What a year, am I right? The new decade sure came out swinging! As we speak, travel-loving adventurers like yourself are doing the right thing around the globe by self-isolating to keep the spread of the novel Coronavirus COVID-19 at bay. It’s tough and it’s challenging, but we will survive this, and when we emerge from our safe cocoons the world will still be out there and we’ll be so much more grateful for the opportunities we have to explore it.
While we weather the storm, we thought we’d give you something to look forward to by sharing our ten favourite city beaches in Europe. Take a look, imagine yourself out there with your toes in the sand and the sun on your shoulders, and build out your must-see bucket list while we wait for the world to heal.
Tallinn is pretty much surrounded by beaches, so you are spoiled for choice when you go in search of golden sands in this old Estonian city. Pirita beach is a favourite – it’s large and filled with plenty of locals, so you can soak up the true Tallinn-esque vibe instead of being surrounded by tourists. If you feel like working up a bit of a sweat on your way there, forgo the taxi and cycle the 6km from the city, following the bike track that winds its way along the pine forest on the edge of the ocean – utterly gorgeous!
Odds are Denmark is not one of the first countries that comes to mind when you think about beach vacations, but we’re here to inform you that Scandinavian summers are a thing of beauty. Sure, the temperatures are unlikely to go any higher than 20°C, but on the flipside you have up to 17 hours of daylight to have fun and explore! Amager Beach Park is a man-made lagoon a short drive from Copenhagen’s city centre where you can climb dunes and spread out in the Scandi sun. Alternatively, you can brace the cold water and jump into the ocean from the wooden pontoon at Islands Brygge.
Trieste is an Italian city that is unlikely to make its way onto your must-visit list if you’re on the lookout for age-old landmarks or impressive art. However, if you’re keen to drink in true Italian beach culture at its best, there’s no better place to go. Lungomare beach has a seafront promenade that meanders on for a whopping 4km, and it also happens to be a great spot to pick up some fantastic regional seafood delicacies from a variety of street vendors.
Oh Lisbon, how we adore thee. This is a city that centres on sun and sea. If your dream scenario is to wake up to a balmy breeze on a sultry summer morning, throw on a slip of a dress and some sandals, pick up a coffee and a pastel de nata on your way to the tram before you make your way to the beach for the entire day, this is most definitely the city beach for you.
The stoic, elegant walled city of Dubrovnik may not conjure images of beach bats and splashing children, but the entrancing turquoise waters around it’s coastline nevertheless make for a wonderful beach holiday if you’re so inclined. Top tip – steer clear of Banje beach if you don’t care for milling crowds. Instead, head for Coral Beach, where you’ll find the locals enjoying the scenery at the shore.
Nice serves up retro promenade glamour at its best. Following in the glitzy slipstream of nearby Cannes and St Tropez, the vibe is part French, part Italian with a daring dash of urban grit. The pebbled beaches are great for sunbathing, but it’s recommended that you shell out for a sunlounger if you want to stick around for a while (pebbles are not all that comfy to sit on!).
Sticking around in France, we make our way to Marseille. While it may not be as famous as Monaco, this ocean-side city boasts some seriously picturesque beaches. An easy trip from the city centre takes you to the three Prado beaches, where you can spend a whole day relaxing on the sand, watching the world go by and soaking up some true Provençal flavour.
Bodrum may perhaps be best known for its pumping nightlife and tasty kebab culture, but it also has some epic beaches. Kargi beach (also known as Camel beach), in particular, is the ideal place to pick up a tan and get an eyeful of the locals as they enjoy the beach with their families and friends, and the swimming is great as well!
You have not truly experienced San Sebastian until you’ve spent some time on Concha beach with a cocktail in hand and some tapas within reach. This is one of those spots where you are surrounded by mountains while you have your feet in the sand, which somehow makes it the experience all the more magnificent.
We bet you kinda saw this one coming, but hey, there’s a reason why certain cities are famous for a particular thing. It just so happens that Barcelona is one of those places where the beach vibe is so pervasive throughout the city that you can’t help but relax into a holiday atmosphere. It’s a wonder the locals get any work done at all! Pick up some picnic essentials and head to Nova Icaria, slightly north of Barceloneta, to find a spot in the sand and see what all the fuss is about. We guarantee you’ll end up spending the entire day at the beach.
There you have it – ten city beaches throughout Europe that are just begging to be splashed and strolled. Keep an eye on the blog in coming weeks and months for more travel inspiration. In the meantime, stay healthy, stay safe and keep adventuring with us from the comfort of your couch. We can’t wait to welcome you wonderful people back on tour, and in the meantime, we will do everything we can to keep you positive and inspired.