The Beach Guide

Best Beaches in Eastern Europe

Twenty years ago the idea of taking a beach holiday in Eastern Europe might have seemed ridiculous. Back then the first thing that sprung to mind when mentioning countries like Bulgaria, Croatia and Albania would be the somewhat depressing vision of grim post-communist austerity or war-torn Yugoslavia. However, 20 years on, this could not be further from the truth.

The coastline of the Balkans in particular has beaches to rival those of any other Mediterranean country such as Greece or Italy, but often without the crowds and at budget prices. Think crystal clear, azure waters, forest and mountains rising up from sandy beaches and friendly beach bars - that's the Adriatic Coast of Eastern Europe. Whilst travellers are beginning to discover the best beaches Eastern Europe has to offer there are still plenty that remain off the radar.

Here we have listed some of our top picks from the many fantastic beaches of Eastern Europe so please enjoy.

  • Primorsko // Bulgaria

    Primorsko

    One of Bulgaria's premiere beachside resorts, Primorsko also has an illustrious history stretching back to the Bronze Age. The town also served as a medieval fortress and valuable port between Western and Ottoman traders. That legacy of international exchange remains vivid in Primorsko's vibrant café and nightlife culture.

    Regardless… read more »

  • Sinemorets // Bulgaria

    Sinemorets
    ©Marcin Szala / CC BY

    Set close to the Turkish border Veleka Beach is one of two beaches in Sinemorets, and by far the nicest. In fact it is one of the most striking and iconic beaches in Bulgaria consisting of a narrow strip of soft white sand which juts out across… read more »

  • Grama Bay // Albania

    Grama Bay
    ©Silva.arapi / CC BY

    Situated on Albania's Ionian Sea coast Grama Bay is a small but beautiful cove almost surrounded by high, rocky cliffs. This semi-secret little beach is one of the real gems of the Albanian coast and as of yet completely untouched or spoiled by mass tourism. If you do make it… read more »

  • Gjipe Beach // Albania

    Gjipe Beach
    ©Ross Helen

    Gjipe beach is set along the same stretch of the Albanian coast as some of the other most popular, highly rated beaches on the Riviera. Located between the resort beaches of Drymades and Himara the beach at Gjipe has barely been touched by development.

    Obscured by the mountainous terrain, the beach… read more »

  • Dhërmi Beach // Albania

    Dhërmi Beach
    ©Linda Saitos

    Dhërmi beach is often cited as the finest beach in Albania - hard to argue with this when this is where Albaninian prime ministers allegedly come to holiday! It isn't hard to see why. Set in a small bay, the village clings to the high sloping cliffs which rise up from… read more »

  • Zlatni Rat // Croatia

    Zlatni Rat
    ©Kelovy

    The beach of Zlatni Rat is one of Croatia's best known with the most familiar view probably being from above. From here you will be left in very little doubt as to why the beach is often referred to locally as the "Golden Horn". Zlatni Rat juts out into the… read more »

  • Stiniva (Vis Island) // Croatia

    Stiniva (Vis Island)
    ©dronepicr

    Croatia's beaches and coastline are beginning to get a little more attention, and rightfully so. They are among the most stunning and sun-kissed in all of Europe with a growing number of accolades to back this up. Stiniva Beach was voted Europe's Best Beach in The Guardian a few years… read more »

  • Jaz Beach // Montenegro

    Jaz Beach

    Jaz beach is one of many fine beaches on Montenegro's Budva Riviera. Within easy walking distance of the historic town of Budva itself the beach at Jaz has a bit of something for everyone.

    Whilst on the one hand you will find plenty of opportunity to relax on a sunlounger,… read more »

  • Ksamil Beach // Albania

    Ksamil Beach

    You will often hear the beaches of Albania's Riviera coast compared to the Ionian islands of Greece, and for obvious reasons. Ksamil is located just across the border from Greece and within a stone's throw of the beach-lovers paradise of Corfu.

    read more »
  • Brela Beach // Croatia

    Brela Beach

    Brela is a charming little town on Croatia's Adriatic coast roughly midway between Split and Makarska. With the backdrop of the Biokovo mountains and lapped by the crystal clear azure waters of the Adriatic this largely unspoilt stretch of coast is quite stunning.

    There are a number of separate coves… read more »

  • Saplunara // Croatia

    Saplunara

    Set at the far end of the somewhat undiscovered Dalmatian island of Mljet is the seaside village of Saplunara. Even as Croatia edges its way from the peripheries of the tourist map Mljet remains one of the hidden gems of the Adriatic and this is despite being only 30 km… read more »

  • Sveti Stefan // Montenegro

    Sveti Stefan

    The islet of Sveti Stefan (Saint Stephen) lies just a few kilometres along Montenegro's Adriatic coast from Budva. With such a stunning backdrop the beaches here wouldn't have to be up to that much to still get the thumbs up. However, with crystal clear turquoise waters, pink sand and backdrop… read more »

  • Mogren Beach // Montenegro

    Mogren Beach

    Making up a particularly pleasant stretch of the Budva Riviera are the twin beaches of Mogren. Stretching for around 400 metres the beaches of Mogren 1 and Mogren 2 are connected by a cave-like tunnel through a small headland. It is worth walking the extra bit to the second… read more »

  • Varna beach // Bulgaria

    Varna beach
    ©Kritzolina

    Among Bulgaria's many fantastic beaches, Varna Beach distinguishes itself by being located in the heart of a thriving city as well as within a stone's throw of a host of other destinations. And that's not to say this isn't a great beach; in fact if you are looking… read more »

  • Banje Beach // Croatia

    Banje Beach
    ©dronepicr

    Croatia is home to some of the most naturally beautiful beaches in Europe but Banje Beach also offers a perfect backdrop of historic splendour.

    The beach is located on the edge of Dubrovnik's Old Town alongside the 17th century Lazareti and Ploce Gate. To visit this area is to take a… read more »