Europe’s Top 5 Best Beaches to Visit in 2023

Elafonisi Lagoon, Crete
Photo: Marina T/ Unsplashed

In the ever-changing landscape of the European Union (EU), the term “data analytics” has taken a negative turn this year. Following France’s imposition of significant fines on tech giants like Google (US$120 million) and Amazon (US$42 million) for obscuring cookie tracking consent choices for users, 2023 has witnessed the EU intensifying its efforts to regulate data collection practices. As our world becomes increasingly digitized, this shift is being closely monitored.

Businesses, both large and small, have harnessed the potential of data analytics for some time now. Their aim has been not only to gain insights into the behaviors of their target audiences but also to strategically position advertisements before them. This subtle yet impactful practice is not always transparent to users. While the somewhat intrusive nature of online tracking is evident to most, many of us welcome these “targeted ads” as personalized product or service suggestions.

One can look at social media platforms as an example of this phenomenon. These platforms heavily employ algorithms to curate content based on user preferences, serving as excellent sources for travel recommendations and ideas. Recognizing this, Munich-based Holidu, a holiday-home booking platform, has harnessed social media‘s power. By leveraging available online data, they have compiled a list of Europe’s finest beaches—a list curated by the people, for the people.

So, how did they achieve this? Holidu began by filtering beaches based on Google Maps ratings and reviews. Only those with top ratings and a minimum of 500 reviews qualified for consideration. Initial rankings were determined through an average of ratings and comments. This list was further refined by the beaches’ visibility on social media. Instagram and TikTok posts featuring these beaches were used as hashtags, influencing the final ranking.

Europeans have an intimate relationship with the continent’s stunning beaches, ranging from serene, untouched shores where one can immerse themselves in the soothing sounds of the ocean, to vibrant city beaches featuring beach clubs and water sports. No matter your preference, you can surely find a beach that suits your fancy. Without delay, let’s explore Holidu‘s selection of the top five trending European beaches for 2023.

1. Omaha Beach, France: A Historical Haven

Omaha Beach, France
Photo: Nusa Urbancek/ Unsplashed

Sitting atop the European rankings is the renowned Omaha Beach along France‘s Normandy coast. With an impressive count of 152,376 Instagram hashtags and a staggering 132,000,000 TikTok views, Omaha Beach has continually captivated travelers from across the globe. Beyond its picturesque beauty, this coastline holds historical significance as a landing site for the brutal World War II events. Here, natural splendor and historical legacy coexist, creating a moving and emotionally charged atmosphere.

2. Playa de Las Canteras, Gran Canaria: Nature’s Canvas

Playa de Las Canteras, Gran Canaria
Photo: Hello Canary Islands

Securing the second spot is Playa de Las Canteras on the northern coast of Gran Canaria, Spain. Boasting 286,340 Instagram hashtags and 14,600,000 TikTok views, this beach is a testament to nature’s artistry. Its golden sands, crystal-clear waters, and world-renowned coral reef contribute to its allure. With a lively promenade offering an array of dining, shopping, and entertainment options, this beach has mastered the art of catering to tourists.

3. Praia da Rocha, Portugal: Where History Meets Natural Beauty

Praia da Rocha, Portugal
Photo: Legendaventura

Portugal‘s pride, Praia da Rocha, takes the third position, garnering 118,596 Instagram hashtags and 3,700,000 TikTok views. Located along the Algarve coast, this beach is framed by dramatic cliffs and rocks. Its allure extends beyond natural beauty, as a 17th-century fortress adds a historical touch. Praia da Rocha’s vibrant atmosphere makes it a beloved destination for both locals and travelers seeking an unforgettable beach experience.

4. Zandvoort Beach, The Netherlands: A Dutch Delight

Zandvoort Beach, The Netherlands
Photo: Joop Iaan/ Unsplashed

The Netherlands’ Zandvoort Beach captures the fourth spot with 125,577 Instagram hashtags and 3,700,000 TikTok views. This Dutch gem attracts countless visitors annually, drawn by its expansive sand dunes and lively ambiance. Whether you’re a sunbather, water sports enthusiast, or beach club aficionado, Zandvoort Beach offers a personalized corner of paradise.

5. Elafonisi Lagoon, Crete: Nature’s Palette

Elafonisi Lagoon, Crete
Photo: Dimitris Kiriakakis/ Unsplashed

Completing the list is Elafonisi Lagoon, nestled on the southwest coast of Crete—a jewel among the Greek Islands. Its pink sands owe their hue to the calcification of shells from benthic foraminifera over millennia. With over 10 million TikTok views and 98,518 Instagram hashtags, this beach is a social media favorite, particularly among young adults.

In 2023, Europe’s beaches beckon with their unparalleled beauty and experiences. As travelers explore these coastal wonders, Holidu’s meticulously curated list serves as a guide, showcasing the diversity and splendor of the continent’s top destinations.