Yes. We’ve heard. Winter is coming (sorry – we couldn’t help ourselves).
It’s that time of year again when we start to plan our Winter escapes to experience a bit of European summer in the Northern Hemisphere.
So which of the 50 European countries floats your boat? We’re usually in search of the best summer destinations in Europe to enjoy some of the European beaches. It’s not too difficult to find them. The hard part is choosing one! Europe’s coastlines border onto the Arctic ocean in the North, the Atlantic ocean in the west and the Mediterranean Sea in the South. So we’ve been doing our research into the most popular holiday destinations with Europeans themselves and have found that the beaches of the Canary Islands, Paris and its surrounds, and Spain’s Catalonia, encompassing Barcelona top the list.
Visit from May to early October for the best of the weather; which means that there’s not much time left to organise your trip. Here are our top three suggestions to help narrow down your shortlist.
Spanish beaches – the third most visited destination by Australians
Costa Brava, Cantabria, Gran Canaria, Majorca, Ibiza. There are hundreds of kilometres of coastline to choose from in Spain. Roll out your Hammamas cotton beach towel and relax and sun bake on urban beaches or unwind along isolated stretches of white sand.
In San Sebastian, La Concha’s enormous 130-foot-wide crescent curves nearly 4,500 feet around the magical Bay of La Concha, and is tipped as one of the world’s most popular urban beaches. It’s one of those places you kind of just “have to visit” – just be prepared for the perpetual crowds though.
So if you’re looking for something a little more relaxed with your nearest and dearest then
the eastern coastline of Asturias could be the place for you. Far from the typical tourist trails, the cliff-edged, emerald-green Spanish coastline has some of the most a-maz-ing beaches in Spain. The mood is also way more mellow and you’ll find rocky coves, remote crescents, low-key beach towns and a surf scene to rival our own.
When you want a break from all that relaxing then there’s always Ronda for the famous bullfighting or of course, trek some sections of the Camino De Santiago.
Greece – 1,000 of islands to explore
Greece has over 6,000 islands dotted about the the Aegean and Ionian seas. But don’t get too overwhelmed. Only 227 of the Greek islands are inhabited! So that already narrows down your shortlist.
We have it on good authority that the best places to start if you’re looking for a Greek Island escape are Santorini (with it’s famous black sands and gorgeous sunsets), Crete, Mykonos (for those looking for a party or two) and Corfu.
Those famed with the best beaches though are Crete, Naxos, Paros, Ios, Milos, Mykonos, and Rhodes.
And because we really want you to have the perfect Greek beach getaway, we’ve asked around to find out what the best Greek beach resorts have to offer.
- The best beach for families is St. Georges Beach on Naxos.
- The best beach for partying is Paradise Beach on Mykonos.
- The best beach for some quiet time is Plaka Beach on Naxos.
And last but not least, we can’t not mention Vatera on Lesbos. At 7km this is the island’s longest beach. From the sand you can look south to Turkey… which brings us nicely on to the last of our three top destinations!
Turkey – see some sea Turtles
If you ask us, then Turkey is one of the best summer destinations in Europe; and it’s where our 100% Turkish cotton towels are all made.
Turkey beaches have a lot to offer that you wouldn’t necessarily know about. But don’t worry – we’re here to help.
İztuzu Beach, just west of Fethiye, is an eco-beach. You can walk to the cove through a nature reserve where you’ll find Yogis, snorkelers and the endangered loggerhead sea turtle. The turtles arrive between May and October to dig their 300 nests and lay their eggs which hatch just beneath the surface of the sand.
Then just down the coast, you’ll find Patara – the longest beach on the Mediterranean with a sweet 18 kilometers of pristine white sand dunes. We love Patara as it’s escaped the major development you might find in other Turkish beaches because of the ruins of the ancient city that can still be found here.
With more than 8 million overseas trips made by Australians to Europe each year, you’ll be sure to find a spot to suit you. Wherever your next adventure takes you, be sure to share it with us @hammamas.aus