20 Best Beaches In Europe 2024

people kayaking in the sea in italy

Planning a family holiday soon? If you are a family of beach lovers who are currently strapped for ideas you’ve landed in the right place! We’ve found 20 of the best beaches in Europe to explore in 2024, so you don’t have to!

We’ve found everything from secluded beaches on islands to idyllic beaches nestled in seaside towns and so much more.

Cala Goloritzè, Italy

cala goloritze italy beach
Do you like digging up hidden gems? Cala Goloritzè is just that! This beautiful white sand beach is located in Baunei, in the southern part of the Gulf of Orosei, in Ogliastra, Sardinia. You can go snorkelling, hiking, climbing, and birdwatching here!x

If you have low mobility this may not be the beach for you as you have to complete a whopping one-and-a-half-hour hike to the beach from the nearest car park and Bar Su Porcheddu (the last place you can buy food and drink from).

Make sure to take at least a 2-litre bottle of water per person and bring your own picnic as there is nothing surrounding this beach other than unspoiled nature.

Santa Giulia, France

santa giulia france
Enjoy endless breathtaking views of the translucent sea, deep in the South of France. Santa Guilia is located in Corsica which is a popular holiday destination among tourists. This area is best known around the world for its warm climate, dramatic mountain peaks and stunning coastlines.

You can get up to all kinds of mayhem in and out of the seawater! Spend the day rotating between sunbathing, snorkelling, water skiing, diving and so much more…

Another charming quality of Santa Giulia is its impressive food scene. Enjoy all things organic at L’OASIS Santa Giulia or La table du Moby Dick. From pastries to fresh fruit platters and salad jars, there are lots of delicious summery meals to eat overlooking the sea.

There are two ways to access this beach, the Northern Point via Occa del l’Oro or you can take the busier route from the south which leads you to the car park at the beach. The beach is a 10-15 minute drive from Porto Vecchio and it’s next door to the famous Palombaggia beach.

Balos Lagoon, Crete, Greece

Balos Lagoon Crete Greece
Visit the famous Greek beach King Charles and Princess Diana visited during their honeymoon!

Once you’ve driven through the mountains and passed by lots of goats, you’ll eventually end up just a 30-minute hike away from the tropical paradise that is the Balos Lagoon. If you don’t drive or want to hike then save your legs and catch a ferry to the beach.

Once you arrive, it’s about relaxation. Paddle in warm, shallow waters and dance along the hot white sand. Grab your favourite book, roll out your towel and get that beautiful Greek sunshine in your pores. Just make sure to bring your own food and drinks as there is only one Taverna, so as you can imagine it’ll get pretty busy.

Cala Macarella, Menorca

cala macarella menorca beach
Get your fix of sun, sea and smiles at one the most famous beaches in Menorca. Take snaps of the turquoise blue waters or the lush green trees that shelter the white cliffs.

Hop aboard a tour of the area on one of many boat trips. Enjoy sunset cruises, daily tours, half-day boat trips and so much more! Grab your diving goggles and go snorkelling! discover all kinds of aquatic life beneath the water’s edge. Or sit back and enjoy some tapas while you sunbathe.

You can bike, bus or even kayak to Marcella. Buses take 25 minutes from Ciutadella from May to September.

navagio beach greece
Famously known as ‘Shipwreck Beach’, Navagio in Zakynthos is a shipwreck cove that lies on the Western side of the Ionian Island. The shipwreck is one of the most photographed sites in Greece! As you can imagine, it’s a pretty popular tourist spot.

But aside from taking photos you can swim and sunbathe the day away. You can catch taxi boats to the island every hour and trips typically take 30 minutes.

Would you visit this popular spot?

Sveti Stefan, Montenegro

sveti stefan montenegro
Sveti Stefan is a world-famous island in the Adriatic Sea and a visit is a real highlight of a vacation in Montenegro. It’s one of the best beaches in Europe due to its picturesque setting.

The beach is situated in a former fishing village which has since been transformed into luxury hotels. The tiny island is only 1.64 hectares and it has become a landmark for Montenegro. Its history dates back to the 15th century, making it an even more enriching experience.

Celebrities all over the world, such as Marylin Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, have flocked to the island’s turquoise shores for a rest bite… it’s not hard to see why…

Plage de Tahiti Beach, France

plage de tahiti
Now if you’re a fan of vintage films you may recognise this beach in Brigitte Bardot’s famous film, “And God Created Woman”. This film put the little village of St Tropez on the map and ever since showbiz stars and starlets have flocked to this private beach in their leisure time.

Tread softly on golden sand, swim in the warm water, try out some water sports, or have a party on the beach with friends! You can always take a trip to the historic town of Ramatuelle if you need a break from sunbathing.

