There’s nothing to quiet your mind like a vast stretch of water that seems to endlessly rock back and forth into eternity. And with it, the timeless specks of white or brownish-gold sand are little soldiers that guard a huge, blue fortress. If you’re planning your next holiday to the seaside, and want to relax and meditate while breathing in such a splendid landscape, you’ve come to the right place.
1. Cies Islands, Galicia, Spain
With pearly white beaches and marvelously blue seas, this Spanish Carribean consists of three islands in the north part of the country. This archipelago is part of a national park, which makes it protected by law so that not many tourists have access here.
With no hotels or cars around, you can enjoy the peace and quiet the three islands have to offer. The dark blue waves touch granite cliffs in some parts, but there are other, more tropical scenes with turquoise waters shining quietly under the sun.
2. Playa El Cañuelo, Andalusia
El Cañuelo is an isolated beach in Andalusia, Spain, with a white bay that’s marvelously hidden from conspicuous eyes. You’ll have to reach the Maro cliffs first, which are imposing giants with abrupt slopes compared to the landforms surrounding them. The path takes you through an aromatic pine forest, with wildflowers and singing birds.
And after such a delightful walk, the clear blue waters of the Playa El Cañuelo appear in a bucolic tableau of daisies and seemingly lost tourists from ages ago. You won’t want to leave either, so make sure you bring the best beach canopy to provide shelter.
3. La Londe des Maures, Côte d’Azur
Situated in France, at the base of the Maures mountains, this is the perfect place for a family vacation. La Londe is the pit stop towards the nearby beaches, which are pretty close to the town, though at enough distance to be considered hidden gems.
The navy blue waters are also surrounded by pine trees, so you can get the best of both worlds. The silvery sand is simply magnificent, and you won’t want anything more than a cold drink in your hand to enjoy the view.
4. Noirmoutier, West coast
In the western part of France, you will find another island that invites you to deep meditation and a quiet sense of fulfillment. With a more southern apparel, Noirmoutier looks brilliant under the pine colossuses that guard it like faithful subjects, almost fearing that its blue waters will fade in the bright sunlight.
The beaches are covered with very soft sand, though the island has a rocky terrain, which makes for a delicious contrast. There are no hotels here, just beach huts, which is a deterrent for a huge influx of tourists, giving you the opportunity of more enjoyable solitude.
5. San Fruttuoso, Liguria
This dream-like beach is located in Italy, where you can admire a dark-blue sea at the abrupt base of a wooden hill. There’s a medieval monastery here, just near some bulging cliffs that overlook the water. The sea seems to knock right at the door of the abbey, which stems out from the green forest like a lonely lighthouse.
The pebbly beach is pretty narrow, but it’s still enough for a relaxing stroll, past fishermen’s houses, quaint trattorias, and mountainous terrain.
6. Saplunara beach, Mljet, Dalmatian coast
The Dalmatian coast harbors two lakes with a water so clear, emerald-like, that makes it worth envying by most other seas. These lakes offer sandy beaches, friendly people and a delicious local cuisine based on fish.
You can venture off on a swim if you want some more time for yourself, which will be a delightful experience since these are salt-water lakes. And since most tourists don’t spend the night, you can have the beach all to yourself then.
7. Gardenos, Corfu
Greece has many amazing beaches, but Gardenos is among the largest, with pearly-white sand that turns this reign of tranquility into a paradise. If you want to avoid the huge ebb and flow of tourists, don’t visit this beach in August.
Otherwise, there aren’t any water sports or noisy tavernas near the beach to deter you from a quiet meditation.
8. Cirali, Antalya
Since pine trees are the recurrent motif for the beaches we reviewed here, you’ll find them in Cirali as well. But this time, they grow on steep mountains in the south part of Turkey, guarding a Mediterranean beach. Covered in pebbles and sand, this beach is rougher on your soles, but still feels great when you want to get in touch with your true self.
9. Caneiros, Algarve
A more activity-filled beach, Caneiros is located in Portugal. Its abrupt cliffs are covered with bushes and steppe-like vegetation, and at their base the sea stretches out before your eyes, filling your gaze with delight and awe.
The best thing about this location is that you can explore the caves that run along the beach, or you can simply lie down on the cushiony, soft sand. The waters are safe if you want to venture off for a refreshing swim, though.
10. Salema, Algarve
Another marvelous beach for those in search of the tranquility stolen by the hectic, noisy big-city life, Salema beach is located in the west part of Algarve. With fishermen houses and limestone rocks along its shore, the clear water sea is perfect for those who do their thinking better when they swim.
There are plenty of fields with wildflowers growing freely around this beach, that has a yellow-gold sand. There isn’t any seaweed in the water either due to lack of strong waves, so you can relax with your toes safely dug into the generous layer of sand.
Where will you go?
After finding out what our top 10 most beautiful beaches are, we’re curious what your choice will be. What unspoiled corner of the Old Continent will you choose to soak up in the water and bask in the sun, or admire the star-filled night sky? The comments are below.