5 spectacular European beach destinations

With sweltering temperatures and unbearable heat waves, sometimes the beach is the only place that makes summer tolerable. Beach towns (or cities) are the ideal summer destination for any kind of traveler, offering both sight seeing and relaxation in the same place. Read below for the perfect sun-soaked beach spots.

Málaga, Spain

Malagueta beach, Málaga, Spain.

Located on the southern edge of Spain, Málaga has the perfect mix of everything one could want, including art, history, and leisure. Picasso’s hometown features two museums dedicated to his life and work; a castle with dazzling views overlooking the sea and surrounding area; and of course, Malagueta beach. Over 1,200 meters long and with palm trees waving in the breeze, one feels as though they have stepped directly into a tropical paradise. Málaga’s port area also makes for a nice sunset walk, and once you’ve hit all the aforementioned sites, there is still the Alcazaba, Málaga’s old Moorish fort, and its impressive cathedral.

Cascais, Portugal

Rock Formations at Cascais, Portugal.

A short 45-minute train ride from Lisbon, Cascais is often overlooked in favor of Sintra as a popular day trip because of the renowned Pena Castle, but Cascais has something that Sintra certainly does not: beautiful rock formations along the coast, called boca do inferno, or ‘hell’s mouth’, and stunning beaches, such as Ribeira beach and Rainha beach. Rainha beach, or ‘queen’s beach,’ was so picturesque that it was chosen by the queen herself for her private beach, thus where the name comes from, and it still serves as an excellent beach destination.


The Blue Lagoon on Comino island, Malta.

Considering that Malta is a nation made up of three islands, it should come as no surprise that it also has beaches all over the country. The best place to spend the day and swim is definitely Comino, the smallest island of the three, which features the Blue Lagoon as its main attraction. A shallow bay with crystal clear water, one can float in the tranquil waters and stare up into the deep blue skies for as long as one wants—it won’t get tiring! There are also more beaches located around the other islands, so the only tough part is choosing which one to go to.

Aegina, Greece

Aegina island, Greece.

For those who want some off-the-beaten-path beaches in Greece (because who hasn’t seen a million pictures of Santorini on Instagram, right?), look no further than the island of Aegina, the closest island to the mainland. After the mere 20-minute ferry ride, one can rent RVs for the whole day for as little as 20 euros. With sparkling blue waters and beaches as far as the eye can see, Aegina is the perfect spot to relax after a day of visiting ancient ruins and archaeological museums.

Arcachon, France

Arcachon, France.

Charming in the summer months as well as in the winter ones, Arcachon is close to Bordeaux if one prefers a day trip, but is also well worth a long weekend to take in the water and the sun of the seaside. The beach is easily accessible from the center of town, and features a picturesque boardwalk with two piers and a Ferris wheel. A short boat ride from any of Arcachon’s four beaches will take you to cabins on stilts and reward passengers with a scenic view of the area.

Alaina Rydzewski

Having lived for five years as an expat in Spain, I love living abroad and the ability it gives me to travel, and travel often. I have traveled to 40 countries, and value quality over quantity, meaning that I take my time! Currently I work as an ESL teacher and a freelance travel writer, which gives me the flexibility and funds to accomplish my travel goals. Next on my list is Antarctica! I love reading and also have kept a personal blog for over eight years detailing my travels, the books I read, the recipes I try, and the experiences that I have had.