Europe S Top 7 Secret Beaches

Discover Europe's Hidden Beach Destinations

  • 4th March 2024
  • 11 min read

You've landed in the right place if you're looking for a friendly guide through the adventure of discovering the hidden gems in Europe. We're passionate about travel and we're here to share some exclusive insider info. Let's start by exploring seven of Europe's best-kept secrets: the beaches!

Simos Beach, Elafonisos, Greece

If you're considering a beach holiday to the tranquil shores of Simos Beach on Elafonisos, Greece, you're in for a treat. Despite its growing popularity, Simos Beach retains much of its natural beauty and serenity, offering a perfect getaway for those seeking a blend of relaxation and adventure.

The best time to visit Simos Beach is either during the late spring (May) or early autumn (September). During these periods, the weather is idyllic, and you'll find the beaches less crowded, providing a more intimate experience with nature. Accommodation options range from quaint beachfront cottages to comfortable hotels; early booking is recommended to secure your spot, especially if you're planning to visit during peak periods.

For those who love to explore, renting a bicycle or scooter can be a delightful way to discover the hidden corners of Elafonisos. Culinary enthusiasts will also appreciate the local tavernas near the beach, where you can savour traditional Greek dishes accompanied by stunning sea views.

Remember, the biodiversity of Simos Beach is one of its greatest treasures. To preserve its beauty for future visits and visitors, please practise responsible tourism by keeping the beach clean and respecting the local wildlife and flora.

Calamosche, Sicily, Italy

When planning your beach holiday to the secluded haven of Calamosche in Sicily, Italy, a bit of preparation can ensure you enjoy every moment. The best time to venture to this hidden gem is during the late spring (April to June) or early autumn (September to October). During these months, the weather is not only pleasant but also avoids the peak tourist season, offering a more serene experience.

Accommodation near Calamosche can be found in the nearby town of Noto, which is renowned for its stunning Baroque architecture. Book your stay in advance to find the perfect place that caters to your preferences, ranging from rustic farmhouses to chic boutique hotels.

To reach Calamosche, visitors can rent a car from Catania or Palermo airports, providing the flexibility to explore the Sicilian countryside at their own pace. Alternatively, regular bus services are available, but renting a vehicle is recommended for those wishing to discover more secluded areas.

While at Calamosche, don't miss the opportunity to explore the Vendicari Nature Reserve, a haven for birdwatchers and nature lovers. The area is protected, so please ensure you adhere to local guidelines, especially regarding waste disposal and respecting wildlife habitats.

Local Sicilian cuisine is a must-try, with several restaurants and trattorias offering fresh, locally sourced dishes that reflect the rich culinary tradition of the region. Seafood, in particular, is a highlight, alongside classic dishes such as pasta alla Norma.

Playa de Oyambre, Spain

If you're looking to bask in the expansive beauty of Playa de Oyambre in Spain, you're in for a truly enchanting experience. This stunning beach, nestled between the dramatic backdrop of the Picos de Europa mountains and the Cantabrian Sea, is an ideal spot for those seeking both relaxation and adventure.

The most favourable times to visit Playa de Oyambre are from late spring to early autumn, with May, June, and September offering the most agreeable weather conditions. During these months, visitors can enjoy the beach's natural beauty with fewer crowds, making it easier to find your own peaceful spot along the sandy shore.

Accommodations near Playa de Oyambre range from charming campsites offering direct beach access to cosy rural houses that provide a more secluded stay. It's advisable to book your accommodation in advance, particularly if your visit coincides with local holidays or festivals, to ensure you get the perfect spot.

For adventurers, the surrounding area of Playa de Oyambre provides ample opportunities for activities such as surfing, kiteboarding, and hiking along the scenic coast. The nearby Oyambre National Park is also a must-visit for nature lovers, offering spectacular trails and wildlife watching opportunities.

Cantabrian cuisine is on full display in the local area, with plenty of establishments serving up fresh seafood and traditional Spanish dishes. Be sure to try the region's famous "cocido montañés," a hearty stew that's perfect after a day of exploring.

In keeping with the spirit of sustainability and respect for the natural environment, visitors to Playa de Oyambre are encouraged to practise responsible tourism. This includes following local guidelines on waste disposal, respecting wildlife, and maintaining the cleanliness of the beach and surrounding areas so that future visitors can enjoy it just as much.

Keem Bay, Achill Island, Co. Mayo, Ireland

Keem Bay, located on Achill Island in County Mayo, Ireland, offers an awe-inspiring retreat into nature's untouched beauty. Ideal visiting times span from late spring to early autumn, when the climate is mild and the landscapes are vibrant. Accommodations on Achill Island range from quaint bed and breakfasts to modern holiday homes, providing a cosy base from which to explore the surrounding beauty. Early reservation is advisable, especially during peak travel seasons to secure your preferred lodging.

Reaching Keem Bay requires a scenic drive through Achill Island, with public transport options limited. Therefore, hiring a car is recommended for those looking to fully immerse themselves in the island's rugged landscapes at their own leisure. This pristine bay, with its crystal-clear waters and dramatic cliffs, is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Activities such as hillwalking, cycling, and water sports like kayaking are popular among visitors seeking to experience the unique blend of tranquillity and adventure that Keem Bay offers.

