We’re really quite lucky here in the UK, y’know. Not only can we lay claim to some of the best things this world has ever seen (I’m thinking Marmite, David Beckham and Eastenders, obvs), but we’re also a stone’s throw away from the Mediterranean and some of the best coastlines on the planet.
There’s no better place to be in the blazing summer heat that on the cool coast on the Med. Often overlooked as just another package holiday destination, the sprawling region of southern Europe has so much to offer.
With beautiful beaches and buzzing cities full of history and culture, each area is so different from the last. And it’s not all about lazing by the sea for a week, either. In fact, if you look in the right places, the Med can be the beach holiday destination for people who don’t do beach holidays.
We’re giving Mediterranean Europe a massive High Five, and counting down five places that you just have to visit one summer.
Get ready to discover our favourite Mediterranean summer spots
Five hot Mediterranean summer spots
1. Viva Espana!
Put images of holidays with your mum and dad to the Costa del Sol to the back of your mind, and take a look at southern Spain with fresh eyes. Fly into party paradise Ibiza and get your fix of its world famous clubs and beautiful people. Hire a car and get away from the ravers on the lesser visited northeast of the island, where you’ll find rugged coastlines and woodland (seriously!).
When you’ve had your fill of beach time, catch a ferry over to beautiful Granada and get your culture fix at the Alhambra palace, before road tripping along the coast, past the breathtaking Sierra Nevada mountains.
End up in fun, laid back Seville, where it’s all about the siestas, long lunches and late dinners. Viva España indeed!
2. Downsize on Slovenia’s coast
Squished between Italy and Croatia, the Slovenia coastline may only be 42km long, but hey – it’s how big it is but what you do with it that counts, right? And the Slovenes have definitely made the most of theirs. You’ll find Italian-style fishing villages, olive groves, and the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic Sea. Bliss.
Who knew Slovenia's coastline looked like this? | Image by Pjotr Savitski
3. Get flash in Monaco
No need to head to Las Vegas to pretend to be flash. Just mosey on over to Monaco! Nestled at the bottom of France, the world’s second smallest country is a playground for the yacht owning, tax avoiding rich and famous, with a casino or two to boot.
Tip: don’t splash out on accommodation here; stay over the border in France instead and do a day trip or two. Much friendlier on the wallet.
4. Feel beautiful in Croatia
The beautiful people of the world seem to be flocking to Croatia this summer, and it’s easy to see why. First of all, you can’t move for music festivals there – seriously, you’d think someone had made it illegal not to have a festival in Croatia this year.
Experience the Med with a difference in Croatia | Image by FotoChronicle
On top of that, the country is home to the stunning Adriatic coastline, gorgeous beaches, and hasn’t been completely overrun by tourism. Paradise? It just might be! Escape the crowds even more by heading out to sea on a sailing adventure.
5. Discover Greece’s secret side
You know those unspoilt, paradise spots that you once heard existed in Greece 50 odd years ago? Whisper: they’re still around!
Avoid the main players like Corfu and Santorini, and board a ferry to an island that doesn’t have an airport. Then head away, way away from the ferry terminal. With a bit of luck, you’ll end up of the beaten track in an area free of tourists, resembling the white washed Greek village of your dreams. Sigh…