Top Beaches In Europe
Praia da Marinha, Algarve, Portugal
There’s no doubt that the Southern coast of Portugal is gorgeous and is home to some of the best beaches in Europe. We spent a month in Lagos with the aim to see the best beaches in the Algarve. While all of the beaches are stunning, our absolute favorite is Praia da Marinha. Praia da Marinha is a small bay with bright blue and turquoise water encompassed by limestone cliffs. There are a variety of different rock formations, including arches, caves, and ledges that are accessible from the shore and make for a nice swim.
It’s possible to scuba dive or snorkel here and see the various octopuses, seahorses, and bream. At the cliff top, you can embark on a nature walk, have a picnic, or admire the east and the west. In the offseason, this beach is paradise, in the summer season, it’s best to arrive early and enjoy as the crowds will definitely come. The good thing about the Algarve is that it is beach weather until November – sometimes even December, making Praia da Marinha one of the best beaches in Europe in September. You can find the beach location here!
Stefanou Beach, Crete, Greece
Cameron often asks me what my favorite beach in the world is, and I always tell him that Stefanou Beach is up there. Stefanou Beach is a small beach on the Greek island of Crete. 22km northeast of Chania and 2km east of the village Chordaki lies this tranquil place. There is no public transport here so you will either need a car or a boat to access the pebble beach.
I’m not certain how we found out about it, as it doesn’t seem to be well known on the touristy island. But after the heart-stopping straight down zig-zag drive I am sure happy we made it. Stefanou Beach is absolutely gorgeous with the calm Mediterranean waters that draw us back to Greece again and again.
Balos Beach, Crete, Greece
One of my other favorite beaches in Europe is also on the largest island in Greece. Balos Beach isn’t as secluded as Stefanou and is popular with tourists, but once you see the sprawling beach it’s easy to overlook. Located on the very western tip of Crete past Kissamos is Balos Beach. To access the beach by car you will need to drive alongside a steep hill for about 10 kilometers and make a one-kilometer trek down to the beach (this isn’t the hard part though because you must LEAVE the beach eventually and hike back up).
Spending the day in this turquoise paradise is relaxing. At the lagoon, you can expect to find amazing blue and turquoise waters surrounded by amazing white sand. In my opinion, it’s the best white sand beach in Europe. The water is warm and shallow which makes it the perfect place to hang out with children.
Oludeniz Beach, Turkey
Oludeniz Beach is a beautiful lagoon in the Aegean Sea and perfect for a family beach holiday in Europe. Located 14 km from Fethiye this beach should be seen in person as it is stunning. The blue flag pebble beach is a great place to come to lay out for the day and soak up the sunshine while relaxing in the warm Mediterranean water. This is not a secret location though, and it frequently makes the list of best beaches in Europe.
Just about every Turk and their grandmother knows of Oludeniz beach and that means that every Brit knows about it too. The area is well developed and caters to a large influx of tourists in the summer seasons. The good news is it’s great for all – young couples, families, retirees, and groups of friends. The beach is also surrounded by protected forests so that nature is still on full display here. Oludeniz is also a popular place to go paragliding at, imagine all the crisp blue and mountainous scenery from up high!
Marina Grande Beach, Positano, Italy
Just south of Naples is the famous Amalfi coast. If you’ve watched any travel movies that are set in Italy chances are there is a shot of Positano’s most iconic beach, Marina Grande Beach. Positano is a quaint and charming town that cascades down from the hills. It’s plagued with sunshine, clean beaches, art galleries, restaurants, and plenty of Italian coffee shops to pass the day. While it’s certainly seen it’s fair for tourists it still maintains that picture perfect Italian town, due to its limited space and high prices.
During the summer you’ll find this 300-meter long beach lined with chairs and umbrellas, and a swirl of restaurants and cafes to keep you full and happy. The beach is a free area to relax on. However, if you are looking for something a bit different then Positano is a great jumping off point for Punta Campanella and even Capri.