Are you ready for a sunny holiday on one of Europe’s beaches? Whether you’re looking to relax on the shores or frolic in the waves, you’re sure to find a beautiful location.
While it’s nearly impossible to narrow down the best beaches in Europe, here are some holiday locations you might want to consider.
Vik Black Sand Beach, Iceland
Most beaches have white sand, but this beach has black sand. While you stroll along the shore, you’ll also notice basalt columns. These columns formed when seawater met basaltic lava. The columns can be hard to explore if the water is rough, but on the right day, you can explore the columns and a cave.
You can also sometimes spot puffins amongst the columns. If you would rather explore than lay in the sun, Vik Black Sand Beach is worth checking out. This location isn’t a very good spot to go swimming at, however.
Ghadira Bay, Malta
Malta has a number of great beaches, but Ghadira Bay (also known as Mellieha Bay) stays warm even in the autumn months. This beach gently slopes into the water and stays shallow, which allows the water to warm up quickly even when the outside temperature starts to drop.
The shallow water makes it a popular location for families, but this beach offers something for all travelers. There are cafes and bars near the beach, plus a number of water sports available.
This is Malta’s largest sandy beach, which means it can get crowded. The positive of it being a tourist location is that it’s easy to reach by public transportation and there are lifeguards on duty during the summer months.
Navagio Beach, Greece
Many travelers call Navagio Beach one of the most beautiful beaches they’ve visited. Also referred to as Shipwreck Beach, this beach offers white sand and a turquoise sea. The views from this beach are simply gorgeous.
Shipwreck Beach gets its name because a freighter ship smuggling cigarettes and alcohol crashed on the shore while trying to escape the Greek navy. Some say the ship actually crashed because of bad weather, but most prefer the more adventurous tale.
If you’re looking for great photo opportunities, there are cliffs surrounding the beach that allow you to get an amazing view.
Cala Marcella, Spain
Popular beaches of Spain include Mallorca and Ibiza, but those beaches tend to get really crowded. If you’re looking for a less congested (but still beautiful) beach, try Cala Marcella.
It offers calm waters and ultra fine sand, but it can be a challenge to get to. You’ll either need to hike two miles along some cliffs, or take a rough drive on a windy road and then hike through a pine forest. Once you’re there, though, you’ll enjoy a tranquil sanctuary.
Oludeniz Beach, Turkey
An extremely popular tourist destination, Oludeniz Beach offers a blue flag pebble shore and warm Mediterranean water. The beach is also surrounded by forests.
Since this is a tourist location, you’ll find all sorts of people here from families to couples to groups of friends. While the beach can be crowded at times, there are some great amenities nearby.
Cape Greco, Cyprus
If you’re looking for a location where you can enjoy a swim before going on an adventure, Cape Greco might be for you. During low tide, you can walk and swim in the sea caves that are near the beach. There are also deep pockets of water that you can go cliff diving into.
If sea caves or cliff diving aren’t your thing, the Cape Greco National Park is nearby. There are natural trails throughout this park that will take you along the coast. There are picnic locations along the trails, so make sure to bring a packed lunch.
Durdle Door Beach, England
Durdle Door Beach is along a stretch of coastline that offers geological features and fossils. You’ll spot soft golden sand, a limestone arch, and cliffs.
This beach also has excellent water quality, which is why the Marine Conservation Society recommends it for swimming and fishing. However, sometimes the waves do get really rough.
If you’re into fossil hunting, you might be able to find some prehistoric fossils here. Durdle Door Beach is along the Jurassic Coastline. Fossils regularly wash up along this coastline, and while you can’t purposefully go digging for fossils on the cliffs, you can take any fossils that you find on the beach. There are even tours that will help teach you what to look for.