Europe is blessed with some fantastic coastal destinations that not only have beautiful beaches, but also excellent year-round weather. While we may only be able to make use of our beaches in the UK for a few months each year, that’s not the case elsewhere. Read on to learn about some of the continent’s best spots for soaking up the sun.
The Algarve region of Portugal is renowned for its beaches and wonderful weather – it’s one of Europe’s sunniest locations, with an average of around 3,000 hours of sunshine per year! So, it’s no wonder that it makes it into our list of top spots for sun seekers.
Albufeira, which is located in the central Algarve, is a particularly good choice thanks to its wealth of stunning beaches – there are a couple of stretches of sand right next to the city, but if you don’t mind travelling a bit you can get to some lovely secluded coves.
Many of the area’s main bays – like Praia dos Pescadores and Praia dos Olhos d’Agua – have a host of amenities nearby, including restaurants, cafes, shops and bars. It’s also easy to find accommodation within easy reach of the coast – check out what’s on offer here.
Balearic Islands, Spain
The Balearic archipelago – which is made up of Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera – is a wonderful place to visit for a bit of sunbathing. As you’d expect, there are hundreds of beaches lining the coast of these four isles, so you won’t be short of places to sit back and relax in sight of the sea.
What’s especially great about this group of islands is that they each offer something different to holidaymakers. Menorca, for instance, is great if you want empty stretches of sand and traditional villages, Ibiza boasts stunning bays and a vibrant nightlife scene, with many bars and clubs next to the coast, while Majorca has a little bit of everything and is blessed with quiet coves as well as bustling sandy strips.
The islands’ Mediterranean location means you’re almost guaranteed good weather, with plenty of sunshine and average temperatures in the high 20s during the summer months, while they rarely drop below 15 degrees C in the winter.
Crete is one of many Greek islands that has a spectacular coastline and excellent weather. What makes Crete particularly stand out is the sheer variety of beaches it has to offer – there are more than 350 dotted around the isle.
In the west of the island in the Chania province the beaches are either sandy or comprised of pebbles. There are plenty of coastal locations with facilities (like Agia Marina and Platanias), as well as secluded spots that are totally undeveloped – such as Finikas and Elafonisi.
Head to the eastern province of Lassithi, meanwhile, and you’ll be greeted by some truly picturesque beaches, including Vai – which is completely surrounded by Europe’s only palm forest – and Agia Fotia, where a small chapel is located close to the sand and a pine forest fringes the bay.
As well as boasting stunning coastal spots, Crete also enjoys brilliant weather throughout the year; in the summer, temperatures are regularly in the mid-30s, while it rarely drops below 15 degrees C during the daytime in winter. You should note that the island often gets rain in the winter, though – stick to its southern destinations for the best of the isle’s weather.
Where would you go for a sun-seeking getaway in Europe? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo credit: Timo Newton-Syms