The best European beaches
With so many choices for European summer holidays it is not easy to set priorities right when you join competitions. Here is our most favourite list of European beaches. Some may come as a surprise to you while other are well known destinations. Our top ten is in no particular order as we had a hard enough time to decide on those ten in the first place. If you want to experience the sunny and sandy side of Europe you may start with this list before you make up your mind.
Harris Island, Scotland
Harris is and island in the outer hebrides off the north west coast of Scotland. Never heard of it? Well that is part of the attraction. Actually, if you are old enough to know Harris tweed than you have actually hear of it without realizing. Harris has amazing beaches, enormous in length and depth with lots of shells to collect and beautiful clear water. The best thing about it is that most of the time you can have one kilometer of beach all for yourself.
- Port d'Alcudia With seven kilometers in lenght this is one of the longest beaches on the Spanish island of Mallorca. It is also one of the most beautiful stretches of sandy coast in Spain. With an all year round climate that is between moderate and moderately hot and a great infrastructure of cafes, restaurants, hotels and nightlife just off the beach this is a lot of holiday in place.
- Albufeira The ancient Portuguese fishing village of Albufeira on the Algarve coast has come a long way since Columbus sailed past it on his way to the Americas. You may never have heard of it but among regular tourists to Portugal it is tremendously popular both for its beautiful beach as well as the flair of its cafes. And in terms of its nightlife it may be is second only to Saint Tropez in France.
- Bournemouth Hang on Bournemouth in England? Yes we are serious. It is very much a place of clichees but if you have ever been there and experienced the beauty and variety of its 12 kilometer long beach with pubs or cafes in walking distance you will know why we have included it in our top ten.
- Rugen Island The island of Rugen lies off the coast of Pomerania in the north east corner of Germany. It is one of the bigger southern Baltic islands and has a number of beautiful and long beaches. In close proximity you can find long flat beaches and very dramatic 30 meter high sandstone cliffs which look like coming down anytime (which they also do but mainly in winter). The scenary is incredible and you can see some of the most spectacular bird migration spots in Europe.
- Turkish Riviera Turkey has wonderful beaches which are well worth visiting. One of the best places are the blue lagoon of Oludeniz, the quiet beach resort of Icmeler and the dramatic high coast of Antalya. Despite its reputation you can actually also find nightlife and enjoy a drink without trouble.
- Playa del Ingles The Playa del Ingles on Gran Canaria has ben a great tourist magnet since the sixties of the last century. Playa del Ingles means beach of the English and is a fitting name given that English tourists where among the first to invade this place with the advent of mass tourism. That may shound a bit scary but rest assured it is actually still a very very beautiful place. Given its location off the western African coast there is warm wheather all year round.
- Corralejo The largest beach resort on the the island of Fuerteventura has very calm waters. If you travel with small children or are not a good swimmer yourself this may be a strong draw. Fuerteventura is, like Gran Canaria, one of the Canary Islands and share the same good wheather.
- Puerto del Carmen We could not help it and had to include another canary island on the list. Puerto del Carmen is the largest beach resort on the island of Lanzarote. Puerto del Carmen has a pristine white sand beach that you may otherwise associate with the coast of Thailand holiday destinations. The white is in contract with the hinterland which has a lot of black volcanic sand. This has lead to Lanazrote also being called the black pearl of the Atlantic ocean. Lots of cafes, restaurants and night clubs make Puerto del Carmen a great party place.
- Benidorm The little Spanish town of Benidorm offers a great variety of beaches. You can find quiet inlets where you hardly meet anybody for hours and can relax in the sand or go for a swim all by yourself. Then, just round the next corner you have very busy beaches covered in towels and lots of cafes and other waterholes just off the beach.