Beach and sun, Europe, Family, Hotels and resorts

Most of us enjoy spending time on the beach. It is a very relaxing way to pass a day or two. It is a great chance to lie back, enjoy being outside and watch the world go by.

There are literally thousands of beaches in Europe. Whether you just want to sunbathe in your bikini, surf the waves or explore the dunes and rock pools this continent has the perfect beach for you. Below is a list of some of the nicest ones, with a brief summary of what each one has to offer.

La Concha – San Sebastian – Spain

This beach was voted number one by TripAdvisor contributors and readers. Bearing in mind that this is the result of millions of votes, this is a pretty reliable endorsement.

La Concha is a traditional yellow sand beach that is located right next to the town. If you fancy a break from the sun there are plenty of bars, restaurants and shops within a few minutes’ walk. On the beach itself, there are sun beds, showers and a good range of water sports to enjoy. The quieter areas, at the edges, are perfect for enjoying a paddle and building sand castles.

La Gravière – near Hossegor – France

If you like surfing this beach is heaven. It offers fantastic waves, as well as beautiful surroundings. Most of the facilities are geared towards surfers, so you would need to take a towel and a sunshade if you were planning to spend some of the day sunbathing.

St George Beach – Naxos – Greece

This lovely sandy Greek beach is ideal for families. If you have little ones, they will love paddling in the clear shallow waters and playing on the golden sand. For slightly older children there is a sports club where they can learn to windsurf, wakeboard or water surf. There are also volleyball and beach tennis courts, which are open to members of the public.

Praia dos Galapinhos – Arrabida Natural Park – Setubal – Portugal

For nature lovers this award winning beach is a wonderful destination. It is really unspoilt. This is a wonderful place to walk along the shoreline and enjoy looking out over the beautiful turquoise water. For lunch, make your way to Praia do Creiro beach, which is only a short walk away. There you will find a good selection of restaurants serving delicious seafood dishes, many of which are made from locally caught fish.

The beach of Cíes Islands – Galicia – Spain

If you are looking for unspoilt tranquillity this is the place to head for. The number of visitors is strictly limited to just 2,200 a day, so it really is quiet. There are no cars or hotels, so it really is like stepping back in time.

Paradise Beach – Mykonos – Greece

For those who like to combine partying with sunbathing Mykonos is a fantastic destination. There are some great beaches with party bars. Top of the list is Paradise Beach. Things stay mellow until mid-afternoon when the partying begins in earnest and carries on all through the night.

If you fancy a clubbing holiday, with a beach vibe, this guide is a great place to start the planning process. It reviews the best party beaches on the island of Mykonos and even tells you which bars offer which style of music.