History, culture, cute cobblestone roads running through quant towns, and cafés with menus full of wine and good food. This is probably what comes to mind for most when they think of vacationing in Europe. However, there’s no need to miss out on some sun, sea and sand while on your trip! Europe is home to some fabulous beaches. Here I’ll list a few of our favorites:

Navagio Beach, Greece

Only accessible by boat, Navagio Beach, located on the Greek Island of Zakynthos is sure to impress even the most well-traveled of beach goers. The sand is white, and the sea a bright turquoise blue. Rocky cliffs surround the small, half-moon shaped beach. The coolest part of this tiny, secluded beach? The wreck of an old freight ship, that hasn’t been moved since it stranded there in the early 80’s.

Zlatni Rat, Croatia

Famous for the unique shape of it’s sandy coastline, Zlatni Rat beach, in Brač, Croatia is a haven for travelers of all types. Families with kids with be pleased to find playgrounds and abundant snack stalls, as well as life guards across the beach. Active folks will have the beach holiday of a lifetime while enjoying the opportunity to snorkel, windsurf, paddleboard and more. Make sure to take a moment to enjoy the scenery too! The coast is lined with a dark leafy forest, which provides beautiful contrast with the pale sand on the beach and the clear blue water.

Vik Beach, Iceland

Not a beach to head for if you’re hoping to leave with a tan, Vik Beach is located in the rainiest part of Iceland, and the sea here is choppy and wild and features strong currents. However, the eerie black sand and dark towering cliffs make this beach a site well worth seeing.

Falsterbo, Sweden

This picture perfect beach is serene and peaceful. The sand is the palest of whites, and the coast is adorned with colorful little beach huts. Motor powered boats and jet skis are forbidden along this part of the coast, to help preserve the quiet feel of this cute little beach. Even if you’re visiting during one of Sweden’s colder months, this is a place worth visiting. Bundle up and take a walk down the beach on a windy day to clear your mind, and you’ll surely leave feeling refreshed.

Sylt, Germany

If you haven’t ever thought of Germany as a place for a beach vacation, you’re mistaken! The beautiful island of Sylt off of the North coast of the country has a long, narrow shape, and is sometimes referred to as ‘The Hampton’s of Germany’. The posh and wealthy frequent this beachy area, and the cafes and stores have kept up well with their clientele. If you’re heading here be sure to pack your most glamorous beachwear and some celebrity style sunglasses.

The list could go far beyond these five great beaches, so if you’re off on a trip to explore Europe, no matter the season, make sure you plan in a couple beach stops along your way!