The 20 Best Sandy Beaches in the Mediterranean

Every beach along the Mediterranean Sea is undoubtedly a beautiful sight to behold with its crystal clear blue waters and whitewashed soft sandy shores drawing in visitors from around the globe.

From hidden coves nestled between white marble bluffs to popular beachfront lined with umbrella-covered lounge chairs, there’s a wonderful experience available for all kinds of beachgoers.

With that being said, there are just too many of these sandy shores to explore. The Mediterranean is overflowing with stunning beaches, making it nearly impossible to decide which one to lay your towel on.

The good news is that this list breaks down the 20 best beaches along the Mediterranian Sea so you can narrow down your search – and start planning your beach vacation!

Table of Contents

1. Cala Mitjaneta

Nestled amongst the bluffs that make up the southern edge of the island of Menorca in Spain is the breathtaking beach named Cala Mitjaneta – where you can spend all day marveling at its beauty. 

The bluffs that surround this cove are a striking white color that complements its vibrant turquoise waters in a way that you won’t find anywhere else. 

As secluded as the cove may feel, it is surprisingly easy to access, with the main road leading you most of the way. It’s a 20-minute walk from the parking lot to the sandy shore, and because of this length, the beach never really gets too crowded. 

Keep in mind that there is a bit of simple scrambling required to get down to the cove at the very end – but it should be accessible to almost all skill levels. 

The clear, calm waters are perfect for visitors looking to go for a relaxing swim or do a bit of snorkeling, but it’s important to note that there are no lifeguards on duty. 

Although the beachfront isn’t the widest, it goes back quite a ways – so there’s always plenty of room for everyone to lay out their towel and enjoy time in the sun. 

You’ll be amazed at just how blue the water is – and the groves of pine trees that surround the cove only add to the scenic beauty that is waiting for you here. 

Considering its untamed environment, there are no amenities on site – so make sure to come with everything you may need to enjoy a day at this beach. 

2. Sakarun Beach

Once one of the Meditternian’s hidden gems, Sakarun Beach has evolved into one of the most sought-after beaches and people travel all the way to the island of Dugi Otok in Zadar just for the chance to lay out on its white sandy shore. 

It is amazing to see just how crystal clear the water is as it spans out into an endless sea of bright turquoise with gentle waves that make for the best swimming a beachgoer can hope for. 

These gentle waters tend to bring in families as it provides a safe setting for children to play, but the unspoken rule remains in effect. Everyone that visits this beach comes in hopes of experiencing the ultimate day of relaxation, so peace and quiet remain even when the shore gets crowded. 

Although there are not many amenities on-site, the beach’s growing popularity has helped with the development of two local bars that serve up cold beverages, small food dishes, and ice cream to help beachgoers enjoy their time. 

Sit on the patio of Amarcord Beach Bar under the shade of a Mediterranean pine tree as you sip on a cocktail and take in the spectacular views of the beautiful sea. 

Get out on the water by renting a kayak or going for a boat tour to see even more of the beautiful spots hidden around the island. 

Spend the night at one of the nearby hotels or check out the Guest House Sakarun so that you never have to stray too far from the beach. 

3. Sa Calobra Beach

Although it is not the easiest destination to reach, no trip to Mallorca would be complete without taking the extremely windy road that leads up to the truly magnificent Sa Calobra Beach. 

It is a very intimidating route, however, so you can always check the schedule for the occasional ferryboat that makes its way to the beach throughout the summer. 

The beach is actually broken down into two separate beaches, as the river gorge – known as Torrent de Pareis – flows through its center and adds to the unique beauty that makes up the area. 

The smaller beach is made up of a combination of sand and small pebbles that give the shore a dazzling look as the clear, vibrant blue waters wash up against it. Here you’ll find a small boardwalk lined with restaurants that serve up some of the best beachfront cuisines, with an obvious focus on seafood dishes. 

Even still, the other section of this beach trumps it all. From the main beach, you’ll take a narrow path that guides you through a tunnel before it opens up to a beachfront that is more than triple the size of the main beach. 

Traveling through the tunnel is part of what makes this beach so spectacular. The view of the turquoise water coming closer to you with each passing step is truly a sight to be seen. 

4. Myrtos Beach

Nestled between two equally beautiful mountains, Agia Dynati and Kalon Oros, on the Ionian Islands of Greece is one of the most talked-about beaches across the entire Mediterranian. 

