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The beaches along the Mediterranean Sea all have their unique personalities, but can be great places to visit if you want to combine a beach vacation with a European vacation. One thing to remember about Europe's best beaches, in general, is that they are very developed, so don't expect to be alone!
Remember the old suntan lotion whose slogan touted a St. Tropez tan? Well, St. Tropez – in the south of France – has been a beach resort catering to the European and Hollywood elite since the early 20th century. St. Tropez is a lively town in the summertime, and it offers several beaches as well as French culture, food and nightlife.
The Plage Port Grimaud is the probably the best beach for celebrity sightings, or to show off your own designer swimsuit.
Plage de Tahiti is famous for its clothing-optional policy, while families might be more comfortable at the Plage de la Bouillabaisse, Plage des Graniers and Plage des Jumeaux, which has a beachside playground.
Crete, one of Greece's many beautiful islands, boasts almost 100 miles of beaches. Beaches along the northern coast are sandy and pretty developed; beaches along the southern coast are pebbly, but quieter and less touristy. In addition to Crete's long stretches of beach, the water is a deep, clean blue that beckons even the most tentative swimmer. Crete is also home to many small, quaint villages that will transport you to classical times. Note that because Greece is home to so many ruins and antiquities, there are strict guidelines for diving and beachcombing.
Ibiza is one of the hottest destinations these days. Located in Spain's Costa del Sol, Ibiza offers 56 beaches surrounded with lush vegetation and turquoise waters – as well as many, many jumping nightclubs. Popular with revelers, it is possible to find more tranquil areas where you can relax and recover from this city's wild nights. Water sports are very popular at Ibiza's beaches, so you might want to bring your board or diving gear.