Best Beaches

Which European beaches have won the Travellers’ Choice Awards?

Picture yourself strolling along a pristine shoreline, feeling the soft sand between your toes, and basking in the warm sun while admiring breathtaking views of the ocean. Sounds like a dream, right? Well, get ready to turn that dream into a reality because we’re about to take you on a journey to discover the best beaches in Europe. And guess what? They’re all located in Portugal, Italy, and Spain! So, grab your sunscreen, pack your swimsuit, and let’s dive into the wonders of these traveler-favorite destinations.

Praia da Falésia: Portugal’s Crown Jewel

Imagine a beach that combines natural beauty, sustainability, and a touch of magic. That’s Praia da Falésia in Portugal for you. Located in the heart of the Algarve region, this gem has claimed the coveted top spot on Tripadvisor’s ‘Best Beaches’ list for 2024. Its pristine shoreline stretches almost six kilometres, offering an extensive playground for beach lovers.

A Nature Lover’s Paradise

What sets Praia da Falésia apart is its commitment to sustainability. The beach is surrounded by a nature park that protects its spotless condition, creating a sanctuary for local flora and fauna. As you walk along the shoreline, you’ll be captivated by the dramatic orange-coloured cliffs that contrast beautifully with the white sands. It’s no wonder this beach is a haven for scenic walks and sunbathing.

A Blend of Tranquility and Convenience

While Praia da Falésia is located in a touristy part of the Algarve, it has managed to maintain its untouched charm. The beach remains largely undeveloped, with little construction directly on its sandy shores and fragile clay cliffs. However, if you’re looking for a touch of luxury, there are several resorts, hotels, and beach clubs nearby, offering world-class amenities and breathtaking views.

How to Reach Praia da Falésia

Getting to Praia da Falésia is a breeze. The nearest airport is Faro Airport, with a driving distance of approximately 30-40 minutes to the beach. From the airport, you can rent a car or use buses or taxis to reach your accommodation. If you prefer a scenic route, you can travel to Albufeira by train and then take an infrequent bus service to Praia da Rocha Baixinha.

Best Time to Visit

For sun worshippers and water sports enthusiasts, the summer months of June to September offer the best weather and ideal conditions for swimming and other activities. However, if you prefer smaller crowds and pleasant weather, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of spring (April to May) and autumn (October to November). Plus, travelling off-peak may also help you snag some budget-friendly deals.

Spiaggia dei Conigli: Italy’s Hidden Paradise

Tucked away on the island of Lampedusa, Italy’s Spiaggia dei Conigli, also known as Rabbit Beach, holds the second spot on Tripadvisor’s list of the world’s best beaches. This hidden paradise is renowned for its crystal-clear waters, soft sands, and the opportunity to spot sea turtles in their natural habitat.

A Serene Escape

Spiaggia dei Conigli is a beach that offers serenity and tranquillity like no other. Accessible only by boat or on foot via a short trail off the main road, this secluded haven feels like a secret paradise waiting to be discovered. As you step onto the dreamy white sand and dip your toes into the azure blue waters, you’ll understand why it’s often compared to the Caribbean.

Caretta Caretta Turtles and More

One of the unique features of Spiaggia dei Conigli is its role as a nesting site for Caretta Caretta turtles. If you’re lucky, you may witness these magnificent creatures coming ashore to lay their eggs or even catch a glimpse of baby turtles hatching. It’s a truly magical experience that highlights the importance of conservation efforts to protect these endangered species.

How to Get to Spiaggia dei Conigli

Reaching Spiaggia dei Conigli involves travelling to the island of Lampedusa, situated in the Mediterranean Sea between Sicily and Tunisia. During the summer, the island becomes more accessible with direct flights from mainland Italian cities like Rome and Naples. Additionally, there are ferry services and frequent flights from Sicily.

Where to Stay

To make the most of your visit to Spiaggia dei Conigli, consider staying in one of the nearby hotels, guesthouses, or holiday rentals. Lampedusa offers a range of accommodations to suit different preferences and budgets. Luxury options include La Rosa dei Venti, La Calandra Resort, and Hotel Cupola Bianca, while budget-friendly alternatives can be found in the town of Lampedusa itself.

La Concha Beach: Spain’s Coastal Gem

In the vibrant city of San Sebastian, Spain, lies La Concha Beach, a true gem of the European coastline. Claiming the third spot on Tripadvisor’s list of best beaches, La Concha Beach captivates visitors with its stunning natural beauty, vibrant atmosphere, and iconic views.

A Beach with a View

Located along the picturesque Bay of La Concha, this beach offers a postcard-perfect setting. With its white sands, turquoise waters, and long boardwalk, La Concha Beach is a favourite among locals and tourists alike. As you relax on the beach, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the bay and the surrounding landscape. It’s no wonder that this beach is one of the most photographed in Europe.

Vibrant Atmosphere and Amenities

La Concha Beach is well-equipped to cater to all your beach-going needs. The beach provides amenities such as toilets, showers, and lockers, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Classic blue and white sunshades dot the shoreline, offering a touch of Mediterranean charm. Additionally, several hotels and accommodations are within walking distance, making it convenient for beach lovers to stay near this coastal paradise.

How to Reach La Concha Beach

San Sebastian is easily accessible through various modes of transportation. The city has a well-connected transportation network, including an airport, train station, and road connections. San Sebastian Airport (EAS) offers domestic and international flights, while the main railway station, Donostia-San Sebastian, connects the city to other parts of Spain. Once you arrive in the city, you can easily reach La Concha Beach on foot or by public transport.

The Best Time to Visit

The summer months of June to August are the peak season for visiting La Concha Beach. During this time, the weather is hot and sunny, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying water sports. The city comes alive with festivals, cultural events, and outdoor activities, creating a vibrant and festive atmosphere. If you prefer a more relaxed beach experience, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn, when the weather is still pleasant and the beach is less crowded.

The Magic of Europe’s Best Beaches

Europe’s best beaches in Portugal, Italy, and Spain offer a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and sustainable practices. Praia da Falésia in Portugal enchants visitors with its pristine shoreline and commitment to conservation. Spiaggia dei Conigli in Italy provides a secluded escape with its clear waters and turtle sightings. Meanwhile, La Concha Beach in Spain invites you to immerse yourself in its vibrant atmosphere and iconic views.

Whether you’re seeking a relaxing beach getaway, an adventure-filled water sports experience, or a chance to connect with nature, these European destinations have it all. So, pack your bags, embrace the warmth of the sun, and discover the wonders of Portugal’s, Italy’s, and Spain’s best beaches. Get ready for an unforgettable journey that will leave you with memories to treasure for a lifetime.

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