The name Myrtos Beach may sound familiar, as it is the staple of the vast beauty that makes up the Mediterranian – and has held the title as one of the best beaches in the world for decades. 

The white pebbles that make up the sandy front are a stunning addition to the beach’s natural beauty, but because of this, it is important to wear water shoes to avoid any discomfort. 

The crystal clear waters are so blue that they don’t even look real – and the towering bluffs covered in pine groves take the views to the next level. 

To maintain the untamed beauty of it all, no amenities have been added to the beach – so make sure you come prepared with everything you’ll need for the day – as once you arrive, you won’t want to leave. However, before you reach the one-mile dirt road that leads to the parking lot, there are a few Greek bars, shops, and restaurants to choose from – so you’re never really too far away from civilization. 

Do yourself a favor and stay for sunset, as the beach’s prime location makes for one of the most beautiful arrays of colors throughout the sky and offers up one of the best sunsets you will ever cast your eyes on. 

5. Cala Saona

Speaking of sunsets, Cala Saona is considered to provide the best beachfront sunsets in all of Formentera, let alone Spain. Nicknamed the “Jewel of Formentera”, Cala Saona is known for being the only beach along the rugged cliffs that make up the southwestern part of the island. 

Even though it’s the most remote beach on the island, it can easily be accessed by car and boasts a luxurious hotel – so visitors have a nearby place to rest their heads at night. 

Those looking for something more adventurous can reach the beach by hiking or cycling along trails that lead you to untouched parts of the island, including stone walls and ancient pines. 

You won’t find any amenities right on the beach, but the hotel’s proximity makes this one of the most convenient untamed beaches you’ll find in the world. 

Regardless of its popularity, the beach never gets too crowded – and everyone who spends time here can’t help but feel the ultimate sense of relaxation. 

Lay down your towel, bathe in the Mediterranian sun, listen to sounds of the calm waters, and admire the boats floating on the electric blue waters – but just make sure you stay for the sunset and marvel at how the entire cove gets transformed. 

6.  Navagio

Known for being one of the most breathtaking beaches in all of Greece, Navagio easily holds the title as one of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranian if not the world. 

Aside from the usual characteristics of the beaches that you’ll find around the Mediterranian Sea, Navagio stands out amongst the crowd because it is home to an ancient shipwreck that had washed up upon its sandy shores centuries ago – and has since become the icon of the beach. 

You can walk up to the shipwreck, get a picture with it, and even lay your towel next to it with ease. The shipwreck is also how the beach got its nickname, “Smugglers Cove” – because it is believed that it was once a smugglers’ ship before it reached its demise. 

That’s not the only thing that makes this beach unique. The towering, marble bluffs that surround the sandy shore are truly breathtaking – and the aqua blue water is somehow a different shade than other parts of the Mediterranian Sea. 

Explore the unique water by going on a boat tour, where you can admire the many coral reefs that lie beneath the surface – and go swimming with the ancient Loggerhead Sea Turtles that call the area home. 

While in the area, be sure to check out the Venetian Castle to get some insight into the island’s history as you walk through ruins that have seen the faces of Russian, French, and British soldiers. 

As the sun gets ready to set, head over to one of the nearby restaurants, like Aeras Restaurant, where you can watch the sunset over the water while indulging in an authentic Greek dinner. 

7. Pampelonne Beach

You won’t be able to beat the crowds at Pampelonne Beach, as it is ultimately the most popular beach in all of Saint Tropez – but this doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy your time here. To be fair, it has gained such enormous popularity for a reason – and one visit to its sandy shores will leave you mesmerized by its natural beauty and unbothered by its large crowds.

This white sandy beach stretches out nearly 6 miles in length, so there’s plenty of room for everyone to lay out their towels and enjoy the complimentary lounge chairs scattered throughout. 

For those still hoping for a more personalized experience, there are sections of the beach that are closed off to the public and can only be accessed by guests of particular private resorts.

So if you want to cut your crowd down by more than half, consider spending a night in a place like Nikki BeachMoorea Beach ClubLa Cabane Bambou, or  Aqua Club. Each offers its own highlights, including world-class eats, laid-back ambiance, kid-friendly settings, live DJs, and so much more. 

Another great way to beat some of the crowds is by planning your visit during the off-season during early fall when the weather is still ideal but the excitement of summer has started to dwindle. 

