The Mediterranean is a popular region for tourists from Europe and from other places around the world. Great beaches and clear blue waters make for some wonderful seaside vacation experiences. The Mediterranean is also a region with a long and colorful history. Relics from ancient times can still be seen on some of the islands that have been in the middle of history’s greatest empires. Some of the Med’s best destinations can get exceedingly crowded during the summertime. However, these same places also have great party scenes and a full selection of high-end resorts and family-run guesthouses. For some people, however, experiencing this region of the world means getting away from the crowds and enjoying some quiet and a little bit of luxury. Whether you want to party, enjoy the beach, take in some historic sights or relax in the lap of luxury, these islands are a great choice for your next Mediterranean vacation.
Malta, a nation south of Sicily in the middle of the Mediterranean, is home to unique culture and stunning landscapes. Malta is a land of great history as well. Some of its towns are centuries old, and tourists can also visit ruins of structures that were originally built during the era when the Greek civilization was the most modern and powerful in the known world. However, many people focus on the sea and the beaches during their stay on Malta. Valletta, a coastal seaside town, offers a blend of luxury and history. The Valletta Nobile is a collection of luxury rental town-homes that are more than 400 years old. These places have tremendous atmosphere and just the right amount of luxury. Best of all, they offer easy access to some of the Med’s best stretches of beach.
Crete is the largest of all the Greek islands. It boasts some of the most stereotypically stunning Mediterranean landscapes anywhere in the region. From the rich but laid back culture to the amazing beaches, the Old World ambiance and Greek, Turkish and Roman ruins, the island has more than its share of attractive attributes. Many people come to Crete on package tours, meaning their hotel and airfare (and usually even some activities) are all paid for. A nice array of upscale resorts and cheaper, family-run guest houses are found in popular seaside spots like the town of Ierapetra. Tourists who are looking for a party scene, meanwhile, can head to Chersonissos, another seaside city with a high concentration of bars and clubs catering to nightlife seeking tourists from around Europe.
Mallorca sees a huge number of tourists. Many come for the clean beaches and clear, warm waters. Mallorca, and neighboring Ibiza, are known throughout the world for their beaches and unmatched nightlife. Yes, parties do last until well after sun-up in these two popular Balearic islands, but there is more to Mallorca than sun-tanning, swimming, and all-night raves. Mallorca is also home to luxurious inns that are often housed in converted farmhouses. Called agriturismos, these inns are often located in historic towns and wonderfully natural areas away from the tourist trail. Guests in such small-scale resorts can enjoy the rugged-yet-scenic inland section of the island as well as wandering through quaint Old World towns, and exploring deserted stretches of seaside. Of course, Mallorca is a relatively small island, so a happening beach scene and thumping nightclub are never very far away, even for guests staying in out-of-the-way inns.
Sardinia sits northwest of Sicily and southeast of Corsica in the Mediterranean Sea. It is a large island that is part of Italy but has a unique culture and landscape. Known as a hotspot for beach-going and sailing, Sardinia draws Europe’s jet-set with long, idyllic beaches, warm water and plenty of high-end resorts and rental villas to choose from. Places like Porto Pino and Costa Smerelda are hotspots for people seeking a luxury vacation experience. However, virtually anywhere along the coast can be a wonderful vacation spot. Of course, some of the traits of mainland Italy can be found in Sardinia as well. Local wine and rich cuisine can turn any beach vacation from a standard getaway into a rich cultural experience. The forests, mountains and cities of Sardinia mean that there is much more to the island that just the beach and resort scenes.