The best of Spain, Portugal and Italy's beaches

12 April 2017

The best of Spain, Portugal and Italy's beaches

We know Europe is super diverse so we thought we’d look at the places where you really want to be sitting in the sun, on a beach, enjoying life.

Spain, Portugal and Italy aren’t shy of any good weather, nor some pretty cool beaches too. All within short distances from each other, these three stood out for us.

We thought we’d not only give you the tips on the beaches, but we’re going to break it down for you too. The beautiful thing about travel is that everyone can like different things and we get that.

Spain

The best for: Family

Cala Llenya is a beach that is situated in believe it or not Ibiza. Typically you wouldn’t associate family travel with the party-known island, but Ibiza isn’t just about that. Hire peddalo’s, go swimming safely, snorkelling or just play in the sand with a bucket and spade. This is a quiet beach that the locals also use too, but great for families. Other options are Llafranc beaches in Costa Brava or Port d’Alcudia in Majorca.

The best for: Adventure

If you’re really looking for adventure, then there isn’t a better way to fulfil that desire than hiring a jetpack. Yes a jetpack! In Mallorca’s, Port Adriano beach you can literally power up across the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. One of those experiences which you must do! If you love water sports trying your hand at windsurfing may interest you. Playa de Bolonia, Tarifa is one of the country’s windsurfing hubs. The beach has over 4km of shoreline but still feels slightly native, if a little offbeat. Perfect for beach adventurers!

The best for: Pristine waters

Spain has many pristine and beautiful beaches, so this is a tough one. Illas Cies, are also known as the ‘Galician Caribbean’ and are a trip of idyllic islands in Ria de Vigo, Galicia. A tranquil environment apart from the intake from the Atlantic Oceans relentless waves, Illas Cies is complete bliss. You’ll be familiar with the reputation of the ‘White Isle’ the nickname for Ibiza, but its neighbour, Formentera is a contrasting counterpart. Playa de Ses Illetes has turquois seas that are complimented by the glittering white sands. Typical Spain!

The best for: Surfing

Spain is a place for warm climates we all know that. Coupled with both Mediterranean and Atlantic coastline, it’s not difficult to see why it’d be great to surf here. Even though typically a little colder and more rugged, Basque country has some great beaches for surfing. More of an Atlantic swell exists here, and in Donostia-San Sebastian you can find beaches La Concha, Ondaretta and Zurriola with some great surf conditions. Bakio beach also is an ideal spot for all level of surfers in the Basque country with wave consistency the main pull for surfer lovers here. If you want warmer surroundings, Es Trenc in Mallorca is great for a Mediterranean wave induced alternative.

Portugal

The best for: Family

Portugal has many beaches but if it’s a family trip you’re taking and with kids then really you have to look no further than in Algarve. Thousands flock here annually to soak up the sun, that amazing coastline and family friendly vibe. Praia da Marinha is picture perfect never mind great for snorkelling, rounding caves, boat trips on offer and white sands. If you’re kids are getting hungry, there are beach huts that serve snacks to keep them bellies from rumbling! Another options are Praia do Ancao with calm waters, umbrellas and sunbeds, snack and beach bars, it’s a great spot for families. Even though small this area is still manned by lifeguards.

The best for: Adventure

Praia do Castelo is one of the more secluded beach areas that have great views. Several beaches are spread out here within rocky areas that are perfect to explore on foot. Only locals or adventurous travellers visit Praia do Castelo. To get here, you’ll have to journey approximately 6km from the Albufiera, which itself is a popular tourist town. Another option is Ilha de Tavira beach, just a short ferry ride from Tavira city. Here there are barely any buildings, but there is a camping park if you want to stay over!

The best for: Pristine waters

Portinho de Arrabida is arguably Portugal’s prettiest beach, and one of the reasons for that are its pristine conditions. The waters especially are a mesmerising emerald colour, complimented by the sparkling white sand will give your eyes the impression you’re in a real-life Photoshop shot. Portinho de Arrabida is picking up slowly for the everyday tourist, but still remains quieter due to it’s accessibility.

The best for: Surfing

Some of the surf in Portugal is some of the best in the world, so there are plenty to choose from when it comes to surf beaches. Just outside of Lisbon, there are four beaches that are typical for beginner level surfers. Catinho de Baia in Balael, Foz do Lizandro & Sao Juliao in Ericeria, whilst in the quiet holiday town of Cascais, Guincho beach is popular too.

Italy

The best for: Family

Pareti beach in Elba Island is small but ideal for families. This is because its naturally protected and offers family orientated services such as beach loungers, umbrellas and places to eat and drink. Also on Elba Island is Biodola beach that is a little more suited for families with nice white sand, a larger shoreline and all the amenities for a family visit.

The best for: Adventure

Elba Island boasts many beaches for all kinds of fun. Chiessi beach is great for jumping off rocks and having fun in its waters, whilst in Northern Italy, beach biking is a thing (it even has annual motor races). You can find this at Bibione Beach. In Lignano paddle boarding, wind surfing or yacht trips are also available

The best for: Pristine waters

Some of the beaches in Italy you could honestly mistake for beaches in the Caribbean. One of them is Cala Granara in Isola di Spargi in the Maddalena Archipelago. Chaia de Luna on Ponza is spectacular as is the most pristine beach in Tuscany, Spaggia di Sansone.

The best for: Surfing

You wouldn’t really label Italy with surfing; it just seems more of a country of indulging in its fine food and intriguing towns and villages. Yet, surfing is a fine sport that isn’t new to the Italians. The best places to go surfing in Italy are in the South of the country, which have the better conditions for a good wave or two. Sardinia has a ton of consistent surf spots including Poetto beach, Racca Point, Torres del Setelle and Solanos.