Oh we do like to be beside the seaside… unless, of course, it means lying towel to towel with a complete stranger on a packed beach. But if you want to sunbathe in peace, escape Europe’s bucket-and-spade brigade at one of these secret stretches of sand where towel space is guaranteed. Just don’t tell everyone…
This tiny archipelago nation enjoys more than 300 sunshine-filled days a year, so surely it’s a good candidate for your Vitamin D fix? From surfers to sunbathers, Malta has a beach for everyone – many of them worth seeking for their seclusion.
Base yourself in Valetta, the island's capital, for the best of the island's culture - whilst still being within easy drive of the island's beaches. The Saint John is a boutique hotel with elegantly-designed rooms and a brilliant casual on-site restaurant, The Cheeky Monkey.
The path down to Malta’s Fomm ir-Rih beach is steep, but you’ll be rewarded with a pretty, pebbly beach and crystal-clear water
Hit the beach
The southern tip of the island is awash with secret coves. Drive half an hour from Malta to the Delimara peninsula around Marsaxlokk and you'll find plenty of hop between (stopping at Marsaxlokk fish market afterwards is a must, too). Head on from here to Malta's western coast to spend the afternoon at Fomm ir-Rih. The path down is steep (it’ll take 20 minutes), but you’ll be rewarded with a pretty, pebbly beach and crystal-clear water.