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Old 03-13-2012, 11:01 PM
 
Location: Macao
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Is Italy or Portugal famous for beaches? Usually I just hear of Spain, France, Croatia and Greece for beaches.

The Europeans (or otherwise), among us....have you, or people you know, ever talked about going specifically to Italy or Portugal just for the beaches?
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:06 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Are you kidding? Italy has some very famous beaches. Just look at it, it's got the longest coastline out of those countries...far too many to name.

Generally people don't JUST go to Italy for the beaches because there's so much else to see, culture etc. The same can be said of the other countries, but it does seem there are more dedicated beach resort areas in the other countries. In general, the idea of anywhere advertised as a 'beach resort' is a bit of a turnoff. It usually means crowds. I love beaches, but the quieter, less changed by tourism the better.
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:09 PM
 
Location: Macao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Generally people don't JUST go to Italy for the beaches because there's so much else to see, culture etc.
That's what I was thinking....but, yeah, with the coastline, you'd think an unimagineable number of great beaches.

I just hear of the others though...but, must be because people most often talk about the other things to do in Italy, with the beaches being an afterthought comparitively.

Would be interesting if a European on the board says that they specifically go to Italy just for the beaches though, rather than to another European country for beaches.
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
Is Italy or Portugal famous for beaches? Usually I just hear of Spain, France, Croatia and Greece for beaches.

The Europeans (or otherwise), among us....have you, or people you know, ever talked about going specifically to Italy or Portugal just for the beaches?
ME. I've gone to just Italy and Portugal on previous trips, and will be going again this year.

Italy has an incredible coastline. I will state that not all of Italy's beaches are great. Some are pebbly. The better ones are off the beaten path, in the South (Apulia and Calabria), and on the major islands of Sicily and, especially, Sardinia. Sardinia has Italy's most beautiful beaches, but keep in mind that Italians overrun its beaches in summer.

Portugal also has fantastic beaches. Again, the best beaches are in the South, with the best ones being on the Algarve, the southern coastline which runs from west to east, bordering on Spain. That whole region, the Algarve, has beautiful beaches.
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:27 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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I think the whole infatuation with the beach is a northern European thing as well. Southern Europeans take it for granted, but Northern Europeans will take a holiday just to laze on the beach all day in the sun.
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:37 PM
 
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Funny, when I think of Portugal, beaches and sea side cities come to mind. Algarve in the Southern Portugal is just one of the many popular beach places.
Do not forget, Portugal have Azores and Madeira Islands.
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:41 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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While I do think of beaches when I think of those countries, it's more the history, old buildings, vibrant culture that sticks out more. Beaches alone don't 'wow' me, coming from Australia.
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Old 03-14-2012, 01:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
Is Italy or Portugal famous for beaches? Usually I just hear of Spain, France, Croatia and Greece for beaches.

The Europeans (or otherwise), among us....have you, or people you know, ever talked about going specifically to Italy or Portugal just for the beaches?
Portugal and Spain's beaches are overbuilt, full of canyons of cheap concrete.
A LARGE part of Italy's coastline is unfortunately the same scenario: in particular the Adriatico side... also the waterfronts of Italy's major cities isn't great at all: you'll never find something comparable to Santa Monica or Bondi Beach in Rome, Naples or Genoa...
Overall the best beaches are in Sardinia and Apulia.
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:02 AM
 
Location: Near Tours, France about 4710'N 025'E
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
While I do think of beaches when I think of those countries, it's more the history, old buildings, vibrant culture that sticks out more. Beaches alone don't 'wow' me, coming from Australia.
Well, I tend to think that European beaches are quite dull or diseapointing when someones comes from a place that have tropical shores. In mainland Europe, there are no wild/crystal blue warm waters/coconut trees/white sand/laggon kind of beach.
Also, the mediterranean in winter is around 15C, and about 24C in summer. Not quite the all-year-long warm waters.
The big dedicated beach resorts cities are usually mass-tourism orientated (there are a few exeptions). I don't say that there are no beutiful shores or beaches, there are actually a lot; but I don't think that beaches themselves should be the number 1 reason to go in any European country; there is no much more interesting to see than beaches.
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by italianuser View Post
Portugal and Spain's beaches are overbuilt, full of canyons of cheap concrete.
.....
Unlike Spain Portugal's beach area are not "full of canyons of cheap concrete." There are a few such places in the Algarve, but only a few and they do not begin to approach what you find in southern Spain.

Albufeira, Praia da Rocha and Quarteira in the Algarve are definitely such overbuilt places.

However, from Sagres on the far western end to Albufeira the development is not hideous, and in some areas no problem at all. Albufeira is a sprawling eyesore of touristic urbanization, but from there to Faro, with the exception of Praia da Rocha and the yachting town of Vilamoura-Quarteira there is plenty of beach room and open vistas. From Faro to Vila Real at the extreme eastern end of the Algarve there is even less commercial development and the towns are much more small-townish in feeling.

The west coast, the Costa Vincentina, has fairly stringent rules about developments and building near the sea, and except for the old small towns scattered along the coast is not developed at all almost until one reaches some place like Sines, a port south of Lisbon. The beaches are largely completely undeveloped or improved in any way...and if you know where the access roads are, you will find long stretches of virtually deserted beaches.

Lagos, where I live in the western Algarve, was just beginning to fall prey to over-development on the western and eastern ends of town. At the eastern end the dense (and architecturally ugly, though low-rise) buildings are clustered near the marina and at the beginning of the long stretch of beach gorgeous beach, Meia Praia, however along the road parallel to the beach there was considerably less and it was kept well back from the beach on the inland side of the road.

On the western end at Porto do Ms there was a rush of low-rise apts and linked villas packed around the little beach, but it began just as the boom went bust and is at a virtual standstill.
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