There’s nothing like the warm and enchanting Mediterranean.
It’s as though Europe has its own private swimming pool. If you squint at the map then you might just see the outline of an elephant. The trunk taking you to Gibraltar, the ears being the island of Sardinia and Corsica and the eye being Mallorca. But where should you head to swim in the sea that is called “the middle of the land”?
1. Bol on the island of Brac, Croatia.
Brac is a stunning island off the coast of Croatia that boasts some beautiful historical buildings, some bankable hot and sunny summer weather and some of the clearest blue waters you’ll find. It’s no huge surprise to see how big the tourism has become on the island. There’s a very active nightlife and lots to see and do, including various levels of water sports. But this is about swimming in the Med so let’s focus on that. The southern waves and the north-easterly wind provide a cool breeze amidst the baking mid-summer heats which get well into the 30s. The Zlatni rat aka Golden Horn is something you have to see to believe. It’s a beach that looks like a capital V, jutting out of the land covered in sand.
Top Beach Hotel on the Island of Brac: Villa Adriatica Hotel, Supetar
2. Costa Smeralda, Sardinia.
These coves will have you thinking you’re in a film. They certainly won’t let you leave them in a hurry. The Emerald Coast is one of the least talked about romantic spots in Europe and somewhere you should all think about picking for this year’s beach holiday. It’s a 30 km square area off the north of Sardinia and is basked in white sand and random rocky bays with warm turquoise waters perfect for lying back for hours on end. One of the most popular beaches is Liscia Ruja but you won’t struggle to find somewhere less busy.
Top Beach Hotel in Costa Smeralda: Grand Hotel, Porto Cervo
3. Terracina, Italy
Another one few people know much about, this is a huge stretch of beach near the small town of Terracina, on the east coast of Italy about an hour and a half south from Rome on the way to Naples. It’s a very popular place for Romans to go for the day in the summer months but don’t let that put you off because there’s a lot of room there for everyone. It does get busy but if you’re looking for somewhere to swim with the family then this is a great place without the hoards of tourists from all over Europe. The waters are calm and warm and the weather is just about right for most of the year.
Top beach Hotel in Terracina, Italy: Hotel Torre del Sole
4. Paradise Bay, Malta
If you’re looking for a private swim with just you and a loved one then this beach in northern Malta might be just the thing for you. You wouldn’t find this beach unless you knew about it or were extremely lucky. Head to the tip of the island just round the corner from Cirkewwa harbour. You might find you have to put your belongings in a rucksack as you descend an old stone flight of steps in order to reach the secluded beach. It’s calm and warm and perfect for a dip without disturbance.
Top Beach Hotel in Malta: Paradise Bay Resort, Cirkewwa
Photo of beach in Paradise Bay, Malta by Barryluff