The most beautiful beaches in Europe

When you think of beautiful beaches, people often think of a distant destination, but there are also many beautiful beaches closer to home that are more than worth a visit. There are also paradisiacal beaches in Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey and Great Britain. The only disadvantage may be that they usually cannot be visited all year round… Anyone looking for a beautiful beach destination for the summer months has a wide choice of European beaches. Based on Tripadvisor’s top 25, here are the ten most beautiful…

Rabbit Beach – Lampedusa, Italy

The Italian island of Lampedusa is located south of Sicily and east of Tunisia. The island geographically belongs to Africa, but culturally and historically it is usually considered part of Europe. The Italian writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa was once made prince of the island. In the 1990s, Lampedusa was mainly in the news because of the arrival of immigrants from Albania and North Africa. This was after Libya fired two or three Scuds at the US Coast Guard navigation post in 1986 in response to the US bombing of Tripoli and Benghazi and before the filming of Italian director Emanuele Crialese’s film Respiro in 2002. The island has 5,300 inhabitants who mainly live from fishing, agriculture and tourism. The white beach of Rabbit Beach has a unique location that, together with the Caribbean colors and crystal clear sea, creates a place that is difficult to leave for many beach guests. The best time to travel is from May to September.

Playa de las Catedrales – Ribadeo, Spain

The beautiful beach Playa de las Catedrales is located along the Cantabrian coast in the Spanish province of Lugo / Galicia. Playa de las Catedrales translated means the beach of the cathedrals and is the tourist name for Playa de Augas Santas which translated means beach of the sacred waters. The beach is located about 10 kilometers from the town of Ribadeo and the view from the top of the rocks over the sea is dazzlingly beautiful. The natural arches and caves, which can only be seen at low tide, are its most characteristic features. During high tide, only a small stretch of beach remains, but it is still suitable for a dip. High tide is an interesting time to visit the beach and to wander over the top of the rocks from west to east. Low tide is especially suitable for enjoying the large, beautiful cliffs and picturesque sea caves: arches more than thirty meters high appear, reminiscent of the flying buttresses in the cathedrals. When the tide is lower than average, the sand extension also provides access to nearby beaches. The months of July and August are the most suitable to visit Playa de las Catedrales.

Rhossili Bay – Swansea, United Kingdom

Rhossili Bay is located on the southwestern tip of the Gower Peninsula in the small village of Rhossili bordering Swansea. The name Rhossili is probably derived from the Welsh word for heath: rosh and a reference to St. Sili or Saint Sulien. In the Norman church dedicated to the Virgin St. Mary, there is a memorial to Edgar Evans who was the first to die there on the Terra Nova expedition returning from the North Pole. Despite its relatively remote location, Rhossili is a popular tourist destination. Rhossili is within an area that was the first to be designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the United Kingdom. The beach runs in an arc north past the village. The sandy beach is three miles long and is backed by sand dunes. The northern side of the beach mainly attracts surfers. Rhossili Bay was featured in the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games in 2012 and was also used as a representation of new Earth in the science fiction production Dr. Who. The sea at Rhossili Bay is clean and sparkling, quickly luring beachgoers into the water. Partly due to its spectacular views, Rhossili Bay has been voted the UK’s number one beach, the third best in Europe and number ten in the world. The best time to travel is from July to September.

Playa de ses Illetes – Formentera, Spain

Playa de ses Illetas is located on the island of Formentera, which is part of the Spanish Balearic Islands, a beach with the unique experience of having the sea on both sides. The sea water is crystal clear and the view breathtaking; in the distance you can see the hills of Ibiza. Playa de ses Illetas has been known for decades as the fashion beach of Formentera, where many day tourists from Ibiza come, often after a hard night in the clubs. It is striking that, apart from a series of wooden-built restaurants, there is virtually no infrastructure at the beach: there are no showers, no sunbeds and no bathing suits; most beaches on Formentera are official nudist beaches. Playa de ses Illetas is popular with Spaniards, Argentinians and especially Italians. During the summer months it seems that half of the Milanese population has moved to Formentera. It is said that a quarter of the island’s residents at any given time are Italian, with the advantage that Italian food is of much better quality than the Spanish average. A beautiful sight on the island is the special sunset on Playa de ses Illetas. Formentera can be visited all year round.

Woolacombe Beach – Woolacombe, United Kingdom

Woolacombe Bech is located in a valley on the coast of North Devon in England. The sandy beach that slopes gently into the sea is about five kilometers long, overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and almost borders the Bristol Channel. Woolacombe Beach is a popular destination for surfing and family holidays. In 1999 it was named family resort destination of the year. The beach is part of the North Devon Area of Outstanding Beauty, owned and run by Parkin Estates Limited. Woolacombe Beach has won several awards including the title of Best Britain Beach at the 2012 Coast Magazine Awards, but unfortunately lost Blue Flag status in 2012 due to deteriorating water quality. The area is very sparsely populated during the winter, but during the summer months tourists come in large numbers to Woolacombe to spend their holidays there, especially on the beach (including many surfers). There are many hotels, holiday homes and bed & breakfast accommodations in the immediate area and much of the entertainment is aimed at tourists. The miniature golf course, built in 2010 with a pirate theme, is special. The best time to travel is from July to September.

