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Europe’s Best Beaches Then and Now

There’s no denying that our favourite holiday destinations are changing with every passing year. But what did some of Europe’s leading beaches actually look like in decades past?  Take a look with our collection of visual history – holiday hotspots, then and now…

Fuengirola, Malaga

Fuengirola, one of Costa del Sol’s most popular beaches, was already a busy holiday hotspot in 1950:

fuengirols old

Fuengirola in 2015 – still a family favourite, and with good reason. The beaches feel calmer, but still clean and friendly:



One of the most popular beaches in Andalusia had a different look in 1960:

torremolinos old

Today, it’s a busy resort, full of life with a city skyline that has sprung up over the decades – though the gorgeous beach is still very much a part of the picture:

torresolinos new

Paradise Beach, Mykonos

In the 1970s, this relatively unknown Greek island beach was a haven for hippies and travellers.

mykonos then

In 2015, the Mykonos beaches are bustling and full of party-seekers—after all, who wouldn’t want to enjoy a nice cold cocktail on this crystal-clear cove?

mykonos now

 Llloret De Mar

Around the turn of the 20th century, Lloret De Mar was a small fishing village:

lloret old

These days, it’s a haven for holidaymakers, with hotels and amenities all within an arm’s reach of the sea—though you can still disappear into the nearby hills to get away from it all:

lloret de mar now


You used to land on Ibiza at a tiny airstrip:

ibiza then

Nowadays, things are a bit more slick – but still friendly and small:

ibiza now

Alcudia, Mallorca

The resort of Alcudia has been a tourist hotspot for decades – look how popular it was in 1960:

mallorca then 2

Nowadays, a sea of thatched sun-brellas and bright lilos greets you on the main beach:

mallorca now

Paphos, Cyprus

In the 1960s, Paphos in Cyprus was rapidly becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations on the island, although its hard to tell from this picture showing a rather quiet backdrop.

paphos then

It’s even more popular today, with bustling restaurants full of holiday makers and not forgetting the stunning beaches:

paphos now

Heraklion, Crete

The beach city of Heraklion on the Greek island of Crete was a sleepy fishing town in 1965. Here is Eleftherias Square:

heraklion then

The port has now grown to become one of the largest city’s in the whole of Greece, with the same square now a bustling hub for locals and tourists alike:

heraklion now


Back in the day, Benidorm was still quite enough to have farmland a stone’s throw from the water:

benidorm then

Nowadays… well, it’s safe to say the city has become a veritable hotspot for visitors!

benidorm now

Do you have some old holiday snaps of one of your favourite beach destinations? Let us know by sending them to us!

Image credits:

Fuengirola then by Todo Coleccion

Fuengirola now (public domain)

Torremolinos then by Universidad de Zaragoza

Torremolinos now by Pediant

Mykonos then by Dimitris Koutsoukos

Mykonos now by Squirmy2000

Lloret De Mar then by Lloret De Mar Bars and Pubs Guide

Lloret De Mar now by Xavi Garcia

Ibiza then by Savannah Ibiza

Ibiza now by Chixoy

Mallorca then by Piero

Mallorca now by Well Worn Road

Paphos then by

Paphos now by Thomson

Heraklion then by Crete Gazette

Heraklion now by

Benidorm then by Real Benidorm

Benidorm now by Spain Coast