Top Places to Have a Beach Elopement in Europe in 2024

Europe may not have been your first thought when you were planning your beach destination elopement, but don't count it out. The coastlines here are truly stunning, and you can be surrounded by palm trees and white sand, while sipping rum out of a coconut.

Europe has got some gorgeous beaches that are waiting for your elopement.

Updated March 15, 2024

  1. Santorini: Known for its iconic sunsets, stunning caldera views, and romantic ambiance, Santorini is one of the most sought-after destinations for weddings in Greece. You will find those typical blue-rooftop churches everywhere, and find yourself getting lost amongst the white architecture. It's one of my favourite islands for everything it offers, though try to avoid it in the high season as prices are very expensive and it can get very hot. Hit me up for more info.

  2. Crete: Greece's largest island, Crete, boasts diverse landscapes, from sandy beaches to rugged mountains, along with historic sites and luxurious resorts, making it an ideal choice for weddings. You will have the most options here of places to stay, but it may also feel less like an island than the others due to its size. It is absolutely beautiful, though, and I do recommend giving it a chance.

  3. Rhodes: Rich in history and surrounded by crystal-clear waters, Rhodes offers a blend of ancient charm and natural beauty, providing couples with a range of venues, including medieval castles and beachfront locations. The mixture of architecture gives it a unique vibe, and if you're a history nerd like myself, it might be the place for you.

  4. Skiathos: Known as the "Emerald Isle" for its lush greenery and turquoise waters, Skiathos offers a tranquil and scenic setting for weddings. It's got some pristine, white sandy beaches, rustic chapels, and luxury resorts, and it's a bit less touristy than the others so it will be quieter for your elopement.

  5. Paros: Famous for its charming villages, golden beaches, and traditional architecture, Paros offers a romantic backdrop for weddings, with venues ranging from seaside tavernas to elegant resorts. It's a very cozy little island, and you get the bonus of Santorini-vibes with half the crowd.

  6. Corfu: Steeped in history and culture, Corfu offers a blend of Venetian, French, and British influences, along with beautiful beaches and lush landscapes, making it an enchanting destination for weddings. The mix gives it something so unique, you won't find it anywhere else.

  7. Mykonos: With its cosmopolitan atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and chic venues, Mykonos offers a vibrant and stylish setting for weddings, perfect for couples seeking a lively celebration. This is the party island of Greece, so if that's what you're after, you've found your spot.

Top beach destinations for eloping in Greece:

  1. Sardinia: Known for its azure waters and dramatic limestone cliffs, Sardinia has some gorgeous beaches, such as Cala Mariolu. The beaches here offer more seclusion, as they are not as touristy, and you will get warm waters in the summer until late September. Some other places to check out are Cala Goloritzé and Cala Luna, which are accessible only by boat or hiking trail. This gives even more privacy for those who wish to say their vows more intimately.

  2. Elba Island: You've got some incredible beaches to choose from here, such as Fetovaia Beach, Sansone Beach, and Sansone Beach. From crystal-clear waters to dramatic cliffs, the whole island offers a romantic setting for an elopement ceremony against the backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea.

  3. Baia dei Turchi (Turkish Bay), Puglia: Nestled within the Otranto-Leuca Natural Park in Puglia, Baia dei Turchi features golden sands, shallow turquoise waters, and pine forests, creating a serene and picturesque setting for an intimate elopement.

  4. Spiaggia di Tropea (Tropea Beach), Calabria: Framed by dramatic cliffs and the historic town of Tropea, this beach offers golden sands and azure waters, providing a stunning backdrop for a romantic elopement overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea.

  5. Cala Granara, Panarea: As one of the Aeolian Islands, Panarea offers pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, with Cala Granara being a favorite for its secluded cove, dramatic rock formations, and stunning views, perfect for a private elopement ceremony
  6. Amalfi Coast: You've got more rugged coastline, volcanic beaches here. They are stunning in their own way, and I highly recommend giving them a shot. You can choose whichever village you like the most; I prefer Positano and Amalfi myself (ask me more about this), but even Sorrento has its own charm. Hot tip: don't rent a car here, either rent a Vespa or go everywhere by bus. The parking and driving conditions are a nightmare!

  7. Cinque Terre: Another place where you can choose your own village, Cinque Terre has a mixture of rocky, rugged coastline to pristine, white sand beaches. You can stay at the villages, or if you choose, just outside accessible by train. You can take the train to any of these villages, or if you wish, hike from village to village. I don't recommend the hike in the dead of summer, as it gets hot!

Top beach destinations for eloping in Italy:

  1. Algarve: Quite a popular destination, its beauty speaks for itself. You've got gorgeous beaches like Praia da Marinha and Praia da Rocha that boast some incredible rock formations along with their white sand and bright blue waters, making very special spots to say your vows. I recommend going in low season to avoid the crowds.

  2. Praia da Ursa, Sintra: Tucked away on the rugged coastline near Cabo da Roca, Praia da Ursa mesmerizes with its wild and unspoiled beauty. You can exchange vows against the backdrop of towering cliffs and the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Or, if you're up for it, go for a little hike to a clifftop to say your words of "I do". Also check out Adraga for a different look.

  3. Praia do Guincho, Cascais: Easy to get to thanks to its proximity to Lisbon, Praia do Guincho is renowned for its windswept dunes, dramatic scenery, and excellent surfing conditions. It offers a unique and picturesque setting for couples looking for a beach elopement.

  4. Praia do Camilo, Lagos: Praia do Camilo is a hidden gem near Lagos. It features typical golden cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and secluded coves that contrast each other so beautifully in photos. If you go during off-season at sunrise or sunset, you might have the whole beach to yourself.

