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Indagare Picks: Best Beaches in Europe

Summer in Europe conjures alluring images of jet-setters sipping Champagne on docked yachts or sunbathing at stylish beach clubs. Although Europe isn't known for the soft, wide beaches of the Caribbean or the Maldives (many European beaches are smaller and rockier), there are still plenty of scenic waterfront spots. Indagare picks some of the best beaches in Europe for soaking up the continent's storied summertime glamour.

Contact Indagare or your trip designer to start planning a customized trip to one of the best beaches in Europe—this year and beyond. Our team can match you with the hotels, restaurants and experiences that are right for you.

Blue Beach, Bodrum, Turkey

Though the beaches in Bodrum tend to be narrow, they are quite beautiful, with white sand, blue water and mountains in the distance. Blue Beach, the main private beach at the Mandarin Oriental, overlooks the tranquil Aegean Sea and features cabanas and a beach bar.

Calanque d’en Vau, Cassis, France

Just beyond the busy port city of Marseille, Cassis is renowned for its striking calanques, or white limestone cliffs, that drop dramatically into the cerulean waters below. Often referred to as the Mediterranean fjords, these cliffs are a sight worth seeing, and this secluded beach—accessible only by boat or by hike—is surrounded by the limestone beauties.

Related: The Prettiest Beaches in America

Domaine de Murtoli’s Beach Club, Corsica, France

This serene hotel, tucked into 6,000 acres, features breathtaking sandy coves and a beachside restaurant with a great view of the famed lion-shaped rock, Roccapina.

Elafonisi Beach, Crete

This beach in southwestern Crete is known for the pale pink coloring of its shoreline (thanks to tiny pink shells), with soft sand and shallow waters to boot.

Golden Horn Beach, Brac Island, Croatia

Set along Brac Island’s southern coast and surrounded by crystal-clear waters, the town of Bol is home to the world-famous beach of the Golden Horn, or Zlatni Rat. The unique triangular shape of this fine pebble beach constantly changes thanks to the continuous currents.

Grand Plage, Biarritz, France

The Grande Plage is Biarritz's main beach, stretching out in front of the Hotel du Palais and drawing summer crowds for a dip in the refreshing Atlantic waters.

Related: The World's Best Beach Clubs

Navagio Beach, Zakynthos, Greece

On the isle of Zakynthos, lying off Greece’s southwestern coast, the hidden cove of Navagio Beach is also known as Shipwreck Beach: The ship Panagiotis ran aground here in 1983, and the ruins of the vessel are still entrenched in the sand.

Pampelonne Beach, St.-Tropez, France

The pretty Pampelonne is one of the only soft, sandy beaches in the French Riviera (where many beaches are more rocky). This popular stretch along the Mediterranean Sea is also home to some of the top beach clubs and restaurants in St.-Tropez, including the star-studded Club 55, party spot Nikki Beach, the upscale La Réserve à la Plage and the relaxed but refined Byblos Beach.

Related: Ultimate Exotic Beach Vacations

Plage des Gollandières, Île de Ré, France

Île de Ré is often likened to Nantucket, thanks to its many sandy beaches, and locals and longtime island visitors all have different favorites, depending upon tides, time of day or proximity to restaurants and oyster huts. The Plage des Gollandières, the largest sand beach in the popular town of Le Bois Plage, is a family favorite and the perfect spot for a sunset picnic.

Red Beach, Santorini, Greece

One of the most unique beaches in Greece, the famous Red Beach of Santorini was created in a giant volcanic blast more than 3,500 years ago, resulting in a strip of pebbly sand set against a dramatic backdrop of red-hued cliffs.

Sveti Stefan, Montenegro

During the jet-set age of the 1960s and '70s, movie stars like Sophia Loren retreated to this fortified 15th-century fishing village, seeking serenity and distance from the paparazzi. When Montenegro gained independence in 2006, the new government wanted to bring back the glamour of that era, and the Aman opened as the first luxury hotel on the beautiful coast of Montenegro. Guests at the Aman Sveti Stefan have access to three semi-private and private beaches on this small Adriatic islet.

Tavolara Island, Sardinia

With some of the most gorgeous waters and unspoiled beaches in the Mediterranean, it’s no wonder that Sardinia's northeastern coast, the Costa Smeralda, is a favorite spot for yachters. Tavolara Island, a massive limestone island with 1,500-foot cliffs, sits across the strait from Costa Smeralda and is a fun stop for lunch and a swim thanks to its long, sandy beach with a charming summer restaurant.

Related: Post-Safari Beach Destinations

Contact Indagare or your Trip Designer to start planning a customized trip to one of the best beaches in Europe—this year and beyond. Our team can match you with the hotels, restaurants and experiences that are right for you and provide information on travel health safety and more.


-- Nikki Erlick

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