8. Ölüdeniz

Head over to Turkey to swim in some of the calmest waters in the world – which gave Ölüdeniz its name, as its English translation equates to the “Dead Sea” thanks to its incredibly still appeal. 

Another name that the “Dead Sea” often goes by is the “Blue Lagoon”, as centuries of erosion have created a crystal clear lagoon that is ideal for swimming. 

There is no denying that this is the most popular beach in the area, and although it does get crowded, the towering mountains in the distance make it easy to forget about it all. 

The beach is actually located within one of Turkey’s national parks – so there is an entry fee on most days – but always check the calendar to see which days they offer entry free of charge. Avoiding these free days is the best way to lower the number of crowds, but if you’re looking for affordability, this is the route to go. 

Even though much of the park that surrounds the lagoon is untamed, the beach offers amenities like bathrooms, showers, beach equipment rentals, and cafes to make the most of your time here. 

9. Scala Dei Turchi

Translated to “Stair of the Turks”, Scala Dei Turchi is a breathtaking beach in Sicily – and is considered to be one of the most beautiful natural wonders in all of Italy

Centuries of erosion caused by wind and rain have managed to create a natural staircase of white limestone that leads directly down to the aqua blue waters of the Mediterranian Sea. It’s hard to believe that such a distinctive staircase can be made entirely by natural causes, but this is part of what makes this beach so extraordinary. 

The quickest way to reach this marvelous beach is by boat, but the hike to reach this natural beauty from its western beach is worth every moment – and provides visitors with the amazing experience of walking these historic steps for themselves. 

There is very little sandy shore to lay out your towel, but don’t be afraid to relax on the white limestone that creates a vast platform out to the sea. Some visitors even cover their bodies with the wet clay that the limestone produces, as it is said that it holds minerals that are great for your skin – so feel free to lather yourself up before going for a peaceful swim in the calm, lukewarm water. 

10. Kizkalesi

One of Turkey’s most breathtaking hidden gems, the sleepy Mediterranean city of Kizkalesi is a sight to be seen and you can admire just about all of it from the shores of its sandy beach. 

Chances are you’ll be one of the very few tourists laying out on this beach, which adds to the feeling of tranquility as you stare out at the ruins of castles across the water. With that being said, one of the two castle ruins is close enough to the beach so that visitors can swim to its base and climb to explore it. 

Although the distance isn’t very long, some waves occasionally make their way through the water – so this adventure should only be tackled by experienced swimmers. 

If you feel up to the challenge, there’s no better feeling than swimming up to the ruins of a castle and exploring to your heart’s content as you take in the views of the Meditteranean Sea that surrounds you. Just make sure you wear water shoes to protect your feet from jagged rocks. 

When you’re not exploring ancient ruins you can be relaxing on Kizkalesi’s sandy shores with the locals or partaking in other fun activities, like going on a charter boat tour or exploring caves.

After a busy day by the water, head over to one of the beachfront restaurants where you can enjoy a tasty meal as you watch the sunset over the sea.

Plus, during the summer months, you can dance the night away at one of the many clubs that bring the city to life.

11. Monterosso Beach

Considered to be the most beautiful beach along Italy’s picturesque Cinque Terre, Monterosso Beach is nothing short of spectacular – and is worth a visit, regardless of the crowds that gather here. 

While there are sections of the beach that are free to the public, some of the best views lie within the parts that require an entrance fee. The views are worth the price alone – plus, you’ll experience less of the crowds. 

The small seaport village is known for its focaccia – and what’s even better, is the best place to get it – Il Fornaio – is right on the water. You can stop in when you need a break from the sun while keeping the beautiful views coming. 

There are plenty of complimentary lounge chairs and umbrellas that line the beach, so you can easily relax and enjoy the views of the crystal clear, turquoise waters. While laying out on the beach, make sure to look up at the cliffs that surround you and see the ancient ruins of a building that was once used to ward off pirates. 

Go for a walk on the boardwalk where you’ll have a hard time deciding what beautiful thing to look at from the endless Mediterranian Sea to the pastel-colored houses that line its sandy shore. 

12. Stefanou Beach

The journey to the sandy shore can be kind of a challenge, but that is part of what makes Stefanou Beach one of the most untamed, natural wonders in all of Greece

The cove here is rather small, so you won’t find lines of beach chairs along its shore – but because of the strenuous hike it takes to reach the base, there are never more than a few people relaxing here. 

