All prices are the cheapest available (at the time of going to press) for July/August and calculated on maximum occupancy
Under £100 a week
MCM Camping is on a long, blue-flag beach in southern Montenegro with pitches under the pines for tents, campervans and caravans. There are also bungalows with garden or sea views and facilities include an outdoor pool, children’s playground and barbecue areas. There is a beach club vibe, with swing seats, cabana-style loungers and a restaurant on the sands that’s open until midnight every night and serves traditional Montenegrin dishes, plus seafood, pizza and cocktails. The campsite is four miles from pretty Ulcinj, which has several beaches and a walled old town, near the Albanian border.
From £65pp for seven nights camping
Black Sea, Bulgaria
Camping Krapec is backed by woodland and four miles of wide sandy beach which is part of a nature reserve on Bulgaria’s northernmost Black Sea coast, north of the resort town of Varna, near the border with Romania. The site has 300 shady tent pitches beneath the trees, 80 places for campervans and caravans, and five types of bungalow (120 in total). Bar Sunrise is a party spot in the summer, with live music, an arts festival and cinema screenings. It serves fish specialities, homegrown fruit and veg, plus cold beers and homemade brandy.
From £48pp for seven nights camping
Aran Islands, Ireland
Three camping fields overlook white-sand Frenchman’s Beach on Inis Mór, the biggest of the three Aran Islands in Galway Bay. Aran Islands Camping and Glamping also has 24 glamping pods, based on ancient beehive-shaped stone huts that used to be occupied by religious recluses and are still scattered over the island. Buildings are made from sustainable materials – the reception block is made from stones that washed up on the beach during winter storms – and hot water and lighting is solar-powered. The site is a short walk from the island’s main town, Kilronan, which has shops, bars, restaurants and the ferry port.
From £93pp for seven nights camping
Tent pitches are set among olive, eucalyptus and pine trees next to two private white-sand beaches on family-owned land on the Sithonia peninsula in Halkidiki. Areti Camping & Bungalows also has 19 wooden cottages and eight stone bungalows to rent. Campers can swim to three small Aegean islands 300 metres from land; other activities include watersports, tennis, volleyball and hiking. The closest town is Neos Marmaras, seven miles away and it’s a day trip to the Unesco-listed rock formations and monasteries of Meteora.
From €63pp for seven nights camping
Under £250 a week
Slovenia may only have 30 miles of coastline but Camping Adria makes the most of it, with six pitches right on the beach and many more close to it. There are 430 pitches in total, spread over 17 acres, some further back in the pine and cedar trees. There is an Olympic-size salt-water pool by the sea, a watersports centre, a sports area with beach volleyball, and a gym and spa. Restaurants and bars include a taverna with sea views and a beach cafe. The campsite is part of the Adria Ankaran resort, which includes a hotel in a former Benedictine monastery. The resort is 10 minutes from the medieval port town of Koper, halfway between Trieste in Italy and Piran in Slovenia.
From £197pp for seven nights
Brännskär, an island and old fishing homestead in Finland’s Åboland archipelago, is a now a nature lover’s adventure playground called Living Archipelago. There are beaches and a nature trail, plus paddleboards, kayaks, boats and fishing hire. Log cabins are available to rent, and from 1 June four furnished tents are being added, sleeping up to four each, with sea views. There are compost toilets, plus showers, barbecues and a swimming beach 300 metres away. Breakfast can be served at the tent or in the cafe or restaurant. A beachside wood-fired sauna, campfire and regular live music complete the experience.
From £226pp for seven nights glamping
Costa Brava, Spain
Cala Llevado is a wooded, rocky campsite overlooking a large bay, reached by steep paths and steps. There is access to four beaches: a big sandy one, a pebbly one that is good for kayaking, one with a bar, and a rocky cove for nudists. The site also has a large pool with sea views and paddling pool. Pitches (tents, camper vans and caravans) are in the pine and cork oak forest, with those closest to the sea reserved for tents. There are also mobile homes and glamping pods, plus a bar-restaurant, shop and kids’ club. The site is two miles from Tossa de Mar on the Costa Brava, between Barcelona and the French border.
From €122.50pp for seven nights camping
Near Perpignan, France
A new waterfront aparthotel opens on 28 April in Saint-Cyprien, a village near the Mediterranean town of Perpignan. Les Bulles de Mer has bright one- to three-bedroom apartments with terraces, plus beach access, an outdoor pool with a bar and a restaurant serving food from the local market. Guests can hire paddleboards and bikes, do daily yoga and pilates, and destress in flotation tanks in the spa. A free shuttle runs from the beach to the centre of the village, which has Cayrou architecture, a Romanesque church, an excellent gallery (based on the painter François Desnoyer’s art collection) and Catalan festivals.
From €240pp for seven nights
Under £350 a week
Croatia’s “first full glamping site”, Arena One 99 is in a pine forest in Pomer on the southern tip of the Istrian peninsula, near Medulin and Pula. Two hundred lodge tents, sleeping two to six, have proper beds and bathrooms, private decks and top tech (Bose sound systems, Illy espresso machines); bigger tents have kitchenettes and a second bedroom – some even have another storey. There is a windsurfing centre on pebbly Pomer beach, a yoga deck in the forest, a sauna and hot tubs, spa treatments and a beach-based kids’ club. Self-caterers have a grocery store on-site, and there is a cafe, two beach bars and a restaurant.
From £276pp for seven nights
Six simple apartments overlook big sandy Pembroke Bay, and 100 metres away The Bay’s family-run apartments sleep two to six and share a swimming pool, tennis court and barbecue area. Two other beaches aren’t much further, and there are a couple of restaurants and the bus stop to St Peter Port, the island’s “capital”, right on the doorstep. Guests get discounts on trips to Herm island.
