The Best Beach Resorts in
France, Italy and Greece

There are lots of beaches in Europe, but where do the well-heeled go to relax? From France, to Italy to Greece, you will find some of the most glamorous beaches in the world in Europe. Here’s our list of Europe’s seven most sophisticated beach resorts.

Greece

Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel

The most exclusive hotel in Elounda, the Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel on the island of Crete is perfect for active families who also want a bit of autonomy. The suites are very large, very private and the resort is very kid-friendly, too.

The Children’s Ark offers activities for children ages 6 months to 5 years old and is completely supervised by childcare professionals. Children ages 5 to 12 are also welcome at the supervised Children’s Park that features a waterpark and jungle gym equipment. Teens are welcome to take tennis, water skiing and sailing lessons during the day and watch movies at night.

With the children taken care of, adults can swim, golf, scuba dive, enjoy the Five Senses Spa, or simply relax and enjoy the view of the private sandy beach or the sapphire Mediterranean Sea. This is the family spot on Crete.

The Mykonos Grand Hotel and Resort

Indulge your senses at the Mykonos Grand Hotel, located on the serene Ayios Yiannis beach. You will enjoy glorious sunsets and views of nearby Delos Island. To ensure the tranquility of the experience, no water sports are allowed. However, yoga classes, tennis, squash courts and a luxury swimming pool are available for guests.

Every spacious room has a private balcony or terrace, some with spectacular views of the Aegean. The Althea Spa Centre offers a purely sensory experience, with all-natural treatments stemming from the ancient health and beauty traditions of Greece. This hotel is committed to green practices and using Greek products that contribute to the community.

If you choose to leave the property, you can enjoy boutique shopping, nightlife and prestigious restaurants at nearby Mykonos town.

France

Hôtel & Spa des Pêcheurs

This prestigious Hôtel & Spa des Pêcheurs hotel and spa is located near Bonifacio on the private island of Cavalio, two miles from the southern tip of Corsica and eight miles from the coast of Sardinia. Cavalio is the only island in the archipelago that is inhabited; its exclusivity makes for a private and serene stay.

On the island, guests are welcome to play tennis, golf, horseback ride, scuba dive or enjoy the exclusive spa with a Thlassotherapy pool.

The uniquely decorated rooms with blue and beige tones reflect the calmness of the sea; and most afford a sea view. The white sand beach provides a striking contrast to the turquoise sea, offering a tranquil and private spot for sun bathing.

 

Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat

Located on the glamorous Cote d’Azure at the tip of Cap-Ferrat, France and nestled on a 17-acre park, the Grand Hotel du Cap-Ferrat is a designated Palace Hotel — and who would call it anything less?

You can choose between the elegant, historical building built in 1908 or the modern residence built in 2009 and featuring eight swimming pool suites, all with sea views. The hotel boasts three restaurants — one with a Michelin star — and an elegant bar.

Italy

Capri Palace Hotel & Spa

The Capri Palace is located in the heart of Anacapri with views over the island of Ischia and the Bay of Naples.

The hotel is classically designed with modern touches, including imposing arches, vaults and columns. The look is reminiscent of Neapolitan palaces of the 18th Century, but in the white architecture typical of the Mediterranean region. The glamorous suites are adorned with modern art and some of them have private swimming pools. You will feel like a movie star!

If it is good food you want, L’Olivo restaurant’s young chef has recently been awarded his second Michelin Star.

San Clemente Palace Hotel & Resort

Enjoy the hustle and bustle of Venice, but come home to an oasis of tranquility at the San Clemente Palace Hotel & Resort. The hotel was founded in 1131 to offer peace and recovery of the spirit; it offers that same experience today.

The San Clemente Palace sits on its own private island and complimentary shuttle service runs regularly to the centre of Venice, taking about 15 minutes.

This exclusive five-star luxury hotel offers exceptionally large and lavishly decorated rooms, all with spectacular views of either the lagoon or the island’s gorgeous gardens.

Hotel Splendido

An Orient Express Hotel, the Hotel Splendido is truly splendid. From its perch above Portofino, you get a panoramic view of the Mediterranean and the little harbour below.

I think of the Splendido as a gracious mansion where you have been invited to stay. All of the rooms and suites are elegantly furnished and many have private terraces and balconies looking out on enchanting panoramas.

You can dine under the stars at the La Terazza Restaurant and have lunch with a view of the harbour. A pool, a spa and the most attentive staff make the Splendido my first choice on the Italian Riviera.

 

Terri Fogarty, EuropeUpClose.com

Terri Fogarty fell in love with Europe on her first trip to Paris more than 20 years ago. “Europeans seem to understand what life is all about: family, friends and food,” says Fogarty. She formed a partnership with Mike Coletta and started EuropeUpClose.com’s in 2006. Through the years, their audience has grown and they now have a great group of freelance writers helping them do what they love: producing the best Insider's guide to Europe on the web.