What do you look for in a holiday? Is it rich cultural and historical heritage, great food and drink or just a relaxing week away in the sun. For a lot of people these days, it’s the latter. When you’re at the end of your tether with work and the stresses of modern life are getting you down, there’s nothing you want more than a week spent laying on a beach and relaxing in the sun. There are some great beach destinations around the world in places like the Carribean but they come with a pretty hefty price tag. If you want something a bit cheaper, you should be looking to Europe where you can find some beautiful beach resorts that are perfect for a stress free week away. These are some of the best European beach destinations.
Amalfi Coast, Italy
If you’re looking for a romantic getaway on the beach, look no further than the Amalfi Coast in Italy. The beautiful golden beaches and warm mediterranean waters are bordered by spectacular cliffs that offer a nice shaded area when the blazing sun gets a bit too hot. The area differs from a lot of other European beach destinations because it retains its quaint charm in a lot of places. The big cities of Amalfi and Positano do get pretty busy with tourists but you’ll still find some picturesque churches and amazing beachside restaurants with amazing views of the coastline.
If you want to head somewhere a little quieter, the town of Sorrento is a good choice. It does rely heavily on tourism but it isn’t quite as busy as the other bigger towns and cities. It’s the birthplace of Limoncello so you can try this iconic Italian drink in the place where it was invented. There are also some great museums in the town for any history lovers out there.
The best place to see stunning views of the coastline is Ravello. This lovely town is filled with some of the best restaurants along the coastline, all with outside terraces so you can make the most of the incredible views.
Finally, you should take a trip to the Emerald Caves between Amalfi and Praiano. You can take a boat ride through this unique cave which is bathed in Emerald light which bounces off the water to create a truly magical experience.
Greece has always been a popular European destination for people that are seeking the sun. The relaxed pace of life, wonderful weather and amazing food in Santorini make for a great beach location. As soon as you arrive, you’ll notice the blue roofs that the area is famous for. Venture a little further and you’ll be taken by the sheer beauty of the beaches and the infinity pools with great views of the coastline of this incredible Greek island.
There are some amazing luxury hotels in the area that are popular with honeymooners and plenty of restaurants serving the best in fresh, locally sourced food. If you’re a seafood fan, you’re in for a treat. Most restaurants serve fish caught locally that morning, you’ll struggle to find better seafood anywhere else in the world.
For anybody that’s interested in the history of the area, there is a great archaeological dig site in Santorini. For only 5 euros, you can gain entry to the whole site and see it all from the specially constructed walkways above. The only problem is, there aren’t any information plaques so if you want more detailed information you’ll have to hire a tour guide.
One of the best ways to explore some of the local towns along the coast is to go hiking. The best route is between Fira and Oia. It’s a 9 km route that takes you through some of the best scenery along the coastline and should take you about 3 hours depending on how often you stop to capture some photos of the stunning landscape.
The Algarve in Portugal is one of the places that immediately springs to mind when you’re thinking of great European beach destinations. For years, it’s been a favourite of tourists from around the globe, and for good reason. This awe inspiring coastline filled with huge cliffs and shimmering blue waters gets 300 days of blazing sunshine every year so it’s perfect if you want guaranteed sunshine while you’re away. The Algarve spans the entire southern coast of the country and there are so many different places along the way that everybody can find their ideal holiday destination there.
The fish markets on the eastern side of the Algarve are one of the most popular attractions. The area has been a major fishing port since the middle ages and this rich tradition has given birth to these incredible markets packed with amazing fresh fish. Octopus and clams are particular favourites but you’ll be able to find pretty much anything that you want.
One of the lesser known features of the Algarve is its golf courses. The coastline boasts a huge range of courses suitable for all abilities so even if you aren’t a golf pro, you can still have a go. The prices vary quite a lot so make sure you check before you go, otherwise, you might get a nasty shock when you get there.
The churches are another incredible feature of the Algarve but you wouldn’t be able to tell from the outside. On the surface, most of the churches are fairly standard whitewashed buildings. But once you get inside, you’re in a whole new world. Every surface is covered with intricately hand painted tiles that are truly spectacular to behold.
Croatia is starting to become a very popular travel destination, mainly because of the great blend of amazing beach locations and interesting cities. This UNESCO heritage site on the Adriatic sea is hugely popular with tourists who flock there to enjoy the quaint little town, beautiful beaches and warm seas. The town itself is pedestrian only which adds to the relaxed atmosphere and picturesque 16th century architecture which has been wonderfully preserved. One of the major benefits of Croatia is that it’s still relatively cheap compared to a lot of the other places on this list so it’s ideal for people that are working on a budget but still want a luxurious beach holiday.
One of the major tourist attractions that you should definitely see while you’re there is the city walls. These old 13th century walls circle the city, giving you the chance to see the whole place and visit the ruins of some old forts and towers along the way. It can get pretty crowded so it’s best to either go early in the morning or later on at night.
When you’ve had enough of relaxing on the beach for the day, head over the old town district. This historic area of the city filled with incredible architecture is the heart of Dubrovnik where you’ll find some great museums and churches and the oldest working pharmacy in Europe. You can also head down to the traditional fishing port and hire a boat for the day.
The absolute best way to see Dubrovnik is from the skies. There is a great cable car that runs from the town at the top of the hill all the way back down to the beach and take in the views as you go. It’s also a quick way to get back to the beach if you can’t be bothered with walking.
Next time you’re planning a beach getaway, you should definitely consider one of these amazing European destinations.
A collaborative post.