There’s still time for a late beach holiday in Europe! In early autumn, the seas are at their warmest, prices are very reasonable and, because the kids are back at school, crowds have dwindled.
1 Skiathos Holidays, Greek Islands
These extremely good-value villas (sleeping 2-6) on Skiathos have the beach right on their doorsteps: roll out of bed and stumble down to the shore in the time it takes for your morning coffee to brew. Each villa has a kitchenette, so you’ve got the option to eat in if you’re trying to keep the costs down.
Prices in September: From £72 per studio
Closed in October
2 Paros Comfy Suites, Greek Islands
These sleek and tranquil suites on Paros come with sumptuous sea views and access to their own private cove. Plus, many have private pools or jacuzzis for added indulgence. Rooms are perfectly positioned to catch the sunset – very romantic. But best of all, the hotel has dedicated ‘private hours’ in the afternoons for you to snooze and chill out in total peace.
Prices in September: From £117 per suite Prices in October: From £99 per suite
3 Palmizana, Dalmatian Coast
There are four very good reasons why Palmizana is one of our most popular hideaways: it’s laid-back, it’s surrounded by gorgeous beaches, it’s got two brilliant restaurants, and it’s excellent value. Set on a tiny island that’s car-free, it comprises 16 villas of all shapes, sizes and colour, and you’re just a 10-minute water taxi from Hvar Town if you feel like returning to civilisation.
Prices in September: From £126 per villa Prices in October: From £108 per villa
4 La Moresca, Sicily
This charming and friendly B&B is ideal if you want to combine sightseeing with beach time. Set in a small seaside resort on Sicily’s south coast, there are gorgeous Baroque towns and ancient ruins nearby, and a dazzling stretch of long, golden beach just 100 metres away.
Prices in September: From £162 per room Prices in October: From £101 per room
5 Binigaus Vell, Menorca
This rustic retreat offers charm by the bucketload. Housed on a former cheese farm, it’s surrounded by wild gardens and sprawling horse pastures. Although it’s not technically on the coast, there are fabulous white-sand beaches and turquoise seas just a couple of kilometres away. But if you need a quick dip closer to home, the hotel has a large and pretty pool for cooling off in.
Prices in September: From £148 per room Prices in October: From £148 per room
6 Outpost – Casa das Arribas, Lisbon Coast
Soak up the jaw-dropping ocean views from this clifftop house. Inside, there are five very trendy apartments (for 2-4), each with well equipped kitchens (there’s a very good restaurant nearby if you don’t feel like cooking). A path takes you down to a small surf beach, or there are plenty of other good sandy beaches nearby. Superbly stylish and yet amazing value.
Prices in September: From £185 per apartment Prices in October: From £158 per apartment
7 Praia Verde, Algarve
Set amid pine forest in a rare pocket of the Algarve that’s yet to be developed, this sleek hotel feels surprisingly secluded. It’s popular with families in the school holidays, but in September and October there’s more of an adult vibe and it becomes wonderfully quiet. One of the Algarve’s best beaches is an easy 15-minute stroll away.
Prices in September: From £245 per room Prices in October: From £151 per room
8 Esplendido, Mallorca
Occupying a prime position overlooking Puerto Soller’s horseshoe bay, this swanky hotel comes with remarkable views. With a sumptuous spa, funky rooms and not one but two pools, it’s a place to be utterly spoilt. Plump for a room with a sea view if you can – pick one on the fourth floor and you’ll get a private balcony, too.
Prices in September: From £207 per room Prices in October: From £176 per room
9 Grand Hotel des Bains, Brittany
It’s all about relaxation at this smart spa hotel. Its lawns stretch right up to the shoreline, and the area is great for watersports – including swimming, diving and kite-surfing. Being in northern France, the weather might be less reliable than it is at other European destinations, but there’s an indoor saltwater pool and a fabulous spa that will more than make up for any grey days.
Prices in September: From £130 per room Prices in October: From £130 per room
10 Lake Loft, French Basque Country
In-the-know surfers will be familiar with Hossegor, located on the longest uninterrupted stretch of sandy beach in Europe. Just back from this, Lake Loft is an ideal beach retreat tucked away among pine forests and dunes. It’s decorated with beautiful designer touches and vintage pieces, and friendly owners Olivier and Christina are the perfect hosts.
Prices in September: From £180 per room Prices in October: From £180 per room
11 Hotel V, Andalucia
Set in a very pretty hilltop town that looks out over miles of unspoilt countryside, this elegant hideaway is a 17th-century townhouse that oozes class. It’s got a panoramic roof terrace with a bubbling jacuzzi and sunloungers, and the town below has some of the best restaurants in the region. Beach lovers, fear not: excellent beaches are a 10-minute drive away – and they’re remarkably quiet at this time of year.
Prices in September: From £194 per room Prices in October: From £138 per room
12 Londa Beach Hotel, Limassol
This very hip hotel in Cyprus is the ultimate in urban chic, but has the added bonus of sun and sand on its doorstep. Most people come here to chill out. Spend your days flitting between the pool, the spa and the beach; spend your evenings sipping cocktails at the buzzy bar and then step into Limassol’s buzzing nightlife.
Prices in September: From £241 per room Prices in October: From £241 per room