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European beaches rank among top 10 in the world - here’s which ones made the cut

Tourists enjoy the popular Nissi Beach in southeast resort of Ayia Napa.
Tourists enjoy the popular Nissi Beach in southeast resort of Ayia Napa. Copyright AP Photo/Petros Karadjias
Copyright AP Photo/Petros Karadjias
By Rosie Frost
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Several of Europe’s beaches ranked in the overall top 10 in the world.

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Online travel review site Tripadvisor has just released its list of the best beaches in the world.

It looked at the quality and quantity of reviews left by beachgoers between 1 January and 31 December last year. From there it ranked the best.

Baia do Sancho on the island of Fernando de Noronha off the coast of Brazil has been named the best beach in the world for the sixth time. The “tranquil and pristine” Eagle Beach in Aruba came in second place. Beaches in Australia and Hawaii also ranked in the top 10.

Tripadvisor also separated the rankings into regions and has also put together a list of the best beaches in Europe.

Where are the best beaches in Europe?

7. Nissi Beach - Ayia Napa, Cyprus

The resort at Nissi Beach is surrounded by tropical gardens. It takes its name from a small islet that you can walk across to when tides are low.

The destination is popular with people who like to party during the summer as it plays host to DJs. It also has a range of facilities from cafes and bars to clean toilets.

AP Photo/Petros Karadjias
A child runs as a couple walk at Nissi beach in the southeast resort of Ayia Napa, on the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus.AP Photo/Petros Karadjias

The islet shelters the beach, bringing good weather and calm conditions. You can rent equipment to go water-skiing and windsurfing at Nissi Beach.

6. Falassarna Beach - Crete, Greece

Falassarna is a one-kilometre-long sandy beach with clear water and “endless sunbeds” - as one reviewer describes it. Its length also ensures it often isn’t too crowded.

Located 59 kilometres west of Chania city, the bay it sits on is home to some of the most famous beaches in Crete.

The area around Falassarna is a protected nature reserve and if you stay all day then you could have a chance of seeing one of Crete’s most beautiful sunsets.

5. Playa de Muro Beach - Mallorca, Spain

Stretching from southern Alcudia Port to Can Picafort, Playa de Muro is a purpose-built holiday resort. It has a range of activities available from boat trips to water sports equipment rentals.

There are also a variety of restaurants and bars to choose from and regular access via bus to other parts of the island of Mallorca. It's one of the most popular beaches in the region.

S'Albufereta Nature Park also backs onto Playa de Muro meaning you can also go bird watching, hiking or cycling.

4. La Concha Beach - San Sebastian - Donostia, Spain

This 1,350 metre long, 40 metre wide crescent-shaped beach is one of the most iconic in San Sebastian. Protected from the wind by the surrounding mountains, it is perfect for water sports like surfing, windsurfing and volleyball.

It is also highly recommended for families with young children as it has an area with parasols and sun loungers.

AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos
People visit La Concha beach on a winter day in San Sebastian, northern Spain.AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos

Fashionable seaside resorts have made La Concha popular since the 19th century and it is frequently listed as one of the best urban beaches in Europe. Its location in the middle of the city means it also has lifeguards, toilets, dressing rooms, showers, restaurants and bars.

3. Spiaggia dei Conigli - Lampedusa, Italy

On the southern coast of Lampedusa island in Sicily, this beach regularly wins awards for being one of the most beautiful in the world. Last year it was ranked the highest in Europe.

It has shallow, clear blue waters and soft golden sands which make it perfect for a beach day.

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Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP
Spiaggia Dei Conigli beach in the southern Italian Pelagie Island of Lampedusa.Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP

Like many others on the list, it’s pretty secluded too. There aren’t many facilities like restaurants or shops so you’ll need to bring supplies for a day on the beach.

But Lampedusa does have its own airport, connected to most of Italy’s major hubs. Spiaggia dei Conigli is less than half an hour away from the airport by bus.

2. Praia da Falesia - Olhos de Agua, Portugal

Over eight kilometres long, this beach in the Algarve has golden sands and distinctive orange cliffs. Despite being in a popular tourist destination, Praia da Falesia doesn’t have any major tourist developments looming over its blue waters thanks to a nature reserve located behind it.

It's likely to be busy by the beach’s three main access points but there are deserted coves just a short walk away.

Praia da Falesia also came in 6th place for the overall rankings of the best beaches in the world. One reviewer said its “gorgeous red sand cliffs lead to the green-blue ocean and a white sand beach that seemingly stretches forever”.

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1. Reynisfjara Beach - Vik, Iceland

Fourth place in the overall rankings and the best beach in Europe was Reynisfjara’s black sands. The destination was used as a filming location for Game of Thrones with imposing rock formations towering over the water.

It isn’t exactly a beach for paddling, with waves of up to 40 metres and freezing water temperatures. Reynisfjara in Iceland is best admired from the cliffs above.

Pexels
Reynisfjara Beach has stunning black sands.Pexels

That hasn’t stopped people from enjoying their time there, however, with the Icelandic destination receiving a score of 4.5 out of 5 from more than 2,000 reviews.

One visitor said it was a “beach like no other” adding that “this place makes you forget time”.

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