Seduced by far-flung heat and the exotic tropics, it is easy to forget that some of the best beaches in the world are a couple of hours from home.
Europe is blessed with some of the world’s most sensational coastlines. Great long stretches of golden sand, secret coves, the calm blue-green waters of the Mediterranean; and the feisty Atlantic waves to play in. Driftwood walkways through the sand-dunes, pretty seaside villages and harbours clinking with sailing boats and wine glasses.
And beyond the beaches themselves – it’s everything else that should come with a beach holiday. Few tropical paradises can compete with the magnetic culture of Europe’s seaside enclaves: the barefoot-chic island attitude, the boho lifestyles, wild and free. Surf hangouts, hippie scenes, family-friendly hotspots. So much fun for pleasure seekers, drinkers and eaters. Sand and sea and sunshine; but also food and wine, music and dancing, swimming and playing.
To make you fall in love with it all over again, we’ve rounded up the best beaches in Europe.