Dressing for Europe's Secret Beaches

Dressing for Europe's Secret Beaches

Ok, quick caveat: so there are no truly secret beaches these days, but if you’re looking for slivers of European coastline with dramatic vistas and not many tourists, the following are a great place to park your towel. 

Es Portitxol, Ibiza

While a day spent bronzing your skin and your liver at Salinas is always fun, sometimes when you’re in Ibiza you just want to escape the hedonism and reconnect with the self that you knew before the bender at DC10. One of the best places to do this is Es Portitxol - impossible to pronounce and just as hard to get to, but my, my, is it worth it. To access this stunning circular cove peppered with old fishermen’s huts, you’ll need to towards Sant Miquel in the north and get off at the road to Sant Mateu until you come to a residential area called “Isla Blanca”. From there, you take a cliff path that winds down through a thick cover of pine trees before the bay opens out in front of you. Take decent shoes, lots of water, a picnic, and snorkelling gear, then tune the world out and dissolve into the sea.

What to Wear
Please refrain from getting all hippy dippy with your wardrobe. That can happen after the impromptu ayahuasca ceremony. For now, embrace the style of the white isle and go with Oli's short-sleeved Riviera shirt in cream, which is constructed from a super soft cotton terry corduroy cloth which will help to wick away some of the sweat incurred from scrambling down to Es Portitxol. Tailored Osborne shorts in Lomas black keep the look fun yet sophisticated, while Porter-Yoshida & Co's pouch bag adds a functional flash of colour. 

Riviera Short Sleeve Jersey Shirt Lulworth Cream

Riviera Short Sleeve Jersey
Shirt Lulworth Cream

Osborne Drawstring Shorts Lomas Black

Osborne Drawstring
Shorts Lomas Black

Porter-Yoshida & Co Screen Sacoche Bag Orange

Porter-Yoshida & Co Screen
Sacoche Bag Orange

Kelebekler Vadisi, Turkey

Another tongue twister, only this time in western Turkey, Kelebekler Vadisi translates to ‘Butterfly Valley’, not on account of its shape, but an actual abundance of butterflies (up to 60 rare species inhabit the steep valley walls). After a fairly robust hike along the Lycian Way Trail (you can get a taxi boat from Faralya further south but that’s cheating), the valley descends steeply, with the lush verdant fauna eventually handing over to a jaw-dropping white-pebble lick of sand, and water of quite the ridiculous hue of blue. Mother Nature also threw in two small waterfalls into the bargain, in case the dramatic cliff faces alone weren’t mesmerising enough.

What to Wear

Given that it's a bit of a trek to get to the sweet, sweet sands of Kelebekler Vadisi, I'd suggest opting for a look made entirely from linen so that you keep your cool. Oli's camp collar shirts are just the ticket, and I especially love the pinstriped Havana style that you can dress up or down easily. In this case, you'll want to do the latter with a pair of pleated linen shorts. Make it a trio of linen by topping off the look with a cap to protect your face from the relentless Turkish sun.

Havana Short Sleeve Shirt Hutchins White

Havana Short Sleeve
Shirt Hutchins White

Pleated Shorts Bishop Pink

Pleated Shorts
Bishop Pink

Cap Padworth Green

Cap Padworth

Zagare, Puglia

If you’ve ever been to the Tuscan coastline, then you’ll know that the Italian’s love their private beaches. Expensive bagni is the Italian way in the summer, and that’s just how it is. So don’t feel irked if Zagare in Puglia also proves difficult to get to. The white limestone cliffs of the Gargano region, in the heel of the country, rise out of the sea in splendour at Zagare, with a pair of sea stacks punctuating the view. It really is magnificent - but there’s a catch. The beach is privately operated by two hotels - Baia della Zagare Hotel, and Baia die Fariglioni Hotel, and so you’ll need to be a guest to enjoy the two private stretches of beach. There is however a small public area you can get to, but you’ll need to request a pass from the Office of Public Relations of Mattinata, of which they only give out 30 per day in order to preserve the area. The effort will be worth it.

What to Wear

Given that the private beach of Zagare is perched between two pretty upmarket hotels, you've got lunch options, which means you probably don't want to be bowling up in a pair of wet shorts and scruffy tee. Instead opt for a tailored 'sprezzatura' vibe to make the Italians jealous. A long-sleeved linen shirt is a really versatile option as you can roll up the sleeves for an easy laidback look which you can wear with tailored shorts. Flips flops are a touch underwhelming when you're slapping your way towards the table so take a pair of Paraboot's tan suede sandals for some extra gravitas.  

New York Special Shirt Norton Blue

New York Special
Shirt Norton Blue

Osborne Drawstring Shorts Padworth Navy

Osborne Drawstring
Shorts Padworth Navy

Paraboot Pacific Tan Suede

Paraboot Pacific
Tan Suede

We love travelling at Oliver Spencer, and many of our garments and collections are conceived with different places in mind (Cartagena was the inspiration for this summer’s collection for example), so we wanted to introduce you to our partners and good friends, Secret Trips (secrettrips.com). They are a bunch of likeminded intrepid souls from all manner of creative industries who have made travel their passion, and they want to share their journeys and local knowledge with you.

To discover three more secret beaches, as well as a wealth of on-the-ground travel knowledge, head over to Secrettrips.com.

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