The Santorini of south Devon. Picturesque beaches as far as the eye can see – oh and Salcombe Gin Distilary!

Britain’s answer to Santorini, Salcombe is by far one of my favourite places to visit in South Devon. This gorgeous town is situated in the South Hams district of Devon within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). With a distinctly Mediterranean feel, palm trees litter the colourful, pastel streets of Salcombe. Wander down Salcombe’s narrow winding side streets and you will discover cafes and shops galore!

Beaches to visit on you holiday in Salcombe, South Devon

Beaches Near Salcombe

North Sands – family fun and fine food

A short, pleasant stroll from the centre of Salcombe will take you to North Sands, a popular family beach whose shallow water makes it perfect for paddling and swimming safely. Dogs are welcome to join in the fun all year round too. When the tide is in the sand all but disappears – a great excuse to head to the Winking Prawn, a beachside restaurant that serves some of the best food in Salcombe.

South Sands – ideal for Water Sports

Half a mile south of North Sands, you’ll come to South Sands, another popular Salcombe beach with excellent facilities. To save some energy for your day of sand and sea, why not take the seasonal South Sands Ferry from Whitestrand Quay? South Sands is home to Sea Kayak Salcombe, from whom you can hire kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and more. Bo’s Beach Café provides refreshments so there’s everything you need for a whole day out. Please note that dogs are not permitted on the beach between May and September.

East Portlemouth – sandcastles, sunbathing & swimming

East Portlemouth manages to be beautiful, conveniently located and well served with excellent facilities, while also being relatively quiet for most of the year. Sitting on the other side of the estuary from the town, this dog-friendly beach (actually a series of sandy coves) is best accessed by the all-year-round passenger ferry, which departs from the ferry steps. Venus Café provides high-quality snacks, drinks and meals on site.

Mill Bay – a sizeable sandy beach great for spreading out

When the tide’s out, you can easily walk the 300 metres from East Portlemouth beach to Mill Bay along the sand (although due care is advised to avoid getting cut off). When it’s in there’s an easy alternative route, so the East Portlemouth Ferry is still the best way to get there from Salcombe. There is a small car park at Mill Bay for those who would rather drive or are coming from the other direction. Mill Bay is a great spot for rockpooling and it’s dog-friendly too.

Gara Rock beach – one of Salcombe’s best kept secrets

Gara Rock beach illustrates the amazing contrasts provided by our part of South Devon. Around one mile from Mill Bay car park, you’ll come to this secluded sandy cove. Gara Rock beach is close enough to reach in 15 minutes or so on foot but secluded enough to provide a feeling of quiet serenity even in the summer season. Craggy rocks line the edges of the beach, giving excellent opportunities for exploring the rockpools with children.
Eating out at Restaurants in Salcombe, South Devon

Eating Out

Salcombe Harbour Hotel

Dick and Wills

The Winking Prawn

Gara Rock

Boatswains Brasserie

East Soar Walker's Hut

The Salcombe Coffee Co Ltd

Sailor V

The Wardroom

Captain Morgans Cafe

Things to Do in Salcombe, South Devon

What To Do

Over Beck's Garden

Salcombe Gin Distillery & Bar

Salcombe HarSPA

Paper bird island

Cranch's Sweet Shop Est 1869



Out and about in Salcombe, South Devon

Out & About

Walk the Salcombe to Bolt Head 2.75 mile walk on the South West Coast Path and take in the breath-taking view of Starehole Bay. (maps on sale from Salcombe Information Centre)

Watch the British Firework Championships take place from Plymouth Hoe during August.

Visit the Church of St Peter the Poor Fisherman at Revelstoke in Noss Mayo.

Walk the East Portlemouth to Gara Rock 3.75 mile walk on the South West Coast Path and take in the stunning view of the famous Salcombe Bar. (maps on sale from Salcombe Information Centre)

Visit Salcombe Crab Festival on the first May Bank Holiday weekend in Island Street, Salcombe.

Walk the AONB Salcombe to Snapes Point 2.75 mile walk overlooking the beautiful Kingsbridge Estuary. (maps on sale from Salcombe Information Centre)

Spend the day taking a leisurely stroll along the River Avon at Loddiswell.

Go Geocaching in the South Hams Countryside and along the South West Coast Path.

Salcombe town is lined with boutique shops, high street brands and independent producers, as well as local art galleries and gift shops – you can spend hours browsing through the town. Some of the best restaurants and bars are in Salcombe, serving locally caught fresh seafood and locally farmed produce. Don’t forget to try some delicious Salcombe Dairy Ice-cream or the award winning Salcombe Gin – both have in town shops and distilleries you can visit.

Events in Salcombe, South Devon

What's On

Featured Events in the South Hams.

Local Accommodation​