1. Ghajn Tuffieha, Malta
Located between Golden Bay and Gnejna Bay, Ghajn Tuffieha is smaller and quieter than its neighbours, attracting locals who cherish its relaxed, peaceful vibe. Sitting in its own natural amphitheatre of rugged slopes, it has soft, tawny sands and shallow water which makes it ideal for children – although look out for red flags which indicate the onset of stronger currents.
2. Egremni, Lefkada, Greece
A 2.5km ribbon of silver sand hugging the base of rugged 150m cliffs, Egremni is one of the longest beaches on the Ionian island of Lefkada, off Greece’s west coast. Peaceful and idyllic, it’s remoteness keeps it from becoming overcrowded. The village of Athani – the nearest place to park a car or book a hotel room – is a few kilometres inland; from there you have to trek along a footpath, then descend 347 precipitous steps to get to those silky dunes and turquoise waters.
3. Cabo de Gata, Andalusia, Spain
The Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park in Andalusia is an area of outstanding beauty, a volcanic landscape full of an abundance of rare flora. Most of the remote, sandy coves are only accessible by foot, with tourists having to leave their cars at the barrier just beyond the lookout point of Mirador las Sirenas. Alternatively, visit by boat – the crystal clear waters are perfect for diving and underwater photography.
4. Monterosso Beach, Cinque Terre, Italy
Sheltering behind a man-made reef and overlooked by the town’s Capuchin convent, the beach at Monterosso al Mare is one of the Cinque Terre’s most beautiful sun-traps. Part old fishing village and part stylish resort, the town has plenty of picturesque charms, and you can also go paragliding or hiking along the mule paths that wind along the surrounding hills. A car isn’t a very practical mode of transport in this mountainous terrain, so it’s best to visit by train, catching the local service from Spezia or Genoa.
5. Blue Lagoon, Comino
Just off the coast of Malta, Comino is a small, rocky island devoid of roads and cars and just 3.5 square kilometres in size. On the west of the island is the Blue Lagoon, a long narrow bay of clear, shallow water over soft white sand, surrounded by rocks where visitors can bask like seals. Throughout the peak season, boat excursions to Comino are run from all over Malta, but the quickest option is to catch the hourly Ferry from Marfa or Cirkewwa – the trip takes about 25 minutes.
6. Nissi Beach, Cyprus
Known for its parties and water sports, its bars and restaurants, Nissi Beach is one of the most sizzling hotspots in the smart, well-manicured Ayia Napa resort area. Awarded the accolade of a Blue Flag, it has a full range of facilities such as parking, showers and changing rooms, making it convenient as well as fun. Justifiably popular, especially with younger visitors, it can get crowded at the height of the season, but then again that just adds to the buzz of this vibrant destination.
7. Baska Voda Beach, Croatia
One of the oldest and most genteel resorts on the Dalmatian Coast, the beach at Baska Voda traces out a long, gracefully curving W-shape against the crystalline waters of the Adriatic. Framed by pine woods and the silvery grey slopes of the Biokovo mountain range, the beach is lined with bars and cafes, making it ideal for those who like their creature comforts while they work on their tans.
Reach for your suitcase and check out our selection of Mediterranean beach breaks
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|Holidays to Cyprus||A week away||from £279pp|
|Malta & Gozo Holidays||A week away||from £154pp|
|Greek Island Holidays||A week away||from £212pp|
|Explore Italy on a tour||8 days||from £899pp|
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