The culinary scene on Achill Island, though modest, is a delightful exploration of local flavours, with seafood freshly caught from the Atlantic being a staple in many restaurants. Traditional Irish pubs provide a warm, friendly atmosphere where you can enjoy local dishes accompanied by live traditional music sessions.

Whether you're exploring the underwater marvels through snorkelling, relishing the panoramic cliff-top views, or simply unwinding on the beach, Keem Bay promises a truly rejuvenating holiday experience.

Praia da Ursa, Lisbon, Portugal

For those venturing to the stunning Praia da Ursa, near Lisbon, the experience is unparalleled, offering a serene escape into one of nature's most impressive landscapes. This somewhat hidden gem is best visited during the warmer months, from late spring to early autumn, when the weather is most amiable for beach goers. Due to its remote location and the challenging path leading to it, visitors are encouraged to wear suitable footwear and carry essentials such as water, sun protection, and snacks.

Accommodation options in the vicinity of Praia da Ursa tend to lean towards the charming and rustic, with an array of guesthouses and holiday rentals that provide a quaint and cozy feel, mirroring the natural splendour of the region. Booking in advance is recommended, especially during peak holiday periods, to secure the best spots that offer both comfort and accessibility to the beach.

While the beach itself does not offer the conventional amenities such as sunbeds or cafes, its untouched beauty makes it a perfect spot for those seeking tranquillity away from the bustling tourist spots. It's a haven for photographers, nature lovers, and anyone looking to disconnect and immerse themselves in the raw beauty of the Portuguese coast.

The area around Praia da Ursa is also ripe for exploration, with the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park offering numerous hiking trails that boast stunning vistas and lead to secluded spots, providing an opportunity to witness the rich biodiversity of the region.

Local cuisine in the area celebrates Portuguese traditions, with a focus on seafood and regional delicacies. Small local restaurants and cafes in the nearby towns of Sintra and Cascais offer a taste of authentic Portuguese dishes that are a must-try for any visitor.

Whether you're seeking a peaceful day of sunbathing, an adventurous trek along the coast, or simply to marvel at the sunset, Praia da Ursa offers an enriching and memorable experience for all who visit.

Kelebekler Vadisi (Butterfly Valley), Oludeniz, Turkey

Kelebekler Vadisi, or Butterfly Valley, nestled in the serene region of Oludeniz, Turkey, is a breathtaking enclave of natural beauty that turns into a haven for travellers seeking both tranquillity and adventure. The valley, accessible either by boat from Oludeniz or through a challenging hike for the more adventurous spirits, offers a unique blend of pristine beaches, lush greenery, and the eponymous butterflies that can be seen flittering about the valley, especially during the summer months.

Accommodation within the valley is designed to sync with the natural environment, offering eco-friendly tents and bungalows that provide a rustic yet comfortable experience for visitors. To fully absorb the essence of Butterfly Valley, it is advised to book your stay in advance, ensuring that you secure a spot in this slice of paradise.

A trip to Kelebekler Vadisi is incomplete without exploring the natural wonders it holds. Aside from lounging on the untouched sands of the beach, visitors can engage in activities like hiking to the waterfall within the valley, paragliding for a bird's eye view of the scenic landscapes, and snorkelling in the crystal-clear waters to explore the vibrant marine life.

Food options in Butterfly Valley focus on a modest but delightful range of Turkish and international dishes, with emphasis on organic and locally sourced ingredients. The valley’s bar also offers a chance to unwind in the evenings, featuring soothing music against the backdrop of the stars.

Whether seeking solace in nature’s lap or the thrill of outdoor adventures, Kelebekler Vadisi promises an immersive and unforgettable beach holiday experience, encapsulating the beauty and cultural richness of Oludeniz, Turkey.

Skagen, North Jutland, Denmark

Skagen, nestled at the northernmost tip of Jutland, Denmark, presents a unique beach holiday destination that mesmerises with its distinctive landscapes and natural phenomena. Known for the Grenen beach, where the North Sea meets the Baltic Sea, visitors can witness the rare sight of two tidal waters colliding. The area's strikingly beautiful, wide sandy beaches are ideal for long, serene walks and spotting seals basking in the sun.

The town of Skagen is renowned for its picturesque yellow houses with red tile roofs, creating a charming and inviting atmosphere. The Skagen Museum should be on every visitor's itinerary, offering an insight into the world-famous Skagen Painters who were captivated by the area's extraordinary light and landscapes.

For accommodations, Skagen boasts a variety of options ranging from cosy bed and breakfasts to luxurious hotels, many offering stunning views of the sea. Seasonal delights include local cuisine, heavily featuring seafood caught directly from the surrounding waters, ensuring that every meal is an experience to remember.

Skagen's unique geographical location also makes it a perfect spot for birdwatching, especially during migration seasons when thousands of birds cross the skies. Whether you're looking for a peaceful retreat by the sea, an artistic inspiration from the natural landscape and cultural history, or simply a unique spot to connect with nature, Skagen offers an unforgettable experience for all who visit.

Now that you know more about these hidden European treasures, you're one step closer to your dream vacation. Let's make it happen together!

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Tommy Lloyd
Author: Tommy Lloyd, Managing Director

Tommy has over 15 years experience within the insurance industry, and his primary focus is helping travellers find the right cover at the right price!

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