Europe is spoiled for choice when it comes to white sand beaches which, when you consider it boasts more than 65,000 km of coastline, is not particularly surprising. That being said, not each one is as spectacular as the other - here are our selection of the finest white sand beaches for families in Europe.
Frequently hailed as "the most beautiful beach in the world", Praia da Marinha in Portugal's southern region presents a mix of rugged cliff edges, white sand beach and crystal clear waters. It is also one of the few places where photos don't seem to do it justice, something visitors quickly discover as they get closer and the breathtaking landscape comes into view. Don't miss 'The Cathedral', an M-shaped rock, best viewed at low tide.
Turquoise waters fringed by white sand and natural surroundings is what makes Balos Beach in Crete such a popular destination for families. Accessing the beach involves a 20-minute walk from the car park, yet as visitors get their first glimpse of the picturesque bay, all memories of the hike down will quickly evaporate. Alternatively, booking a full-day ferry tour provides families with the chance to see more of the local area, including a three-hour stopover at Balos Beach.
Located near the town of Alcúdia, Playa de Muro is the largest sand beach on the island of Mallorca and offers active families the perfect day out, with a number of fun water sports, including paddle boarding, kite surfing and wind surfing. To refuel, a long boardwalk made up of cafés, restaurants and shops provides the ideal place to fill up on local dishes and signature drinks.
Offering exceptionally clean waters and gorgeous fine white sand, the beaches of Cannes are just as renowned as the city's world-famous annual film festival, attracting visitors from all four corners of the globe. While a handful of the beaches are private, there are enough public spaces for families to enjoy, whether splashing around in the warm sea or kicking back and revelling in a moment of blissful relaxation.
Divided into five themed sections over four kilometres, Solaris Beach is a meticulously looked after stretch of sandy-shingle beach boasting glistening views over the Adriatic Sea. Visitors can rent wooden umbrellas and loungers for a more comfortable time spent relaxing, while there is also an aqua park nearby for restless kids to let off steam as they whiz down slides.
Located just 20 km from Kos Town, Marmari beach is a magnificent place where a seemingly endless stretch of glistening white sand meets warm turquoise waters. With a range of fantastic facilities including sun loungers, umbrellas and water sports equipment and an eclectic selection of waterfront cafes and restaurants, it is the perfect location for a family-friendly holiday.
A popular spot for both young people and families, Glyfada in Corfu is a sandy beach surrounded by tree-lined cliffs and imposing rocky formations, making it a stunning setting for passing the day. Intervals between taking a dip in the clear blue waters can be filled with reclining on one of the beach's sun loungers, strolling around the waterfront shops or sipping coffee at one of the local cafes.