Although not as popular as the ones found in South America and Asia, the beaches in Europe are still some of the prettiest and most stunning in the world. You could argue that European beaches are underrated or underappreciated, but the fact that not a lot of tourists go to these beaches can be an advantage for some people that don’t like crowds. So, before these beaches eventually become popular, try to visit them to enjoy the crystal clear waters, the pure white sand, and the calming waves.
As there are more than a hundred beaches around Europe, most tourists would find it difficult to choose which beach they should visit. So, if you are one of those that are having difficulties finding the perfect beach for you and your friends and family to visit, we are here to give you a useful guide to know more about the best beaches in Europe and where to stay near those areas. Without further ado, this is an ultimate guide to European beaches.
What to Bring to the Beaches in Europe
Before you get a plane ticket to go to a specific country in Europe, there are some important items that you need to bring with you so that you will have a more convenient and comfortable time during your vacation. Here is the short list of essentials that you should bring before going to a European beach.
- Visa (if necessary)
- SunglassesWaterproof Case for Phones
- Beach Towel
- Beach Blanket
- Beach Umbrella
- Essential Toiletries
The countries in Europe can either be cold or warm, so be sure that you are prepared for any weather by bringing different sets of clothes suitable for the cold and hot weather of the continent. In addition, you will save more money if you bring your own beach items like towels, blankets, and umbrellas instead of renting them on the beach. Read our Essential Beach Packing List guide to learn more about what other items to bring for your beach trip.
The Best Beaches in Europe
Like we mentioned at the beginning, the beaches in Europe can be pretty underrated, so you may often find spots that are not crowded or don’t have people at all. However, Europe has been slowly gaining traction as a great summer destination for nearby tourists, so the days when the beaches of the continent are quiet and peaceful may be over in a few years. So, now may be the right time to take advantage of these underrated beaches. To help you get started in choosing which beach to visit, here is a list of the best beaches in Europe.
Nugal Beach (Croatia)
Nugal Beach is a partly nudist beach that is located on the Makarska Riviera, a part of the coast of Croatia, one of The 3 Best Destinations on the Mediterranean for Beaches. The beach was once an all-nude beach where people are not allowed to wear any piece of clothing while swimming or sunbathing, but eventually, the ruling authority allowed people to wear swimsuits on the beach. These are the most affordable car-for-hire deals in Croatia that you should never miss.
Where to Stay Near Nugal Beach
Nugal Beach is quite far away from roads, so you may need to wear your hiking boots and walk for at least 30 minutes before you can get to the beach. Since Nugal Beach is far away from towns, there aren’t any hotels and lodges within the beach’s area of reach, although there are some hotels in nearby towns to the southeast. Here are the best places to stay near Nugal Beach.
- Hotel Tamaris
- Holiday Home Sanja
- TUI BLUE Jadran
Nerja is a municipality located within Costa del Sol in Spain. The municipality features nine beautiful beaches, which include Carabeillo, Chucho, and Playazo. In addition to the nine beaches, there are also other wonderful attractions that you can visit in Nerja, such as the Caves of Nerha, the municipality’s aqueduct, the Chillar River, and the Almijara and Alhama Natural Park. To better appreciate the view of Nerja, you can climb the “El Cielo” mountain that serves the highest point in the region.
Where to Stay in Nerja
Because Nerja is such a popular tourist attraction, the municipality has plenty of hotels and other places where you can get rooms and accommodations. To have a more convenient time exploring the location, you can book a tour that will take you to some of Nerja’s most popular tourist spots. For those that want to find the best place to stay in Nerja, here are three of the best hotels.
- Hotel Balcon de Europa
- Hotel Riu Monica
- Hotel Bajamar Ancladero Playa
Cape Drastis (Greece)
Greece is arguably one of the best countries to go to in Europe for a summer vacation, as the islands in the country are home to some of the most beautiful beaches on the continent. One of these amazing beaches is Cape Drastis, also known as “Akra Drastis,” which is located within the island of Corfu in the Ionian Islands. To gain access to the beach, you may need to walk on foot for 15 to 30 minutes, but that painful and tiresome walk is surely worth it, as you will be greeted with stunning scenery once you get to Cape Drastis.
Where to Stay Near Cape Drastis
While there are no places to stay within Cape Drastis, the island of Corfu itself has plenty of hotels and lodges to offer. The hotel rates in Corfu can be quite expensive, so make sure that you have a sufficient budget to afford rooms and accommodations on the island. To learn how to manage your budget while on vacation, check out our Beach Day on a Budget article. Below are the three best hotels in Corfu.
- Grecotel Corfu Imperial
- Acanthus Blue Hotel
- Sunrock Corfu
Bestouan Beach (France)
If you want to go to a perfect summer getaway destination, then you should visit Bestouan Beach, one of the beaches located in the commune called Cassis in France. Cassis has a rich history, so you may find several historical landmarks within the commune. Moreover, the commune is also particularly known for its mesmerizing cliffs and amazing sheltered inlets. The most popular beach in Cassis is, of course, Bestouan, which has cooler waters because of its karstic source.
Where to Stay Near Bestouan Beach
Similar to most of the beaches mentioned on this list, there aren’t any particular places to stay in Bestouan Beach, but the commune of Cassis does have hotels that offer comfortable rooms and excellent customer service. Just pick one out of the three hotels mentioned below to have a better stay within Cassis.
- Hotel des Calanques
- Hotel De La Plage – Mahogany
- Domaine de Canaille
Numana Alta (Italy)
Numana Alta is a beach found in the coastal town of Numana, which is located within the province of Ancona in the Marche region of Italy. Numana Alta is actually comprised of two bays, particularly Spiaggiola Beach and Spiaggia dei Frati or Friars Beach. While Numana Alta is arguably the most well-known tourist attraction in the town, there is more to Numana than its beautiful beaches.
