The 5 Best Beaches in Europe

Since my epic ‘visit every country in Europe’ plan was unveiled I’ve been quite all too excited about hitting up some awesome beaches around the Mediterranean.

European Gothic churches and old school cathedrals are all well and good but there’s nothing like bikini glad European chicks, lazy days and a sunset on the sea.

 

The thought of banishing my sangria-induced hangover away with a dip in the ocean when I’m lounging around Croatia, Greece or Spain is just so appealing that I’ve got a little ahead of myself and found the 5 best beaches in Europe, all of which I hope to expose to my pasty, Irish body. Be warned people, here I come:

 

  

1)   Ibiza, Spain – Cala Salada beach:

It gets a bit of a hard time thanks to the party scene but Ibiza is still home to some of Europe’s best beaches. The best beach in Ibiza is Cala Salada beach. It’s on the northwest coast of San Antonio and there’s no public transport so it’s not rammed full of drunken Brits!

cala salada beach ibiza

2)   The Curonian Spit, Lithuania:

I have a bit of a soft spot for this place, after backpacking around Lithuania recently. The Curonian Spit is a UNESCO world heritage site, but unknown to western tourists. In other words, is a travelers dream. The 100km spit is only accessible by 10 minute ferry from Klaipeda, rent yourself a bike for $4 and go and find your own perfect, untouched beach. Because Lithuania is so far North, you can enjoy sunset as late as 10pm. Perfection.

Curonian Spit beach  lithuania

3)   Zante, Greece – Shipwreck Beach:

Just off the west coast of Greece lies paradise. If you like Maya bay in Thailand (from the Beach movie), this is its European brother. Know as shipwreck beach (Navagio) thanks to the smuggler ship cast on it’s white sand beach, it’s jammed full of people from the mid afternoon cruises. So hit it up early, before 11am, or late afternoon, after 3pm and you’ll have the place to yourself. Get me there now! 

shipwreck beach zante greece

 

4)   Algarve, Portugal – Praia Da Marinha beach:

I know, I know there are a lot of beaches in the Algarve, so if you’re gonna only go to one, go to Praia da Marinha, which always features in the world’s best beaches list. It’s easy to reach too, with great transport links, faro airport transfers, and cheap deals. I can’t wait to veg out here.

Praia da Marinha algarve beach

5) Brac, Croatia – Zlatni Rat Beach

Croatia is bang on the map these days with it’s white sand beaches and sexy islands. The pick of the bunch is Zlatni Rat beach, which probably should win the award for least appropriately named place in the world, considering it’s name is a rodent, whereas it’s beach is perfection. The pic does more justice than my ramblings.

beach-spit-zlatni-rat-croatia

The 5 best beaches in Europe? Possible, if you guys can think of more, I’d love to hear them, I’m planning my sun burn sessions as we speak. Happy travels!

 

14 thoughts on “The 5 Best Beaches in Europe

  1. AR

    most people know the algarve coast but they dont know the vicentina coast or costa vicentina.For anyone that likes peace and serenity like i do its absolute heaven and its hard to believe they are pratically deserted

    Reply
  2. daniel

    Im from Portugal so it probably sounds suspicious me saying it but ours are the best and only Greece can top it.
    They are very diversed just like the rest of the country, most people know about the algarve but
    you should check out Zambujeira do Mar. The beach is absolutely spectacular and in the summer the zambujeira do mar music festival is held right across from it so you can enjoy the concerts and the beach at the same time.

    Aside from that where i am from “Espinho” there is one close by,its nothing special but there is something interesting in it,its a chapel built right on the water,and its famous for its stories of cult,for example my own father knows someone who had a exorcism done to him there 30 years ago, go there at night,on a winter day with the sea angry..it will give you some creeps :D .Its called Senhor da Pedra.

    Reply
  3. Helena Santos

    Go to praia da Amoreira in Aljezur, Algarve, Portugal, and check out both the river and the sea sides…awesome :)

    Reply
  4. Gestur

    White sand beaches and sexy islands in Croatia? LOL! There are two islands tourists flock to in Croatia – Brac and Hvar. These are the party destinations. Zrce on Pag is the 3rd. The rest are dead in the night even in summer. White sand beaches are hard to find, they are mostly found on islands and are pretty isolated. As someone else mentioned, Zlatni Rat is not sandy beach, it’s a pebble beach. And that beach is overrated IMO, but its surroundings and the sea are gorgeous. Lampedusa is probably my favourite summer destination, although it’s mostly rocky, not many beaches there. Rabbit Beach is the most famous I think.

    Reply
  5. Ruth (Tanama Tales)

    I am always trying to convince myself I am not a beach person (maybe because I grew up in an island and I’m intoxicated of beaches). But all this places look so awesome I wouldn’t think twice about visiting.

    Reply
  6. Paul

    Been to #4 and #5 on your list, both are spectacular. In the Algarve I stayed in Lagos which is a pretty spectacular party town located right on the Mediterranean and perfect to party at night then relax on the beach all day.
    I absolutely loved Croatia and spent about twice as long there as I planned to, beaches are awesome and the people super friendly. Most of the beaches there, including the beach pictured above, are small white pebbles (not sand) and the water is crystal clear. Bol(the town near Zlatni Rat Beach on Brac) is also know for its windsurfing, and makes a good day (or an overnight) trip from Supetar on the other side of the island where most of the ferries arrive and depart from Split on the mainland.

    Reply
      1. Paul

        They are both beautiful (and both relatively cheap compared to other beach areas in western Europe), but Croatia will always be special to me.

        Reply

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