21 Best Beaches in Europe for Every Type of Traveler 2022
White beaches and turquoise seas: The first thing you think of is the Caribbean. But it doesn’t always have to be a 10-hour flight, and you can also find a piece of paradise on earth in Europe. So you know where we have searched for the most beautiful beaches in Europe.
Popular holiday destinations like Spain and Italy have them, and you’ll also find wonderful dream beaches in Cyprus and Corsica. Even in northern Europe, you will be surprised by the Caribbean atmosphere.
Keep reading this article to find out which are the best beaches in Europe and information on how to get there, how child-friendly each beach is, and what the tourist attractions are so that your beach vacation in Europe is perfect.
1. Es Trenc Beach, Majorca, Balearic Islands
On the south coast of Mallorca, between the town of Ses Covetes and the small fishing village of Sa Ràpita, is one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe: Platja Es Trenc, the longest natural beach in Mallorca.
How to get to the beach: You can get to the beach by car; there is a paid parking lot. Or you can walk along the coast from Colónia de Sant Jordi, passing through numerous small coves until you reach the dream beach Platja Es Trenc.
The beach, the extensive dune landscape, and the interior of the beach are under nature protection, so there are no hotel complexes or major roads in the vicinity. Platja Es Trenc is one of the last great undeveloped beaches on the island.
The fine white sand and clear turquoise water give you the feeling of being in the Caribbean in the middle of Europe. The only thing missing is the palm trees.
The beach offers something for everyone:
- The shallow waters and little current make it perfect for families.
- Those who want a streak-free tan can get it in the naturist zone.
- The eastern and central sections of the beach offer a wide gastronomic and leisure offer. If you like more tranquility, you can relax in the western area of the beach.
And if it is not enough for you, you can visit the other beaches of Mallorca. Indeed there is one that suits your needs!
2. Cala Macarelleta, Menorca, Balearic Islands
In the southwest of the island of Menorca is the beautiful natural beach of Cala Macarelleta. The sand is very light and delicate, the water clear and bright in all its facets, from blue to turquoise.
The beach is located in a beautiful bay, so there are hardly any waves.
Due to the clear and calm waters, the beach is very suitable for children and is also good for swimming and snorkeling.
There are two car parks, one for a fee, five minutes from the beach, and the other free, where you have to walk between 15 and 20 minutes.
There are toilets available, but you have to bring everything else. There is a restaurant near the beach that serves national dishes.
3. Ses Illetes Beach, Formentera, Balearic Islands
On the island of Formentera is one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe: Playa de ses Illetes. The light, fine sand and deep turquoise blue water form a dreamy color contrast.
The beach is located in a natural park. It is several kilometers long and about 50 meters wide. Behind the beach are extensive dunes that complete the impressive landscape.
The beach slopes gently into the sea, making it ideal for children. Sun loungers and umbrellas can be rented, and several restaurants take care of your physical well-being. There is a wide range of water sports, and there is also a nudist area.
4. As Catedrais Beach, Galicia, Spain
Catedrais Beach, translated as “Playa de las Catedrales” in Spanish, is one of the most beautiful in Europe due to its impressive rock formations.
Warning: this is not a typical beach for swimming and sunbathing.
Important information: In high season, please note that you must fill out an online form before your visit to be allowed to enter the beach. This is to avoid mass tourism.
The cliffs of northern Spain, up to 30 meters high, tower over the beach, but they are not even impregnable.
Over time, the waves have eaten large holes in the rocks. The result is arches, bridges, vaults, and caves that defy gravity; the stone piles form endless labyrinths and passages.
The beach is only accessible at low tide; the arches are mostly filled with water again at high tide. In some of the caves, turquoise caverns have been formed in which you can also swim. Especially for children, the fantastic formations are fascinating to play with and explore.
5. La Concha Beach, Basque Country, Spain
As for the cities with a beach, two have also entered our list of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. La Concha Beach, the beach of Donostia-San Sebastián, offers the best sand and crystal clear waters.
It borders the rocky massifs of Monte Igueldo and Monte Urgull, and off the coast is the beautiful rocky island of Santa Clara. Be an urban beach, it is extensive, at 40 meters, so there is room for everyone.
