North Europe’s best beaches by country

Jurmala Beach, Latvia

Aside from the climate differences between North and South Europe, the northern half of the continent doesn’t inferior to the southern part when it comes to beautiful beaches. From Iceland to the Baltic Republics, all countries have a number of great beaches to offer. If you have never visited any of them, you should consider to spend at least one summer holiday on the coast of North Europe.

Gudmindrup Lyng Strand, Denmark

Gudmindrup Lyng Strand, Denmark CC-BY-3.0

1. Denmark / Gudmindrup Lyng Strand, Northwest Zealand

If you think that only the South of Europe offers amazing beaches to visit, then you are in a big mistake. Denmark is one of the examples that could really surprise you very pleasantly.

Surrounded by seas and consisting of numerous islands, Denmark is one of the places with the most tempting beaches in Europe.

Of course, the weather is relatively fresh and you generally can’t expect temperatures of over 30 degrees or at least this is something very rare but still there is a number of great days for beach entertainment.

One of the best spots in the country is for sure Gudmindrup Lyng Strand, which is famous for its white sands and shallow limpid waters. It is considered a paradise for summer holidays, as long as you chose the warmest days of the year.

Ahlbeck Beach - Usedom, Germany

Ahlbeck Beach – Usedom, Germany by Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-3.0

2. Germany / Ahlbeck Beach, Usedom

If you have ever seen postcards with German beaches, you probably already know how beautiful they are.

Indeed, the Western European country offers amazing stripes of light and fine golden sand both on the North Sea coast and on the Baltic shore. One of the most beautiful beaches in Germany is situated on the island of Usedom, in the easternmost part of the country.

The popular Ahlbeck Beach reaches the border with Poland. It offers its visitors the opportunity to spend an amazing holiday on the coast enjoying the sun, sand and refreshing waters of the Baltic Sea.

Oostduinkerke Beach, Belgium

Oostduinkerke Beach, Belgium by CC BY-SA 3.0

3. Belgium / Oostduinkerke Beach, Oostduinkerke

Very few people associate Belgium with beaches. Ironically, the entire coast of the country, from France to the Netherlands, is covered by fine golden sand.

One of the most beautiful beaches in Belgium is Oostduinkerke Beach, which is located in the westernmost part of the coast, only a few kilometers from France.

The sand stripe is enormous and attracts people throughout the year. Of course, considering the fresh climate, in most cases people prefer to only walk along the coast.

However, in warmer days the beach could be the best way to refresh yourself.

De Koog - Texel, The Netherlands

De Koog – Texel, The Netherlands by David van der Mark/Flickr

4. The Netherlands / De Koog, Texel

The culture of the Netherlands has always been strongly connected to the ocean. This is not surprising, especially considering that part of the territory of the country is even below sea level!

Talking about beaches, we should mention that the variety in the Netherlands is really huge, especially considering the small territory of the country.

The best of them are located along the central west coast of the island of Texel, especially on the shore of De Koog. The fine golden sand attracts tourist from the entire country but also from around Europe.

Miedzyzdroje Beach, Poland

Miedzyzdroje Beach, Poland by Rzuwig/CC BY-SA 3.0

5. Poland / Miedzyzdroje Beach, Miedzyzdroje

If you are searching for a wonderful beach along the Baltic coast, you should definitely pay a bit more attention to the Polish coast.

In the westernmost part of the shore, not far from Germany, you will find a small tourist town, called Miedzyzdroje. It is famous as a preferred place to spend their holidays for many locals.

One of the main reasons, of course, it the wonderful beach, which is considered the best in the country. It offers almost white sands and dark blue sea waters.

Pärnu Beach, Estonia

Pärnu Beach, Estonia by Aapo Haapanen/Flickr

6. Estonia / Pärnu Beach, Pärnu

Pärnu Beach is undoubtedly the most beautiful in Estonia. It is comfortably situated in a deeply cut into the land shallow bay.

It offers very white and fine sands, and in addition, the sea is usually very quiet and in incredible silver nuances. This place attracts a lot of people not only because of its wonderful sandy coast but also for being famous as the summer capital of Estonia.

Although summers here are short, they are really magical and intense, attracting people from the entire region.

Jurmala Beach, Latvia

Jurmala Beach, Latvia by Stefan Leijon/Flickr

7. Latvia / Jurmala Beach, Jurmala

Half an hour drive to the west of the capital Riga is located the most attractive summer resort in Latvia – the city of Jurmala.

It is famous for its wonderful sandy beach, which turns the city into is a real paradise during the short but really dynamic summer season.

People from around the country and from other states in the region flock here to enjoy the golden sand and refreshing sea waters but also to explore the beautiful area.

Palanga Beach, Lithuania

Palanga Beach, Lithuania by Charlie Phillips/Flickr

8. Lithuania / Palanga Beach, Palanga

As all the other Baltic countries, Lithuania is really proud of its wonderful sandy coastline. The best one of all beaches in the small Baltic republic is Palanga.

