If youre looking for a great beach holiday this year , but want to escape from crowds of other tourists, you should check out some of Europes hidden seaside gems. There are plenty of stretches of sand where you dont have to worry about hoards of other holidaymakers and Ive put together a list of five of the best.
Balos Beach, Crete
We all know that Greeces islands have some stunning beaches, so it will come as little surprise that my first top pick is on Crete. Balos Beach is stunning; its a vast sweep of white sand with a sheltered lagoon thats perfect for swimming and snorkelling. What makes this a great location to escape the crowds is that its only really accessible by boat, unless you fancy a long walk (around three hours from Kalyvianni village)!
The scenery is breathtaking, too, and it feels as though youre in the middle of nowhere. The only indication of human settlement here is the Venetian castle that sits on top of a rocky island just offshore.
Kaputas Beach, Turkey
Next up is the gorgeous Kaputas Beach, on Turkeys Turquoise Coast.
This delightful stretch of sand is situated between Kas and Kalkan, although its closer to the latter. Despite being absolutely beautiful, it rarely gets crowded (which probably has something to do with the 180-odd steps you have to go down to get there).
The white sand is met by clear, blue waters where you can swim if you get too hot from sunbathing. The beach is situated at the end of a canyon, so youve got towering cliffs on either side that provide a stunning backdrop. There are no amenities here, so make sure you take plenty of water and food with you if youre planning to stay for the day.
El Bollullo Beach, Tenerife
The Canary Islands are well known for their glorious stretches of sand and Tenerife is no exception. What makes this island appealing to me is its black sand beaches and one in particular El Bollullo really stands out.
Theres very little here in the way of facilities, but its an excellent spot to lie back and soak up the sunshine. Its not far from Puerto de la Cruz, but youll need to walk from the main road. I think that only adds to its appeal though, particularly as the trail leads through a banana plantation.
Zlatni Rat, Brac, Croatia
Croatia is often forgotten when discussing fantastic seaside destinations in Europe, but it boasts some spectacular stretches of coastline. Brac is an island not too far from Split and its home to one of the countrys most picturesque sandy strips Zlatni Rat, which means golden horn.
This sand spit juts out from the corner of the island, so you can have the sea on almost every side depending on where you spread your towel. This isnt the quietest stretch of sand around, but its truly beautiful. Its also a great place to visit if you fancy getting active, as its renowned as a windsurfing hotspot.
St Peters Pool, Delimara Peninsula, Malta
My final pick is the delightful St Peters Pool, which is located in the Delimara Peninsula in the south of Malta. Technically, this isnt a beach its more a natural rock formation that resembles a swimming pool carved into the limestone cliffs on the edge of the island.
It is the perfect place for a dip, though, with the clear waters certainly looking very inviting on a hot day. What I love about it is that you have to jump into the water, as theres no real beach, while the limestone ledges make excellent sunbathing spots.
This is just a selection of some of Europes top beaches; if youre in need of further inspiration for your summer holiday in 2013, visit this website .
Photo Credit: idleformat