The Best Hidden Gem Beach Towns In Europe
Already dreaming about your next trip to the beach? Discover the best hidden gem beach towns in Europe for your next coastal getaway. From the Rio Marina on Elba Island to Veli Losinj on Losinj Island and the serene shores of Torrevieja, these top underrated destinations are waiting to be explored. Enjoy a relaxing, rejuvenating, and restoring beach vacation in Europe’s most charming and serene coastal towns.
Summer in Europe attracts travelers from around the world seeking its breathtaking beaches and scenic coastal towns. However, for those seeking a more intimate beach experience, skip the crowded destinations and head to Europe’s hidden gem towns along the coast. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to finding the best hidden gem beach towns in Europe, but these undiscovered towns are sure to offer a unique and unforgettable experience.
Europe boasts numerous breathtaking beaches, each with its own unique charm. While some may argue that the best beaches can be found in Italy or Greece, the true hidden gems are often undiscovered. Discover the best kept secret beach towns in Europe, away from the crowds and off the beaten path. These stunning destinations await your exploration and, as with all great secrets, their beauty won’t remain a secret for long. Embrace the beauty of Europe on a more intimate level by visiting its charming, under-the-radar coastal towns.
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Here are the best hidden gem beach towns in Europe:
1. Batumi – Adjara Region – Georgia
This year, embark on a journey to discover one of the best hidden gem beach towns in Europe – Batumi. Located in the Adjara region of Georgia, Batumi is a dazzling and remarkable destination that can be visited anytime of the year. Explore the historic streets of the old city center, go for a hike, bike ride, or canyoning in the nearby Adjara mountains, visit one of Europe’s most beautiful botanical gardens, relax on Batumi beach, or indulge in a luxurious seaside wellness hotel.
Batumi is a city rich in history, cultural heritage, and unique museums, known for its bold architecture and a hub for food and wine lovers. In the spring months of May and June, the city is filled with the fragrance of cherry blossoms making it an ideal summer destination for a combination of city and beach vacation, wellness, and shopping. The fall season brings vibrant colors to Batumi’s parks and the Adjara Region’s nature, making it the perfect time for a city-nature getaway with loved ones.
Batumi is an exceptional city break destination in Europe, with a plethora of trendy hotels, unique fusion restaurants combining Asian and European cuisines, stunning rooftop bars, independent shops, fashion designers, stylists, and an electrifying nightlife. The city is much more than just a hidden gem, it’s a must-visit destination. Whether you want to hit the slopes or immerse yourself in the winter magic, Batumi will continue to surprise you.
2. Torrevieja – Alicante – Spain
Discover one of the best hidden gem beach towns in Europe – Torrevieja and its stunning pink lake, the Laguna Salada de Torrevieja. Located in the Natural Park of the Lagunas de la Mata y Torrevieja, this pink lake will leave a lasting impression on your Instagram and your memories.
Not only does it have a unique color, but it is also believed to have therapeutic properties for rheumatism and healing properties due to its salty waters. In addition, you can also find fresh water lakes and kilometers of gorgeous beaches nearby. Book your flights to Alicante, accommodation, and activities in Spain to experience this hidden gem for yourself.
3. Pietrapertosa – Basilicata Region – Italy
Discover the best hidden gem beach towns in Europe with a visit to Basilicata, a region in Italy known for its beauty and named after the Greek word “Basilikos” meaning Byzantine emperor. It was previously referred to as “Lucania”, meaning “sacred wood”, which is fitting for this region located between the heel and tip of Italy’s boot and known for its forests and mountains. Explore the famous city of Matera, known for its basil blooms, while searching for the best hidden gem beach towns in Europe. Make sure to include Castelmezzano, a quaint village regarded as one of Italy’s top hidden treasures, in your itinerary.
Similarly to Castelmezzano, the charming hamlet of Pietrapertosa is situated among mountains and appears to be carved into the rocks. With its historic homes located at the base of a castle and its narrow alleyways, Pietrapertosa is considered one of Italy’s most picturesque medieval villages. Climb to the summit of the castle for breathtaking views. If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, try one of Europe’s fastest zip lines that connects these two hidden gems of Italy: Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa.
