We take a look at the five best islands in the Mediterranean for a relaxing holiday.
The pocket-sized island of Malta makes for a superb short break just as much as a long holiday, with a huge number of flights from the UK getting you there in around three hours.
You can lie back and soak up the sun or get out and about to explore the fascinating history dating back as far as Neolithic times. Many holidaymakers head to Valletta, the wonderful capital, which is packed with museums, a cathedral and cool street cafes from which to watch the world go by. Or you could head inland to Mdina and Rabat for medieval streets and fantastic food. Alternatively, if you are looking for something more active, why not take part in a variety of watersports, including world-class diving, before choosing from a wide selection of nightlife to round off your day?
Long a favourite with Brits, you have the option of visiting the classic popular resorts along the south coast or heading to Northern Cyprus for something quieter and more relaxed. Flights of around four hours will get you to the island ready for your holiday.
With many hotels offering high-end spas and excellent facilities and activities, you can really indulge yourself on a trip to Cyprus. But if you are holidaying on a budget there is a great range of value self-catering apartments too.
Head to Ayia Napa if you want to party, Nissi Beach if you want a family break and to Paphos for history, shopping and plenty to entertain you.
The largest of Spain’s Balearic islands, Majorca really does have a holiday for everyone. While it may sound clichéd, it’s very much the truth, no matter whether you’re seeking budget-busting luxury or you are after something a little cheaper. And with more than 80 beaches to choose from, you are sure to find one that suits your style. Families head to Alcudia in the north, while the party crowd stays close to Palma in the Magaluf area. Those looking for a quiet, romantic break, head to Sa Coma, while the cognoscenti head to Deia and nearby Soller.
And if you want a short break, stay in the island’s capital, Palma, famed for its restaurants and Spanish nightlife as much as for its shopping, Gothic cathedral and setting looking out over Palma Bay.
Sicily is the largest island in the Med and yet one of the least discovered by holidaymakers from the UK. This Italian island is stylish and dramatic, a haven for foodies, and everything you could want from an inspired holiday choice. The scenery is stunning, with volcanoes, steep cliffs plunging into the sea, and miles of lemon and olive groves across the entire landscape. Add in Roman ruins, mountain villages, quiet sandy beaches and wonderful weather and you’ve got somewhere that’s as far removed from the mass market as you could imagine.
With dark volcanic sands, the historic capital of Thira, and coastal views you will no doubt recognise from holiday brochures or postcards, Santorini is one of THE islands to head to out of the many on offer from Greece.
Set in the Aegean Sea just three hours from the UK, the island offers holidays with a traditional Greek feel, fantastic nightlife and sunsets to die for. Laze on the beach during the day in resorts such as Perissa and head to Kamari for local food in the tavernas and bars to round off your day. It feels sophisticated, yet still unspoilt, and offers excellent value for money whatever type of accommodation you go for. And if you fancy a change, then nip over on the local ferry to Paliakameni, Neakameni or Thirasia for hot springs, hiking or relaxation.
If you still can’t decide where to go, there are plenty more island holidays to choose from in the Med. Why not consider Spain’s Menorca, Ibiza or Formentera in the Balearics, for example? Sardinia, Capri or the Aeolian Islands offer more Italian choice, while Corsica is where France meets the Med in a unique mix of culture. Djerba offers something with an Arabian feel off the coast of Tunisia and the Croatian Islands in the Adriatic offer peace and quiet. Plus, there are, of course, more than 50 Greek islands to choose from, so there should be something here for everyone.