You don’t have to jet off to the Caribbean to enjoy luscious, sandy beaches with crystal clear water. Many look outside of Europe when planning a hot beach holiday without giving it a second thought, but Europe is full of stunning beaches which give the Instagram-friendly beaches of Punta Cana a good run for their money, it’s just a case of knowing where to go. Here is our guide to the best beaches in Europe. Get your bikini ready!
Cala Turqueta, Menorca, Spain
Menorca is Europe’s best hidden secret. It is an absolute gem, and though it has its fair share of tourists in the summer season, it is much quieter than the neighboring Spanish islands or towns, and much cheaper, too. Cala Turqueta is one of its many calas (beaches), a paradise tucked away between gorgeous green forests, caves and beautiful scenery. The water is to die for, warm from July to October, shallow, turoquoise, and with plenty of fish and sea life to see for the snorkelers out there. It really is a slice of the Caribbean in Spain.
Praia Dona Ana, Lagos, Algarve
In the south of Portugal, the turquoise beaches, resembling the famous beaches of Thailand with their breathtaking rock formations, are a must visit. While the sea is a little on the chillier side outside of the summer months, the Praia Dona Ana is one of the most beautiful beaches Europe has to offer, and with plenty to do besides sunbathing. To really enjoy the sights and get some great photos, you can take a boat trip to see the rock formations and caves that are too difficult to see walking or swimming.
Navagio (Shipwreck) Beach, Zakynthos
A very tucked away cove beach centered around an old shipwreck, this is a real Greek paradise, and the ideal beach to really disconnect from everything. The only way to get there and enjoy the picturesque crystal clear water, white cliffs and ship wreck is by boat.
Cala Macarella, Menorca, Spain
Yes, the beaches of Menorca are so special that we’re going to mention them twice. Cala Macarella is another of the most famous beaches on this wonderful Spanish island, and you have to drive to get there, then hike 20 minutes through a forest…but that’s all part of the fun and the charm. When you get there, the reward is a total paradise, a tranquil, sandy beach with turquoise water surrounded by stunning green cliffs to explore. Don’t forget your camera…the view from the top of the cliffs is quite something.