The site of once-pasty Brits turning a shade of pink whilst bathing in the Mediterranean sun has been common-place for as long as there have been cheap commercial flights.
However, low-cost air travel and scorching weather is a recipe for bedlam on the beach, as British holidaymakers scramble for a portion of scolding sand on which to lay their towels.
But maybe there’s another way to enjoy some summer sun? Maybe, just maybe, there are European holiday destinations that aren’t swamped with sharp-elbowed tourists fighting tool and nail for the last lounger round the pool?
As it happens, there is: the Baltic Coast.
I know what you’re thinking, ‘I’ve literally heard Baltic used as a slang term for cold’, but from June through August, northern Europe is plenty hot enough. In fact, compared with southern Europe’s oppresive heat, the Baltic is for many an ideal temperature.
The northern coasts of Germany and Poland, as well as Denmark and southern areas of Sweden, enjoy comfortable summers that see the mercury measuring in the low to mid 20s. What’s more, their long sandy beaches are practically empty compared to the Costa del Sol.
Many resorts on the Baltic are far cheaper than their Mediterranean alternatives. On top of that, some boast neoclassical villas converted into luxury guest houses.
So where in the Baltic should you consider going for your summer getaway? Express.co.uk has plucked four options for you, all with their unique offerings.
This southern Swedish island is dazzling beautiful and is everything you’d expect in terms of Nordic architecture. This place has pretty little wooden summer cottages all over the place. Its beaches are stunning and quiet, meaning you really can relax and unwind away from the hustle and bustle of Brits abroad. The area is known for its fabulous fish and is easily reachable from Stockholm via ferry.
Kuressaare on Saaremaa Island is peak relaxation. End of. Why’s that you ask? Oh, because its got more spas than anywhere else in Estonia, that’s why. The coastal town a spa for every ten people. Every ten. No more queuing for the only tiny sauna in the hotel, Kuressaare’s got you covered. Despite its remote location, the island town is only four hours from Tallinn.
With respect to the great nation of Latvia, when you think of expansive beaches it’s not exactly the first country on your list. But after a visit to Jūrmala, it will be. What’s more it’s right next to Riga, so it couldn’t be easier to get to. In the summer temperatures are in the mid-20s, far more comfortable than the high-30s seen in parts of southern Europe last year. Once you’re done with the beach, why not head to the stunningly beautiful Kemeri National Park for a forest walk?
The cliche of the Germans always being the first to plonk their round the pool may or may not be true. But on the Timmendorfer Strand there’s no squabbling over the best sun loungers. That’s because our Germanic friends don’t even use them. Instead you can rent a strandkorbs – wicker sofas with canvas hoods – for 6 euros a day. And trust us, they’re far more comfortable. You’ll never want to recline on a rickety old sun lounger again. Despite being only two hours from Hamburg, it boasts white sandy beaches and temperatures of around 23C.
We hope you’ve taken inspiration from our four Baltic options. Perhaps next year, swap the searing heat of Spain for something a little different.
You’ll never want to battle for a perch on the beach ever again.