From £267pp for seven nights
A trio of ultra-modern wood and glass cabins sit by the beach on the Kassandra peninsula, Halkidiki. The iHouses have huge sliding glass doors, sea-facing balconies, open-plan living spaces with sleek, custom-made wooden furniture, and shower rooms. They share an outdoor kitchen, a wooden terrace and a barbecue area – guests can buy fish from the nearby small port. Paliouri beach is a few steps away, where there is a beach bar and restaurant. Paliouri village is a 10-minute drive.
From £326pp for seven nights
Hotel Les Tourelles is the former home of the perfumer Pierre Guerlain, who popularised the resort of Le Crotoy in the 19th century. Its long sandy beach is the only one in northern France that faces south, and inspired painters including Sisley, Toulouse-Lautrec and Seurat. Today, the 35-room hotel has the same panoramic views over the Somme Bay, but the decor is a more modern Nordic style. There is a seafood-heavy restaurant and a terrace facing the beach. A steam train chugs around the bay from Le Crotoy to St Valery.
From £308pp for seven nights
Under £450 a week
Near Lisbon, Portugal
Noah’s Surf House in Santa Cruz has eight rooms and 13 bungalows facing the sea, plus a rooftop with a whirlpool bath and sunset deck; a pool, gym and skatepark; a restaurant and an organic vegetable garden. The cheapest rooms sleep up to eight in bunkbeds, hanging beds or mezzanines. The eye-catching building is made from concrete, glass, cork and wood; it uses solar panels, heat pumps and a rainwater system, and incorporates green roofs and lots of upcycled design features. Prices include breakfast and all group activities (skateboarding, trekking, yoga, fitness etc) except surf and paddleboard lessons.
From £460pp for seven nights B&B and activities
This four-bedroom beach house has a garden out front and the beach behind. The stone property, which was built in the 1950s and has been recently refurbished, is less than a mile from the town of Boiro. It has two double bedrooms and two singles, an open-plan lounge/kitchen with sea views, three bathrooms and a balcony. Barrana beach is a quiet two-mile stretch of sand with a promenade for walking or cycling (two bikes are included), while livelier Carragueiros beach is within walking distance. It is a 40-minute drive to Santiago de Compostela.
£398pp for seven nights
A three-bedroom villa, 10 metres from a sandy beach, Beach House I Gelsi has been recently renovated by its interior design-trained owners. It has a garden with an allotment and grape vine, outdoor dining area with a barbecue, and a terrace. Torre Chianca is a quiet Puglian summer resort – there is a bar, but the nearest shops (baker, butcher, greengrocer) and restaurants (a cafe, pizzerias, fish restaurants) are a five-minute drive away in Frigole, while baroque Lecce is seven miles south.
From £405pp for seven nights (£315pp first week of July), essentialitaly.co.uk
Cottage do Mar is a cosy fisherman’s place for two near Calheta, above what is essentially a private beach for a handful of properties. The cottage is open-plan, with doors that open the full width, giving sea views. Plenty of original features have been retained, such as the old bread oven. The bougainvillea-bedecked yard has a table, barbecue and sunbeds. The beach, 30 metres below, is reached by a stepped path, and has a beach hut (shared with two other cottages). Car hire is essential to reach the secluded property.
From £455pp for seven nights
Under £550 a week
A former oceanfront restaurant in Charco del Palo has been converted into a villa. Eco Romantico Beach, which opens in April, has five en-suite bedrooms with kitchenettes (two yurt bedrooms will be added later), a living/dining area, roof terrace and solar-heated swimming pool. Guests can also swim in the sea pools below the villa. Charco del Palo is the island’s only naturist resort, so clothes are optional. The property is owned by Lanzarote Retreats, which has rentals across the island, from yurts and cottages to penthouse apartments.
From £462pp for seven nights
Côte d’Azur, France
Menton, despite being known as “the pearl of the French Riviera”, is much more affordable than its glitzy neighbours Saint-Tropez, Cannes and Monaco. The Napoleon hotel on the seafront, right across the road from one of the 11 beaches of the Bay of Garavan, is a budget but stylish option. The 44 contemporary rooms have a white and blue palette with artworks by Jean Cocteau and Graham Sutherland, who both had connections with Menton, and views of either the sea, the mountains or the hotel’s tropical gardens. There is a solar-powered pool, a gym and bar.
From £510pp, room only
Agni Beach Cotttage is a converted cafe that has been in the Katsaros family since it was built in 1898, and is now a cosy beachfront bolthole. It is an end-terrace one-bedroom cottage with a kitchen, lounge and shady terrace with a hammock, barbecue and two sunbeds. The cottage is on Agni Bay, a white-pebble beach in Gimari, 17 miles north of Corfu town. There are jetties for swimming, snorkelling and boating, plus three tavernas and a bar/cafe. It is 20 minutes’ walk north to Kalami Bay, a beach resort where novelist Lawrence Durrell once lived.
From £529.50pp for seven nights in July (£710 for seven nights from 12 July onwards)
Med-Inn is a laid-back, family-friendly beach hotel on the Bay of Güllük, 25 miles from Bodrum (and more than 500 miles from the earthquake zone of eastern Turkey). As well as a private beach, there is a jetty with sunloungers, a pool and gardens. All 26 rooms are suites with sea views and balconies (family suites have twin beds in the living room). There are two restaurants specialising in seafood and a top-floor dining room. The nearest village is Güllük, which has a handful of cafes and shops. Guests can also book a sailing trip on a gulet, take a boat trip to the ancient Greek city of Iasos, spend a day in Bodrum or beach hop along the Bodrum peninsula. A stay here will just break the budget, but you have to factor in the generous buffet breakfast that’s included.
Seven nights from £565pp