If you yearn for the feeling of sand between your toes, you don’t have to travel for long to get it. We’ve uncovered the top sunsoaked beaches which are easily accessible from the UK. Take the flamboyant south of France, where millionaires’ yachts assemble en masse, or fun-loving Playa d’en Bossa, with its scores of vibrant nightclubs, for example. All of these beaches can be reached within three hours of taking off from a UK airport.
1. Lido di Jesolo
Just a few miles from Venice Marco Polo Airport, Lido di Jesolo’s 15km-long stretch of beach opens up a whole world of sun bathing possibilities. There are sandcastle competitions and lots of games to get involved with. As popularity for the area increases, nightclubs pop up regularly, bringing in younger, party-hungry visitors.
You’re never far from an unspoilt beach in Corsica, and the area surrounding Ajaccio is home to many of them. A 20-minute drive from the airport will get you to Plage Saint-Francois, a city beach where the ocean stays warm well into autumn, allowing visitors to take full advantage of all the water sports on offer.
3. El Arenal
At a 15-minute drive from Palma de Mallorca Airport, El Arenal is awash with bars, making it a lively and fun resort, particularly for the 18-30s crowd. Its stunning Blue Flag beach attracts revellers in their droves, and any evidence of the previous day’s mischief is cleansed by the azure Balearic Sea.
4. Costa Dorada
Resorts like historic Tarragona, with its impressive Roman ruins, make the Costa Dorada well worth a visit. Cala Fonda beach is only a 20-minute drive from Reus Airport, and it’s one of the best preserved beaches in the area. Surrounded by pine forests, it offers a tranquil setting that is largely unspoiled.
When we talk about Nice beaches we mean the ones on the French Riviera, and these beaches are more than just nice. Centenaire is a lovely Blue Flag pebble beach located a few miles away from the airport. It also has unpolluted air thanks to a smoking ban during the day from April – October.
You don’t even have to leave the UK in search of golden sand, because Jersey has some enviable coastlines. A half-hour drive from Jersey Airport, Anne Port is cooled by light winds, and a further five-minute drive will take you to Grouville Bay, which is very safe to swim in year-round, and where you can try water-skiing or a banana ride.
Biarritz, on France’s south-west coast, has been a popular haunt with European royalty since the 19th century, so if you’re looking for a more genteel resort, this is it. Enjoy fine dining in restaurants near Cote des Basques beach. The surging waves here make for ideal surf conditions and it’s only two miles from Biarritz Airport.
A five minute walk from Split Airport will find you on Gabine beach in Kastel Stafilic. The beach is surrounded by lush pine trees, and you can gaze at the town’s charming red-roofed buildings while you top up your tan. It has showers and a popular bar, which hosts live music on summer evenings.
9. Santa Susanna
Santa Susanna is reachable via a 30-minute train ride from Barcelona. The resort offers a more serene alternative to nearby lively Lloret de Mar and is teeming with picturesque family-friendly beaches. The Blue Flag bearer Playa del Llevant has volleyball nets, jet skis and kite surfing and diving facilities.
10. Playa d’en Bossa
Cabanas, palms and catamarans are some of the things you’ll find on the longest beach in Ibiza. Playa d’en Bossa is within walking distance from Ibiza Airport and is a haven for sun worshippers. Its super clubs lure in clubbers all summer long, and its aquamarine waters have cured many a hangover.