Ranging from the jet setter strips of the Côte d'Azur to the ivory-coloured sands of Dalmatia and the Turkish Riviera, this list of seven of the Med’s most beautiful beaches highlight another couple of reasons why the YachtLife might just be the best way to while away a summer in Europe. Expect sunbathing spots aplenty, windsurfing ops, gorgeous vistas of the European coast and more beach parties than you can handle!
Velika Duba, Croatia
Velika Duba is one of the more off-the-beaten-track coves on the Makarska Riviera, famed for its totally secluded half-pebbled sands and quiet private enclave of the Dalmatian coast. LBW head this way on our sun-splashed YachtLife Croatia trips – the ability to pull up and swim in hidden, inaccessible beaches like Velika Duba is one of the beauties of boating through the Adriatic. The waters are calm and the leaning coastal trees offer pockets of shade throughout the day, while Makarska town is never too far away when it’s time to sip cocktails and party until the early hours!
Navagio Beach, Zakynthos
Photographed and photographed some more, Navagio Beach is perhaps better known by its casual nickname: Shipwreck Beach. Famed for the shell of the old freighter ship, MV Panagiotis, now rusting and half-submerged in the ivory-white sands smack bang at its center, the little cove oozes tales of piracy and smuggling. And while those stories might just be all apocrypha, there’s no denying the breath-taking character of Navagio. Sat between two soaring limestone cliffs, washed over by perennially cerulean shore waters and accessible only by boat, this one’s a veritable jewel of Zakynthos and the Ionian Isles!
Blanketed in fields of sun-yellow maize and sunflowers, shady groves of scented eucalyptus trees and looming Spanish pines, postcard-perfect Porquerolles is unquestionably one of the most beautiful beach destinations on the entire French Riviera. Travelers typically opt to explore the island on two wheels (there are no cars allowed here), discovering rocky coves on the more secluded southern shoreline and beautiful stretches of sand in the north. Snorkelling opportunities abound, while the bobbing outline of millionaire yachts on the horizon are one of the few reminders of the island’s proximity to Saint Tropez!
The jewel of Western Crete is hidden behind a wall of rugged coastal peaks and great swathes of tomato and olive plantations, cut-off from the overrun resort stretches closer to Chania town in the east. This is a place of crumbling ancient ruins and scrambling seaweed vines, where the rollers crash against the shore and nudist enclaves meet traditional tavernas below the cliffs. Falasarna is a little harder to reach than many of Crete’s more popular beaches true, but the hair-pinning bends over the Lefka Ori foothills are totally worth it!
Zlatni Rat Beach, Croatia
Just around the bend from the hedonistic cocktail bars and clubs of Hvar (one of the partying stops on our YachtLife Croatia itinerary) is where travelers will discover impossibly beautiful Zlatni Rat Beach. Hailed as the ‘Golden Horn’, this spit of pearly-white sand pokes its way into the Adriatic Sea like some giant natural sunbed just waiting to be used. It’s a fine spot for curing the hangovers after partying along the strips of Hvar town, while the unusual breezes of the so-called Maestral winds have made Zlatni Rat a favorite amongst windsurfers too!
Oludeniz Beach, Turkey
Just a short jaunt south from the yacht-spotted harbours and party strips of Bodrum (one of the top destinations on our much-loved YachtLife Med itinerary), Oludeniz Beach can be found occupying its own little corner on the edge of the Aegean Sea. Thanks to strict building regulations in the surrounding nature reserve, the alabaster-white pebbles of the beach and its rugged setting on the scrub-dressed hills of the Turquoise Coast remain virtually untouched. The waters are actually a part of a seaside lagoon, meaning this one’s also got calm swells and fantastic views over the carob-topped cliffs of the Turkish Riviera.
Lindos Beach, Rhodes
Topped by one eye-wateringly wonderful acropolis of sinewy rock and stone, where the ancient temples of Rhode’s erstwhile Doric masters crumble against the deep blues of the Greek horizon, Lindos does well to fuse the historic wonders of the Aegean with the island’s truly majestic beach offering. There are actually countless little coves and sand spits to settle down on here, including the likes of Lindos Main Beach, protected from the sea by the arched fingers of two rocky promontories, and rugged St Pauls Bay, where the turquoise waters shimmer below the rises of the great citadel above! Just another option on that YachtLife Med trip.
"Rich is a traveler, writer and filmmaker who's always after somewhere new to go. He's been hopping around the globe since 2011, from Poland to Paris, Mumbai to Ho Chi Minh. He runs several travel sites of his own, from Ski Eastern to Live Krakow to Crabs Move Sideways. When he's not planning his next trip, he's usually listening to 50s jazz, surfing in Wales, skiing in the Alps, or just swigging (too much) great craft beer."
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