With the suggestion of summer finally starting to arrive in Europe after a long hard winter, it’s a timely moment to think about some of the best beaches in Europe.
Malagueta Beach, Malaga, Spain
Being born and bred in Australia, where we firmly believe we have the best beaches in the world, I’m a tough beach critic, so if a European beach makes it onto this list you can be sure that there’s something worth seeing there. I’ve compiled this list from the tips in the archives of Europe a la Carte, so it should be a great collection of potential destinations for a European beach holiday. Enjoy!
Podcast on Some of the Best Beaches in Europe
Karen is keen on taking a trip to Spain’s Costa Verde, on the northern Atlantic coast, to see its dramatic scenery for herself.
Playa Catedrales, Ribadeo, Costa Verde, Spain by Ruggero Poggianella
On a recent trip to Gran Canaria, Karen tried out numerous beaches and wrote about six beautiful Gran Canaria beaches. One of the most spectacular was Maspalomas Beach, with a lake, lighthouse and sand dunes adding to the scenic coast.
Maspalomas Beach looking toward the lighthouse in Gran Canaria
In the Galicia region, Inka couldn’t resist trying out what she heard some young holidaymakers discussing as the “best beach in the world” – a big call! The Playa de Rodas at Las Islas Cies turned out to be a kilometre-long stretch of perfect white sand, with calm shallow water, and several other beautiful beaches nearby.
Playa de Rodas by Inka Piegsa-quischotte
Malagueta Beach, Malaga
Karen swam in the beautiful Coral Bay, near Paphos on the west coast of Cyprus, in March. Although the water was on the cool side, it was OK once she got going.
Coral Bay, Cyprus
The beach at Aphrodite’s Rock, said to be the birthplace of Greek goddess of love, beauty and sexuality is a lovely spot for a refreshing dip. Legend says that if you swim here you’ll be eternally beautiful.
The beach at Aphrodite’s Rock in Cyprus
In the Puglia region of Italy, Kimberly has some excellent tips for beaches on the Gargano Peninsula. They are located between high white cliffs and usually involve a bit of a trek down from the car park – but that’s what makes them relatively quiet and unspoilt.
Gargano peninsula beaches by Kimberly Sullivan
Not far from Rome, Kimberly also recommends the beach at Sperlonga – which is in fact the beach where the ancient Roman emperor Tiberius liked to spend his summer holidays! Two thousand years of holidaying can’t be wrong, and it is also popular with Rome residents escaping the city during summer.
On the island of Mykonos, Inka recommends the beach at Ai Yianni on the northern side of the island. She’s also given us a tip for a beach side meal, eating at the restaurant in the Hippie Fish resort.
Hippie Fish restaurant by by Inka Piegsa-Quischotte
In the Algarve region of Portugal, Jeremy recommends the breathtaking beaches at Salema. It’s a fishing village with great seafood restaurants to go with it and judging by Jeremy’s photographs it’s a particularly beautiful spot.
Beach at Salema by Jeremy Branham
The Croatian coast is littered with hundreds of gorgeous beaches, so it’s hard to go wrong, but I’ve picked out a few of the Europe a la Carte team’s favourite Croatian beaches. Neha votes for Zlatni Rat, near the town of Bol on the island of Brac. The only downside to Zlatni Rat is that it’s so beautiful that it tends to be crowded during the peak summer months.
Zlatni Rat by Neha
If you’re spending time in Dubrovnik but want a bit of a beach getaway, Neha recommends a day trip to the Elaphite Islands. They are a group of 14 islands, mostly unpopulated, and well known for their beautiful beaches.
Finally, Neha also has a less well-known beach tip for us: the tiny island of PalmiÅ¾ana, a short boat ride from the larger island of Hvar.
PalmiÅ¾ana by Neha
Mellieha Beach in Malta
Meanwhile, Kimberly recommends the Blue Lagoon. She decided it was easily one of the best beaches on Malta and the cliffs around it made it look like a giant swimming pool.
Blue Lagoon Beach in Malta
Montenegro might just be our secret tip for a perfect European beach holiday. Kimberly recommends Perast, a pretty seaside town on the Gulf of Kotor which includes a great family beach known as Pirate Beach.
Beach in Perast by Kimberly Sullivan
Whipsiderry Beach, Newquay
Karen’s local beach at Berwick upon Tweed is Spittal Beach, where she goes for walks all year round but I’m not sure I like my beaches covered in ice.
Snow and ice on Spittal Beach
St Ninian’s Beach in the Scottish Shetland Islands
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