7 Best Wine Regions in Europe If You Love the Seaside

If you’re anything like the team here at Winetraveler, you love wine, food, Europe, and a trip to the beach. Believe it or not, it is possible to combine all your favorite things into one vacation.

You may think of rolling hills and autumn weather in destinations like La Rioja, Spain or Tuscany, Italy when you imagine wine tasting in Europe. But Europe has many incredible wine regions where you can dive into clear waters by morning and sip wine in a vineyard that very same afternoon. Here are our favorite wine regions in Europe by the sea and what makes them special.

IN THIS LIST OF EUROPEAN WINE REGIONS:

Best European Wine Regions

Lisbon, Portugal

Greater Lisbon has it all: a vibrant cityscape with a number of cultural and tourist attractions, a coastline with white sandy beaches, and nine different wine sub-regions. One of the best spots to enjoy sand and wine is Colares, where the grapevines actually grow directly out of the sand. Here, you can hit the Praia do Guincho sandy beach or the crashing sea in Azenhas do Mar, visit the Sintra castle and national park,  and sip vintage varieties made from the area’s extra acidic grape, ramisco.


RELATED: 10 Authentic Things To Do in Lisbon Portugal


Best Wine Regions in Europe

Paros, Greece

Paros is the ultimate Greek Island for foodies and winos — there are over 7,000 acres of vineyards to visit. In fact, Paros has its very own PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) for its grapes Monemvasia and Mandilaria. Spend the morning at the gorgeous Kolimbithres beach, known for its large rocks that form tranquil coves for swimming. Then, taste and tour at the nearby Asteras Paros Winery.


RELATED: Top Underrated Greek Islands You Must Visit


Best Wine Regions in Europe: Lanzarote

Lanzarote, Spain

It’s no secret we love the Canary Islands at Winetraveler. One of our favorites for surfing, art, and wine is Lanzarote. Here, you can sample volcanic wine at wineries such as Rubicon and La Geria. Not only can you sample the wine, but you can tour these very special vineyards and learn about the cultivation methods, which include encircling the vines with volcanic stones.  Later, hit the waves at Famara Beach, one of the best for surfing on the island.


RELATED: Visit Spain’s Canary Islands: Travel Resources and Logistics


Dalmatia, Croatia: European Wine Regions Near the Sea

Dalmatia, Croatia

Who wouldn’t want to sip wine, hit the beach, and visit a famous medieval city like Dubrovnik? You can do it all in the Dalmatia region of Croatia. Start with a visit to Dubrovnik, then relax in the sun at the nearby Banje Beach, which offers epic views of the walled city. Then, consider a sunset wine tasting visit to a winery along the Peljesac Peninsula such as Grgic.

There are also unique wine experiences you can encounter in Croatia, like scuba diving for a bottle of wine and then drinking it on the beach.

Noto, Sicily

The whole island of Sicily is an adventure waiting to happen, but the Val di Noto is one of the most exceptional spots to visit on the island. Explore the hilltop villages such as Noto, Modica, and Ragusa. Then, suntan on beaches like the protected strip of sand at the Calamosche Beach, located in a natural park. Then, wine taste at the famous Planeta Buonivini, where you can sip on wines like D.O.C. Santa Cecilia, Moscato di Noto, and Passito di Noto.


RELATED: 7 Satisfying Reasons To Visit Sicily Italy


Cyprus: Wine Regions by the Sea to Visit in Europe

Paphos, Cyrpus

Paphos is popular for two things: Cypriot wine and beaches.  Weave through the hills of Paphos, stopping at a number of family-owned wineries for tours and tasting. Then, spend the afternoon at the famous Baths of Aphrodite beach, where swimming in these waters is rumored to prolong your youth. Or, do a wine tour with Cyprus Taste Tours, which takes you to boutique wineries located in Troodos mountains.

Best European Wine Regions by the Sea: Languedoc

Languedoc, France

Languedoc is the largest producer of organic wines in France. And the region sits along the southeastern coast of the country, meaning there are endless options for sandy beaches, though we love the breezy dunes of Espiguette. Many of the wineries also feature spots to stay overnight, such as Domaine Saint Hilaire, where you can wine taste and sleep in a renovated manor house — and even visit the estate’s art gallery.


RELATED: Here’s Where To Take a Beach Vacation in Europe


Wine Regions in Europe by the Ocean: Bolgheri Tuscany
A little seaside sampling by the beach in Bolgheri, Tuscany. Image courtesy Greig Santos-Buch.

Bonus Seaside European Wine Regions: Bolgheri, Tuscany and Rias Baixas, Spain

We could honestly go on all day about wine regions by the sea and never feel like we’ve covered enough. That being said, we had to throw two other regional suggestions at you for visitation consideration. 

Bolgheri is a relatively small but special sub-region of Italy’s Tuscany wine region. It’s here that the first Super Tuscan wine was concocted, breaking away from the traditional grapes of the region and shifting more into Bordeaux-style blends. Drive amongst the vines and tall cypress trees at a slow pace (there’s actually a 5km-long avenue lined with cypress trees called Viale dei Cipressi) as you make your way to the Etruscan coast, where you’ll be greeted with the enchanting scent of the sea, local seafood, and of course, local wine.

Last but not least, white wine enthusiasts who love seafood would be remiss if they didn’t consider adding Rias Baixas to their seaside wine region list. This crisp region on the north coast of Spain has become famous for its Albariño wines, which pack refreshing acidity, minerality and even hints of salinity on the palate. Rent a car for a few days here while you visit some of the wineries, and be sure to dine in the town of Cambados, where the types of local seafood, and particularly shellfish is seemingly endless. There’s even a scallop festival you can attend!

Bottom Line

If you love to relax on the beach but also want to explore more of Europe’s wine, cuisine, and culture, there are many different destinations on the continent where you can do it all. This list only encompasses a fraction! Many of Europe’s most popular countries have more than just one or two wine regions, so make sure to think outside the box and consider alternative spots when planning your next combo wine and beach trip to Europe.

If you’re looking for more inspiration, be sure to check out our itineraries page which is updated frequently with wine regions all over the world.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lori Zaino is a travel expert that's lived in Madrid, Spain for over a decade. A self-taught oenophile and culinary connoisseur, she's just as comfortable backpacking through Latin America's wine country as she is demurely sipping Champagne in French castles.

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