10 alternatives to our most popular summer destinations

Try somewhere different for your summer break

Are you someone who returns to your favourite holiday spot every summer? If so, maybe it's time to mix things up a bit. If you visit Majorca for its beaches, we know you'll love Menorca's quieter coastline. If you like striding out through breathtaking scenery, then swap Tenerife for Madeira, while likewise, Kefalonia offers just as much romantic charm as Corfu. If we've tempted you to try somewhere different, check out these 10 alternatives to our most popular summer destinations.

  1. Love Majorca's beaches? Laze around in Menorca 
  2. Enjoy Malta's history? Discover Dubrovnik
  3. Visited Tenerife? Try Madeira
  4. Love Crete? Give Rhodes a go
  5. Want a romantic alternative to Corfu? Try Kefalonia
  6. Enjoy Costa Blanca family holidays? Enjoy them in Cyprus too
  7. Tried Costa del Sol? Head to Gibraltar
  8. Swap Ibiza parties for dancing in Mykonos
  9. Tried watersports in the Algarve? Try them in Fuerteventura
  10. Enjoyed the Barbados landscape? Explore Antigua instead

1. Love Majorca's beaches? Laze around in Menorca

Majorca has miles of amazing beaches such as Es Trenc or Cala Deià. Although Menorca doesn't have quite as much coastline, it still has over 75 gorgeous beaches for you to enjoy. Many of these are long stretches of white sand perfect for family fun. Others are tiny "calas" or sandy coves hidden between rocky cliffs. Head to Cala Turqueta or Son Saura for that perfect day at the beach. The best part? You'll find fewer crowds on the beaches of Menorca but there are still plenty of opportunities to indulge in your favourite watersports.

The most photogenic beach:
Menorca's Cala Macarelleta is a peaceful cove with white sand, pine trees and clear blue water

2. Enjoy Malta's history? Discover Dubrovnik

Like Malta, Dubrovnik has a historic and architectural heritage stretching back centuries. If you enjoyed exploring Malta’s past in Valletta, you will absolutely love the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic' on the Croatian coast. Dubrovnik is a walled city where quiet streets and its compact size make it perfect for exploring on foot. See the city from the top of its impressive walls before taking a stroll through the Old Town and riding the Dubrovnik Cable Car to the summit of Mount Srd.

Not to be missed:
Both destinations are featured in Game of Thrones. Visit one atmospheric setting at Dubrovnik's Rector's Palace.

3. Visited Tenerife? Try Madeira

Both of these islands have a lot in common. They're both volcanic islands with similar climates. If you've explored the dramatic landscape of Tenerife including the lunar-like summit of Mount Teide, then you'll find Madeira just as intriguing. It is a green paradise of dense laurel rainforest, awe-inspiring waterfalls that hurtle down deep gorges. Hiking trails criss-cross the island. Take an easy stroll through the Parque Forestal de Queimadas or face the challenge of hiking to the summit of Pico Ruivo.

Do you dare:
Step onto Cabo Girão. This glass-bottomed platform overhangs a cliff edge, giving breathtaking views of Funchal, Madeira's capital

4. Love Crete? Give Rhodes a go

Crete and Rhodes both have beautiful scenery and beaches that range from truly romantic to family-friendly. They also have a wealth of antiquities. The Minoan palaces of Knossos, Festos, Malia and Zakros in Crete are unique in Europe while Chania is dotted with Minoan ruins. Rhodes has the advantage, however, of being much smaller in size making it easier to take in its historic wonders. Be sure to add the Grand Master Palace, Lindos Acropolis, the Monastery of Filerimos and the ancient city-state of Ialyssos to your itinerary.

A must-see sight:
If Crete's ancient history has you hooked, visit Kamiros with its temples and houses

5. Want a romantic alternative to Corfu? Try Kefalonia

With its landscape of olive groves, beaches, mountains and charming architecture (familiar to many from the TV series, The Durrells), Corfu has long been a romantic destination. Kefalonia also wins for romance with golden beaches, pine-covered mountain slopes and vineyards to enjoy as a couple. As Kefalonia has never been quite as fashionable as Corfu, its towns and coastline are much less crowded. Just perfect for lovers, especially the breathtaking beach at Antisamos where romantic scenes from the film Captain Corelli's Mandolin Were shot.

Romance at sunset:
Dance to the sound of the sea while the sun sets at Katavothres Club Restaurant in Kefalonia

6. Enjoy Costa Blanca family holidays? Enjoy them in Cyprus too

Costa Blanca in Spain has been attracting families for decades with its Mediterranean beaches and kid-friendly attractions such as Benidorm's theme park, Terra Mitica. If you fancy a change but want to keep the kid-themed fun, then Cyprus is the perfect alternative with the added benefit of a slower pace of life. The Fasouri Watermania Waterpark is ranked among the best in Europe with its multiple slides and themed areas while the Black Pearl Pirate Boat offers offshore family fun based on Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean.

For horse lovers:
Set in the beautiful Cypriot countryside, Eagle Mountain Ranch offers horse trekking for both new and experienced riders

7. Tried Costa del Sol? Head to Gibraltar

If you love the Costa del Sol beaches, the city squares of Malaga and Marbella and the mountain scenery of Ronda, then you'll find just as much to enjoy in Gibraltar (without having to pack your phrasebook). You'll literally stop the traffic when you arrive, as the main road into Gibraltar cuts across the airport runway! The views from the Rock of Gibraltar are as beautiful as those from Ronda with the added advantage of a cable car to the top. In the evening, the Spanish cafe culture continues in Grand Casemates Square.

A historic adventure:
Visit the Great Siege Tunnels, miles of passages carved out of the rock during the 18th-century Spanish siege of Gibraltar

8. Swap Ibiza parties for dancing in Mykonos

If your idea of holiday heaven is dancing the night away to music spun by top DJs along with lazy days on beaches, you've probably spent summers in Ibiza. But Mykonos is now the place for summer parties! Drag yourself away from the dance floor to enjoy boutique shops, chic restaurants, whitewashed towns and tropical stretches of sand such as Paradise Beach. You can stay late at this beach, it's home to the iconic Paradise Beach Club.

Take a sunset selfie:
In between days on the sand and hitting the clubs of Mykonos, catch a sunset over the windmills of Hora

9. Tried watersports in the Algarve? Try them in Fuerteventura

The Algarve in Portugal has long been a favourite windsurfing spot with world-famous waves at Sagres and Martinhal. If it's time for a change, however, Fuerteventura on the Canary Islands provides a watersports alternative. Not only are its beaches truly beautiful, but the wind and waves make it a paradise for windsurfers, especially at the 17-mile long Sotavento Beach. Windsurfing isn't the only watersport on offer in Fuerteventura. Its crystal-clear, shallow waters are perfect for swimming, snorkelling and kayaking.

A day out:
Take a boat trip to uninhabited Lobos Island (just off the coast of Fuerteventura) for a fun day of sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling

10. Enjoyed the Barbados landscape? Explore Antigua instead

Laidback beach life and gorgeous landscapes make Barbados and Antigua similar holiday destinations. But away from the beaches, the islands are quite different. With its gentle slopes and terraced plains, Barbados provides easy walking while in contrast, the Antiguan landscape delivers some challenging hikes. Rainforest trails emerge onto peaks that give you scenic island views of its coastline and historic forts. Start with an easy walk through Nelson's Dockyard National Park before tackling more difficult hikes in the Wallings Nature Reserve.

End the day:
After a day on your feet exploring Antigua, dive into the natural swimming pool at Mermaid Gardens

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