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Villefranche-sur-Mer - best European beaches on GlobalGrasshopper.com

10 of the best beaches in Europe for travel snobs

Villefranche-sur-Mer - best European beaches on GlobalGrasshopper.com

10 of the best beaches in Europe for travel snobs – When you book a holiday in Europe there is always the concern that the beaches will be crowded. To help skip your early starts to ensure you get a decent spot here is a list of beautiful – yet unpsoilt and quiet beaches in Europe. This list will hopefully allow you to have a relaxing break without having to fight for somewhere to take in the rays…

Playa de Monsul, Spain

Playa de Monsul - best European beaches on GlobalGrasshopper.com

This is a uniquely beautiful beach located in ‘Cabo de Gata-Nijar’ national park in Almeria, Southern Spain. It has a phenomenal landscape, with lava cliffs and a long black sandy beach. Steven Spielberg used the location in one of his Indiana Jones’s films and he even rated it as one of the best Spanish beaches he’s seen! Yes, there will be some curious film fans heading to the beach but you will probably be pleasantly surprised at how quiet and serene this place is.

Zlatni rât beach, Bol, Croatia

Zlatni rât beach - best European beaches on GlobalGrasshopper.com

There are many excellent beaches spread across Croatia’s Adriatic Islands but this is the one to visit. It’s located 2km west of Bol harbor, on the southern coast of the Island of Bra. One of the more unusual Croatia Beaches it’s a beautiful white pebble beach which sticks out into the sea hence why it’s also called The Golden Horn Beach. With the water’s strong current and powerful wind it’s also a great place to go windsurfing. If you just want to relax then make the most of the settings – the beach is surrounded by a lush pine tree grove.

Salema, Vila do Bispo, Portugal

Salema vila do bispo portugal - best European beaches on GlobalGrasshopper.com

The holiday package favourite Algarve isn’t always known for its peaceful beaches but this fishing village beach is the exception. It’s located on the southwest tip of the Algarve and can be found in the Costa Vincentina national park, Salema between Sagres and Lagos. When you’ve had enough of the beach, check out the picturesque traditional villages that is also here – walking along the narrow cobbled streets will probably make you forget what decade it is. When evening falls try one of the local restaurants to sit down and enjoy the catch of the day.

Icmeler, Turkey

Icmeler beach - best European beaches on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Another great place to relax, you won’t find loud intrusive bars and nightclubs here – this is for travellers who aim to relax. It can be found five miles from Marmaris, located on the Datcha peninsula. You can island hop if you want a change on scenery and try some different cafés all of which have menus full of fresh fish. If you want some exercise or want to earn your evening meal then why try try some hiking in the mountains and enjoy the panoramic views.

Lalaria Beach, Skiathos, Greece

Lalaria Beach - best European beaches on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Yes, it’s only a small island, but there are more than 60 beaches on offer here. The most popular is Koukounaries, but it’s full of tourist so head to Lalaria Beach instead. It’s a beautiful and peaceful spot and the main reason for the lack of crowds is that it can only be reached by boat. As for the island, Skiathos, some of the popular film ‘Mamma Mia’ was filmed here and actor Richard Romanus moved to the island in 2001 and even wrote a book (Act III) about his move.

Eraclea Minoa, Sicily, Italy

Eraclea Minoa Beach - best European beaches on GlobalGrasshopper.com

This is a long and attractive beach located in the South West of Sicily. As well as being quiet and unspoilt it’s also flanked by striking white cliffs. When you go up to those cliffs you will see that the clay breaks away – it’s actually a natural facemask. All you need to do is mix water with clay and spread it over your body! You’ll notice many people walking around with the clay spread all over their bodies here which makes for a pretty interesting sight. If you really like the clay (like we did) then break it off and bring some back in your suitcases.

