Europe is famous for its coastline, and if you’re a beach lover, then the Mediterranean shores will surely be on your travel bucket list. However, it can be hard to find quieter beaches that haven’t been over-commercialized, where you can enjoy a relaxing time without jostling for a place amongst all the other sun-lovers.
Many of these beaches are off the beaten track, so you’ll need to arrange international car rental to get about, and you may need to walk a little way or negotiate steep steps to reach these more secluded spots. If you yearn for the warm golden sands and beautiful blue seas to be found at the best coastal destinations but want to avoid the crowds, here is a list of some of the most peaceful beaches in Europe.
The Tróia Galé beach is part of the Tróia peninsula about an hour out of Lisbon and features miles of clean white sand. It’s a quiet beach with views of the Arrábida mountains, and the Atlantic stays pretty calm in the bay, so it’s a good spot for swimming. If you don’t mind a climb down via a lengthy set of steps off the cliff, Samoqueira beach in Porto Covo on the Alentejo coast is far more secluded than the main beach, and when the tide’s out, it leaves a series of lagoons to explore.
Playa de Carnota in Galicia is a half-moon shaped pure white sandy beach well away from built-up areas. Set in a nature-rich landscape of dunes and marshes, with views of the mountains, Playa de Carnota is a perfect place for peace and quiet. Playa de Calblanque in Murcia is another nature lovers paradise, being part of a protected nature reserve, and is similarly peaceful. Golden sands are backed by lush green hills, and at low tide, you can walk to the nearby inlets El Oso and El Viveru.
Porto Badisco in Puglia is a small cove with a sandy beach surrounded by rocky outcrops that are perfect for diving into the crystal-clear water. The sea is very calm here, and it’s a place that doesn’t get targeted by too many tourists, so it should be quiet.
User:Nikater [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons
Plage du Lion, in Lacanau, is the ideal alternative to the densely populated Lacanau-Océan surfers paradise up the road. Being quiet, it’s home to an exciting collection of wildlife, and also welcomes naturists. Plage d’Écault, near Boulogne, is a white sand beach stretching two miles along the coast and backed by pine forest.
Sifnos, in the Cyclades, is more well-known for its pretty villages and amazing cuisine than its beaches. That’s why Vathy is so quiet, as people don’t realize there is a beautiful sandy beach between the headlands. It’s protected from the elements and is ideal for families, with its shallow waters and secluded location.
These are just a few examples of some of the beaches you can still enjoy in peace on your European vacation, so don’t play sardines on the most popular beaches – get away from the crowds and enjoy these peaceful havens.