You can beach-hop across Europe with Eurail’s Global Pass, offering travel across 33 European countries to create a custom itinerary.
“With a Eurail pass, travelers of all ages can use an expansive network of train and ferry connections,” says Yi Ding, a Eurail executive. “Eurail history can be traced back to 1959 when the first Europass was introduced to American travelers to travel in Europe by rail after the Second World War.”
“In 2020 we launched the mobile pass, and now over 90% of American travelers use it to travel within Europe,” she adds. “It gives the traveler the opportunity to just use one single app to manage trips, to keep track of trips and show the tickets straight from their device to the ticket inspector. So much easier than using the paper pass.”
Below are a few outstanding European destinations offering watery pleasures, and you can travel there with Eurail.
Bay of Kotor, Montenegro
Montenegro remains an excellent destination for travelers on a budget. Think of lounging in the sun near the Bay of Kotor, surrounded by the magnificence of the Dinaric Alps.
- Where to Stay: The Waikiki Beach Resort with its comfortable beach beds in Tivat; if you want to be in Kotor’s historic town center, consider the Hotel Vardar.
- Beach Bars: Tramontana Beach Bar hosts themed parties and also boasts bay views. The newer Portonovi Hotel has a pampering beach club.
The Dalmatian coast offers some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, and a good base to explore them is from charming Split. Catch a game of Picigin, a traditional local ball game, at the popular Bačvice beach. Through your Eurail Pass benefits, take advantage of discounted rates to visit nearby islands by ferry, such as Hvar or Brac.
- Where to Stay: At the Harmony Villa Hotel and you’ll be near Bačvice beach; consider splurging for the Royal Penthouse with its sea view infinity pool. The Hotel Split has a small, sandy beach dotted with umbrellas and beach chairs.
- Beach Bars: Toast to the summer at Taboo Beach Club with its comfortable beach cabanas, or head to Mistral Beach Club where you can enjoy an open air massage.
Zadar’s past goes back to the Stone Age (Zadar is Croatia’s oldest continuously inhabited city). The Zadar city walls were built in the 12th and 13th century, and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city captivates history buffs with its Roman and Venetian museums, ruins and architecture. Near the Old Town you’ll find Kolovare Beach, with pebbly shores and plenty of shade. More beaches are available if you’re willing to venture further.
- Where to Stay: Stay at the beachfront Falkensteiner Hotel, or the boutique Hotel Delfin (that’s “dolphin”) with an expansive deck and hot tub facing the sea.
- Beach Bars: For crystal blue water and sandy beaches head to the Capitano Beach Bar on Vrsi, or to Portus Beach Club to hang out in their over-water beach cabanas.
Sestri Levante, Italy
The Ligurian Coast is arguably one of the most picturesque destinations in the world, renowned for its five cliff-side towns, including Cinque Terre. The historic fishing village of Sestri Levante offers beaches, delicious food and charm. The Fairytale Festival there is dedicated to the writer Hans Christian Andersen, who stayed in the Sestri Levante.
- Where to Stay: The Hotel Helvetia is nestled into a hillside. Right in town is the Hotel Miramare & Spa overlooking the beach on the beautifully named Bay of Silence.
- Beach Bars: Sit back with a chilled drink and a breathtaking view of sunset at Citto Beach Bar.
Nice, serviced by high speed trains, serves as a home base for day trips to nearby Cannes or Monaco. La Reserve beach remains a local favorite, and nearby Coco Beach is a tiny slice of rocks and pebbles that you may have all to yourself. Just 15-minutes away is the sandy beach of Villefranche-sur-Mer.
- Where to Stay: Le Meridien Nice is a beachfront hotel with an expansive pool terrace with views of the sea. The Westminster Nice is located just by Blue Beach, and boasts a relaxing spa.
- Beach Bars: The famous Plage Beau Rivage provides upscale cuisine and comfortable beach beds. And check out Le Galet, with its convenient location not too far from Old Nice.
(Find out more about train travel with Eurail exec Yi Ding — and hear a dreamy discussion of luxury train rides around the world — on Episode #61 of my award-winning travel podcast, Places I Remember with Lea Lane. Follow the podcast wherever you listen, or at my website at the link in bio.)