The style: 24-hour party
The place: Sitges, Spain
With 17 beaches on offer, the Catalan coast around Sitges, 35km from Barcelona, has sand to suit everyone.
Fashion credentials: There’s no denying its reputation as a party town but Sitges also hosts its own Fashion Week(end) in June.
Hotspots: In the early evenings, bars around Plaza Cap de la Vila are the liveliest. For late-night dancing try Organic or Trailer, and if you want to party all day and into the night then it has to be L’Atlantida.
What to wear: For menswear, choose slim-fitting ensembles in clean, bright white.
The style: Elite clubber
The place: Saint-Tropez, France
Saint-Tropez in summer has more celebrities per square inch than anywhere else in Europe. Pampelonne is the sand to be seen on, and beach clubs are where the power players hang.
Fashion credentials: If you are rich, beautiful or well connected enough to get in, you may find yourself sipping champagne next to Kate Moss.
Hotspots: Clubs to try are Aqua, Club 55, Plage des Jumeaux, Moorea, Tahiti and Nikki Beach.
What to wear: Think Kate yachting in the French Riviera: retro sunglasses, waistcoat, hotpants… and bare feet for daytime dancing in the sand.
The style: Classic glamour
The place: Venice, Italy
Capri and the Amalfi Coast boast Italy’s glitziest beaches, with Beyoncé and Jay-Z among the region’s fans. A low-key but no less glamorous alternative is the 11km-long sandbar of the Venice lido.
Fashion credentials: In its 1930s heyday the lido was a favourite of Errol Flynn. Now it’s home to Chanel fashion shows and the Venice International Film Festival.
Hotspots: There are public beaches at either end, but book into one of the grand waterfront hotels, such as Hotel des Bains or the Excelsior for access to private sands.
What to wear: Pay tribute to the lido’s glory days in a retro two-piece. Come dusk, swap swimwear for glamorous sequins and red lipstick.
The style: Natural beauty
The place: Sylt, Germany
Germany is famous for its forests, but in the north are sandy beaches that hold their own among Europe’s best. The long island of Sylt faces the North Sea so the weather can be wild, but that doesn’t keep the jet set away from the island’s beaches.
Fashion credentials: The boutiques are high-end, but the North Sea air makes Sylt a hit with beauty addicts on all budgets – its high salt content is excellent for the skin.
Hotspots: Westerland is the centre of the social scene, Kampen is the celebrity hangout, and the quieter beaches welcome skinny dippers.
What to wear: For daytime, you won’t need much more than sandals and a smile. Come nightfall, cover up in a floral maxi dress.
The style: Arthouse chic
The place: Knokke, Belgium
With barely 70km of coastline to its name, Belgium punches above its weight when it comes to fine beaches. There are 13 resorts to suit every taste, but the most glamorous is Knokke.
Fashion credentials: Knokke is packed with chic restaurants and art galleries, and the promenade is the perfect place to parade new shoes.
Hotspots: The Royal Zoute Golf Club is the resort’s most fashionable destination. Don’t fret if you can’t play; there are also tennis courts for hire.
What to wear: Low-key swimmers in muted tones during the day. After sunset, stick to clean lines and colourful chinos.