Best Beaches in Eastern Europe

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  • Kara Dere // Bulgaria

    Kara Dere
    ©Svilen Enev

    In recent decades much of Bulgaria's Black Sea Coast has been transformed by mass tourism, which is what makes Kara Dere Beach so special in how wild and untamed it remains. 

    The beach's name derives from the Turkish word "kara" meaning "black" and "dere" meaning "gully", and its wild status continues to make it a black sheep amongst Bulgaria's more tourist-heavy, resort-laden coast. It is one of the few areas that… read more »

  • Duni Beach // Bulgaria

    Duni Beach
    ©SpaceControl / CC BY

    Bulgaria's beaches come in all shapes and sizes to suit all visitors. Duni Beach has the distinction of being one of the most resort-friendly beaches in Bulgaria. With a number of well catered for resorts in close proximity, this is definitely a great beach to consider visiting.

    This is also one of the most recently developed beach areas in Bulgaria. While Dyuni Beach obviously predates the arrival of the resort in… read more »

  • Atliman Beach // Bulgaria

    Atliman Beach
    ©Zourich / CC BY

    Atliman Beach is another perfect example of a sun-kissed Bulgarian beach that has become a popular holiday destination in the past few years. The resort has grown in popularity in recent years with a number of hotels springing up in the area.

    The beach here is quite unique in that it has a natural feel with sand dunes to the rear and bookmarked by wooded headlands, but is also located a… read more »

  • Sveti Vlas // Bulgaria

    Sveti Vlas

    One of the Bulgaria's most upwardly mobile resorts, Sveti Vlas (St. Vlas) Beach is rapidly developing into an popular yachting port with a host of facilities. Located about 5 km north of the Sunny Beach, the area and sits at the foot of the Balkan Mountains. Sveti Vlas is actually a cluster of three smaller beaches which together total 1,500 km of fine golden sand.

    One of the biggest sights in… read more »

  • Shkorpilovtsi Beach // Bulgaria

    Shkorpilovtsi Beach

    Sometimes one of the best things about traveling is finding hidden gems you'd never think to look for but, once you arrive, can't imagine how you lived without. Such is the case with Shkorpilovtsi. While it may not have the notoriety of some of Bulgaria's bigger beaches, it's nevertheless a great slice of authentic Bulgarian beach town life.

    Located near Varna, Shkorpilovtsi Beach allows you to enjoy the area's famed… read more »

  • Nugal beach // Croatia

    Nugal beach

    If you're looking for a beautiful place to bask in the sun, bronze your skin, and bare all, it's hard to beat Nugal Beach. Croatia's best known nudist beach, Nugal Beach is a place where all things natural are celebrated.

    The beach here is a small stretch of soft white sand bookmarked by sheer rocky cliffs. Far and away Nugal Beach's most notable feature is the waterfall which cascades down the… read more »

  • Bunec beach // Albania

    Bunec beach

    Bunec Beach is a quiet, yet beautiful, spot near Saranda in Albania. With a backdrop of mountains  it offers an opportunity to get in touch with the natural beauty of Albania. 

    Littered with white pebbles, the water at Bunec is crystal clear and the beautiful shade of blue-green you only find in the Ionian Sea. The remote location means visitors will have no trouble finding a quiet and secluded spot. A… read more »

  • Sveti Ivan // Croatia

    Sveti Ivan
    ©Miroslav Vajdic

    Sveti Ivan, or St John's Beach (and sometimes Lubenice Beach), lies on the island of Cres. It is one of the string of islands in the Istria Peninsula. Ferries can be caught from the mainland at Brestova, and make the trip more than a dozen times a day in the high season.

    Named as one of the top 40 beaches in the world by German magazine Bild, Sveti Ivan is a… read more »

  • Kamenovo // Montenegro

    ©Leonid Dzhepko

    The south facing Kamenovo Beach (Kamenovo Pla┼ża) sits in a shallow bay beside the warm turquoise waters of the Adriatic Sea and the attractive vegetation of the Budva Riviera. It makes Budva its closest major town, roughly two kilometres away, with buses and taxis plying the route between the two with regular occurrence.

    Stretching for several hundred metres in length, Kamenovo Beach forms a D of fine light sand with… read more »

  • Albena Beach // Bulgaria

    Albena Beach
    ©Boby Dimitrov / CC BY

    This beautiful expanse of fine golden sand stretches for 5 Km (3 miles) and is largely backed by the woodland of the Baltata National Reserve. Despite being on the Black Sea coast the water is anything but black here. Maybe the "crystal clear azure coast" would have been a more appropriate name as this beach is the proud owner of a Blue Flag award.

    The Blue Flag award is not… read more »

  • Ahtopol // Bulgaria

    ©Nenko Lazarov / CC BY

    For the perfect mix of natural beauty and millennia-old history, look no further than Ahtopol Beach. Found within the greater confines of Strandzha Nature Park, this is the largest protected area in Bulgaria and home to a wonderful array of flora and fauna. Eighty percent of the reserve is covered in forests, making the beach areas stand out that much more as a glittering sandy getaway.

    From a historical perspective, the… read more »

  • Silistar // Bulgaria

    ©Marcin Szala / CC BY

    Straddling the border between Bulgaria and Turkey, Silistar is a perfect beach for anyone looking to soak up some sun as they go country hopping between these Black Sea neighbours. The little beach is located about 5 km south of the Sinemorets area and is a great hidden gem for those savvy enough to go looking for it.

    Once you arrive, you'll find lovely sun-kissed golden sand partly shaded… read more »

  • Irakli Beach // Bulgaria

    Irakli Beach
    ©alex yosifov / CC BY

    Of all the distinctions between beaches in Bulgaria, whether it is a developed resort beach or a "wild" beach prubably has the biggest impact. Whilst the former are supposedly more appealing to famiies and revellers, the latter will attract more adventurous spirits. This is a generalization, of course, but one beach that stands out on the "wild" side of things is Irakli Beach.

    Located about 4 km from the nearby village… read more »

  • Sozopol // Bulgaria

    © / CC BY

    For an enticing blend of the old and the new, look no further than Sozopol. One of the oldest towns on the Bulgarian Black Sea Riviera, there's a lot to see here historically speaking, from the Archaeological Museum to the Southern Fortress Wall to the Old Town area, where many of the homes are over a century old.

    Once you're ready to head down to the beach, you'll have the choice… read more »

  • Petrovac Beach // Montenegro

    Petrovac Beach
    ©Mazbln / CC BY

    A popular summer spot on the Budva Riviera, Petrovac is a charming little town wrapped around a cove. The beachfront has a few newer apartment buildings but largely retains the old stone buildings that are quite charming. This is a more relaxing and upmarket holiday spot than other resorts on the coast, with fewer clubs and beach parties; it is a place to come and relax as you take in… read more »