The Mediterranean Sea is home to some of the world’s most renowned travel destinations. Coastal towns in Italy and Croatia, the islands of Greece, and the south of Spain are all legendary as tourist destinations. But the Mediterranean is vast, and touches more than just these particular locations. There are a lot of little places around the sea that make for hidden gems most travelers have never really thought to consider.
Here are five that you should think about next time you’re planning a trip.
Aeolian Islands, Italy
When you think about Mediterranean islands, it’s usually the Greek isles that come to mind. But Italy has no shortage of gorgeous offshore destinations itself. Chief among them are the Aeolian Islands, which actually have a fascinating place in history. According to mythology, the Trojan War hero Odysseus temporarily sheltered on these islands as he traveled around the Mediterranean in the aftermath of the great war. The history is relevant in that the Aeolian Islands almost feel like a piece of the past. They’re simple, quiet volcanic islands (eight in total) where old towns feel like they haven’t changed in many years, and the beaches feel natural and pure. It’s a great place for a low-key getaway.
Cassis is not exactly an obscure destination, but it does sometimes get overshadowed by other French Mediterranean locations. Nevertheless, seaside cafés, beautiful views, and the stunning Calanques National park make it about as pleasant as a place can be. Mediterranean towns and beaches are often either sandy or rocky, and Cassis is a good example of a place that has some of both terrains.
Gibraltar, Great Britain
This is another spot on the sea that’s about as interesting from a historical and political standpoint as it is for vacations. Despite essentially being a peninsula jutting out of Spain, it’s a territory of Great Britain, and though recent politics have called its status into question, the new regime in England plans to hold onto it. Even forgetting its curious status, Gibraltar is a unique place to visit. It’s primarily characterized by a massive cliff (the rock of Gibraltar), where there is a natural preserve famous for sheltering native apes. That, plus beautiful views of the water and a quaint little town make it worth your while.
North Africa is often overlooked when people explore Mediterranean travel options, as there are several different towns and beaches that make for excellent stops. But Tetouan, Morocco may be the best of the bunch. The town itself feels old and authentic, with clustered buildings that almost resemble some Greek cities combined with African elements. And the beaches, while perhaps slightly less exotic than some of the others on this list, are also less crowded.
We mentioned Croatia as one of the hotbeds of Mediterranean travel, and it’s become trendier in recent years. This is thanks in large part to Game Of Thrones, one of the most popular shows on television that famously designed some of its most impressive sets in and around Dubrovnik. But Vis usually isn’t on the radar even of those travelers growing more interested in Croatia. It’s been highlighted as a secret Mediterranean island where people can escape the crowds, and it’s honestly like something out of a fairy tale. A beautiful, secluded harbor and quiet town are the picture of seaside relaxation.
I am always looking for the perfect escape, the perfect paradise, the kind of place that tosses your cares into the sea. Fortunately, I have discovered many! I created this site to show you where to go and how to get there. My goal is to show you that Paradise is only a plane ticket (or boat ride) away. I have inspired many others to travel and to create a better life. I am available for inspirational speaking, coaching, writing, travel planning, and photography.