Holiday destinations are the perfect boiling point; visited by tourists from all corners of the world, who flock a common spot to make the most of the fun activities. However, sometimes the smaller the crowd, the better! Don’t you just…
Holiday destinations are the perfect boiling point; visited by tourists from all corners of the world, who flock a common spot to make the most of the fun activities. However, sometimes the smaller the crowd, the better! Don’t you just hate crowded beaches, waiting hours to be served in a bursting restaurant or having to queue just to access the washrooms? It really does rob you of the fun you came to have. Fortunately, there are some hidden cities that will allow you to enjoy your vacation without having to worry about people invading your personal space.
The following are low-key holiday spots in the Mediterranean where you can escape the crowds.
This little-famed Aegean outpost makes for the perfect destination for those trying to avoid the hassle in the more crowded Istanbul. Resit Soley, the famous architect owns a world-class winery here.
Bozcaada offers a tranquil and relaxed atmosphere, defined by a rich shade of beautiful bougainvillaea trees, with the opportunity to enjoy a sip of tasty Turkish coffee on the cobbled streets. You can bask on the clear pebble beaches or explore the well maintained Bozcaada Castle during the day as you indulge in the local wine bars at night.
Formentera is a nice alternative to its noisy, party-ready neighbour, Ibiza. This desert island was for centuries deserted by Spain due to the frequent pirate raids but later on became a key region on the hippie trail during the 60s. Famous for having the clearest waters in the Mediterranean surrounding it, you can have this serene gem all for yourself once the day-trippers depart.
Located just 30 minutes from Ibiza, visitors can explore Saint Francesc, the island’s capital village or find a natural mud bath at the heart of the island. On Formentera, you must see under water. All of the waters are perfectly transparent, and with goggles and a snorkel you can see all the beautiful fish and the bottom of the waters
This is the furthest inhabited island from the Croatian mainland and was preserved for the military up until 1989. The island features a small marina that gets a bit of yacht traffic during summer, although it is generally a peaceful escape.
Its Old Town is defined by a scenic seaside walkway from the main centre and it is just across Komiza, arguably one of the most beautiful towns in the Adriatic. There are a number of serene hotels and villas to cater for your accommodation, that offers utmost privacy.
Explore the stunning beaches that line the coastline or go on a boat trip to the nearby island, Bisevo, where you will see Blue Grotto, an amazing cave that glows aquamarine when exposed to certain light. Tasty the homemade cuisine and try the vugava (or bugava), a white wine from the protected high white grape variety. From tiny taverns to cozy country houses and prestigious restaurants, you will not be hungry or thirsty on Vis.
Pucisca is a small and beautiful port town on the northern coast of the island of Brač. This place is famous for its marvelous marble quarries and stone quarry culture. Also local white stone houses give the village a unique charm and a pure mediterranean atmosphere.
Local stone was used to build many famous buildings such as Diocletian’s Palace in Split, the lobby of the United Nations building in New York, and many churches and palaces all over Dalmatia.
The story goes that the White House in Washington was also built from Brač stone, but there is no evidence to confirm this story.
You can visit the nearby beaches, picturesque landscapes of nearby coves and numerous restaurants serving traditional Dalmatian food and homemade wine. Sports enthusiasts can go cycling, scuba diving or water-skiing.
Massif des Calanques, France
This amazing destination allows you to escape the boozy crowds of Southern France through a quick boat ride from Marseille or Cassis.
You will be impressed by the virgin inlets that feature crystal clear water and the imposing hiking terrain to keep you active. The Calanque d’En Vau is the most famous inlet here and gets a fair share of crowds during summer.
Other than that, you can enjoy the privacy or seek even more alone time by going to Morgiou or Sugiton as you further explore the Calanques. Discover the hidden beach along Calanque de Sugiton, explore the underwater cave inscriptions near Calanque de Morgiou or head inland and challenge yourself to a hike up Mont Puget, the massif’s highest point at 563 m.
Tunisia’s capital city is the perfect destination for those looking to get a feel of ancient history; boasting the well-maintained ruins of Carthage for a start. The port hub in the Gulf of Tunis has a history that dates back to 814 B.C and receives minimal crowds.
Visitors can view some of the infrastructure built by the Phoenicians and Romans such as an amphitheatre and huge public baths. Tunis’s central medina is a UNESCO world heritage site where you can find stalls stocked with intricate art pieces like glass lamps, handmade pottery, woven rugs, etc which you can buy as souvenirs. During the summer visitors can retreat to nearby beaches in La Marsa and Garta, visit the zoo in the Belvedere park, or the park of an unusual name – the Park of Human Rights. The ruins of Carthage are 15 km north of Tunis.
If you are interested in the legend of Odyssey’s return to Ithaca, you now have the opportunity to experience part of that legend and spend your vacation in Ithaca as this small and diverse island is known as the Homeland of Odyssey.
