When you think of going to the Mediterranean for a holiday, you probably think of the Amalfi Coast, the Costa Del Sol and the French Riviera. All beautiful destinations, for sure.
But, then you think of the crowds. And the high prices. And sometimes the food is even very mediocre and not the typical Mediterranean cuisine you were expecting.
If this is you, then you’ll love knowing that there are endless possibilities to explore the Mediterranean and still beat the crowds. You’ll have plenty of beach activities to enjoy, great food and reasonable prices when you get off the beaten tourist path.
Whether you plan to fly, drive or even rent a boat from it 12 knotsthen you should read on for all the recommendations.
1. Aeolian Islands, Italy
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and outside that island there are many more smaller islands.
East of Sicily there is a group of islands called the Aeolian Islands after the Greek god of the wind.
The main island of Lipari is where all the action is and where the best restaurants, cafes and ice creams can be found. Outside the city you will find a wild island where goats roam freely and there are black sand beaches from the lava of the area’s many volcanoes.
In fact, the island of Stromboli is an island that is an active volcano and has been erupting for years without interruption. At night you can see the glow of the lava as it pours out of the crater.
Read more: The best beaches in Europe for swimming
2. Grado, Italy
Everyone knows Venice and it’s Grand Canal. So much so that it is impossible to get away from the crowds that are there.
What most people don’t know is that just a few miles away there is another town, smaller like Venice, called Grado. Like Venice it was built on an island in a lagoon get away from Barbarians.
It has only one main canal that runs through the city and cars are allowed to drive there, but the look and feel is very similar to Venice. Without the crowds and without the high prices.
3. Tarifa, Spain
At the very bottom of Spain lies Tarifa. Where most tourists stop well before this seaside town, you have the place to yourself. That is except when the winds are blowing and the windsurfers come to town.
This time of year can be crowded but definitely worth it if you are into water sports. Because of the type of tourists it attracts, it has a very relaxed and less commercial feel than its northern neighbors on the Costa del Sol.
4. Evia, Greece
Stay away from Santorini if you want to avoid the crowds. Instead, if you have a Greek craving, head to Evia. It has centuries of history and is like an open air museum. And most of the sites are hardly touristy at all.
This sleepy island has many small villages where you can get away from people watching and drink some ouzo every day. And without breaking your wallet.