Spain Salou Beach
Spain Salou Beach


Famous for romance, Europe outdoes itself when it comes to idyllic sunbathing spots.

Latest Update - October 25, 2022 at 11:31 am

You’ll experience secluded coves, sheltered bays, sugary beaches and places with names like Canal d’Amour – all so captivating and romantic they’re surely approved by Cupid himself! With destinations ranging from the fluorescent seas of Corfu to the ebony boulders of Kynance Cove, visions of paradise await on your next European cruise. Pack up a loved one and come onboard as we take you to the best places under the sun!


Nicknamed "Tahiti" by the locals, Cala Coticcio is a picturesque protected cove within the Maddalena archipelago, just northeast of Italy's Sardinia island. Adding to the South Pacific theme is the fact that to reach this natural pool, you need to take a boat from Palau, a name that evokes a much more distant wonderland. Once in Cala Coticcio, you’ll be entranced by the transparent turquoise waters and scrubby rose-coloured cliffs, so breathtaking they appear to be the handiwork of a gifted painter. We are quite sure that Cala Coticcio will make you fall in love with Sardinia, claiming a top spot as one of the most romantic moments of your next Italy cruise.


If you have a couple of days to spare before embarking on your cruise from Southampton, consider taking the 373 kilometre drive down to Cornwall in southwestern England. There, in an area known as the Lizard Peninsula, Kynance Cove beckons, with its striking black boulders, lapis lazuli waters and mysterious caves that can be explored at low tide. Enjoy the surf – some of Europe’s best – then tuck into a picnic on the soft white sand. Or drop by the Kynance Cove Cafe for panoramic views and delicious Cornish pasties washed down with beer or cider. Carefully managed by the National Trust, the splendour and beauty of the cove is being protected for future generations.


Romantic sunbathing doesn’t get any better than in tiny Montenegro, where Budva’s Ploče Beach offers a series of man-made terraces dotted with umbrellas and loungers descending to the vibrant blue water. The terraces, adorned with Mediterranean flowers and cacti, also contain several swimming pools for guests who prefer to dip into freshwater. Offering a feast for all the senses, you’ll catch the sounds of live music at Ploče Beach, along with the aroma of fresh seafood and meats wafting from the grills of the surrounding beach cafes. In spite of its small size, Montenegro plays a big beach game — and, in the case of Ploče, it scores a winning goal.


An incredibly scenic place and home to a double beach, Porto Timoni is not only beautiful but a historical site where, in antiquity, a fortress was built. After catching some rays in your choice of coves, make time to explore the nearby village of Afionas, one of the oldest – and most romantic! – places in Corfu. You’ll stroll along narrow streets and flower-filled courtyards on your way to a local taverna, many of which have amazing views. Time permitting, try to visit other stunning beaches on the island, including Agios Georgios and the aptly-named Canal d'Amour. And if at all possible, schedule a meal in Corfu town, where dozens of restaurants serve Sofrito, an iconic dish of succulent veal cooked in a tangy and aromatic white wine sauce.


Although many of Portugal’s beaches are surfer heaven, the waters of the golden Praia de Benagil in the spectacular Algarve region are so calm that serene sunbathing is more befitting than any wild wave ride! This is due to the Praia de Benagril’s unique topography, encircling the quaint cove with a sphere of vermilion limestone. You can technically hike down to Praia de Benagil from the towering cliffs above, but most travellers reach it on a boat excursion. When enjoying the cove, make sure to explore the cave known as Algar de Benagil. Simultaneously majestic, stunning and romantic, it is definitely an Insta-worthy sight!


In Spain's Balearic Islands, a short ferry ride away from action-packed Ibiza, lies a natural park and beach that many consider one of the most beautiful in the world. With its shallow aquamarine waters sheltered by a pine-covered peninsula and long stretch of powdery white sand, this is a sunbathing destination you never want to leave. Unless you get hungry, that is, in which case there are plenty of restaurants right there on the island of Formentera! If your idea of unrivalled romance involves clinking champagne flutes while gazing on Ses Illetes from the deck of a boat, plenty of private charters are available in Ibiza! Sunsets here are truly spectacular and well-worth working into your plans!


Located on the northwest corner of Greece’s Zakynthos island, Navagio (Shipwreck) Beach is a gorgeous little cove nestled between giant limestone cliffs and graced by the remains of an old shipwreck! In spite of its name, Shipwreck Beach is a sure bet for smooth sailing, with electric blue waters that invite a refreshing dip. You can sun yourself on Navagio’s sugary sands as pods of yachts float offshore, but even if romance makes you feel extra adventurous, don’t try climbing the 200-metre-high cliffs. That is strictly forbidden and the only way to reach Shipwreck Beach is by boat.


Words don’t fully do justice to Torre dell'Orso beach, a magical cove in Italy’s Puglia region where ivory cliffs contrast brilliantly with the crystal-clear, jewel-toned Adriatic Sea. Puglia’s fairly remote location – about a five hours ride by high-speed rail from Rome - makes Torre dell'Orso the perfect European beach for a lovers' getaway, but it’s also a lovely place for friends and families to congregate. If you can, try to swing by the nearby city of Lecce, a treasure known for its Baroque architecture dubbed the "Florence of the South." The inspired buildings in the central Piazza del Duomo, including the marvel that is the Basilica de Santa Croce will surely take your breath away. "


If you fancy sunbathing in easily accessible yet beautiful destinations close to culture, dining and shopping, Villefranche-sur-Mer is your ticket! So close to Nice you could practically walk there, anything you may desire is at hand! After a swim in the azure horseshoe-shaped bay, consider dropping by the exquisite Villa Ephrusi de Rothschild, an early-20th-century mansion with nine meticulously landscaped gardens. As is the case with Nice itself, the village of Villefranche-sur-Mer boasts a pastiche of cultures, allowing you to cap off your romantic day with a meal that blends the best of French and Italian cuisines.


A narrow sandbar of land projecting into the sparkling waters of the Adriatic known as the Golden Horn, Zlatni Rat is both uniquely shaped and one of the most beautiful places to sunbathe imaginable. A fascinating fact about Zlatni Rat is that its position and shape shift – sometimes quite significantly! – with changing tides, winds and currents! Fortunately, the tree-shaded promenade that connects Zlatni Rat to the harbour town of Bol stays put and it's an easy stroll to restaurants and shops. Croatian cuisine has stellar standouts – such as black risotto and Buzara, just caught mussels in wine and garlic – so even if you are tempted to return to your all-inclusive cruise, consider dining in Bol.

Some of the most idyllic places to soak up rays are close to home and include the UK’s very own Lizard Peninsula! In fact, we are willing to wager that you could cruise the world and not encounter the treasures we have in our backyard! Cheers to Cupid … and Europe’s romantic penchant!



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