Ithaca has a sweet natural appeal with untouched physical features that make for the ideal heavenly getaway. Visitors can explore the clear, quiet beaches or sample the rich culinary culture that includes an assortment of delicious seafood sold in taverns by the locals. You can also go for a walk around the luxurious green islands or enjoy the breathtaking views from a deserted monastery above the village of Exogi.
In towns such as Vathy, all buildings, even newer buildings, must be stylishly arranged, as this is exactly what gives the town and island a special charm.
The island’s main town is one of the most beautiful places on the Cyclades Islands because of its beautiful Venetian-style buildings. Portara is the most famous monument in Naxos with the huge gates and remains of an ancient temple dedicated to Apollo, built in the 6th century BC. It is located in the northern part and can be seen from ships that approach Naxos.
The Naxos Castle is the next attraction that does not circumvent, built during the Venetian rule. The castle is an impressive monument located on Mount Chora or Chora and from its walls is a spectacular view of the city and its surroundings. The whole area represents the former medieval settlement with its original forms. Nearby is Glezos, a tower that stands as a guard. The main town beach is especially safe for small children because of the shallows.
Naxos is particularly popular among nature lovers, hiking and other sports activities, but also to all who want a quiet holiday with long sandy beaches with crystal clear waters.
Folegandros Island, Greece
Folegandros is a true example of a typical Greek island with clear waters, white houses and winding streets. It is located not far from the very popular islands of Milos and Sikinos, 40 km from Santorini and about 160 km from Athens. The island is called “Island of Peace” because of its very relaxed atmosphere and tranquillity.
Although Folegandros belongs to a “more peaceful” category, the island can be very busy during the main season mainly due to Greek tourists. For people who live here, this is a blessing because it keeps their island in life. Most of them are engaged in fishing and agriculture, and the extra money that tourism brings them to stay here and during the winter.
Though Folegandros does not offer much in terms of tourist facilities or roads, but it attracts an increasing number of tourists each year – primarily those seeking solitude in nature and away from the spirit of other cosmopolitan islands such as Santorini, Rhodes, Mikonos or Corfu.
Strong and rocky island, Folegandros is a challenging place for those who want to explore its nature. It definitely needs to be seen, and sharp nature and many scenes will leave you something valuable to remember.
Ischia and Procida, Italy
Ischia and Procida are the islands situated in the bay of Naples and are full of untouched, amazing nature and the remains of a luxuriant past. The islands are a great destination for people who want peace and tranquillity while spending their vacation without worry.
Ischia is the volcanic island and has many hot water springs and spa that can be located in both public baths and dripping from sprouts throughout the beach. Around 28 km of attractive sandy beaches encircle their way around mountains and volcanoes with magnificent sights above oak and beech forests. The lush woods are ideally enjoyed on horseback during the course of the pleasant afternoons.
The most famous beach and resort Sant’Angelo can be dotted with black volcanic sand, and it is specially decorated in colourful background houses that create the extra cheerful atmosphere of this island.
Procida is the smallest island in that part of the Naples Bay, famous for lush gardens and fragrant lemons. The island of Procida, unlike the other, is not so flooded with tourist amenities but offers everything you need from restaurants, cafes and souvenirs. The whole tourist offer of the island is more directed towards the fact that every guest can get acquainted with the way of life of the local population and their culture. Unlike Capri, where pebbly beaches dominate, idyllic sandy beaches dominate here, which are the true paradise for your feet.
Procida’s greatest treasure is the marina Corricella, which impresses with its beauty and uniqueness. On the beaches of this island, numerous films have been filmed, most notably the “Postmaster” telling about the friendship of the postman and writer Pable Nerude, and this romantic natural scenes also served for the action of the cult film “Talented Mr. Ripley”. Far from the glittering shore resorts, this island offers unforgettable moments to all its visitors.
Valletta is on UNESCO’s list of world heritage since the 80’s. If you go walking through its historic streets it will become clear to you and why. Valletta contains buildings from the 16th century onwards, built during the rule of the Order of St. John also known as Knights Hospitaller. The city is essentially Baroque in character, with elements of Mannerist, Neo-Classical and Modern architecture in selected areas
The sights of exceptional historical importance are drawn for each other. St. John’s Concert Hall, the Manoel Theater as one of the oldest operative theatres in Europe, the Great Masters Palace, the National Museum of Art, the Auberge de Castille et Leon Palace, the fortress made up of bastions and walls. The Upper Barrakka Gardens are the favourite place for the visitors of Valletta. The picturesque park with fountains, alcoves, blooming trees and flowers, sculptures and monuments cannot leave indifferent. The park is equipped with observation decks so that every visitor to the park had the opportunity to contemplate the beauty of The Great Harbour and the Three cities.
The next time you want to go on a vacation, don’t let it be a struggle! Try the above undiscovered yet amazing locations and enjoy the peace and quiet away from the crowd.