Photo Credit: Photo credit: Secret Travel Guide
Mediterranean Destinations You Should Visit Now Before They Become Overcrowded
Very few places in the world rival the beauty the Mediterranean Sea offers. Its beautiful blue and clear water is famous throughout the world. The intercontinental sea stretches from the Atlantic Ocean on the west to Asia on the east, separating Europe from Africa.
Beyond its beauty, the year-round warm weather and the fact that it contains approximately 9 percent of the world’s marine creatures are just some of the many reasons why the Mediterranean is a popular vacation spot for everyone worldwide.
Italy’s Amalfi Coast, Spain’s Balearic Islands, the French Riviera, and places like Mykonos, Greece are popular destinations for people who want to venture off into the beauty of the Mediterranean.
With the popularity, however, comes expensive flights, accommodations, and large crowds, making it hard to appreciate the region’s beauty.
With more than 20 countries that border the Mediterranean Sea, there are plenty of options for a vacation that won’t break the bank while allowing you to avoid the crowds.
The Albanian Riviera
The Albanian Riviera is one of Europe’s best-kept secrets – for now. Between Macedonia and Montenegro, some of Europe’s best beaches are in Albania for half the cost of its neighbors, Greece and Italy’s Amalfi Coast.
There isn’t an airport in Albanian Riviera, but you can get there by bus, taxi, or car from Tirana Airport. The bus can take between three to five hours and costs between $5 and $12. An alternative route would be a ferry from Corfu airport in Greece. A round-trip ticket costs roughly $40 on the low end and $70 on the higher end.
Once in Albania, you will find trendy beach clubs that face the beautiful water, including Babilonia Beach Club and Valentino Beach Club.
You don’t want to miss visiting the Butrint Archaeological Site and National Park as it’s a UNESCO World Heritage recognized site because it’s an ancient city that dates back to 627 BC. Another activity to include on your itinerary is Albania’s Blue Eye Spring along the Riviera. It’s one of Europe’s most stunning natural wonders, with its mysterious blue waters and beautiful lush forests surrounding it.
Turkey’s Mediterranean Coast
Another hidden gem in Europe is Turkey’s Mediterranean Coast, known as the “Turkish Riviera.” The area in Southwest Turkey is sometimes referred to as the Turquoise Coast.
Turkey’s Mediterranean Coast offers visitors many options for a great price compared to Greece and other popular destinations in the Mediterranean. The views are breathtaking, you won’t be disappointed by the food, and there’s plenty of ancient history to explore, allowing you to switch up your itinerary between the days you’re relaxing on the beach.
There are a lot of places to choose from along the Turkish Riviera. Popular cities along the coast include Alanya, Antalya, Belek, Cesme, Didim, Ephesus, Fethiye, Izmir Kalkan, Kas, Kemer, Kusadasi, Marmaris, and Side.
Antalya, Bodrum, Dalaman, and Izmir are the four airports along the coast. The ferry from Greece can get you to Cesme, Kusadasi, Fethiye, Marmaris, or Kas.
Antalya is known for its history and natural beauty. The city is surrounded by majestic mountains, making hiking and mountain biking popular activities.
Bordum is another stunning coastal town known for its history, art, and culture. It’s home to the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, the burial site of the leader Mausolus, one of the Seven World Wonders. The Bordum Castle has a collection of burial items that belonged to Mausolus’ wife, the Carian Princess. Don’t leave Bordum without visiting the town’s Amphitheater. It’s a 4th Century amphitheater with uninterrupted Mediterranean Sea views.
Alanya is famous for its incredible gastronomy. You will find the best of Turkey’s cuisine here, inspired by its history and location along the Mediterranean Sea. Look for street food in the Bazaar Area, such as Alanya Pide, a flatbread pizza, and Midye Dolma, or stuffed mussels.
Croatia has grown in popularity over the last few years for its beautiful coastlines, and when the word got out that scenes from the hit series Game of Thrones were filmed there.
Prices have increased, and so have the crowds. Croatia’s beauty is undeniable, but its next-door neighbor, Montenegro, is just as beautiful and a destination that remains under the radar for Americans.
Montenegro is a small country that borders Croatia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Serbia, Albania, Kosovo, and the Adriatic Sea. Don’t let its size fool you because there’s plenty to do and see that will quickly make it your favorite vacation spot along the Mediterranean.
A study by vacation experts at Jersey Island Holidays found that Montenegro is the most affordable destination in Europe. The study highlights how both food and accommodations are relatively cheaper.
Montenegro is known for its beaches and resorts along the Budva Riviera, the UNESCO World Heritage site Bay of Kotor, glacial lakes, and beautiful mountains.
Budva is the most beautiful town along the coast of Montenegro. It’s known for its sandy beaches, nightlife, and historic stone walls built by the Venetians. It’s more than a beach town. If you want some thrill, including cliff diving or paragliding, you can do that in Budva.
Art lovers should visit the Moderna Galerija for must-see paintings by Petar Lubarda and Milo Milunović.
Exploring Old Town Budva is excellent when you need a walk, as it’s only open to pedestrians. The old town is full of cafes and restaurants on narrow cobblestone streets.
One of the most peaceful and beautiful countries that make up the Mediterranean region is Cyrpurs. Cyprus is a cheaper alternative to Greece. You will find hardly any crowds when you visit during the shoulder months.
Its coastline has crystalline bays and rigged cliffs surrounded by turquoise water that will take your breath away.
A visit to Aphrodite’s Rock should be at the top of your itinerary. Legend has it that it’s the Greek goddess of love’s birthplace. Another myth is that anyone who swims around the entire base of the massive stone will forever be as stunning as the goddess herself.
History buffs should visit the Tombs of the Kings in Cyprus. Here, visitors will find well-preserved monuments from the Hellenistic and Roman eras.
One of the most exciting activities you can embark on in Cyprus is a stunning public art project underneath the water known as the Museum of Underwater Sculpture or MUSAN. The MUSAN is an underwater forest revered as the first in the world. There are 93 pieces of artwork in the form of trees, people, and figurative nature.