The south eastern province of Murcia is rapidly becoming one of Spain's most talked about hidden gems, and when you catch sight of its many long, near-empty beaches, you will see why. Relaxing, and a far cry from the mad bustle of more established resorts such as nearby Alicante or the Costa del Sol, this is a great value Mediterranean destination.
The Greek islands are a perennial favourite among British holidaymakers. Whether you stay put on your favourite isle, or go island-hopping on the ferry network, the lush greenery bordered by the pristine beaches and lazy tavernas are hard to beat. Perhaps the greenest is the island of Naxos, which is rapidly making a name for itself – book now, because it surely can't remain unspoilt for long!
Port Grimaud, France
A Mecca for yachting enthusiasts, the “ Provencal Venice” that is Port Grimaud earned its name because of its network of canals and islands, designed by visionary architect Francois Spoerry in the 1960s. A spot on the attractive beach, or a seaside café are the perfect places to relax with a beer and enjoy the sight of the luxury boats.
For many, Israel, Egypt and the other countries of North Africa and the Middle East don't spring to mind when considering Mediterranean destinations, and so many miss out on the wonderful experience of places such as Haifa. Encircled on three sides by the blue Med, and not far from Tel Aviv, this destination is as much a draw to clubbers, culture vultures and party-goers as it is for visitors who just want to chill on the beach.
The island of Sicily is a great place to get away from it all, and Taormina on the east coast is an interesting place to head to, thanks to its fascinating mix of artists, playboys and beachcombers – bohemians of every stripe, in fact! After a day on its golden beaches, head to the town for a tasty seafood supper.
Surrounded by world-class vineyards, Cassis remains a hidden gem compared to its flashier neighbours Nice and Cannes. It is this quiet but sophisticated air that makes the beaches of Cassis such a draw for the classier tourist on holiday in France. Do check out the Michelin-star rated La Villa Madie on the cliffs of the town.
OK, we're slightly cheating here, as Abruzzo's beaches actually face the Adriatic, rather than the Mediterranean. However, we'd be remiss not pointing out this destination's many year-round attractions, namely its 21 ski resorts for the winter season, and its beautiful beaches for the summer. As if that's not enough, it's only 50 miles from the delights of Rome!
La Plage de Saleccia, Corsica
The gorgeous and unspoilt island of Corsica is one of the most overlooked Mediterranean destinations, which really does not do it justice. Perhaps its finest beach – and there are many to choose from – is this, found on the island's northern tip. The beach is a half mile of blinding white sand, and completely unspoilt – be sure to bring your own refreshments and some shade, and you cannot help but unwind, with only the chirping of cicadas and the distant calls of birds in the maquis to distract you.
Surely one of the most beautiful resorts in the Mediterranean, if not the world – this epitome of all that is wonderful about the Italian Riviera has been a great place to be seen since Brigitte Bardot popularised it in the 1960s. Follow in the footsteps of Elizabeth Taylor, Clark Gable, Ava Gardner, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, by sipping a cocktail in the Hotel Splendido.
For a beautiful, yet family-friendly Mediterranean beach experience, you cannot do better than Calvi, with its gently sloping shoreline, its wide variety of watersports and its beach bars and cafés, where sun loungers can be hired at reasonable rates.
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