When the summer sun finally roles around in Europe, we all know we’re thinking just one thing inside our office blocks – when can we get to the beach! Beach breaks are an age old tradition for summer vacations, and with new destinations opening up gorgeous beaches lined with luxury beach hotels, right across the continent, it’s a holiday that will never go out of style. Europe is a vast place, so the only thing left to consider is where to find the spot for the perfect luxury beach hotel vacation…
1. The French Riviera
Glitz, glamour and celebrities have never been a shortage along France’s ultimate holiday strip, and intimate boutique hotels now line the beautiful coast from Cannes to Monte Carlo. Entertainment is the real draw here, though – from super posh casinos in Monaco to dusty streets and tiny art galleries in Nice, there’s plenty to fill those days away from the beach as well as the evenings. For a quieter experience, there are just as many options – leave the cities behind and head out to the gently rolling hills, where you’ll find nothing to disturb the adventure of a reading a book next to the pool, except perhaps the dramatic view of the sun setting over the Med.
2. Capri and Ischica
Italy’s tiny islands are a spa paradise, and perfect for that sumptuous beach break with uninterrupted panoramas of the sea. The healing waters are legendary, the hotels have every luxury covered and fresh seafood and Italian wines abound. There couldn’t be a better combination, or indeed a more picture-perfect setting. Rocky Capri is the stars’ island of choice, but larger Ischica is equally as welcoming and attractive, with rather lower prices.
3. Santorini Island
Greece’s most beautiful island can certainly rival Capri and Ischica – the volcanic landscape is breathtaking, and the Caldera Church at the very tip has been named the most romantic (and spectacular) place in the world to watch a sunset. Santorini is like something out of a history lesson – all old-fashioned towns of white-washed houses built into the rocky cliffs and family-owned trattorias serving up local fresh cuisine.
A little further East in Croatia, the perfectly preserved city of Dubrovnik nestles at the edge of the Adriatic Sea. Imagine aquamarine waters, the golden stone of medieval walls, narrow cobbled streets leading to ancient churches and yachts as big as those at Monte Carlo in the harbor – that’s Dubrovnik in all its splendor. Stay right inside the Old Town within the walls to soak up its magic, and by night wander the twisting streets to enjoy fresh seafood and Italian-inspired gelatos for desert.