The best beaches across popular European holiday destinations have been revealed, with Nissi Beach in Cyprus ranking in first position.

Travel insurance experts at have created the 2024 European Beach Index to help travellers find their ideal beach holiday destination.

The index ranks ten popular European beaches based on factors such as the sea and air temperature, 5-star reviews, average daily costs and the height of the waves.

Nissi Beach in Ayia Napa, Cyprus has been named the best beach in Europe, known for its sparkling turquoise waters, golden sands, warm sea and air temperatures.

This ultimate beach destination has been awarded the Blue Flag for cleanliness and offers a budget-friendly daily cost of 103€, which includes all you’d need for a day trip such as meals, transport, and even overnight accommodation.

Malta’s Mellieha Bay Beach is second on the list, offering crystal clear waters perfect for snorkelling and swimming.

Portoroz Beach in Slovenia is a hidden gem in Europe. This destination made the top three due to its combination of low costs, warm sea temperatures, and gentle waves, making it a safer beach for young children.

The Greek Islands are incredibly popular with tourists, and amongst the vast selection of beautiful beaches, Elafonissi Beach in Crete is one of the most popular in Greece, ranking fourth on the list.

A beach in Corsica, France came last in the ranking, largely due to its expensive food, hotel and transport expenses, costing travellers more than double compared to the cheapest destination, Slovenia.

Bournemouth Beach is a popular choice for holidaymakers travelling to the UK. While this beach offers beautiful seaside views and a pier full of attractions for the whole family, due to England’s cold sea and air temperatures, the beach has been ranked second to last in the list.

CEO and travel insurance expert at Quotezone, Greg Wilson said: “Travellers seeking the perfect summer getaway will be searching for destinations where they can soak up the sun and relax on the beach without worrying about big waves and cold temperatures.

“Our team looked at ten popular summer holiday destinations across Europe, ranking them on factors such as water and air temperatures, waves and 5-star reviews.

“Another factor we took into consideration was the average daily costs in each destination, including meals, transport and hotels, as many families are looking for budget-friendly holidays that don’t break the bank.

“Our 2024 European Beach Index revealed that Nissi Beach in Ayia Napa, Cyprus, is the number one beach destination with excellent scores in every category.

“Nissi Beach has been ranked above some of the other famously popular European holiday hotspots due to its warm sea and air temperatures, as well as being one of the most affordable in terms of daily expenses.

“Plage de Palombaggia is an incredible looking beach in Corsica, France, however it came in last place largely due to the expensive prices in the area.

“We encourage those who are still planning their summer holidays to consider the hidden gems of Europe, including our top three beach destinations Cyprus, Malta, and Slovenia.”


Rank Country – most popular beach Average sea temperature in June Number of 5-star reviews Average temperature in the hottest month Average daily cost in the destination Wave height
1 Cyprus – Nissi Beach, Ayia Napa 24.4 °C 4,334 30.5 °C 103 € 0.25m
2 Malta – Mellieha Bay Beach 22.5 °C 1,580 29.2 °C 117 € 0.13m
3 Slovenia – Portoroz Beach 23 °C 148 21.7 °C 93 € 0.03m
4 Greece – Elafonissi Beach, Crete 22 °C 10,499 25.6 °C 184 € 0.61m
5 Croatia – Zlatni Rat 22.2 °C 1,378 23.8 °C 96 € 0.27m
6 Italy – La Pelosa Beach, Sardinia 21.5 °C 6,768 24.2 °C 166 € 1.05m
7 Portugal – Praia da Falesia, Algarve 19 °C 4,042 24.4 °C 137 € 0.6m
8 Spain – Playa de Maspalomas, Gran Canaria 21.3 °C 4,971 24.6 °C 151 € 1.06m
9 England – Bournemouth Beach 14.7 °C 5,987 17.2 °C 180 € 0.17m
10 France – Plage de Palombaggia, Corsica 21.8 °C 3,394 22.8 °C 233 € 0.48m


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