Holidays aren’t complete without a trip to the beach! A fantastic way to enjoy your day on the beach is to lay on the soft sand and cool off in the crystal clear water of the ocean. You don’t need to look farther than these best beaches in Europe if you want to travel somewhere special this summer.
You have various options to consider when booking your next vacation that includes lively beach towns and family-friendly islands with fun and exciting activities to do. Whether you enjoy hiking, looking for arts and culture, or simply relaxing on soft, sandy beaches, this list makes it simple to select what’s ideal for you.
In Europe, you can visit different beach resorts with clear waters, historic old towns, and regions with remarkable scenery. Your vacations will be more exciting bey the stunning golden beach, secret coves, and serene blue-green waves.
It might be challenging to choose a vacation destination when there are so many wonderful options. Check out our 15 top European beach destinations if you’re having trouble deciding where to go.
Top 15 Beach Destinations in Europe
1. Sicily, Italy
Sicily has some of the best beaches in European country offers and some of the best food and drinks in the world. Where else can you go to rest after one of those lovely lunches?
Along its more than 900 km of coastline, the island has hundreds of beaches. Most of Sicily’s beaches are small and rocky, but large stretches of golden sand look like they belong in the Mediterranean.
Local beaches are great for sunbathing because you can rent loungers and find great places to eat. Snorkeling activities are the best in a rocky cove with clear water. Those who are brave enough will go there.
From June to October, the season lasts as long as the water is warm enough to swim in. Isola Bella and Cefalù are just two examples of beautiful beaches that are great to walk along any time of year.
Even though it’s hottest in Italy in August, there is a way to reduce the effect of heat by serving the best ice cream. A granita, a Sicilian dessert made of crushed ice, lemon, and brioche, should always be on hand.
2. Rovinj, Croatia
Rovinj, in Croatia, is undoubtedly one of the European best destinations and most beautiful seaside towns in all of Europe. When you go on vacation, you might hope to find a great old town with many lovely places to take pictures.
There are two beautiful beaches in Rovinj that are definitely worth a visit: Mulini Beach and Cisterna Beach. Mulini Beach is located right in the city center and is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing. Cisterna Beach is a bit further outside of the city, but it’s definitely worth the trip! The beach is surrounded by beautiful cliffs and offers stunning views of the Adriatic Sea.
This pretty village on the coast has one of Croatia’s most beautiful old towns. The colorful townhouses, which are close together from the sea to the top of the town, are especially striking.
Walking around the city center, you can visit museums and other exciting places.
You can also enjoy the beautiful summer weather while sipping a drink or eating ice cream on small streets in or charming, picturesque city. Live music is one of the many things that happen during the summer.
Rovinj also has a lot of beautiful bays and beaches that make it a great place to go on vacation in the summer. They are a little outside the city and have fantastic watercolors and beautiful natural scenery. Perfect if you want to take a few days to relax while still going on tours and excursions.
The area around Rovinj is also attractive so that you can do many things here, even in the summer. Some of Istria’s most beautiful views, like Cape Kamenjak and the alpine village of Motovun, are close to Rovinj. Have the best experience with Viator and enjoy your vacation in Rovinj.
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3. Tenerife, Spain’s Canary Islands
Tenerife is a beautiful island and one of the best spots for European beach vacations. It is known for its black sand beaches and pleasant weather all year. The average temperature for the whole year is around 70°F, which can get up to 90°F in the summer.
There is something for everyone to do, from sunbathing on a mile-long stretch of sand to exploring a wild cove or rock formation where you might be the only one there. There are good bus and boat tour networks that make it easy. There is good transportation to get around in this area.
In other places, black volcanic sand has been mixed with sand from the Sahara to make beautiful golden stretches. Playa de las Teresitas may be the most famous beach in Tenerife, partly because it is close to the island’s capital, Santa Cruz.
At Las Teresitas beach, the calm, clear water is kept safe by a barrier. Take a break at one of the many cafés in the area, where you can sit in a deckchair and enjoy the sun and coconut palms.
You can enjoy the black sand at beaches like El Bollullo, just east of Puerto de la Cruz. It is the perfect piece of paradise, with tall cliffs, a “hidden” cove, and hammocks you can rent.
Anaga Park’s ecological reserve has something a little bit more wild. In addition to the plants and animals that live there, you’ll also see some beautiful natural beaches.
4. Sardinia, Italy
Sardinia, an Italian island, is another European destination to visit. It is the second largest island in the Mediterranean. Since the 1960s, Sardinia’s most popular summer spot has been the beautiful Costa Smeralda.
The Costa Smeralda is a beautiful stretch of coastline in Sardinia, Italy. The water is a bright turquoise sea, and the beaches are stunning. It’s no wonder that it’s such a popular tourist destination.
