A European summer vacation is not complete without a visit to a beach or two, but fighting for a square metre of sand, a sun lounge or an umbrella can make the day unpleasant. It’s time to explore further afield, get away from the usual tourist haunts and mix it with the locals at these magnificent European beach locations.
*Tropea, Calabria, Southern Italy – a favourite holiday destination for Italians with dramatic cliffs, beautiful beaches and a string of seaside resorts and villages dotting the coastline
*Cavalaire-Sur-Mer, Cote d’Azur, France – the French Riviera without the hype and pretentiousness, this is a playground for the young and old and particularly for divers
*St. Paul’s Bay, Rhodes, Greece – not a popular island for first time visitors to Greece, but it is definitely one to visit 2nd time round. This beautiful bay sits just south of Lindos on the island of Rhodes.
*Shipwreck Beach, Zakynthos, Greece – if you haven’t seen it in photos, you’ll be amongst the few. This spectacular beach is well known to locals but very few Australian tourists visit Zakynthos. Put it on your list of “go to” places!
*Llafranc, Costa Brava, Spain – this is one of my favourite areas of Europe and this little gem is still quite unknown to tourists. Little caves weave in and out of the hilly coastline with crystal blue water. In one word – stunning.
*Caneiros Beach, Algarve, Portugal – it can be quite crowded in the middle of summer, but this beach stands apart from others as the beach is hidden by magnificent rock formations and is only revealed as you step through them.
*Saharun Beach, Dugi Otok Island, Croatia – a relatively untouched jewel, once you’ve caught the ferry from Zadar, this divine beach can only be accessed down a small gravel track between villages. The turquoise waters make this a standout destination.
*Brela Vruja, Makarska Riviera, Croatia – set between Dubrovnik and Split, the Makarska Riviera is a collection of small beaches, one equally as good as the next. Brela Vruja Beach is considered the best but why not try them all?