Calvi, Corsica, France

Calvi Corsica - best European beaches on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Calvi can be found in the northwest of Corsica and is part of the island’s impressive 600 plus miles of coastline. You get the best of both worlds here – the island’s gorgeous shabby chic style mixed with Italian sunshine. Calvi’s beach offers blanched white sand, clear blue sea and some great diving and snorkelling spots. If you happen to be visiting in June and want to try something a little different then make sure you attend the area’s annual jazz festival (held from 21st June to 26th June 2012). Although of course a peaceful beach experience can’t be guaranteed during this time!

Gurteen Beach, Connemara, Ireland

Gurteen Beach - best European beaches on GlobalGrasshopper.com

This may seem like an odd choice, but I can’t recommend this place enough to fans of quiet, unspoilt beaches. It’s located in Roundstone, County Galway in the region of Connemara and it’s renowned for its interesting ecological, geological and archaeological features. The sand was formed by the shells of tiny sea creatures (rather than rocks) and the surrounding grasslands are considered rare. Okay you probably won’t get a sun tan but here you can enjoy freshly caught oysters and also taste some of the best Guinness you’ll ever drink.

Riva di Ugento, Puglia, Italy

Riva di Ugento - best European beaches on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Puglia is not somewhere that hoards of tourists head to – it’s not a fashionable choice of destination like Sardinia but Puglia is slowly growing in popularity. The resort of Riva di Ugento located here is beautiful and now it is good time to go before more people discover it. You can even camp, making your trip even more special. It’s a pretty unforgettable experience to fall asleep next to the sound of waves crashing against the sea and one that I really recommend.

Villefranche-sur-Mer, France

Villefranche-sur-Mer - best European beaches on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Another French option is Villefranche-sur-Mer which is one of Côte d’Azur lesser-known beach destinations. The buildings here gorgeous and boast a bold mix of colours. When you arrive at the sandy beach, you’ll that very few tourists find their way to the island, which I personally think is a huge selling point. Although if you do want to go somewhere a little livelier then head to nearby Eze Village or Monaco instead.

10 of the best beaches in Europe for travel snobs was written by GlobalGrasshopper writer Scott Balaam find him on twitter at @scottbalaam

Scott started his travelling life back in 1999, when he headed off on a solo jaunt to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia with just a backpack, a camera and a spirit for adventure. After that, the travel bug bit hard and now he is always seeking to head off somewhere new. Over the years he has lived in Italy, Qatar, Ireland and the UK but his spiritual home will always be Rome as this is the city which most satisfies his unrelenting craving for culture, good food and football. Scott loves nothing better than to be behind the camera and has also just started his own blog called Bars and Spas. As well as Rome he also counts Melbourne and Tel Aviv among his favourite places and now permanently resides in Dublin. Follow Scott on Google+ and Twitter

4 Comments

  • Emma (Barcelona Apartments)

    12 April, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Playa de Monsul is a popular one and Almeria has also been famed for the spaghetti western movies which were filmed from it’s desert. “The good, the bad and the ugly” and a “fistful of dollars” are the best known ones. The film set where these films were made and where Clint Eastwood was actor, is still in use and now a theme park open to the public.

    Reply
  • skiathosgay

    29 March, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Skiathos is one of the greenest islands in Greece and has been nominated the most popular Greek destination in 2010. The island has a lot to offer in terms of sightseeing and culture. Its beautiful beaches such as the so called “Small Banana” are some of the most popular beaches in Greece, and according to Tripadvisor the best Greek beach 2012.

    Reply
  • irelandfavorites

    28 March, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Hi Scott, Malin Head in Donegal is a beautiful long strand. We were at the Letterkenney Fleadh and took a drive through the fantastic Donegal countryside. We didn’t know what to expect but found a long wide stretch of gorgeous beach with parking. My cousin an American ex-pat really enjoy throwing around the football and a good game of whiffle ball. My youngest headed for the water and the two of us braved the cool Atlantic waves and had a great time. Next time over I’ll have to check out Gurteen beach in Connemara. Oh and the guinness was great in Donegal as well.
    Cheers.

    Reply

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