It’s no secret that Europe is absolutely bursting with beautiful beaches, perfect for lounging the days away with your feet in the sand and a cocktail in hand. From Portugal to Iceland, England to Spain, there’s a beautiful beach break out there for everyone and here is our pick of the bunch.
Praia da Marinha, Portugal
Portugal is wonderful. It’s hot and cheap, great for shopping and has some of the best wine in Europe. It also has some pretty amazing beaches down in the Algarve, and Praia da Marinha takes the biscuit. This cove, which has paradise-like golden sand, turquoise waters and rocky outcrops is an Instagrammer’s dream. There are caves to explore, rock pools to clamber and water to be snorkelled in.
England isn’t your traditional beach holiday location, what with all the rain and bad weather. But on a good day, Porthcurno in Cornwall could easily be mistaken for the Caribbean if it weren’t for the colder water. This beach, which is not far from the very end of the country, is accessed via some steep steps and a narrow pathway, but the walk is worth it for the white sand and bright sea as soon as you hit the beach. If you visit in the high season, there is an open-air theatre above the beach that has been carved into the cliff where you can watch both local and national shows with the Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop.
Cala Macarella, Menorca
On the southwestern coast of Menorca is tranquil and sunbleached Cala Macarella, which provides a quiet and peaceful getaway from the hordes that fill the rest of the island. To get there, you will either need to hike for two hours across the cliffs from nearby Cala Galdana or drive on a rugged and bouncy track with another 20-minute walk at the end through a pine forest. Your destination is, of course, worth it for the clear blue seas and lapping waves, but don’t go without some sturdy footwear. Remember, some nationalities may require a visa or a visa waiver when entering Spain; you can find out more at etias.com or from your local government website like gov.co.uk.
This is not a drill, Iceland has beaches too! This black sand beauty at the southern end of the Island is as striking as it is unexpected, and although it may be located at the wettest end of the island, it’s a must-do for any trip here. You will likely get wet on an excursion to Vik, but the dark cliffs and inky sand all make for one mighty backdrop!
If you’re lucky, it’s possible to spot both loggerhead and green turtles at Lara Beach, as this is where they nest! This beach is secluded, quiet, stunning and far away from the madding crowd, which can be rare in Cyprus. Access to Lara is via a long and bumpy road, but while the going can be tough, remember that sometimes it really is about the destination and not the journey.