‘Everywhere is someone’s back garden’. You don’t need to fly thousands of miles across oceans and continents to discover your own spot on a sun-drenched, palm-fringed stretch of coastal bliss. You don’t need to search too far to find a quaint village boutique or sea-side restaurant serving freshly caught seafood. Most of all, you don’t need to trawl the web for the hottest destinations either, as we have done it all for you. Our best beach breaks, our side of the globe.
Dubrovnik and Montenegro
Along the shimmering Adriatic coast, Dubrovnik’s rocky coastline and enchanting city walls upkeep its strong character following a bleak history, while the modern charm of fine-dining and deep-sea diving beckon visitors and a promising future. Panoramic views can be enjoyed from cliff-tops or charming French balconies of boutique hotels, discovered only by wandering down winding streets. Hotel Bellevue boasts a peaceful, secluded beach, accessible by lift which descends from the hotel directly onto the glistening water front, while their Nevera beach restaurant serves delicious Croatian cuisine with unrivalled views. But beyond the red-topped buildings and marbled streets of Dubrovnik’s old town, Montenegro is only a two hour drive away, which we can easily arrange for you, and makes a spectacular twin-centre option. This up-and-coming destination has already been spotted by the luxury Aman hotel group, who offer island privacy on Sveti Stafan, intertwining the best of lush forest land on the main land, pink sandy beach spread across the causeway, and 600 year old, stone cottages and churches scattered on the island. The beach itself is solely for Aman guests, so you needn’t battle with crowds to find that perfect spot. Combine Dubrovnik and Montenegro for a glimpse into the past and a beach break that is more than (but not missing!) just sun and sand.
Forte Village, Sardinia
Hailed as one of Forbes’ 25 Most Beautiful Beaches in the World, Forte Village truly epitomises beach bliss, with the classic white, soft sand, crystal clear waters and all the refreshing cocktails and thrilling water sports that come with it! Adults can indulge in open-air massages or a spot of golf on the vast 27-hole Molas Golf course, before finishing off with a delicious, beachfront dinner for two, made by one of the Michelin-starred celebrity chefs who adore Forte Village. Kids will be ecstatic with go-karting, water skiing and a five star Sport Academy at Le Palme, but only if you can tear yourself away from the beach for long enough, which seems to engulf everyone as they soak into the warm sand with toes dipped in the water.
The Greek Philosopher, Plato, famously argued that ‘the sea cures all of man’s ailments’, and we are firm believers that a tranquil golden beach and the sound of lapping waves can enlighten every sense and sooth every ache. The quaint fishing village of Elounda is slowly gaining a name for itself as a celebrity hotspot, and with this comes opulent hotels and fine dining restaurants, but the kaleidoscopic boats bobbing on the shore still remain, as do the cheerful locals and old-world craft and gift shops. The Blue Palace Resort and Spa has its own private beach to laze the days away; 200 metres of pebble beach are bordered by wooden decking and lush grass areas lined with plush sunbeds - and there will be no fighting for the best spot, as the hotel promises loads of room for each guest, fresh fruits and refreshing drinks provided by the resort’s beach service.
The stiletto heel of Italy’s long legs, Puglia is home to the longest coastline in Italy which is dotted with white-washed houses, vibrant vineyards and green wooded hills, and all blanketed by the scent of traditional Italian cuisine. Around each pebbly cove, you are likely to find a small, golden beach with crystalline seas, hidden or overshadowed by the rocky cliffs and pretty village churches. The Masseria Torre Miazza resort is built within a watchtower and traditional Italian church which used to house monks and pilgrims, offering accommodation with a rich history and the picturesque landscape of the sea and vast organic gardens. A complimentary shuttle service takes you to one of the jewels of the coast, the Coccaro Beach Club lined with cosy massage pavilions and palapas. Of course, eating on the beach is first-class, serving everything from fresh lobster to warming pasta dishes. If you’re looking for the best in Italian beaches, history and cuisine, look no further than Puglia.
Think family beach break, think the Algarve. Albufeira has welcomed visitors for decades, with its charming old town of market-stalls, souvenir shops, restaurants and a vast golden beach accessible via an escalator from the clifftop, while the new town boasts a dynamic nightlife and excursion centres to keep families busy. Inland, you can still find the quieter, pretty castle towns and green gardens lined with vivid flowers, but the coast itself remains a sun-seeking tourist spot. Sheraton Algarve and Pine Cliffs Resort welcomes all ages, with playgrounds, treasure hunts and land and water sports for the kids, and golf, tennis and a spa for adults. Altogether, you may enjoy thrilling banana boat rides through the sea, or just relaxing with a refreshing ice-cream on the sands. A brilliant choice for an active, beach holiday for the family.