The sparkling Mediterranean consistently tops the best holiday destinations lists. With idyllic islands, pretty cliff top villages, charming medieval towns and stunning beaches, it's easy to see why. We bring you just a handful of the many havens along the Med, and we're confident you’ll want to dive right in.
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This small strip of land stretching out from the Adriatic Sea in south-western Slovenia is home to one of the most striking and best preserved old towns in Europe. One of the top attractions is the stylised bell tower of Saint George's Church. From this point, visitors can enjoy the best views over the town's historic centre, surrounded by medieval walls and packed with major monuments that tell its fascinating history. As an added bonus, Portoroz, the country's most exclusive marina, is just a few beaches along the coast.
The Gulf of Kotor, Montenegro
The landscapes along this Dalmatian Coast gulf, Montenegro's natural treasure, are not dissimilar from the Norwegian fjords. Nestled just inland is the beautiful old town of Kotor which, like Croatian Split and Dubrovnik further along the coast, has historically been overlooked by tourists. An intriguing maze of secluded cobblestone streets, pretty squares and mysterious passageways, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and rightly so. Equally delightful are the beaches of Ulcinj and Sutomore and the islands of Gospa od Skrpjela and Sventi Djordje, which are as spectacular as they are tiny.
Situated in the Gulf of Gabes, the island of Djerba is extraordinarily beautiful. A number of Homer's best passages of The Odyssey are set here. A host of sights such as a beautiful medinas, mosques, cute cafés and fish restaurants all beckon you to the capital, Houmt Souk. Other attractions awaiting those who choose to follow in Ulysses' footsteps include: the beaches of Sidi Bakour; camel rides; bustling flea markets; the peaceful palm groves surrounding the town of Guellala, famous for its handmade pottery; and the El Ghriba Syagogue, also known as the "African Jerusalem".
Hovering on the shores of the Aegean Sea, the port of Bodrum positively sparkles with Mediterranean light at sunset. The heartbeat of this historic city pulses in its characteristic whitewashed houses overlooking the sea, the numerous cafés and the lively bars skirting Kumbahçe beach. From Bodrum you can hop on a boat and cruise along the coves and islets dotted along the coastline. Go scuba diving in the Gulf of Gökova or simply enjoy splashing about in the deep blue of the sea.
Once a favourite with holidaying arty types and aristocrats, this quaint fishing village is picture perfect. A crescent of colourful houses surround the pretty harbour where fishing boats bob up and down alongside glamorous super yachts. You'll be lured in by its seductive streets, which retain their historic charm. Many of these are now lined with exclusive boutiques and charming hotels. Enviably situated between the mountain and the sea, this secluded corner in the Liguria region is the perfect place to sit back and watch the world go by.