Hidden coves and beaches, like the beautiful Beach of Cala Domestica, are great places to relax and soak up the sun. Cliffs surround the beach, and there are several restaurants and bars.
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5. Santorini, Greece
The beaches of Santorini aren’t as well-known as the island’s more famous landmarks, so they aren’t often considered common places to go to. Since Greece is known for its beautiful white sands, having beaches with mostly coarse black or even red volcanic sand is not here.
Bring some beach shoes because the black sand beaches will be scorching during the day.
The fine sand makes the water very clear, and the black beach makes the blue Mediterranean Sea look even bluer. A swim in the sea of Santorini stands out. You can also enjoy a luxury cruise or enjoy a wine tasting experience on your visit.
Perivolos is among the hidden gems because the sand is bearable here, and there are a lot of good restaurants in the surroundings. Santorini is known for its beautiful scenery and has one of the best hot springs in the world. It is located in the middle of the caldera, among the islands.
Most of the best beaches for drinking and eating are on the east side of Santorini, where the caldera dips into the sea. The west side of the island is made up of high cliffs.
6. Porto Santo, Madeira, Portugal
Porto Santo is one of the most well-known islands in all of Portugal. It is close to the island of Madeira. The island is another great European beach resort that can be visited annually because it is in the Atlantic Ocean, about 620 miles from the mainland.
There are many reasons to go, such as the beautiful beaches, stunning scenery, long stretches of fine sand, great places to snorkel, and day cruises. The refreshing Madeira wine is another preference.
The Ponta da Calheta beach is one of the most popular on the island. It is a beautiful, wide beach with soft sand and crystal-clear water. There are several restaurants and snack bars in the area, as well as a few small shops.
The Zimbralinho Beach is a bit more secluded and less crowded, making it a great choice if you’re looking for some peace and quiet. It’s also a great spot for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling.
The Porto Das Salemas beach is the largest on the island, with plenty of room to spread out and relax. It’s also a great spot for fishing, and there are several restaurants and bars nearby.
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7. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik is a well-known European city with some of the finest beaches in Croatia. However, the beaches differ from those in the Mediterranean because they have white sand. Most of them are usually pebbly or even rocky. So, it’s a good idea to bring beach shoes.
Because there isn’t any sand or silt in the water, the water is calm and clear. Two beautiful beaches are just a short walk from Dubrovnik’s Old Town. From the Ploce Gate, you can lie in the water at Banje Beach and see the walls in just 10 minutes.
Sveti Jakov is another 20 minutes away, but getting there is hard because you have to go down and back up a lot of stairs. But this makes it a little bit more specific than Banje.
If you want to see more of Dubrovnik, taking the ferry to Lokrum Island for ten minutes is one of the best things to do. There are quiet swimming holes, walking places ideal for a walking tour, and historical sites nearby.
8. Mykonos, Greece
Mykonos has figured out how to combine decades of rich history with the luxury people expect from a vacation spot. This sunny Greek island has a variety of beaches and unspoiled scenery, a picture-perfect windmill from the 1600s that can be seen at sunset, spectacular Cycladic buildings, and a well-known nightlife.
You can do anything here, from lying in the sun to windsurfing to having a party on the beach that lasts from dusk until early morning. People say that Psarou, also known as Paradise Beach, and Ornos Bay are two of the best beaches.
Greece is a great place to go on vacation in the summer because there are so many different places to see.
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9. Nice, France
Nice is a city in France on the Mediterranean Sea. It is a popular tourist destination, especially for its beaches. The most famous beach in Nice is La Réserve, located in the district of Cimiez. La Réserve features a wide variety of activities, including swimming, sunbathing, and windsurfing.
Another famous beach in Nice is Villefranche-sur-Mer. Located just a few kilometers east of Nice, Villefranche-sur-Mer is known for its crystal clear waters and stunning cliffside views. Finally, Plage Beau Rivage is an excellent option if you want a more secluded beach experience. Situated on the outskirts of Nice, Plage Beau Rivage offers beautiful views of the surrounding countryside and the Mediterranean Sea.
These are gorgeous European beaches where you can watch people, get pampered, eat at fine restaurants, and drink at high-end lounge restaurants. Italy has the most elegant French style wrapped around it.
10. Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast is known as one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, and UNESCO has named it a World Heritage Area. When you combine the great Italian food, the beautiful weather, and the fabulous shops, you get a place that every traveler agrees is unique. It is a destination where you can enjoy snorkeling adventures, boat tours, day tours, and more.
The Amalfi Coast is known for its stunning beaches; each has something special to offer visitors. Marina Grande is the largest and busiest beach in the area, and it’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying the views.
