the Plage du Sillon. On the spacious beach you can enjoy the warm sun, but you can also go for a nice evening stroll. From the beach you have a special view of the buildings that make up St. Malo. On the other side you will find the beautiful view of the sea. A visit to this beach is a good idea thanks to its location in every season.
And there you go – the most beautiful beaches in Europe!
What are your favorite beaches in Europe?
General Travel Tips
- For accommodation, I always check Airbnb or Booking.com for the best prices.
- If your insurance at home doesn’t cover travel, you may want to look into SafetyWing for an affordable option.
- I always recommend checking Get Your Guide for the best tours in Europe and Tiqets for specific attraction deals.