Beach holidays come to our minds as we approach summer. However, as the weather hasn’t lived up to our expectations this summer – now’s the time to book that last-minute holiday. Head into the sunshine next week or plan a beach holiday for any time of the year – when those clouds appear.
Will you go with family, friends or travel solo? You don’t have to travel too far! For inspiration, here’s a selection of some of the best beach holiday destinations to guide you in the right direction. So, get set to visit the dunes at any time of the year…
Beach holidays in winter
Cyprus is a great island for a beach holiday in January because the seawater is still around 17o C. It is a great place to stay in a quiet townhouse and embrace a slower pace of life. If you make Coral Bay Beach your location of choice build sandcastles by day. Then hang around long enough and it is a great place to catch a spectacular while you dine Alfresco. For more views of carefree coastlines, head to Pissouri, Santa Barbara, or Vrisoudia beach in Paphos, which are Blue Flag beaches. Looking for an award winning beach? For 2023, Nissi beach in Ayia Napa, has been named one of the top 10 beaches in Europe.
Gran Canaria is the warmest Canary Island to fly to in February for a beach holiday. Explore one of its many amazing beaches! Each has its own atmosphere, natural conditions, and unique sand. For instance, Playa Amadores is a purposely built beach with fine white sand like icing sugar. In contrast, Maspalomas beach has a natural and unique landscape. To the side of the beach is the Maspalomas Dunes Nature Reserve – an immense expanse of sand that is constantly re-created into mesmerising sculptures by the wind. For a quiet beach with spectacular views and palms spend Hoya del Pozo beach is not to be missed. You can find it north of Playa del Hombre beach: well known as a favourite among surfers.
Beach holidays for spring
The Azores are one of the best places in Europe for a beach holiday in March to avoid crowds. There are over 30 unique beaches to explore here, each with ash-coloured sands and volcanic rock, surrounded by the Atlantic.
Give yourself time to find 12 of the best beaches on São Miguel, the biggest of the islands. Populo Beach has one of the largest sandy areas on the island. While Praia dos Mosteiros has exceptional views. No matter what beach you find yourself on, it will hold its own Blue Flag. However, always pay attention to the other flags in the area because big waves and strong currents are common.
To escape the April showers and discover some Easter sun book a beach holiday in Lanzarote. Known for its all-year-round warm and sunny climate it’s the hottest of the Canary Islands. It may be the closest Canary Island to the Sahara desert, but temperatures drop a bearable 23 degrees in April. Home to volcanoes, lava fields, and both black and red earth, there are still plenty of white and golden sandy beaches to find. For example, stay in Playa Blanca and relax while overlooking a sandy beach and the deep blue sea.
A top location to discover beautiful shorelines and harmony in May is the Algarve. Situated along Portugal’s south coast, you can find some of the world’s best beaches, such as Ponta da Piedade (Piety Point). Ponta da Piedade is the place to capture majestic rock formations, sea arches, caves, ochre cliffs, and crystal-clear green waters on camera. As it has no sand it’s technically not a beach. However, its bay is often referred to as the beach of Ponta da Piedade and it is worth mentioning here for the views alone.
If you’re looking for a quiet spot, Praia da Falesia is one of the longest sandy beaches – plenty of areas for everyone to space out, no matter how busy it gets. 6km of golden sand all but guarantees you will find a quiet spot. To ensure you have a peaceful beach holiday before the summer season starts book a private villa with direct beach access.
Beach holidays in summer
For the best beach holidays in June visit the island of Sardinia in Italy. Along the northeast coast, you’ll find Porto Istana. Here, admire calming turquoise waves and feel the warm, white sand between your toes. If you’re looking for more action, dive down to see the marine wonders on Alghero Bay’s seabed, within the protected Marine Area of Capo Caccia in the North West of this sunny island.
In July arrive in Denmark’s capital – Copenhagen – and travel one hour north to find North Sealand (North Zealand). North Sealand is known as the Danish Riviera due to its Scandinavian summer cottages, spas, and traditional “bathing hotels”. This makes it a splendid setting for a beach holiday. While you’re there, try a water sport like windsurfing or walk down to Lynæs Beach for a swim in the shallow waters. Another good swimming spot is Hornbæk beach. Hornbæk is the largest beach on the north coast. It is the perfect place to find a quiet spot during an early visit to watch the sunrise.
In August, visit northwest Ireland to enjoy County Donegal’s 772-mile coastline. It’s a top location for a beach holiday where you can capture great photos of the waves crashing against the coast. Also, there are many Coastal Paths, Waymarked Ways, National Looped Walks, and Island Loops to explore every nook. For instance, you could walk along part of the Wild Atlantic Way toward Ballymastocker Bay (known as Portsalon Beach). Ballymastocker has recently been voted the second-best beach on the planet by readers of Observer Magazine. Well worth ticking off during your stay.
Beach holidays in autumn
September is the best time to book a beach holiday on the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia because it takes on a tranquil, laidback atmosphere without the crowds. The weather is less humid, making it perfect for island hopping., yet the sea is still warm enough to swim. If you love to bag a bargain, prices are well below peak times and less than most other Mediterranean destinations. Overall, Croatia has a jaw-dropping 115 blue-flag beaches to laze upon. See if you can find your own hidden oasis there.
For a spectacular European beach holiday off the shores of Spain, visit the island of Ibiza in October. The weather is still sunny and temperatures stubbornly remain above an average of 25ºC. To bask in the sunlight, stay in the popular district of Playa d’en Bossa. It is where you will find the longest beach on the island. Your accommodation should also be a short walk from Playa d’en Bossa beach and its shallow waters. For lunch, discover a variety of bars and beach restaurants along the shore for mealtimes, which serve a mouth-watering mixture of Mediterranean meals.
To find more great food, find a beach club in the South. This is the quieter and calmer end of the island, where there are fewer crowds and lower-tempo music. For a peaceful beach holiday in Ibiza head to the southeast to Santa Eulalia. Here, you can stroll along a secluded beach called S’Argamassa and swim in crystalline waters.
For a beach holiday in November, explore the volcanic islands of Cape Verde, which are off the West coast of Africa. In November, the average temperature in Cape Verde is around 28ºC, which makes it a blissful retreat from the cold weather at home. Stroll along endless sands at show-stopping Santa Maria. Santa Maria is a well-known beach lover’s paradise on the island of Sal. From here, go island-hopping and explore each of Cape Verde’s 10 unique islands at your leisure.
Beach holidays for winter sun
Have you considered a beach holiday in December? Add some winter sun to your Christmas break by visiting Malta. Malta is one of Europe’s sunniest places, so it’s a popular choice for a beach holiday throughout the year. The weather is humid and, as you’d expect, warmer than in the UK (around 11-17o C in December) plus, Malta is traditionally a Roman Catholic country. So, Christmas is always going to be a big event on the Maltase calendar! During your Christmas sunshine break, admire decorative streets as you walk down to the crystal-clear waters at the beach. Why not take a boat to The Blue Lagoon, on the island of Comino? You’ll find it between Malta and its sister island Gozo.
Free Spirit travel insurance for beach holidays
As you can see there are many beach holidays to enjoy throughout the year – at a time you fancy. Just take Free Spirit Travel Insurance along for your fly-and-flop holiday and you’ll have the freedom to travel – with Coronavirus Cover included!