Mediterranean Getaways: The top ten best beaches on Monaco’s doorstep

As spring draws ever closer, we take a look at the top ten Mediterranean beaches which are only a hop, skip and a sail away from the Principality

The Mediterranean Sea, all sapphire and emerald and deep cobalt blue, curves and bends around 46,000 kilometres of dramatic cliffs, rocky shorelines, fragrant pine forests, and long sandy beaches of perfect beauty. When it comes to visiting the best beaches in the Mediterranean, Monaco residents are spoilt for choice.

Given that many of the Med’s best beaches are only accessible by boat or goat path, one of the best ways to reach them is by yacht – the mode of transport preferred by many Principality residents and visitors.

If you’re lucky, your yacht might be the only one in a quiet anchorage this summer, as you dive from the swim platform into the crystal clear waters of some of the world’s prettiest beaches.

There are thousands of beautiful Mediterranean beaches to be explored, and only one lifetime to see them all. This top 10 was compiled by the charter team at Worth Avenue Yachts; contact them to discuss a luxury yacht charter South of France itinerary to explore the best beaches in the vicinity of the Principality.

1.Navagio Beach, Zakynthos, Greece

This is quite possibly one of the most photographed beaches on earth, and little wonder. Often called ‘Shipwreck Beach’ or ‘Smuggler’s Cove’, this perfect arch of beach is surrounded by immense limestone cliffs rising above a turquoise sea, with the vivid orange hulk of a rusting shipwreck sinking slowly under the sugar white sands. This spectacular beach is only accessible by boat. Lucky you. 

2.Costa Smerelda, Sardinia, Italy

Blinding white sands, sapphire seas shot through with light, wildflowers growing along rolling dunes. Giant granite boulders creating crystal clear rock pools big enough to swim in, and lagoons of a startling blue. It is almost impossible to decide which Sardinian beach is the most beautiful – whether it’s Liscia Ruja’s long sweep of beach, Pevero’s soft white sand, Spiaggia Rossa’s famous pink sands, or the granite boulders of Isola di Mortorio. What is clear is that Sardinia easily has the some of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean.

3.Porto Katsiki, Lefkas, Greece

Sometimes we get trapped into thinking that the only perfect beach is a silky soft white sand beach, but anyone who has seen the dramatic sweep of Porto Katskiki on Lefkas would have to dispute that. With sheer cliffs rising up behind a narrow, perfectly formed curve of white pebbled beach edging a deep water bay of deepest blue, this is one of the most visually stunning beaches in the world.

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Image Copyright: shutterstock/Copyright: Mila Atkovska

4.Red Beach, Santorini, Greece

Black is beautiful. So is red, when it comes to Santorini’s beaches. Santorini was born of fire, and her vertiginous cliffs and black and red sand beaches tell the tale of her volcanic past. Perissa and Perivolos are the best of the island’s black sand and pebble beaches, while the deep red cliffs and sands of Red Beach provide the perfect contrast to the perfect blue-green water.

5.Pampelonne Beach, Saint Tropez, France

It’s not always about the sand quality though, now is it. Yachting is known for glamour, and there is nowhere more glamorous than the spiritual home of yachting: the French Riviera. Head to Saint Tropez down the coast from Monaco, to spend a day on Pampelonne Beach, where Brigitte Bardot posed long ago in a very skimpy bikini and changed the quiet fishing village forever. Of course, there’s always the desperately pretty Porquerolles nearby with its quiet, pine edged coves and clear waters if you want a break from all the glitz.

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6. Cala Mitjana, Menorca 

With wild, isolated beaches reachable only by boat or by foot, Menorca is a perfect testament to why chartering a yacht gives you so much freedom. Drop anchor by a perfect white sand beach surrounded by craggy rocks and pine forest. Cala Mitjana has clear green seas and Cala en Pilar has a reddish tint to the sands, while Cala Pregonda is another beautiful remote spot.

7. Patara, Turkey

The Turkish coastline is blessed with some of the best beaches in the Mediterranean, with white sands, clear waters, and the ruins of ancient civilisations. At Patara, you’ll find the ruins of a Roman amphitheatre just behind a pristine, stunning 20km sweep of white sand beach. This beach is nesting area for loggerhead turtles, which means it is protected from development. All the better for us to enjoy it.

8. Golden Cape, Bol, Brac Island, Croatia

Croatia is the new darling of the yachting set, and the beach at Brol on the island of Brac is a very popular spot to drop anchor. Called ‘Golden Cape’ for its rare sandy beach (most Croatian beaches are pebble), this forested headland has a distinctive spit of sand that extends into the shallow blue waters before plunging off into deep blue sea. This is a gorgeous beach where you can smell the forest and enjoy the view of the mountainous coastline- mind you, you won’t get this anchorage to yourself! It’s also one of the top spots for wind and kitesurfing.

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Image Copyright: shutterstock/Paul Prescott

9. Portigliolo, Corsica 

With its high green mountains and deep blue bays, this idyllic French island is another destination with simply spectacular beaches. It is famous for its three perfect horseshoe bays: Palombaggia, Santa Giulia and Rondinara, where you’ll find white sand beaches and perfect clarity in aquamarine waters. Portoglio, however, stretches on seemingly forever in a huge, perfect arc of white sand and sparkling waters – meaning you have a good chance of getting some of it to yourself.

10. Lalaria, Skiathos, Greece

Greece has such a dazzling array of stunning beaches that any one of 20 could easily be on this list. However, Lalaria gets the spot though for its remote, rugged beauty and famous archway rock. This beach is pebbled, but the scenery is so perfect that it’s hard to quibble.

Article courtesy of Aprylle Stuart, Account Manager at Relevance.