The best beaches in Europe

Planning your next beach getaway? Discover Italian beaches that rival the Caribbean, Croatia’s ‘Golden Horn’ and Crete’s pink-shell sands. We asked a few of our travel experts to tell us about their favourite coastal gems in Europe.

Megali Paralia in Lindos

Which are the best beaches in Europe for dramatic scenery?

“Megali Paralia in Lindos is a poster-child beach in Rhodes. It’s quite something to be relaxing on the honey-coloured cove, gazing up at white-washed buildings clinging to the hills and the imposing Acropolis of Lindos towering above. It's a summer hotspot, so beat the crowds by arriving early or visiting during the quieter seasons.” Jamie Trennery, Personal Travel Expert, Kuoni Bluewater

Turkey’s Turquoise Coast has outstanding beaches. First, there's the famous Blue Lagoon in Olu Deniz, with its namesake-coloured waters and pine-clad hills — a photographer's dream. Then, there's Iztuzu Beach, a nesting ground for loggerhead turtles, accessible by riverboat from Dalyan, an extraordinary place with ancient tombs carved into cliffs and theraputic mud baths.” Heather Flanagan, Marketing team


Which are the best beaches in Europe for lazy days?

"The Algarve beaches are underrated; I was blown away by their beauty, especially Falésia Beach with its champagne-coloured sand set against stunning red cliffs. Pine Cliffs Resort, right on this beach, is perfect for a chilled-out day. They've got reserved sunbeds, and you can order snacks and drinks right to your spot. If you want a quick break from the beach, pad across to Maré at Pine Cliffs for a cocktail or a delicious seafood lunch.” Aleatta McCaffery, Personal Travel Expert, Kuoni Harrogate

Falésia Beach

“Agios Ioannis Peristeron in Corfu is a peaceful ribbon of shingly sand where you can doze and soak up the local life. Couples staying at the adults-only Nido, Mar-Bella Collection are guaranteed undisturbed relaxation as there’s a private section of the beach just for them. You have the best of both worlds here with access to the livelier sister hotel next door for a change of pace.” Stephen Murray, Personal Travel Expert, Kuoni at John Lewis Reading


Which European beaches give the most Caribbean vibes?

“Formentera, the smallest Balearic Island, is often called ‘The Caribbean of Europe’. The dazzling white sands and insanely blue waters will transport you straight to the tropics. It’s only accessible by boat; you can get there by taking a ferry from Ibiza Old Town.” Claire Bodie, Marketing team

“One of my favourite spots is Fig Tree Bay in Cyprus. The idyllic setting and laid-back atmosphere make it feel like a slice of the Caribbean right in the heart of the Med.” Michelle Hepple, Operations Assistant

Sardinia has hands down some of the best beaches in Europe. The island’s coastline is so different from the mainland; expect swathes of sugary sand and crystal-clear waters that are a snorkeller’s dream. Along with its upscale hotels and an air of exclusivity, it’s no wonder Sardinia is compared to exotic locales like Tahiti, the Maldives and the Caribbean.” Maxine Brown, Personal Travel Expert, Kuoni Bluewater

Mykonos Grand Hotel & Resort 

Which are the best beach in Europe for a luxe and lively stay?

Mykonos is all about glamour. You'll find beaches here for every mood: mingle with millionaires on Psarou Bay, party the night away on Paradise Beach or sip wine by the sea at Agios Ioannis – immortalised in the iconic '80s film Shirley Valentine.” Aleatta McCaffery, Personal Travel Expert, Kuoni Harrogate

Marbella in Spain has beautiful golden beaches and see-and-be-seen beach clubs. At beachfront Mett Hotel & Beach Resort, a DJ spins tunes by the pool and you can stroll into trendy Puerto Banus for waterfront dining, looking out onto mega yachts and supercars.” Sharna McKay, Assistant Manager, Kuoni Metrocentre

Melia Fuerteventura, Playa Sotavento

Which is the best beach in Europe for adventure lovers?

“Playa Sotavento in Fuerteventura is a haven for water activities, thanks to its ideal wind and sea conditions. The renowned Rene Egli school offers courses in windsurfing and there’s also a dive school for scuba enthusiasts. The beach itself is spectacular, with dunes reminiscent of the Sahara Desert. Beyond, explore Fuerteventura’s dramatic landscapes on the various biking and hiking trails or try rock climbing.” Zoe Fox, Personal Travel Expert, Kuoni Meadowhall

Ikos Aria, Kos

Which are the best beaches in Europe for families?

“The award-winning Ikos Resorts in Greece are set on the most coveted coastlines in Corfu, Kos, and Halkidiki – think Blue Flag beaches, shallow blue waters and backdrops of fragrant pines. These hotels offer one of the best all-inclusive packages I’ve ever experienced, including diverse food and drink options and complimentary activities. There are also amazing kids' clubs and football academies.” Jo Goddard, Personal Travel Expert, Kuoni Chichester

“I love the beaches in Mallorca. The island has a mix of small, picturesque coves and long stretches of sand, many monitored by lifeguards and with designated areas for swimming. One standout is Playa De Muro in Alcudia, home to the family centric Iberostar Selection Playa de Muro Village, complete with spacious family suites and kids' clubs catering to ages 4 to 17.” Becky Allen-Gurr, Personal Travel Expert, Kuoni Chester

Zlatni Rat beach, Croatia

Which are the most unique beaches in Europe?

“Zlatni Rat beach on Croatia's Brac island (near Split) is truly one-of-a-kind. It's shaped like a horn extending into the sea, earning its nickname "The Golden Horn’. With cobalt blue waters and views of the mountains on Hvar island, it's a breathtaking spot, offering a seaside experience you won't find elsewhere in the Adriatic.” Steve Yates, Assistant Manager, Kuoni at Peter Jones

“Ramla Bay on the Maltese isle of Gozo is special because of its rust-red sands and remote countryside setting. It also has some historical treasures; one of Malta’s national monuments stands guard over the sand and Roman ruins are buried nearby. Be sure to take in the view from Calypso Cave, a site steeped in local legend.” James Kerr, Sales & Customer Support Manager, the Expert Hub

Matala Beach, Crete

“I loved Matala Beach in southern Crete. It’s quite a drive from the main tourist towns so has a more authentic feel. It’s surrounded by cave-pocked cliffs and lined with bustling fish tavernas with views of the beach – the perfect spot for a lunch of octopus salad washed down with a Mythos Beer.” Heather Flanagan, Marketing team

“Famous for its pink hues that are created by crushed coral and shells, Elafonisi beach in western Crete often appears on ‘the world’s best beaches’ lists and is great for families with shallow waters. It’s deservedly popular, so park up early or come out of season. Jane Griffiths, Store Manager, Kuoni Liverpool

Elafonisi beach, Crete

And the overall winner?

Cyprus is the clear favourite among our travel experts for Europe’s best beaches. Blessed with over 320 days of sunshine each year, the island has diverse coastlines ranging from sandy Blue Flag shores to secluded smugglers' coves. Beyond its beaches, there’s age-old ruins, hearty Cypriot cuisine and adventurous mountainous terrain, making it the ultimate beach plus getaway.

Kourion archeological site, Cyprus


Matching you with your perfect holiday is what our experts do best. Download our Mediterranean brochure to browse our range of handpicked hotels and then get in touch to plan your tailor-made Europe beach escape.

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