It’s summer time. For me, that means beach time. Time near the water and on the water – kayaking, paddle boarding, sailing, snorkeling. I love all of it. And even better if I can do all this on Europe’s best beaches.
I asked a few travel bloggers about their favorite European beaches – here they are! I’m also adding my local favorite and a beach from my bucket list below.
Bunbeg Beach, co. Donegal, Ireland
Victoria Yore and Terrence Drysdale
Follow Me Away
We absolutely LOVE Bunbeg Beach because of its white sands, crystal clear water, and fabulous shipwreck! Bunbeg Beach is secluded in Ireland’s northernmost county, Donegal, so it is tourist free and mainly visited by locals. It is easily accessible from the Wild Atlantic Way (Ireland’s scenic byway) and the town of Bunbeg. You can even drive on the beach which makes transporting all of your beach gear easy!
The beach faces west and the sunsets are spectacular. Although the water is beautiful and sand is sparkling white, the shipwreck is what makes the beach unique! How often do you get to drive your can onto the beach and right up to a real shipwreck! The wreck appeals to kids and adults alike and Bunbeg Beach is perfect for anyone looking to find something different. Shipwreck selfies, anyone?
Zavala Beach, Havar, Croatia
There are soo, sooo many great beaches in Europe. I think my favourite Beach in Europe is on Havar in the little Town Zavala!
Zavala is tiny, village on Havar, Croatia. The way there is a story itself and can be quite scary! Zavala just has one Restaurant (Which is great, but you should better make a reservation or wait with a beautiful view for the next free table;) Zavalas Beach is also tiny but just the sweetest! I mean every Beach in Croatia is beautiful I guess, but this beach is quite private! You could also take a short walk and make it even more private and spread your towel on some rocks along the small footpath next to the beach.
Even though the beach is so small or maybe because it is so small I think it really is great for couples who seek a quite escape and some time to themselves.
Chrissi also wrote about Croatia and Zavala on her blog (in German). Check it out to learn more about this gorgeous place!
Riccione Beach, Italy
Photo credit: Simone Nencini
The Culture Wok
Tightly packed yellow and red striped umbrellas dot the beach in Riccione by day and if it is clear enough you might catch a glimpse of Croatia across the Adriatic Sea. It’s all classicly Italian beach, but it’s what goes on here when the sun goes down that is the real attraction. Coming from Miami, my pre-conceived view of Italy was a villa sitting on a hill surrounded by a rolling landscape of vineyards, great food, and fashionable people. Italy is ALL of that and more, but what I did not expect to find was a mini Miami Beach in the heart of Emilia-Romagna.
Riccione is a pulsing town by night popular with college kids and young adults alike. Top class DJ’s spin electronic music and high end shops like Swarovski and Gucci line the promenade. Modern sidewalk cafes pump out the flavors of the minute from top class chefs. Even the gelato shops are top class. It’s so enticing that even communist Mussolini couldn’t stay away, making his summer residence in Riccione. Today the house is used for events and exhibitions. While Riccione can be an expensive town, Airbnb is catching on in Italy and there are great deals to be had all within walking distance of the beach. Getting to Riccione is easy by rail as the train station is located at the very end of the pedestrian mall leading to the beach.
Montgat Nord Beach near Barcelona
Me, the Traveling German!
Montgat Nord may not be the most picturesque beach in Europe, but what makes it perfect for me is the proximity to Barcelona (the greatest city in the world). I like taking the train out to Montgat Nord and then walk north until the beach becomes really narrow. There’s a point where the beach will only fit one “line” of towels, so there are rocks behind you and water in front of you. That makes it feel very cozy, and aside from the train passing by every half hour, it’s pretty quiet.
It’s an awesome place to escape the crowds of tourists in Barcelona. Bonus point: It’s budget friendly, a normal zone 1 metro ticket will get you to Montgat Nord and the beers are only half of what they cost in the city.
Ksamil Beach, Albania
Did you expect to find an Albanian beach on this list? Ksamil beach is on my bucket list, and I plan to make it there fairly soon before too many people discover it. Ksamil is a part of Butrint National Park on the Southern Albanian Riviera. What I love about it is the views – crystal clear waters and a few small islands, only accessible by boat. I really want to go there and explore the islands with a small sailing boat or kayak! Wouldn’t you?
Europe’s Best Beaches – which ones are your favorites?
What is your favorite beach in Europe? Share it in the comments!