It’s not much fun waiting around at an airport because of an early or late flight. And It can be a real dampener to your holiday fun. However, there could be a sandy solution closer to hand than you think. So if you need to refresh yourself after an early start, cooldown after a flight delay or finish your holiday with a romantic gesture, knowing where to spend a few idle hours could be useful.
A sunset paradise
The Algarve has always been a popular destination for the Brits. But not many visitors think of heading for the fantastic sandy strip that lies within a few kilometres of Faro airport terminal. Free parking, cheap local tavernas, and relaxing beach bars flank Praia de Faro. The deep sandy shelf often produces pounding waves, and the water can be a bit boisterous for swimming. However, the real magic happens at dusk when the beach transforms into one of the most romantic spots on the west coast to watch the sun go down.
A relatively unknown alternative
Super close, just a three-minute car journey or ten minutes stroll from Split airport, Divulje Beach is rarely overcrowded. The mellow tunes from the beach bar give it a chilled vibe. And the nearby restaurants and cafes are an excellent alternative to suffering the poor menu choices at the airport.
The port adjoining Divulje Beach is also the perfect place to relax while you wait for a water taxi to Brac or Hvar. And the summer ferry to Split is far more fun than getting on a coach or taking a taxi through the sprawling suburbs.
A three-minute knuckle-whitening taxi ride will take you to infamous sandy Playa de Parma. This massive stretch of beach lined with palm trees and resort hotels transforms into a drinking and clubbing destination at night. By day souvenir shops and themed bars tempt you to part with your last few euros before boarding your flight. However, it’s not all bad. The waters are warm and shallow with very little surf, so it’s great for the little ones. And there are some authentic restaurants to be found if you take the time to explore.
A stunning stop off
Kefalonia’s international airport has accessible sandy beaches at both ends of the runway. The closest is Ammes beach which is just four minutes by car. It’s not only the crystal clear waters that are attractive either. This sandy beach is ideal for families and has an onsite restaurant too.
On the other end of the runway are two more gorgeous beaches. The pure white sands of Perifereiakos Aerodromiou beach are just an eight-minute drive away. It’s uncrowded shallow waters, beach bar and umbrella rental are a great combination. Further up the coast and just under ten minutes drive or a short bus ride away is Makris Gialos Beach. Popular with the locals too, it has a couple of great beach bars and is a fantastic spot to watch the sun go down.
Closer to home
If you need to get one last beach fix of the season, there are two fabulous beaches near Newquay airport. But unlike the Med, you may need to pack your wetsuit if you fancy a dip in either. Watergate Bay, with its magnificent surf, hotel and restaurants is only 10 minutes from the airport and the perfect solution for early and late flights. The charming covelike Porth Beach, which is so great for families, is only a few minutes more.
Not much more than a glorified shed in a field, the immense benefit of Newquay’s tiny airport is a quick transit through the terminal. Which makes it perfect for grabbing a cheeky breakfast by the sea within minutes of landing, or tucking into a tasty last-minute meal before flying out.
Other airports near a sandy beach in Europe include Dubrovnik Airport (Banje Beach – 10 mins ), Heraklion Airport (Karteros beach – 10 mins) and Antalya Airport, (Lara Beach – 15 mins).