When it comes to visiting some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, we all know the drill: you see photos on Instagram of empty sandy stretches, gently rolling waves and stunning sunsets with not another tourist in sight. Then, you show up and scramble to find a spot for your own towel, competing with thousands who’ve seen the same idyllic images.
To help you avoid that classic holiday conundrum, we’ve pulled together a list of the most beautiful hidden beaches and coves in Europe. Ready to get ahead of the crowds?
Oludeniz Beach – Turkey
Most visitors hit up Kalkan, but we’d suggest Oludeniz if you’re planning a villa holiday in Turkey. Found on the country’s south-western coast, it boasts stunning mountain scenery and deep blue lagoons, combining to create something worthy of a postcard. This beach is also right by a national park, meaning active adventurers can embark on a hike, while those craving some downtime can lap up the sun’s rays on the sand.
Sandwood Bay – Scotland
Largely regarded as one of the most beautiful beaches in the UK, Sandwood Bay is extremely remote – in fact, you’ll have to walk four miles to reach it from the nearest car park. It’s definitely not suited to swimming due to the strong current and high winds, but that just allows for more time to stop and appreciate the majesty of this hidden spot.
We’d suggest visiting in the summer months; not only is rain less likely (though keep in mind it’s still Scotland!) but that also means the path leading down will be less boggy.
Calanque de Sugiton – South of France
Forming part of the Parc National des Calanques Marseille, Calanque de Sugiton is one of the wilder coves you’ll find in the South of France – and a little trickier to access. It’s surrounded by steep cliffs that give way to brilliantly turquoise waters, and requires walking for around an hour downhill from the main hiking path.
However, the journey is entirely worth it for the destination. Be sure to pack your own water, as you won’t find any stands or shops here.
Playa de la Granadella – Costa Blanca
Much less known than the other heaving beaches in the area, this horseshoe-shaped shingle beach near Jávea is simply stunning. You’re much more likely to be rubbing shoulders with locals than fellow tourists – it’s common to see them donning snorkels to explore the seagrass beds, found just off the shore.
For those who want to stay dry but cool off from the sun, you can also enjoy a walk through the surrounding pine forests. There’s even a castle and lookout point, while a small beach shack keeps everyone refreshed and well fed.
Atrani – Amalfi Coast
Perfectly placed on the Amalfi coast, in the south-western region of Campania, Atrani Beach needs to be seen to be believed. Wonderfully untouched by the modern day, it’s a small fishing village that allows you to truly experience authentic Italy. Expect to spend your time there wandering winding streets, dining in family-owned cafes, and spreading out on the sandy beach.
Agiofili Beach – Greece
If you’ve got a snorkel handy, be sure to take it out to the gentle waves and spy the fishes swimming alongside you. It’s also worth noting that this beach is pretty isolated, so you’d be wise to bring your own snacks and drinks for the day.
So, that’s our picks for the most beautiful hidden beaches and coves in Europe. But if you want even more ideas, why not check out our beach bucket list? Then, once you’ve found the perfect stretch of sand for you, feel free to contact our concierge team so they can find a luxury villa nearby.