Spain, Portugal, Malta and Greece (and their islands) make up some of the most popular destinations in Europe. Want to eschew the normal ‘Brits abroad’ holiday but still want to visit these beautiful countries? From a Portuguese coastal gem to an under-the-radar Greek island, here are the quieter and more discerning alternative resorts to opt for instead…
Spain – Swap the Costa del Sol for Cadiz
For 3100 years Cadiz has remained the oldest perpetually inhabited Western European city. The port city is the unspoilt jewel of Andalusia populated by perfectly preserved vistas and memorable historical landmarks. The cobbled streets and buzzy warm vibe contrast with striking tree-lined plazas, absorbing views, great restaurants and fountains superbly enjoyed while packed for museums and unforgettable tours. Cadiz has refused the lure of multi-culturalism and its Spanish flavour is real with unforgettable Spanish cuisine and tapas bars with menus unchanged for half a century.
Cadiz is a discerning peninsula heartthrob with lots of beaches from the much beloved la Caleta (where the first few scenes of James Bond film Die Another Day were shot), la Victoria, El Chato, Santa Maria del Mar to Torregorda. Arrive at Cadiz by jetting into Jerez about half an hour away by car or fly into Seville, hire a vehicle or ride on a train to Cadiz. If you’re planning a break in this beautiful corner of Europe, Holidu is building one of world’s best search engine for vacation rentals and have over 7 million holiday lettings, rentals, cottages, homes and villas to choose from for example like the Cadiz apartment shown above. Prices for accommodation in Cadiz start from €… a night.
Portugal – Swap the Algarve for Cascais
Just 19 miles from Lisbon is the rich Portuguese municipality of Cascais. A great alternative from the crowded Algarve, it offers a unique blend of quality beaches such as the Praia da Rainha towards the center of the city and Guincho Beach where kitesurfing, windsurfing and surfing are unique treats fueled by sea swells and wind to exotic blend of tourism heaven enhanced by ocean and art museums, castle ruins, parks, historic cobbled streets and golf courses. Estoril Casino is one of Europe’s largest, close to Hotel Palacio where the 1969 bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, was shot. From world-class hotels, scintillating nightlife and family run eateries Cascais is a fantastic treat for everyone; heavily family friendly.
Bulgaria – Swap the Black Sea for Sozopol
One of the most beautiful resorts in summer months from May to September, Sozopol is the place to fuse Mediterranean and Balkan cuisine with culture, history and sandy beaches. Burgas is only 35km away where you can take a bus to the resort. Accommodation is one of the most reasonably priced with local restaurants perfecting every moment with live music and dancing as you enjoy unique Bulgarian gourmet delights such as the famed shopska salad and full Bulgarian courses with traditional flavours of tarator, moussaka and stuffed pepper. Sozopol is the unspoiled stop for non-party enthusiasts in search of iconic cultural surroundings with sandy beaches and great atmosphere while being less touristy.
Majorca – Swap Magaluf for Es Trenc
One of Mallorca’s most beautiful beaches, Es Trenc is characterized by shimmy white sand and blue waters perfect for everyone, including families. The quieter more discerning Mallorcan resort offers a number of water sports and chiringuitos where tasty food in a beach atmosphere is served. The calm and shallow blue waters and occasional waves on the sandy beach backed by pines and shrubs offer a superb chill out atmosphere with snorkelling and castle building on the sand worthy engagements. Overnight accommodation might not be offered but a few minutes away are Colonia San Jordi and Sa Rapita where vacation rentals, large to mid-level hotels are in plenty for single travellers, groups and families.
Malta – Swap St. Julian’s for Ghajn Tuffieha
Ghajn Tuffieha is a secluded appealing beach accessible via a jetty of steps and footpath networks sprawled across clay slopes. The secluded and almost isolated beach offers a unique touch of calm Malta experience and one of the most unspoiled beaches around. It might be isolated but hardly neglected considering all types of amenities are provided, from street level parking areas, small restaurants with showers and toilets as well as a small annexed library, safety ropes and lifeguards. An international scout campsite is close by for a unique camping experience any day or month in the year.
Ibiza – Swap San Antonio for Cala de Sant Vicent
With San Carlos 15 minutes away and 10 minutes from San Juan village by car, Cala de Sant Vicent is a unique Ibiza beach a word away from all the craziness at San Antonio, offering a golden sandy beach, clear blue waters and promenade backing, superbly wide, beautiful and safe. Whether in high or low season there’s always room in Sant Vicent. Beachside cafes are aplenty dotted along the promenade with almost zero traffic and palm trees. With great restaurants and bars along the beach with tasty organic and fresh servings and diverse hotels just behind it, Cala de Sant Vicent attracts discerning international crowds from couples, families and seniors to teenagers.
Tenerife – Swap Playa de las Américas for Playa del Pozo
Playa del Pozo is a unique unspoilt golden sandy beach with delectable clear waters and captivating cliffs. It offers much-needed privacy making it a relaxed sun-bathers heaven with a vast sandy area. Del Pozo can be a bit busy during the high season in Tenerife but it’s not the typical Brits abroad crowds. Its location and nature attracts nudists to LGBTQ beach lovers and accessible easily by car. While it’s not the best for families its isolated beach atmosphere and amazing scenery attracts nudists and just about anyone who cares less except a quiet, wonderful time in the golden sand and clear blue waters.
Greece – Swap Corfu for Milos
Milos is a radiant, fascinating and under-the-radar Greek Island with iconic beaches in the Aegean Sea. Its rich minerals and enthralling sunset views are worth every penny compounded by the natural awesomeness of beautiful beaches, rich Greek history, Cycladic whitewashed villages, charming locals and tasty cuisine. Milos is the perfect stop for anyone who wants to enjoy unspoilt Greece far from crowds that descend on the most well-known Greek Islands with its tens of amazing beaches such as the Kleftiko and Sarakiniko. Accommodation in guesthouses is aplenty, including large and luxurious five-star establishments to relax after taking in the breathtaking scenery as the golden light of the setting sun washes up Chora.