The Mediterranean is a mecca for the rich and famous as well as thousands of singles, families and other travellers looking for some sun and sand. But if the crowds are a major turn off for you and you’re looking for something quieter and more secluded, see below for my top five spots to look out for. While some are easier to access than others, they’re worth the effort. These areas are often remote and only accessible by boat, so a great way to see or visit them is by taking a cruise. Talk to some cruise experts such as www.cruiseabout.com.au for more info on itineraries and the Med’s hidden gems.
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Delimara Peninsula, Malta
The Delimara Peninsula is located between the two port cities of Marsascala and Marsaxlokk and boasts one of the most secluded and beautiful swimming spots on the Malta coast. Hire a car, pack a day bag and head for St Peter’s Pool, a natural pool with clear azure coloured water. While it’s a little hard to find, your effort will be rewarded by seclusion. The only other company you’ll have is that of locals and dedicated tourists, seeking a tranquil spot to swim and laze about. After a day of luxuriating, head to nearby Marsaxlokk; a photogenic harbour afloat with colourful fishing boats and sumptuous seafood restaurants.
Cabo de Gata, Spain
In Spain’s southeastern province of Almeria, you’ll find one of the country’s most interesting and remote national parks: Cabo de Gata. Pristine beaches and secluded coves dot the coastline of this unique and unparalleled landscape. The area boasts a number of beautiful and unspoilt beaches including Playa del Monsul which features enormous overhanging volcanic rock formations. Even during peak tourist season, the secluded beaches of Cabo de Gata are refreshingly quiet. With clear visibility of up to 20m, this area also offers superb opportunities for diving and snorkelling.
Calanque d’En Vau, France
Far from the glitz and glamour of the French Riviera’s resorts and film festivals , is En Vau; a hidden beach paradise. Located between Cassis and Marseille, En Vau is a cove surrounding by dramatic and towering granite cliffs. If you’re adventurous enough to climb the cliffs, you’ll be rewarded with unbeatable views of the French coast. But the real drawcard to this stunning beach, is its glorioius white sand and turquoise waters.
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Luštica Peninsula, Montenegro
Located along the southern coastline of Montenegro, Luštica Peninsula boasts a collection of clean beaches, including Dobreč which is reputed as having some of the cleanest waters in the country. Another highlight of the Peninsula is the Blue Grotto (Plava Špilja). The cave is 9m high and derives its name from the mesmerising blue colour cast on to its roof from the sun’s rays reflecting off the surface of the water.
If you’re looking to escape the crowds for a truly laid-back experience, head to the remote beach community of Kabak in Mediterranean Turkey. Although it’s a bit of an effort to get there, either on foot or by tractor, you’ll be rewarded with a totally unspoilt stretch of beach surrounded on three sides by lush pine forest. With only a few secluded campsites in the immediate area, this is the perfect spot if you truly want to get away from it all and get back to basics.
If you’re a fan of quiet, untapped beauty rather than sunbathing shoulder to shoulder with strangers, there are still a number of uncrowded and undeveloped stretches along the Mediterranean. While you might have to make a little effort to get there, once you’re there, you’ll be glad you did.