Europe is blessed with many beaches of coffee-table book beauty, but it’s the sheer variety of them that sets it apart. From Caribbean-quality strips of sand and glinting water to storm-sculpted collisions of land and sea, few parts of the world offer beach lovers such breadth of choice.

Whether you’re looking for somewhere to surf (or learn to surf), an all-rounder to please the whole family, a moody backdrop for a solo stroll, or just a to-die-for spot to lay your towel, you’ll find it somewhere in our selection of Europe’s best beaches for 2015.

Jaz Beach

If you’re looking for solitude, it shouldn’t be your first choice – but if you like your beach holidays to come with a little adventure, a spot of culture and plenty of partying, broad and sandy Jaz Beach on Montenegro’s gorgeous Adriatic coast is the place to be. This summer, Jaz will host the second Sea Dance Festival (seadancefestival.me/en – July 15-18), whose inaugural edition was voted the Best European Medium-Sized Festival at the European Festival Awards 2014.

Earning bonus points for location, Jaz is just outside Budva, a mini-Dubrovnik with a charming Old Town and a citadel that turns into a stage for the Theatre City open-air performances throughout July (gradteatar.com). For adrenaline junkies, there’s more fun to be had: day-trip options from Budva range from rafting the Tara Canyon to paragliding over Mt Lovćen.

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Lonley PLanet