If you’re dreaming of a beach vacation in paradise, look no further than Routeperfect’s 10 best beach destinations. Our team of travel experts has compiled a list of stunning destinations in Europe and beyond to suit every type of holiday, from romantic getaways to family vacations. Get ready – it’s going to be hard to choose between them, but stock up on sunscreen, grab your sunglasses, and you’ll be set to experience the ultimate beach vacation!
home to history, culture – and some of the world’s best beaches! Whether you’re looking for a full sun, surf, and sea holiday or want to add a stay on the coast to your European vacation, we’ve got you covered. While there is an abundance of outstanding beach destinations in Europe, let’s start with our top 5 picks:
1. Amalfi Coast, Italy
The Amalfi Coast, often referred to as “heaven on earth,” is a stunning, 34-mile stretch of southern Italian coastline along the crystal, turquoise waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. This glorious area features high coastal cliffs, charming seaside towns, breathtaking views, fine Italian cuisine, and luxury accommodations. As you wind along the roads of this beautiful coastline, you’ll experience one of the most scenic drives in the world and visit some of its magical, cliffside towns. While some of the beaches along the coast are easily accessible, many are hidden gems, unable to be seen from the road. Marina Grande in Positano is a popular, action-packed beach for those looking to see and be seen, while the Arienzo Beach, at a descent of 300 steps, is quieter and more conducive to swimming. Maiori Beach is the largest on the Amalfi Coast and one of the few that is sandy. Erchie Beach, which lies near a pastel fishing village, offers views of the charming village as well as sea and sand. A seaside paradise, the Amalfi Coast is a popular spot for romantic getaways and honeymoons.
Popular itinerary in Amalfi Coast:
2. Costa Brava, Spain
The Costa Brava, literally meaning “the wild coast,” is a beautiful, idyllic region on the northeastern coast of Spain, known for its rugged coastline, crystal-clear waters, and long, sandy beaches. The coastline is full of coves, hidden from view, which are waiting to be explored. Whether you’re looking for R&R – lounging on golden sand and swimming in turquoise water- or you’re an outdoor enthusiast and watersport lover, Costa Brava is for you. Platja de Treumal and Platja de Santa Cristina are among the most popular and accessible beaches, and Sant Pol, located in a bay, is another top beach destination. While the beaches are welcoming and stunning, there are also great hiking trails as well as kayaking, diving, and snorkeling opportunities.
Popular itinerary in Costa Brava:
3. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik is a sun-drenched historic city on the Adriatic Sea. Famous for its stunning medieval architecture and rich cultural heritage, the city is also a top European beach destination. Whether you’re looking for a refreshing dip or a cocktail overlooking the beautiful coastline, Dubrovnik is for you. The beaches are located in and around the city itself, as well as on the nearby small islands, including the Elafiti Islands. While the long beaches are impressive with crystal-clear waters and rocky coves, most are quite pebbly except for the well-known, sandy Sunj Beach. Dubrovnik is also a great spot for Game of Thrones fans, as it served as the filming location for King’s Landing in the popular HBO series.
4. Algarve, Portugal
The Algarve is a region in southern Portugal known for its stunning cliffs and coastal scenery, soft sandy beaches, and warm climate. It’s a great spot for families, with plenty of water parks, theme parks, and outdoor activities, and, for golf enthusiasts, Algarve’s golf resorts are among the greatest in Europe. The seashores, many of which are backed by cliffs, are among the best beaches in Europe. Praia da Rocha and Praia da Luz are popular spots for sunbathing and swimming, and Ferragudo, a former fisher village, is a quieter retreat. Ponta da Piedade is a stunning piece of coastline with red-tinged limestone cliffs and natural arches and caves, and the clear water has fairy-tale emerald-green tones. Algarve also offers vibrant nightlife, delectable seafood, and a relaxed vibe.
5. Santorini, Greece
Santorini is a spectacular volcanic island in the Aegean Sea, known for its stunning sunsets, white-washed buildings, blue-domed churches, and homes carved into the cliffs. The island’s beaches are just as impressive, with black and red sand beaches and crystal-clear waters. Santorini is also a great destination for foodies, with delicious Greek cuisine and world-renowned wines. While Santorini has become synonymous with high-end luxury, there are also low-cost travel options, and many of the best things to do are free – enjoying the beach, watching the sunset, and strolling among the historic towns.
Ready to travel Down Under? The vast continent of Australia offers a myriad of tourist attractions and a wide diversity of activities, and it is also home to seaside havens with some of the world’s best beaches. With over 37,000 miles of coastline and over 10,000 beaches to choose from, you’ll find the perfect destination for your dream vacation – whether you’re looking for sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, or surfing, don’t miss the Australian beaches!
