Europe’s top 10 beaches


With scenic landscapes, soft sand and crystal clear turquoise seas, these beaches have been recognised as Europe’s best* according to TripAdvisor’s 200 million plus users around the world, who have actually visited and explored them.


“These are the best beaches Europe has to offer according to those that really matter – travellers themselves.” commented Emma Shaw, TripAdvisor spokesperson.


Europe’s top 10 beaches

1.    Rabbit Beach – Sicily, Italy – Located on the south-west coast of Sicily, Rabbit Beach was once filled with rabbits, hence the name. Featuring calm waters and glittering sand, visitors can still catch a glimpse of the few rabbits that remain in the area.

As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “This is by far the most beautiful beach I have been on, crystal clear water and sand everywhere.”

2.    Playa de las Catedrales – Ribadeo, Spain – Translated as “Beach of the Cathedrals”, Playa de las Catedrales lies roughly ten kilometres to the west of the town Ribadeo, featuring characteristic caves and cliffs visible during low tide.

As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “Great place when the tide is out, the rock formations and caves covered in small mussels are well worth seeing.”

3.    Rhossili Bay – Rhossili, Swansea, Wales – The most westerly bay on the Gower Peninsula, Rhossili Bay is a three mile long beach backed with sand dunes. For panoramic views over the bay, visitors can walk up the Rhossili Downs.

As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “Rhossili Bay is simply stunning. We walked along the cliff tops and were amazed by the wonderful views.”

4.    Playa de ses Illetes – Formentera, Spain – Featuring deep blue sea and fine sand, Playa de ses Illetes is surrounded by pines and vegetation. Visitors during the summer months will see boats and yachts dotting the horizon as they make the crossing from Eivissa to Formentera with a popular stop off at Playa de ses Illetes.

As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “Definitely one of the most stunning beaches I have ever been to. Feels like being in the Caribbean.”

5.    Woolacombe Beach – Woolacombe, Devon, England – A favourite of surfers and dog walkers, Woolacombe Beach is a three mile stretch of golden sand backed by sandy hills and the Woolacombe Downs.

As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “If you want plenty of sand in a spectacular place, look no further than Woolacombe Beach. Plus the sea is blue and the setting is gorgeous.”

6.    Elafonissi Beach – Elafonissi, Crete, Greece – Featuring soft sand and turquoise water, the natural islet at Elafonissi Beach creates a lagoon which means the water doesn’t get any deeper than one metre, ideal for bathing and great for children.

As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “If heaven is a beach, then it is Elafonissi – crystal clear sea, rare pink sand and shallow water that allows you to take an endless walk.”

7.    Iztuzu Beach – Dalyan, Turkey – One of the main breeding grounds for loggerhead sea turtles, Iztuzu Beach is a long, but narrow strip of land, which forms a natural barrier between the fresh water delta of the Dalyan River and the Mediterranean.

As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “A totally unspoilt soft sandy beach which is a protected area for the loggerhead turtles.”

8.    La Pelosa Beach – Stintino, Sardinia, Italy – Located in the Asinara Gulf, La Pelosa Beach is protected from the open sea by a natural barrier made of the cliffs of Capo Falcone, by the Piana island and by the Asinara island. Situated on an island in front of the beach, visitors can view the 17th Century tower of La Pelosa that gives the beach its name.

As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “Lovely beach with wonderful hues, turquoise water and fine sand.”

9.    Porthminster Beach – St Ives, Cornwall, England – The easternmost and second-largest of St Ives’ four beaches, Porthminster Beach features calm waters and golden sand, with excellent views across St Ives Bay to Godrevy lighthouse.

As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “The sand is perfect and the views across to Godrevy and up to St Ives itself are second to none.”


10. St Pauls Bay – Lindos, Rhodes, Greece – A small rocky bay, St Pauls Bay is ideal for snorkelling with its shallow waters. Adrenaline junkies seeking a thrill can often be seen diving into the sea from the adjacent rocks.

As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “This is a gorgeous little bay with crystal clear, turquoise water.”


For more information on these beaches, including reviews and travellers photos, visit


*According to the 2013 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards. Award winners were determined based on the most highly rated beaches by travellers in TripAdvisor reviews. Unlike any other honours, TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice winners are based on millions of valuable reviews and opinions from travellers around the world.