Always looking for the perfect combination between a fabulous beach holiday and an exciting city sightseeing tour? Some of Europe’s greatest city beach breaks offer the best of both worlds. Enjoy the many architectural highlights and attractions during the day or hang out on the beach, it’s up to you. Read on for our top 4 picks!
The Catalonian capital is probably the most popular choice for a cosmopolitan city where it is possible to sunbathe all day long, and with good reason. Exhibiting a huge collection of sublime art, architecture and offering world famous tapas gastronomy, it’s however, also a gorgeous seaside destination, with golden beaches stretching along the Mediterranean Sea.
City Highlights: Don’t miss the La Sagrada Familia church, an incredible feat of creativity that is still being built more than 100 years after construction work first began. Veer off the tourist trail to Carrer de la Riera Baixa for vintage shops, and many beer-stops. Explore the iconic Barcelona landmark La Pedrera. Antoni Gaudi’s ingenious and original architectural techniques make this building truly unique. Inside is the Espai Gaudi; the only exhibition dedicated to the life and work of the great architect.
Beach Highlights: Looking for an adventure? Set sail from Barcelona’s Olympic Port on a private sailing trip and discover the beauty of the city’s iconic skyline. Learn about the landmarks from your skipper, who’ll guide the boat along the coast as you sit back and enjoy the sea air and the views.
Barcelona’s got fierce competition for most stunning seaside city with Dubrovnik in the mix. This walled city on the Adriatic Coast is known for its artistic traditions–marble streets, baroque buildings, and stone-carved churches–and the neon-blue waters lapping at its shores.
City Highlights: Take in the breathtaking views of Dubrovnik’s port and Old Town, and visit landmarks vital to the political and defensive history of the city. Your guide will reveal why places like the Revelin Fortress, Minceta Tower, and Lovrijenac Fortress, were essential structures in the protection of Dubrovnik’s people and prosperity.
Beach Highlights: Cruise to 3 of the most beautiful islands in the Dubrovnik archipelago on a 9-hour tour of the Elafiti Islands from Dubrovnik. Feast on grilled fish and taste wine in the company of local musicians. Enjoy panoramic views of the Green Islands.
The sight of this Southern Italian city is breathtaking,including volcanic landscape, charming boulevards, and white sands sidling along the Mediterranean Sea. Every kind of traveller will find his favorite things to do: from exclusive beach clubs and luxurious shopping, to crowded souvenir markets and long hikes up Mount Vesuvius.
City Highlights: Following a typical Naples lunch of pizza at one of Pompeii’s cafés, you will then be driven close to the summit of the mountain that destroyed it. From there, it’s just a short walk to the lip of the crater.
The only active volcano in continental Europe, Vesuvius has erupted many times, but it was the destruction of Pompeii and its surrounding towns that made it most famous. Climb to the top, and walk around the crater, taking in the atmosphere of the smoking mountain. Enjoy the stunning views over the Bay of Naples.
Beach Highlights: Sorrento stands on a terrace rising steeply above the sea on one of the most spectacular points of the Campanian coast. Because of its enchanting position and mild climate, sheltered by the surrounding hills, Sorrento has been a favorite resort since Roman times. Enjoy Sorrento’s picturesque bays, the Marina Grande and Marina Piccola, as well as panoramic views of the coast, the surrounding hills covered in olive groves, and the crystal-clear sea.
This French city on the Mediterranean is not only the perfect location for a holiday on the beach with coconut-flavored cocktails, colorful parasols and crystal-clear water. But stray from the seaside and you’ll find a charming little old town, Roman ruins, major art collections and a nightlife scene, that is known all over the world.
City Highlights: Visit the Old Town, known as Vieux Nice, and soak up the atmosphere at the flower and flea markets. Stroll past pavement cafés and trendy boutiques in central Nice, and head to the top of Castle Hill to see its manicured gardens and the panoramic views of Nice, St. Tropez, and the French Alps.
Beach Highlights: There’s a wide range of free pebble beaches with lifeguards and showers – perfect if you would like to spend a few hours of lazing. If you are looking for something a little more luxurious, Nice and Antibes have several private beaches with exclusive bars, restaurants and sun beds.