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Top 10 Beach Resorts for European Vacationers

The article is dedicated to those who can no longer wait for a vacation and are counting the days until such a desired vacation by the warm, gentle sea. We have collected for you the ten most popular European resorts, which will be an excellent option for summer holidays.
30 july 2021
9 min

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1. Crete, Greece

Crete is the largest and most popular island of Greece, a true gem of the Mediterranean. Every season, thousands of tourists gather here, each with their own goals: some come for excursions to ancient cultural sites and mythical heroes, while others simply want to relax and sunbathe on the beach.

Balos Lagoon
Photo author - Alessandro

For the latter, numerous excellent hotels have been built here, along with nearly as many luxurious beaches. For the curious nature lovers, trips to famous landmarks are always ready to be organized: the ruins of the Knossos labyrinth, the Palace of Malia, the Arkadi Monastery, the fortress of Gramvousa... And how many historical and archaeological museums are here! In short, you'll need more time to thoroughly explore everything.

There are countless beaches on Crete. The most popular ones include Elafonissi with its pink sands and crystal-clear sea, Vai and its palm forest, and also Balos — an ancient pirate bay where remnants of sunken ships and an ancient fortress are still preserved to this day.

Another notable feature of the island is its cuisine. Restaurants delight their guests with the best dishes of Greek cuisine, as well as Mediterranean dishes made from seafood. And the wine they make here is remarkable! Tourists always take home one or two bottles, and local vineyards have already earned their reputation in the world.

2. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Croatian Dubrovnik is rightly considered one of the most attractive resorts on the Adriatic: it successfully combines picturesque nature, pristine beaches, and is among the top three most beautiful Renaissance cities in Europe according to UNESCO. And now, let's go through it all step by step.

Book a hotel in Dubrovnik with up to 65% discount on the website.

Banje Beach, Dubrovnik
Photo author - Calli and Travis

Dubrovnik has always been famous for its excellent ecology, pleasant warm climate, and, of course, crystal-clear sea. It is this corner of the Adriatic that is considered the cleanest, as Jacques-Yves Cousteau himself once told the world. All this became the basis for Dubrovnik to turn into a huge resort with all the necessary infrastructure: huge beaches, luxurious hotels, hotel complexes, many restaurants, cafes, and clubs, as well as daily shows, concerts, discos — in general, life here does not stop for a minute.

The city's two most popular beaches are Lapad and Banje, known for their cleanliness and all the amenities for a comfortable holiday. Plus, from Banje, you can enjoy a wonderful view of Lokrum Island.

In addition to this, as we have already mentioned, Dubrovnik is also a major cultural center. The Royal Palace, Pile Gate, Franciscan friary and church, Loza Square, Sponza Palace, Dominican Monastery — there are so many ancient architectural beauties here that you can only walk around and admire them. The city charms with its atmosphere, so it's no wonder that thousands of Europeans and beyond love to visit here.

3. Ibiza, Spain

And now hold on tight — we're heading to Ibiza! Well, who among us hasn't heard of Ibiza?! Perhaps every young and vibrant European has visited this true island of freedom and fun at least once in their life and partied to the fullest. Ibiza, without exaggeration, is the brightest and most lively resort not only in Spain but in the whole of Europe, where parties go on day and night. From June to September, there's no shortage of discos, parties, concerts, light shows, and festivals.

But in spring and autumn, more respectable Europeans come here for a peaceful and serene vacation. Few can imagine, but Ibiza is also great for family vacations with children — yes, don't doubt it. In the north of the island, there are several wonderful secluded resorts where you can spend one or two peaceful weeks with your family. For example, in the towns of Portinatx or Santa Eulària des Riu, everything is arranged for a comfortable and quiet holiday.

Photo author - Daniel Jones

There are a total of 18 large beaches on Ibiza. For those who come to party, Cala Benirrás is ideal: musicians and other creative young people gather here to have fun, and in August, there is even a drum festival right on the promenade. For lovers of quiet places, Cala de Portinatx in a picturesque bay, Cala de Sant Vicent, or Punta Grossa are suitable. And for diving enthusiasts, there's Cala Xuclar, where you can also take mud baths for free right next to the beach.

4. Sicily, Italy

And once again we're off to an island, but this time to Italy, to the famous Sicily. To say that this is a paradise corner would be an understatement: the island is surrounded by three seas — the Mediterranean, the Tyrrhenian, and the Ionian — and has many small picturesque islands around it. Here you'll find plenty of beautiful landmarks, pristine nature, and of course, hundreds of restaurants serving delicious Italian cuisine. In short, it's probably needless to say that it's never empty here — European travelers adore Sicily.

Cefalù, Sicily
Photo author - Benjamin Walch

The best beaches on the island are considered to be Mondello in Palermo, Cefalù in its surroundings, as well as Isola Bella and Santa Teresa di Riva in Taormina. Interestingly, there's plenty to see near the beaches too. For example, near Mondello, there's a great promenade called Foro Italico, and near Cefalù, there's the Royal Palace and the regional park Parco delle Madonie.

5. Budva, Montenegro

Budva is a true gem of Montenegro, also known as the "Montenegrin Miami". Among all the resorts we've listed, Budva is perhaps the most versatile and, importantly, one of the most affordable for vacationers. Here you'll find everything: for lovers of active recreation — sports grounds, tennis courts, diving, water excursions.

