Sun-drenched Beach Getaways: Unforgettable Seaside Holidays in France, Spain, Italy, and Croatia | Explore the Best Travel Destinations

Cassis, Provence, France
Experience the sunny charm of Nice but without the price tags in Marseille and its surrounding beaches. Just a short drive or train ride from the city, you’ll find the picturesque fishing port of Cassis. This hidden gem boasts colorful houses and pebble beaches, making it the perfect base for exploring the Calanques, stunning coastal inlets framed by limestone cliffs. Take a boat trip or rent a kayak to explore the nearby coves, or challenge yourself with the Calanques de Cassis hike, which takes you through multiple breathtaking Calanques in one day.

For accommodations, consider staying at the eco-friendly Hôtel les Volets Rouges. Located in the heart of the Calanques national park, this peaceful hotel offers contemporary rooms and easy access to walking trails. Prices start at £113 a night for double rooms in September/October.

To reach Cassis, take a TGV train from Marseille to Paris, which takes approximately three and a half hours. From Marseille, it’s just a 20-minute train ride to Cassis.

Šibenik, Dalmatia, Croatia
Extend your summer into October by visiting Šibenik on the Adriatic. This stunning Dalmatian city is often overlooked by tourists, but it has so much to offer. Explore the UNESCO-listed Cathedral of St James, relax on the pebbly beach with a view of the city, and wander the charming Venetian old town with its narrow marble lanes and cozy restaurants. Don’t miss a stroll along the Riva waterfront, lined with cafe terraces and boats.

For a more adventurous experience, hike to the restored 16th-century Venetian fortresses, or take a three-mile trail along St Anthony’s Channel to visit the ruins of St Nicholas fortress, another UNESCO-listed site. Šibenik is also the gateway to two national parks, Krka and Kornati, offering stunning waterfalls and barren islands to explore.

Book your stay at the Armerun Heritage Hotel & Residence, located in a former Dominican monastery by the waterfront. This stylish hotel offers 21 rooms and apartments with prices starting at €177 B&B in September and €112 in October.

To travel to Šibenik from the UK, plan for at least a 26-hour journey, including the Eurostar to Brussels, trains to Munich, and Flixbuses to Šibenik.

Arcachon, Atlantic coast, France
If you’re an oyster lover, autumn is the perfect time to visit Arcachon on France’s Atlantic coast. This major center for oyster cultivation offers balmy temperatures well into October in the sheltered bay, known as the Bassin d’Arcachon. While the small fishing villages on the bay are lovely in summer, Arcachon itself stays lively year-round.

In addition to sandy beaches and delicious seafood, Arcachon serves as a starting point for bike rides into the Landes forest or along the bay to the impressive Dune du Pilat. Avoid the summer crowds and enjoy stunning views and sunsets in September and October.

Choose the Hotel de la Plage for your stay. This attractive hotel offers pine-clad rooms and is conveniently located near the train station and the beach. Prices start at £130 a night in September and £94 a night in October.

To reach Arcachon, take a TGV train from Paris to Bordeaux in just over two hours. From Bordeaux, it’s a 50-minute train ride to Arcachon.

Sestri Levante, Liguria, Italy
Escape the summer crowds and visit Sestri Levante on Italy’s eastern Riviera. This charming town features two sandy beaches separated by a headland. The smaller beach, Baia del Silenzio, is a crescent of sand backed by colorful houses. Enjoy it at its best without the August crowds, as beach weather often lasts into October.

When you’re not relaxing on the beach, take a panoramic walk around the Punta Manara peninsula or visit the nearby Cinque Terre towns, easily accessible by train. Don’t miss the innovative cuisine at Ca’ di Ferae, offering traditional dishes in an untouristy setting.

Stay at La Casa dei Paggi, a gorgeous B&B run by Angelo and Giovanna in a 19th-century house surrounded by gardens. With just two guest rooms, a balcony with sea views, and homemade breakfasts on the porch, this B&B provides a cozy and authentic experience. Prices start at €110 for doubles.

To travel to Sestri Levante from London, take a train journey that lasts approximately 12 and a half hours. There will be changes in Paris and either Milan or Turin. From Genoa, it’s a 36-minute train ride to Sestri Levante.

Costa Brava, Catalonia, Spain
Enjoy the warm sea and cooler days in September along the rugged Costa Brava. Crowds have dispersed, making it the perfect time for swimming in the sheltered coves and hiking or biking in the hills of the Baix Empordà.

For easy access, consider starting your trip from Girona or Barcelona. Take note that public transportation can be limited in some areas, so plan accordingly or consider renting a car. Explore the beautiful beaches by taking regular buses from Girona to the towns of Palafrugell and Begur. For an adventurous experience, tackle the coastal walk from Begur to Sant Feliu de Guixols, following the old Camí de Ronda.

Indulge in the gastronomic offerings of Baix Empordà, including local specialties like suquet (fish stew), goose with turnips, and chestnuts. These flavors start appearing on menus from October onwards.

At Hotel Galena Mas Comangau, surrounded by mountain views and a short walk from Begur town center, you’ll find a converted 18th-century farmhouse with stone walls. Prices start at £104 in September and £75 in October.

To reach Girona, take high-speed trains from Paris, which make the journey in just under six hours.

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