When it comes to planning a summer vacation, the ideal setting that usually comes to mind are long golden coastlines, glimmering sapphire seas, scorching sand, and endless sunshine. If this is the picturesque vacation that will have you packing your bags and rushing off in no time, then we know exactly where you should be booking your flights to this summer. The Mediterranean, or the Med as it’s also known, is a collection of twenty-one countries that surround the vast Mediterranean Sea. With countries like France, Algeria, Croatia, and Turkey as a few on the list, it’s very obvious that while geographically connected, each of these destinations offers an entirely unique cultural experience. But what does bring them together however, is the promise of stunning beaches, sand, and sea. If you’re looking for some ideas of places to visit on your Mediterranean summer trip, check out our list below.
For an ultimate Italian summer, head to Capri, an island located in Italy’s Bay of Naples. Capri is a destination for multiple interests, famous for its gorgeous natural beauty, deep-rooted history, mild climate and bright landscape. The island is a mere 6km long and between 1.2 and 2.8km wide, and its coastal perimeter covers almost 17km. One of the most striking features of the island is its dramatic natural scenery. The diverse flora and fauna, among the richest in Italy, give the island a lush and vibrant appearance all year round.
For those interested in the island’s past, there are a number of charming historical sites to visit across the island. The Historic Center of Capri is a good place to start. This is divided into two built-up areas, and in each district you can explore the small houses with their picturesque “corti” or small courtyards. Next for an extraordinarily beautiful walk on the west coast of the island, where you can take in the scents and colors of the Mediterranean flora, head to the Path of Forts in Anacapri, set against sculpted rocky hills and deep inlets of clear water.
And besides its stunning scenery and history, there is plenty of life and fun to be had in Capri. The island is filled with local restaurants where you can enjoy some fresh seafood and hearty Italian plates, along with of course some incredible Italian wine. If you’re looking to try some local dishes, we’d recommend the totani con patate, a herby and peppery squid and potato dish, or the ravioli alla Caprese. For dessert go for the Caprese cake made with rich chocolate and almonds. A limoncello overlooking the beach is also obligatory.
If a summer in France is more your vibe, then Saint Florent is the place to be. Saint Florent is a quaint little town on the coast of northern Corsica, lying on a beautiful bay that is sheltered between the mountains of Cap Corse and the wild Desert des Agriates. Here you’ll find a bustling harbor town, lined with luxury yachts in the marina, against the backdrop of mountains and with nearby beaches to soak in the perfect weather.
When it comes to exploring Saint Florent, you have to start the day at one of the lovely pavement cafes overlooking the marina. Then for a dose of history, the old town, the citadel and the cathedral are key stops. The Cathedral of the Nebbio is one of the town’s most important monuments, though a more unassuming spot than some of the grander mainland cathedrals, it has no shortage of meaning. At the citadel you’ll find one of the best overall views of the Saint Florent – you can see the town and its pale limestone buildings in the foreground, and the ominous brooding mountains in the back.
And of course it wouldn’t be a Mediterranean destination without mentioning Saint Florent’s inviting beaches, which are a major attraction for most summertime visitors. Some of the scenic spots include the famous Plage de la Roya, the main town beach which can be reached on foot from the port and has numerous watersport options, and the less populated Plage du Loto, which is renowned for its white sand and clear blue seas. Another gorgeous and less crowded beach we’d recommend is the Plage de Saleccia, which can be reached by a quick boat ride or an hour’s coastal walk. This beach boasts a kilometer long curve of pearly sands and baby blue waters, and is a perfect spot to bring a drink or picnic.
Popularized as the popular European party destination, Ibiza is always a summer stop where there’s always a good time to be had. For the few who may not have heard of it, Ibiza is one of the Balearic Islands, an archipelago of Spain, and is home to more than 100 miles of coastline and some 50 beaches.
There’s no understating it, Ibiza is best known for its lively nightlife in Ibiza Town and in Sant Antoni, where you’ll find many major European club favorites. The nightlife here is vibrant and varied from clubbing resorts dedicated to partying, exclusive clubs, boat parties, beach clubs, sunset bars and lounges, and much more.
But for those whose idea of a night out centers more around a first-class dining experience, Ibiza has a number of exquisite fine dining options. Among them, nothing could be more indulgent and exclusive than Sublimotion, a 2 Michelin star dining experience that also happens to be one of the world’s most expensive restaurants. We say experience because dining at Sublimotion is just that – a mindblowing and multisensory culinary journey. Guests sit in a surreal and futuristic table setting, for a meal that combines food, art, and illusion, and offers an unparalleled interactive experience. And while the show is theatrical and immersive, the food itself is still the main attraction, as diners enjoy carefully curated avant garde dishes that explore all elements of the palate.
The small Italian fishing village of Portofino is yet another Mediterranean summer spot that’s guaranteed to win over your heart. Located in the Metropolitan City of Genoa on the Italian Riviera, Portofino is best known for its small but picture-perfect harbor. And clustered around the harbor you’ll find Portofino’s characteristic colorfully painted buildings all lined up along the shore.
Portofino’s stunning scenery attracts an upmarket tourist crowd. In the summer, the half-moon shaped harbor is filled with luxury yachts of all kinds. The village is also home to a number of luxury hotels including the Splendido, Hotel Piccolo Portofino, and the Eight Hotel Portofino are some of our top picks for stays that overlook the harbor and offer top-class amenities while preserving the authentic spirit of the village.
If you’re looking for something to do in Portofino beyond lounging by the beach or pool, there’s plenty to explore. At the medieval castle Castello Brown, you can take in a charming view of the Gulf of Portofino and explore the lush Mediterranean garden which features an abundance of flowers and rose gardens. For insight into the village’s history, we spend an afternoon at the Church of San Giorgio. Or if you’re looking to get some steps in to burn off all the pizza, pasta, and wine you’ll be enjoying, we recommend the trail from Portofino to the Abbey of San Fruttuoso in the Portofino National Park. Not only will you be getting some exercise but on this two hour walk up from the village you’ll get a feel for the village, passing by elegant villas and gardens before reaching the village of San Fruttuoso. You can always take the ferry back to POrtofino if the walk wears you out, or if you want to experience the views from the water.