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The Mediterranean draws summertime vacationers from around the globe. The region is synonymous with the beach, but it has an incredibly diverse range of sand. For every lively party scene in Ibiza and Mykonos, you’ll find a remote stretch of coast in Sardinia or Crete.

The best beaches on the Mediterranean are the ones that provide a picture-perfect setting mixed with a healthy dose of local culture, cuisine, and a relaxed pace of life. Aside from the beaches and warm water, this trait is what makes the Mediterranean an attractive destination to visit.

If you’re looking to plan a Mediterranean vacation, here’s where you should start your search.

Barcelona

Beach in Barcelona
The Balearic Islands draw beach lovers to Spain, but the best Mediterranean destination for urban sand is Barcelona. The star is Barceloneta Beach, which stretches for two miles along the Catalan coast. This isn’t a place for a quiet stroll. It’s buzzing and crowded, with plenty of energy, numerous sand-side restaurants, and excellent people watching.

The city has other beaches suiting different tastes. These range from the laid-back Bogatell and Llevant to the Zona de Banys del Fòrum, which is ideal for swimming.

Since many of the best restaurants and nightclubs are next to the waterfront, you’ll find plenty of nightlife once the sun sets.

Costa Rei, Sardinia


Costa Rei, once named the world’s best beach by Lonely Planet, is only an hour’s drive from Cagliari. While some of the beaches on this rugged Italian island require tedious treks, this one is easily accessible, even for families with young children.

Sardinia’s trademark rock formations are onshore and in the water, but you will also find fine white sand and warm, crystal-clear water. With 7.4 miles of coastline, you might never get past the main beach at Costa Rei. If you spend more than a few days, however, you can venture to nearby Santa Giusta and Cala Sinzias which offer similarly idyllic settings.

Bol, Brac, Croatia

Brac is the largest island off Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast. Though the area’s profile as a Mediterranean vacation spot has grown over the past few decades, Brac remains relatively uncrowded. Much of the island features a rugged coastline, but you’ll find excellent beaches, including several near the town of Bol.

The picturesque Zlatni Rat Beach is easily recognizable because it comes to a sharp point with sand extending several hundred feet in each direction. The shape of the point changes depending on ocean currents. Zlatni Rat is the headliner, but Bol also offers secluded spots (Martinica Beach), and watersports (Borak Beach).

Mykonos

mykonos

Yes, Mykonos is an exceedingly popular Mediterranean tourist destination, but few places in the region can match its unique mix of beaches, scenery, and party scenes. The island gets its reputation from Paradise Beach and the neighboring sands, Paraga and Psarou, where the party atmosphere lasts all day and night.

Meanwhile, Myrsine and Fokos are secluded sections of the coast that display the other side of the island’s personality. Foodies will fall in love with the abundance of restaurant choices in Ornos. Mykonos Town (officially known as Hora) features shaded patios, restaurants, nightlife, and trademark whitewashed buildings that define Ionian island towns.

Mellieħa Bay, Malta

Mellieħa Bay, MaltaMellieħa Bay is on the north coast of Malta. The beach here is the longest in Malta, stretching for more than 2,500 feet. The water here is shallow and clean enough to earn Blue Flag status.

Hotels and restaurants are within walking distance of the waterfront, and you can also catch a ferry to nearby Gozo. While you can stay next to the bay, you can also visit on a day trip. Buses from elsewhere on the island operate routes with stops in Mellieħa.

Whether you prefer to enjoy your sunshine on an uncrowded coastline or want to step from the sand right into a nightclub, there is a Mediterranean destination to suit you. Let’s plan your next vacation to one of these island destinations today!