Durdle Door, England
Durdle Door is characterized by the impressive limestone arch on one end of the beach. While the beach is part of the private property in the Lulworth Estate, it is accessible and open to the public. The arch was formed over hundreds of years as the waves gradually eroded the rock to eventually create the structure seen today. Caves have also been formed by this same erosion process, though they are dangerous to enter and can only be viewed from the outside. Durdle Door is located on the Jurassic Coast of England, not far away from Dorset. Lulworth Cove has a parking area, Visitor Center, and dining facilities for visitors.
Navagio Beach, Greece
Also known as Shipwreck Beach, Navagio is one of the most popular beaches in Greece and is world famous for its unique beauty. There is only one way to access the beach itself, which is by water. There are numerous tourist agencies that operate boat tours along the Zakynthos’ Coast of Greece, and there is also a viewing platform and scenic path located on one of the cliffs so you can see Navagio from an aerial view; however, the only way to access the viewing area is by car since there are no bus services from Zakynthos, the nearest city.
Nissi Beach, Cyprus
The year-round pleasant weather and spectacular turquoise color of the water of the Mediterranean Sea make Nissi Beach a popular destination on the island of Cyprus. Not far from the larger city of Ayia Napa, it is easy to access and is known for its high-class all-inclusive resorts. The shallow, calm water makes Nissi a very safe place to swim, even for small children, and there are many water sports like windsurfing, snorkeling, and paddle boarding. The beach is also known for its vibrant music and professional DJs who come host the parties.
Cala Goloritzé, Italy
On the southern coast Sardinia is the secluded and picturesque beach Cala Goloritzé. In order to access the beach, you have to walk since there are no roads leading to it and the closest city, Baunei, is about 9 kilometers away. The trail itself takes about an hour, though the return journey is longer. Cala Goloritzé is known as one of the best snorkeling beaches in Italy, and it attracts tourists from around the world to swim in the clear and calm waters. In 1995 the beach became a UNESCO site thanks to the amazing natural rock formations and fantastic swimming conditions.
Praia de Falésia, Portugal
Over 6 kilometers in length, Falésia beach, in the Algarve region of Portugal, is known for its unique orange colored rocks. The high cliffs drop down to meet golden sand beaches and beautiful swimming water. Pine trees also add a singular touch to the landscape. Close to the town of Vilamoura the water is shallow and the sand wide, and it is a popular place for water sports such as surfing, diving, and paragliding.
Balos Lagoon, Crete
A protected area due to the rare forms of wildlife found there, Balos Lagoon is also a popular tourist beach on the island of Crete. The water is calm and a brilliant blue color, making it perfect for snorkeling and diving. In areas the sand of the beach takes on a pinkish tone from the crushed sea shells mixed with the grains of sand. Most people arrive to the beach from the port city of Kissamos on one of the tourist boats. There are very limited options to purchase food or refreshments at Balos Lagoon, so it is advisable to pack what you need in advance.
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Whether you’re planning on visiting a beach for a day trip or for a longer stay during your travels in Europe, you’ll have no shortage of good choices. Make sure to do your research and plan ahead; some beaches become very crowded during certain times of the year, while others require long hikes in order to reach them. If you’re traveling with small children, there are beaches are better suited for young swimmers, or if you’re looking for high-adventure water sports like surfing you’ll want to go to others. Whatever your beach calling may be, you’ll find a good match in Europe.