A methodology to classify rocky shores along the North East Atlantic (NEA) region was developed. Previously, biotypes and the variability of environmental conditions within these were recognized based on abiotic data. A biological validation was required in order to support the ecological meaning of the physical typologies obtained. A database of intertidal macroalgae species occurring in the coastal area between Norway and the South Iberian Peninsula was generated. Semi-quantitative abundance data of the most representative macroalgal taxa were collected in three levels: common, rare or absent. Ordination and classification multivariate analyses revealed a clear latitudinal gradient in the distribution of macroalgae species resulting in two distinct groups: one northern and one southern group, separated at the coast of Brittany (France). In general, the results based on biological data coincided with the results based on physical characteristics. The ecological meaning of the coastal waters classification at a broad scale shown in this work demonstrates that it can be valuable as a practical tool for conservation and management purposes.