Top 10 Non-Touristy Beaches in Europe for Travel Snobs

When you book a holiday in Europe there is always the concern that the beaches will be crowded. To help skip your early starts to ensure you get a decent spot here is a list of beautiful – yet unspoiled and quiet beaches in Europe. This list will hopefully allow you to have a relaxing break without having to fight for somewhere to take in the rays, here are my Top 10 non-touristy beaches in Europe for travel snobs…

1. Playa de Monsul, Spain – one of the best under-the-radar beaches in Europe

Playa de Monsul Beach

This is a uniquely beautiful beach located in Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park in Almeria, Southern Spain. It has a phenomenal landscape, with lava cliffs and a long black sandy beach.

Steven Spielberg used the location in one of his Indiana Jones’s films and he even rated it as one of the best Spanish beaches he’s seen! Yes, there will be some curious film fans heading to the beach but you will probably be pleasantly surprised at how quiet and serene this place is.

2. Zlatni rât beach, Bol, Croatia – most of the most beautiful and underrated beaches in Europe

Zlatni Rat beach Croatia

There are many excellent beaches spread across Croatia’s Adriatic Islands but this is the one to visit. It’s located 2km west of Bol harbor, on the southern coast of the Island of Bra. One of the more unusual Croatia Beaches it’s a beautiful white pebble beach that sticks out into the sea hence why it’s also called The Golden Horn Beach.

With the water’s strong current and powerful wind it’s also a great place to go windsurfing. If you just want to relax then make the most of the settings – the beach is surrounded by a lush pine tree grove.

3. Salema, Vila do Bispo, Portugal – best non-touristy beach in a popular resort

Salema beach Portugal

The holiday package favorite Algarve isn’t always known for its peaceful beaches but this fishing village beach is the exception. It’s located on the southwest tip of the Algarve and can be found in the Costa Vicentina national park, Salema between Sagres and Lagos.

When you’ve had enough of the beach, check out the picturesque traditional villages that is also here – walking along the narrow cobbled streets will probably make you forget what decade it is. When evening falls try one of the local restaurants to sit down and enjoy the catch of the day.

4. Icmeler, Turkey – a stunning non-touristy beach in Europe

Icmeler beach Turkey

Another great place to relax, you won’t find loud intrusive bars and nightclubs here – this is for travelers who aim to relax. It can be found five miles from Marmaris, located on the Datcha peninsula. You can island hop if you want a change on scenery and try some different cafés all of which have menus full of fresh fish.

If you want some exercise or want to earn your evening meal then why try some hiking in the mountains and enjoy the panoramic views.

5. Lalaria Beach, Skiathos, Greece

Lalaria Beach, Skiathos, Greece

Yes, it’s only a small island, but there are more than 60 beaches on offer here. The most popular is Koukounaries, but it’s full of tourists so head to Lalaria Beach instead.

It’s a beautiful and peaceful spot and the main reason for the lack of crowds is that it can only be reached by boat. As for the island, Skiathos, some of the popular film ‘Mamma Mia’ was filmed here and actor Richard Romanus moved to the island in 2001 and even wrote a book (Act III) about his move.

6. Eraclea Minoa, Sicily, Italy

Eraclea Minoa - best non touristy beaches in Europe

Easily one of the Top 10 non-touristy beaches in Europe, this is a long and attractive beach located in the South West of Sicily. As well as being quiet and unspoiled it’s also flanked by striking white cliffs.

When you go up to those cliffs you will see that the clay breaks away – it’s actually a natural facemask. All you need to do is mix water with clay and spread it over your body!

You’ll notice many people walking around with the clay spread all over their bodies here which makes for a pretty interesting sight. If you really like the clay (like we did) then break it off and bring some back in your suitcases. You may also like other unspoilt places in Sicily.

7. Calvi, Corsica, France

Calvi Bay France

Calvi can be found in the northwest of Corsica and is part of the island’s impressive 600 plus miles of coastline. You get the best of both worlds here – the island’s gorgeous shabby chic style mixed with Italian sunshine. Calvi’s beach offers blanched white sand, clear blue sea and some great diving and snorkeling spots.

If you happen to be visiting in June and want to try something a little different then make sure you attend the area’s annual jazz festival (held from 21st June to 26th June 2012). Although of course a peaceful beach experience can’t be guaranteed during this time!

8. Gurteen Beach, Connemara, Ireland

Gurteen Beach Ireland - non touristy beaches in Ireland

This may seem like an odd choice, but I can’t recommend this place enough to fans of quiet, unspoiled beaches. It’s located in Roundstone, County Galway in the region of Connemara and it’s renowned for its interesting ecological, geological and archaeological features.

The sand was formed by the shells of tiny sea creatures (rather than rocks) and the surrounding grasslands are considered rare. Okay, you probably won’t get a suntan but here you can enjoy freshly caught oysters and also taste some of the best Guinness you’ll ever drink.

9. Riva di Ugento, Puglia, Italy

Riva di Ugento beach Puglia Italy

Puglia is not somewhere that hoards of tourists head to – it’s not a fashionable choice of a destination like Sardinia but Puglia is slowly growing in popularity. The resort of Riva di Ugento located here is beautiful and now it is a good time to go before more people discover it.

You can even camp, making your trip even more special. It’s a pretty unforgettable experience to fall asleep next to the sound of waves crashing against the sea and one that I really recommend.

10. Villefranche-sur-Mer, France

Ile de Porquerolles beach France

Another French option is Villefranche-sur-Mer which is one of Côte d’Azur lesser-known beach destinations. The buildings here gorgeous and boast a bold mix of colors. When you arrive at the sandy beach, you’ll that very few tourists find their way to the island, which I personally think is a huge selling point.

Although if you do want to go somewhere a little livelier then head to nearby Eze Village or Monaco instead.

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3 thoughts on “Top 10 Non-Touristy Beaches in Europe for Travel Snobs”

  1. Playa de Monsul is a popular one and Almeria has also been famed for the spaghetti western movies which were filmed from it’s desert. “The good, the bad and the ugly” and a “fistful of dollars” are the best known ones. The film set where these films were made and where Clint Eastwood was actor, is still in use and now a theme park open to the public.

  2. Skiathos is one of the greenest islands in Greece and has been nominated the most popular Greek destination in 2010. The island has a lot to offer in terms of sightseeing and culture. Its beautiful beaches such as the so called “Small Banana” are some of the most popular beaches in Greece, and according to Tripadvisor the best Greek beach 2012.

  3. Hi Scott, Malin Head in Donegal is a beautiful long strand. We were at the Letterkenney Fleadh and took a drive through the fantastic Donegal countryside. We didn’t know what to expect but found a long wide stretch of gorgeous beach with parking. My cousin an American ex-pat really enjoy throwing around the football and a good game of whiffle ball. My youngest headed for the water and the two of us braved the cool Atlantic waves and had a great time. Next time over I’ll have to check out Gurteen beach in Connemara. Oh and the guinness was great in Donegal as well.


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