When you think Mediterranean holidays, the places that first come to mind is Alicante with its funky beach parties or the rich and famous luxury nests in St. Tropez, but it’s actually much more to uncover. Sending waves of fame to the shores of not less than three continents, the Mediterranean Sea highlights cities and countries you probably never considered on your must-travel list, but which definitely rebrand the cosmopolitanism and give you hot ideas for your next holiday.
Big and buzzing, with great landscape of mountain and sea, Split is the second largest city in Croatia, a vibrant port at the Mediterranean and a perfect start point for exploring the dazzling coastal pathway. This is the place to follow the Romans traces in Croatia, crowned by the superb Diocletian Palace, today part of UNESCO World Heritage. You can call the city anyhow, but not charming and idyllic, as Split is more defined by the hustle and bustle of a big metropolis, with a impressing historic background and great views.
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Elegant and cosmopolitan, with its fantastic shore lined by impressive buildings, with its Belle Epoque quarters and large squares, Alexandria is completely different from the inland Egyptian cities. Its overwhelming history erupts from every corner of the city, as Alexandria is the land of the tumultuous love story between Cleopatra and Marc Antony and also the learning centre of the ancient world. You can’t miss a visit to The Cornishe with the New Library of Alexandria, the Greek Quarter or the Mahmudiya Channel.
If you want contrast, search no deeper than Beirut. The restored mosques and colonial relics in Downtown contrast with the vibrant atmosphere of party-now-or-never in the Gemmayzeh or Achrafiye districts, where the motto is living for the moment, while the Green Line still wears the scars of the armed conflicts. Beirut is the city with a gay scene more active than in resorts like Benidorm, while the homosexuality is still banned, and the place where even if you don’t need to, you have to make a nose job. Friendly people, amazing food, beautiful women – if you ignore the fragile political environment, Beirut is definitely a must visit.
Not that popular such is Antalya or Marmaris, Fethiye is actually the preferred resort of the wealthy Turkish families, which built here their holiday homes. What’s so different in Fethiye? First, it’s quite remote from the tourist hordes from the most famed Turkish resorts, and then there’s the fantastic landscape of the Taurus Mountains meeting with the perfectly turquoise Mediterranean, the fresh air scented from the pine trees and the myrrh (this is one the three places in the world where you can find this plant) and last, but not least, the charming Blue Lagoon of Oludeniz nearby is what some would describe as paradise on earth.
Charming but still vibrating, Budva is the hub of Montenegrin travel business, and if this country was just another name from the former Yugoslavia, it’s actually getting more and more popular nowadays. Think red-tiled roofs and stoney houses, think white fine beaches and clear blue water, think lush vegetation, think narrow cobbled streets and homey cafes, terraces and souvenir shops. Add a charming glimpse of history and a colourful open air festival during summertime and you might obtain you next perfect Mediterranean destination.
Majestic and elegant, Valetta will give you the overwhelming impression that you’re walking into an open air museum because of the spectacular Baroque architecture, a gift from the Knights of St. John. During summertime the atmosphere reach the elevation at its best, as the city hosts theatre performances and opera concerts, while sunset embraces the Grand Harbour into a charming aura, justifying its description as one of the most impressive Mediterranean harbours.