From the Algarve to Croatia: have you been there? 8 famous dream beaches you should see
Good news for sun worshipers, beach mermaids and beach lovers: You don’t have to fly far for a vacation with a South Seas feeling. Because even in Europe there are beaches that are beautiful to kneel down. We show eight of the most popular beaches.
What makes a dream beach? For some it is palm trees, white powdered sugar sand and a turquoise sea, others prefer absolute peace and quiet in small rocky bays and others enjoy water and beach sports as well as chilled beach bars. All this is available in Europe in the most beautiful facets. We show the most popular beaches from Portugal to Greece.
1. Algarve, Portugal: Praia da Marinha – Atlantic beach at its best
Between the southernmost tip of Portugal and neighboring Spain lie 150 kilometers of the finest coastline: the Algarve. Less than an hour’s drive from Faro is the holiday resort of Carvoeiro. From here it is another five kilometers to the dream beach of Praia da Marinha on the Atlantic.
It is framed by 30 meter high rocky cliffs that glow a warm honey yellow and form bizarre formations such as caves, arches and domes. The big advantage of the rocks – apart from the extraordinary optics – is that they keep off cool north winds in the off-season and allow sunbathing even in the winter season.
Even in summer, the beach looks surreal, as if it had just stepped out of a picture book. Colorful fish and seahorses frolic in the reefs in the water. A little comfort between rock and sand is provided: there are sun loungers and pedal boats for rent. If you don’t feel like cliff hikes or excursions to the neighboring bays, you can take a boat tour to the largest sea caves in the Algarve, which are in the immediate vicinity.
Hotel tip: Tivoli Carvoeiro Algarve Resort, 5 stars, 7 nights in a double room including breakfast from 991 euros per person
2. Mallorca, Spain: Es Trenc – Caribbean beauty in the Mediterranean
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle on the most famous beaches in Mallorca, such as Ballermann or Cala Ratjada, the locals recommend Es Trenc beach in the south-east of the island. Because: It looks like the Caribbean there.
The only difference: instead of coconut palms, pine trees sway in the wind in Es Trenc. However, the sand is as white as powdered sugar, the sea is crystal clear and shines in finely tuned shades of turquoise. As one of the longest beaches on the island, it offers five kilometers of sand dunes in a nature reserve. That’s why the gently sloping beach on the south coast is almost undeveloped and quiet.
Here the visitors are so well distributed that even in the high season in August you can find a quiet spot – if you are willing to hike a good distance over the soft sand from the parking lot. There are loungers and parasols for rent, and a handful of beach bars offer cool drinks and snacks.
Hotel tip: Universal Hotel Don Leon, 4-star, 7 nights in a double room incl. breakfast and flight from 405 euros per person
3. Ibiza, Spain: Las Salinas – celebrity beach with Balearic beats
In the south of Ibiza, a good ten minutes’ drive from the island’s capital Eivissa, is one of the island’s celebrity hotspots – Leonardo DiCaprio, Kylie Minogue and Kate Moss are said to have lolled about in the sand here: Las Salinas Beach in the nature reserve of the same name.
Everything cool meets in Las Salinas – hipsters and hippies, bikini beauties and fans of Balearic beats. The 1.5 km long beach lures with soft white sand and clear water in shades of pastel blue and turquoise. Between the sand dunes with pine trees, there are chilled beach restaurants and beach bars that serve first-class food and drinks to the typical island sound. Since there is often a lot of hustle and bustle on Salinas Beach, many celebrities don’t even notice and enjoy being away from the flashbulbs.
Hotel tip: Ibiza Gran Hotel, 5 stars, 7 nights in a junior suite incl. breakfast and flight from 1249 euros per person
4. Corsica, France: Palombaggia – between pine forests and granite rocks
One beautiful beach follows the other in the south of Corsica. The crowning glory, however, is the Plage de Palombaggia: green pine forests, fragrant macchia and red granite rocks frame the snow-white beach. The calm and crystal clear sea in the bay completes the symphony of colors with its iridescent turquoise. The creator has done a great job here!
The flat shore areas are ideal for smaller children, which is why the beach is particularly popular with families in the summer months. Some beach stalls and restaurants cater to bathers, who can also rent kayaks and catamarans here.
