Europe has no lack of some of the most exotic cities in the world and millions of tourists gather here to explore the capitals like Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Vienna. Europe is famous across the globe for picture-perfect beaches, and pristine coastline spread thousands of miles.
Some of these beaches in Europe are good for a full family getaway where kids and parents can enjoy different activities, while some have peaceful bays and cliffs for the ones hoping to escape the crowds of visitors.
From the relaxing beaches in Greece and Croatia with sky blue waters to the wide surf beaches and wilderness on the Atlantic coast of Portugal, you can always find a beach that can match your needs and tastes.
If you are wondering which beach to choose for your next summer vacation, listed here are some of the exotic sandy beaches in Europe.
Table of Contents
- 1 Top 15 Best Beaches in Europe to Visit
- 1.1 Porto Timoni Beach, Corfu, Greece
- 1.2 Praia Marinha, Algarve, Portugal
- 1.3 Canal d’Amour, Sidari, Greece
- 1.4 Virgin Island’s creek, Crozon, France
- 1.5 Blue Lagoon, Malta
- 1.6 Playa de Carnota, Galicia, Spain
- 1.7 Reynisfjara, Iceland
- 1.8 Moscenicka Draga Beach, Croatia
- 1.9 Durdle Door Beach, Dorset, England
- 1.10 Cala Agulla Beach, Mallorca, Spain
- 1.11 Mitjaneta beach, Menorca, Spain
- 1.12 Podrace Beach, Croatia
- 1.13 Seychelles Beach, Ikaria, Greece
- 1.14 Calo des Moro, Mallorca, Spain
- 1.15 Ballota Beach, Asturias, Spain
Top 15 Best Beaches in Europe to Visit
Porto Timoni Beach, Corfu, Greece
Porto Timoni is an exotic, well-hidden beach which is not that popular. It is located around Agios Georgios Pagi below Afionas village. It is split into two different beaches separated by a delicate strip of landscapes. The large beach is known as Porto Timoni, and the small one is Limni.
It is one of the most verdant and magnificent beaches in Europe. These two beaches have dense hills, i.e., one with deep blue waters and another with blue waters. You will find out different water temperatures in these two bays.
You need to go through the path which starts with the small Afionas square to get to Porto Timoni. It takes around twenty minutes to reach this beach. But you must be careful as the path is abrupt and rugged in many places. The closed bays, only a few bathers, and crystal clear waters are the best things of Porto Timoni. It is entirely an unorganized beach.
So, it would be best if you carried all the essentials to stay and bring water. You can follow the path to the edge of the peninsula to reach the Agios Stylianos chapel built in a cave.
Praia Marinha, Algarve, Portugal
Located around the limestone cliffs in the Algarve region, Praia de Marinha is, according to a lot of travel magazines, one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. It is one of the exotic sandy beaches in Europe known for crystal clear waters, jagged rock formations and beach holidays in Europe. You need to do some climbing down a narrow pathway, to access to the beach. Flip flops will not be good. So, pack a pair of good shoes for European beach vacations.
It is one of the peaceful sunny places in Europe and it is best to get there during the offseason. Large crowds of vacationers gather on this beach. This beach is indeed a magnificent destination for snorkeling on the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It is undoubtedly worth to visit for natural grottos and caves for fun-filled European beach vacations.
Canal d’Amour, Sidari, Greece
Also known as the Channel of Love, Canal d’Amour is one of the unique and favorite sunny places in Europe. It is located between Peroulades and Sidari villages on the north of the island at around 32 km from Corfu city.
It is indeed a natural masterpiece, a unique one in the Mediterranean. It is an opening formed by the corrosive impact of air and water over the sandstone cliff. With the passage of each year, the permanent effects of natural elements change the environment in some parts with clear waters. It is virtually a small beach.
So, it is always better to get there in the early morning as thousands of tourists flock there every summer so you could find some space and be patient as it is very crowded. Be sure to explore the caves with a mask across the Chanel.
Virgin Island’s creek, Crozon, France
Virgin Island’s creek in Brittany is one of the best sunny places in Europe. This secret beach is not accessible, but it is beautiful. It looks like a typical Mediterranean beach with maritime pines. The natural cove of Virgin Island is one of the surprising destinations for beach holidays in Europe.
So come and explore the hidden treasures of this peaceful beach by kayak, boat, with mask/flippers/snorkel or via GR34 trail. It is worth to start checking it out from the entrance of the beach.
Blue Lagoon, Malta
The Blue Lagoon of Malta has crystal clear waters ideal for swimming, having almost no waves as unique formations of limestone secure the cove. You can swim out to many of them.
