Europe

17 Best Beach Destinations to Visit in Europe in 2024


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If you’re looking for the perfect beach holiday, Europe has plenty of destinations to choose from. From the stunning Amalfi Coast in Italy to the beautiful Algarve in Portugal, there’s no shortage of amazing beach destinations in Europe. If you’re from this part of the world then you may be seduced by the exotic tropics and it’s easy to forget that some of the best beach destinations in the world may only be a short flight away. Europe boasts miles of pristine coastlines, Caribbean-like beaches, secret coves, quaint fishermen’s villages, and charming islands.

With so many amazing holiday spots picking one can be overwhelming. If you’re not sure where to go, check out these best beach destinations in Europe, perfect for catching some summer sun.


The Best Beach Destinations in Europe

1. Ayia Napa, Cyprus

Ayia Napa is one of Cyprus’ most popular destinations, and undoubtedly one of the best beach destinations in Europe. Here you’ll find plenty of resorts and hotels and expect a mesmerising white sand coastline, crystalline waters sparkling in turquoise hues and plenty of tourist facilities.

Ayia Napa’s most iconic place is Nissi; popular among water sports lovers, Nissi Beach is a 500-meter stretch of brilliant white sand that boasts a myriad of sunbathing places as well as a lively clubbing scene. Quite busy in summer, this place shows off its quaint side in spring and early autumn, when there aren’t too many people around.

Nissi Beach, Ayia Napa
Photo 147667100 © Oleh Panasenko | Dreamstime.com

2. Sardinia, Italy

The second-largest island in the Mediterranean, the Italian Sardinia is another tropical-like destination much closer to home than you would expect. Alluring Costa Smeralda is Sardinia’s summer hot spot since the ‘60s. But the island’s coastal beauty doesn’t end here.

Hidden coves and beaches, including the enchanting Pink Beach in Budelli, will give you plenty of spots for your Instagram-worthy holiday picture.

Beaches aside, Sardinia also awaits with hiking spots of wild beauty, quaint villages, and exquisite culinary delights. Read about some of the best places to visit in Sardinia.

Sardinia beaches

3. Majorca (Mallorca)

Majorca, also known as Mallorca, is a beautiful island located in the Mediterranean Sea. With its stunning beaches, crystal clear waters, and vibrant nightlife, Majorca is a popular tourist summer destination for people from around the world.

As well as the beaches the island boasts a wide variety of activities for visitors to enjoy, from boat trips, hiking and cycling in the mountains, and exploring the local markets and museums. The food in Majorca is also a major draw, with its delicious seafood dishes and traditional Spanish cuisine.

Beaches in Majorca
Image by team

4. Corsica, France

The fourth-largest island in the Mediterranean, Corsica has merged its Italian nonchalance with its French sophistication. Amazing but often neglected, it awaits you with pristine golden sand beaches, dazzling views, and enchanting coastal towns and villages.

Corsica might be the perfect place if your idea of summer holiday is relaxing on quiet beaches. From the Caribbean-like Palombaggia to stunning Roccapina, this island is the ideal destination for families or newlyweds looking to stay away from the crowds.

Beaches in Corsica
78521043 © Eva Bocek | Dreamstime.com

5. Sicily, Italy

Another scenic, slow-paced destination, Sicily is much more than one of the best beach destinations in Europe. Its history spans over several millennia, impressing with well-preserved Greek and Roman ruins.

The mainland is home to stunning beaches, beautiful towns, and Europe’s most active volcano, Mount Etna. Cefalù, Syracuse, Trapani, and Taormina are just some of the most charming seaside towns on the main island. If you don’t want to get bored, island-hopping in Sicily’s Aeolian Islands could be an exciting alternative.

Sicily, Italy
Image via Canva

6. Antalya, Turkey

Located on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, Antalya is a popular destination for sun-seekers thanks to its warm weather and stunning beaches. The city is home to a number of beautiful beaches, including Lara Beach and Konyaaltı Beach (seen below), both of which are known for their crystal-clear waters and soft, sandy shores.

As well as its beaches, Antalya is also home to a number of cultural attractions, including museums, mosques, and historic landmarks. Visitors can explore the Old Town, sample delicious Turkish cuisine, and enjoy a range of activities and experiences, including shopping, nightlife, and spa treatments.