With that in mind, there are absolutely no amenities on-site and it is a long journey back to your vehicle – so make sure to come prepared with anything you might need throughout the day. 

If the lack of crowds isn’t enough to make you feel like you’re on an untouched island, the rugged cliffs that tower around the cove ought to do the trick. There are even cliffs that are tall enough to provide a safe yet exhilarating experience for the adventurous soul who wants to partake in some cliff jumping. 

13. Barceloneta Beach

Adored for being one of the oldest beaches in Barcelona, Barceloneta Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the area and is almost always filled with beach-goers taking in the views.

Aside from Barceloneta Beach’s natural beauty, this beach is a fan-favorite because of the abundance of things to do, see and eat in the area. So, while you’ll want to spend as much time as you can bathing in the sun and staring at the clear, electric blue waters, make sure you save time to enjoy some of the city’s other highlights. 

For example, the entire beach is lined with waterfront restaurants – and because this is a fishing quarter, it boasts some of the best seafood dishes in the country. 

Enjoying your time on the beach too much to leave? Vendors selling things from souvenirs to tasty snacks, walk the beach constantly, so feel free to wave one of them down if something catches your eye. 

The beach also has all the amenities you could hope for including bathrooms, showers, beach equipment rentals, beach volleyball courts, and so much more. 

14. Zlatni Rat

Also known as “Golden Horn Beach” for its unique formation of sandy shore, Zlatni Rat is nothing short of a tropical paradise and has become a staple of Croatia‘s coastline. 

There are plenty of options when it comes to reaching the beach, which includes taking one of the tourist trains, traveling by car, or going for a scenic 20-minute walk from the lively city of Bol.

One of the most interesting things about this beach is how it is constantly changing shape depending on how the wind and sea current adjust the exposure of the sandy shore. 

One thing remains consistent, however. The majority of the shore wraps around a grove of Mediterranean pines to create a V shape – which doubles the space for visitors to lay out their towels and relax. 

While the beach doesn’t offer a large variety of amenities, there are lifeguards on duty throughout the day to provide a safe experience for friends and family to swim.

If you have enough energy to stay at this lovely place until sunset, you’ll be amazed at how the crowds diminish, allowing you to enjoy some time on the beach all to yourself. 

Keep in mind that the western edge of the beach has small coves where nudists go to lay out in the sun – so make sure to avoid these areas if this is something you aren’t comfortable with. 

15. Elafonisi

Once a hidden oasis of pink sand, Elafonisi has become one of Greece’s most popular tourist attractions and is now a must-see destination for any sightseers that make their way to the large island of Crete

What makes this beach stand out from the rest of the beautiful beaches on Crete is how broken pieces of pink shells tend to wash up on its shore and transform the sand into a sea of pink. Because the beach is usually covered in broken shells, the sand is softer than most beaches along the Medditerrain. 

While you aren’t guaranteed to see the pink sand due to elements that could impact its configuration, the chances are high – and those lucky enough to see it will be amazed by how it contrasts with the turquoise water. 

There are so many ways to enjoy your time on the water with its calm movements perfect for swimming and recurring winds ideal for kitesurfing. 

Although the beach maintains a sense of raw beauty, there are a surprisingly large amount of amenities on-site including bathrooms, showers, active lifeguards, and two beach bars. The beach bars may not be the fanciest, but they offer enough to get you by with a variety of snack food, cold beverages, and a few beer choices. 

Just make sure you bring food and drinks of your own as well – because when the beach gets crowded, these stands get overwhelmed – and it becomes nearly impossible to place an order.

With that being said, the beach is becoming more and more crowded with each passing year. The best way to avoid crowds is to avoid the summer altogether by coming in the early fall or by wading through knee-deep water to reach the nature preserve across the sandbar. 

The nature preserve offers the same pink, soft sandy beaches without the crowds, but don’t forget to bring your own lounge chair – because you won’t find one there. 

16. Saleccia beach

One of the many untamed beaches of Corsica, Saleccia beach is considered to be the most beautiful and the least crowded of the bunch considering the length it takes to reach it. 

Located deep within the Agriates Desert, you’ll be surprised to find features like rugged mountains with dense greenery and flowing streams rather than your typical desert setting as you navigate your way to the beach. 