It is located in the central coastal area and offers very fine golden sand. The city of Palanga itself attracts many visitors.

They come here mostly during the short but wonderful summer season, attracted by the opportunity to spend a great beach holiday. In addition, the city offers an amazing park, which looks like a real forest.

Sjøsanden Beach, Norway

Sjøsanden Beach, Norway by Tregde Ferie/Flickr

9. Norway / Sjøsanden Beach, Mandal

The southern coast of Norway is often described as the Norwegian Riviera. It offers the best weather conditions in the country, the largest number of hours of sunshine and the best beaches.

The towns of Mandal and Kristiansand are for Norway what is Nice for France. Mandal offers one of the best beaches in the country – Sjøsanden Beach. It is covered with wonderful golden sand, and dense coniferous forests reach the very shore itself.

Boda Beach - Öland Island, Sweden

Boda Beach – Öland Island, Sweden by daniel julià lundgren/Flickr

10. Sweden / Boda Beach, Öland Island

If you are searching for the best one of all Swedish beaches, you have to visit the island of Öland. It is a long and narrow piece of land, which stretches in a north-south direction along the southeast coast of the country, only 5 km off the mainland.

The beach is located in the far northeastern part of the island. It offers white-creamy sand and calm shallow waters, which warm up very fast during the short but beautiful summer season.

Yyteri Beach, Finland

Yyteri Beach, Finland by Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

11. Finland / Yyteri Beach, Pori

Yyteri Beach is the most beautiful in Finland. It is located on the coast of the Bay of Bothnia, approximately 13 km northwest of Pori, southwestern Finland.

It offers an amazing natural beauty, a combination between golden sands, shallow waters, green forest and tranquility.

The beach season is really short but it still offers everything you need to get rid of the stress and to connect with the nature.

Rauðisandur Beach, Iceland

Rauðisandur Beach, Iceland by Tristan Ferne/Flickr

12. Iceland / Rauðisandur Beach, Westfjords

Iceland is one of the northernmost countries in the world, and for sure, it is very different from what most people imagine when thinking of a summer holiday at the beach.

However, as you probably know, Iceland is a land of an incredible natural beauty, and its beaches are not an exception.

One of the most interesting of them is located in the Northwest of the country. It is almost 13 km long and is covered with saturated golden sands.

Luskentyre, Scotland

Luskentyre, Scotland by Tom Bastin/Flickr

13. Scotland / Luskentyre, Lewis

The most beautiful of all beaches in Northern Europe is undoubtedly Luskentyre. It is located in the northwest part of Scotland, on the west coast of Lewis Island – one of the Outer Hebrides.

It offers incredibly white sands and sky-blue clear waters. Its beauty could be compared with only a few in the world, including the beaches of Whitsunday Islands in Australia, Balos Bay and Elafonisi in Greece, Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas.

Luskentyre attracts surfers and swimmers from the entire country but also from around the world.

Of course, considering that we are talking about Scotland, you should be prepared for a bit more changeable and fresh weather and summer temperatures of around the lower 20es.

Freshwater West Beach, Wales

Freshwater West Beach, Wales by Mario Sánchez Prada/Flickr

14. Wales / Freshwater West Beach, Pembrokeshire

If you are traveling around Wales for the first time, you are probably a bit surprised of how stunning the beaches in this part of Britain are.

The landscape always offers the same combination of green fields, golden sands, silver sea and pewter sky.

Although all beaches in this part of British Islands are all very beautiful, yet most attractive is considered the Freshwater West Beach. It is located in Pembrokeshire, in the southwestern part of the country.

Inchydoney Beach, Ireland

Inchydoney Beach, Ireland by David Leip/Flickr

15. Ireland / Inchydoney Beach, Cork

Inchydoney beach is considered by many the most beautiful of all beaches in Ireland. It is located in Cork County, in the southernmost part of the county.

The beach offers creamy-white sands but the weather is usually too cold for swimming and sunbathing, reaching only about 19 degrees on July and August.

It is separated in eastern and western part through a narrow and small flat rock with a hotel complex on it.

Whiterocks Beach, Northern Ireland

Whiterocks Beach, Northern Ireland by Chris Brooks/Flickr

16. Northern Ireland / Whiterocks Beach, Portrush

The residents of the small town of Portrush are really lucky to live just a few minutes walk from the most beautiful of all beaches in Northern Ireland.

Whiterocks is located in the easternmost part of a 3 km long stripe of fine golden sands. It is one of the best places in Northern Ireland to spend the very few clear and warm sunny days outside.

Blackpool Sands - Devon, England

Blackpool Sands – Devon, England by c.art/Flickr

17. England / Blackpool Sands, Devon

If you think that all the great beaches are in Southern Europe, think again. In the Southwest of England, on the southern coast of Devon, you will find a small piece of heaven.

Blackpool Sands is one of the best beaches on the British Islands and in Northern Europe as a whole. The light orange nuance of the sand looks just amazing on the background of lush green vegetation.