Top beach destinations for eloping in Portugal:

  1. Corsica: One of my favourite options for a beach elopement, check out Corsica. You got beaches like Palombaggia Beach, which have super soft white sand, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and iconic granite rock formations. You've also got beaches that are only accessible by boat or a rugged track, like Saleccia Beach (considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Corsica). And if you're looking for a more dramatic landscape, try Bonifacio Beach, with views of the historic citadel perched atop white limestone cliffs.

  2. Plage de Pampelonne, Saint-Tropez: Famous for its glamorous atmosphere and long stretch of golden sand, Pampelonne Beach is a popular destination on the French Riviera. Couples can find secluded spots along the beach for an intimate elopement ceremony with views of the Mediterranean Sea.

  3. Plage de l'Espiguette, Camargue: Located within the Camargue Regional Natural Park, Plage de l'Espiguette is a vast and wild beach known for its sand dunes with contrasting tuffs of grass. It's got a special character that you don't find on your "typical" beaches that may it an enticing place to elope.

  4. Plage de Kerlouan, Brittany: Kerlouan Beach is part of the rugged and picturesque coastline of Brittany, characterized by its towering cliffs, hidden coves, and stunning rock formations. Couples can find a secluded spot along the beach for a romantic elopement ceremony by the sea.

Top beach destinations for eloping in France:

  1. Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera: Often ranked among the best beaches in Europe, Ses Illetes boasts crystalline turquoise waters and pristine white sands, creating a picturesque setting for a romantic elopement. The beach stretches out with water surrounding it on 3 sides, so it gives a unique touch to your elopement day.

  2. Playa de la Concha, San Sebastián: With its scenic backdrop of the city's belle-époque architecture and lush green hills, La Concha Beach offers a stunning location for couples seeking a romantic elopement by the sea.

  3. Cala Macarella or Cala Macarelleta, Menorca: Tucked away on the southern coast of Menorca, these beaches enchant visitors with their turquoise waters, golden sands, and surrounding pine forests, providing secluded and idyllic settings for an intimate elopement.

  4. Playa de Bolonia, Tarifa: Situated on the Costa de la Luz, Playa de Bolonia captivates with its pristine beauty, golden dunes, and views of the ancient Roman ruins of Baelo Claudia, offering a romantic and off-the-beaten-path location for elopements. It's a bit more rugged than the other beaches, but it's also a bit more tucked away, so perhaps more private. 

  5. Playa de las Catedrales, Galicia: Known for its dramatic rock formations and natural arches carved by the sea, Playa de las Catedrales provides a breathtaking backdrop for couples seeking a unique and memorable elopement experience.

  6. Playa de Papagayo, Lanzarote: Nestled within a protected natural park, Playa de Papagayo boasts golden sands, clear waters, and rugged cliffs, offering a serene and picturesque location for couples seeking a romantic elopement in the Canary Islands. It is one of the most stunning places, I highly recommend it.

  7. Playa de Mónsul, Almería: Featured in several films for its otherworldly landscapes, including Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Playa de Mónsul captivates with its volcanic rock formations, pristine beach, and crystal-clear waters, providing a unique and memorable backdrop for elopements.

Top beach destinations for eloping in Spain:

  1. Zlatni Rat Beach, Brač Island: Located near the town of Bol on Brač Island, Zlatni Rat Beach is one of Croatia's most iconic beaches. Its unique shape, golden pebbles, and crystal-clear waters provide a stunning backdrop for exchanging vows.

  2. Sveti Jakov Beach, Dubrovnik: Located a short distance from Dubrovnik's Old Town, Sveti Jakov Beach is known for its crystal-clear waters, sandy shores, and panoramic views of Lokrum Island and the Dubrovnik skyline.

  3. Sakarun Beach, Dugi Otok Island: Situated on Dugi Otok Island in the Zadar archipelago, Sakarun Beach enchants visitors with its soft white sand, shallow turquoise waters, and pine forest backdrop, providing a serene and romantic setting for elopements.

  4. Punta Rata Beach, Brela: Voted one of Europe's best beaches, Punta Rata Beach in Brela boasts a stunning coastline, clear waters, and iconic Brela Rock. It offers a romantic setting for exchanging vows against the backdrop of the Adriatic Sea.

  5. Nugal Beach, Makarska: Hidden away along the Makarska Riviera, Nugal Beach is a secluded and clothing-optional beach surrounded by rugged cliffs and crystal-clear waters, offering couples a private and intimate location for their elopement ceremony.

  6. Pasjača Beach, Konavle: Nestled at the foot of steep cliffs in the Konavle region, Pasjača Beach is a hidden gem with turquoise waters and fine pebbles, providing a stunning and secluded setting for a romantic elopement by the sea.

  7. Šunj Beach, Lopud Island: Located on the car-free island of Lopud in the Elafiti archipelago, Šunj Beach offers shallow turquoise waters, sandy shores, and a tranquil atmosphere, providing couples with a serene and romantic setting for their elopement ceremony.

Croatia is also one of the top 5 budget-friendly wedding destinations in Europe, that's hot and trending in right now.

Top beach destinations for eloping in Croatia:

Best Beaches to Have an Elopement or Wedding in Europe in 2024

  1. Greece
  2. Italy
  3. France
  4. Portugal
  5. Spain
  6. Croatia

As a wedding & elopement photographer, I am very happy to share my years of expertise with you and give you more tips and tricks to help you make your perfect beach wedding or elopement come true.

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