Due to the shallow currents and sea level, it is especially popular with families with young children. It is also one of the cleanest beaches in Europe. There are toilets, changing rooms and a restaurant.
6. Barceloneta Beach, Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is another city with beaches among the most beautiful in Europe. Barceloneta beach is the longest in the city, at 1.1 kilometers.
The beach of fine sand and azure blue water is just a few minutes from the center of the Spanish metropolis. The beach is very lively in summer, with a good offer of water sports and many beach bars and nightclubs that turn day into night and night into day.
If you prefer it quieter, it is good to walk a little further along the promenade to the Levant and Mar Bella beaches. Locals mainly frequent these, so there is more tranquility and less tourist hustle and bustle.
7. Cala Mariolu, Sardinia, Italy
In the east of Sardinia, one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe is Cala Mariolu. The sparkling beach, combined with the turquoise waters and 500 meters of sheer cliffs, provides a stunning backdrop for a day at the beach.
The beach is made up of white and pink pebbles mixed with sand. Therefore, it is advisable to wear bathing shoes. There are few waves in the bay, but the entrance is relatively steep.
Due to the clarity of its waters, Cala Mariolu is very suitable for snorkeling and diving. The beautiful bay can be reached by boat or hiking for several hours.
The beach is located in a nature reserve, so everything is very natural. However, there is a small kiosk where you can rent umbrellas and buy snacks.
As the bay is very popular and the beach is shaded from 4 pm due to the cliffs, you should start your day at the beach as soon as possible.
8. San Vito Lo Capo, Sicily, Italy
San Vito Lo Capo is situated in northwestern Sicily and is known for its partially pink and bright red sand. The coloration is small pieces of pink and red coral mixed with the sand.
Tip: The imposing Monte Monaco stands on one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. If you have tired of the beach, you can go up it; sturdy footwear is a must.
You can admire the red coral from a depth of 50 meters. As it is a protected species, touching it is strictly prohibited.
The beach is about 3 kilometers long and slopes gently towards the sea. This makes it ideal for families with children. Sun loungers and umbrellas are available.
As the beach is just below the small town of San Vito, there are also numerous restaurants.
9. Sansone Beach, Elba, Italy
On the island of Elba, Sansone beach is an enchanting beach with white pebbles and blue waters. It is framed by high white cliffs, typical of the northern Elba region.
It is separated from the smaller Sorgente beach by a rock formation. Once you have made the 15-minute descent along a winding path, you find yourself on Sorgente beach.
To get to Sansone beach, you still have to climb the rock formation. Therefore, the path to the beach is not necessarily suitable for small children and older adults. There is a small beach bar and a rental of umbrellas and sun loungers.
10. Elafonisi Beach, Crete, Greece
Crystal clear water, a fine sandy beach, and a shallow coastline: Elafonisi beach is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in Europe and exudes a Caribbean touch in the Mediterranean. Thousands of broken shells give the beach its characteristic pink color.
The Elafonisi Peninsula is situated at the most southwestern point of Crete. It is divided into two parts by the sea, making it look like Elafonisi is an island.
You can easily cross the sandbar on foot, as the water is very shallow. There is no more than a meter deep in this pause, which is perfect for children to play and splash around.
On the Cretan side of the beach, there is free parking, a restaurant, and a beach goods shop. You have everything you need on the beach to spend a relaxing day: sun loungers, umbrellas, showers, and changing rooms. Nothing stands in the way of a relaxing beach vacation.
In Elafonisi, the beach is less touristy. It lacks services like umbrellas and changing rooms, but you can find a quiet bay all to yourself.
11. Navagio, Zakynthos, Greece
White beach, turquoise sea, and all this in the middle of Europe: Navagio Beach has long since ceased to be a council of insiders. But that does not change that it is one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe.
In the old smugglers’ bay lies the most photographed shipwreck: the smuggler ship “Panagiotis,” which ran aground in Navagio in 1980 during a chase.
The bay is only accessible from the sea. The beach is less suitable for children, as it descends very quickly.
