Europe is known for its amazing beaches and Italy, Spain and Portugal are some of the best. In general, a trip to the coasts of one of these countries is likely to bring you many beautiful stretches of sand.
If you want to be sure you’re headed to one of the crown jewels, scrolling Tripadvisor is rarely a bad idea. But it’s easier when you don’t have to. MyLondon has done the research to see which stretches of seaside in Italy, Spain and Portugal have impressed past visitors the most, and how to get there.
And from an incredible urban beach less than two and a half hours from London Gatwick to a Caribbean-like stretch of white sand on a remote island, there are definitely a few you’ll want to visit on your own. Here is the best beach in Italy, Spain and Portugal according to Tripadvisor.
Italy has tons of gorgeous beaches, many of which have won awards from Tripadvisor. In fact, not only have more than 40 beachfront spots across the country won the Travelers Choice Awards, but at least five have even won the coveted Best of the Best Awards.
The best according to Tripadvisor users, however, is Spiaggia dei Conigli . A very beautiful beach on the island of Lampedusa, this stunning spot is part of the Pelagie Islands, off the southern coast of Italy, and boasts a truly impressive five-star review out of 6,334 reviews.
Thanks to its location in the Mediterranean Sea and close to Africa, you can expect exceptional temperatures and weather conditions. The beach itself is known for its shallow turquoise waters and white sand, and is also home to marine wildlife including loggerhead turtles, dolphins, and colorful jellyfish. So it’s no surprise that this gorgeous Italian gem earned 5,591 excellent ratings.
One user said on Tripadvisor: “The water and the color of the sand is so unique. Speechless.” A second commented: “Amazing place. The water is turquoise and warm. There is a caffè where you can buy food and drinks to take away or eat inside the restaurant.
The beach takes about 15-20 minutes on foot from the main street and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Although on an island, Spiaggia dei Conigli is not as difficult to access from abroad as one might think. Lampedusa is conveniently located near the international airports of Catania and Palermo, making traveling from London easy. You can fly to both from London Heathrow with British Airways then board a ferry to Lampedusa.
Spain is known for its incredible urban beaches such as the one in Barcelona Barcelona and that of Malaga The Magueta , so it’s no surprise that its Tripadvisor-rated number one beachfront location is urban. Located in San Sebastian, in the Cantabrian region of Spain, Concha Beach has accrued an overall rating of 4.5 stars from 9,133 reviews, including 6,443 excellent ratings.
According to the many satisfied Tripadvisor users who have left reviews, chief among its charms are its beautiful calm waters, soft sands and magnificent views. Others praised the hot water temperature, general cleanliness, and safety, making it ideal for families.
One user commented, “You are completely seduced as soon as you see the beach. It took me back to the beach in Rio de Janeiro. It’s busy but you’ll see why when you get there.” Another added: “Phenomenal views, very relaxing and the water is warm even in late October.”
As it is a city beach, La Concha also has the advantage of having plenty of lively bars, restaurants and cafes to choose from, should you wish to complete your day at the beach with a drink or snack.
Brilliantly for any Londoners wanting a taste of this great Spanish beach, La Concha can be reached in minimal time from the UK capital. The fastest way to get to San Sebastian is by plane from Gatwick to Biarritz Basque Country airport with EasyJet (1h50). Although located in France, the airport is less than 40 minutes from San Sebastian, meaning you can get there in just two and a half hours.
The beautiful Praia da Falésia, in Olhos de Agua, is the highest rated beach in Portugal according to Tripadvisor, with 4.5 stars overall from 5,771 reviews. Like Italy Spiaggia dei Conigli it also won the Tripadvisor Best of the Best award.
And from its long stretch of sand perfect for sunbathing or relaxing to the dramatic red cliffs, it’s certainly not hard to see why it’s so popular. Plus, according to reviews, it’s perfect if you’re looking for a dose of winter sun – you’ll find warmth and blue skies even as early as January.
One user explained, “Beautiful clean sandy beach with red cliffs that seem to go on forever. The beach is so wide at low tide and the views are just stunning.” Another Tripadvisor member added: “I stayed in Olhos de Agua for 2 months and it was my favorite beach and I visited a lot. It is better to enjoy it in low season when there is not of tourists. Ideal for swimming or walking.”
Be sure to watch out for the area’s abundance of birdlife, and check out the range of restaurants at the far end of Vilamoura for an evening drink – reviews have said it’s particularly magical around sunset.
The nearest airport to this incredible beach is Faro, easily accessible with direct flights from London Heathrow, via British Airwaysand Gatwick, via EasyJet – the average duration of flights is around 2h54. From Faro it is 40 minutes by car.