Picture the azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea and you likely think of a few different scenes: the white-washed buildings of Santorini with a backdrop of brilliant blue, the towering cliffs of Italy’s Amalfi Coast, or striped umbrellas dotting the sands along the French Riviera.
But there’s so much more to the Mediterranean than these hotspots of Italy, Greece and France. Here are seven great beach destinations in the Mediterranean region.
- We’ve already espoused the joys of travel in Albania, and the area known as the Albanian Riviera holds the same appeals – fresh seafood, uncrowded beaches, and low, low prices. Gjipe Beach looks particularly impressive, a secluded stretch of white sand tucked between two cliffs.
- Far from the bustling streets of Istanbul, Turkey‘s Mediterranean beaches entice with turquoise water and soft sand. Check out Patara beach, 11 miles of beach sandwiched between sand dunes and the Mediterranean, considered one of the best in Turkey. Or head to secluded Kaputas beach, popular with locals.
- Slovenia doesn’t stand out as a beach destination for most people, yet the country does have several great beach towns, including the resort town of Portoroz, which is dotted with 4 and 5 star hotels available at a bargain price.
- With dozens of sandy beaches lining the coast of Croatia, the country is quickly becoming a tourist hotspot, yet still it remains far less-touristed than its Mediterranean neighbors, especially as you head away from Dubrovnik. With party beaches, nude beaches, and blissfully empty beaches, there’s a Croatian beach for just about any style.
- The tiny country of Malta is as rich with history as it is with beautiful places to swim and sunbathe. Visit a beach on the main island of Malta, or head to smaller Gozo, considered by many to be Calypso’s island in Homer’s Odyssey.
- Though Italy‘s most famous beach areas and seaside towns – like the Amalfi coast and Cinque Terre – are often overrun with tourists, there are still some areas waiting to be discovered by mass tourism. The country’s east coast and “heel” for example, are dotted with towns and beaches that remain crowd-free. You can also leave the mainland for the less-visited islands of Italy.
- Many of Greece‘s islands, such as Santorini, Crete and Mykonos, are equally popular. But with over 1000 islands to choose from, it only takes a bit more travel time to find an area all to yourself. Check out the secret Greek islands of Evia or Kea, or explore the black sand beach of Gerontas on Milos.
Read more about travel in the Mediterranean:
- 6 Mediterranean Islands Not to Miss
- Nine Places to Avoid the Crowds in Greece
- 5 Great Destinations in the South of France
- 8 Reasons to Explore Sardinia’s Secrets
- Beaches in Greece
- Best Beaches in France
Photo by: Brother O’ Mara