The Mediterranean might be one of the best places in the world for a beach holiday, offering the turquoise waters of Mallorca and the heavenly sands of Sardinia, but some of Europe's more underrated summer destinations are just as glorious.
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You may have visited Holland for a city break, but there's a Dutch island you won't want to overlook if long, sandy shores and huge dunes made for cycling through are your thing. Denmark is also home to outstanding Blue Flag-awarded beaches backed by excellent seafood restaurants, charming shops and ice cream bars for holiday bliss. The water is cooler compared to resorts in southern Europe, but the white sands and seaside views are just as appealing.
The Atlantic Coast has some lesser-known beach beauties that rival the Med - and even the Caribbean - such as the Cies Islands in Galicia, Spain, which you'll need to see to believe. Meanwhile, Hossegor is France's answer to California thanks to its 250km of sand, pine forests and amazing waters that attract surfers - plus, it is still relatively unknown to Brits.