You don’t have to look too hard in Europe to find a beach that makes you want to jump on the next flight out of the UK. From Spain to Greece to France, mainland Europe offers something for every traveller – even those who would normally spend their time in cultural hotspots. Sit back and unwind as we guide you through some of Europe’s top beaches and remember – all of the beaches listed below are just a short flight away…

Praia de Marinha, Portugal

It’s no surprise that a beach in the Algarve features on our list; the region is teeming with beautiful stretches of sand. But even by the Algarve’s lofty standards, Praira de Marinha is special. Revered by locals and tourists alike, this beach was listed as one of Europe’s best in the Michelin guide. Accessible only by stairs, it has white sand, perfect swimming water, and rocks that jut out from behind and also from the water. It is picturesque and stunning in every way.

Navagio Beach, Greece

This isn’t just one of Europe’s best beaches – it’s also one of its most photographed. Known as ‘Shipwreck Beach’, this island cove has a centrepiece secret – a shipwreck that has been there since 1983. The beach is fascinating to explore up close (for this boat and exquisitely clear blue water) and also to photograph from afar. There’s simply nowhere else like it.

Zlatni Rat Beach, Croatia

This beach is commonly referred to as ‘The Best Beach in Croatia’ and given the beauty of Croatian beaches that’s high praise indeed. Located on Brac Island in Croatia’s stunning Dalmatian region, the beach’s most prominent feature is its unusual shape; it stretches out in a V shape into the Adriatic Sea. The fine pebble beach and perfect surrounding waters add to its unique feature to create one of Europe’s most memorable beaches.

Ölüdeniz, Turkey

The expansive Ölüdeniz beach is a joy to behold. A Blue Flag rated beach, the fine shingles, and sand is complemented by water as blue as the sky and a backdrop of stunning mountains. This isn’t just one of Europe’s best beaches – it’s one of the world’s finest.