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barleycove.jpgSome of the most beautiful and pristine beaches can be found in the most unlikely places, far from the madding crowds and tucked away like Mother Nature’s secrets. Europe has an incredible abundance of wonderful beaches; some sweeping stretches of sand, some tiny little shelves in rocky inlets and others hidden away on headlands or behind a tree line. Here is a sneaky peak on what is on offer in Europe’s most unspoilt beaches.

Barleycove Beach, Cork, Ireland

The golden velvety sands of this beautiful conservation area are surrounded by dunes keeping the beach tucked up and snuggled away from busloads of tourists. Rugged headlands crop up between rolling emerald hills, giving way to the most spectacular, untouched beach. With very few people coming to regularly trample the beachfront flats, the dunes have remained intact and the beach is absolutely gorgeous.

Smugglers Cove, Zakynthos, Greece

In and around the island of Zakynthos, the offerings of remote and secluded beaches are in abundance, if you can find them. One of best kept beaches is the tranquil Smugglers Cove, only accessible by boat. Hire a private charter and take a leisurely meander through the sparkling azure waters to the cashmere sands of Smugglers Cove. Look out for the giant turtles, as you gaze into the clear turquoise waters from the top of the spectacular 25 year old shipwreck, in the middle of the stunning beach at Smugglers cove to get an unparalleled view of the sparkling Mediterranean.

Poltu di Li Cogghj, Sardinia

Tucked away on the deep emerald coastline along the northern section of Sardinia, beach front gems like Poltu di Li Cogghj have become much easier (and cheaper) to access. Once only an exclusive playground for those with private jets, the addition of a new airline means that flights are now affordable to the area. Luxurious, private and pristine, the beach is surrounded by a rugged periphery of soft pink crags tucked in between dense Mediterranean scrub land. With its sweeping turquoise bay and soft rolling surf, this romantic island paradise is completely pristine and unspoilt.

oxwich bayOxwich Bay, Gower, UK

Oxwich Bay is nestled along the Gower Peninsula in Wales. Protruding right into the Bristol Channel, this glorious coastline is a haven of intimate coves, rugged headlands and velvety golden sea sands, just waiting to be discovered. Protected by rolling dunes and a salt marsh, Oxwich Bay sweeps right along the coast for just over 4km, and is popular among water sports enthusiasts who are keeping this beach all to themselves, for as long as it possible. For a truly secluded bit of the coast line, travel a bit further up the east coast and discover the most majestic hideaway at Nicholaston Burrows.

Praia da Ingrina, Algarve, Portugal

Right in the very center of one of Portugal’s most exquisite nature conservation areas, lies the perfect beachfront of Praia da Ingrina. Safe for swimming, stunning weather and practically deserted, the beach is protected from hoards of visitors because of the environmental status of the nature reserve. Lie back as the sun warms your soul and stare up at the falcons and sea eagles, as they glide through the open skies. The faint murmur you hear that sounds like sheep in the distance, is not because you have had too much sun, the sheep in the surrounding headlands make their way close to the beach for grazing during the day.

Zlatni Rat – Brač, Croatia

With airlines discounting flights from most European cities to Croatia, Zlatni Rat is a must see. Zlatni Rat translated into English means Golden Horn, and quite aptly so, for the beautiful beach has a truly distinctive shape that is completely surrounded by a rugged pine tree coppice. A little bit of exploration into the coppice, will bring you to what is left of a crumbling Roman villa rustica that looks out over the perfect and pristine beach. What makes this beach truly remarkable, is the fact that the entire beach completely changes position and shape, depending on which way the wind is blowing! Zlatni Rat is an absolutely extraordinary spectacle of the power and beauty of nature. Gorgeous turquoise waters that lap onto velvet white sands, sweep along the bay.

Cala d’en Serra, Ibiza

Ibiza is most famous for its never ending parties, trendy bars and high profile visitors that are found all along the most popular coast of Salina. But it is the locals who know about the little treasure coves in the more secluded areas that are some of the best kept secrets in Ibiza. Cala d’en Serra is one of the most picturesque bays offering lucky visitors who have stumbled upon their magical world to enjoy what you could be forgiven into thinking, is your very own private paradise. Not easily accessible, one can only drive so far, and would have to park and walk the rest of the way. The peaceful walk through the spindly pine forests, eventually bring you to a secret cove, mesmerizing cobalt waters that twinkle in the sunshine, against a back drop of silky white sands and a rugged rocky outcrop, which protects this paradise from the rest of the world. With an abundance of sea life, this absolutely perfect beach is just waiting for you to enjoy it.

Algarve, Portugal

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Located on the very tip of southern Portugal, Algarve boasts beautiful white sand beaches surrounded by rolling hills protecting the beach from winds and leaving it only with a soft breeze from the ocean. This part of Portugal is an eclectic one, influenced by Portuguese, Spanish, and Arabic culture from the century or so of […]

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