Ten Top Euro Beach Retreats

1. Greece:

Five new villas, swimming pool and café-bar make up BanSala (bansala.com), a new resort on Peroulia Beach near Koroni, southern Peloponnese.

2. Spain:

Two minutes from La Concha beach, the Kaixo Backpackers Hostel (hostelworld.com) at San Sebastian in the Basque country rents surfboards as well as rooms.

3. Portugal:

The recently restored Aqualuz Resort (sunvil.co.uk/ alentejo) on the white-sand beaches of the Troia Peninsula has luxury accommodation, watersports, tennis courts and an 18-hole golf course.

4. Crete:

Villa Kynthia (i-escape.com), a 19th-century merchant's house in Panormos, near Rethymnon, is now home to a five-room guesthouse with courtyard and swimming pool, a short walk from two sandy beaches.

5. Sardinia:

Retreat to the beach of Conca Verde, near Santa Teresa, and you could stay at La Coluccia (essentialitaly.co.uk), a boutique hotel with infinity pool, small spa and restaurant.

6. Montenegro:

Aman Sveti Stefan (originaltravel.co.uk) is the luxury hotel group's first resort in Europe. It is set on a rocky outcrop surrounded by beaches, a Unesco Heritage Site where a 15th-century fortress once stood.

7. Wales:

On the esplanade at Criccieth, with views across Cardigan Bay, the Caerwylan Hotel (caerwylan.com) is a stylish beachfront choice for those on a budget.

8. Sicily:

Stay at the newly refurbished Falconara Resort (expertoitaly.com) next to an old castle on the island's south coast. It has 65 remodelled rooms and its own beach.

9. Cornwall:

The St Moritz Hotel and Cowshed spa (stmoritzhotel .co.uk), near Rock in North Cornwall, has rooms, apartments and self-catering villas with direct access to sandy beaches.

10. France:

Private rooms or bargain dormitory beds available just off the beach at Vertigo Vieux Port, Marseille (hostelworld.com).