Time stands still when you’re living the beach life. The stresses and strains melt away and all you can hear is the lapping of the ocean and the gentle swaying of the breeze.
Here you can live your best life as you relax underneath another cloudless sky that stretches on for miles. For this moment you are in paradise and it is a scene we all dream of on those chilly days at home. Europe is blessed with some incredible beaches from sandy coves to dramatic cliff top scenes – where are you to choose?
We’ve picked out some of our favourite beaches you need to visit.
Calella de Palafrugell – Costa Brava, Spain
Spain’s northern coast has been enticing holidaymakers for as long as we can remember and in Calella de Palafrugell is one of the Costa Brava’s best beaches. The quaint fishing village has two urban beaches – Port Bo and En Calau – where you can relax on golden sands and watch the wooden boats float out for the daily catch.
La Scala dei Turchi – Sicily, Italy
The idyllic island of Sicily is home to one of Europe’s more unique beaches. Close to the town of Agrigento is La Scala dei Turchi, a beach where endeavour is rewarded. The rocky beach is protected by a number of milky white cliff faces with a natural walkway that can be a little treacherous at times. However, once you reach the bottom and the turquoise you can truly admire this naturally crafted escape.
Sveti Jakov – Dubrovnik, Croatia
Photo credit: colleen_elizabeth via Flickr
In the height of summer, the streets of Dubrovnik can get a little crowded so where to better to take a break from it all than at the beach? Take a stroll from the old town and down 160 steps and you will find the hidden gem of Sveti Jakov. This tiny shingle beach is a picture postcard retreat from the bustling nature of the city and you can cool off in the calm waters of the Adriatic Sea.
Los Genoveses – Almeria, Spain
The rugged landscape of the Andalusia coastline offers dramatic views where the ocean meets the sky. Nowhere embodies this more than Playa de los Genoveses. A short drive from Almeria, it is a peaceful mix of sand dunes, crystal clear waters and a horizon populated with rolling hills and colourful plants. The beach takes its name from a Genoese fleet which helped Alfonso VII of Spain conquer Almeria in 1147.
Red Beach – Santorini, Greece
Nowhere quite does a sunset like Santorini. Many visitors to the picturesque Greek island pick out a perch to watch the night sky descend into a blood orange as the sun goes down. One of the best places to see this is from the unmistakable Red Beach – a unique cove that has been crafted by the volcanic activity of years gone by.
Elafonissi Pink Beach – Crete, Greece
Photo credit: Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho via Flickr
If you like your beaches a little lighter than Red Beach, then Elafonissi Pink Beach is the place for you. Enjoy the rare sight of azure waters shimmering over the pink sand of this inviting lagoon. The beach gets this unique colour thanks to a red microorganism which forms on the coral to make it an instantly recognisable beach.
Praia de Albandeira – Algarve, Portugal
Thousands flock to the Algarve to soak up the sun on its pristine beaches. Sadly, this means that there are not that many relatively untouched spots so we’ll whisper it when we say you need to go to Praia de Albandeira. You won’t find any bars or cafes here, just a sense of quiet where you swim in tranquil waters, explore sea caves and feel the soft sand between your toes.
Playa de Migjorn – Formentera, Spain
Formentera may not have the glitz and glamour of its neighbours Ibiza and Majorca but it does have one of the most perfect beaches you could ever see. Playa de Migjorn is the beach you dream about. It is over seven kilometres of unspoilt white sand and endless ocean. A perfect spot for watersports and snorkelling or simply topping up your tan – if you could paint a paradise, chances are it would look like Playa de Migjorn.
Navagio Beach – Zante, Greece
Smugglers Cove, Shipwreck Beach, there are many names Navagio Beach goes by but one thing that is undeniable is its incredible beauty. Regularly featuring in the list of the world’s best beaches, it is an unmissable sight on the Greek island of Zante. Still featuring the remains of the MV Panagiotis which crashed here in 1980, the beach is sheltered by limestone cliffs and is only accessible by boat.
Cala Macarella – Menorca, Spain
Photo credit: Paul Stephenson via Flickr
Where else to end our tour of Europe’s best beaches than the Balearic Islands? Among the more underrated parts of the region is Menorca and here you will find the delightful Cala Macarella. Situated on the southwestern coast of the island it another beach where you have to earn your reward through a two-mile trek from Cala Galdana. However, once you reach the pillow-like sand and calm turquoise waters you will know it has been worth it.
See these incredible beaches for yourself with a package holiday from Sunmaster. From All Inclusive family retreats to romantic 5-star getaways, you can tailor the holiday you have always dreamed of. Start your search today at www.sunmaster.co.uk.