16 Best Beaches in South Europe

Praia dos Pescadores, Algarve

Although most people dream about holidays in exotic tourist destinations, it appears that some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are actually in the southern half of Europe.

In fact, no matter which European country you live in, for sure there is some wonderful beach near you.

Here are the most remarkable of them by country.

Have you ever visited some of them?

1. Spain / Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera

Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera
Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera by Jose A./Flickr

Playa de Ses Illetes (or Ses Illetes Beach) is considered to be the most beautiful beach in Spain.

It is located in the northern part of the island of Formentera, and it plays the role of a natural bridge between Formentera and the island of Ibiza, which is located less than km to the north.

Playa de Ses Illetes is world known for its wonderful white sands, azure waters and underwater visibility.

This is one of the most desired places from tourists in Europe.

It meets its first visitors as early as April, although at this time of the year the sea water temperatures are still cool, and the air barely cross the 20 degrees barrier in the shade.

2. Greece / Navagio Beach, Zakynthos

Shipwreck bay - Navagio, Zakynthos
Shipwreck bay – Navagio, Zakynthos by imagea.org/Flickr

Navagio is for sure among the most popular beaches in the world, and at the same time it is really difficult to reach.

It has a really remote and isolated location in the northwest part of the island of Zakynthos.

Surrounded by steep coastal rocks, it is accessible only by sea.

It has a wonderful white sand with very light and gentle pink nuances and is really tempting because of its sapphire waters.

In addition to its scenic location, the beach is also very popular for its shipwreck, which attracts photographers and curious visitors.

3. Portugal / Praia dos Pescadores, Algarve

Praia dos Pescadores, Algarve
Praia dos Pescadores, Algarve by PortoBay Hotels & Resorts/Flickr

The beaches of Algarve are quite famous for their huge stripes of fine golden sand with very mild pink and orange hues.

The quality of the sand is one of the highest possible, which explains why Portugal is one of the oldest tourist destinations in the world.

It has numerous must-visit spots but probably one of the most remarkable is Praia dos Pescadores, which is located in the luxury resort town of Albufeira.

Of course, if you think Praia dos Pescadores is too busy for you, there are many other wonderful smaller coves in the area, and they are all out-of-this-world.

The beauty of the area and the plenty of sunshine throughout the year turn this place into one of the most desired spot for retirees in the world.

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4. Malta / Blue Lagoon, Comino

Blue Lagoon, Malta
Blue Lagoon, Malta by Bengt Nyman/Flickr

Between the islands of Malta and Gozo there is a small island called Comino.

This is the place to find the Blue Lagoon, which is the most beautiful swimming and snorkeling spot in the country.

Despite the almost complete lack of sand along the coast, this place is a dream come true for the lovers of summer and sea entertainment.

The water in the lagoon is azure, shallow and transparent, and the surrounding landscape brings an amazing feeling of a summer vacation.

Actually, the blue lagoon is one of the main reasons why Malta is considered to be one of the summer top destinations in the world.

5. Italy / Spiaggia di Maria Pia, Alghero, Sardinia

Spiaggia di Maria Pia, Alghero, Sardinia
Spiaggia di Maria Pia, Alghero, Sardinia by Jordan Wilms/Flickr

If you are searching the best beaches in Italy, you will find more than 90% of them on the island of Sardinia, especially along the north, northeast and northwest coast of the island.

Although there are different opinions about what is the best beach in the area, most travelers and travel agents mention the name of Spiaggia di Maria Pia.

It is situated in a large bay in the northwest part of the island, between the towns of Alghero and Fertilia.

The beach is covered with fine snow-white sand, and the sea water is crystal clear and transparent.

The beach is dotted by pine trees which together form a small coastal forest.

6. France / Palombaggia, Corsica

Palombaggia, Corsica
Palombaggia, Corsica by Robert Brands/Flickr

Probably the first place that appears in your mind when it comes to beautiful French beaches is the French Riviera.

Although the southern French coast is really magical, the island of Corsica actually beats all the beaches in mainland France.

The most beautiful of them you will find in the Southeast of the island, in the area of Porto Vecchio.

The beach of Palombaggia is considered the most beautiful on the island and in France as a whole.

It is really wonderful, with snow-white sand, crystal-clear sapphire waters and really wonderful climate, with a larger number of hours of sunshine per year in comparison with the Riviera.

7. Turkey / Oludeniz Beach, Oludeniz

Oludeniz Beach, Turkey
Oludeniz Beach, Turkey by philippe/Flickr

Oludeniz is the most beautiful and popular beach in Turkey.

It is situated on an elongated peninsula with a total length of 700 meters, in a picturesque coastal area, in the Southwest of Turkey.

It is covered with creamy-white large-grain sand and the sea water is in a very tempting sky-blue nuances.

The beach is one of the top attractions in the country.

Undoubtedly, it is most beautiful from above, and this is why Oludeniz is a Mecca for paragliding.

