Many travelers flock to the Mediterranean shores of Italy, France and Spain for great beaches. If you look further north on the map of Europe, you will need a sweater if you visit outside of summer, however, the views and magical history are worth the slightly paler suntan.
Poland may not necessarily sound like the place to welcome sun worshipers, but there are beach towns across the coast of Pomerania (Pomorze) blaze with golden sands. ‘Hel’ may sound a curious name for paradise but the nefariously named peninsula juts out into the Baltic Sea, with sugary beaches and pine forests. Taking a coastal trip is the best way to take in the region’s beaches.
Sweden is fringed with great shorelines from the ‘Rivera’ of Falsterbo to a far flung hideaway of Hamneskar. For great beaches all year round and a glimpse into the ancient past, you have to head to Halland. You may soak up some rays on Tylosand beach. There are family friendly camp locations in towns like Varberg down the western coat to Falkenberg.
Curonian Spit, Lithuania
The Curonian Spit connects Lithuania to the isolated Kaliningrad region of Russia. You may take a ferry from Klaipeda to this narrow outcrop of land, which is bordered by a lagoon. The fishing town of Nida is a top attraction which entices visitors with its colorful houses and bargain seafood.
South Coast, Wales
Travelers to Wales will stumble on more beautiful beaches than they thought possible, using an 870-mile coastal path that allows hikers to walk the entire length of the country. The coastline of Gower Peninsula attracts celebrity and surfers, in order to enjoy the guilty pleasures of the British beach experience, you have to venture east to Tenby. Caldey Island is also a good place to get a glimpse of the island’s spiritual heart. Swim in the clear waters of Castle Beach or at low tide wander out all the way to St. Catherine Island.
Saaremaa Island, Estonia
This Baltic island has numerous spas and thousands of visitors flock to Saaremaa to be massaged, buffed and slathered in mineral masks. This Estonian island is all about total body relaxation. Stroll along a café-lined street and 13th century fortress in Kuressaare, then head west out of the town to Mändjala-Järve beach.
If you want more remote or isolated shores, head to Tukhana beach on Saaremaa’s northern coast. You can also leave the crowd behind and explore the west coast beaches on the outskirts of Vilsandi National Park. Saaremaa is a four-hour bus transfer from fairytale capital Tallinn on the Estonian mainland.