Explore the Best Beaches in Europe with Europe Express

Step Aside, Caribbean—European Beaches Are Here

Everything you need for a tranquil, restful beach experience that you can find along Europe’s scintillating shores. From the famed coastline of Mallorca to the glittering French Riviera, Europe’s beaches offer the clear, aquamarine waters and sun-warmed sand to entice any beachgoer. Here are four of the continent’s best coastal retreats:

Four Best Beaches in Europe

Zlatni Rat Beach
Zlatni Rat Beach | Brač Island, Croatia

Why they chose it: Between its smooth white-pebbled shore, century-old pine forest, and horn-like shape that changes with the wind and currents, it’s hard to find a more picturesque beach in Europe.

When to go: June, September–October

Where to stay: Starlight Luxury Rooms, Split

Nearby activities:

  • Hiking on Vidova Gora, the highest point in the Adriatic islands
  • 16th-century Blaca Monastery, now a museum

How to get around: Ferry or catamaran from Split to Bol, regular bus service on the island

Best restaurants: Aria, Belvedere Dalmatian

Woman in Santorini, Greece
Praia da Marinha | Algarve, Portugal

Why they chose it: Colorful cliffs, sculpted rock formations, and calm, transparent waters make this iconic stretch of shoreline irresistible.

When to go: June, September

Where to stay: Hotel Maritur, Albufeira

Nearby activities:

  • The Sete Vales Suspensos trail along the Algarve coast
  • Fort of Nossa Senhora da Rocha—a medieval castle in Porches
  • Benagil Caves

How to get around: The beach can only be accessed by car, but you can get around the area by train or bus as well.

Best restaurants: Restaurante Ocean, Tasca 26, Le Cro Portugal

Elafonisi Beach in Crete, Greece
Elafonisi Beach | Crete, Greece

Why they chose it: Pink-tinged sand lines the coast of the lagoon, and you can wade through the shallow water—or walk at low tide—to a nature reserve on Elafonisi Island.

When to go: May–June, September–October

Where to stay: Porto Veneziano Hotel, Chania

Nearby activities:

  • 17th-century Chrysoskalitissa Monastery, on rocks overlooking the Libyan Sea
  • Samariá Gorge National Park and Biosphere Reserve

How to get around: Car, boat, bus (1.5-hour drive from Chania)

Best restaurants: Sunset Tavern, Kosmos Fish Tavern

Playa de Bolonia beach in Tarifa, Spain
Playa de Bolonia | Tarifa, Spain

Why we chose it: It’s considered one of Andalusia’s best-kept secrets—a serene small-town getaway featuring one of the largest sand dune systems in Europe.

When to go: April–May, September–October

Where to stay: Monte Puertatierra Hotel, Cádiz

Nearby activities:

  • Baelo Claudio, a Roman archaeological excavation site
  • Barbate sea cliffs and walking trails
  • Village of Santa Lucia

How to get around: Car

Best restaurants: Restaurante Otero, Serenade Bolonia, Las Rejas

Majorca, Spain

Are you not convinced? Contact Jubilee Travel for more information on Europe's MUST-GO beaches!

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