The Blue Lagoon has a small dock where you can boat to other beaches and coves across the island. It has a lot of facilities to enjoy like snack vendors, sunbeds, and umbrellas for European beach vacations.
Playa de Carnota, Galicia, Spain
In Galicia, Playa de Carnota is the best destination for beach city breaks in Europe. Summer is usually flat for consistent surf. Offshore winds blow on the northeast of the beach. Carnota is stretched over 7 km on the western coast, making it the longest beach in Galicia.
It is located around 70 km from Santiago de Compostela city. You can always find a stretch of sand, and it is the best for swimming as lifeguards are available all the time in many parts of this beach.
Is it enough for you to visit white beaches in Europe? Of course, they are cool. What if Iceland has a lava beach which has been formed of the ashes? Out of various volcanic beaches, Reynisfjara is the black sand beach which is the coolest one with incredible basalt columns, black sand, towering cliffs, caves, and lava formations.
Don’t confuse it with tanning sand on most beaches. It is pure black as it was formed by hot lava flowing on the ocean which cooled down quickly as it got into the water.
Moscenicka Draga Beach, Croatia
Moscenicka Draga is a coastal town located off Opatija, which is known for the serene environment and pebble beach.
Situated under the Ucka Mountain and facing the magnificent Kvarner Bay, the community proudly has a sense of peace and isolation.
It has excellent features which are essential for intimate and relaxing holidays in Europe. It has a friendly environment that provides ample comfort during your stay.
Durdle Door Beach, Dorset, England
The best part of this iconic beach is the natural limestone arch which leads you to the aquamarine and crystal clear waters of the ocean.
Pounding waves sweeping for thousands of years off the headland formed the arch between Man’o’War Bay and Doodle Door. The sandy shingle beach of Durdle Door curves from the archway and faces massive limestone mountains of Jurassic Coast.
The ammonites, fossils, and belemnites are found well with this stretch. But keep in mind that the rocks fall in the area sometimes.
So, you must be careful under the cliffs. But the crystal clear waters greet the tourists during summer months as they look gorgeous and the area is well known among snorkelers and swimmers on sunny days.
Read also: Top 10 Pretty Islands in England to Visit
Cala Agulla Beach, Mallorca, Spain
Cala Agulla beach is known for bright and shallow sea waters. Cala Agulla beach is around 500m long and has the depth of 50 meters on average, being the largest beach on the eastern part of the island. You can rent parasols and sunbeds. It has toilet facilities available, and lifeguards are assigned for their duties.
During the summer months, thousands of locals and tourists flock to it. When it comes to enjoying water sports, active tourists can enjoy beach volleyball. It has ample parking space in a restaurant and a beach bar.
Mitjaneta beach, Menorca, Spain
Cala Mitjaneta is one of the most exotic and famous beaches in Europe for couples. It is a beautiful cove in Menorca on the south, tipped with high cliffs on one side and bright shallow, blue, and serene waters on the other. On a short walk away, there is a small parking space. But it is packed quickly in peak season. So, it is better to access this beach by boat.
Like with many beaches in this place, it is a charming beach, but you should come prepared because it is a remote shore and has a lack of facilities. It remains very crowded in peak months. Be sure to go early and carry enough supplies that can last a full day. Hike over the cliff or swim across the headland, you can explore the pristine beauty on a small island.
Podrace Beach, Croatia
Located in the small yet beautiful cove, the Podrace Beach in Croatia has a range of bays in Brela, one of the exotic summer resorts in this country.
It is one of the best beaches in Europe and is selected No.1 by Forbes Magazine. It was one of the 15 hottest holiday destinations in 2015 by the European Best Destinations.
Seychelles Beach, Ikaria, Greece
It appeared due to landslide around 30 years ago, and the Seychelles Beach is one of the best-kept secrets in Ikaria. The locals have marked the way to the beach as well as parking space.
This beach is located on the south coast of Ikaria in the least populated region of the island where Rocky Mountains slope down.
Calo des Moro, Mallorca, Spain
It is yet another lesser-known beach in Mallorca thanks to its popularity and small size. There is nothing much to do here, but you can swim and snorkel.
However, it is not that friendly for relaxing and bathing in peak season.
Ballota Beach, Asturias, Spain
This spectacular beach is naturally covered by a solid, small barrier that protrudes on the water. It is indeed a beautiful beach with pristine surroundings and amazing views of the entire island.
It has crystal clear water and sandy seabed. You can reach there by car following the marked track leads around the beach.