Destinations

Five of the best Mediterranean Island holidays – 17 May 2007

Sicily: Best for something different

Why: Citrus groves, opulent architecture and Mount Etna make Sicily – the largest island in the Mediterranean – a gem of an island perfect for hiking, biking or driving tours. The island also has a dark and fascinating history: the mafia originated here, operating a business of protection and extortion around the lemon and orange groves of Palermo.

Sell it to: Older couples, Godfather obsessives.

Sample product:Holiday Options has created a unique tour called The Sicilian Experience which offers clients an intriguing insight into local life. Learn to cook Sicilian cuisine, discover Mount Etna and best of all, take the Godfather tour through the peaceful streets of Savoca and Forza D’Argo, both used while shooting scenes for movie.

After dark, take an evening wine tour among hazelnut and pistachio trees. The tour operator offers seven nights at the four star Hotel Villa Sonia including flights, transfers and the tour from £879 per person, based on two people sharing.

See also: Discover the mountains, coves and small villages in the unspoilt north of Mallorca. Activities range from cycling and kayaking to horseriding and swimming. Try Explore’s Discover Mallorca trip.

 

Malta: Best for diving

Why: The Maltese coast offers good visibility, warm waters, professional dive shops and plenty of wrecks, making it popular with divers. The nearby island of Gozo is also full of excellent diving sites. Enthusiasts will love the Blue Hole, a 26 metre deep natural rock formation carved by the wind and water.

Sell it to: Adventure lovers with an interest in history.

Sample product:Belleair Holidays offers seven nights at the four star Hotel Calypso in Gozo for £555 per person, based on two adults sharing. This price includes flights, transfers and the PADI Open Water Diver Course for beginners.

More experienced divers can stay seven nights at the three star Plaza Regency Hotel in Sliema, Malta, for £459 per person, including flights, transfers and a PADI Advanced Open Water Course which includes wreck and night dives.

See also: Cyprus is a good place to learn to dive and Zenobia has one of the best wreck dives in the world. See Crystal Holidays’ The Dive Brochure or Libra Holidays’ Goldenjoy Dive 2007 brochure.

 

Corsica: Best for activities

Why: The fourth largest island in the Mediterranean sea, Corsica offers unparalleled opportunities for an active holiday. Hike or bike in the dramatic granite mountains, go windsurfing or kayaking on the beach at Calvi or charter a yacht around the coastline of marine nature reserve Bonifacio.

The more adventurous traveller might be interested in quad biking, jet skiing, abseiling and even bungy jumping. Keen golfers can tee off in Golf de Sperone, which has spectacular views of the Mediterranean.

Sell it to: Sports enthusiasts and families.

Sample product:Corsican Places offers seven nights at Villas Suartello from £394 per person, based on four sharing, in June. The price includes flights, car hire and self-catering accommodation.

The properties have plenty of land for guests to ride horses, trek and climb. Child friendly beaches are ten minutes drive away.

See also: Corfu’s scenic countryside offers plenty of hiking opportunities plus the beaches have a range of watersports. Aghios Gordios in Corfu appeals to walkers and nature lovers. Contact Thomson.

 

Ibiza: Best for clubbing

Why: Ibiza is still the number one destination for hedonists. The best of the island’s nightlife is in Ibiza Town where you’ll find Pacha, Amnesia and Privilege – the largest club in the world. San Antonio is a bit more downmarket, but it is home to the famed Café del Mar.

These days it’s possible to hear all types of music in Ibiza, with a new generation of dance-friendly guitar bands, including Franz Ferdinand and Arctic Monkeys, set to invade the island this season.

While San Antonio mainly appeals to young people, Santa Eulalia is a top class resort which is also great for clubbing but is geared towards a slightly older crowd. Ibiza arguably has the most diverse mix of tourists of any Spanish island.

Sell it to: Anyone who loves nightlife.

Sample product:Mundicolor Holidays offer seven nights at the three star Hotel Sol Pinet, in San Antonio, for £828 per person on half board, including flights and transfers.

See also: Ayia Napa, in Cyprus, is renowned for its nightlife and golden sandy beaches. Contact Cosmos or Kosmar Holidays. The Greek Island of Mykonos is hailed as one of the Mediterranean’s top clubbing destinations, drawing in famous DJ’s from all over the world. Contact Olympic Holidays or Mediterranean Experience.

 

Sardinia: Best for beaches

Why: With more than 300 days of sunshine a year and 1,849km of coastline, this Italian island is the perfect spot for beach lovers. The beaches are stunning and there are plenty of watersports to choose from.

The rich and famous flock to upmarket resort Costa Smeralda on the island’s northeastern coast. Costa Smeralda translates as ‘the emerald coast’ – so-called because of the striking colour of the sea. Big name stars including Naomi Campbell and Jon Bon Jovi have been spotted in the waterfront bars in chic Porto Cervo.

Sell it to: Families and well heeled couples.

Sample product:Citalia offers seven nights at the four star Residence La Bisaccia, Sardinia, from £861 per person in June, including accommodation on a half board basis, private transfers and Meridiana flights from Gatwick.

See also: Some of the best beaches in Greece can be found in the islands of Corfu, Kos and Kefalonia. Contact Argo Holidays.

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