Gentle sun, warm sand, azure water, soft soothing sound of rustling waves, fresh seafood, long walks on the beach, pink sunsets – is there a more perfect combination for a serene yet invigorating vacation? If this sounds good to you, welcome to our club! To be fair, it’s quite crowded here but take a seat, grab a cocktail and enjoy.
Hopefully, you haven’t booked tickets for your next vacation, as our 12 white sand beaches of Europe will likely make you reconsider all your plans. Keep reading to learn about the best locations where you can soak in all the joys of coastal living and get memories for life!
A Dozen Astonishing European White Sand Beaches
1) San Vito Lo Capo (Sicily, Italy)
Sicily is famous for its stunning beaches. Visiting San Vito Lo Capo is like stepping into a cover of an advertising brochure that promises a holiday in paradise. Among its perks are pale golden sands, mountain views, turquoise sea, well-developed infrastructure. This place is popular with tourists, so you can expect it to be quite crowded during the season, but due to this slice of heaven’s great length, you can always find a quiet place for yourself. Additionally, it is located only an hour away from the astonishing city of Palermo.
2) Santa Giulia (Corsica, France)
This breathtaking beach is rightfully considered among the best beaches not only in Corsica but also in the world. This beach has it all – fine white sands, intensely blue water, massive scattered rocks, and lush emerald tree canopy across the shore, which will shield you from the hot sun. You can also explore the beautiful Étang de Santa Giulia to the west and busy Porto-Vecchio port to the north.
3) La Pelosa (Sardinia, Italy)
La Pelosa beach received the nickname “European Caribbean” due to its ivory sand and clear blue water. It also attracts tourists with its developed infrastructure, as well as panoramic nature and grand Pelosa Tower views. The beach is located on the shores of the Gulf of Asinara at Cape Falcone and ranks among the most impressive coasts in Sardinia.
4) Cala Mesquida (Mayorca, Spain)
In the northeast of Mallorca, you can find a beautiful Cala Mesquida beach. It is removed from major cities, which gives many tourists the seclusion they are seeking. At the same time, you can find great hotels nearby where you can stay in utmost comfort and enjoy stunning views of Mediterranean Sea and rolling green hills.
5) Agios Prokopios (Naxos, Greece)
Agios Prokopios is among the most beautiful beaches in Naxos, which often headlines lists of picturesque coasts not just in Greece, but throughout Europe. Greeks constantly advocate for preserving this beaches’ pristine charm, preventing it from being built up with modern buildings, entertainment centers. This beach is located about 3.4 miles (5.5 km) southwest of an island’s capital, next to Agios Georgios, which allows for a beautiful scenic walk.
6) Playa de Ses Illetes (Formentera, Spain)
Playa de Ses Illetes is located north of Formentera island, 2.5 miles (4 km) from La Savina port and 6.2 miles (10 km) from the beautiful city of Palma de Mallorca. It is a popular beach with tourists and locals alike. It has good infrastructure and everything you need for a comfortable stay. Furthermore, it is known for its mild comfortable climate, stunning aquamarine water, and gorgeous milky sand.
7) Cala Brandinchi (Sardinia, Italy)
Cala Brandinchi Beach, located 4.3 miles (7 km) north of San Teodoro and 1.2 miles (2 km) east of Monte Petrosu village, holds a special place in the hearts of many travelers. You will be amazed by the contrast between dazzling white sand and intense blue water. Equally impressive is a view of islands Molara and Tavolara, which are situated opposite the beach. This stretch of sea is a favorite among snorkeling lovers.
8) Nissi (Cyprus)
Many consider it to be the best beach in Cyprus. Nissi Beach is a white sand beach surrounded by rocky cliffs and picturesque scenery. It’s a beloved location for party-people across the globe – where you can hear the best DJs of Europe, attend crazy parties, concerts, cultural events. It also provides good conditions for family recreation, such as games and water sports.
9) Playa de Maspalomas (Gran Canaria, Spain)
This beach is located in the largest tourist area of all Canary Islands near the southernmost city of Gran Canaria – Maspalomas. It was awarded a Blue Flag which signifies water’s purity and safety. Despite the large flow of tourists all year round, it has retained its honorary status for many years. You can check all Blue Flag sites here.
10) Balos (Crete, Greece)
This beach is located 34 miles (55 km) from the city of Chania, next to Cape Tigani, on the Peninsula of Korikos, at the extreme northwestern tip of Crete. Here waters of three seas meet and wash the island. This place is distinguished by the beauty of transparent water, which combines different blue tones. You can walk the pale sands of this beach, littered with small shells. It is suitable for families with children, as it has a small shallow lagoon, where water is calm in any weather.
11) Meia Praia (Lagos, Portugal)
This grand 3 mile (5 km) long Blue Flag beach stretches from the western side of the mouth of Ribeira de Bensafrim to the mouth of Ribeira de Odiáxere, which forms a picturesque lagoon with Ria de Alvor. The entire length of Meia Praia is framed by light golden sand dunes with paved paths overgrown with shamrocks, daffodils, and wheatgrass. The beach has a relaxed atmosphere with small, scattered cozy bars and beachside cafés. One can rent equipment for water sports or boat trips, fishing is organized, volleyball courts are available.
12) Praia do Martinhal (Sagres, Portugal)
Praia do Martinhal beach is located to the east of Sagres city. It is another Blue Flag beach, so you can enjoy its impeccably clear water. This beach is known for its small beautiful limestone islets with many underwater grottoes. After relaxing on the beach, you can visit a beachfront restaurant and enjoy various seafood dishes. You can also take a walk in the wonderful Costa Vicentina Natural Park and admire the breathtaking scenery.
Time to Pack your Bags
We want you to picture golden sun rays streaming across your face, airy and soft foam-tipped waves caressing your ankles, realizing how ready you are for this year’s vacation. Now that you got a glimpse at what your future holiday may be like, it is a great idea to pick a location you liked the most and start making travel plans. Don’t miss out and explore one (or many!) of the white sand beaches we learned about today!
Author bio: Alison Lee
Alison is a passionate and dedicated writer, who loves to find new ways to entertain, inspire and educate her readers. She spent 2 years abroad exploring remote work while gathering material for her articles. You can glimpse at her work here. Alison’s experience in editing and proofreading made her superb at creating fun and easy-to-read content, which her readers are eager to get their hands on. She can’t imagine a better pastime than traveling, exploring foreign cuisine, and surfing.