The Most Beautiful Beaches in Europe
There are hundreds of thousands of great beaches all over the world, but what makes a beach beautiful? What are the particular elements that make a beach luxurious and stand out from a regular beach? Some of the most popular beaches in the world are those that are easily accessible, and spacious enough to plonk yourself down with a towel and parasol. Those beaches are often overcrowded, and some visitors’ behavior and disregard for the environment has them leaving trash and other items on the beach that are essentially disruptive and harmful to the marine life that inhabit the area.
It’s no surprise that some of the best and most luxurious beaches in the world are often protected by local governments, to try to preserve the beauty of the natural environment, including the flora and fauna, and avoid interferences often brought by people. Fortunately, a greater part of the human population is conscientious and also willing to contribute to the preservation of our natural wonders. If one of your greatest pleasures is to bathe in the crystal clear waters of the big wide ocean, and feel the soft white sand or smooth warm pebbles under your naked feet, then join us as we take a look at some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe.
Some countries considered to have the world’s most beautiful remote beaches are Portugal, Spain, Greece, France and Italy. What these neighboring countries have in common is their shared outlet to the Mediterranean Sea. We’ve picked out six of the most beautiful beaches in Europe that are a must-see if you’re a beach lover:
Turkey’s Butterfly Valley beach (Kelebekler Vadisi Beach)
Deemed a national preservation area, the Butterfly Valley beach has white sand and tranquil waters. The given name arose as scientists recorded over 105 species of Butterflies in the valley. This beach is a popular destination for ecotourism because it has minimal man-made intervention, as construction of permanent buildings is outlawed and any interference with the flora and fauna of the valley can be sanctioned. The valley has a remarkable natural beauty that is appreciated by visitors who observe the sunset in the late afternoon at the beach, followed by camping under the stars at night.
France’s Calanque d’En-vau beach
Cool, clear turquoise water awaits in this remote hideaway in France’s southern Marseille region. Visitors to this beach popularly describe it as the reward after journeying through the scenic mountainous trails to get there. Due to the remoteness of this beach and its natural surroundings, visitors, especially those hiking to get there, are recommended to use adequate footwear and to bring plenty of sunblock and drinking water as there is no place nearby to get your hands on these necessities.
Croatia’s Zlatni Rat beach
In English, this beach is known as the Golden Horn. As suggested by the name, the shape of this beach is horn-like, and the beach itself is plotted with beige and gray pebble stones and bordered by pine trees which were planted by the locals to provide some natural shade. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean. Interestingly, it changes its shape and position at the tip of the “horn”, depending on the wind, tide and the current. This uniquely shaped paradise is popular among adrenaline seekers and families alike as it offers a wide range of water sports such as windsurfing, kitesurfing, jet ski and banana boat rides.
Spain’s Tossa de Mar beach
Located in northeastern Spain in a municipality of the same name, Tossa de Mar is on Costa Brava, literally meaning “rough coast”, and though the area does live up to the name, its ruggedness has a remarkable beauty to it. Instead of the typical fine golden sand, it is covered in harsher dark golden brown sand. The beach is surrounded by high cliffs and beautiful historic castles. Tossa de Mar is an ancient town filled with a long and rich history, making it ideal for sightseeing while also enjoying the serene beach.
Greece’s Porto Katsiki beach
Rock formations and incredibly tall vertical white cliffs, splashed with lush green vegetation surround this panoramic beach on Lefkada, an island in Greece, popular with vacationers seeking luxury beaches with pearly white sands. Carved into the rock face is a staircase of around 100 steps that lead down to the bowl-shaped beach. The turquoise water near the shore darkens the deeper into the ocean you go. Atop the white cliffs surrounding this Ionian island beach, sunbathers appear as tiny dots to the exploring sightseers.
Italy’s Cala Goloritzè beach
Famous for its 143-meter tall limestone pinnacle, Cala Goloritzè was created by a landslide in 1962. This heavenly spot, though quite small, surrounded by cliffs, rock formations and layered with tiny white pebbles, is nothing short of spectacular. Boats nearby are not permitted to pass a roped line marked with buoys, approximately 200 meters from the shore. There is even surveillance in place to ensure the boats adhere to this limitation. This means that there is less disturbance to the area from outside entities. This small Sardinian paradise was elected a UNESCO site in 1995.
Italy is among the European countries blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches, not only in Europe, but the world. We believe that the elements that make a beach beautiful and worth visiting are not only the crystal clear waters, quality of the sand or pebbles, or availability of beach activities, but also the surrounding natural area, flourishing flora and fauna, breathtaking views, and a remoteness that maybe makes it harder to get there, but when you do, it is absolutely worth it.
Pineto and Cerrano Tower
The beach of Pineto on the north side of Abruzzo in the province of Teramo is not to be missed, it has been awarded several times by Legambiente with the European Blue Flag. It is distinguished by the deep green of its pine forest that proceeds parallel to the beach and leads us to the beautiful and famous Torre del Cerrano, a destination known mainly by locals.
History and snorkel enthusiasts should head to the protected section of the Cerrano Marine Park. This is really one of the historic coastal towers from the Kingdom of Naples, a reminder of the extensive system of defenses built to fend off Saracen incursions. It is ideal for a variety of visitors, from couples seeking romance to families with children, because the golden shoreline has fine sand and there are attractions for children and equipped areas. Under the pine forest you will find Eucalyptus Beach, a relaxing spot with a buzzing young vibe where you can sip local beers, wines and enjoy the relaxing/hippy atmosphere.
Click here to read our range of blog posts about Abruzzo and discover the best beaches and towns to visit while you’re there!