Europe’s Best Beaches Revealed

A great beach when you go away can be the centrepiece of a good vacation, but how do you get to know where the best beaches are before you book your hotel?

A poll recently by leading travel site TripAdvisor will certainly help, as it’s based on what tourists have experienced recently, and it will enable those looking for a good beach holiday to know where to book for this summer.

Topping the poll was Ayia Napa in Cyprus, famous – or infamous depending upon your point of view and maybe your age – for its nightlife, second only in the Mediterranean to Ibiza. The two best beaches are Main and Nissi.

The good news for those who love Cyprus but prefer a quieter holiday than Ayia Napa offers is that the island also came in third. Protaras beaches which did well were Fig Tree and Flamingo and closeby are some of the good hotels in Cyprus.

Another popular destination British tourists voted for and came seventh in their poll was Majorca, and in particular when you look at a Majorca map the resort of Alcudia. Meanwhile, another area of the island was voted as having the 9th best beach – Calvia.

The Greek Islands also featured among the favourites, and Stalis beach in Crete was among the top ones. Other Greek islands apart from Crete that made the top 20 included Skiathos, Mykonos, Lindos, and just outside the top 20 Ios.

Over on the Canary Islands, a favourite holiday destination for the winter is Gran Canaria, and Playa del Ingles which was developed in the 1960s specifically for tourism came in twentieth place – it’s a four-hour flight for the British to get to but it is certainly popular November through to March.

Turkey, which has seen a fall in popularity so far this year among the travelling public (although that might change due to the number of bargains being offered by the tour operators at the moment) also did well, with no less than x places in the first 20.

For the Brits who like their beaches a little closer to home, they included some within the British Isles – actually all are in England – and Bournemouth on the South Coast is highly regarded. St. Ives in Cornwall was the highest rated in sixth place overall, and not far behind Cornwall scored again with Newquay, well known for its surfing.

Another country that did well with more than one entry was Italy, with San Vito lo Capo the favourite, a relative unknown to most people compared to Villasimius which also made the grade. Given the number of British tourists who visit Italy compared to Spain the beaches must be good in both Italian locations!

Finally, Portugal also made the top beaches list. Albufeira became well known in the 60’s when some of the Rolling Stones used to visit, and has remained popular since. Beware that there is the ‘new’ town as well as the old, and when booking a trip be sure to stipulate that you want to be in or close to the old town. A lot of people head for Albufeira from their Algarve villa holidays for a day out. To access the beach there are some steps, but it is a great beach with coffee bars either end. The other Portugese beach rated by British tourists is Lagos.

If a beach is important to you on vacation – now you know where to find some good ones!

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