If relaxing on an idyllic beach is your idea of heaven, there’s no need to look any further afield than Europe. Whilst exotic shores tend to have the more enviable reputation, there’s a multitude of beautiful beaches that can be reached in just a few hours from most UK airports.
Here’s a selection of our favourite sandy locations in Europe.
1) Golden Sands, Bulgaria
The clue is in the name here; the soft golden sand at this beach is said to be the purest on the Black Sea coast. Around 19km away from the bustling city of Varna, the resort town of Golden Sands is popular with those who enjoy great value hotels and excellent camping spots.
This beach takes its environmentally friendly credentials very seriously, and the waters are closely monitored for any toxins. Mineral water springs can be found dotted along the waterside, providing a little bit of respite on hot days.
The constant temperature of around 27 degrees Celsius during the summer, coupled with the beach’s plentiful facilities, makes it a brilliant destination for sun seekers.
2) Maspalomas, Gran Canaria
The gigantic wind-sculpted sand dunes at the beach in Maspalomas are a stunning sight for holidaymakers. You’ll find that the dunes are divided into four main areas. The first is perfect for families and those with children, the second and the fourth are nudist zones, and the third is particularly popular with the gay community.
There are kiosks selling refreshments every 100m, so even if you’d like to find a quiet spot and enjoy the peace and tranquility, you’re never too far away from a cold drink and a bite to eat.
If you’re visiting the area, be sure to take a camel ride. They’re offered throughout the summer season and are memorable experience during any trip to Gran Canaria.
3) Scopello, Sicily
Situated on the west coast of Sicily, the quiet village of Scopello is a peaceful and pretty spot. A twenty-minute stroll will take you to a tiny and often deserted cove, complete with pale yellow sands and crystal clear waters. There are no facilities close by, but this is part of Scopello beach’s charm. Make sure you take plenty of water to keep you going throughout the day, as temperatures have been known to soar above 40 degrees.
Brad Pitt filmed part of Ocean’s Twelve here, proving that the area has true star quality.
4) Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona has seven beaches spread along 4.5km of coastline, so if you’re a sun worshipper, you’re well catered for in this sunshine city. Rent a car from Comparecarrentals.co.uk to enjoy the variety of attractions on offer to visitors in Barcelona.
As you’d imagine from a large metropolitan area, the nearby facilities are second to none. Whether you’re hoping to fill your days with water sports and beach activities, or you prefer just lounging with a cold cocktail and a good book, you’ll find what you’re looking for on the beaches of Barcelona.
5) Myrtos, Kefalonia
This one is perhaps the most dramatic of all the Ionian beaches. Set in a deep, wide bay, the waters here are a beautiful shade of turquoise and remain warm for most of the year. The views from the road above are picture perfect, and you’re likely to have seen them before on countless postcards and the covers of travel guides.
Whilst the main area of the beach is equipped with umbrellas and loungers, part of it remains untouched by tourism and unspoiled, showing off the area’s natural charms.
When it comes to breathtaking beaches with safe waters and brilliant amenities, Europe has a wealth of options for travellers. Any of these destinations would make for a wonderful holiday for sun worshippers.
Written by Ruth Johnson who loves sun worshipping and writing travel articles.