European Beaches

I have seen many famous beaches in Asia, but still have a long way to go to prove myself to myself. My standards are awfully high, which creates my ambition.

Europe is not a place most people think of when they think of beaches. Europe tends to conjure up other images instead, particularly their world-famous museums. Europe has a peaceful Mediterranean climate in many places and has a beach culture. There are other oceanic viewpoints in Europe, such as in Iceland or Portugal.

European beaches offer more than mere beauty. It is the way they are developed and the expense of going there that matters. The higher costs draw in a more elitist crowd. Guatemala may in fact have some nice waters, but it is a low-end traveler’s paradise and kind of place. Europe’s beaches offer a certain exclusivity that other beaches simply cannot offer.

Malta is in a strange corner of the earth. It is classified as being in Europe, although its location and climate are more appropriately in Africa. This is a gorgeous little gem of an island that a European friend once told me was expensive and random. I once had great ambitions to go here for fun and exploration, but that ambition came to end. I got cold feet about going here, but would like to go one day when I can. It is a bit difficult and expensive to get to:
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Croatia was once a secret that has been found out. No one dared tread on this backwards, poor communist country. Then its close proximity to Italy, its rugged and peaceful beaches and its chill environment and attitude led it to grow into a traveler’s haven. Croatia has already been found out, but will continue to grow more and more developed for tourism. Additionally, Croatia’s low cost to tourists is going to spark a tourism boom to people well beyond Europe and it won’t surprise me if an adjacent prostitution business springs up alongside it:

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Montenegro will always be Croatia’s more upscale and exclusive twin sister:

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The South of France will always be a symbol of social status in prestige. I long used to think people only went there because they wanted other people to think they were rich and classy. This is still a huge motivation to go there, but I think it truly is a wonderful corner of the earth and worth seeing for its beauty and mystery. Nice, Marseille, Corsica are all French beaches. The status does matter. I used to fight it and say it does not. There are major annoyance and inconveniences about being in places like Guatemala or Thailand, even if they are more beautiful and exotic than France. There is a lot of poverty, sadness, grossness and lack of standards that comes along with these places that breaks the fantasy experience of having traveled. There is something more humane and higher-grade about traveling to Europe, especially to France. France has a reputation, and once you get that reputation, it is hard to dissociate from it:

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aerial view of beach in Nice
aerial view of beach in Nice

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Promenade des Anglais and Beautiful Beach in Nice, French Riviera, France
Promenade des Anglais and Beautiful Beach in Nice, French Riviera, France

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I have never been to any of these places and can only imagine what they are really like. That is the fun of writing a travel blog; letting your imagination unfurl. These are all famous beaches in the Med Sea.

One country in Europe that has awe-inspiring beaches not in the Med Sea is Iceland. Iceland is perfectly unique and habitable. It’s remote and isolated location combined with its haunting beauty make it one of my favorite places in the world. The Scandinavians, like the French, also have very high standards and are better than other European countries in many ways. I have been to Iceland before and have a burning desire to span every corner of the country one day:

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Reynisdrangar are basalt sea stacks situated under the mountain Reynisfjall near the village Vík í Mýrdal, southern Iceland. Legend says that the stacks originated when two trolls dragged a three-masted ship to land unsuccessfully and when daylight broke they became needles of rock
Reynisdrangar are basalt sea stacks situated under the mountain Reynisfjall near the village Vík í Mýrdal, southern Iceland.
Legend says that the stacks originated when two trolls dragged a three-masted ship to land unsuccessfully and when daylight broke they became needles of rock

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A volcanic sandy beach leads up to the Dyrholaey fingers along the east coast of Iceland.
A volcanic sandy beach leads up to the Dyrholaey fingers along the east coast of Iceland.

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There are many wonderful options for beaches in Europe. The most important part is the high standards, the display of social status and the beauty of the location that makes it stand out from other trips in the world.

Portugal is a legendary country. In fact, Europe’s prestige and power and position in the world all begins and ends with Portugal. The ambition, the efficiency and the fortunes they had were the things epics and legends are made of. It’s their style and flair and good taste that made them truly exceptional. Portugal is a magical place. Famous for their waterways and their cities that developed along them, Portugal is a place you go to be wonder and in awe of humanity. Their coastline and their beaches are a large part of their success. They had ambition to set sail for the entire world. They had the geography to do so. When you are in Portugal, you get the sense that this is where the exploration of the world all began:

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Europe is just not like other places in the world. Viewing its beaches holds one of the keys as to why that is.

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