There’s no need to take a long haul flight to enjoy the combined benefits of sun, sea and surf – some of the world’s most stunning coastal spots are right here in Europe. These three top destinations have something for everyone, whether you’re looking to sightsee, party, or simply relax and enjoy the sunshine.
Aiya Napa, Cyprus: It has a reputation as one of the top clubbing destinations on the Med – and for good reason. In summer the resort is a favourite of the young and glam, who come to trawl the bars and clubs, ramp up the volume with outdoor beach parties and top up their tan in itsy-bitsy swimwear. Aiya Napa takes on a more relaxed vibe during the winter season, making it a good choice for a spot of out-of-season sunshine. Alternatively, if you’re planning a summer break then take a look at the nearby resort town of Protaras, which is a popular family destination. On The Beach has some great deals on beach holidays at Protaras.
Costa del Sol, Spain: The ‘Sunshine Coast’ encompasses a large section of the Spanish coastline, but with so many gorgeous beaches and popular towns in the area it’s impossible to pick out one single resort as topping all the others. Wherever you go in the region, you’ll find white-sand beaches, well-maintained golf courses and a host of nightlife destinations perfect for letting your hair down. Visit during a carnival such as the Fiesta de Los Reyes in January to see the area at its most authentic (and with temperature still in the high teens during the winter months you won’t miss out on the chance to tan either). For the culturally minded, the birthplace of Picasso makes a great day trip and the most popular areas have a scattering of fascinating museums and religious sites.
Kos, Greece: This stunning island close to the coast of Turkey is a true Mediterranean paradise. It’s got it all: archaeological heritage, year-round balmy weather, waters bluer than the sky and a selection of resorts geared towards young people and families alike. For a taste of the local nightlife head to the village of Kardamena, popular with the young crowd; or base yourself in the main port, Kos, to experience the best of the region’s historical and tourist attractions. From wine-tasting to walking in the mountains, there’s plenty to keep you entertained when you’re not chilling out on the beach.