If you’re looking for glorious sunshine, a taste of ancient history and some of the best sandy beaches in the world, you can’t go wrong with the Eastern Med. From Croatia to Malta, Tunisia to Greece, each destination offers something unique and exciting.
Here are some of our favourite gems across the Eastern Mediterranean, sorted by traveller type. So whether you’re looking for a family-friendly getaway, a romantic escape for two or the ultimate adventure, we’ve got you covered.
Want that perfect combination of city break and beach holiday? The ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ offers just that. Dubrovnik’s vibrant Old Town is filled with restaurants, bars, shops, art galleries and all the great things that give the city life, but step a little bit further out and the pace of life feels much slower, with quieter bays, beaches and coves. Whether you’ve been once, twice or a hundred times, Dubrovnik is always a delight and there’s always a new spot to discover. If you’re a cultural explorer who needs the perfect balance of relaxation and vibrancy, this certainly makes a great getaway.
Fascinating historical attractions, incredible natural wonders, gorgeous beaches and year-round sunshine are just some of the things that make Tunisia special. If you’re looking for sun, sea and a taste of a new culture, it is perfect. With ancient Roman ruins in El Jem, world-class museums in Tunis and incredible beach resorts in Hammamet and Port El Kantaoui, there’s plenty to see and do around the country. And with over 1,000 km of coastline, you’ll never be too far from a beach!
Foodies rejoice! You’ll find some of the best food in the Mediterranean right here in Malta. With British, Arabic and Italian influences, the cuisine is unique and absolutely delicious. Despite the small size of the island, there are five Michelin star restaurants, three Bib Gourmand restaurants and 23 Michelin-recommended restaurants in Malta. Not bad for an island that’s smaller than the Isle of Wight! Even if you don’t go to the most critically acclaimed restaurants, you will come across some amazing food –- the whole country is one big gastronomic delight. Be sure to try pastizzi (savoury pastries filled with ricotta or peas), stuffat tal-fenek (rabbit stew - the national dish) and lampuki pie (a type of fish pie).
Cyprus is undoubtedly one of the best foodie destinations in Europe. With Greek, Italian and Turkish influences, it offers a delicious and unique combination of flavours that you won’t find anywhere else. Be sure to try souvlaki (grilled meat), koupepia (stuffed vine leaves) and, of course, grilled halloumi, which Cyprus does best. Leave space for dessert – loukoumades (fried dough balls in honey) are to die for. The best foodie scenes are around Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos, but wherever you are on the island, you can bet you’ll be close to some great authentic food.
If you like to spend most of your time outdoors, Rhodes makes a great holiday destination. Mount Profitits Elias is one of the best hiking spots on the island. At the top, you’ll be rewarded with some incredible views – you might even be able to see Turkey in the distance on a clear day. For water babies, there are plenty of activities to try, from sea kayaking to scuba diving, kite-surfing to stand-up paddleboarding. Want more of an adrenaline rush on land? There are plenty of quad biking tours and jeep safari experiences around the island.
Much like Rhodes, Crete is paradise for outdoorsy folk and nature lovers. Horse riding, rock climbing, canyoning, you name it, odds are it can be found somewhere on this gorgeous island. For avid cyclists, there’s the scenic Rodopou Peninsula route that has picturesque views of olive fields and crystal clear waters along the way. For anyone who wants to try their hand at caving, there are over 4,500 caves to explore. There are also fantastic water-based activities, from paragliding to snorkelling to sailing, more than enough to keep you busy on your trip!
With its relaxing vibe and endless sunshine, Kos makes a great family holiday. For seaside fun, you’re spoiled rotten with the many golden sandy beaches scattered around the island. And with scuba diving, snorkelling, kitesurfing and water skiing spots there are also some great activities for older kids. There’s also Lido Waterpark, one of the biggest water parks in Greece, which is great fun for the whole family. It’s not all just sun, sea and sand though, a visit to the marina and a wander around Kos town in search for the best ice cream makes a great day out with the little ones!
As with Kos, the beaches in Corfu are exquisite, and there are plenty of watersports and activities to keep the kids happy. For something for the whole family, consider renting a pedal boat for an hour or two. Got kids that are interested in animals and marine life? One of the most popular attractions in Corfu is the aquarium, which is home to a range of sea creatures and reptiles. Alternatively, join a glass-bottomed boat tour and let the kids see the stunning creatures of the Ionian Sea in their natural habitat! And of course, for days where the kids just need to get out all their energy, there’s Aqualand with some fantastic slides for kids (and grown ups!) and a shallow baby area for little ones.
There are few places on earth more romantic than Santorini. The white washed houses, the winding cobblestone streets and the beautiful clifftop landscapes make it feel like the backdrop to a fairytale. With upmarket hotels, luxury villas and various fine dining restaurants and fancy bars, it’s perfect for couples looking for a little luxury. It’s also home to some incredible vineyards and wineries, so be sure to book a wine tasting tour with your other half. And for great sunset views and a romantic photo op, check out the Heart of Santorini – it’s worth the trek!
Mykonos may be world-famous for its nightlife, but that’s not the only thing it has to offer. There’s definitely a softer, romantic side to this island. In terms of beaches, sun worshipping couples will enjoy the soft sand and cerulean waters of Kalafati Beach, Ornos Beach, and Elia Beach. Facing to the west, Agios Stefanos Beach is a perfect spot for sunset, with some great restaurants and bars nearby. For a romantic wander, visit Little Venice and Matoyianni Street and stop at an eatery for some mouthwatering Greek food and a cocktail or two. How’s that for a romantic getaway?