I don’t know about where you are but things are warming up here in Central Europe. Summer is definitely on its way and it’s time to start planning your European summer getaway.
There’s no one top destination for everyone but each of these beaches offer something a little different which should pique your interest and motivate you to get planning.
Sardinia has been the top holiday spot for Italians for decades. It’s about time the rest of us start enjoying the long stretches of powdery white sandy beaches and the calm turquoise waters.
Head to La Cinta for the whitest of the white sandy beaches, Tuerredda for calm beach coves, Spiaggia delle Dune to see huge white sand dunes and pink flamingoes, or La Pelosa for the best beach sunrises.
Montenegro might be a small country with a small coastline but it’s a diverse and relatively underrated destination to base yourself over the summer.
You can choose to stay at the party capital Budva, drinking lemonade on the beach during the day and sipping cocktails at night.
Or get off the beaten path and experience Albanian hospitality in Ulcinj, the most up and coming tourist destination in Montenegro.
If it’s culture and history you want stay on the Bay of Kotor and take an inland trip to see the famous Ostrog Monastery which is built into the side of a cliff.
There are countless outstanding beaches in southern Albania once you get through the Llogara Pass. I suggest finding an apartment or beachfront hotel in Himara and making day trips to the most famous beaches and any tiny ones you discover.
Dhermi is the hotspot for wealthy Albanian tourists while Saranda has less attractive beaches but crazy nightlife. At Borsh and Luvoka beaches you can experience the wild, less developed coastline whereas Ksamil is all about the sandy beaches, island trips and incredible sunsets.
Island Hopping in Croatia
Croatia is not the budget destination it used to be but it’s still more affordable and better value than Western Europe. The scenery and atmosphere varies from one end of Croatia to the other, you have islands, mountains, bays and Venetian towns all along the coast.
For the ultimate summer beach holiday you can’t beat Croatia’s islands. Pick one or go island hopping and see them all. Hvar is a more upmarket experience, Korcula is more laid back, Brac is popular with families, and Vis has incredible food.
Cascais gets my vote for the best city(ish) beach in Europe. At a half hour drive from Lisbon you can spend your mornings lazing on the beach then return to the city for its huge choice of restaurants, cafes, culture, and nightlife.
If you want to spend two weeks of doing nothing but sunning yourself and relaxing with a good book there are plenty of better beaches in Portugal for that but if you want to mix a fun city with a cool beach then base yourself in Lisbon.
You could always stick to old holiday favourites in Spain or the south of France but destinations around the rest of Europe are at least as beautiful and easily better value for money.