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Seitan Limania, Greece
Photograph: Shutterstock

Revealed: Europe’s 25 best beaches for summer 2024

These beaches were assessed on popularity, water quality, accessibility and more

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly

There’s actually quite a lot to assess when it comes to finding the best beach. Sure, if the water’s blue and there’s plenty of marine life to see, that’s great for scuba diving and snorkelling enthusiasts. But what about the swimmers, sunbathers and sandcastle builders?

Well, they’re in luck. We have our own brilliant list of Europe’s best beaches, but it can’t hurt to get a second opinion. 

BookRetreats has evaluated beaches from across 16 European destinations based on their popularity, typical weather conditions, safety, accessibility and water quality, giving each one a total score out of five. 

Claiming the crown as the best beach in Europe for 2024, it was La Choncha Beach in Spain. The scenic stretch of coast in San Sebastian scored 4.7 out of five, thanks to its balmy summer temperatures (an average of about 24C) and excellent water quality. 

Spain dominated the list overall – the Mediterranean country is home to 28 percent of the best beaches in Europe (that’s seven of the top 25 spots). Surprisingly, Greece only makes one appearance in the top 25, as does Germany, which is hardly your typical beach destination. 

Portugal claimed six spots including second place with Praia da Falésia, which is a stunning, rugged beach in the Algarve. It’s only 31.4km from Faro Airport meaning it scored well for accessibility, and Portugal ranks well for safety, too. 

The study also revealed the best destinations for different types of beach-goer. If you’re after some guaranteed sun for a tan top-up, Sardinia and Sicily are your best bets; while swimmers should head to Cyprus, where 99.2 percent of the country’s beaches have excellent water quality. 

Europe’s 25 best beaches

1. La Choncha Beach, Spain

2. Praia da Falésia, Portugal

Praia da Falésia, Portugal
Photograph: BookRetreats

3. Pasjača Beach, Croatia

4. La Canteras Beach, Spain

5. Lama Monchile, Italy

6. Cala Comte, Spain

Cala Comte, Spain
Photograph: BookRetreats

7. Tuerredda Beach, Italy

8. Seagull’s Rocks, Croatia

9. Mala Raduča Beach, Croatia

10. Marinha Beach, Portugal

11. San Juan Playa, Spain

12. Rabbit Beach, Italy

Rabbit Beach, Italy
Photograph: Shutterstock

13. Cala Saladeta, Spain

14. Playa de Mónsul, Spain

15. Ponta da Calheta, Portugal

16. Seitan Limania, Greece

Seitan Limania, Greece
Photograph: Shutterstock

17. Praia da Armona, Portugal

18. Oprna Bay, Croatia

19. Spiaggia di Mari Pintau, Italy

20. Praia do Garajau, Portugal

21. Warnemünde Strand, Germany

Warnemünde Strand, Germany
Photograph: Shutterstock

22. Primera Playa del Sardinero, Spain

23. Terra Estreita Beach, Portugal

24. Porto Giunco Beach, Italy

25. Cala Capreria, Italy

To read BookRetreats report in more detail, you can do so right here

Seas the day

With beach season right around the corner, we’ve got all the info you need about the world’s best destinations for swimming, sunbathing, and everything in between. 

For those craving a little marine adventure, here are the best destinations for scuba diving and snorkelling around the world. We recently covered the beaches with the bluest water, too, and these are the best beaches in Europe and the best ones on the planet

Did you see that these are the new beach rules you’ll soon have to follow in Greece?

Plus: This popular travel destination is doubling its entry fee this year

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