In the summertime, traffic in St Tropez is a nightmare so the best thing to do is park your car in St Maxime and take a water taxi to St Tropez. There are no trains or buses available to St Tropez. If you want the ultimate beach holiday then book a hotel nearby!

Bay of Biscay, France

Bay of Biscay France
To be clear, the Bay of Biscay is a HUGE area that surrounds Northern Spain and Western France from Biarritz to Bordeaux, Nantes and Brest. However, we are just going to focus on Biarritz…

While this beach isn’t remote on its own tropical island, it’s still beautiful and much easier to access for families as there are multiple beaches stretching across France and Spain.

Check out La Barre, it’s one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe that has a wide promenade, local attractions nearby and restaurants.

You should also keep note of Chambre D’amour. This beach translates to ‘bedroom of love’ and is based on the tragic love story of a young couple who met in secret caves. They met their fate when a big wave came and took them out to sea. The French admire this beach as it signifies freedom and the wildness of nature. Today, you can surf, play golf, and taste the local seafood here.

in Biarritz, you can visit La Grande Plage – it’s one of the busiest beaches in Biarritz. It’s a hive for surfers and families as there is a bustling promenade and heaps of cafes. It’s the perfect place to watch the world go by.

San Fruttuoso, Liguria, Italy

boat floating in the clear sea at san fruttuoso liguria
Make a pilgrimage to San Fruttuoso and book a glass-bottom boat trip to see the bronze statue of Jesus in the sea. There is a monastery on the beach which you can explore too that has a replica of the Jesus statue.

The area is surrounded by Mediterranean pine forests and holm oaks. You’ll get to see echoes of the past dotted around the beach whether it’s old boats in between the monastery’s arches or the old olive terraces.

The beach is just about big enough to class as a holiday beach and you can get here by boat as they run hourly midsummer. You can drive but the nearest car park is one hour away from the beach and it would take you twice as long to walk back as the trek is uphill.

Praia das Furnas, Vila Nova de Milfontes

Praia das Furnas Vila Nova de Milfontes
Ever been to a river beach before? The beach of Praia das Furnas sits across the river Mira from Vila Nova de Milfontes. It could be considered two distinct beaches as it wraps around the coast with one side facing into the calm waters of the Mira estuary and the other into the powerful waves of the Atlantic.

This beach is popular with families and is accessible via ferry rides. There are lifeguards at all times due to the sea’s nature. The sea has predominantly calm waters but there are strong tidal currents too, so you must always be careful.

There are a number of neighbouring beaches such as Praia Do Farol, Praia Da Franquia, Pria Do Burdo, Elmograve and Praia Do Malhao. Some of these beaches are known for their beautiful golden sand and epic waves – perfect for surfers.

Praia do Camilo, Lagos

praia do camilo lagos
Take an excursion down truncated cliffs and into the turquoise water at Camilo Beach! It’s just 200 steps down to the sandy beach but before you climb down, make sure you take in the glorious natural views.

There is also a neighbouring beach, Ponta da Piedade, which has a sharply contoured rock formation with sea grottoes. This is a regional landmark that you can see a little more clearly on a boat trip.

You can also hop on a vessel to examine caves and visit other small beaches tucked in between the rocks.

San Sebastian, Spain

san sebastian spain
San Sebastian is home to the best in-city beaches making it one of the greatest summer attractions for families. However, it’s most famous for its food. Make sure you dine out on traditional Basque cuisine. San Sebastian has the second most Michelin stars per capita in the world!

Now, back to beaches… Pick from the Concha (most well-known), Ondarreta (best family beach), The Zurriola, largely taken to by youngsters and surf-lovers, and the little stretch of sand on Santa Clara Island.

It’s the ultimate family destination, and unlike many other locations on this list, there are multiple beaches, restaurants, transport, and a lively atmosphere. No hour-long hikes or boat rides will be required!

Punta Rata, Brela, Croatia

red submarine in the sea at punta rata brela in croatia
Welcome to the paradise beach of Punta Rate in Brela, Croatia! Check out the famous landmark, Brela Stone or take a dive into the turquoise waters.

Punta Rata is a popular holiday resort for families and it’s not hard to see why. This beach jewel is located in a dense pine forest which has been protected since 1964! With endless blue skies, turquoise water, and shade under the trees, you’ll feel truly at peace.

And if you do get a sudden burst of energy you can play hide and seek in the water behind large rocks. You can also go snorkelling, go kayaking, paddle boarding, jet skiing, parasailing or try a SUP tour!

Plaka Beach, Naxos, Greece

lots of people sunbathing under straw parasols on plaka beach naxos in greece
Plaka Beach in Naxos has attracted people from all over the world and is arguably one of the island’s most popular seashores.