Hotel tip: Hotel San Giovanni in Porto-Vecchino, 3 stars, 7 nights in a double room incl. breakfast and flight from 750 euros per person
5. Sardinia, Italy: Cala Spalmatore – the holiday highlight of La Maddalena
The most enchanting landscape of Sardinia is located in the very north of the Italian island and is a national park: La Maddalena is the name of the archipelago with its almost 70 islets and small beaches on the emerald green water embedded between rocky hills and maquis. This is where most of the postcard photos of Sardinian beaches were shot. One of the most popular is Cala Spalmatore, around five kilometers from the center of the town of La Maddalena.
It is idyllically embedded between pink granite rock walls, green cacti, myrtle and juniper. The rocky environment protects well from wind and waves. The beach with the fine, white sand is divided into three sections, which means that despite its South Seas flair it is rarely overcrowded.
Hotel tip: Gran Hotel Resort Ma&MA, 5 stars, 7 nights in a double room incl. breakfast and flight from 657 euros per person
6. Sicily, Italy: San Vito lo Capo – Paradise beach at the top
Great things on Italy’s largest island: in the northwest of Sicily, about an hour’s drive from Palermo, is the bay of Capo San Vito with the striking Monte Monaco. It is also he who gives the white sandy beach with palm trees on the turquoise sea a very special flair. The travel portal TripAdvisor has already voted it the most beautiful in Italy.
But the San Vito lo Capo is not only beautiful, it also slopes gently into the warm, crystal-clear water and is protected from wind and waves by its location in the bay, which also makes it an ideal bathing beach for swimmers and families with children.
It is three kilometers long, very well maintained and clean. Beach visitors praise the fact that it is not built up, but has a good infrastructure with restaurants, cozy beach cafés and shops. If you want to optimize your bikini figure, you can hike to the top of the 500 meter high Monte Monaco and enjoy the view of the picturesque bay from there.
Hotel tip: Villa Zina Park Hotel in Custonaci, 7 nights in a double room incl. breakfast and flight from 500 euros per person
7. Krk, Croatia: Vela Plaza – active beach in Kvarner Bay
Even getting there is spectacular: the island of Krk is connected to the mainland by a 1.4-kilometre-long, reinforced-concrete arch bridge towering 67 meters above the sea. Between the varied karst landscape with mountains, dream beaches and medieval towns, the Vela Plaza beach is hidden in the south behind a mountain range. It is two kilometers long, consists of light, fine gravel, slopes gently into the sea and has been awarded the Blue Flag, the environmental seal of approval for water quality, for many years.
The family beach in the Bay of Baska is considered not only the most popular among the 113 beaches on the island of Krk, but in the whole country. Everything is offered here that makes a bathing holidaymaker’s heart beat faster: from banana boats, water slides, diving boards, jet skis and parasailing to pedal boats, bouncy castles and beach volleyball to sunshades, beach chairs, bars, cafés and sanitary facilities. Lifeguards ensure the safety of bathers. Even dogs are allowed: The official dog beach is on the western edge of Vela Plaza, in the district of Zarok.
Hotel tip: Hotel Veya by Aminess, 3 stars, 7 nights incl. breakfast and flight from 367 euros per person
8. Crete, Greece: Elafonissi – think pink in the southwest
Exhilarating play of colours: the sickle-shaped beach of Elafonissi is located at the most south-western point of the largest Greek island, embedded in a nature reserve. Its sand color ranges from white to pink to pink and is surrounded by crystal clear water in shimmering blue and turquoise. The incredibly beautiful pink hue of the powder-soft sand comes from millions of finely ground seashells.
The water in the lagoon is no deeper than one meter and is therefore well suited for children. An offshore island makes the picture-perfect beauty of Elafonissi perfect, it can also be reached on foot through the shallow water.
On the east side of the beach there are umbrellas, showers, changing rooms, some stalls and small restaurants. The only thing that doesn’t exist here are palm trees, like on Crete’s mostly overcrowded beaches of Vai and Preveli. But who needs palm trees in this magical place?
Hotel tip: Hotel Molos Bay in Kissamos, 7 nights in a double room incl. breakfast and flight from 366 euros per person
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