Our pick: Best beaches in Europe

It’s almost impossible to choose the best beaches in Europe, so we asked around the office to find out what some of the favourites are. We’d love to hear your opinion of our top 10 best beaches in Europe.

1. Zlatni Rat, in Bol, Croatia. The photographer’s favourite, known as Zlatni Rat or the Golden Cape or Golden Horn is a white pebble beach that creates an incredible seaside experience stretching in an almost vertical line into the sea Changing with the tide, the clothing-optional beach is one of the country’s most famous.

Zlatni Rat from Purple Travel

Image via @ Wikicommons

2. Navagio Beach, Zante. Only accessible by boat, the shipwreck beach on the Greek Island of Zakynthos is constantly making tourist’s jaws drop, thanks to its dramatic cliffs, and perfectly clear water, oh and the huge shipwreck that sits on the shore.

Navagio Beach from Purple Travel

 

3. Playa de las Catedrales, Galicia, Spain. This beach is made up of huge naturally occurring arches that remind visitors of the soaring arches of a cathedral.

Playa de las Catedrales from Purple Travel

Image via @ Dani_vr

4. Cala Turqueta, Menorca. This bay is totally buffeted from the winds that breeze windsurfers along further up the coast. The sandy beach is completely unorganized (so bring a picnic) and is protected by authorities, so expect pristine sand and water.

Cala Turqueta Menorca from Purple Travel

Cala en Turqueta via @ Hugos007

5. Butterfly Valley, Turkey. Tucked away about 15km south of the Oludeniz resort, is the romantically titled Valley of the Butterflies, a mix of canyon, waterfall and beach. The name comes from the thousands of butterflies that gather between June and September. This one is about as rustic as it gets, from the steep climb down cliffs to access it, to the hippies in tents sleeping on the beach.

Butterfly valley turkey

 Image via @ William Neuheisel

6. Merettimo, Italy. One of Europe’s best kept secret beaches, Marettimo off the coast of Sicily is picture perfect. It has practically no hotels and few restaurants, all that remains is unspoiled beach to while away the hours.

Marettimo Beach Sicily from Purple Travel

Marettimo Beach image via @ Roberto

7. Lara Beach, Cyprus. Only accessible via a long, bumpy road, Lara Beach is worth visiting, because if you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the loggerhead turtles that nest there.

Lara Beach from Purple Travel

8. Llafranc Beach, Spain. The Costa Brava’s best beach is ideal for families, couples or groups who want a relaxed beach. Llafranc is a vast shelf of golden sand, laced with clear, greenish waters and a handful of seats. It’s right beside the small town of Llafranc, so you can enjoy the best of both worlds.

Llafranc from Purple Travel

9. Golden Sands Bulgaria. The Golden Sands resort is filled with honey coloured sand and the clearest of waters, but for families and couples it also offers some cool extras: a casino, fairground, water parks and mini golf. A hugely popular beach, we’re expecting it to be a bit hit in summer 2014 too.

Golden Sands Bulgaria from Purple Travel

10.  Elafonisi Island, Crete. Elafonisi island is a tiny strawberry-and-cream coloured island off the coast of Crete. Incredibly beautiful, it’s as close to exotic, tropical and out of this world as you can get in Europe. Well worth visiting and a personal favourite on this list.

Elafonisi Beach from Purple Travel

If you’re interested in holidays to any of these beaches, or have something else in mind, talk to the expert team at Purple Travel on 0207 993 9228.

About the author

Kate

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