As travel becomes more accessible, many of us are considering a dreamy European holiday. And nothing says you’re on vacation quite like sipping on a spritz while lounging on a sunbed at a beach club. European beach clubs are luxurious and one of the finer ways to enjoy a day on the Mediterranean. These venues don’t mess around, they provide world-class service, exquisite food and drinks all with a backdrop of the ocean with a live DJ soundtrack.
What sets it apart from simply hanging at the beach, is comfort and convenience. If you love spending a sunny day lounging on a sunbed and partying into the night, then you definitely need to reserve a beach club on your next European trip. These clubs are some of the more exclusive venues in Europe, so before you make a reservation, here are a few things you need to know.
When to visit a beach club in Europe
Seasons for each beach club vary, but generally, they are open from April through to October. Just like the destination, beach clubs also have a high season which is usually July until September. During this period we do advise that you reserve in advance, especially for the more popular ones. If not be prepared to arrive first thing in the morning and queue in order to get a decent spot.
How much do beach clubs in Europe cost?
As beach clubs are a luxury VIP experience, prices are not for the faint-hearted, but hey, it’s definitely worth it. Entry is based on the space you’re renting for the day, and some clubs have a minimum spend, which is pretty easy to hit with food and drinks. Food and drink prices are typical of high-end restaurants and clubs. As an indicator, expect to spend approximately $20 per cocktail or on basic dishes like a light sandwich.
The most common cost is a fixed charge for a sunbed or an area like a cabana. Beach clubs usually have several rows of sunbeds and cabanas, so you will need to pay a premium if you want to sit front row to the beach or pool. This gives you easy access to the water and the best views and seats in the house. Rates vary considerably depending on what beach club you go to, the season and even the day. The most expensive time is during the peak holiday months, especially on weekends.
What to expect
Beach clubs are set up for you to leisurely soak up the sea, sand and sun all day. They provide everything from towels, toilets, showers, small changing rooms, bar area(s) and a restaurant. Depending on what you reserve, you usually don’t need to move at all — unless you want to — as staff will be constantly checking up on you to make sure you are set for food, cold drinks and anything else your heart (and budget) desires.
There usually is a resident DJ spinning during the day and into the evening. Many hold events featuring world-famous DJs so it’s worth looking at the club’s annual schedule. Note the dates will sell out quickly, especially in peak season. There are some clubs that lean on a more loungey chill vibe, so again it’s worth doing a little homework before you book to make sure you find a good fit before you financially commit. As mentioned, live music goes into the night, so prepare yourself for staying the long haul. Believe us, you won’t be in a huge rush to go home.
What to should you pack to a beach club
Since your visit can last past sunset, below are some essentials you should bring.
- Sun protection like sunblock, hats, sunglasses, etc. Most clubs will have a small shop with these essentials — but be prepared to pay a premium price for them.
- A set of dry clothes so you don’t have to go back to your hotel before dinner or continuing the party. Most clubs will have showers, hairdryers and changing rooms so you can freshen up. Some clubs are even open until 2:00 AM so you can just change into your evening outfit and party into the night.
- Cash. While most places will accept credit cards, it’s good practice to have enough to pay for a taxi fare home, any extras you might need and to tip the servers.
The best beach clubs in Europe
Each beach club has its own vibe — it really depends on what atmosphere, music and crowd you’re going for. Here are some of our favorite beach clubs in Europe.
Nammos, Mykonos, Greece
This club has been named one of the best beach clubs in the world by numerous luxury travel publications. Located at Psarou beach, there is a restaurant, bar, private cabana area and rows of sunbeds by the ocean. While their beach is on the smaller side, Nammos focuses on its exclusivity as the elite crowd and celebrities are usually spotted here. The concept behind Nammos was influenced by the superyachts parked in front of its beach with an atmosphere that is about as relaxed and luxurious as it gets. Sunbeds can cost as much as $175 during summer for front row spots, not including food or drink.
Scorpios, Mykonos, Greece
A more chilled version of Nammos, Scorpios is also one of the best in Mykonos and is part of the Soho House family. Its bohemian aesthetic overlooking the blue seas is perfect for a chilled chic day out. Located on Paraga beach, you get a beautiful view of the sunset, especially from its custom-built stage and open-air terraces. When the sun sets, bonfires are lit and the music is turned up. The club is extensive, spanning three areas from the western sunset lounge, beach and sunbed area, the eastern terraces and small beach to the restaurant, music lounge and bar at the heart of the venue. This is a place you’d likely never forget in your lifetime.
Ocean Club, Marbella, Spain
Known as one of Europe’s largest beach-side venues, this modern and stylish club focuses on partying — they even have a seasonal calendar for special events and guest DJs. Located next to Puerto Banús, Marbella’s famous marina, their sunbeds have views of the sea and access to their huge saltwater pool. With themed costumed dancers and energetic dance music, this place definitely attracts bigger group parties such as those on bachelor or bachelorettes.
Nikki Beach, Marbella, Spain
Nikki Beach has multiple locations around the world and is known for its party scene. Resident and famous guest DJs play house music from the early afternoon before raising the tempo as night falls. The venue is divided into two areas: dining at the restaurant or lounging by the pool and beach club area. Dining at the restaurant unfortunately does not grant you access to the pool, so be sure to book the beach club if you want to have a swim. Booking the beach club gives you access to your allocated sunbed, prices differ for a beach or pool spot. The beach area is more loungey and chill, whereas the pool area has a party vibe, with many ordering countless bottles of champagne — which too often gets sprayed over the crowd.
Lido One Fire Beach, Praiano, Italy
Beach clubs in Italy are called a ‘lido’ or ‘stabilimenti balneari’, which means “shore” or “bank” in Italian. What sets One Fire Beach apart is that this is a boat-in beach club. Only accessible by boat or a steep cliffside path, One Fire Beach is a private beach with cute orange sunbeds and umbrellas lined up on the edge of the sea. Renting lounge chairs cost approximately $25 per person and $6 if you need a towel.
Cavo Tago, Santorini, Italy
Not a true beach club but this five-star boutique hotel does offer day passes to enjoy the sunbeds by their amazing infinity pool that overlooks Santorini’s caldera. They play chill lounge music and it’s a place to be seen and to see celebrities and the elite. To keep the place exclusive, daybeds are reserved first for hotel guests and the non-hotel guest price for sunbeds do come at a premium. For example, be prepared to pay around $240 for two guests for only two hours on a daybed. This includes two glasses of rosé and a plate of sharing tapas.