From Spain to Greece, Europe offers plenty of beaches to explore. From polished resort beaches to untamed coves, there’s something for everyone.
If you plan to be in Europe this year or in the near future, add these beaches to your list of things to do.
Praia da Marinha Beach, Portugal
This sandy beach is among the most beautiful in the Algarve. It’s flanked by jagged, limestone cliffs and rock formations. Take pictures by the Arcos Naturais, a double sea arch. If you want to see more rock formations, go to the Benagil Cave, which is a 10-15 minute drive.
If you aren’t much of a swimmer, no worries. The water here is generally calm. Avoid the throngs of tourists and locals, especially during high season, by visiting early in the morning.
En-Vau Beach, France
With all respect to Pampelonne Beach and the other beaches of the French Riviera, none of them have a look as distinct as En-Vau Beach. The pebbly beach area is sheltered by cliffs, which keep the wind and most of the sun away. This makes the water ideal for a cool dip.
Located in Marseille, which borders the Riviera, this calanque is totally Instagrammable. Getting here is an adventure on its own; you have to hike or arrive by boat.
Betina Cave Beach, Croatia
This beach can only be accessed by boat. Be sure to bring food as there are no eateries nearby. Once you’ve tired yourself out with swimming or kayaking, set up your towel inside the cave. It’s the perfect spot to read or take a nap.
La Concha Beach, Spain
Gold sand, a promenade, and great views make La Concha Beach in San Sebastián among the best in Spain. It’s the site of a few major events, including La Semana Grande (the Big Week) in August. During this exciting period, there’s a fireworks festival over La Concha Bay that attracts plenty of spectators.
San Sebastián is charming, easy to navigate on foot, and full of history. In some ways, it’s like the rest of Spain. As part of the Basque Country, however, San Sebastián asserts its own identity. It’s also a foodie’s paradise, so be sure to take advantage of that.
While you’re in town, consider checking out the beaches of the Balearic islands, too.