10 must-visit short-haul beach resorts
Europe does luxury better than anyone...trust us
Think you have to venture to the other side of the world to experience a taste of paradise living? You’re wrong…Europe’s best resort game is strong!
Check out ten of our favourites, all just a short haul flight away…
Pine Cliffs Resort, Algarve, Portugal
Perched on a rugged cliff top that slopes down to the perfect Mediterranean beach, Pine Cliffs Resort is everything that’s great about the Algarve, turned up to 11. The Moorish-style buildings fit seamlessly into the natural environment, and tucked away you’ll find a tennis academy, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and spa, and a golf course with incredible (and incredibly distracting) views of the Atlantic. Something to blame when you fluff your tee shot, at least…
Aman Sveti Stefan, Budva, Montenegro
Montenegro? Luxury? You’d better believe it. This small country on the Adriatic has become a major stopping-off point for the superyacht set, and Aman Sveti Stefan is the jewel in its crown. Set on a tiny island that’s linked to the mainland by a strip of pink-sand beach (there are two more), the resort manages to be both charming and super-luxury at the same time. By the end of your stay, you’ll wish the island were permanently cut off from civilisation so you’d never have to leave – it’s that good.
Almyra Hotel, Paphos, Cyprus
Like a slice of Ibiza cool transported to the south west of Cyprus, Almyra blends modern style with that old-fashioned winning combination of great hospitality and a waterfront setting. The beach itself isn’t vast, but there are sea views aplenty and no fewer than four pools – you’ll need them, because this is one of the sunniest places you can head to without getting on a long-haul flight.
Chia Laguna, Sardinia, Italy
The northern tip of the Italian island is where most tourists gravitate to, but clever travellers head for the wild and beautiful south – and the impossibly chilled Chia Laguna Resort [lead image above]. It’s a short walk to the beach, past a flamingo-filled lagoon, but it’s worth it – the sand’s white, the sea’s crystal clear and the surrounding hills provide shelter from the wind and a blockbuster backdrop.
Sani Resort, Halkidiki, Greece
Backing onto lush pine forests and facing the deep blue Aegean sea, Sani Resort takes an already stunning setting and adds to it luxury, hospitality as good as you’ll find anywhere on the planet and cool contemporary style. This Halkidiki-based resort – actually four hotels in one – also has a well-earned reputation as one of the best family boltholes in Europe, with enough to keep adults and kids busy for the whole holiday.
Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum, Turkey
There are beaches, and then there are private beaches – and the Mandarin Oriental Bodrum has two of the latter, both with azure water, immaculate sand and all the luxury amenities you could ever want. This isn’t a boisterous, bustling resort, either – it’s a stylish haven where you can forget about real life, and eat, live and relax like a king or queen.
Marbella Club, Marbella, Spain
The Marbella Club has been playing host to Europe’s rich and beautiful people for more than 60 years, and there’s a good reason (lots, in fact) why they keep coming back. Whatever you – plus associated family and taggers on – want from a holiday, you’ll find it here among the subcontinental gardens and ice-white Andalusian buildings. Play tennis, play golf, go horse riding or go to the gym – or just kick back and do absolutely nothing at all. We’ll forgive you…
The Westin Dragonara Resort, Malta
Malta’s having its place in the sun right now, as more and more tourists discover its great mix of natural beauty, stunning weather and charming towns and cities. With its two private beach lidos, the Westin Dragonara Resort is tailor made for lounging around in sun-baked luxury, with the Mediterranean just metres away. It’s right in the heart of the small town of St Julian, too, so you get the best of both worlds: city and sea.
Gran Hotel Bahía Del Duque, Tenerife
The best of this Canary Island mixes otherworldly volcanic landscapes with blue Atlantic sea and masses of local charm, and Gran Hotel Bahía Del Duque is the best of the best. Along with a dramatic setting in the shadow of Mount Teide, you’ll find an award-winning spa, access to a vast range of watersports, and a stellar beach, where you can make the most of the island’s balmy year-round temperatures. You’ll work up a serious appetite with all that – lucky there are eight (yes, eight) restaurants.
Palmižana, Hvar, Croatia
Turquoise seas, tucked-away coves and a laid-back vibe make Palmižana sound suspiciously like it’s in the the Caribbean, but this family-owned hideaway is pure Croatian. Set on a small island a short trip from popular (and busy) Hvar, a stay at Palmižana feels as much a castaway adventure as a luxury beach retreat – with an independent style and spirit that marks it out as genuinely, refreshingly unique.