Before you can take the long hike through the desert to reach your destination, you’ll need to take a 45-minute boat ride from Saint-Florent to Lotu Beach. While Lotu Beach is considered to be one of Corsica’s Paradise Beaches, it doesn’t come close to the beauty that waits for you at Saleccia Beach. 

Keep in mind that if you happen to be visiting when the weather is just right, water taxis are available to take you directly to Saleccia Beach for a more leisurely experience. 

If you end up taking the hiking route, there’s a good chance that you’ll get to see some of the desert’s wildlife – and it’s important to keep a safe distance at all times. 

As you get near the beach you’ll enter a grove of Mediterranean pine trees that eventually open up to the incredibly clear, electric blue waters. Marvel at the endless dunes of white sand and the breathtaking views of the Cap Corse mountain range as you go for a relaxing swim in the calm waters. 

For those who have a hard time leaving this wonderful place, you can always pitch up a tent at one of the campsites located just a tenth of a mile from the shoreline. 

17. Banje Beach

Nestled along the shores of the old village of Dubrovnik in Croatia, Banje Beach offers its guests the beauty of the Mediterranian Sea as well as insight into the rich history of the nation. 

Much of the village remains perfectly intact and allows visitors to walk a day in the life of the Europeans that lived here during the early 17th century.

The beach surprisingly never gets too crowded, and there are always lounge chairs available to spend some time relaxing out in the sun. 

As you get closer to the water, you’ll notice how the sand becomes mixed with small pebbles that, when reflected in the water, give the sea a brilliant green color.

When you aren’t laying out in the sun, you can be partaking in a variety of other water-based activities like wakeboarding, parasailing, water skiing, and sailing. 

Catch the sunset at one of the many bars across the way and sip on a fruity cocktail as you watch the sky transform into a sea of colors over the water. 

18. Rabbit Beach

While the name of this beach can be misleading, Sicily’s Rabbit Beach shows no signs of these furry creatures – but that doesn’t mean you won’t find any signs of wildlife amongst the sand. 

In fact, the name Rabbit Beach, which is named after the nearby Rabbit Island, was actually just a mistake made in early translation when citing the cartography found naming the island. 

Nonetheless, it is a beautiful beach – and loggerhead turtles are known for laying their eggs here, so you may still have a chance to see one of nature’s breathtaking sights. 

You’ll be blown away by how clear the water is and how soft the sand is between your toes. 

There may not be amenities available on-site like bathrooms or food vendors, but there are always lounge chairs to relax on and a lack of crowds to enjoy your time in peace. 

Rabbit Beach is truly one of Italy’s best-kept secrets, but it won’t be this way for long, as TripAdvisor has recently rated it as one of the best beaches in the world. 

19. Ses Illetes

Located on the northern edge of Formentera Island, Ses Illetes offers a one-of-a-kind experience because of its placement along the peninsula of Es Trucadors.

The name translates to “beach of the small islands” and it’s easy to see why, as you sit back and relax while taking in the views of the large sandbanks that dominate parts of the water. 

The natural pool here makes it easy for visitors to walk out to these sandbanks with ease as the water maintains low levels for miles. 

While the beach here never gets too crowded, it’s nice to know that it has an adjacent twin named Platja de Llevant, so you can easily walk from one to another. 

There are no amenities available on-site so make sure that you come with everything you’ll need for the day including watersport rentals like kayaks, kitesurfing equipment, and snorkeling gear. 

20. Cala Macarelleta

Nestled within the protected Area Natural de Especial Interes, Cala Macarelleta offers up some of the best beach views in Menorca and its close competitor is just a short walk away. 

The beauty of this beach is how it maintains a sense of raw, untamed nature while also only being five minutes away from a lively beach filled with amenities. Visitors can walk over to Cala Macarelleta for some peace and quiet amongst the crystal clear waters while never being too far away from civilization. 

While the main beach, Cala Macarella, is beautiful in its own right, it doesn’t compare to the scenery that awaits you at Cala Macarelleta. Take your time as you take the short, five-minute walk from Macarella to Macarelleta and marvel at how breathtaking the turquoise water of the Mediterranean Sea looks from atop the cliff path. 

Relax on the white sandy shores to escape the hustle and bustle before heading back over to Macarella for dinner at one of the waterfront restaurants like Susy’s Chiringuito.