Anyone in Australia with an Instagram account during winter knows the feeling – the creeping dread at seeing your feed flushed with gorgeous scenes from friends and others basking in a European summer.

Lucy Folk is one of them. Since being founded in 2007, Melbourne designer Lucy Folk’s lifestyle brand has made waves both locally and internationally. Fans include Beyoncé, Elle Fanning and Bella Heathcote, and Folk’s initial jewellery range now includes sunglasses, hats, sock, hair accessories and more. A flagship store in Melbourne has thrived for more than a decade, while her newer salon in Windsor and concept store in Sydney have broadened the brand.

As befitting such experience, Folk is a well-travelled expert on globe-trotting summer holidays. Particularly when they include the ocean. “Nothing pleases me more than a day out at the beach or on a boat,” she says. “I belong near the sea. It beckons me.”

With this in mind, we asked Folk for her tips on her favourite beachside destinations in Europe.

Laurito – Positano, Italy
A cliffside village on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, Positano is well worth the trip from nearby hubs Rome, Sorrento or Naples. The village is home to “the tiny rocky cove of Laurito,” says Folk, accessible via a boat run by acclaimed restaurant Da Adolfo. “As you sit in the rickety old deckchairs with your bare feet in the rocky sand, you pinch yourself,” she says. And the food? “Lunch is to die for. The kitchen is set into the rocks, and the waiters clamber up and down the steep stairs in their bare feet.” The beach, meanwhile, yields scenic rocks and a hidden grotto of blue water.

Positano

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Aguas Blancas – Ibiza, Spain
The fabled Spanish island of Ibiza is an ideal weekend trip from Alicante. “This narrow beach is backed with incredibly high cliffs and one of the best naturalist beaches on the island. It’s 300 metres long and sandy [but] can be crowded in high summer.” Her preferred spot is the chiringuito, or beach bar, at the far end of Aquas Blancas, serving fresh baguettes, salads and drinks. Also: “Beach tennis [is a favourite].”

Aguas Blancas

Panarea – Aeolian Islands, Italy
“Panarea is out-of-this-world beautiful,” says Folk of this UNESCO World Heritage site north of Sicily. She singles out clifftop views of pristine blue skies over the water as the major attraction. “It is undoubtedly one of my favourite places in the Mediterranean,” she says. “It has a distinct, secretive, down-to-earth feel, which really helps one relax.” Folk suggests hiring a boat for swimming, sunbathing and visiting nearby islands at leisure.

Panarea

Cala Deia – Mallorca, Spain
Three hours from Barcelona by ferry, the Balearic island of Mallorca hides a small beach inlet Folk calls “one of the most charming places I’ve ever been.” Even with outstanding seafood and traditional Mallorcan food on offer, the setting itself is the star. “Cala Deia is sheltered by high cliffs that lead into pine forests, and it has some of the clearest turquoise waters and rock pools I’ve ever swam in,” she says. “It’s easy to see why it’s renowned as a place artists go to paint.”

Cala Deia

Playa Migjorn – Formentera, Spain
An island so small you can cross it by car in 20 minutes, Formentera is an annual destination for Folk’s family. “We go to bask in the glorious Balearic sunshine and swim in the crystal-blue waters,” she says. “My favourite beach is Playa Migjorn.” For lunch, she loves the lobster salad and sea views at 10.7 and, later on, the sunset is stunning. “Formentera is for people who prefer to escape the tourists and find solace in the beauty of the island,” says Folk. “It’s relaxed, salty, sandy and spectacular.”

Migjorn

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