Beach at Antalya
Photo © Violin | depositphotos.com

7. Algarve, Portugal

The Algarve is in the southernmost region of Portugal and is known for its stunning beaches, clear waters, and warm weather. With around 100 miles of coastline, there’s no shortage of beautiful beaches to choose from, including Praia do Vau, Praia da Rocha, and Praia da Luz. The Algarve is also home to a number of charming towns and villages, such as Lagos and Albufeira, where you can enjoy delicious seafood and explore historic architecture.

If you’re looking for some adventure, the Algarve is also a great destination for water sports, including surfing, windsurfing, and kayaking. And if you’re looking to relax, there are plenty of spas and wellness centers where you can unwind and recharge.

The Algarve is one of Europe’s best beach destinations and a great place to consider for your next vacation.

Beach at Carvoeiro in the Algarve
Photo © Jacek Sopotnicki | Dreamstime.com

8. Comino, Malta

Malta is one of the most underrated beach destinations in Europe. Yet, this small nation has a lot to offer.

One of the most attractive places here is Comino, a small island that surprises its visitors with a splendid turquoise lagoon. Smartly called the Blue Lagoon, this is one of the most stunning beaches in Europe. It impresses with warm waters and peaceful vibes, especially in the off-season.

TIP
Book yourself a sightseeing boat tour where you’ll get to see the Blue Lagoon, Sea Caves, go snorkelling and see other incredible parts of the beautiful Maltese coast.
Blue lagoon Comino island Malta
Image via Canva

9. Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Off the coast of Morocco, the Spanish Canary Islands stand among the few year-round beach destinations of the Old Continent. Each island in the archipelago has its own personality, but from all, Lanzarote is by far the most impressive.

Characterised by its volcanic hills, Lanzarote surprises with a variety of secluded beaches, white sand coastlines, and the shell-shaped Papagayo Beach.

Sun-soaking apart, if you love diving, expect to be impressed by Museo Atlantico, Europe’s first underwater museum.

Turquoise ocean water on Papagayo beach, Lanzarote
Image via Canva

10. Ibiza, Spain

Showcasing a blasting clubbing scene, Ibiza is by far the wildest isle in the Mediterranean. But there is much more to it than just the nightlife. Long stretches of beaches and hidden coves, such as Cala Blanca, give you just the right spot where to soak in the sun or practice scuba diving.

The crescent-shaped beach of Cala d’Hort offers picture-perfect views over the distinctive Es Verde cliff and invites you to take a break on its golden sand beach.

For a more peaceful night out, Café del Mar could be a great choice for sipping a good drink while admiring the sunset in a chilled-out atmosphere.

Ibiza is one of our favourite holiday destinations and here you’ll also find some of the best sandy beaches in Europe.

Aiguas Blanques Agua Blanca Beach
Image via Canva

11. Amalfi Coast, Italy

The Amalfi Coast is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful places in Italy, thanks to its breathtaking scenery, charming towns, and pristine beaches. The coastline is dotted with picturesque villages, such as Positano and Amalfi, where visitors could choose to stay a few nights or simply stop by to enjoy delicious Italian food and explore the region’s rich history.

The beaches along the Amalfi Coast are known for their beautiful clear water and stunning views, and there are plenty of water sports and activities available for those who want to get active. And if you’re looking for a more peaceful vacation, there are plenty of private coves and secluded beaches where you can relax and unwind.

Positano coast in Italy
Photo © vencav | depositphotos.com

12. Porto Santo, Madeira, Portugal

Portugal is renowned for its beach destinations, including Porto Santo located near Madeira. Situated in the Atlantic Ocean about 620 miles away from the mainland, the island is another of those perfect year-round beach destinations in Europe.

Dazzling beaches, remarkable scenery, stretches of fine sand, and plenty of snorkelling sites are just some of the reasons to come. Refreshing Madeira wine is another.

Besides beaches, Madeira and Porto Santo also offer numerous hiking opportunities, exquisite tropical gardens, and a lively cultural scene.

Beaches in Porto Santo

13. Mykonos, Greece

Mykonos knows exactly how to blend centuries of fascinating history with holiday-time decadence. This sunny Greek island inspires with a variety of beaches and pristine sceneries, postcard-perfect sixteenth-century windmills to admire at sunset, splendid Cycladic architecture and legendary nightlife.

From sunbathing to windsurfing or beach parties from dusk to dawn, you can find everything here. Some of the most noteworthy beaches include chic Psarou, Paradise Beach, and Ornos Bay.

Of course, Greece is an incredible place to visit in the summer with plenty of places to visit. Have a read of other top beach destinations in Greece.

