If you’re looking to escape the dreary winter and bask in the sun all day, then the Mediterranean is where you should be.
The Mediterranean region is a source of endless fascination for tourists. With its sprawling beaches, dynamic culture, rich history, and foods that make you drool just by thinking about it, the entertainment options seem endless. This is why it’s one of the most visited destinations around the world.
In 2015 alone, the region hosted more than 320 million tourists. This number represents nearly one-third of all tourist arrivals around the world. And this number continues to grow over the years.
But where in the Mediterranean should you go to? To help you decide, we’ve scoured travel websites to get recommendations on the best Mediterranean holidays.
Here are the top 5 Mediterranean vacation destinations guaranteed to take your breath away. (Read also: Top Travel Destinations of 2019)
Dotted with rustic villages and rugged cliffs, this island off the coast of Mediterranean is a world of its own. Though technically part of France, Corsica has a distinct culture and language.
Whether you’re a fan of food or history, you’ll surely find something to do here. From brocciu to figatellu, Corsican cuisine is a gastronomic experience you can’t afford to miss. The island also has numerous museums filled with artifacts dating from as early as the 3rd millennium BCE.
But Corsica’s biggest attraction is its idyllic lifestyle. Though the island hosts around 3 million tourists a year, the nightlife is relatively low-key. So you’ll probably spend the night sipping wine while enjoying the stunning view of the Mediterranean coastline – not the worst way to end the day.
With its medieval architecture and old Venetian port, Chania is easily one of the most romantic destinations in Crete. The island also boasts of stunning white sand beaches and awe-inspiring landscapes set in lush, verdant forests. So whether you’re a beach lover or a hiking enthusiast, Chania won’t disappoint.
The island’s Mediterranean heritage also reflects on its cuisine. Aside from Greek staples, Chania’s waterfront restaurants also serve locally-sourced fresh seafood. Strolling through Chania’s market, one can also find an array of Cretian dishes passed down for generations.
Chania also has its own international airport that connects to most of Europe. Buses are virtually non-existent, but taxis are abundant. You can also rent a car to go around the city on your own. If you’re lucky, you might even stumble upon an open-air theater that the town hosts several times a year.
Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Tropical beaches, ancient castles, and vintage trains are just some of the reasons why people keep coming back to Palma de Mallorca. (Related: Traveling to Europe? Check Out These Cheap International Call Plans)
This coastal gem offers a vast array of entertainments that will surely amuse even the most fastidious tourist. Go back in time while strolling the cobbled streets lined with aristocratic townhouses. Or explore the markets overflowing with Mediterranean crafts, foods, and souvenirs.
With hundreds of tourist attractions to explore, you can even spend weeks here without running out of things to do.
Known as the birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite, Paphos is a haven for history seekers and adventurers. Remains of Roman villas, mosaics, theaters, and marketplaces dotted the island. Pristine blue waters perfectly complement these ancient marvels.
But Paphos offers more than just a glimpse into history. Modern hotels and restaurants also line the promenade. So you can soak up in luxurious 20th-century amenities and the glory of bygone days all in one day.
Various art installations can also be seen all over the city. Colorful murals also cover some parts of the old town where the city’s vibrant markets are located. It sells everything from fruits and delicacies to pottery and jewelry.
If you’re keen on adventure, you can always go tomb hopping at the Tombs of the Kings. This necropolis is only about 2km north of Paphos harbor. Contrary to its name, you won’t find any kings buried here. The site only contains the remains of high-ranking officials. But still, a burial site dating from the 4th century BC is always worth a visit.
Santorini is probably one of the most distinct locations in the Mediterranean. I mean, it’s certainly hard to miss those whitewashed buildings capped with vibrant blue domes. Your Instagram feed is probably peppered with it by now, which makes it all the more reason to see this island for yourself.
With its picture-perfect sunsets, the island’s beauty has been immortalized by poets and painters. Its multi-colored cliffs are even more magical when viewed from the Aegean sea below.
Hiking and biking are some of the main tourist activities on the island. You can sample the wine routes then head up to the island’s highest point for a breathtaking view of the Mediterranean.
Santorini is also gaining a reputation as the ultimate wedding destination. Couples from Greece and all over the world flock to the island to realize their dream wedding.
What other Mediterranean destinations do you think should be included in this list? Tell us in the comments!