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.
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.
Explore everything from postcard-perfect coastlines to medieval cities and tempting vineyards of, all the while staying in Renaissance palaces, seaside villas and thousand-year-old castles. This is northern Spain at its best.
Top offers for Europe Beach holidays
Traveller's Offer – Save up to £215 pp
Book by: 30 April 2019
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.
Save £195 per couple
Book by: 31 May 2019
Tear yourself away from the next-door beach to enjoy the gourmet dining, indulgent spa treatments and poolside relaxation of this luxury property on Tenerife's sun-drenched southwestern coast.
Early booking discount (100% prepayment) – Save up to £160 pp
Book by: 31 May 2019
Situated on Crete's northeast coast and set amid 20 acres of landscaped gardens overlooking beautiful Mirabello Bay, just to the south of Elounda, the Elounda Bay Palace is one of this ever-popular Greek island's leading resorts. Perfect for families and couples alike, guests can enjoy private sand…
Early booking discount – Save up to £255 pp
Book by: 31 May 2019
Combine the white sands of the Tuscan coast with the Renaissance excess of Florence, enjoying stays in two of the country’s finest hotels; contrast private-beach access with Michelin-starred dining. In between, the use of a hire car will afford you the flexibility to explore the Tuscan countryside.