Every beach has something unique. Think gold-flecked or biscuit-coloured grains, pebbly patches, watercolour-style hues of azures and cobalts... Plenty of beaches are backed by long promenades and casual eateries, too.
Looking for the finest pockets of coast on the continent? Here’s our breakdown of some of the best beaches in Europe:
Falésia Beach, Portugal
- Fig Tree Bay, Cyprus
- Kleopatra Beach, Turkey
- Balos Lagoon, Greece
- Playa de Las Canteras, Gran Canaria
- Cala Macarella, Menorca
- Zlatni Rat, Croatia
- Ramla Bay, Malta
- Sestri Levante, Italy
- Plage de Pampelonne, France
1. Falésia Beach, Portugal
The Algarve is famed for Falésia, one of the best beaches in Europe. It’s the dramatic burnt sienna-hued cliffs, glossy waters and 6km stretch that’s fashioned its appeal. Super-soft, Blue Flag-rated sands coat the coastline and you’ll also find native plants such as white sand lilies.
2. Fig Tree Bay, Cyprus
In honour of the locally growing fig trees, this bayside spot is one of Cyprus’ most tranquil beaches. You can expect fine sands and clear waters, wherever you put your towel down. Fig Tree Bay in pretty Protaras not only looks the part, it boasts handy sun beds and parasols too.
3. Kleopatra Beach, Turkey
Glam Alanya is known for culture and nightlife, but hit Kleopatra Beach and you’ll see it’s primed for days in the rays. It’s one of the best white-sand beaches in Europe. Legend has it, Cleopatra had these glistening grains imported from Egypt…
4. Balos Lagoon, Greece
Whether you’re exploring the western or eastern coast of Crete, save some time to unwind by blissful Balos Lagoon. Shades of cyan and turquoise intermingle to create a vision of utopia. Potter around and you’ll come across some pale pink patches of crushed shells.
5. Playa de Las Canteras, Gran Canaria
Mix beach and city when you visit Las Palmas. Playa de Las Canteras is one of the best sandy beaches in Europe thanks to its idyllic and privileged location. The glittering sands and lapping waves are backed by palm trees, with the stunning city tucked behind.
6. Cala Macarella, Menorca
Past Cala Galdana lies Cala Macarella. It’s a quintessentially beautiful Menorcan beach, with wispy, ivory sands and transparent waters. As one of the best white sand beaches in Europe and with paddle-friendly shallows, it’s suitable for everyone.
7. Zlatni Rat, Croatia
Island-hopping is a big deal in Croatia. Over in Bol on Brač Island, Zlatni Rat is a heavenly stretch. Surfers feel at home there and the pebbly carpets are perfect for chilling out on.
8. Ramla Bay, Malta
Of all the beaches in the Maltese islands, Ramla Bay in Gozo is something else. Auburn-speckled sands make it stand out against the sea and surrounding countryside. This Blue Flag plot is not only a great choice for a picnic spot, it houses a statue of the Virgin Mary.
9. Sestri Levante, Italy
Journey over from Forte Dei Marmi to striking Sestri Levante. This terrific, pastel-plastered town showcases the Bay of Silence. It’s fab for beachgoers and lined with typically Italianate buildings and plush palm trees.
10. Plage de Pampelonne, France
Sensational Saint-Tropez isn’t far from the pristine Plage de Pampelonne. Find your piece of paradise there on the sugary-white sands, as bright blue waters gently shelve by your feet.
So, that’s our rundown of the best beaches in Europe. Which one will you choose?
Posted: 1st Apr 2019.