Elafonissi Beach – Elafonissi, Greece

The small island of Elafonissi is located in the southwestern corner of the Mediterranean Sea, close to Crete, of which it is administratively a part. The island, which consists of many small white beaches and protected natural sand, is only separated from the coast by a lagoon no more than one meter deep. In good weather it is possible to walk through the shallow water to the island. Although Elafonissi literally means deer island, there are no deer to be seen on the entire island. About a kilometer away is the Chrissoskalitissa Monastery, which, because it is dazzling white and built on a rock, can be seen from afar. The white sand of Elafonissi Beach is stunningly pink in many places due to the thousands of broken shells it contains. The clear and shallow turquoise sea is amazing and the desolation and wilderness of the area is enchanting. For these reasons, among other things, the beach is visited by thousands of tourists every year, up to 2,500 beach guests daily in July and August. The best time to travel is from May to October.

Iztuzu Beach – Dalyan, Turkey

Iztuzu Beach is a 4.5 kilometer long beach near Dalyan, in southwestern Turkey. The golden beach is a long spit of land that forms a natural barrier between the freshwater delta of the Dalyan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Iztuzu Beach is particularly suitable for long walks, but is also one of the most important breeding grounds for loggerhead turtles and is therefore often referred to as Turtle Beach. To avoid disturbing the turtles and their nests, strict rules regarding visitors have been in place since 1988, vehicles and animals are prohibited everywhere and in certain areas speed boats, sunbeds and parasols are also not allowed and people are not allowed to lie on a beach towel or dig holes. These measures have proven to be successful, because despite the enormous increase in tourism, the turtle population is stable and there has been a slight increase in the number of nests on the beach. In 2011, Dalyan and Iztuzu Beach were named by Zoover as the best beach destination in Europe. The best time to travel is from April to October.

La Pelosa Beach – Stintino, Italy

On the Italian island of Sardinia, La Pelosa Beach is located two kilometers from the fishing village of Stintino with 1,400 inhabitants, close to the island of Asinara in the Capo Falcone. The sand is exceptionally white, which together with the transparent and turquoise sea looks more like a tropical beach than a beach on the Mediterranean. In addition to the lack of tropical fish in the Gulf of Asinara, the vegetation reminds tourists that they are in Sardinia. The beach is characterized by the Aragonese tower of Hairy, dating from the seventeenth century. La Pelosa Beach has become a popular beach destination that is especially ideal for young people and families with children. There is a large parking lot nearby and on the beach itself there is a kiosk and a restaurant. A little further in the Gulf of Asinara is the island of Piana, which in the past served as a pasture for cattle, but is now very nice to visit for a short time. The best time to travel is from May to September.

Porthminster Beach – St. Ives, United Kingdom

Porthminster Beach is located right next to St. Ives train station. This, in combination with a large parking lot, makes parking very easy. It is about a five-minute walk from the centre, which is home to the highly respected Porthminster Cafe. Porthminster Beach is a large and sheltered sandy beach with all the facilities expected of a Blue Flag beach. For example, from mid-May to the end of October there is a lifeguard on duty every day and dogs are not allowed on the beach from Easter to October 1. Porthminster Beach is ideal for families as swimming in the sea is very safe. On the beach you can relax from a sun lounger and enjoy the view over the glittering bay and Godrevy Lighthouse, where the inspiration for Virgina Woolf’s To the Lighthouse comes from. For sporty visitors there is an 18-hole mini golf course, where you can even order freshly made juices and smoothies. Porthminster Beach is also home to the Porthminster Beach Cafe which serves local cuisine, some of which is grown in the adjacent vegetable garden. St. Ives enjoys the advantage of a mild climate with tropical atmospheres. The best time to travel is from July to September.

St. Pauls Bay – Lindos, Greece

St. Pauls Bay, located near Lindos on the Greek island, is a small rocky bay. It is a great place for snorkeling and diving and because of this there are also many glass bottom boats sailing around. There are two beaches: one with a mix of natural sand and gravel and a man-made beach of golden sand. Both beaches are relatively quiet and suitable for relaxing. It is not recommended to walk on the beach barefoot; often the sand is simply too hot for this and there is also the danger of stepping into a sea urchin. The small beach on the north side is mainly used by locals. It is ideal for families with small children, although there are no toilets. Here and there topless is getting healthy. Above the beach, hidden among the rocks, is a small café run by a father and his sons. Visitors can come here for simple but well-presented food, plenty of cold drinks, beer and snorkeling supplies. The southern beach offers space for approximately 300 beach guests with sun loungers and parasols. There is also a café here, but also a toilet building. It is said that Paul once landed on Rhodes and for this reason a small church was built on the hill where weddings take place regularly, especially on Fridays. The lunar eclipse in St. Pauls Bay is a special attraction in Lindos. The best time to travel is from May to October.

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