Summer is in full swing, and there’s no better time to explore the best beaches Europe has to offer. From the stunning shores of Spain to the ice-kissed coastlines of Iceland, there is something for every beach lover. In this guide, we’ve handpicked the top 10 must-visit European beaches to visit in August, each offering a unique experience and breathtaking views. Grab your sunscreen and swimsuit, and let’s dive in!
1. Oludeniz Beach, Turkey
A Turquoise Paradise
Located in southwestern Turkey, Oludeniz Beach is also known as the Blue Lagoon due to its pebble shores and mesmerizing aquamarine waters. This stunning beach is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and even paragliding, thanks to its stable weather and panoramic views.
For adventure seekers, the launch site for most paragliding companies is from the nearby Babadağ mountain, with jumping-off points reaching up to 6,000 feet above sea level. There’s no better way to take in the breathtaking scenery of Oludeniz Beach than from high above.
2. Bay of Biscay, Biarritz, France
A Surfer’s Haven
Situated in the Basque region of France, the beaches of Biarritz along the Bay of Biscay are not only beautiful, but also popular among surfers, thanks to their mellow waves that are safe for beginners. The area has been a renowned summer getaway for royals and celebrities alike, even featuring in Ernest Hemingway’s novel, The Sun Also Rises.
Basque Country Charm
Apart from its golden sands and impressive waves, the bustling town of Biarritz offers a rich cultural experience. Explore the town’s lively streets, indulge in Basque cuisine, and immerse yourself in the unique charm of this coastal paradise.
3. Praia da Marinha, Algarve, Portugal
A World-Class Beach
Praia da Marinha, located along Portugal’s stunning Algarve region, is widely recognized as one of the best beaches in the world. With its dramatic rocky outcrops, pristine white sand, and crystal-clear waters, it’s no wonder this beach has become a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
The calm waters at Praia da Marinha are perfect for snorkeling and exploring the underwater world that lies beneath the surface. With an abundance of marine life and fascinating rock formations, this beach is a must-visit for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.
4. San Fruttuoso, Liguria, Italy
A Hidden Gem
Nestled between the picturesque towns of Portofino and Camogli, San Fruttuoso is a hidden gem that’s as idyllic as Italian beaches come. The secluded cove can only be reached by hiking from Portofino or catching a ferry, making it a peaceful escape from the bustling tourist hotspots.
A Medieval Backdrop
San Fruttuoso’s charm lies not only in its crystal-clear waters and golden sands but also in its unique backdrop. Towering above the beach is a medieval abbey surrounded by lush mountains, creating a serene and enchanting atmosphere that’s hard to resist.
5. Reynisfjara, Vik, Iceland
A Dramatic Black-Sand Beach
Iceland may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of beaches, but Reynisfjara in Vik offers a unique and dramatic coastal experience. The black sands of Reynisfjara, formed from volcanic ash, contrast beautifully with the soaring basalt columns and powerful waves that crash against the shore.
A Photographer’s Dream
The dramatic scenery at Reynisfjara makes it an ideal spot for photography enthusiasts. Capture the stunning contrast between the black sands, rugged cliffs, and crashing waves, and you’ll have a truly unforgettable memento of your visit to this extraordinary beach.
6. Zlatni Rat, Brač, Croatia
A Unique Beachscape
Croatia is a country known for its beautiful beaches, and Zlatni Rat on the island of Brač is no exception. What sets this beach apart is its unique shape, which changes depending on the current. The shoreline is made up of smooth, tiny pebbles and extends for half a mile on either side of the tip, creating a striking and unforgettable beachscape.
A Water Sports Paradise
Zlatni Rat is not just a place to lounge and soak up the sun – it’s also a popular spot for various water sports. Take advantage of the steady winds by trying your hand at windsurfing, or explore the crystal-clear waters on a jet ski or stand-up paddleboard.
7. Haukland Beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway
A Taste of the Tropics in the Arctic Circle
The Lofoten Islands in Norway may be located above the Arctic Circle, but the crystal-clear waters surrounding Haukland Beach can rival those of the Caribbean or Mediterranean. During summer, the inviting waters are perfect for kayaking and swimming, while the winter months offer the chance to witness the awe-inspiring Northern Lights dancing above the sea.
A Unique Blend of Landscapes
Haukland Beach, with its pristine white sands and dramatic mountain backdrop, offers a unique blend of landscapes that will leave you breathless. It’s the perfect spot to relax, take in the scenery, and create unforgettable memories.
8. Praia da Falesia, Albufeira, Portugal
A Spectacular Coastal View
Located in the Algarve region of Portugal, Praia da Falesia is a unique beach that offers more than just golden sands and warm waters. The striking red-orange cliffs that line the beach create a breathtaking backdrop, with lush pine trees at the top and vibrant flowers at the bottom.
A Picture-Perfect Setting
With its dramatic cliffs, azure waters, and pristine sands, Praia da Falesia is a picture-perfect setting for a relaxing day at the beach. Unwind under the sun, take a dip in the warm waters, and capture the stunning scenery that surrounds you.
9. Sveti Stefan, Montenegro
A Luxurious Escape
Once a playground for celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, and Kirk Douglas, Sveti Stefan is now an exclusive destination for guests of the luxurious Aman Sveti Stefan resort. The stunning beach, connected to the resort by a causeway, offers unparalleled views and a serene atmosphere for an unforgettable beach experience.
A Montenegrin Icon
The picturesque Sveti Stefan is one of Montenegro’s most photographed spots. The charming town, with its red-roofed buildings and lush green surroundings, creates a picture-perfect backdrop for a luxurious beach getaway.
10. Sarakiniko, Milos, Greece
A Lunar Landscape
The island of Milos, part of the Cyclades in Greece, boasts a unique landscape that’s reminiscent of a lunar surface. Sarakiniko Beach, with its large, sun-bleached rocks eroded by saltwater, offers visitors a truly unforgettable experience.
A Surreal Beach Experience
The striking contrast between the smooth white rocks and the deep blue waters of Sarakiniko Beach creates a surreal and otherworldly atmosphere. It’s a must-visit destination for those seeking a one-of-a-kind beach experience in Europe.
From the turquoise waters of Turkey to the black sands of Iceland, these top 10 European beaches offer a diverse and unforgettable experience for every traveler. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore these stunning coastal gems during your visit to Europe in August. Happy sunbathing.