The northern hemisphere is heating up and soon people will start flocking to the sun-drenched islands of the Mediterranean, Aegean, the Italian Riviera and the like. It can be difficult to decide on where to go, to make life simpler we’ve listed the best beaches in Europe for you, with a couple in the United Kingdom as well.
These beaches are famous for their waters and also for their picturesque locations and views.
Pack your bags because not only are we showing you the 15 best beaches in Europe to visit this summer, but we’ll also save you some money getting there.
Best beaches in Europe
Navagio Beach, Zakynthos, Greece
Secluded and surrounded by towering limestone cliffs, you can only access this beach by boat. Also known as Shipwreck Beach for its famous shipwreck, Navaigo is an experience to remember. Soak up the sun and bathe in the turquoise waters of this breathtaking beach.
Cala Tonnarella, Sicily, Italy
Part of the Zingaro Nature Reserve, Cala Tonnarella is a secluded beach. Inaccessible by road, it’ll take you about an hour to get there from the Nature Reserve’s southern car park. Surrounded by low limestone cliffs, this is the perfect secret spot if you want to get away from the crowds and relax. Pack a picnic and enjoy!
Durdle Door Beach, Dorset, England
England may not be the sunniest or warmest of places in summer, but when the sun does shine, many flock to this stretch of sand not only to soak in the sun but to take in the scenery, which is spectacular – especially its limestone arch. This beach is part of the Jurassic Coast and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Cala Macarella, Menorca, Spain
This secluded spot is situated on the south-western coast of Menorca. Getting there, you can either hike for two miles along cliffs starting at Cala Galdana or take a rough road from the port city of Ciutadella. You’ll hike through a pine forest for 20 minutes before reaching the beach. Upon arriving you’ll find calm turquoise waters and fine sand. A perfect little haven to relax at.
Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal
With water that is crystal clear, you can’t go wrong when visiting this beach situated in the town of Carvoeiro. Stay in nearby accommodation and enjoy the local culture whilst taking in the scenic beauty of this little hot spot. The waters can get a bit rough but when they are calm, you can swim or paddle around and explore the neighbouring coves.
Beaches of Peljesac, Peljesac Peninsula, Croatia
This is a group of beaches along the Peljesac Peninsula, about an hour’s drive from Dubrovnik. With its gorgeous surrounds of mountains, towns and forest meeting the ocean, this is a great spot to spend a few nights. You can even camp in the area. Check out the beaches of Divna, Jezero and Žuljana all with a stunning landscape and turquoise waters.
Elafonissi, Crete, Greece
Known as the beach with the pink sand, Elafonissi has turquoise waters and rolling dunes. This beach has been on most travellers’ lists for a while. Situated at the most southwestern point of the island of Crete, the beach is part of Natura 2000 (a network of nature protection areas in the territory of the European Union). To get there, fly to Chania International Airport and hire a car for the 1.5-hour drive to Elafonissi. If you’re staying in Chania, there is a boat from the Old Venetian Harbour that’ll take you there too. With Crete being such a beautiful island, why would you not want to drive around?
Myrtos Beach, Kefalonia, Greece
Situated in the north-west of Kefalonia, this is a stunning beach. With its shoreline made up of white smooth pebbles and lying between two mountains, Myrtos is the definition of a Greek island paradise. To get to the beach, hire a car or catch a bus from the island’s capital Argostoli.
Lalaria Beach, Skiathos, Greece
Situated on the north-eastern tip of Skiathos, Lalaria is the picture-perfect beach in every sense of the word. Only reachable by boat that can be caught from the port in the island’s capital, Lalaria is one spot that cannot be missed when you visit Skiathos.
Grotta Della Poesia, Puglia, Italy
Otherwise known as the Cave of Poetry, this is a natural swimming pool located in Roca Vecchia, a village on the Adriatic Coast. Next to the Grotta Della Poesia, there are ruins of castle walls, a sighting tower built during the sixteenth century and a sacred place dedicated to the Madonna of Roca.
Gjipe Beach, Albania
Situated in southern Albania, to get to this beach you’ll need to walk for half an hour once you park your car. With clear waters and small pebble stones making up its shoreline, you can even go hiking through the Gjipe Canyon and explore the surrounding area.
Golden Horn Beach (Zlanti Rat), The Island of Brac, Croatia
Only 20 minutes from Bol, this beach is popular for water sports. Its shoreline is made up of smooth tiny pebbles that meet its blue waters. This is truly one of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia. Getting there is easy. If you don’t want to drive or catch a taxi, there is a train that goes to the beach or you can catch a boat from the port of Bol.
Aguas Blancas, Ibiza, Spain
Just a 10-minute drive from San Carlos, the beach has a few amenities like lounges, a beach bar and a restaurant. You can only get to Aguas Blanca by car and there is a small fee for parking. This beach is a favourite for residents with its backdrop of coloured cliffs and golden sand. This is a place to get away from the crowded beaches of Ibiza and relax.
Three Cliffs Bay, Swansea, Wales
Situated on the south coast of the Gower Peninsula in the city and county of Swansea, the bay takes its name from the three cliffs that project into it. Due to the tides and currents, swimming is not always recommended but the trip is worth it just for the breathtaking landscape. If you want to spend a few nights here, there is nearby accommodation including glamping options.
Mogren Beach, Budva Riviera, Montenegro
Not too far from Budva’s Old Town region, you’ll discover this beautiful beach. It’s a relatively small beach, however its calm clear waters draw the crowds during the summer months.
Getting there with Cashback
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There are so many beaches to see in Europe and the United Kingdom that listing them all would be impossible. Ticking them off one by one is a great way to see the world. For more on how to plan a holiday and save money doing it, check out our blog.