With the Adriatic, Aegean, Balearic, Baltic, Mediterranean and even North Sea to choose from it's not surprising that there are some exceptional beaches in Europe. With so many countries claiming a stretch of coast, no matter where you travel there's almost certainly somewhere with good quality sand and good swimming, especially in traditional hotspots such as France, Greece and Spain. The best beaches in Europe include:
- Zlatni Rat in Croatia, an arrow-head shaped beach that is one of the most spectacular stretches of sand in the Adriatic
- Bamburgh in England is a wild stretch of coast overlooked by Northumberland's Bamburgh Castle, although beaches in Cornwall offer stiff competition.
- Ile de Re in France is a wild expanse looking over the Atlantic that benefits from some spectacular sunsets.
- The North Sea island of Sylt in Germany is bracing but exhilarating.
- Myrtnos Beach on Kefalonia is probably Greece's most impressive crescent, with white pebbles curving photogenically into the distance.
- Chia on Sardinia trumps the beaches on mainland Italy, with vast dunes leading into juniper forests.
- The Curonian Spit in Lithuania is the most impressive sliver of beach along the Baltic Sea, backed by silver birches and pines.
- Sagres in Portugal's Algarve is an undeveloped haven overlooked by a mighty white fort.
- El Palmar on Spain's Costa de la Luz has vast golden sand stretches and a casual, friendly atmosphere.
- Tofta in Gotland is where Sweden's hip young things congregate.
- Patara on Turkey's Turquoise Coast is a 12-mile stretch of coast backed by mountains of sand that doubles as a nesting area for turtles.
These are just a handful of the options available though. Additionally, tailor-make your beach holiday in Europe by adding a city break, history and culture tour or excursion to create a truly sensational escape; talk to a destination specialist to see what we can do for you.
Our top itineraries for Europe Beach holidays
Let stays in world-class hotels and the services of private drivers showcase the best of Capri’s island paradise, the Amalfi Coast’s dramatic beauty and Sorrento’s clifftop views. In between, there's plenty of time for some beach-side relaxation and independent exploration.
The ultimate experience, 'hopping' around a variety of the Greek Islands, and enjoying the best accommodation on offer. Whilst the Greek islands have a common heritage, each island is unique and has its own personality.
From mountain towns down to idyllic seasides and rural villages, this is your chance to head off the beaten track among Catalonia’s endless charm. You'll knit together hiking trails, beaches and rustic villages with scenic drives and stays in historic accommodation, from castles to farmhouses.
Top offers for Europe Beach holidays
Early booking discount - stay 01 Nov 2018 - 31 May 2019 – Save up to £195 pp
Book by: 31 October 2018
Between fine-dining restaurants, opulent private-terrace rooms and one of Europe’s finest golf courses, the latest in Algarve ultra-luxury is a true gem. It’s all wrapped up in signature Anantara service, best experienced in the excellent spa.
Early booking discount – Save up to £85 pp
Book by: 31 January 2019
Just minutes from the golden sands of Mallorca's pretty northern shore, this traditional boutique hotel pairs all those must-have modern comforts with private balcony rooms and sweeping Mediterranean views. It's all complemented by fine wines, tempting Mallorcan menus and a stunning outdoor pool.
Early booking discount - must book 60 days before arrival – Save up to £165 pp
Book by: 30 November 2018
Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo is provides one of the finest views in the world – a panorama of the rooftops of medieval Taormina, stretching past the sensational sight of Mount Etna's peak and towards the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the island's most exclusive properties.
Stay 4 nights, pay 3 – Save up to £130 pp
Book by: 30 November 2018
The Baglioni Hotel Cala del Porto, with its Mediterranean fine dining and indulgent spa, looks out across the bay of Punta Ala to the island of Elba in the distance. The hotel is just a stroll from a private sandy beach replete with pagoda-shaped cabins, sun loungers and deck chairs.