Due to the media’s growing presence. Therefore, it is advisable to arrive before ten or late in the afternoon.
The beach is surrounded by vertical rock walls up to 200 meters high, on which there is a small platform. This is the only viewpoint with views of the entire bay and the wreck.
You can get to the viewpoint by car, and there is a car park nearby; Sturdy footwear is necessary to move safely around the platform.
12. Lalaria, Skiathos, Greece
Skiathos is a small island located northwest of the Aegean Sea and offers one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, Lalaria.
Due to the crystal clear water, white pebbles, and small cliffs, the water shines in intense blue-green tones.
It is essential: There are no services on the beach, so you must bring your food, sun cream, towels, etc. The beach does not offer shade or umbrellas and is not suitable for families with small children. The beach is not sand but pebbles made of round white stones.
Other features of this beautiful beach are the vast rock formations and the big hole in one of the rocks. You can swim through the hole, but only if the waves are not too strong.
The north wind sometimes blows very strongly on this beach, which has led, among other things, to the beautiful round pebbles.
However, as this beach can only be reached by boat, you should check the weather forecast before booking an excursion to Lalaria beach. The ships cannot get to the beach if the waves are too strong.
The best time of day to go to Lalaria is in the early morning, as there are few tourists at that time and the sunlight is still bearable.
13. Praia da Adraga, Colares, Portugal
Forty-four kilometers from Lisbon is Praia da Adraga, one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. It is not the typical bathing beach, but its landscape features are worth visiting. The beach is sheltered between rocky cliffs, some of which have acquired strange formations due to the sea and the wind.
Due to the sometimes harsh weather on the Atlantic coast, the beach is very popular with surfers. It is better not to bathe here with children, but the fine-sand beach is suitable for playing.
You can borrow umbrellas, and there is also a shower. There is a fish restaurant right on the beach, known for its delicious dishes – make sure you make a reservation if you want to see how good the food is there. There is free parking right next to the restaurant.
What is the longest beach in Europe?
It’s time to have a bit of useless knowledge; who knows if it can be helpful in a contest one day: Where is the longest beach in Europe? The Curonian Spit can be adorned with this title.
The Haff and the Baltic Sea peninsula has a 98-kilometer-long sandy beach. Fifty-two kilometers are in Lithuania and 46 in Russia.
The Kuhrische Nehrung has fine white sand beaches and a unique landscape of shifting dunes. Not in vain is it a World Heritage Site since 2000.
Nida is a popular vacation destination on the Lithuanian side, with many hotels, restaurants, and vacation homes. Thomas Mann also spent a few summers here, and the Thomas Mann House is one of Nida’s landmarks.
14. Tamariz Beach, Cascais, Portugal
In Portugal, below the casino in Estoril, there is a small beach with fine sand: Playa de Tamariz. It can be easily reached by train from Lisbon in 35 minutes, as it is located next to the Estoril train station.
The beach is immaculate, there are hardly any waves, and the entrance to the water is shallow. That is why it is very popular with families. It is surrounded by stately homes, hotels, and even a castle.
Due to its proximity to the city, many restaurants, toilets, and changing rooms are available. Tamariz beach is very crowded in the high season, as tourists and locals relax on this beautiful beach.
15. Blue Lagoon, Cyprus
The name of the Blue Lagoon of Cyprus is not a coincidence, as the water shimmers in countless facets of shades of blue. From deep dark blue to a bright turquoise and everything in between.
Tip: Avoid trying to dominate the road to the beach in a small car or similar. The terrain is very rough and not suitable for inexperienced drivers.
Due to its white sand and turquoise waters, the Blue Lagoon is also considered one of the Caribbean beaches in Europe. The water is very shallow, the average depth is between 1 and 1.5 meters, and the bay is protected from the waves by sea rocks.
The Blue Lagoon can be reached by boat, jeep tour, or 1.5-hour hike.
To ensure that the Blue Lagoon remains one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, there are no tourist structures on the beach. You have to take care of your food, sun protection, etc.
16. Nissi Beach, Cyprus
Nissi Beach in Cyprus is a 500-meter-long white sand beach.
