Sun and Sand: 7 of the best beaches in Europe

Break out the sun cream and get your tan on – here's our round-up of some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe.

Cala Goloritze, Sardinia, Italy

Image credit: iStock/Daniele Macis

Truly one of Sardinia’s most picturesque beach fronts, such is Cala Goloritze’s beauty, it has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site. 


The island of Sardinia is famous for its incredible array of beaches and you don’t have to travel far to uncover a gem.


Thanks to its crystal-clear blue waters, high cliffs, white pebbles and unique limestone canyon, we say Cala Goloritze is the pick of the lot.


Book flights to Cagliari

Sopot beach, Pomerelia, Poland

Image credit: iStock/nightman1965

One of Poland’s most popular holiday resorts, Sopot is packed with lively cafes, cocktail bars and restaurants along 7km of golden sands. 


This beach town is an epicentre of fun and is just a 20 minute drive away from the city of Gdansk. 


Holiday goers flock to Sopot every summer to enjoy its delicious fish restaurants, watch the sunset along its beautiful pier, and, most importantly - soak up some rays on its charming strip.


Book flights to Gdansk

Myrtos beach, Kefalonia, Greece

Image credit: iStock/borchee

Visiting Myrtos Beach is a breathtaking experience. The contrast of colours between white sands and blue waters from the Ionian Sea make this one for the bucket list.


Located on the dreamy island of Kefalonia, Myrtos is surrounded by tall green hills that help shelter the beach. 


Swimming is the only water activity allowed and Greek authorities have passed laws barring any structures being built on the beach. This truly is an unspoilt paradise for a dip.


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Cala Macarella, Menorca, Spain

Image credit: iStock/Imartol

The island of Menorca is covered in delightful beaches and one of the most eye-catching has got to be Cala Macarella. 


Take a short boat ride from the town of Ciutadella and you’ll arrive at a secluded, hidden gem that’s perfect for getting your tan on. 


Hidden among cliffs and forests, Cala Macarella has an affordable restaurant and bar on site and is a quiet, private alternative to the busier beaches across Menorca.  


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Sveti Stefan, Budva, Montenegro

Image credit: iStock/vpopovic

Filled with mega yachts and glorious resorts, Montenegro has a reputation for having some of the most picture-perfect beaches anywhere in Europe. 


As one of the country’s most exclusive beaches, Sveti Stefan fully lives up to this reputation. Half the beach is reserved for hotel guests staying at the luxury Aman resort, but the other half is free for anybody to visit. 


Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor are just some of the famous faces to have enjoyed its impeccable, sandy shores.


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Marina Grande beach, Positano, Italy

Image credit: iStock/efesenko

Perfect for a romantic getaway, the island of Positano is easily one of the most aesthetically pleasing locations anywhere in Italy.


Small, close-knit beaches like Marina Grande are always popular with holiday goers during the spring and summer months, which gives the area an exciting, lively atmosphere.


The Amalfi Coast looks like a picture postcard brought to life and its colourful, coastal scenery will take your breath away. It’s no surprise that celebrities and social media influencers from across Italy (and the world) come here for relaxation in the sun.


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Les Calanques de Cassis, Provence, France

Image credit: iStock/JohanSjolander

The 10-mile coastline around the fishing port of Cassis is truly one of the most beautiful beach locations in the south of France. 


You’ll need to take a short boat ride (or a hike) to reach it, but Les Calanques de Cassis is a beach well worth the journey. 


Walled off by natural limestone inlets, this breathtaking bay is filled with stunning blue waters and surrounded by rolling green hills. A warm Mediterranean climate makes it the ideal spot for sunbathing from early spring, all throughout summer and into autumn.


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Heading on a beach holiday soon? Make sure to tag us in your photos using the hashtag #ryanairstories – you might be featured on Ryanair’s Instagram feed!