10 Best European Destinations for a Beach Holiday
Craving some fun in the sun? For those looking for some fun in the sun – check out the 10 Best European Destinations for a Beach Holiday!
Home to several gorgeous, sunny locations, Europe is bursting with incredible destinations for a beach holiday! Whether you’re looking to party, do some water sports, or simply relax under the sun, there’s a beach and hostel ready and waiting for you! Interested in planning a beach holiday in Europe but don’t know where to start? Check out our list of the 10 Best European Destinations for a beach holiday!
1. Barcelona, Spain
Sunny Barcelona – everyone’s favourite Spanish party city – is our first recommendation for the best European destinations for a beach holiday. Famous for its architecture, food, art, and party scene, you’ll also be more than happy with its beaches. Offering the perfect balance of beach and urban sights, you’ll never have a dull moment in Barcelona.
The biggest and most popular beach here is Barceloneta, and it’s always full of activity! Aside from catching some rays or taking a dip, windsurfing and kite surfing are some of the most popular activities here. Accessing the beach is relatively easy, whether you’re on foot or relying on public transit. And if you forget to pack a lunch, don’t stress! Barceloneta is also home to several spots to get some food or drink.
Where to Stay: If you’re looking for a hostel notorious for a great party and welcoming atmosphere, then we recommend booking a room at Kabul Party Hostel, located only 20 mins from the beach!
2. Lagos, Portugal
A list of the best European destinations for a beach holiday wouldn’t be complete without including Lagos, Portugal. And if you’re looking for a holiday when it’s always beach time, then this is where you’ll want to be. Located in the Algarve region of Portugal, Lagos is a small city situated on the Atlantic Ocean. Aside from bars and restaurants, you won’t find much else here, so be sure you have enough sun screen! While the Atlantic is known for being colder than the Mediterranean, that shouldn’t deter you from choosing Lagos for European destination for a beach holiday. After all, it has some of the best surf spots in Europe!
Where to Stay: With free pub crawls, breakfast, activities, and so much more, you’ll want to book your room at Rising Cock Party Hostel, located only 5 mins from the beach! If you’re planning to visit in the summer months, be sure to book accommodation well in advance.
3. Nice, France
Dreaming of visiting the French Riviera? Then you have to check out Nice! Easily one of the most famous European destinations for a beach holiday, Nice is the perfect mix of glamour and gorgeous scenery. Offering great shopping, restaurants, nightlife and beach options, you’ll quickly understand what all the hype is about. And if you want to explore more of the Cote d’Azur, Cannes and Monaco are both quick and easy options!
While Nice is home to several large pebbled beaches, we think Carras Beach is worth mentioning. Located near the airport, Carras is wheelchair accessible and the only beach that offers jet skis!
Where to Stay: While Nice has a reputation for being a bit pricey, you won’t have to break the bank to stay at the best hostel in town. For a budget-friendly, fun, and central location, book your stay at Villa St Exupery Beach!
4. Lisbon, Portugal
While you might not initially consider it for a beach holiday, we also recommend Lisbon! Portugal’s capital city is breathtaking with its historical & colourful buildings, mouthwatering food, and amazing views from its hills. And it’s also within reach of many great beaches.
The area around Lisbon is full of places to soak up the sun, but we recommend heading to Sintra. Getting here is easy with public transit, and won’t take you more than 40 mins. But if you’re looking to catch some of those famous, big Portuguese waves, then we suggest checking out Carcavelos.
Where to Stay: Our top recommendation for accommodation in Lisbon is Oasis Backpackers Mansion, located in the heart of Barrio Alto, Lisbon.
5. Rimini, Italy
Located on the Adriatic Sea, Rimini is one of the best known European destinations for a beach holiday. This famous Italian resort town still draws the crowds to its beaches year after year, and has become a party hot spot for younger crowds. With its miles of sandy shores, bars, clubs, water sports, and more you won’t be lost for things to do in Rimini!