The water shimmers in various shades of blue and turquoise and is exceptionally clear.
There is a small island in front of the beach, which you can reach by swimming, wading, or waiting for the tide to go out and walking with dry feet.
At low tide, the striking strip of sand between the beach and the island becomes visible, the most characteristic motif of this beautiful European beach.
As the town of Ayia Napa is located directly on the beach, there are many hotel complexes. That’s why there’s a lot of the hustle and bustle on the beach, with DJs playing the latest club music from midday.
If you prefer a quieter beach holiday, you can go to the eastern part of Nissi beach, where the music is hardly heard.
The beach has a wide range of tourist facilities, sun loungers and parasols can be reserved, a wide range of water sports, and many bars and restaurants.
17. Palombaggia Beach, Corsica, France
Plage de Palombaggia, in the southeast of the island of Corsica, is also a dream beach. What is impressive is the variety of colors of nature: a kilometer-long beach of white sand, turquoise blue water, red rocks, and the lush green pine forest.
There is something for everyone on one of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean. As the water is very calm and shallow, the beach is suitable for families with children.
But everything else is also worthwhile here: Various water sports equipment, sun loungers, and umbrellas can be rented. There are numerous restaurants for small and large appetites, and two accessible parking spaces are also available.
18. Jaz Beach, Montenegro
In 2015, Jaz beach in Montenegro was named the most beautiful in Europe by Lonely Planet. Of course, it should not be missing from our list.
Tip: The best view of Jaz beach is from the coastal road towards Tivat. The crescent-shaped bay, framed by mountains and green forests, is 4 kilometers from the beautiful city of Budva.
The golden-yellow beach is 1.2 kilometers long and is a mixture of sand and gravel. The water gradually gets more profound, and there are almost no waves, perfect for a day at the beach with children.
The water is hot and shallow on the right side of the mountains due to a sandbar. You can rent umbrellas and sun loungers or lay down with your towel in an accessible spot.
19. Reynisfjara, Iceland
At this beach, you will not have the typical beach vacation. A short drive from Vík í Mýrdal, Iceland’s southernmost town, is Reynisfjara Beach.
The beach seems like something from another world with its wild beauty and uniqueness. The unique thing about Reynisfjara is the black sand. The color is due to the erosion of volcanic rock.
The Reynisfjall mountain rises above the beach, and in it, there are impressive caves of basalt columns. You can use them as a protective shelter if the weather changes suddenly, which happens very often in this area.
The strange-looking rock formations near the coast are the Reynisdrangar, rocks of volcanic origin. According to a legend, they are petrified trolls who froze when they tried to pull their ship to shore at dawn.
Although Reynisfjara is one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, special care must be taken when visiting it: the unbridled power of the waves is gorgeous to behold, but keep your distance.
Waves often reach the beach higher than expected and have a strong suction force. Swimming is prohibited on this beach as there is a danger to life, and children should never be left unattended on the beach.
20. Luskentyre Beach, Scotland
Luskentyre Beach, on the west coast of the Isle of Harris, is also a unique northern European beach. Miles of white sand and stunning blue-green waters make you feel like you’re in the Caribbean.
But this impression disappears as soon as you put your feet in the water: it is freezing.
The beach is not suitable for swimming and sunbathing, but it offers a beautiful photographic backdrop and is perfect for hiking.
You will soon realize that Luskentyre beach is a place to relax; the clocks work differently here.
The mesmerizing views, the vibrant colors, and the beautiful dunes invite you to stop and take a deep breath on one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe.
21. White Rocks Beach, Northern Ireland
White Rocks Beach is located in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, and is also one of the most beautiful in Europe. With its honey-colored sand, it breaks up the lush green landscape.
It takes its name from the white calcareous rocks, some of which have taken fantastic shapes due to the weather. At White Rocks Beach, you can swim, surf, or go kayaking.
You can discover small bays at low tide, but always be careful with the waves. A walk with views of nearby Dunluce Castle is also recommended. The Giant’s Causeway is just a 20-minute drive from the beach.
Without a doubt, there are many places to see in Europe. On this occasion we have treated to the best beaches in Europe … What do you think?