Whether you’ve never been to Europe or you’ve had your passport stamped a hundred times, there are always more gorgeous sites to behold.
Some of the best sunsets, best meals, and best times can be found on the coast. There’s just something to be said about a place where water meets land and all lives in harmony.
If you’re planning a European getaway in the future, here’s what you need to know about the most drool-worthy coastal vacation spots:
Santorini, Greece, is the white and blue island of many travellers’ dreams. The classic Cycladic art and architecture paired with steep cliffs and ocean views for days draws in hordes of tourists and vacationers alike all year long. Santorini is a great location for honeymooners, divers, and party goers alike. Spend days relaxing by the water or on a boat, enjoy some of the freshest seafood in Europe, and enjoy nightclubs that stay alive until the wee hours of the morning. Make a back-to-back vacation out of it by stopping in nearby towns or islands for a true Mediterranean getaway.
France’s second-largest city by size, Marseille is an oft-overlooked gem of a port town that has lots to explore and enjoy. If you’re looking for a relaxing, sunny stay in the south of France, this is the place. While there’s been quite a bit of gentrification there over recent years, there’s still spirit and character to the old port city. Fill your trip with a collection of the simple things in life: local artists painting by the street, outdoor terraces to watch the world go by, and a picnic meal on one of the many docks. Find out the best hotels in Marseille and make your trip a comfortable one.
Whereas you might find more room to breathe and stretch in Marseille, Algarve is a gorgeous coastal town that’s often packed with people. If you’re looking for a fun-filled but serene getaway, Portugal has a lot to offer. The majestic rocky coasts paired with its historically sunny climate make for a gorgeous spot to spend time outside. Visit the town’s numerous architectural and historic sites, try taking a surfing lesson, or try out new foods at the local pastelarias. One of the best things about Algarve is its relative closeness to tons of other vacation spots; swing by Albufeira for nightlife or Sagres for rest and relaxation.
Cinque Terre, Italy
This gorgeous location is actually comprised of five different coastal villages. This stretch of coast is even a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, which means it’s a place of “outstanding universal value” that is sought to be preserved. An effort of this preservation, the entire region actually must keep within a limit of visitors each year. While this might make it a spot that’s a bit more difficult to get to, it also means you’ll never be crowded out of the beach or claustrophobic simply walking down the street. You’ll be able to enjoy the crystal blue waters, craggy bluffs and green cliffs, and colourful Italian homes in a comfortable, relaxing setting.
Dubrovnik is a newer coastal town to draw popular attention. This stunning coast is another UNESCO World Heritage Site, primarily for its historic Old Town. This pedestrian-only area is surrounded by walls built in the 16th century is a must-see if you decide to visit. Dubrovnik is made for vacationers who escape to relax. Enjoy a day laying on the cool sand in a private cove off the water or sunbathe on their characteristic red clay roofs.
Are you ready to pack your bags yet?