This Country Is Home to Europe's Best Beach

Panoramic view of San Sebastián, Spain
Panoramic view of San Sebastián, Spain | © S-F / Shutterstock
Photo of Jessica Jones
6 March 2018

Spain is officially home to the best beach in Europe, according to the results of an annual survey by reviews website TripAdvisor. Playa de la Concha (La Concha beach) in the Basque city of San Sebastián was crowned the best beach on the continent in their Traveller’s Choice Awards 2018.

The city beach is a picturesque spot, set in the Bay of La Concha, which is home to Santa Clara Island. Visitors can take a boat across to the island from the beach.

Playa De La Concha, San Sebastian Beach, Spain | © evantravels / Shutterstock

La Concha, which is surrounded by lush green hills and the old town of San Sebastián, is a popular spot in summer when locals and tourists lay out their beach towels and enjoy sunbathing and splashing around in the shallow waters off the beach. In the evenings, locals stroll the beach’s beautiful promenade, lined with its famous white railings, and watch the sunset over the water.

San Sebastián – Donostia in Basque – was a European Capital of Culture in 2016 and has been experiencing a surge in popularity thanks in large part to its famed gastronomic scene. Its pintxos – a Basque tapas of different ingredients typically served on a piece of crusty bread – are legendary and the old town is full of pintxo bars, their bar tops packed with tasty morsels.

Of the seven three-Michelin star restaurants in Spain, three are in San Sebastián, and the region is known for its excellent fine dining and quality restaurants.

The beach of Ses Illetes, Formentera, Spain | © Sergio TB / Shutterstock

Other beaches in the top 10

And La Concha is by no means Spain’s only impressive beach: two more of the country’s shorelines made it into the top 10 beaches in Europe.

Playa de Ses Illetes, on the tiny Balearic island of Formentera just off the south coast of Ibiza, came in number nine, and Las Canteras, on the Canary Island of Gran Canaria, came in at number ten.