Fred.\ Holidays has an unrivalled range of fantastic European city breaks for anyone wanting to head abroad for some time away, but that is not all we have up our sleeves. Sometimes, in order to relax, we need to take ourselves out of the hustle and bustle of the city and head for the calming waves and welcoming sands of the beach.
Places such as the Caribbean, Mauritius and The Maldives have always been synonymous with stretches of stunning seaside, but these pictures are less likely to enter your mind when contemplating a trip to mainland Europe. Granted, resorts on the Costa del Sol, the French Riviera or the Amalfi Coast are well-known to people who enjoy holidays of this kind, but it's time to take a look at some of the more secret beach areas the continent has to offer.
Timmendorfer Strand, Germany
When you think of Germany thoughts turn to iconic, culture-rich cities such as Berlin, Munich or Cologne, but along the Baltic coastline, there are some great beaches to be found. Timmendorfer Strand is situated to the north-east of Hamburg and Lübeck and has become a somewhat trendy retreat for people looking for something different.
The sand stretches for nearly five miles and is littered with excellent restaurants, great retail therapy opportunities, and wonderfully nostalgic scenery which together create an interesting contrast. There is the local Sea Life centre to keep younger travellers interested, whilst the popular and similarly nautical resort of Travemünde isn't too far away.
Having been founded in around 600BC, this Romanian city is the oldest populated area of the country. It boasts one of the largest ports in Europe, a beach that stretches for eight miles and a climate which regularly reaches temperatures of around 30 degrees in the summer months. Tourists are attracted by the warm waters of the Black Sea and the nearby natural mineral springs, but there is also plenty to see in the city itself.
History surrounds you here and there is beautiful architecture at every turn. There are a variety of different cathedrals and mosques which stand out from the skyline, whilst the remnants of a roman mosaic complex, which used to connect the city centre with the harbour, can still be seen today. A visit to Constanta could be easily included within a Bucharest city break as a train journey between the two only takes around two and a half hours.
The Dalmatian Coast is a fantastic destination for those looking for an alternative to the mainstream beaches in Europe. And even less well-known than the island resorts in this part of the world is the Makarska Rivijera which stretches from Dubrovnik to Split.
Makarska itself lies in the shadow of Mount Biokovo, helping to give it a much warmer climate than some of the other places in the region. The beautiful carved out coves are met be the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic Sea to create a seaside paradise which also offers modest nightlife. Away from the coastline, there are chances to take part in a bit of hiking on the trails in the surrounding hills or step further inland to explore the local markets and open air dining facilities in the town square.
We round off our tour of Europe's forgotten beaches in the country where we began, Germany. However, this time, we are on the North Sea coastal island of Sylt, found close to the border with Denmark. This unlikely holiday retreat has become popular with the rich and famous as media features on the retreating coastline have brought it into the spotlight.
The island itself has a recognisable shape which almost resembles the head of a hammerhead shark, and is only accessible via a train which regularly traverses the causeway which connects Sylt to the mainland.
Aside from the twenty-five-mile-long beach, it is nature that draws many tourists to this part of Germany. The rugged dunes contrasted against the picturesque lighthouses make for a dramatic landscape which is home to many species of flora and fauna. These include theSylt Rose, many different species of water bird and the Natterjack Toad; endangered inside German borders.
If you would like to discover some of the lesser-known seaside locations in Europe, then Fred.\ Holidays can help you arrange the perfect holiday. Call us today for more information on these unique coastal areas or fill out an online enquiry form.