As summer approaches, what better way to spend a lazy day than lounging on a sandy beach, a cocktail in hand, beside crystal blue waters? With the advent of low-cost international flights and convenient connections, traveling to a European beach destination is more appealing than ever. From the Mediterranean Sea and beyond, Europe is home to some of the world’s best beaches, making it difficult to choose just one.
Fortunately, we’ve collected recommendations from travelers just like you and hand-picked the top 20 beaches to soak up the sun. So, get ready to snap some stunning Instagram shots and prepare for an unforgettable summer on one of Europe’s best beaches.
10. Culatra, Algarve, Portugal
On the southern side of the island lie golden beaches with tranquil, crystalline waters, while the northern side boasts lagoons. To escape the crowds, venture to Ilha da Culatra and discover serenity even in the peak of summer. There are no paved roads on the island, so the only means of arrival is by ferry.
9. La Feniglia, Tuscany, Italy
There is a long expanse of fine sand beach that connects Argentario with the mainland. You can take a long walk, or go a short distance and find an isolated spot backed by natural pinewoods.
There are a few vendors that provide beach-side services like umbrella and chair rentals and snack bars, but much of La Feniglia is left in its natural state. It is part of the Riserva Naturale Duna Feniglia to protect its beauty.
8. Bains Militaires, Nice, France
Bains Militaires Beach in Nice is located to the east of the city, between the harbor and Cap de Nice. This little stone beach is the closest to the harbor and is found at the edge of the pier for Corsica.
A sailing center is found nearby. Note that this beach was used in the filming of a French movie “Brice de Nice”.
7. Posedarje, Croatia
The beautiful beach is a spot where the mountain climate and the Mediterranean climate mix.
Because of the mentioned location it is of crucial traffic importance since it connects the state roads that bind the south of Croatia with its north and west.
6. Samoqueira, Alentejo, Portugal
This beach is formed by a small stretch of sand and rocks.
Not a lot of people go to this beach. It has beautiful scenery because it is secluded and all natural.
5. Cala Macarella, Spain
With its white sand and turquoise water, it’s no wonder this Cala Macarella is full of people each and every summer. Located on the beautiful island of Menorca, some say Cala Macarella offers a more relaxing experience than can be found on Menorca’s sister island of Mallorca and is less popular among the seasonal partiers.
With spectacular views and a natural bay, Menorca just invites you to spend the day admiring the views from the top of the caves and to soak in some much-needed sun.
4. Praia DaMarinha, Portugal
This iconic and photo-worthy beach is recognized as one of the most beautiful Europe beach hotspots in the world by CNN and Lonely Planet. Located along the Algarve Coast, it is a draw among both locals and tourists.
Praia Da Marinha is surrounded by steep cliffs and stunning views. There are walking trails and frequent boat trips offered to visitors annually. Get ready to indulge in authentic Portuguese cuisine and a friendly atmosphere, too.
3. Calanque d’En-Vau, France
If you are visiting the South of France, don’t hesitate to explore one of the most beautiful places in the country. Known for its white rocky cliffs and teal-color water Calanque d’En-Vau is not a beach to be missed.
A little difficult but not impossible to get to, there are two ways to arrive: by boat, or you can take one of the hiking trails. Be prepared to spend a few hours hiking if you choose that option or hop on one of the daily boats for a more relaxing experience. Either way, you can’t miss out on this experience!
2. Vik Beach, Iceland
Otherwise known as the famous black sand beach, Vik Beach is a breathtaking site to see. Surprisingly, Vik rests along the southern coast of Iceland, about 180 km from Reykjavik and home to only 300 residents.
Not only can one walk for miles along the black sand, Vik also is home to mile-high cliffs and ancient folklore. Vik attracts many visitors annually who want to come and experience this unusual and once-in-a-lifetime experience.
1. La Concha Beach, San Sebastian
According to TripAdvisor, La Concha Beachis Europe’s best beach. “But, why?” one might ask. It is located in the foodie-haven city of San Sebastian, where one can indulge in the hunt for delicious pinxtos and tapas. San Sebastian offers visitors the opportunity to have a taste of the city and beach life at the same time.
La Concha is named after its shell-like shape, and is frequently featured in travel magazines and publications worldwide. It is 1,350 meters long and 40 meters wide, located in the center of the city where you can find people strolling along the coast. It is quite a busy place in the summer, bustling with a mix of tourists and locals.
Did you enjoy reading about our picks for the best beaches in Europe? We’d love to hear from you, so don’t forget to leave a comment below! Also, before you go, make sure to check out our other great summer guides such as The 10 Best Summer Vacation Ideas !