4. Rio Marina – Elba Island – Tuscany – Italy
Rio Marina is a hidden gem in Tuscany that is located on the island of Elba. Surrounded by both the sea and the mountains, this beautiful destination was once the mining capital of the island, but today it attracts visitors seeking its golden sand beaches, clear waters, and secluded coves, such as Cala delle Alghe and Spiaggia Luisi d’Angelo. With 8 ferries departing daily from Piombino on the mainland to Covo on Elba Island, Rio Marina is just a 10-minute drive away.
5. Veli Losinj – Losinj Island -Primorje-Gorksi Kotar County – Croatia
One of the best hidden gem beach towns in Europe, Veli Losinj is just a 10-minute drive from the stunning town of Mali Losinj in Croatia. This secret destination will captivate you with its 100% natural landscapes, crystal clear blue waters, sunny skies, and delicious food. Croatia has become one of the most popular travel destinations in recent years, thanks to its enchanting beaches, breathtaking attractions, and hidden gems like Veli Losinj. Historically, Veli Losinj was a thriving fishing port until the early 20th century.
Veli Losinj, located at the base of the Kalvarija mountain with views of the Mediterranean, has been transformed into a tourist-friendly paradise over the years. With new nature activities such as an aromatherapy center, it caters to essential oil enthusiasts. Book your flights, accommodation, and activities in Croatia for a memorable holiday filled with secret spots, history, nature, and sun on one of the most stunning islands in the country.
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6. Calella de Palafrugell – Catalonia -Spain
Calella de Palafrugell is a hidden gem in Europe that offers the perfect escape from city life. It’s a charming, old fishing village renowned for its tranquil atmosphere and stunning coves and beaches. With preserved architecture, Calella de Palafrugell is one of the most picturesque villages in the Costa Brava. Book your flights to Barcelona (1.5 hour drive away) and your accommodation in either Barcelona or Calella de Palafrugell at the best available price.
7. Bauduen – Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur – France
Bauduen is one of the best hidden gem beach towns in Europe, located 1h30 from Nice. This traditional village offers a perfect escape to nature, appealing to families who enjoy the nautical center and the many activities like visiting the astronomical observatory or the “Art in Toys” children’s museum. With affordable prices, compared to nearby Côte d’Azur, and a few local restaurants serving simple yet delicious cuisine, Bauduen is a must-visit holiday destination that not many people know about. It’s a truly beautiful village and one of the best hidden gems in Europe.
8. Moraira – Alicante – Costa Blanca – Spain
Moraira is a dream destination for a Spanish holiday, a small seaside resort that offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle. Nestled right by the water, it provides a relaxing and sun-soaked vacation experience. With its stunning cliffs, pine trees, and magnificent villas, Moraira resembles the Italian island of Capri, making it a perfect nature getaway for those seeking serenity. Among the most picturesque villages on the Costa Blanca, Moraira is ideal for both family and romantic vacations.
Moraira, one of Europe’s hidden gems, offers stunning beaches and a comfortable climate that never gets too hot, even during the peak of summer. Perfect for nature lovers and water sports enthusiasts, Moraira offers something for everyone. History buffs can visit the castle, golfers can enjoy the three golf courses, and those seeking relaxation can take a boat trip, swim, and end the day with a local cuisine in a restaurant. Moraira is an excellent summer holiday destination in Europe.
9. Thun – Canton of Bern – Switzerland
Thun is one of the best hidden gem beach towns in Europe that has given its name to the lake that bears the same name, Lake Thun. It is a popular destination for the inhabitants of Bern who come to spend relaxing weekends not far from the Swiss capital. The official language in Thun is German, but the locals speak an Alemannic Swiss German dialect.
Despite this, the town is cosmopolitan and visitors can easily communicate in German, English, French, or Italian. Thun offers a variety of activities for nature lovers, such as walks or bike rides along the lake, mountain biking, water sports, winter activities, and gastronomy & wellness stays. With its wide open spaces and focus on well-being, Thun is a perfect destination for those seeking peace and relaxation.
10. Port Grimaud – Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur
Grimaud, with its old stones and picturesque Provencal streets, is the ideal destination for history and culture enthusiasts. On the other hand, its neighboring Port Grimaud is a paradise for boat enthusiasts, offering opportunities for yacht and sailboat ownership or rental. The charming town, dotted with colorful houses and surrounded by canals, boasts an array of restaurants and bars with terrace seating, perfect for a leisurely stroll and a refreshing drink. Port Grimaud is truly a hidden gem among the best beach towns in Europe, embodying the charm of Venice on the French Riviera.
