This Beach in France Is the Most Instagrammed in Europe — With 3 Magnificent Arches and Emerald-green Water

Étretat Beach in Normandy, France, is the most photographed beach in Europe, according to data pulled from Instagram.

Sea And City Against Sky At Etretat, Normandy, France
Photo: Kiszon Pascal/Getty Images

European summer just hits differently. It's chic, it's laid back, and it's a seaside party second to none — which makes it little surprise that its beachside scenes are the stuff of Instagram dreams. But which one is most photogenic of all? The Thinking Traveller, a company that offers access to exclusive villas and stunning luxury homes all over the globe, did the math to find the most Instagrammed beach in Europe.

"European beaches offer transformative experiences to holidaymakers from all over the world. From sandy strips to rocky stretches, European seascapes can look vastly different from one another, creating ample opportunities for taking captivating, Instagram-worthy pictures along the way," The Thinking Traveller shared in a recent blog post.

The company looked closely at Instagram hashtag data to find the most popular and picturesque spots across Europe in an attempt to help travelers pick their next picture-perfect beach vacation destination.

Tourists are enjoying the pebble beach with the Aval cliff, its arch and the Needle in the distance, on a sunny and misty afternoon.
Getty Images

To find the most Instagrammed beaches in Europe, the team looked at existing articles on the best beaches in Europe, which it used to create seed lists. It then found the most-posted-about beaches by recording the number of Instagram posts attributed to the beach's various hashtags.

The No. 1 spot, The Thinking Traveller revealed, is Étretat Beach in Normandy, France.

"An extraordinary white pebble beach, Étretat is renowned for its three arches and their adjacent cliffs, which tower over emerald green waters like nowhere else on the planet," the company shared. Étretat Beach had 406,321 posts under the hashtag #etretat.

Once a fishing village, the area became an artist haven around the late 19th century, when artists flocked to the shoreline thanks to its overwhelming beauty. It's so beautiful that visitors kept taking the pebbles off the beach to bring a little slice of heaven home with them. But that led to millions of cubic meters of pebbles disappearing from the shoreline. Thus, it's now illegal to snatch a single pebble from the beach. (You know what they say, take only memories, leave only footprints, right?)

A graphic map showing all of the Instagrammable Beaches in Europe as ranked by The Thinking Traveller
Courtesy of The Thinking Traveller

The rest of the top 10 list includes Durdle Door Beach in the United Kingdom with 265,276 Instagram posts; La Pelosa Beach in Sardinia, Italy, with 109,135 posts; Torre Lapillo in Puglia, Italy, with 95,083 posts; Navagio Beach (Shipwreck Beach) in Zakynthos, Greece, with 80,824 posts; and Cala Luna in Sardinia, Italy, with 75,012 posts.

Other top beaches found in The Thinking Traveller's survey included Salento, Italy's Punta Prosciutto, Playa de Muro Beach in Mallorca, Spain, and Porto Katsiki Beach in Lefkada, Greece.

See all the beaches that made the list, and find the perfect place to stay at each, on The Thinking Traveller's website.

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