Top Beach Vacations in Europe

After a long winter spent indoors with gray skies and cold temperatures, there’s nothing quite like planning for the summer season and imagining yourself lounging in the sun with hot sand between your toes. Europe is an amazing place to go for a beach vacation with so many options that can please any type of traveler.

Depending on the location, beach season can span from early June through September. The earlier dates will have fewer crowds but cooler waters, whereas August will be the height crowds but with the best weather conditions and lively atmosphere. Many resort towns stay open through September too, when the waters stay warm but the crowds thin out, so this is a great option for travelers who don’t have to worry about school-aged children missing the start of their classes.

Portugal

famous cave in algarve region of portugal
Benagil Cave, Algarve Portugal

The Algarve, the southernmost region in Portugal, is one of the warmest and sunniest spots in southern Europe boasting up to 300 days of sun a year. Rocky shorelines dotted with sandy coves create a wide variety of resorts and vacation homes.

Thanks to the popularity of tourists from the United Kingdom and Germany it's easy to get around using English. Tourists also can enjoy a variety of cultural sites, beaches good for families with kids, as well as bars and nightclubs, making The Algarve a great choice for a multi-generational trip since there’s something for everybody.

>> Top Tips for Your First Visit to Portugal

Spain

evening beach in spain with lights of houses and shops glowing
La Concha Beach, San Sebastian, Spain

There’s no shortage of beach options when it comes to Spain, especially on the famous island of Ibiza. Known for the exciting nightlife, the island also has the “out of the way but worth it” Playa Sa Caleta for those desiring a quieter beach-going experience.

A more family-friendly option for those with kids in tow, or just those not craving the nightlife and business of Ibiza, is the city of San Sebastian which offers La Concha Beach. This long strip of golden sand is one of the best in Europe and San Sebastian offers plenty to do outside the beach as well.

>> The Ancient Wonders of the Iberian Peninsula

Italy

Clear water with rocky coastline in Sardinia
Beach of Cala Coticcio, Sardinia, Italy

For travelers wanting a slower-paced beach vacation where nothing will happen in a hurry, Italy is your place. In addition to many beaches on the mainland, the island of Sardinia offers plenty of natural coastlines and is very popular with the sailing and yachting scene, with plenty of options to charter a boat for your personal tour or day at sea. Renting a car from one of the airports like Olbia or Cagliari and you can road trip around the Island finding a variety of beaches all in one trip. The food and culture of Sardinia are unique to Italy, making for a different trip even for those familiar with Mainland Italy.

>> Tuscany for Foodies

Greece

beach with pink sand and sun rays behind clouds
Elafonisi Beach, Greece

Of course, no list can be complete without Greece, the country made up of nearly 6000 islands. With 227 inhabited islands, there’s a perfect beach in Greece for every traveler.

Elafonisi Beach has been argued as the best in Crete, but Greece’s largest island has a wide variety of beaches from long and sandy to secluded rocky coves thanks to the incredibly geologically diverse landscape. The Ionian sea is home to the popular vacation island of Kefalonia but most islands are over in the Aegean sea.

Partygoers should try Paradise beach on Mykonos whereas St. George’s beach on Naxos is best for the family-focused trip.

>> Best Time to Visit Greece

With so many options it’s best to work with a European travel expert who can help you plan a personalized itinerary for your perfect beach getaway.

Whether you are looking for a beautiful resort on the beach, or a family-friendly villa with space for the whole family, and anything in between - Endless Routes Travel can help design your European vacation. 

Endless Routes Travel is here to guide your way as you find the best beaches in Europe for your family.

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