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11. Quedlinburg – Saxony Anhalt – Germany
The charming half-timbered houses and historical streets of Quedlinburg are sure to captivate visitors. This town is not just about its architectural beauty, but also about its rich history, with highlights including its castle and the church that houses the tomb of a 10th-century German king. For those who love nature, Quedlinburg also offers breathtaking walks in its surrounding vast forests.
Quedlinburg, a former powerful and wealthy city of the Middle Ages, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Europe’s most gorgeous medieval cities. While visiting Quedlinburg, make sure to also explore Erfurt, a hidden gem in Germany renowned for its beautiful Christmas market in winter. This city is a must-visit for history and architecture lovers.
12. Sainte Marguerite Island – Lerin Islands – Alpes Maritimes – France
Île Sainte-Marguerite is the highlight of the view from Cannes Croisette. Daily cruises from the ports of Cannes, Golfe-Juan, and Juan-les-Pins take visitors to the largest of the Lerins Islands. The island’s tourist office describes it as a peaceful and picturesque destination, with a blend of sea air, eucalyptus, and maritime pines. It’s a perfect place for relaxation, swimming, walking, cycling, or enjoying its stunning natural and wild beaches.
From April to October, two restaurants serve up local specialties. Sainte-Marguerite Island is an exceptional and unique travel destination, ideal for business seminars, eco-friendly vacations, sports holidays, and family trips. Its 100% natural setting makes it a must-visit location for those seeking a peaceful getaway.
13. Sant’ Angelo – Ischia Island – Italy
Discover Sant Angelo, the hidden gem beach town in Ischia, Europe with its charming colorful houses. Audrey Hepburn was a big fan of this destination and it was also the inspiration behind Elena Ferrante’s famous Neapolitan trilogy “My Brilliant Friend.” Ischia is a great destination but St Angelo is the perfect spot for a relaxing afternoon. Indulge in some fresh seafood at one of the many restaurants that get daily deliveries from local fishermen. Looking to relax after a delicious meal? Spend a day at the beach and rent a deckchair and parasol for the family for around thirty euros.
Take advantage of the crystal clear waters and bring your diving goggles to observe the abundant marine life. Explore hidden beaches for a romantic afternoon for just the two of you. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Aragonese Castle, one of the best Castles in Italy and popular film locations in Europe. To get to Ischia, you’ll need to take a ferry from the Port of Naples or Pozzuoli, which run daily all year round. During peak season, you can also take ferries from Salerno or Capri. Fly to Naples and make your way to the ferry.
14. Zahara de la Sierra – Cadiz – Andalusia – Spain
Discover one of the best hidden gem beach towns in Europe by exploring the stunning “Pueblos Blancos” of Andalusia. Zahara de la Sierra, located in the Province of Cadiz, is a must-visit destination that offers breathtaking views and breathtaking landscapes. This charming town is situated halfway between Cadiz (1 hour and 30 minutes away) and Malaga (1 hour and 45 minutes away), and is just a 40-minute drive from the hidden gem town of Ronda.
For an extra special experience, plan your visit during April when the orange trees are in full bloom, filling the region with their sweet scent. While exploring Andalusia, you may be tempted to pluck an orange from one of the many trees lining the streets of Seville or Cadiz. However, be warned that this variety of orange, known as “Citrus aurantium,” is not meant for eating fresh due to its intensely bitter taste and numerous seeds. Instead, these oranges are typically used in the making of marmalade, not for producing orange juice.
15. St Jean Cap Ferrat – Provence-Alpes-Côtes-D’Azur – France
Stroll along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice and proceed to the old town via the Boulevard Princesse Grace de Monaco. Take a break at Plage des Marinières and admire the stunning Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, a top wedding venue in Europe. Continue on to discover Saint-Jean Cap-Ferrat, a hidden gem in France. This picturesque journey can be completed on foot in 1 hour and 30 minutes, by bike in 30 minutes, by car, or via public transport in 30 minutes.