Numana is home to The Sanctuary of the Crucifix, a gorgeous church that was built in 1968 and has the crucifix that former emperor Charlemagne was supposed to transport to then-Pope Leo III but was abandoned after the emperor was forced to stay in the town during a rainstorm. To help the locals preserve the elegance of the town, as well as other beaches you plan to visit in the summer, read the How to Keep Beaches Clean and Safe article on our website.
Where to Stay in Numana Alta
Numana Alta has many hotels near it, so finding a place to stay in the area is not really that difficult. However, you may need to book rooms early to avoid competing with other tourists to get rooms while you are already in Numana. Here are the current best places to stay in the coastal town.
- Hotel Scogliera
- Corallo Hotel Numana
- Villa Sirena
Porthminster Beach (England)
If you live in the UK, you really don’t have to travel far to see beautiful beaches, as there is already a paradise in the country that offers wonderful sights that are perfect for the summer. One of the best beaches in England is Porthminster Beach, one of the amazing parts of the seaside town of St Ives in Cornwall.
St Ives was once a town that primarily focused on fishing as their source of income, but when the fishing industry declined in the area, they began to rely on tourism and converted the once quiet town into a seaside resort. Besides Porthminster Beach, another tourist spot that you should visit in St Ives is the St Ives Museum, a building that features different tools and items that are connected to the town’s history, culture, and the once-thriving fishing industry. Take a look at our Best Beaches to Visit in South UK to learn more about other stunning beaches in the country.
Where to Stay Near Porthminster Beach
Since St Ives is now a tourism-focused town, many hotels have been erected within the area to accommodate tourists that want to stay there for days during their vacation. Some of the hotels in St Ives are reasonably priced, but to get the best rooms, you may want to shell out a little bit more money. Here are the best spots to stay near Porthminster Hotel.
- St Ives Harbour Hotel & Spa
- Primrose Valley Hotel
- Tregenna Castle
Mamaia Beach (Romania)
Regarded as Romania’s most popular resort, Mamaia features a magnificent beach that is often filled with tourists doing various activities in the clear blue waters or in the white sands. What’s interesting about Mamaia is that it doesn’t have any permanent residents, so there are only tourists and employees of certain establishments within the town that populate it during specific months of the year, particularly during the summer.
Where to Stay in Mamaia
There are dozens of different hotels in Mamaia where you can get accommodations, so you don’t have to travel far to get rooms for yourself and your travel companions while on vacation. Below are the three best places to stay in Mamaia.
- Hotel Oxford Mamaia
- Hotel Scapino
- White Tower Mamaia
Bolata Beach (Bulgaria)
Bolata Beach is a small cove that is found in the northern region of the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast. This small cove is mainly known for its impressive shape, as the beach looks like a half-circle from afar. Besides the impressive beach, Bolata is also popular for its diverse reserve, which has different species of birds and plants that can only be found within the cove and in other nearby places.
Where to Stay Near Bolata
Although there are no hotels and lodges in Bolata Beach, there are some in the nearby towns and cities. The hotel rates near Bolata are actually decently priced, so you won’t have to spend a lot of money just to get rooms and accommodations in the area. Check the list below for the best hotels near Bolata.
- Hotel “Akre”
- Hotel Tyunelovo
- Villa Bellerose
Vlychos Beach (Greece)
Another popular beach in Greece is Vlychos Beach, which is found in the Hydra Island that serves as part of the Saronic Islands to the south of the country. The Vlychos Beach is arguably the most accessible out of all the beaches mentioned on this list, as the Hydra Island is near the nation’s capital, Athens. However, getting to Vlychos Beach would still require you to talk for at least 30 minutes before you will be greeted by a dazzling sight that features turquoise waters.
Where to Stay Near Vlychos Beach
There are various places to stay on Hydra Island, and most of these hotels can be considered tourist attractions themselves because of how beautiful they were constructed. Read below to know the three best hotels near Vlychos Beach.
- Mistral Hotel
- Greco Hotel
- Hydrea Hotel
Known by many as one of the most famous tourist destinations in Italy, many frequent tourists call it a tourist because of how steep the hotel rates and prices are in the village found on the Amalfi Coast. However, if you visit Positano at least once, you will find out that the relative “expensiveness” of the area is justified because of how well the locals maintain the beach and the village’s beauty.
In addition to the iconic beach of Positano, which you will often see in postcards sold around Italy, you will also find in the town the church of Santa Maria Assunta and the Roman Archeological Museum that are all truly photo-worthy.
Where to Stay in Positano
You will find hotels and luxury suites in Positano almost anywhere you look, so there are no worries when it comes to getting rooms in the village. However, as stated earlier, the hotel rates can be expensive, so prepare your wallet for some major spending when you are in Positano. Check out the three best hotels to stay in Positano below.
- Hotel Villa Franca Positano
- Le Sirenuse
- Villa Boheme Exclusive Luxury Suites
These ten beaches best represent the mesmerizing sights that Europe offers for tourists visiting during their summer vacation. Of course, there are other beaches in the continent that are as beautiful or even more amazing than the ones we mentioned on this list, and there will even be hidden gems that most tourists don’t know about. However, finding those beaches can be difficult even with the advantages that the internet provides. So, to save a lot of time and effort, we have already offered you a list of the best beaches in Europe that you can visit. You can also read our Top European Beaches to discover more great beaches on the continent.
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