Relaxing on the beach is one of life’s great pleasures. Almost everyone loves the feeling of sun on their skin, a cool breeze on their face and sand between their toes. Europe has so many respectable beach destinations that making a choice is often difficult. Today, Friendly Nomad has that covered. After this amazing list of beaches, we’re confident you won’t be left without inspiration for your next beach trip.
10. Navagio Beach – Zakynthos Island, Greece
Navagio Beach, also known as simply “Shipwreck”, is an isolated sandy cove on Zakynthos island and one of the most photogenic beaches in Greece. It can be found on the north-west shore of Zakynthos Island, near Anafonitria and about 36 kilometres north of Zakynthos. The area known for its distinctively white sand beaches, limestone cliffs and crystal clear water. A combination, unsurprisingly, that attracts thousands of tourists each year.
Navagio Beach can only be reached by sea. If that wasn’t charming enough, the old shipwreck perched on the shoreline will also entice. The story goes that a smuggling vessel, running cigarettes and other contraband, ran around after trying to evade authorities during bad weather in 1981. Popular with pirates since Venetian times, the amazing cliffs that encase the beach will excite your imagination too! Most recently, the South Korean television series Descendants of the Sun was filmed here.
Visitors, hoping to get a taste for the beach, may use drive to the viewing platform overlooking the beach or arrange a boat trip. Various cruise packages depart from Porto vromi, starting from about EUR 35. Swimmers should know that this part of the Ionian sea is known for being on the chilly side. Enjoy!
9. Liscia Ruja – Sardinia, Italy
Popularly known among locals as “Long Beach”, Liscia Ruja is renowned as widest beach of Costa Smeralda and the wonderful island of Sardinia. It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful beaches in Sardinia, with its distinctive arch of white and pinkish sand. The cove faces east and offers excellent views of the Soffi and Mortorio islands.
Bound by a thick Mediterranean forest of citrus trees, junipers and strawberry-trees, the setting lends to a magical atmosphere. Located near Portisco, the beach gets busy in peak season and is easily accessible by car. A number of hotels and restaurants are close at hand.
8. Nissi Beach – Ayia Napa, Cyprus
Certainly one of the best beaches in Cyprus, Nissi Beach is the perfect combination of white sand and turquoise water. The sandy stretch here is among the longest in Cyprus, near the resort locality of Ayia Napa, and has a blue flag designation. The shallow waters and predictable conditions make it great for casual swimming, paddling and family fun.
That said, Nissi has two personalities – one area that’s nice and quiet and another, extroverted version with almost non-stop beach parties and some incredible beach bars, frequented by young and high spirited nomads. You’ll also find many options as to water sports, with the various banana boats, pedalos and jet skis on offer. Nissi also has a diving centre and dedicated volleyball courts.
Ideal for those after a resort feel, and opportunities to socialise, Nissi beach will not disappoint for a good time in the summer sun!
7.Blue Lagoon – Comino Island, MaltaAs the name suggests, the Blue Lagoon on the small Maltese island of Comino lives up to the fantasy of a tropical paradise with its clearest blue waters. Little sailing boats will flutter up and down, just beyond the beach line, as you enjoy some easy time in the sand.
6.Pampelonne Beach – St Tropez, France
Pampelonne Beach is one of St-Tropez’s favorite beaches, boasting natural beauty in a rural setting and enough party spirit, at night, to keep the revelers happy. Although this beach can accommodate nearly 30,000 people a day during peak season, its nearly five kilometers of golden sands mean that you can always find a relatively quiet spot to call your own.
5. Oludeniz – Turkey
No doubt, Oludeniz is one of Turkey’s most popular beach towns. And not without reason. Located on Turkey’s Aegean coast, and with temperatures above 20 degrees celsius for nine months of the year, Oludeniz’s crystal clear waters and soft sand are no hard sell for beach lovers.
With a magnificent stretch of beach leading up to its iconic lagoon, Olu Deniz will have no trouble in seducing you too. The bay is protected from the wind and is excellent for swimming and sun bathing. Its promenade is packed with amazing local restaurants, serving both local and international cuisine. For an impressive culinary experience, try Cawa Cawa – a charming seafood establishment just a few steps away from the main drag.
For those who like an active break, paragliding and scuba diving are trademark offerings at Oludeniz. Divers will be pleased with the region’s diverse underwater cave systems and sea life. After dark, there are certainly enough bars and entertainment hot spots to keep everyone happy. You can’t miss the Buzz Beach Bar, voted one of the 7 best beach bars in the world.
4. Playa de S’Arenal – Ibiza, SpainThis beach is all about fun and is located just 700 metres from San Antonio, a key Ibiza party hub. The beach an unmissable feature of San Antonio Bay and is lined by palms and a broad promenade. Visitors will immediately feel the party ambiance during summer months, with pumping beats and youthful frivolity a constant. Summed up as “Brits, booze and beach clubs” by Anja of beach-inspector.com, it may not be to everyone’s taste. Leaving aside the street vendors and predictable tourist eats, there are numerous activities on offer, including diving courses, jetskis, volleyball and a flowrider (i.e. surf machine). There are also some amusement centres.
The waters of Playa de S’Arenal are shallow, safe and protected from swell – so you can float around on your inflatable all day. Surely a living paradise for nomads looking to mix sun, booze and party. For something quieter, head farther along the promenade to Café del Ma, which serves up sunsets and world-famous chill out tracks.
3. Sveti Stefan, MontenegroSveti Stefan is an idyllic resort town in Montenegro, some six kilometres from Budva. The beaches north and south of the islet are stunning in their beauty and serenity, among the prettiest on the Montenegrin coast.
2. Zlatni Rat – Brac Island, CroatiaThis has to be one of the most sensational beaches on the planet. Widely known for its uniquely shaped sand triangle, pointing out to into the Adriatic, Zlatni Rat is referred to as the “Golden Horn” and is an extremely popular spot for swimming and windsurfing. Constantly changing shape due to wind and swell, this beach is a natural wonder. Located near Bol, on Brač Island, there are numerous amenities for fun loving tourists. Try a paddle boat or a jetski, but take care to get here early in peak season – this bit of paradise is known to get busy!
1.Rabbit Beach – Lampedusa, ItalyIn one sentence, Rabbit Beach (Spiaggia dei Conigli) is paradise on earth. Voted the best beach in the world by more than a few, it is a safe winner for our 10 best European beaches round up. Being fairly remote, separated from mainland Italy by, well, a serious ocean, this beach is a great choice for swimmers, snorkelers, sunbathers and nature lovers alike. Highly rated for its crystal clear water and sea life, Rabbit Beach has an exquisite untouched feel to it. Little turtles and all sorts of fish are plentiful. “You’ll find that time passes differently here”, says one local.
Did we miss a special European beach or do you disagree with our list? Don’t be shy. Leave us a comment below.
If you’re hungry for more, check out our our 15 top Caribbean beach paradise destinations.
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