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is one of the best hidden gem beach towns in Europe, offering a truly unique experience. Surrounded by the Mediterranean, this green oasis is perfect for a leisurely, gastronomic vacation, with numerous beach restaurants to choose from. Shop at high-end or bohemian chic boutiques, or enjoy nature and sports activities. Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is a must-visit destination in France for anyone looking for a unique experience.
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16. Hondarribia – Basque Country – Spain
Unsure whether to visit France or Spain? Consider booking a stay in Hondarribia, a hidden gem in the Basque Country. This coastal Spanish town located in northern Spain is just a stone’s throw away from Hendaye in France. If you’re craving Camembert, simply take a 5-minute drive to the French supermarket. And if you’re looking for the famous Basque tapas, pixos, they’re available on both sides of the border.
The Basque Country is not only known for its delicious cuisine, but also its rich culture and traditions. To fully immerse yourself in the Basque experience, book your flights to Donostia-San Sebastián and your stay in Hondarribia. Consider also booking tours and activities, such as a “Famous Local Basque Cooking Club Private Meal,” to truly experience the local culture.
17. Théoule-sur-Mer – Provence-Alpes-Côte-D’Azur – France
Explore one of Europe’s best kept secret beach destinations, Théoule-sur-Mer in France. Immerse yourself in its stunning beaches, go for a hike, savor local cuisine, go diving, visit the picturesque Pointe de l’Aiguille natural park and the Estérel massif, and take a trip to Sainte Marguerite island. With over 1000 experiences to enjoy, Théoule-sur-Mer is truly a hidden gem, reminiscent of Tossa de Mar in Spain with its castle by the sea. Théoule-sur-Mer, one of Europe’s hidden gem destinations, offers everything you need for a relaxing afternoon.
With a variety of beach restaurants such as “Le Magellan”, “L’Aiguille”, “Le Marco Polo”, and “Chez Philippe”, open year-round or just during peak season, you have plenty of options for dining by the sea. A standout for a romantic or family vacation is the “Beach Restaurant Moya,” with its pool overlooking the ocean. Discover one of the most beautiful spots on the French Riviera and make Théoule-sur-Mer your next holiday destination.
18. Moustiers-Sainte-Marie – Alpes de Haute Provence – France
Examine the photo closely. Observe anything noteworthy? Indeed, you can see a picturesque village situated in Provence surrounded by stunning cliffs, however, look again. There is a star suspended between the cliffs above Moustiers Sainte-Marie. There are numerous tales behind it: one states that a knight pledged to display a 12-pointed star, representing his family, upon his return from battle unscathed. Another says that two lovers from rival families threw themselves off the cliffs, and the star represents the tragedy.
Well, come by and make up your own mind. Recognized as the “most beautiful village in France”, Moustiers-Sainte-Marie is a concealed treasure in Europe. It’s a must-visit destination for your travel itinerary. Whether it’s for a hiking adventure, kayaking in the Gorges du Verdon, or exploring the charming Moustiers Sainte-Marie village, its narrow streets, artisanal pottery, and local products, Moustiers Sainte-Marie is much more than just a hidden gem.
19. Ilha do Farol – Algarve – Portugal
Do you want to escape crowds, cities, and stress more than ever before? The ideal solution is to go on a holiday to an island for a week or two. If you’re looking for a complete change of scenery, the Algarve’s serene, little-known islands are a great choice. These islands, located in the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve, can be easily reached by boat from Olhao, with frequent and affordable crossings available. Recharge yourself this summer by visiting these secret islands.
For those who prefer a more rustic holiday experience, the “Ilha de Armona” is a great option with its car-free island and simple, natural campsite. To connect with the local community, head to Culatra Island where a small fishing village awaits. Farol Island, on the other hand, offers a more developed holiday experience with its restaurants and shops. You’ll be amazed by the charming and tiny holiday homes on the island and its laid-back atmosphere. The sunsets are stunning and a change of scenery is guaranteed.
20. Trogir – Split-Dalmatia – Croatia
Trogir, located near Split in Croatia, is one of the best hidden gem beach towns in Europe. With over 1000 Croatian islands and breathtaking hidden villages, it would take a lifetime to fully explore the country’s natural beauty. In Trogir, you can relax under olive and pine trees and take in the city’s iconic fort and picturesque port, making it a perfect destination for those seeking secret and authentic hidden gems.
