Wanting to venture a bit further than Ibiza or the Greek Islands this summer? It’s time to head out east for some sun, sand and Cyrillic. Check out our guide to the best beach destinations Eastern Europe has to offer and try something new.
Probably the most established of the eastern European destinations, the country’s coastline is littered with a thousand islands, stunning beaches and some of the bluest water you will see outside of paradise. Split is a good place to aim for, you can fly there in two hours from London and the city features a wide range of bars and restaurants. The city itself hugs a picturesque harbour with beaches stretching outwards into the suburbs.
It may seem like an unconventional holiday destination but hear us out. The seaside resort of Palanga houses an 18km white sanded beach surrounded by Scandinavian style chalets and plentiful Baltic beer coming in at around a £1 a pint. Being on the Baltic, however, means the water is not the warmest, so it’s best to go towards to end of the summer if you’re the type to be tempted by a dip. This may not necessarily be a drawback though, as this is a big summer holiday town, so the end of the summer features huge end of season parties encompassing both the beach and the late nightclubs located in the center.
Perhaps not well known to those of us from Western Europe, but Yalta is one of the most well established holiday destinations in the Ukraine. All the way down in the Crimea it may take you a little longer to get to than your standard sun and sea stop over, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it. The town was a favourite of Russian Czars and there are plenty of palaces around if you want something to look at on a day away from the sand. This will be a beach holiday with a difference: English is not widely spoken or understood, and although in Ukraine, this part of the country is strongly pro-Russian and so if your going to take a phrase book, Russian is the one to pluck for.
This country only has a relatively short stretch of coastline but it packs a punch for its size. Down in the south on the Turkish border you have the Strandja National Park, rolling forested hills and sandy coves populate this particular part of the world which features more camping and cabins than resorts and nightclubs. Head down to the beaches which are golden and clean and dotted with small towns on protected lagoons for some tranquility. The further north up the coast you go the hotels increase in frequency, as do the amenities.
Last, but by no means least is the vast country of Romania. For its size its coastline isn’t big, and so can get a little crowded, but that only adds to the atmosphere and activities on offer. Towns such as Mamaia – The Pearl of the Romania Riveria – Constanta if you want more of a city feel, or Eforie Nord (if you’re after a spa town) are all easily accessible from the capital Bucharest, which is the easiest place to try and fly to if you’re coming from the UK.
If you want to try something a little bit different this summer head east! You may even get a stamp in your passport.
By Mark Briggs