Many of the world’s best beaches can be found in the glorious Mediterranean. Here, even the most discerning beach lover will be satisfied with the large variety offered. Whether sandy white or black beaches, rock-studded or silky soft sand, pine tree-lined or dune edged or nestled in hidden secluded coves, there is a beach to meet one’s every desire.
The beaches of the Mediterranean provide the perfect place to sit back and sunbathe in solitude or with friends adjacent to the prettiest glittering waters. A place to stroll on sandy expanses and breathe in the fresh sea air or to practice yoga and meditate in the gentle summer breeze. Even beach volleyball, running and jogging on the sand and rigorous swimming is to the avail of the more active beachcomber. Of course, chic party life and cosmopolitan fancies are also a big draw to many Mediterranean beaches but here we are focus on the most beautiful and unique beaches in the area.
The Mediterranean Sea touches numerous countries, some areas having the most popular or spectacular beaches in the world. Often topping many of the lists of the ‘World’s Best Beaches’, with so many outstanding beaches, we turn to Greece. One of the most photogenic beaches is Navagio Beach in the Ionian island of Zakynthos. Draped across the wide expanse of sandy beach there is an old rusty wrecked ship. It is sometimes referred to as “Smuggler’s Cove” or “Shipwreck Beach” and is best viewed and explored when arriving by boat. Actually, the only way to arrive is by sea. Whether you are on a private yacht cruising the Ionian waters or rent a small excursion boat, it certainly is worth seeing and picturing. Here, it is also a protected area for sea turtles so boats have specific rules for approaching and bathers the same.
Another notable beach in the Ionian islands of Greece is Myrtos Beach on the island of Kefalonia. Dazzling pebbles on a mile and a half crescent-shaped beach, dramatic tall dark green tree-lined with lushly vegetated cliffs plunging down to its pristine beach make this definitely one of the best beaches in the Mediterranean. The beach faces west, therefore, providing spectacular sunsets where the burning orange sun meets the golden sea.
The island of Crete, Greece’s largest and most southern island, has two remarkable beaches with exquisite pink colored sand (taking its pink shade from millions of crushed shells). Due to the very shallow waters (not exceeding 1 meter in depth) of Elafonisi Beach (‘deer beach’), which is an oblong shape, it allows you to walk across to the inlet on foot in extra warm water. The endangered species of Loggerhead turtles have made this one of their protected homes. Full of rare Sea Daffodils and Junipers the plant life is preserved; no plant life, shells or animals are allowed to be removed from the island. Balos Beach, often referred as Elafonisi Beach’s sister, harbors the Loggerhead sea turtle as its sister beach does as well as falcons and monk seals. Its exotic scenery and turquoise waters deem it to be the most photographed beach in Crete.
If one is looking for an unusually landscaped beach, look no further than the Sarakiniko Beach of Milos island in Greece. The sun-bleached volcanic rocks, which have been eroded by seawater over time, has left a startling image surrounding its beach. These long horizontal rocks that bend over the sea show the ravages of time with small and huge hollows all over. It has been noted by many that it feels as if you are standing on the moon.
Sveti Stefan of Montenegro with its tempting turquoise waters and impeccable pink sand, also stands out. Once the playground for the rich and famous in the 1960’s, it is now open to tenants of the Aman Resort exclusively. None the less, her beauty is magnificent.
Malta is covered in beautiful sandy beaches but for the thrill-seeker, one particular beach stands out, St. Peter’s Pool, Malta. Located on the south side of Malta, the beach – or pool as it is called- is surrounded by white chalk rocks which creates a natural swimming pool. The pool creates a safe environment for jumping off the limestone cliffs into the deep blue sea.
The Mediterranean is not known for large waves but surfers flock to Praia da Adraga, Portugal to surf its breakers. Nestled between rocky cliffs and rocks strewn across the beach, she is a magical site on the Atlantic ocean.
Oludeniz Beach in Turkey, better known as the ‘Blue Lagoon’, gleams with aquamarine waters and pebbled shores. It is famously known for its paragliders who leap from mountains above to land on the pebble beach. The backdrop of the mountains make for stunning photographs.
On the Italian Mediterranean coast lies the Spiaggia Rosa Beach which is also covered with a unique shade of pink sand. This special rose-colored sand is a concoction of crushed coral and fossils mixed with crystals and dead sea life. As only a few places on the earth have pink sand beaches this beach is special. To protect the pink sand it has been off-limits to visitors since 1994. You can visit the island but not set foot upon the beach.
Half the beaches on Sardinia, Italy might be considered as part of the list of top beaches of the Mediterranean. Cala Brandinchi or “Little Tahiti” as it is commonly referred to due to her turquoise blue waters, is one of the most famous of all beaches in Sardinia. The beautiful 700-meter arc-shaped beach, which is surrounded by pine trees, has shallow waters making it perfect for swimming.
Corsica is home to some amazing beaches and Palombaggia Beach is the most famous. The pine-lined beach is more than 1.5 km long of fine white sandy beach. It has shallow waters dotted with large granite boulders making for a wonderful swimming paradise.
Another hotspot for finding incredible beaches is in the Balearic Isles of Spain. One of the lesser-known of the isles is Little Formentera. Ses Illets Beach, Spain is located within the Formentera National Park and is known for its crystal clear, shallow waters. The beach of over 450 meters of sand, is divided into two parts by a small group of rocks. She is now listed on the World Heritage Site due to the rich underwater ecosystem. Maybe Spain’s best beach and certainly one of the world’s best.
The Mediterranean has so many incredible beaches and such a variety to explore. With so much seashore and coastal areas, these beach selections will not let you down.
Keep in mind that the best season to visit is between May and September and for those that don’t mind more crowds or even desire it, July & August is peak season. You will find your special piece of paradise here, without a doubt. Make your list and start exploring!