The seashore is 4km long and connects to Agia Anna Beach on the Western side of the island. There are lots of holiday resorts and villas located nearby so the area can get quite popular but despite its popularity, it remains a very peaceful escape.

lots of people sunbathing under straw parasols on plaka beach naxos in greece
Plaka Beach in Naxos has attracted people from all over the world and is arguably one of the island’s most popular seashores.

The seashore is 4km long and connects to Agia Anna Beach on the Western side of the island. There are lots of holiday resorts and villas located nearby so the area can get quite popular but despite its popularity, it remains a very peaceful escape.

Cape Greco, Cyprus

people jumping off rocks into the sea t cape greco cyprus
If you want to get much more out of a beach than sunbathing and swimming, then we recommend delving into the ancient past of Cape Greco…

Nestled in the small peninsula in the southeast of Cyprus in Famagusta (between Ayia Napa and Paralimni), Cape Greco is a national forest park! The area covers 384.9 hectares and was excavated in 1992. Cape Greco was discovered to be the home of the most ancient settlement on the island and an ancient wreck from the 2nd century was uncovered in the marine area nearby!

When visiting the area you’ll get to see all kinds of wildlife from migratory birds to 71 species of fauna. You’ll also discover submarine ravines and caves that are popular with divers (and smugglers, back in the day!). If you want to get the whole experience post-sunathe then grab your trainers and go on a nature trail. it’s a great way to get acquainted with the area and its unique nature.

Cala Nova, Ibiza, Spain

cala nova ibiza beach
Surfers grab your boards, party-goers take a break, and families fetch your floats – we’re heading over to Cala Nova…

It’s good vibes all around at Cala Nova! Grab a drink from the beach bar and enjoy meals from nearby restaurants. There are lots of other great facilities too like loungers, parasols, showers toilets and disabled toilets too.

Spiaggia dei Conigli ‘rabbit beach’, Italy

Spiaggia dei Conigli rabbit beach
The Spiaggia dei Conigli is one of the best beaches in Europe and it is located on the southern coast of the island of Lampedusa, in Sicily, one of the Pelagie Islands.

Translating “Rabbit Beach” in English, it regularly wins awards as being one of the most beautiful beaches in the world with its shallow, crystalline waters and soft golden sand.

You’ll also find the island of the same name: Isola dei Conigli, which is opposite the beach.

Kynance Cove, Cornwall, England

kynance cove cornwall
Explore the beautiful views of the West Coast of England! The Lizard and Kynance Cove at the Lizard Point, offers dramatic cliff walks, wildflowers and geological features designed by nature to delight all visitors.

Don’t let the name fool you, Lizard Cove is not a lizard-infested island or cove. The name derives from the Cornish Lis, meaning ‘place’, and Ard, meaning ‘high’.

Plus for some cerebral entertainment, Marconi’s historic wireless experiments are celebrated at The Lizard Wireless Station and the Marconi Centre at Poldhu. Two miles north lies Kynance Cove, openly considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, so who are we to argue!?

When the tide is low, you can see a series of coves and interconnected caves. Each of them has Victorian names such as the Ladies Bathing Pool and the Drawing Room!

Luskentyre, Isle of Harris

Luskentyre beach
Scotland has some of the most captivating landscapes in the UK and Luskentyre in the Isle of Harris is one of them.

On south Harris, you’ll find a small taste of the Caribbean on the far reaches of the Outer Hebrides. There are no rugged cliffs in sight, only gentle hills, soft sand and clear blue waters.

If you travel another 20 minutes down the road to Harris’s southern tip, you’ll pass Scarista, Luskentyre’s less famous sibling.

Haukland Beach, Norway

haukland beach norway
Whether you love hiking, swimming or surfing, Haukland Beach is one of the best beaches in Europe due it its wild and rugged nature. It’s the perfect place to visit during the Winter or the Summer.

Haukland Beach on the Lofoten archipelago is arguably the area’s most famous sandy spot. It has been voted Norway’s best beach and is located on Vestvagoy Island on the west side of Lofoten.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our article, 20 best beaches in Europe To Explore In 2023. There are so many stunning beaches on our list but we also have many other interesting beach-related articles a little closer to home. So, if you’re planning a staycation make sure you read some of our helpful guides a little closer to home. We’ve written about everything from Unique Airbnbs in Wales to Dog-friendly Beaches, Best Beaches Near You, Seaside Holiday Cottages and more.

If it’s international articles you’re interested in reading, we have plenty of those too. Check Siam Waterpark, and Top 20 Theme Parks In Europe For Families.

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