Mykonos

14. Croatia

Another place that knows how to blend swimming and sun-soaking activities with history, culture and good wine is Croatia.

Hvar is one of the most popular destinations, a small resort island situated in the Adriatic Sea. Its beaches boast an intense scenic beauty; secluded bays surrounded by pine forests and cliffs, offer the perfect relaxing place.

Admiring rich history, trying out the local cuisine and wine in the many restaurants and cafes, and strolling along winding streets are just some of the things that can fill your time when you’re not at the beach.

Dubrovnik is another popular spot and is famously known for its walled Old Town. A short walk from the old town is Banje Beach which is a perfect spot for relaxing in the sun and then taking a dip in the sea.

Waterfront of Hvar island

15. Nice, France

Situated on the French Riviera, Nice is a popular destination for beach lovers, thanks to its stunning coastline and warm Mediterranean climate. The city is home to a number of beautiful beaches, including the famous Promenade des Anglais, which stretches along the seafront for miles.

In addition to its beaches, Nice is also known for its vibrant culture and history. Visitors can explore the Old Town, sample delicious French cuisine, and enjoy a range of cultural attractions, including museums, galleries, and theatres.

For those looking for a shorter city break then consider Nice as one of the best beach cities in Europe.

Beach in Nice France
Photo © Vichaya Kiatyingangsulee | Dreamstime.com

16. Rhodes, Greece

Rhodes is one of the most popular destinations in Greece, thanks to its stunning beaches, history, and culture. The island is home to a number of beautiful beaches, including Faliraki, Lindos, and Tsambika, all of which offer crystal-clear waters and soft, sandy shores.

As well as its beaches, Rhodes is also home to a number of fascinating historic landmarks, including the Acropolis of Rhodes, the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, and the ancient city of Kamiros. When visiting you can explore the island’s rich history, sample delicious Greek cuisine, and enjoy a range of activities and experiences, including water sports, hiking, and nightlife.

Beaches in Rhodes
Photo © Saiko3p | Dreamstime.com

17. Costa del Sol, Spain

The Costa del Sol, located in southern Spain, is known for its warm climate, beautiful beaches, and vibrant culture. The region is home to a number of stunning beaches, including Nerja (seen below), Marbella, and Fuengirola, all of which offer clear waters and soft, sandy shores.

The Costa del Sol is also home to a number of fascinating cultural attractions, including museums, galleries, and historic landmarks. Visitors can explore the region’s rich history, sample delicious Spanish cuisine, and enjoy a range of activities and experiences, including golfing, shopping, and spa treatments.

Nerja beach in Malaga Spain
Photo © Bareta | depositphotos.com

Cheap beach holidays in Europe

If you’re on a budget, there are still plenty of cheap beach destinations in Europe that won’t break the bank. Some of the best cheap beach holidays in Europe include the Costa Brava in Spain, the Algarve in Portugal, and the Black Sea coast in Bulgaria.

When planning a cheap beach holiday, it’s important to look for affordable accommodation options, such as hostels or budget hotels. You should also consider visiting during the off-season when prices are typically lower. And don’t forget to take advantage of free activities, such as hiking, swimming, and exploring local towns and villages.


Planning your beach holiday in Europe

When planning your beach holiday in Europe, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, consider the time of year you’re travelling, as this will impact the weather and the availability of certain activities and attractions. You should also research the local culture and customs, and make sure you pack appropriate clothing and gear.

In addition to planning your itinerary, it’s also important to consider practicalities such as travel insurance and visas. And don’t forget to budget for things like food, accommodation, and activities, so that you can make the most of your time on the beach.

UK Package Holiday Options:

You can also start your search for places to stay below. If you prefer you can use this map to find hotels for your travels. Use the filters to adjust the place that you’re visiting, the dates, your budget and more.

See more suggestions of top places to find travel accommodation.


Summary

Be it a stylish Caribbean-like beach holiday or a few days of non-stop partying and water sports adventure, these Europe best beach destinations can spoil you with choices. Just pick your favourite places and start planning the summer getaway of your dreams.

You may also be interested in seeing our suggestions of the best beach destinations to visit in Asia.

Author
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Written by

Roxana Bikfalvi

Roxana is a London-based freelance writer and editor with experience in lifestyle and travel sectors. She’s in love with Italy, good food, and exquisite wine. When she’s not at her desk, you’ll likely find her exploring new and exciting destinations. Read full bio | See more articles by Roxana

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