6. Bondi Beach, Australia
Bondi Beach is an enticing, iconic beach located in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, Australia. In addition to its breathtaking scenery, consistent waves, and vibrant beach culture, its laidback vibes are almost contagious! Surfing, yoga, swimming, and watching stunning sunrises are part of the culture in Bondi Beach, as is its great food scene, with plenty of cafes and restaurants offering delicious Australian cuisine. The famous, nearly four-mile Coastal Walk from Bondi to Coogee links four beautiful beaches and offers spectacular views, parks, and cafes. From the lookout points along the walk, you can spot the annual whale migration from May to November, and, in late spring, the Sculpture by the Sea, the world’s biggest outdoor sculpture exhibit, transforms the cliffs.
7. Cable Beach, Australia
Cable Beach is a stunning beach, surrounded by sand dunes and reddish cliffs, located in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Famous for its 13.5 miles of pristine white sand and the clear turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, Cable Beach is home to stunning sunsets and iconic camel rides on the beach. The water in Cable Beach is warm and ideal for swimming for months on end. No worries about having a crocodile join you on your swim – life guards patrol the beach and close it if there are any crocodile sightings in the area. Whether you’re looking for a tranquil vacation, swimming and soaking up the rays, or more activity – fishing, kayaking, and surfing – Cable Beach is for you!
While it’s hard to choose which continent in the world has the best beaches, there is no doubt that Asia is in the running as a top contestant. From romantic honeymooners to backpackers, the beaches offer something for everyone – swimming alone or with whale sharks, snorkeling, and scuba diving to name just a few popular activities. With their soft, white sand and pristine, clear waters, here are our top picks for must-visit beaches in Asia.
8. Bali, Indonesia
Bali, often described as “paradise,” offers a magical vacation. A blend of vibrant culture with warm people, spectacular nature and activities, mouthwatering cuisine, and beautiful accommodations, its rating as one of the best travel destinations in the world is no surprise. Having said that – who doesn’t go to Bali, at least in part, for its beaches?
Most of Bali’s most outstanding beaches are located in the Uluwatu area on its southern coast or on Nusa Penida, an easily accessible small island off the coast that is part of Bali. Kuta Beach, located on Bali’s southwestern coast, is one of Bali’s most popular resort areas offering sun, sand, and surf and a wide range of accommodations. Seminyak is another of Bali’s most popular beaches, known as an upscale resort area with luxury hotels, boutiques, and restaurants. Nusa Dua is a prestigious beach region, offering the perfect, luxurious spot for a honeymoon, family vacation, or international convention. Its all-inclusive resorts are world class, and its golf courses are renowned.
Bali is also a haven for water sports enthusiasts, attracting surfers and divers from all over, and a great destination for yoga and meditation retreats, with abundant wellness centers offering a variety of programs.
9. Phuket, Thailand
Phuket, Thailand’s largest island, is located in the south of the country, in the Andaman Sea. Along with the island’s beautiful scenery, historic old town, vibrant nightlife, and fascinating culture, the stunning beaches with their clear waters are a popular destination. Patong Beach is the most popular beach on the island, with many bars, restaurants, and clubs. Kata Beach, another popular, palm-shaded beach with white sand and clear waters, is divided into two parts – Kata Yai and Kata Noi. The beach has a relaxed vibe, offering the opportunity to soak in the rays, swim, snorkel, and body surf. The pristine Karon Noi Beach is another popular, relatively quiet destination as is Freedom Beach which is accessible only via a steep walk downhill or by boat. People often choose accommodations in Phuket near the beaches that offer amenities for tourists such as restaurants, shops, and nightlife, but spend their days on more remote beaches which offer more untouched nature and tranquility.
10. Boracay, Philippines
Boracay is a small tropical island of about four and a half miles long and just about a mile wide located in the western Visayas region of the Philippines. It is famous for its stunning beaches, clear waters, world class resorts, and vibrant nightlife. It is said that Boracay’s beaches, dotted with coconut trees, have retained their charm despite the development of the island. Swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving in the island’s waters – or simply relaxing on the beach and soaking up the sun – are the main pastimes. There are over 300 hotels and resorts on the island offering a diverse range of accommodations. White Beach, the island’s most popular beach, is known for its powdery white sand and crystal-clear waters as well as for its palm trees, restaurants, and bars. Bulabog Beach is a haven for water sports lovers, and those venturing underwater will find diverse marine life and coral reefs. As part of an archipelago, Boracay is also a great spot for island-hopping.
Here you go, 10 of the world’s best beach destinations to get the wheels rolling for your next vacation. Whether you’re looking for relaxation, adventure, or a little bit of both, you’ll find heaven on earth at these top beach destinations. Start planning, pack your bags, and get ready for the sea, surf, and sand vacation of your dreams!