10 best beaches in Europe
With hundreds of thousands of miles of coastline, it’s no surprise that Europe is home to some of the world’s best beaches.
Forget the Caribbean, and the golden sands of Australia: we’ve picked out 10 of the best beaches in Europe to whet your holiday appetite for 2015.
1. Grand Plage, Biarritz, France
This legendary town is situated on France’s south-west Atlantic coast, practically on the border with Spain. Luxury is the order of the day here, and the stunning – often crowded – Grand Plage beach has been popular with holidaymakers for at least two centuries. Today, it’s especially popular with surfers and hosts competitions every year. When you’ve had your fill of golden sands and crashing waves, head to Biarritz casino or the nearby golf course.
2. Ramla Bay, Gozo, Malta
Malta is packed with stunning beaches, but Ramla Bay on the island of Gozo is perhaps its most celebrated. If all you want to do is swim and enjoy the scenery, this is ideal. But bring your own food and drink, as there is very little development around Ramla Bay. Just remember to bring your own rubbish bag and dispose of it far away from these serene beauty spot.
3. Chia beach, Sardinia
Forget Sicily: Sardinia is where it’s at when it comes to beautiful beaches. Chia beach is one of its most celebrated, with fine, almost-white sand and brilliant blue skies. The nearby bay Cala Cipolla attracts scuba divers from all over Europe thanks to the area’s many reefs and good underwater visibility. If you’re not willing to venture under the sea, you can explore the sea on a boat trip too.
4. Sylt, Germany
Germany isn’t the first place you’d consider as a beach holiday destination, but the island of Sylt is one of its best-kept secrets. Located in the North Sea, there are several tourist resorts on the island. It’s the perfect choice for travellers looking to escape the party-hard culture of Spanish beach resorts, and ideal if you can’t handle the heat as temperature averages linger just below 20 degrees in summer.
5. Barcelona, Spain
Ok, so perhaps this isn’t the tranquil, secluded beach of your dreams. But if what you’re looking for is a slice of beach fun on a city break, Barcelona has the solution. Just a short walk away from the city’s famous Gothic Quarter, you’ll find La Barceloneta. Grab a local beer as you watch the sun go down, or pop into a local seafood restaurant to sample an authentic paella right by the sea shore.
6. West Sands, St. Andrews, Scotland
You’d be lucky to get your bathing costume out here, even in the height of summer: the chilly North Sea means that swimming is unlikely, unless you have a heavy-duty wetsuit. But the West Sands in the pretty east coast town of St Andrews is probably one of Britain’s most picturesque beaches. Perfect for a mid-afternoon wander; if you’re lucky, you might see local students playing beach polo with their horses during term-time or catch a famous face taking a stroll after a round of golf.
7. Porthcurno, Cornwall, England
You’re not short of beaches in Cornwall. Porthcurno is particularly lovely, boasting white sands and rocky cliffs, alongside bright blue waters. Take a couple of deck chairs to gaze away at the blissful scene in comfort: but don’t forget those waterproofs for when British summertime inevitably turns on you.
8. Sagres beach, Algarve, Portugal
A much sought-after destination amongst sun-seekers and golfers, the Algarve still has a few surprises up its sleeve. Check out Sagres beach, an idyllic locations that particularly attracts surfers. There’s also a National Park nearby, so it’s not all about sun, sea and sand.
9. Vik, Iceland
Another one for coast-lovers, rather than sun worshippers. Near the town of Vik in Iceland, you’ll find Reynisfjara: a beach that’s black and white, rather than golden and blue. Icy North Atlantic waters meet black volcanic sands: you might even see chunks of ice from the nearby glacier washed up on shore. Bring your camera, but leave your swimming costume at home.
10. Sopot, Poland
It’s an unexpected contender, but the Baltic spa town of Sopot is one of Eastern Europe’s best seaside locations. It’s great for those travellers who’ve had their fill of resorts in Spain and want to experience something different but with just as vibrant a bar culture. Sopot is also home to the longest wooden pier in Europe, and there are lots of cycle paths and trails around for when you want to work off the effects of last night’s vodka.
What are your favourite beaches in Europe?
Silversurfer's Assistant Editor
Latest posts by Silversurfer's Assistant Editor (see all)
- Introducing a new partner to your children and grandchildren - February 19, 2018
- Clever uses for nail files - February 16, 2018
- Welcome to the Year of the Dog - February 15, 2018
- Set yourself a new goal for Lent - February 14, 2018
- Is it worth celebrating Valentine’s Day? - February 13, 2018
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!