Where to Stay: If you’re looking to stay close to the beach, then we recommend booking a room at Sunflower Beach Hostel! Known for its welcoming atmosphere and excellent location, you’ll feel like a VIP at Sunflower!
6. Valencia, Spain
Bringing it back to Spain, we’re adding Valencia to our list as one of the best European destinations for a beach holiday. The home of Paella and amazing architecture, Valencia offers a mixture of historical charm and modern attractions. Some of our favourite things to do includes the City of Arts & Sciences, and the famous aquarium.
As for the beach, you’ll find plenty to spend your time at only 10-20 mins from the city centre. Malvarrosa is famous for its sandy beach, and is full of shops, bars, and restaurants. If you’re looking for something more private, head to El Saler beach, about 13kms outside the city. To get here, you can take a bus from Valencia’s city centre.
Where to Stay: Purple Nest Hostel is where you’ll want to call home while on holiday in Valencia! Whether you want to party or take it easy, Purple Nest offers something for everyone. Participate in their free walking tours, or pub crawls and get to know this Spanish gem!
7. Ischia, Italy
This Italian island is the better version of neighbouring Capri, and is one of the best European destinations for a beach holiday. With plenty of beaches to enjoy, and beautiful historical sights to see, Ischia should be at the top of your list. From Naples, hop on a ferry and in just over an hour, you’ll arrive at one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean!
Where to Stay: No doubt you’ll want to be close to the beach in Ischia, so we recommend Paradise Beach Hostel! Offering dorms and private rooms, the hostel also boasts a bar, restaurant, and pool.
8. Málaga, Spain
If you’re looking for a beautiful mix of art, culture, and beach time, then head to Málaga! Home to beautiful beaches, Roman ruins, and seemingly endless art galleries, you’ll be spoiled with choice in Picasso’s home town. And being the capital of the Costa del Sol, it should come as no surprise it’s on our list of the best European destinations for a beach holiday.
Malagueta is Málaga’s largest beach and is perfectly suited for your beach holiday. Bordered by a palm tree lined promenade, and next to Spain’s oldest yacht club, you’ll enjoy days spent here under the hot Spanish sun.
Where to Stay: Check out Oasis Hostel Malaga for a centrally located and cool design hostel in the old town. The rooftop terrace and delicious cocktails will help you cool off from the beach!
9. Marseille, France
Next on our list for the best European destinations for a beach holiday is Marseille! This French party city boasts a sunny climate year round, great nightlife, captivating culture, and incredible beaches. And being a classic fishing city, you’ll want to indulge in their delectable seafood.
For the nature lovers, visiting the nearby Calanques National Park is a must. Stretching over 8,500 hectares of land, it’s home to some of the region’s most beautiful beaches. You can participate in a range of water activities here, such as snorkelling, kayaking, or a taking leisurely boat tour.
Where to Stay: If you’re staying in Marseille then check in to Vertigo Vieux Port Hostel – centrally located and with an artistic flair, you’re bound to have an enjoyable stay here.
10. Sorrento, Italy
Sorrento is our final suggestion for the best European destinations for a beach holiday. Especially for those looking for a more romantic getaway, this is the perfect spot for you to indulge in all things Italian while taking in some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. Situated on a hillside, the small town on the Amalfi Coast is the perfect destination for a romantic beach holiday.
As for beaches, Sorrento isn’t known for large, sprawling ones like other destinations. Rather, you’ll find small ones here, which can get quite crowded in the summer months. If you’re looking to get a bit more space on the beach, you’re best option is to travel just outside Sorrento.
Where to Stay: Fully equipped with dorms, private rooms, a bar, and a gorgeous patio, Seven Hostel is our top recommendation for your stay in Sorrento.
10 Best European Destinations for a Beach Holiday
Europe is full of amazing destinations for a beach holiday, and we’re sure you’re now inspired to start planning! If you’re looking for more inspiration or helpful information for your vacation, check out more blog posts here. And for all the latest news at Famous Hostels, follow us or subscribe on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Youtube.