From the far off islands of Portugal to the mountainous coastline of Turkey, there are plenty of dreamy European beaches that are worth exploring. And with everything from surfing and snorkeling to parasailing or just lounging, there’s something to please just about everyone. If you’re looking for awesome accommodation near the beach, here are 5 cool coastal destinations to try in Europe:



This group of 9 islands stand alone, 1,500km off the coast of Portugal, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Each island boasts it’s own unique characteristics, some with emerald lakes, others with volcanoes, and still more with prairies full of wildflowers. Whether you’d like to tackle some big game fishing, a wine tour or one of the numerous well-marked peaks, you’re bound to find an island that’s right for you. If it’s the best beaches you’re after, look no further than Santa Maria and the Bay of Sao Lourenco.


Canary Islands:

With over 1,500 km of coast, you’re bound to find a perfect spot to pitch your chair and umbrella for a relaxing day in the sun. Caught in a sort of weather glitch phenomenon of eternal spring and summer, the islands receive over 3,000 hours of sunny and warm weather a year making it the perfect destination anytime. For the most iconic Canary experience head to the 2.5 km golden sandy coastline of Masapalomas on Gran Canaria. This beach forms part of the 403 hectares of sand dunes that make up the Dunas de Maspalomas Special Nature Reserve. See more



Shifting toward the Mediterranean, the island of Capri just south of Naples, Italy is as rich in history as it is beauty. Apparently Julius Caesar was the first to build a villa here all the way back in 29 B.C. Take a 20-minute walk from Anacapri and you’ll find Faro di Punta Carena. This cove has a lighthouse and is a favorite with locals for snorkeling and sunbathing.


Aegean Coast:

Blue Lagoon

Photo by ccdoh1 via Flickr 

From the olive groves of the north to the crystal clear turquoise sea in the south, the Aegean Coast of Turkey is lined with picturesque old town and villages. Claimed to be the most photographed beach in all of Turkey, Olu Deniz, or the Blue Lagoon is sure to please. Keep watch for paragliders soaring overhead who frequently take off from Bagadad Mountain.


Cote de Azur:

While some say that the hype has gotten the best of this so called Mediterranean playground, it still manages to attract visitors from all over the world. While the ancient city of Marseille shouldn’t be missed and the remarkable beauty of the hills and unimaginably blue water will have you longing for more, it may be the food and wine that prove to be the most memorable. The combination of culinary elements like olive oil, garlic and herbs, fresh fruits and veggies, cheeses and fish paired with world class wine is sure to keep your stomach satisfied.


A beautiful beach vacation may be closer than you think. Which of these cool coastal destinations in Europe sounds most appealing to you?