Book a hotel in Budva with up to 65% discount on the website.

Beach in Budva
Photo author - Thomas Amsaleg

Nightlife enthusiasts won't be bored either: discos, bars, parties, shows — life in Budva is anything but dull. For families and those seeking a peaceful vacation, the Montenegrin coast offers over a dozen quiet, hidden beaches and children's playgrounds. And for curious travelers, there's the Old Town with its charming architecture and numerous museums.

Now, let's get back to the beaches, because who can resist them when coming to relax on the Adriatic coast? Budva boasts around 35 beaches, 8 of which are awarded the Blue Flag (a sign of a clean, eco-friendly beach by FEE). The most extensive and popular is Slovenska Plaza Beach, and it's also worth visiting Mogren, nestled at the foot of cliffs, and Pizana, located near the Budva River.

6. Nice, France

When it comes to European beaches, one cannot forget Nice — the heart of the French Riviera. Life in Nice is as vibrant as in Paris. Europeans love the city for its ability to perfectly combine seaside relaxation with exploring one of France's cultural hubs.

Beaches of Nice
Photo author - Youssef ElAlaoui

The main central beach in Nice is located near the Promenade des Anglais, but due to its central location, it's always crowded with tourists. However, fear not, as in the eastern part of the city, there are another 20-30 picturesque, clean beaches (both private and public), equipped with everything you need and even volleyball courts.

Excellent beaches can also be found outside the city: La Reserve near the Parc Vigier and Coco Beach near Cape Ferrat. But spending all your time on the beaches in Nice would be a missed opportunity. Rather, take a stroll on Place Rossetti, visit the picturesque harbor, admire the City Hall and the Basilica of Notre-Dame. And of course, don't miss out on the museums — Nice has quite a few, and a couple will surely captivate every visitor.

7. Leiria, Portugal

Lisbon and Porto are undoubtedly great, but the truly beautiful place for a beach vacation in Portugal is the Leiria region. Here, around Nazaré and on Berlenga Grande Island, you'll find everything you need for a great vacation.

Nazaré confidently leads the ranking of the best beaches in central Portugal. It offers a clean, well-kept beach, numerous restaurants, cafes, shops, and entertainment centers — all on the picturesque shore of the Atlantic Ocean. And if you drive a short distance north of Nazaré (literally 500-700 meters), you can reach a wonderful surf spot with incredible waves. Here, you can ride a few waves yourself or simply admire them while sitting on the shore.

Nazare beach
Photo author - maria fernandez

The island of Berlenga Grande is perfect for lovers of diving and surfing. The water here is very clean and clear, perfect for underwater excursions. And those who stay on land will also have something to admire, because the beach is comfortably hidden behind 3 rocks and the views from here are simply incredible.

8. Sanremo

Sanremo is another beloved destination on the Mediterranean coast among Europeans. Families with children and groups of friends alike enjoy visiting from spring to autumn, as everyone can find something to do here. The city beaches are clean and well-maintained, and the water is also clean — in other words, it's an ideal place for relaxation.

Photo author - Tracy Durrant

Along most of the coast, conditions are created for lovers of active recreation — water skiing, motorcycles, sailing boats and parasailing, underwater swimming, and sea excursions. There's also plenty to please shopping enthusiasts: dozens of boutiques, salons, antique shops, perfume stores, ceramic workshops, and pastry shops.

9. Costa Brava, Spain

One of our last stops on our journey through European resorts will be Costa Brava in northwestern Catalonia. It's one of the most beautiful corners of the Mediterranean, where excellent resort areas for relaxation are concentrated. Tourists come to Costa Brava not only to swim and sunbathe but also to admire nature, which is truly worthy here.

The cliffs and peaks of the Pyrenees, covered with pines and firs, hide incredible coves, bays with azure waves, and white sands. Nature has done its best here, and so far, people haven't managed to spoil it all. And they won't, because the authorities and various international organizations strictly monitor the coastline.

 Lloret de Mar
Photo author - Jaume CP BCN

Tossa de Mar, Blanes, Lloret de Mar — all these small towns are located on the Costa Brava coast, and no matter which one you choose to stay in, you won't regret it. There's plenty to admire and try everywhere, as this region is especially famous for its liqueurs and wines. And don't forget to taste the local national dish "mar i muntanya", which translates to "sea and mountains".

10. Paphos, Cyprus

The name speaks for itself. Paphos is a place for lovers of the good life and secluded relaxation. As you've probably already guessed, Paphos is not the cheapest resort on the Mediterranean, but why does it attract thousands of tourists?! The answer is simple — numerous clean beaches, excellent service in leisure places, hundreds of restaurants and entertainment complexes (perhaps even more than on the whole of Cyprus), and plenty of ancient historical and cultural monuments.

Photo author - mark

Paphos is protected by UNESCO, which means that here you should not only lie on the beach all day sipping cocktails but also get acquainted with sights, of which there are many here. Royal tombs, the House of Theseus, the catacombs of Solomoni, and the place from which, according to legend, the goddess Aphrodite emerged from the foam.

Paphos will be an excellent choice for a vacation with your loved one or in good company with friends, but just not with children, as the infrastructure for children's entertainment is not particularly developed here. All efforts are focused solely on satisfying the wishes of young bodies and souls of vacationers.

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