Many believe that the best beaches are found in far flung exotic locations half way across the world; but they’re just plainly ignoring the multitude of sandy havens Europe has to offer. Easier to travel to, more affordable and no need for any extra documentation other than your European Health Insurance Card, here are five of Europe’s most beautiful beaches to prove that the Caribbean really is on your door step.

Our Lady Beach–France

Situated on the island of Porquerolles just off the French Rivera between Marseille and Cannes, ‘Our Lady Beach’ is bordered by an enchanting pine forest.

Stretching for 40 kilometres of coastline, the shore is far less crowded than other beaches found in Notre Dame and has an ongoing revegetation program which requires every visitor to take care of the environment while they are there.

With a variety of areas for shade, privacy or families, you’re sure to find a spot that suites you.

Carvoeiro– Portugal

Not many beaches come more beautiful than Carvoeiro in Portugal. Set in the backdrop of the  charming and quaint seaside town of Algrave, the southern beach is surrounded by a variety of accommodation options for you stay in during your visit including resorts, guesthouses and villas.

What’s more, during your stay you can enjoy hour-long cave tours, dolphin watching cruises and Paddle Boarding lessons, ensuring that a day at Algrave is never without adventure.

Cala Tonnarella– Italy

A welcome change from Italy’s most crowded beaches in Capri, Cala Tonnarella in Sicily is perfectly secluded. Tucked away inside Sicily’s first ever nature reserve, Riserva naturale dello Zingaro, Cala Tonnarella is idyllic oasis.

However, like any destination worth visiting, you’ll have to work hard to arrive there. Inaccessible by road, you’ll have to hike for around hour from the nature reserve’s southern car park, but what you lose in energy will be more than made up for with the sheer beauty of the Cala Tonnarella beach.

Navagio Beach– Greece

Navagio Beach is an exposed cove, refered to by locals as ‘Smuggler’s Cove’ on the coast Zakynthos, an Ionian island in Greece.

Earning its name when a smuggler ship was wrecked on the beach in 1983, it attracts thousands of tourists annually thanks to its limestone cliffs, chalky sand and clear waters.

The beach is only accessible by boat, so you’ll need to catch a tour from Porto Vromi, Agios Nikolaos, Cape Skinari or the Zakynthos harbor to get there.

 

Porthcurno, UK

Our final pick is the closest to home, located on the UK’s own Caribbean coast line, Cornwall, the Porthcurno beach is England’s best.

Enclosed by two high cliffs either side of it that help to preserve the bay, the beach is overlooked by the world famous open air Minack Theatre.

What’s more, there are also shallow pools so both less competent and confident swimmers can practice before taking on the deeper sea waters.

 

There you go, proof that Europe’s beaches can mix it with the very best. So next time you come to considering where your next trip will take you, don’t discount Europe’s collection of Caribbean inspired sandy havens. Happy Travels!