Top 10 Family Friendly Beaches in Europe
When you think of the world's best beaches you might picture palm trees and the crystal blue waters of the Pacific islands, or perhaps surfer's meccas like Hawaii or Australia.
Europe is probably not among the first destinations that spring to mind for a family beach holiday - but it should be! There's plenty of sandy spots to roll out your towel and soak up some rays on your next Euro trip, and Fast Cover have handpicked this list of top 10 favourites.
1. Marasusa Beach - Tropea, Italy
This picturesque seaside town in Italy is located on the toe end of the boot as it dips into the Mediterranean Sea. Less commercialised than the popular postcard villages of the Amalfi Coast, Marasusa Beach is a summer favourite among Italian locals for its pristine sand, calm clear waters and stunning golden cliffs.
2. Barceloneta Beach - Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is a hotspot for family beach holidays all year round and has miles of scenic coastline and plenty of safe patrolled swimming beaches to choose from. If you're looking for something a little different though, you can't go past Barceloneta Beach. There's live music and performances, wacky art exhibitions, and even singing and dancing food vendors to keep the kids fed and entertained. Sailing, windsurfing and kitesurfing are also popular activities, or enjoy a bowl of fresh seafood paella from one of the numerous restaurants along the esplanade.
3. Navagio Beach - Greece
Locally known as 'Shipwreck Beach' or 'Smugglers Cove' this hidden gem in the Ionian Islands of Greece is a great choice for the more adventurous family. Accessible only by boat, visitors on TripAdvisor describe it as 'heaven on earth' and agree that it's well worth setting aside half or even a full day for the trip. Little scallywags will love hunting for buried treasure, while the grownups can relax on the sand or take a dip in the crystal clear water.
4. Praia do Barril - Tavira, Portugal
Tavira is a historical town known as the hidden gem of the Algarve. Once home to a small fishing community, the Praia do Barril is an idyllic beach that's a great spot for families seeking peace and quiet after the hustle and bustle of Seville. Kids will love hopping aboard the cute miniature railway and the family can enjoy lunch or pick up a souvenir from the variety of restaurants, cafes and shops lovingly converted from the original fishing dwellings.
5. Plage du Casino Beach - Cannes, France
The French seaside town of Cannes may be best known for the annual film awards, but its golden sands and scenic harbour also make it a popular destination for a family beach holiday in France. Plage du Casino is situated near the famous Boulevard de la Croisette and is one of several free beaches open to the public.
6. Sveti Stefan Beach - Montenegro
Sveti Stefan is a unique beach on the Adriatic coast famed for its pink sand and tempting turquoise waters. Connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway, a charming village of stone and terracotta villas are nestled on the tiny islet where families looking for a little bit of luxury can stay in the 5-star Aman Sveti Stefan resort overlooking the bay.
7. Oludeniz Beach - Turkey
While affectionately known as the 'Blue Lagoon', the name of this magnificent beach in Turkey literally translates to 'Dead Sea'. Don't be put off however, as it's actually named after the tranquil waters that remain perfectly calm even during storms. Regularly voted into the top five beaches in the world, it's understandably one of the most photographed locations in the Mediterranean and is a perfect spot for diving and snorkelling.
8. Llafranc - Costa Brava, Spain
Llafranc is a beautiful beach on the Costa Brava of Spain. Outside the peak season, it's a peaceful spot that's big enough for the whole family to unwind without the crowds that flock to the more well-known Spanish beaches of Barcelona or Ibiza. The crescent of golden sand is fringed by a quaint seaside village with a handful of restaurants and shops perfect for a leisurely stroll. If you're feeling more energetic, the hike up to the headland is well worth it for the spectacular vistas.
9. Binz Beach - Rugen Island, Germany
The resort island of Rugen is situated off the north coast of Germany in the Baltic Sea and is a popular holiday destination for German families all year round. The island has an interesting history and is famous for its iconic blue and white beach baskets, picturesque piers and stunning scenery. Although travellers might find the sea a bit nippy for a swim even in summer, it's a great spot for taking the family out for a day of sailing or boating.
10. Seine River - Paris, France
Yes you read that correctly! Over 5,000 tonnes of sand transform the banks of the Seine into an artificial beach each year. Parisians and tourists flock to these sandy strips, complete with umbrellas and palm trees. While swimming in the river is not allowed, there are plenty of free activities like archery classes and live entertainment to keep the whole family busy. Magnifique!
Alexandra Hodgson is a content writer at Fast Cover and a mad travel enthusiast. Based in Sydney but a coastal town kid at heart, when she’s not researching and writing guides to help travellers stay safe overseas, she can usually be caught gazing out of the nearest window, daydreaming about her next beach holiday.