Unusual beach breaks in Europe

Eschew the busy coastlines of the likes of Brighton and Broadstairs and make a beeline for our pick of the most off the beaten track European beach breaks this summer…

Luskentyre Sands

Isle of Harris, Scotland

This untapped gem of a beach on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides wouldn’t look out of place in the Caribbean. Think swathes of flour white sands, blue/green waters, mountains in the backdrop and the odd local white pony, which trots past, making this place seem quite magical.

Guincho Beach

Lisbon, Portugal

This year’s must-visit hotspot has got to be sun-soaked Lisbon. Steeped in history this coastal city has the gorgeous Guincho Beach a half an hour drive away. Backed by rippling sand dunes, there are fairly strong winds, which means it’s a great place for surfers (and tanners…). Don’t miss the delicious local ice-creams.

Bay of Kotor


Usurping Croatia for your hot holiday destinations this summer is Montenegro and our sunbathing spot of choice would be the Bay of Kotor. If you’re looking for a bay whose cobalt blue waters stop you in your tracks then this is it. Here it’s about pottering rocky moutcrops and motoring out on a relaxing boat trip in the Adriatic.

Sletten Strand


When you think beaches, Denmark is probably not the first place that springs to mind, but Sletten Strand – a short hop on the train from Copenhagen – is as peaceful as it is beautiful. Sit reading on its quiet, sandy, lapping shores before popping into the brilliant nearby Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

Monterosso al Mare

Cinque Terre, Italy

Cut into the cliff Monterosso makes up one of the five towns of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Cinque Terre. It’s the only sandy beach in the area and it’s teeny, but sunbathing on its sands and swimming its crystal-clear waters while looking up at the cliffs is bliss.