If you are considering a trip to the Mediterranean then be prepared to make a difficult choice. Medieval port towns, crisp white sands and arguably some of the freshest seafood you’ll ever taste, the Mediterranean region is worth exploring at length.
Though the rising popularity of Mediterranean cruises has made it possible to get an overview of countries like Spain, Italy and Greece within a few days, it’s difficult to pick out just a few highlights from an area this rich in culture, culinary and coastal delights. Here are five stand-out spots that can’t fail to come top of the list…
Santorini is without doubt one of the most postcard-worthy islands of Greece, and indeed, the Eastern Mediterranean. Located in the southern Aegean Sea, Santorini boasts beautiful beaches, sugar-cube houses and smouldering volcanoes. Drink in the cliffside panoramas at dusk before enjoying a sea urchin salad in one of the famous Fira tavernas.
Gozo is a tiny island of just 14Km by 7Km but holds some incredible natural beauty spots both inland and around its undulating coastline. This is a rural island, but is also home to some incredibly significant ancient sites like the Ggantija Temples, close to Comino Island’s famous Blue Lagoon and a mere 20 minute ferry to the sister-island of Malta.
Cinque Terre, Italian Rivera
Get ready to catch your breath when you first set eyes on Cinque Terre. This part of the Italian Riviera is famous for its stunning views, and the coastline here contains five colourful villages perched on dramatic rocks overlooking the sea. The area boasts miles of winding coastal trails featuring beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters that make this part of Italy a favourite with overseas visitors.
The Hyeres Islands, France
Just off the coast of Provence lies Porquerolles, the largest of the Hyeres Islands. This idyllic nature reserve can only be reached by boat and the island has few people but many stunning beaches. Rent a bike for the day and visit the secluded pine beaches, and end your days by indulging in some Provencal cuisine while watching the sun set.
Ibiza is one of the most famous islands in the Balearics, if not the Mediterranean. The beauty of Ibiza is that it has something for everyone: deserted or crowded beaches, peaceful resorts like Portinatx, historic port towns and of course some of the most exciting nightlife in the world. This is one island that has everything in abundance – including the sun – all year-round.
Photo by stephenpace on Flickr