The summer’s most popular destinations abound with beautiful beaches. Read here about our personal favourites!
Europe has some of the summer’s most popular destinations – from beautiful Greece to classic Spain, trendy Croatia and sunny Cyprus. The list is long, and each country has its own distinctive character – but they also have one thing in common: Mile-long coastlines, idyllic dunes, secluded bays and postcard-perfect beaches!
The beaches are definitely one of the reasons we love our destinations. From the crystal clear waters of Croatia to secluded paradise bays in Greece and magic in Cyprus. No matter where you travel this summer, there is a beach paradise for everyone. Sometimes you just need to step outside the tourist trails to find them , says Beatriz Rivera – travel enthusiast and press officer at Apollo Norway.
Here we have collected the very best beaches we are flying to this summer – from those that win international awards year after year to our personal favourites.
Mallorca’s beach paradise
Few destinations are better known for their fantastic beaches than Mallorca , and among the most popular beaches you will find the children’s paradise Alcudia beach, which is 14 km long. With fine-grained, light sand and clear turquoise water, it stretches all the way from Alcudia, via Playa de Muro and to Ca’n Picafort. By the large Alcudia bay there is often a cooling breeze, so even the hottest days are beautiful.
– Mallorca is the beach paradise above them all! Almost no matter where on the island you are, you will be able to find your favorite beach. Although there can sometimes be a bit of a fight for space on the Alcudia beach, year after year it is among the most popular, especially for families with children, and therefore it is almost a must to mention, says Beatriz.
See our trips to Mallorca here.
Navagio Beach – magic on Zakynthos
Navagio Beach on Zakynthos , and so known as “Smugglers Cove”, is like taken out of a magazine. You get here by boat, and according to legend, the Greek authorities discovered in 1981 that the ship was smuggling women, cigarettes and alcohol. In pursuit of the masterminds, the ship ran aground and was stranded.
– Navagio beach is one of the most photographed beaches in all of Greece. But the reality is so much better than the pictures! The chalky white, soft sand and the azure sea create a beautiful contrast to the rusty ship. This is also the island’s biggest tourist attraction, and there are no restaurants or umbrellas here – so get there early! And remember sunscreen and a parasol, advises Beatriz.
See our trips to Zakynthos here.
Egremni Beach – one of the most famous beaches in the world
Are your eyes almost hurting from looking at this picture? There is nothing to say about that! This is paradise on earth.. or more precisely on Lefkas in Greece! Egremni Beach is one of the most popular on the island and at the same time among the most beautiful in the world. The picturesque beach is located in the southwest of Lefkas and boasts the finest sand and crystal clear water. Precisely for this reason, it is also among the most photographed stretches on the entire island. One thing is for sure – you will not be disappointed if you visit the beach one day!
See our trips to Lefkas here.
Valtos beach in picturesque Parga
Romantic Parga is located on the west coast of Greece, in the region of Epirus, southeast of Corfu . The perfect location by the water and the varied coastal landscape with small islands create the illusion of an island feeling. But not only that, Parga also has several fine beaches. Parga’s beaches consist of fine-grained sand or pebbles surrounded by green olive groves. There are both cafes and taverns within convenient distance.
Just outside the town of Parga lies the fantastic coarse-grained sandy beach Valtos beach in scenic surroundings. Our popular Apollo Mondo Selected hotel Parga Beach is also located here, which is appreciated by both children and adults. Opposite the beach there are taverns and cafes, so feel free to take a day trip. The easiest way to get to Valtos beach is by taxi boat from Parga, but you can also easily walk along the beautiful Venetian fortress, which is the city’s hallmark.
See our trips to Parga here.
Zlatni Rat – Croatia’s pride
Holiday favorite Croatia offers some of Europe’s most beautiful beaches, and Zlatni Rat is clearly the most famous (and photographed!) of them. The white sandy beach is protected by the harbor town of Bol on the island of Brac, and is easily accessible by boat from Split and the Makarska Riviera.
– I was on a cruise and in the middle of breakfast the captain invited me to go out on deck. I’m pretty sure I was star-eyed as we slowly sailed past this empty, vast, chalk-white sand – surrounded by crystal clear, turquoise sea. I was simply not prepared for the beach to be so beautiful in reality , admits Rivera.
Approx. half an hour later she stood at the tip of “The Golden Horn” with a frappé in one hand and the mobile camera in the other. This had to be documented.
– Like most beaches in Croatia, you get the best experience in the low season. Zlatni Rat is a famous landmark, and in July the beach quickly fills up with tourists. But if you come here early in the morning or outside the high season, then here is absolutely perfect , explains the travel enthusiast.
See our trips to Croatia here.
A piece of the Maldives on Crete
We can’t avoid it. Elafonissi Beach is a must when traveling to Crete! The pink Elafonissi Beach in Crete is said to be one of Crete’s absolute best beaches. At the water’s edge, the shells of crayfish give the sand a romantic pink glow, the water is clear and shallow, and you can go out to the small island called Elafonissi, which is also a nature reserve. The wonderful beach is often called the Maldives of Crete, and it is easy to understand why. The road to Elafonissi is also an experience in itself, as it goes through scenic surroundings.
In the north-east corner of the much-loved Crete lies Europe’s only natural palm-fringed beach: Vai. The beach is almost 300 meters long and is surrounded by around 5,000 palm trees – making it one of Crete’s most popular excursion destinations. So, for example, if you live in the holiday towns of Ierapetra & Koutsounaris , this beach is perfect for a day out.
– Vai is a secluded piece of palm paradise on Crete’s relatively untouched east coast. In July and August you are far from alone here, but the beach is fantastic and offers everything from golden sand and good sunbeds to activities such as SUP, kayaks and water bikes. The crystal clear water and the unique location make the beach a must for everyone who lives in the area , says Rivera.
Apollo boss Erik Haug agrees. The self-proclaimed Crete enthusiast has vacationed on the island every summer for the past ten years and has tested almost every beach. Besides Vai, he loves Crete’s pink pride Elafonissi.
See our trips to Crete here.
Luoma Bay – magic in Cyprus
In Cyprus you will find an incredible number of beautiful beaches, and it is therefore not surprising that it is a big favorite for many – especially among families with children. One of the fine beaches, where Apollo also has the popular Apollo Mondo local hotel Myro-Androu , is Luoma Bay. The beach is clean, calm and with the best restaurants nearby. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the view on the beach either, so here there is plenty of opportunity to get good family photos or update your social media.