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Best European Beach Vacation Destinations
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It's no secret that Europe has beaches that rank among the best in the world. Lining the Mediterranean are coveted coastlines perfect for soaking up the sunshine. Beyond such favorites as the French Riviera, the Amalfi Coast, and Costa del Sol

It's no secret that Europe has beaches that rank among the best in the world. Lining the Mediterranean are coveted coastlines perfect for soaking up the sunshine. Beyond such favorites as the French Riviera, the Amalfi Coast, and Costa del Sol, there’s an abundance of beaches ranging from people-watching meccas to isolated strips where you’ll seldom encounter another soul.

One of our favorites is Corsica, an island southeast of France. A favorite destination for Parisians, this chic beach retreat retains its old-world charm and culinary traditions. Many of the island's best beaches can only be accessed by boat or a hike. Another gem is Corfu, Greece, a lovely island in the Ionian Sea that has a solid mix of culture and beaches. In recent years Croatia has grown in popularity, although the Italians have been summering here for years. Head for Hvar, home to pebbly beaches with crystal-clear waters.

Don't rule out larger coastal cities – cosmopolitan Barcelona combines the best of both worlds. Nice, France is a picture-perfect beach backed by a quaint old town with major art collections and a lively nightlife scene.

Wherever you end up, be sure to research the local customs and culture before showing up on the beach. Certain stretches may not welcome lively children, and may be a bit more liberal with swimsuits than back home.

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