Arienzo Beach is a smaller and more secluded beach, and it’s a great place to relax and take in the coast’s natural beauty. Erchie Beach is known for its dramatic cliffs and crystal-clear waters, making it a popular spot for snorkeling and diving.
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Malta is a small country located in the Mediterranean Sea. It is made up of several islands, including the largest island of Malta and the tiny island of Gozo. Malta is a popular tourist destination, thanks to its sunny weather, crystal clear waters, and sandy beaches.
The best beaches in Malta can be found on the smaller islands, such as Gozo and Comino. These beaches are mostly quiet and unspoiled, with crystal-clear water and soft sand. Some of the most popular beaches on Gozo include Ramla l-Hamra (Red Beach), Dwejra Bay, and San Blas Bay. Comino is home to some lovely sandy beaches, such as Blue Lagoon and Santa Maria Bay.
If you’re looking for a more lively beach experience, head to the main island of Malta. The most popular beach in Malta is Golden Sands, which offers stunning views of Valletta’s Grand Harbour. Other famous beaches on Malta include St Julian’s Bay, Mellieha Bay, and Sliema Ferries.
12. Barcelona, Spain
There are plenty of beautiful beaches to choose from in Barcelona, but some of the best include Playa de Bogatell, Llevant, and Playa de Bogatell.
Playa de Bogatell is a large beach that’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing. The sand is white and the water is clean and clear, making it a great place to spend a day. It is also closed to Durlet Beach Apartments.
Llevant is also a great option for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing. The sand here is a little bit darker than at Playa de Bogatell, but the water is just as clear and just as beautiful.
If you’re looking for something a little bit more adventurous, then Playa de Bogatell is the perfect beach for you. This beach features a large rock formation that makes it the perfect spot for cliff jumping and diving.
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13. Corsica, France
Corsica is an island located in the Mediterranean Sea. Corsica is known for its rugged landscape, stunning coastline, beautiful beaches, and unique culture. Some of the best beaches to explore includes Calvi Beach, Arinella Beach, and Loto Beach & Saleccia Beach
If you’re looking for a breathtaking beach to relax on while in Corsica, look no further than Calvi Beach. This beach is a true paradise with its dramatic cliffs and crystal-clear waters. Not to mention, it’s also one of the most popular beaches on the island, so you’re sure to find plenty of fellow sunbathers and swimmers to enjoy the scenery with.
Arinella Beach is a secluded beach located on the east coast of Corsica. The beach is known for its dramatic cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and tranquil atmosphere. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and fishing in the bay’s calm waters.
Loto Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Corsica. It’s a long, sandy beach with crystal-clear water. The beach is surrounded by mountains, which make for a beautiful backdrop.
14. Ayia Napa, Cyprus
Ayia Napa is one of the most visited places in all of Cyprus, and many people also think it is one of the best beach vacation spots in all of Europe. You can see secret beaches with pure white sand dunes, clear turquoise water, and a lot of tourist infrastructure.
Nissi Beach is the most famous place in all of Ayia Napa. It is about 500 meters long and has a beautiful stretch of white sand. There are many places to sunbathe on the beach, and the nightlife scene is busy.
Even though it can get jam-packed in the summer, this place is at its most charming in the spring and early fall, when there aren’t as many people around.
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15. Rhodes, Greece
About forty beaches on the island of Rhodes have been given the Blue Flag, which is a sign that they are very clean.
Rhodes has some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece because it has kept its natural landscape, has very clean water, and has different types of land. On the island’s eastern side, there is a lovely resort where you can relax. On the island’s wilder western side, you can go windsurfing.
The city of Rhodes, which has been there since the Middle Ages, is on the island’s northwest tip.
If you’re looking for stunning beaches in Greece, Rhodes is the place to be. Faliraki, Glyfada, Paliochora, and Kallithea Beach offer beautiful sandy shores and crystal-clear waters.
Faliraki is one of the most popular beaches on the island, and it’s easy to see why. Its wide range of activities and crystal-clear waters makes it perfect for everyone, from families to couples.
Glyfada is a little quieter than Faliraki but no less beautiful. It’s perfect for a relaxing beach holiday with plenty of quiet surroundings.
Paliochora is the most secluded of the three beaches, but that’s part of its charm. If you’re looking for a quiet and idyllic beach to relax on, this is the place for you.
At Kallithea Beach, you can find hot springs. The 1960s were a considerable time for these springs, which have recently been fixed. Even though it is only eight kilometers from Rhodes, the beach trees and Moorish buildings make it feel much further away.
Do you ever wish you could take European beach vacations in the summer holidays? Have a beach holiday, explore the vacation spots in Europe with booking.com, and take assistance from GetYourGuide to find the one that fits your needs, including how much time you want to spend on the beach in the water and the sun.