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8. Bulgaria / Kosata Beach, Sinemorets

Kosata Beach - Sinemorets, Bulgaria
Kosata Beach – Sinemorets, Bulgaria by Artur Malinowski/Flickr

Bulgaria is popular for its specific golden beaches, and it is actually very difficult to call one of them the most beautiful.

If you have to choose one of them, however, probably Kosata is the most interesting of them.

It is situated in a beautiful area.

In its northern part there is a river mouth, which forms a beautiful lagoon.

The beach is surrounded by lush vegetation, which is a really typical feature of the Balkan countries.

The sand stripe is located just north of Sinemorets and not far from the resort city of Burgas.

9. Albania / Ksamil Beach, Ksamil

Ksamil Beach, Albania
Ksamil Beach, Albania by Artur Malinowski/Flickr

In the southernmost part of Albania, less than 4 km off the coast of the Greek island of Corfu, you will find a really small and charming town, which is called Ksamil.

This is the best place for you to visit if you are interested in discovering the most beautiful beach in the country. Ksamil Beach is really irresistible.

It is shaped like the letter V and is covered by creamy-white sand.

The sea water is really transparent and the place is a great choice for a wonderful summer holiday.

10. Bosnia and Herzegovina / Neum Beach, Neum

Neum Beach, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Neum Beach, Bosnia and Herzegovina by CC BY-SA 3.0

The coastline of Bosnia and Herzegovina is only 20 km long and offers only 4 small beaches, most of which man-made and only 5 to 10 meters long.

From a tourist point of view the best one is Neum Beach, which is located in the northern part of the city of Neum.

It is covered with small creamy-white pebbles, which is the main reason why the sea water is so transparent.

11. Croatia / Zlatni Rat, Bol

Zlatni Rat, Croatia
Zlatni Rat, Croatia by Nikolaj Potanin/Flickr

As a land of an incredible natural beauty, Croatia offers some of the most tempting beaches in Europe.

In addition, the country enjoys a really clean environment, which seriously contributes to its attractiveness as a tourist destination.

Zlatni Rat or as they also call it “The Golden Cape” is considered to be the most popular and beautiful of all Croatian beaches.

It is located on the island of Brač and is only some 30 km from the city of Split.

It offers large-grain white sand and sapphire crystal-clean waters.

12. Montenegro / Budva Beach, Budva

Budva Beach, Montenegro
Budva Beach, Montenegro by Damien Halleux Radermecker/Flickr

They often call Montenegro “The Mediterranean Switzerland” because of its mountainous landscapes, calm and quiet pace of life and tempting location on the Mediterranean coast.

The country is considered one of the safest and at the same time one of the most affordable places to spend your holiday on the sea coast of Europe.

It offers some of the most irresistible beaches in Europe, with Budva Beach being the most famous one of them all.

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It offers creamy-white large-grain sand with very light pink nuances.

The sand is mixed with small pebbles and offers really clean and transparent waters.

13. Slovenia / Izola Beach, Izola

Izola Beach, Slovenia
Izola Beach, Slovenia by Rok/Flickr

There are very few beaches along the coast of Slovenia and one of the most beautiful of them is Izola Beach.

It is located not far to the west from the city of Izola, and it offers large-grain sand and pebbles mixed with bigger stones.

It has a light beige colour and in quiet sunny weather the water looks transparent and with light emerald nuances.

It attracts many visitors mostly for being the only bigger beach in the country.

14. Cyprus / Nissi Beach, Ayia Napa

Nissi Beach, Ayia Napa
Nissi Beach, Ayia Napa by CTO Zurich/Flickr

Nissi Beach is for sure the most beautiful in Cyprus.

It is located in the southeastern part of the island, in the western part of the city of Ayia Napa.

It is one of the most important landmarks in the country and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

It offers snow-white sand and sapphire limpid waters.

In addition, this is one of the warmest places in Europe and the beach season is one of the longest in the Mediterranean region.

The climate is subtropical but with a light tropical influence because of the Sahara Desert, which is located not far from the island of Aphrodite.

15. Romania / Neptun Beach, Neptun

Neptun Beach, Romania
Neptun Beach, Romania by Alexandru Panoiu/Flickr

The Black Sea coast of Romania is 275 km long, and it offers a number of great beaches.

Some of the most popular are in the southern part of the coast, in the area of the resort town of Mangalia.

The most beautiful is considered Neptun Beach, which is located a few kilometers north of Mangalia, in the seaside resort of Neptun.

The beach has a really fine golden sand and attracts many people from Northern and Western Europe.

The lake, which separates the beach from the coast, adds some romantic feeling to the ambience in the area of the beach.

16. Ukraine / Zatoka Beach, Zatoka

Zatoka Beach, Ukraine
Zatoka Beach, Ukraine by deepstereo/Flickr

Zatoka Beach is considered to be the most beautiful in Ukraine.

It is locates in the southwestern part of the country, between Odessa and Romania.

It offers wonderful golden sands and really hot summers with temperatures reaching sometimes up to about 35 – 40 degrees in the shade.

The beach is a popular destination for people from all across Ukraine but also for visitors from other countries in Eastern, Western and Northern Europe.