Tossa De Mar, Costa Brava, Spain
For some of the best secret beaches in Europe, head to Costa Brava, Spain. While most people flock to the Costa Del Sol, the beaches along the Costa Brava are much quieter and less touristy. The beach is perfect for couple or families with young kids, and there’s a brilliant selection of water-sports, adventure activities and boat trips to other beaches along the Brava Coast. Spend the days sunbathing and spend your evenings sipping Spanish wine and enjoying some of the best black rice paella in the world!
2. Murder Hole Beach, Donegal, Ireland
While Ireland might not be the first place you would go for a beach holiday, the Emerald Isle is experiencing a particularly hot summer and there’s no shortage of hidden beaches to be found. Murder Hole Beach in County Donegal, along the rugged coastline of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, is probably one of the most spectacular. This is the kind of beach to travel to if you love having the entire place to yourself, watching the wild waves of the Atlantic crashing onto the shore, and involves taking a long walk along the cliffs to get there.
3. Elafonisi Beach, Crete, Greece
Have you ever been to a beach with pink sand? The interlinking beaches of Elafonisi on the island of Crete in Greece are famous for just this. The super fine sand that makes up this unique beach was created by red organisms that grow on the dead coral reefs, and shells that have washed up from the ocean floor. While popular with those visiting Crete, the beach is so large and has so many hidden spots within the sand dunes, that you can always find a secret spot just for you. There’s also a great cafe overlooking the beach which has a large outdoor terrace with spectacular views and delicious seafood lunches.
4. Elaphiti Islands, Croatia
While Dubrovnik is the jewel of Croatia, attracting tens of thousands of tourists each day, the beaches of the Elaphiti Islands remain some of Croatia’s best-kept secrets. The three islands are most popular with day trippers, but booking into a hotel here and spending a week relaxing in secret coves, sipping wine from the island winery, or renting a kayak and circumnavigating one of the smaller islands, is highly recommended. The boat trip alone from Dubrovnik to the islands is worth the trip, as they serve up a fresh seafood feast for all on board and hand out free cocktails!
5. Praia da Marinha, Lagos, Portugal
The Algarve in the south of Portugal has a certain allure that not many destinations in Europe have. Everything feels more secluded and untouched, and most beaches here can be a mission to get to, either involving boat trips or long walks along rocky cliffs. If you believe getting there is half the adventure, then Praia da Marinha should be top of your list. This iconic beach, which has won many awards for being one of the world’s most beautiful, will take your breath away. The super fine sand, which is almost pink in colour, and turquoise waters, are surrounded by impossibly steep cliffs, sea stacks and sea arches, making it one of the most unique beaches on this list.
6.Coral Bay, Paphos, Cyprus
Cyprus is a diverse destination known for its historical significance and stunning coastline. One must-visit beach is Coral Bay, located about 15 minutes outside the resort town of Paphos. By far the best beach in the region, great for water sports enthusiasts, families with young kids, or any sun worshippers who merely want to spend a week laying on the beach with a good book. If you have a car, you can also venture slightly further south where you’ll find hidden beaches, shipwrecks and the famous Blue Lagoon, which is a turquoise dream to swim in!
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