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Seven City & Beach Escapes in Europe

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Europe offers a wealth of exciting destinations for travellers who crave the invigorating energy of urban exploration alongside the tranquillity of a beach escape. 

Whether you're dreaming of sun-drenched shores, world-class museums, or charming historical districts, these seven city and beach escapes cater to the desires of every urban beach bum.

Barcelona, Spain

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Beach: Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Barceloneta Beach, a lively stretch of golden sand offering various activities. From soaking up the sun and building sandcastles with your family to participating in exhilarating beach volleyball matches or trying your hand at watersports like jet skiing and parasailing, Barceloneta caters to every beach enthusiast.

City: Barcelona is a cultural powerhouse with iconic landmarks and artistic treasures. 

  • Explore the Sagrada Familia, a masterpiece of Antoni Gaudí's architectural genius, and marvel at its intricate details and stained-glass windows.

  • Wander through the labyrinthine alleys of the Gothic Quarter, a charming district filled with medieval churches, hidden courtyards, and bustling tapas bars. 

  • Immerse yourself in the artistic spirit of Montjuïc, a hilltop offering breathtaking panoramic views of the city, housing several museums, including the National Museum of Catalan Art, and showcasing the Olympic Stadium, a legacy of the 1992 Summer Games.

Nice, France

Photo by John Jason/Unsplash

Beach: Stroll along the iconic Promenade des Anglais, a pebble beach lined with palm trees, and soak up the sunshine while taking in the breathtaking views of the French Riviera. The Promenade du Paillon, a landscaped park adjacent to the beach, offers a refreshing green space for a leisurely walk or a picnic under the shade of palm trees.


  • Explore the vibrant Cours Saleya flower market, overflowing with an explosion of colours and fragrances.

  • Immerse yourself in the history and charm of the picturesque Old Town, wandering through its narrow streets lined with cafes, shops, and historical buildings.

  • Witness the grandeur and elegance of the Nice Opera House, a masterpiece of 19th-century architecture, and enjoy a captivating performance during your stay.

Valencia, Spain

Photo by Arlandis/Visit Valencia and Jonny James/Unsplash

Beach: Playa de la Malvarrosa, a long stretch of golden sand, is a haven for beach lovers. Whether you're seeking a relaxing day of sunbathing and swimming or active fun with water sports like kite surfing or kayaking, this beach caters to all preferences.


  • Immerse yourself in the futuristic architecture of the City of Arts and Sciences, a captivating complex showcasing cutting-edge scientific exhibits and stunning structures like L'Oceanogràfic, a renowned oceanographic aquarium.

  • Explore the historic Valencia Cathedral, a magnificent example of Gothic architecture, and marvel at its intricate details and stained-glass windows.

  • Visit the Central Market, a feast for the senses, bursting with fresh produce, local delicacies, and vibrant colors.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Photo by GettyImages/Unsplash and Hans Jurgen/Unsplash

Beach: Escape the crowds and discover the tranquillity of Banje Beach, a sheltered cove with crystal-clear waters and stunning views of the city walls. This beach offers a relaxed atmosphere, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, or simply enjoying the breathtaking scenery.


  • Embark on a journey through time as you walk the historic city walls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site offering panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea and the red-tiled rooftops of Dubrovnik. 

  • Explore the Rector's Palace, a magnificent example of Renaissance architecture, and delve into the city's rich history. 

  • Get lost in the charming alleys and squares of the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and discover hidden gems like small churches, traditional restaurants, and charming shops.

Biarritz, France:

Photo by Eric Terrade/Unsplash

Beach: Embrace the adventurous spirit of Biarritz at the Grande Plage, a vast stretch of golden sand renowned for its excellent surfing conditions. Catch some waves, take a surfing lesson, or simply relax on the beach and admire the skilled surfers showcasing their talents.


  1. Explore the elegant Casino de Biarritz, a symbol of the city's glamorous past, and try your luck at the roulette tables or admire the grandeur of the architecture.

  2. Stroll along the scenic coastal path, offering breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the rugged coastline.

  3. Visit the Biarritz Aquarium, a fascinating marine life experience showcasing the diverse underwater world of the Bay of Biscay.

San Sebastian, Spain

Photo by Unsplash

Beach: La Concha Beach, a picturesque bay with golden sand and calm waters, is a haven for families and relaxation. Build sandcastles with your children, swim in the crystal-clear waters, or unwind on the beach while soaking up the sunshine.


  1. Explore the Parte Vieja (Old Town), a charming district characterized by narrow streets, colourful buildings, and traditional pintxos bars.

  2. Savour the renowned pintxos (Basque tapas) scene, indulging in a delightful culinary journey through an array of miniature delicacies served on skewers.

  3. Wander through the beautiful Buen Retiro Park, a peaceful green oasis offering manicured gardens, walking paths, and a charming pond.

Tallinn, Estonia

Photo by Alamy

Beach: Ideal for families and water sports enthusiasts, Pirita Beach boasts a long stretch of sand with shallow waters, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and various activities like windsurfing, kitesurfing, and beach volleyball.


  1. Explore the charming Old Town of Tallinn, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and be captivated by its medieval architecture.

  2. Wander through the cobbled streets with colourful houses, historical landmarks like the Tallinn Town Hall, and charming shops.

  3. Visit the Kumu Art Museum, housing an extensive collection of Estonian art, and delve into the country's artistic heritage.

  4. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Telliskivi Creative City, a former industrial complex transformed into a creative hub showcasing art studios, design shops, and trendy cafes.



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