The mention of the Mediterranean conjures up images of sparkling azure waters and golden sands graced with the sun. From France to Spain, Malta to Italy, the Med has so much to offer and each getaway provides something different. Here, we reveal ten extraordinary spots in the Med and the reasons they are so special.
Situated on the south east corner of Spain, Cabo de Gata is easy to reach from the city of Almeria. Here you will find a fantastic nature reserve (Parque Natural del Cabo de Gata-Níjar) with beautiful wild beaches and stunning views. One of the famed beaches and an extended section of the park is Monsul Beach. Dotted with sand dunes, Monsul Cove features a craggy formation known as Peineta. It has been featured in popular films such as Lawrence of Arabia, and is highly protected. In the middle of the crystal clear beach is an enormous rock, a perfect place to wind down and take in the glorious surroundings.
Isla del Portitxol is an islet between Cap Negro and Cap Prim in Alicante province. Engulfed by a lush Mediterranean forest, it is one of the most breathtaking bays on the southern coast of Javea and an ideal spot for hikers and nature buffs. The surrounding cliffs provide a scenic backdrop for the rustic Portixol beach, which is characterised by intense blue waters, rocks, pebbles, and gravel. Scuba divers love the waters of this beach because the rocky bottoms have interesting fauna and Posidonia seaweed meadows. It’s also a great spot to try water sports like kayaking and canoeing. The best vantage points in Isla del Portitxol include L'illa, Cap Negre, Mirador de la Cruz del Portitxol and La Falzia, which are connected by an easy hiking route.
If you are visiting the south of France and looking for a place to hike, Calanque d’En-Vau is a great option that promises breathtaking views. Sitting between Cassis and Marseille, it is also easy to explore by boat. The steep-walled Mediterranean inlet is famed for white rocky cliffs descending to the clear sea. The overall view is a dramatic palette of white, blue, and green. If you’re the adventurous type, be sure to swim, kayak and/or snorkel at the fishing port in Calanques National Park.
Villasimius is a small village in the east of Cagliari, Sardinia with incredible scenery and relaxing beaches. A 10 minute drive away, you’ll find Capo Carbonara which has a protected marine area that makes for a great snorkelling spot. The beautiful lagoon Stagno Notteri hosts pink flamingos in the winter season. On the seaward side are various beaches like Porto Giunco, a favourite for families with kids, and Spiaggia di Simius where you can take a dip in Polynesian blue waters.
Hvar, located off the Dalmatian coast, is the longest and sunniest island in Croatia. The ancient town, which is still surrounded by 13th-century defense walls, is filled with some great boutiques, cafes, restaurants and galleries. Don’t miss the harbour, which is the ultimate spot for watching the world go by. Grab a drink at a local cafe and gaze at the shimmering superyachts against a backdrop of palm trees and white-stone buildings. If you have time, take a trip to the picturesque Sveti Klement island which is smaller than Hvar but just as idyllic.
Kekova Island is an extensive region in Turkey's Mediterranean shore near Demre. Hidden below the waters of Kekova are the remains of a once great sunken city and some ruins from the Byzantine era. Along the stony coast, you can spot boats stopping at a cave, smouldering pyramids, and goats grazing among the ruins. Kekova is great for cultural explorers seeking a combination of fascinating historic ruins, relaxation and sunshine.
On the southwest coast of Turkey is Kaleköy village, also known as Simena. The watery paradise is home to ancient Simena's ruins and a Crusader fortress overlooking the sea. Close by are the remains of temples and some public baths. From a high point above the fortress, you can spot old city walls and Lycian tombs. Kaleköy is a favourite spot for yachting and boat cruises.
One of the most surreal places in the Mediterranean, the Blue Grotto is a collection of sea caves, between the port of Wied iz-Żurrieq, Zurrieq and Filfla, a deserted islet. Get up early to enjoy the cave at its best, because between dawn and midday the effect of the sunlight illuminates the water and creates beautiful hues, some with phosphorescent tones.
Sitting in the Paphos district of Cyprus, Petra Tou Romiou (‘Rock of the Roman’) is a geological formation of rocks and the mythical birthplace of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Legend has it that Aphrodite rose from the sea, escorted on a shell to the beach. As well as being a great spot for mythology and history buffs, this is one of the best beaches in Paphos with a great view at sunset.
On the border between Israel and Lebanon, you’ll find this incredible natural wonder. These grottoes were formed by sea erosion thousands of years ago. For years, the grottoes could only be accessed by diving into the water. These days, you only need to hop on a cable car. During the Second World War, tunnels were added for the passage of the railway that connected Cairo with Haifa.