Finding a beautiful beach that you don’t have to share with hoards of tourists can be tricky, but Europe is home to an array of gorgeous coves and stretches of sand that only the locals know about. I’ve done my research to find 8 of the best hidden beaches in Europe which offer seclusion and unspoilt beauty, off the beaten track.
1. Calanque d’En-vau, Bouches-du-Rhône in France
Hidden amongst inlets carved into a series of limestone cliffs, are some of France’s most stunning and isolated beaches – the most beautiful being Calanque d’En-vau. With turquoise waters and white sand, this secret beach is surrounded by pine trees and only accessible by a steep path down the cliff face (alternatively you can take a boat from Cassis). There are no facilities on this beach.
2. Plage de Saleccia, Corsica in France
This 1km long stretch of fine white sand beach is almost completely isolated, except for the odd brown cow taking a nap in the sunshine. The beach used to be a landing spot for submarines feeding supplies to the Resistance during the war, because of its concealed location. There is a path through the pine trees leading to a small snack bar, but other than that it’s totally unspoilt.
3. Praia de Albandeira, Algarve in Portugal
For total relaxation and hardly any visitors, the picturesque Praia de Albandeira is (amazingly) completely off the tourist radar, with no watersports, umbrellas or sunbeds in sight. This tiny hidden beach offers golden sand and dramatic scenery with incredible cliffs and arch-shaped rocks. It’s the perfect place to soak up the sun with no one around to disturb you.
4. Spiaggia di Sansone, Tuscany in Italy
Tuscany’s coastline is one of the most wild, unspoilt and beautiful in Italy, and Spiaggia di Sansone is exactly that – rugged, natural beauty. Its sand is covered in smooth white pebbles that contrast the vivid blue of its crystalline waters, ideal for snorkelling, and backed by tall limestone cliffs. This stunning stretch of beach is only really known to the locals, meaning it remains uncrowded all year round.
5. Capo Testa, Sardinia in Italy
This small beach is well-hidden and surrounded by eroded rocks which form several coves, perfect for divers and snorkelers. With gorgeous views over Cosica and the islands of Lavezzi and Cavallo, Capo Testa is a tiny paradise away from the crowds. You can only access the beach via a 20 minute walk along a narrow, steep path and there’s no nearby facilities.
6. Stiniva, Vis in Croatia
Stiniva beach on the Croatian island of Vis, is a hidden natural beauty surrounded by tall shrub-covered cliffs. This breathtaking bay consists of a small stretch of white pebbles and crystal-clear water, and can be reached by foot or boat (there are several organised trips from the town of Vis). Stiniva is tucked away and ideal for immersing yourself in nature, but avoid peak times to have more of the bay to yourself.
7. Lalaria, Skiathos in Greece
Lalaria is a picture-postcard beach, only accessible by boat. With no facilities on the beach, it’s completely unspoilt and a must-visit to experience how beautiful and idyllic it is – swim in its caves and snorkel in its bright blue waters. I’d recommend taking an evening boat trip from Skiathos harbour (10 euros and 35 min journey) to avoid the midday crowds.
8. Voutoumi, Antipaxos in Greece
Last but by no means least is the stunning Voutoumi beach on the island of Antipaxos. This hidden gem is perfect for relaxing in the sunshine and spending an afternoon swimming in its turquoise waters. With a white pebble beach, clifftop surroundings and 2 welcoming tavernas, Voutoumi is a small and secluded beach – the perfect little paradise with good food and drink nearby.