Trogir appeals to seasoned travelers who value not only its blue skies and pristine waters but also its architectural, cultural, spiritual, and culinary heritage. The walls of Trogir have a rich history, having witnessed centuries of battles, conquests, celebrations, defeats, culture, and tradition. Make sure to visit the castle of Trogir, recognized as one of the most stunning castles in Croatia.
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21. Tisvildeleje, Denmark
Discover the best hidden gem beach towns in Europe, starting with Tisvildeleje in Denmark. Just a 45-minute drive from Copenhagen on the island of Zealand, this unspoiled Scandinavian town is the ideal base for exploring the stunning nearby coastline.
Golden beaches are bordered by verdant forests and the urban streets boast seafood stalls, pastry shops with the scent of freshly baked treats, sophisticated Nordic dining options, and antique stores. For some excitement, take a 30-minute drive east to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art to witness the Yayoi Kusama “Gleaming Lights” exhibit or spend a day sampling the culinary delights of Copenhagen, a hub for food lovers.
22. Sifnos, Greece
The best hidden gem beach towns in Europe include Sifnos, a little-known jewel in the Cyclades that offers all the picturesque beauty of Santorini, Mykonos, or Paros with its whitewashed homes and stunning blue waters. But what sets Sifnos apart is its reputation as Greece’s culinary capital, making it a must-visit destination for food lovers.
Discover the charming towns and tranquil villages of Kastro, Artemonas, Faros, and Apollonia and experience the splendor of boutique hotels, scenic hiking trails, and delectable tavernas such as Agianemi that serve scrumptious dishes like charred octopus, wholesome chickpea soup, and juicy souvlaki. To enjoy the finest beaches, venture out to the most beautiful and secluded stretches of sand that are best explored by boat.
23. Chia, Italy
Chia, located in the southernmost tip of Sardinia, is one of the best hidden gem beach towns in Europe. Known for its sun-kissed beaches, Porto Campana and s’Abba Durci, this idyllic town is a haven for beach lovers, surfers, and sunbathers. Although popular among Italians, Chia remains relatively unknown to tourists.
Su Giudeu, a beach surrounded by the ocean and lagoons where flamingos can be spotted, is another highlight of this town. Despite the busyness during July and August, Chia boasts stunning beach weather well into October, making it a perfect destination for shoulder season travelers.
24. Vis, Croatia
The Croatian island of Vis is often overlooked by tourists who flock to more popular destinations like Dubrovnik, Split, and Hvar. Located at the point where the Dalmatian Coast meets the Adriatic Sea, Vis is the furthest island from mainland Croatia. The island boasts stunning rocky cliffs and secluded beaches, including Stončica with its crystal clear waters and coral reefs visible below, and Zaglav with its soft sand. However, the most breathtaking beach on Vis is Stiniva, a secluded pebble beach surrounded by towering cliffs and set against the stunning backdrop of blue waters.
25. St. Ives, United Kingdom
St. Ives in Cornwall is one of the best hidden gem beach towns in Europe. With its breathtakingly blue seas, vibrant boats, charming cobblestone streets, and quaint fishing cottages, it’s easy to mistake it for a coastal town in Portugal or the Cyclades. This English town boasts lush greenery and wildflowers leading to sandy beaches, and has plenty of cliffside hikes and scenic nature trails. In addition to its gorgeous beaches, St. Ives is famous for its lively art scene, with the Tate St. Ives gallery being a must-visit, and its delectable cuisine, particularly the freshly caught and fried fish and chips at Porthminster Beach Cafe.
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Europe’s hidden gem beach towns offer a unique and unforgettable experience for travelers looking for a more intimate and relaxed coastal vacation. From the Rio Marina on Elba Island to Veli Losinj on Losinj Island, and the serene shores of Torrevieja, these underrated destinations are waiting to be explored. So, if you’re already dreaming about your next trip to the beach, consider visiting one of the best hidden gem beach towns in Europe.
Discover the beauty of Europe’s charming and serene coastal towns, away from the crowds and off the beaten path, and embrace a truly rejuvenating and restoring beach vacation. Don’t let these hidden gems remain a secret for long, plan your trip today and be one of the few to uncover the beauty of Europe’s best kept secret beach towns.
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